From the Hollywood Gazette, October 2008
Accomplished Hollywood resident Avi Frier – a sought-after entertainer, “Guerilla Marketing” specialist, Hollyopoly board-game creator and former newspaper publisher – can add yet another title to his eclectic professional résumé, that of magic variety show producer and host.
Frier, a comedy magician since 1985 who performs his act all over the world, will kick off his latest venture, “The Magic Spotlight,” Oct. 7 at the Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre in Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The monthly showcase will debut with headliners Jimmy Rook, Brad C. Barton “Reality Thief” and popular local magician Jack Maxwell, owner of the Wizard’s Apprentice Magic Shop in Downtown Hollywood. Scheduled open mic performers are local professional magicians Marc Levine, “One Night” Stan, Aaron Michaels, Gary Midnight and Antino.
The series, which will be offered the first Tuesday of every month, will feature acts that include stage magicians, comedy magicians, close-up magicians, mentalists, “sideshow acts and other wackiness,” jugglers and ventriloquists, as well as talented young magicians. This month’s Youth Spotlight will feature 10-year-old Lavi Marofsky of Boca Raton.
Frier said the two-hour variety show concept is unique – neither a typical comedy club show nor a typical magic show. Even before its debut, “The Magic Spotlight” was generating “a lot of buzz,” he said. “There is no venue in South Florida that has a stage with a lineup of magicians performing.”
The showcase promises “a sampling of the world’s greatest magic,” and if anyone can deliver such a tall order, it’s Frier.
Recently voted “Best Local Entertainer” by Hollywood Gazette readers, he’s been delighting audiences for more than two decades. Frier also is a marketing expert who owned a full-service design and marketing firm in Hollywood. In addition, he was the founder and publisher of the Florida Jewish News, a free weekly newspaper, and created Hollyopoly, a Monopoly-like game featuring Hollywood landmarks and businesses that was recognized as “Hollywood’s Official Board Game” with a proclamation from the City Commission.
These days, Frier enjoys being a full-time magician. His passion for magic was sparked one summer day in 1985, when 15-year-old Avi wandered into a magic shop in downtown Baltimore. He purchased his first trick and soon was hooked, spending almost all of his summer wages in that magic shop – a seemingly frivolous investment that gave his parents cause for concern.
But soon Frier was entertaining audiences at birthday parties and community events. By the early ’90s, he was performing on the comedy club circuit throughout the New York area.
After relocating to South Florida, Frier worked with kids while moonlighting as a comedy magician. The Internet boom in 1999 led him into the marketing field, where he trained under Guerilla Marketing founder Jay Conrad Levinson. As a certified Guerrilla Marketing strategist, Frier developed marketing plans, advertising campaigns and sales strategies for businesses with limited marketing budgets.
He also made time for community involvement, including forming the Hollywood Shalom Initiative in 2001, in response to a need to unite Hollywood’s Jewish community. In addition to awards for his community service, Frier has twice been selected as a finalist for both the South Florida Business Journal’s Up & Comers Awards and the Hollywood Small Business Person of the Year.
Until a year ago, Frier’s professional life was all-consuming, and magic had taken on a secondary role. Today, he’s a full-time performer at corporate and private events through Avimagic Entertainment. As a corporate/tradeshow magician, Frier blends his magic and comedy talents with his marketing know-how to help businesses identify and reach their target audience. And starting this month, he will produce and emcee his own magic variety show.
Of all Frier’s ventures through the years, those involving magic hold a special place in his heart.
“All the others were just a way to support my family,” he said. “This is a way to support my family while taking a whole room full of people and making them happy.”
“The Magic Spotlight” will debut at 8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 7 at the Improv Comedy Club in Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5700 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Tickets are $16.95. Visit www.magicspotlight.com for full details.
For more information on comedy magician Avi Frier, visit www.avimagic.com or www.magicforbiz.com
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