Richard E. Darshwood
Richard E. Darshwood

Richard E. Darshwood has been into magic since childhood, but while other kids eventually swapped their card tricks for footballs, electronic gadgets for muscle cars, Darshwood continued to ply his craft. He’s a graduate of the McBride School of Magic and Mystery in Las Vegas and is certified by the American Alliance of Hypnotists.

He’s performed for the likes of Martin Scorsese, Miranda Lambert and Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews, and next week Louisville audiences can witness his magic firsthand when he performs at the “Magic, Dinner & Bourbon” events held at Down One Bourbon Bar. The next one is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, and includes three courses, three Four Roses cocktails, and magical entertainment by Darshwood.

I caught a performance a few months back and was enthralled with Darshwood’s skills from beginning to end. I even tried to watch so intently as to figure out his tricks, but never once caught him (it might also have been the bourbon).

Darshwood says his favorite aspect of magic is the mystery and wonder it stirs up in people. “A good magic trick, when presented well, will remind us that the world is full of elegant surprises,” he says.

Before he pulls another rabbit out of his hat, Darshwood answered some very important questions …

Love in an elevator
Love in an elevator

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

Well, I have no idea how I’m going to pull it off yet, but someday I would like to get stuck in an elevator with the Dalai Lama. Something tells me that by the time we got out, I’d be really close to enlightenment.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

I’m pretty sure I was in junior high when the Madonna Blond Ambition Tour poster got replaced by a bunch of clippings from a Thrasher magazine article on the origins of punk rock: pictures of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones, Talking Heads, Television and others. Quite an extreme transition in musical preferences, right?

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

Though I am currently a Southern Indiana resident, we could still presume that one day I could became the mayor of Louisville. I would most likely present the key to my friend Matthew Landan — owner of Haymarket Whiskey Bar and the previous owner of Derby City Espresso. When I first started seriously working on my act a few years ago, Matthew let me perform for the crowds at DCE any night of the week I wanted. I owe him a lot for giving me the opportunity to polish my skills in his shop, and he’s become an inspiration to me when I look at how much he’s grown his business in such a short time. Coincidentally, Matthew introduced me to Mayor Fischer at Haymarket a few months ago. He tried to tell me his name was Jerry Abramson, though. Funny guy.

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

One half whatever it is Mellow Mushroom puts on their Maui Wowie, and the other half Kosmic Karma. My wife makes an amazing Sloppy Joe Pizza if we’re eating in, though!

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

Of course, I would love to go back to high school and start all over from there knowing what I know now. But if for only a week, I’d prefer to get a taste of what it’s like to be much older. Let’s say 90 or even 100. That way I’ll appreciate what’s left of my virility when the week is over and I’m back to my current age.

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

I keep getting told that I look like Christian Bale. I don’t really see it, though. I have to go return some videotapes now.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

See question 1!

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."