Hitfix.com describes young magician Rob Zabrecky as "wraith thin as an Edward Gorey drawing with a piercing stare and an unnerving wide selection of bow-ties, Zabrecky's creepy, witty Odd Man character might best be described as 'a mix of Vincent Price and David Byrne.'"
Flattering, no? We think he looks more like Chess Immortal Bobby Fischer.
Mr. Zabrecky is a multi-talented package with a résumé as the lead singer of Possum Dixon, a 1990's band who recorded three records with Interscope Records (former label of Mystic Hollow resident Eminem).
'I did a show at Brookledge (the site of invitation-only performances for magic aficionados) and he came up to me afterwards and paid me a nice compliment,' recalls Zabrecky. 'And I thought he was a magician, because he said "I really like what you do and it's really inspiring." And all I'm thinking is stay away from my act, buddy. No, you can't do my diminishing cards act and dance.'
Magic Man Zabrecky finally got hip to the identity of his new fan, and agreed to perform magic and tap dancing along with Mr. Gosling's music. The mainstream star helped the "Odd Man" with his appearance for French television and offered Zabrecky advice from the perspective of an actor or director.
"Ryan really looked at my character through an actor's eyes, which was something that hadn't really been done before," says Mr. Zabrecky. "I've gotten a lot of great input from magicians who know some things about theater, with my friend John Lovick (Handsome Jack) being the only guy who could look at my act and tell me theatrically what was wrong with it or what was good about it. But Ryan has no magic background, so for him it was all character."
Mr. Gosling's questions are appropriate for all magicians. "What is this guy doing? Why is he coming out here? Does he just reach for that? What if he reached for it here?"
The "Odd Man" was inspired by a walk in streets of Baltimore made famous by Film Director John Waters He happened upon Kenzo's Yogi Magic Mart in Baltimore whilst touring with Possum Dixon. "The air conditioner was shaking from the outside, so I said, that's where I'm going to cool off."