Shoot Ogawa Merges Magic and Wit into a Beautiful Artform in ‘Holy Shoot’ at Liberty Magic


Liberty Magic‘s 2023-24 season continues with another enthralling and renowned international magician. Performing October 4th – 29th is Shoot Ogawa in his riveting production of Holy Shoot

Shoot Ogawa | Liberty Magic photo

From a talent standpoint alone, Ogawa displays his impressive credentials and delivers a master class in sleight-of-hand magic. Throughout the 70-minute show, audiences come to understand why Ogawa is the current FISM Parlour International Champion of Magic. Having performed in over 50 countries worldwide, Penn of magician duo Penn & Teller called Ogawa “the greatest living sleight-of-hand artist of our time.” 

Ogawa uses ordinary objects such as handkerchiefs, coins, pebbles, ropes, string, and, of course, cards to create extraordinary illusions. Ogawa moves quickly and swiftly, making his tricks seem all the more improbable. He makes basic objects disappear, reappear, then disappear again and transform into an entirely different object. His tricks defy logic, gravity, and reason. 

Ogawa pairs his effortless tricks with quick wit and delightfully charming humor, giving you the sense that he’s never met a stranger; he simply befriends everyone he encounters. In a post-show talkback with Ogawa, he explained that some tricks he performed were considered “back up tricks” and that he always has more content planned than he actually performs. He will often gauge audience reactions, demographics, and behavior to determine the flow of his show in the moment. This level of professionalism and perception is impressive and promises that audiences can see Holy Shoot multiple times and always see a different show.

If Ogawa only performed his tricks for the audience, the sheer talent he meticulously crafted over a nearly 40-year career would be enough to make Holy Shoot a memorable residency. However, Ogawa’s genius lies in his understanding of the psychology of magic. His performance questions the subjectivity of truth. Ogawa tells the audience that they know in their hearts and minds that these objects are not disappearing, yet we all believe that they do vanish based on Ogawa’s illusions. Does that suspension of disbelief constitute a truth about the object, or are we simply using our imaginations to reconcile the impossible? 

Ogawa reminds the audience that his tricks do not contain secrecy; rather, we are determining our own truth in his routine and deciding what to believe. It is within this sentiment that Ogawa merges the fantastical with the practical. He notes that magic brings people together as they smile, laugh, and revel in moments of trouble and disbelief. He tells you what he is about to do to challenge your senses and deceive your eyes, almost daring you to discern the beauty in his deception. You’ll watch Ogawa. You’ll hear his wit. You’ll see objects morph before your eyes. And you’ll still believe in the unbelievable that is the art of magic.  


Liberty Magic presents Shoot Ogawa’s Holy Shoot October 4th – 29th, 2023. For tickets, visit https://trustarts.org/production/87226/shoot-ogawa-in-holy-shoot

Liberty Magic is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

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