Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Student magician’s show ‘Moments’ to bring positivity, connect with audience

Darby Tippit
David Gichner performs a magic trick during his show at the Moxy Hotel on Tuesday. As one of his many tricks, Gichner pulled a $20 bill signed previously by an audience member out of a lemon.

Every other week at the Moxy Austin, David Gichner takes the spotlight and dazzles his audience with magic. From his dynamic performances to his infectious enthusiasm, one thing remains abundantly clear: Gichner doesn’t view magic as a job. Despite his busy schedule, Gichner said he loves what he does and has never worked a day in his life.

The freshman communications major has garnered over 100,000 followers on TikTok and built a business with his talent. His mother, Jackie Gichner, said David has been a natural performer since childhood.

“He’s always been really social with his peers. … It feeds him when there’s an audience,” Jackie said. “He’s more comfortable the more people there are.” 

David first began his career doing shows for his friends’ birthday parties in elementary school.

“I want to say he was in fifth grade — he asked me to drive him around our suburb,” Jackie said. “He made these flyers with a picture of him and said, ‘Magic for the birthday party’ — he’s always been entrepreneurial since day one.”

David said he has practiced magic for the past 11 years, self-teaching through YouTube and books. However, his career took off after hosting a variety show in high school.

“I opened the whole show (and) closed the show,” David said. “When people saw me, I started getting booked like crazy — the high school was using me for different events, and that was the start of my magic business.”

Now in college, David crafts a new performance every month and performs every two weeks at the Moxy. His show, titled “Moments,” focuses on making a personal connection with the audience.

“When I’m up on that stage, I have the power to transform an audience to believe whatever I want them to believe, so I use that to my benefit and try (to) spread good and positivity through my performance,” David said.

Brett Schwartz, a mechanical engineering freshman and David’s roommate said David is both a great friend and businessman as he is always going out of his way to do small things for others. 

David doesn’t currently focus on making money from his shows, rather, he said he enjoys doing charitable work. In the past, he helped raise over $3,000 for the American Cancer Society and $11,000 for Cradles for Crayons, a nonprofit focused on ending children’s clothing insecurity.

“While this is my career at the moment, it’s not solely for profit — it’s to help others,” David said. “The goal of a magician is to problem-solve. … That’s where I come into play, … and I do my best to help any organization that reaches out to me.”

Schwartz said he harbors big hopes for David’s future career and wants more people to see his shows.

David said he believes the power of magic goes beyond his performances. 

“There’s really magic everywhere,” David said. “Whether it’s in a magic trick or just day-to-day life, people just have to look closer to see it.”

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