Magician Cody Clark


Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking

Written and performed by Cody Clark

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

Most young boys take an interest in magic at some point. Some stay with it for a year or two before moving onto other things, a select few maintain that interest into performances as an adult. Contemporary magicians have largely abandoned the classic style of bow-tie wearing smoothie for edgier, adult profiles that shift subtly into performance art.

Cody Clark is a magician who embraces the old-fashioned, corny (a word he himself uses) manner of doing magic. Big, toothy grin, stale, obvious jokes; he even runs a saw through the midsection of a volunteer from the audience. He does all of this with welcome self-awareness that balances out the earnest delivery.

He also does it all within the unique context of being autistic. A magician’s “patter” is the real defining feature that sets him or her apart from others, and Cody’s story is about how the art of magic became a tool for managing his autism. It is a good story, and one that includes a fair amount of humor, no small amount of which is self-deprecating. All of the tricks: sleight-of-hand with coins and playing cards, the classic rope trick, and, my personal favorite, pulling several boxes of animal crackers out of an empty brown paper bag, are woven into Cody’s coming-of-age tale of he and his family coping with his autism diagnosis.

The mechanics of his prestidigitation are well managed, but what’s important here is the upbeat message (yes, message) that is presented with intelligence and insight and is never overbearing or mawkish. Clark doesn’t ask for pity or sympathy, but he entertainingly fosters understanding.


Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking

Part of the Slant Culture Theatre Festival

Walden Theatre
1123 Payne Street
Louisville, KY 40204

Saturday, November 15 – 2:30 pm
Wednesday, November 19 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 22 – 2:30 pm

Tickets $12

[box_light]KeithKeith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for[/box_light]