I.B.M. Member Profile

Dan Kamin

Theatrical Prankster in Theatres and with Symphonies Worldwide

About Dan Kamin

Dear Fellow IBM Members,

When I was a kid the last thing I wanted was to become a magician.  I would have much preferred to be a bagboy or stock clerk at the local supermarket, because those guys all seemed to have cars and, more importantly, girlfriends.  But when the supermarket wouldn’t hire me the only way I could think of to make money was doing magic at kids’ birthday parties.  Unfortunately, the kids were often obnoxious, I never earned enough to buy a car, and I soon discovered that doing magic was like spraying girl repellent all over my body.          

On the other hand I learned some great moves, mostly from criminals.  I grew up in Miami, a notoriously crime-ridden city then as now.  Every Saturday the local magicians would gather for lunch at a downtown restaurant.  It was like an ongoing magic seminar, and I never missed it.  Occasionally, visiting cardsharps and con men would drop by to compare notes with the magicians.  One of them started mentoring me, and then offered me work as a dealer on the gambling boats.  But by then I had seen my first Charlie Chaplin movie, so instead of a life of crime I opted for the life of a mime.    

Since then I have been creating and performing original shows at theatres, arts festivals, colleges and other settings.  These shows include "Comedy in Motion--A Cheap Evening of Expensive Theatre,"  "Mr. Slomo," my slow-motion magic man, and "Funny Bones--The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin" in which I deconstruct the art of the great comedian.  I also do a series of "Comedy Concertos" with symphony orchestras worldwide, including "The Classical Clown," "The Lost Elephant," "Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony," "The Haunted Orchestra" and others. 

On film, I created the physical comedy sequences for "Chaplin" and  "Benny and Joon" and trained Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp for their starring performances. I also played the vengeful wooden Indian who came to life in "Creepshow 2," and created Martian movement for Tim Burton's horrow spoof "Mars Attacks!"  I am currently working on the upcoming film "Resistance," about how the legendary mime Marcel Marceau smuggled groups of children over the Alps to safety during the German occupation of France.  I will create the film’s mime sequences and train actor Jesse Eisenberg for his performance as Marceau.

I've written several books, including "The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion" (Scarecrow Press, 2008), and several novels for teens, including "The Boy Magician" and "Charlie Chaplin--Rags to Riches," currently being shopped to publishers.