By Scott Schaefer

Wouldn’t it be cool to discover that your wacky neighbor has secret magic powers, and can do amazing things like make a paper clip disappear on command?

Well then – say hello to Louie Foxx, a Des Moines resident who also happens to be a full-time, nationally-known magician!

Louie was inspired to pursue the illusory arts in Kindergarten when a magician came and performed tricks at his grade school.

“It was the coolest thing…and I wanted to do that for my job.”

And yes, he got his start by actually making a paper clip disappear while in his school’s talent show.

“I’m not sure how I ended up in the show as I didn’t audition for it,” he told The Waterland Blog. “I think a few kids must have gotten sick, and someone knew I did a trick and they put me in the show. I clearly remember stepping onto the stage, in a gym full of families holding a paper clip and thinking ‘no one can see this,’ the paper clip disappeared, people were indifferent, but politely applauded. That little bit of applause hooked me, I wanted more. I started reading magic books from the library and practicing more complex and bigger tricks that could be seen by more that two people!”

Here’s more from a socially-distanced, trick-free email interview we conducted with Louie:

Are you able to make a living doing magic?
I’m super fortunate to be a full time magician, I travel North America performing. Last year I performed from Seattle, WA to Washington DC and from Panama to Alaska! During the pandemic I’ve had to shift from performing in person to performing on virtual shows on the internet! These virtual shows are performed in a home studio and live streamed over services like Zoom:

Who inspired/inspires you as a magician?
There are a few things that inspired how I perform. When I was about 16 years old I snuck into a casino in MN to see The Raspyni Brothers who were a comedy juggling duo. Seeing how they weaved fresh comedy into the tricks and stunts they did and didn’t use tired old jokes got me starting to write my own comedy. Then later that year I snuck into a show in Las Vegas to see comedy magician Nick Lewin (who is one of my heros!) perform his show and saw how a master weaves comedy into their magic. I’m super excited to be on Masters of Illusion with nick!!

I’m very lucky to have performed with The Raspyini Brothers and Nick Lewin multiple times and that they are now friends of mine!

What’s a trick that you’ve seen but haven’t figured out yet? (are there any?)
About 25 years ago a magician named Steve Dobson showed me a trick with a nut and a bolt. He screwed the nut onto the bolt and covered it with a coffee cup. He lifted it up and they were unscrewed! He’s shown me this trick over the years and offered to teach me it, but I was soo fooled by it that I wanted to try to figure it out. Over the next two decades, I had ideas and finally figured it out 20 years later! I was excited when he told me that I was right…but also slightly disappointed that the quest for the solution was over.

Why do you think magic is so cool?
Personally what I love about it is the mental challenge of trying to make the impossible appear possible. As a creator of over 100 published magic tricks (many more unpublished), the journey of taking an idea written on a scrap of paper to something that I can share with thousands of people is what I love about it.

Also in our current age of being able to Google how to do anything, seeing something impossible and not being able to figure it out is what draws people to it.

How long have you lived in Des Moines? What do you like about it?
I’ve lived in Des Moines for 15 years. I love the diversity of the people. Walking my dog, I run into and chat with all sorts of people, with very different life experiences and they’re all very friendly!

One of my favorite things is going over to Saltwater State Park at a low tide and looking for octopus in the tide pools!

What would be the perfect job/career for you?
Honestly, I feel like I have the greatest job ever!

Louie also started a semi-regular show called The Odd and Offbeat Variety Show that he co-hosts with comedy juggler Matt Baker where they perform and hang out with super talented acts from around the world:

He also co-hosts the weekly The Odd and Offbeat Podcast where he and Matt talk about strange news. This podcast has over 125 episodes:

Right before the pandemic shut down the state, Matt and Louie started doing a podcast for Seattle’s Moisture Festival where they interview the festival’s performers, volunteers, and workers! Check it out here.

You can also watch Louie perform on the CW’s Masters of Illusion here.

More info here: