ARIANN BLACK BIOGRAPHY – The world’s most recognized female magician.
Ariann was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and began to appreciate magic at an early age. She began doing magic tricks at the age of five when her cousin, a magic enthusiast, showed her various card tricks. Ariann was fascinated with the tricks and would spend hours attempting to learn their secrets. She hounded her cousin to show her more and more tricks until his knowledge of the card tricks was exhausted.
One day Ariann was suffering from the flu and as a reward or another form of medicine, her mother took seven year old Ariann to a nearby magic store. Ariann’s eyes lit up as she entered this store. For most small children a candy store or an ice cream parlor was a remedy for the flu, but for Ariann, the magic store was everything treasure under the rainbow. Ariann’s eyes roamed over each item on every shelf. She gazed at the pictures on the boxes. marveled at the feathers and silks, and even at this age began to envision herself performing the trick. Ariann selected a rope trick for her mother to purchase, but unfortunately her mother was denied this purchase merely because the store owner believed women were only the magician’s assistant and weren’t the magician. Ariann was devastated and confused as to why this could be. She had the desire. She knew she could develop the skills and she couldn’t understand why.
A magician who observed the interaction between Ariann’s mother and the store clerk, stopped Ariann’s mother outside the magic shop. The kindly magician took a rope out of his pocket and showed Ariann’s mother how to do the rope trick. After completing the rope trick he gave her his rope to take home. This same magician also instructed Ariann’s mother about all the great magic books that were in the local library. Ariann remembers this sincere gesture to this day, but can’t remember his name, only his appearance. She remembers his red hair and his red goatee.
Ariann began to quench her thirst for magic each day she visited the library. Day after day she would spend in the library pouring over every magic book. She looked at every picture, studied every detail and imagined herself performing tricks and illusions with the greatest of skill in front of large audiences, but it wasn’t until age twelve she began performing kid birthday parties dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. It wasn’t long before her skills as a performer were known. Each Saturday the main Edmonton library treated the local children to movies and stories, but when they heard of Ariann’s unique talent they asked her to perform for these children. These performances were fantastic because this was the first time she ever performed on an actual stage. For over one year Ariann performed magic at the Edmonton library to whoever was in attendance. She started out with only ten minutes of magic from her birthday act and later began to introduce new tricks into her performance. She knew at this early age the importance of variety in her show and performing the same act over and over again didn’t satisfy her desire to learn everything she could about magic.
In high school Ariann began to think back to magician Dale Harney who performed on television and she knew there was more to magic than just magic. But, one of the major influences of her life was when Peter Reveen performed live at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. For Ariann everything that she read and envisioned a magic act to be was right there before her eyes, in person and on the biggest stage in town. She knew even more this could be her profession for life. She planned each step from that point forward as she studied theater, dance, music and drama, anything that was associated with the theater and what it meant to be on stage. Each step she took in her high school studies was structured to her magic career well beyond the borders of Edmonton. Like most people she suffered setback and challenges in her quest. Her high school drama teacher thought that she was too ugly to be a performer and that she was better suited to be a stagehand.
After high school she was accepted and attended Grant MacEwan Musical Theater in Edmonton. In order to attend the school she needed to sing, dance, and perform a monologue, but after one year she was told that she wasn’t dedicated to the theater, at least their type of theater, and asked to leave the school. In their minds there was no room for magic in the theater.
Ariann would not be prevented from achieving her goal and dreams as a magician, she attended the College of Manual Dexterity and Prestidigitation, Chavez School of Magic, in Pasadena, California and graduated in 1987. During her studies she met Doug Henning. For Arian this was a dream come true. He was her idol and a giant in the industry. In Arian’s opinion, Doug Henning, literally changed the face of magic. She wanted to learn even more and be him. She wanted to achieve his level of success in the industry. She listened to his advice and his suggestions in an effort to improve upon her talents.
After graduation Ariann accepted a position in a magic shop and moved to New York because she knew she could perform magic, plus Ariann didn’t know how to drive a car. Ariann also figured in New York you really don’t need a car to get around. After only three months her skills were recognized and she was asked to be perform with Ward Thomas during his one hour show. This was Ariann’s first exposure to the trials and tribulations of a one hour magic show. During the five years she lived in New York Ariann worked as a magic consultant for the touring company for “Godspell”, the original company for “Forever Plaid”, and the Broadway rival of “The Cherry Orchard”. It was during one of her performances in Ward Thomas’ Show that she was asked to move to Atlantic City for a revue show at Trump’s Castle. Unfortunately, the revue show didn’t last that long, but she stayed at Trump’s Castle as the house magician for four years.
During the four years as the house magician Ariann saved her money and began purchasing her own illusions in preparation for her own show. The first illusion she ever purchased was a sword basket, which she used in her act in Japan. Ariann’s first one hour show was booked in Koriyama, Japan. The show lasted three months, but she was asked to return for a six month contract in Minakami, Japan for another one hour show. The experience that she gained from these showed and because of these successful shows Ariann was asked to meet an influential agent in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she now lives. Through this agent Ariann began to travel from continent to continent performing magic. Chile, Japan, France, Italy and China were only some of the exciting stops for her show.
Since Ariann lives in Las Vegas she is surrounded by resorts and major performers. It was at this point she made a conscious decision to begin steps to create her own Vegas magic show. Ariann knew because of her unique skills it wouldn’t be long before she had her own show in Vegas. In 2002 she achieved another goal and began her own show at the Fitzgerald’s called “Secrets”. This show ran for almost one year before the casino was sold. “Splash” at the Rivera was the site of her second Las Vegas resort experience as she was the featured magician.
Ariann’s talents have not been channeled in only one medium because over the last four years Arian has appeared on television in a number of countries and specials, such as Steve Harvey’s Bigtime on the WB, The Greater Magic of Las Vegas on Fox Family, Card Sharks on ABC, The Magical World of Beto Carriro with World Productions in Brazil as the co-host, Circus Magic on Italian television, Lance Burton’s Guerilla Magic on Animal Planet, The Magic of Vegas on Art-A Television and in two separate BBC documentaries.
Ariann’s love of magic began at an early age and despite choosing a professional that is male dominated, Ariann’s successes have been noticed on numerous continents, stages and the silver screen for a lifetime. One measure of her success was being repeatedly selected by her peers as the Female Magician of the Year. Ariann is not one to rest on her successes her plans for the future are bright and we hope her love of magic will continue for some time to come.