New Castle News

February 22, 2014

Presto! Local magician to appear on ‘Ellen DeGeneres show’

Lauren Rearick
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Thanks to a little magic, a Shenango High School graduate is making his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

T.J. Hill, a 2000 graduate of the school district, will be taking his bag of tricks and magic to the talk show for an episode set to air Sept. 8.

Working as a magician on a local and national level for more than 10 years, Hill attributes this latest success to hard work, though he certainly considers it an unexpected honor.

“I was definitely not ever expecting national exposure,” Hill said. “I’ve always had a lot of confidence in my abilities and I’m a workaholic, but I didn’t think I would make it to this level.”

Working at private gigs throughout the area, including Pittsburgh restaurants and events as well as national gigs on Carnival Cruise Lines and colleges, Hill has been perfecting his “slight of hand” for more than 20 years.

He’ll be taking some of the tricks he’s gathered over the years for DeGeneres and her audience in Burbank, Calif.

Borrowed objects, including cards and keys, along with stage magic with comedy are all incorporated in Hill’s performances. 

“(At my shows) audiences walk away in absolute amazement,” Hill said. “Things you only thought possible on TV can happen right under your nose.”

In 2013, Hill performed more than 200 shows, including numerous events as the official magician for Pittsburgh Penguins family events and parties.

This year, Hill has no intentions of slowing down.

“I hope to just keep working,” Hill said. “I’m really thankful that I can do something that I absolutely love everyday. Hopefully, I can continue on in my career and continue to expand.”

Hill makes weekly appearances at three Pittsburgh locations: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays  at Max and Erma’s in South Hills; 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays at Max and Erma’s in Fox Chapel; and 8 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Nakama Japanese Steakhouse on the Southside.