Denny Corby, of Clarks Summit, can make a car appear out of nowhere — but don’t call him a magician.
“People hear the word magician and think I do kid parties,” says Corby. “They hear magician and want me to do little Billy’s birthday party.”
Corby is no birthday party magician. His style, ambition and drive are on a grander scale, he says. Corby is used to entertaining larger audiences with comedy, magic and mind reading at corporate events that often range between 250 to 2,500 people.
Crowds witnessed what it means to be a corporate entertainer — who can make a car appear — at the NEPA Auto Expo on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena. There, Corby made a 2015 Lexus RCF appear.
It all started when Corby was 6 years old. That’s when he fell in love with magic.
“I think every kid had the spark of magic when they were little,” Corby said. His lust never faded. It only matured.
Corby credits Saturday afternoons at Mel’s Magic City, a magic store in Scranton, to mastering the artistry of performing magic. That’s where magicians such as Paul Sampson and Joe Nalepa took him under their wings and taught him the ropes of performing.
“I was like 12 or 13, and my mom dropped me off with a bunch of older magicians who would help me learn the tricks of the trade,” Corby said, laughing that now, at 26 years old, some of his best friends are 70 years old.
“They’d offer suggestions like, ‘Okay, your hands are still kind of small, why don’t you hold the deck of cards this way?’ and things like that,” he said. “They helped me learn and appreciate the performance side.”
Even with a passion for magic, Corby never thought he’d pursue the trade as a full-time profession. He always saw himself getting involved with the family business. Corby’s father, Douglas Fink, owns Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company in Scranton.
After college, during which he studied business management at Marywood University and eventually entertainment management at Bay State College in Boston, he did join the family business.
“I did everything I could do there, but my heart wasn’t in it,” Corby said.
Then advice from his father worked magic on him.
“He said that I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I did something,” Corby remembers. “He told me to give magic and entertainment a try.”
He’s been pursuing magic and entertainment since 2013.
“A lot of people get caught up in indecisiveness, and saying, ‘I don’t know if I could do this,’” Corby said. “Life is about taking action.”
That mindset is how Corby found himself making cars appear for entertainment value. He said he knew it would be possible to make a car appear —and he knew he would figure out how once he could convince someone he could do it.
“A part of taking action is making the decision to commit first and figure out the rest later,” Corby said.
He finally convinced Troy Spring, who works for a full-service ad agency for car dealerships. They’ve partnered to offer dealerships the opportunity to have Corby make a car appear on their lot and generate exposure to massive amounts of people.
Sure, there’s a secret to his capability of making cars appear but he’ll never tell. Instead, he shares another side of the real magic behind his act.
“People often ask if there’s something really magical about the magic I do,” he said. “I believe there is. For the time of the show, people can forget about all their problems, bills. They get to enjoy life and get caught up in something other than their phone and social media.”
For Corby, corporate entertainer, that’s the true magic.