Steve Trash Uses Magic to Entertain
& Educate the Power of Recycling
By Annabelle Stevens
“You have REAL green magic inside, don’t forget to use it.”
That’s the eco-empowering message that green entertainer Steve Trash-Rockin’ Eco Hero and Kid Comedian brings to adoring fans all over the planet. Since 1984, Steve Trash has entertained over 20 million kids with live ecological illusions, magic tricks, and family-friendly fun appearing in live venues all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Canada, Portugal, Spain and across the United States.
While performing green magic, Trash chats up audiences of all ages, educating people on the value of the “three R’s; reduce, reuse, and recycle. His zany Green Magic Show takes a refreshing and unexpected spin on the importance of recycling. Each of his tricks performed with “found object trash” is inspired by his personal view that everything in the natural world is connected and people should be keenly aware of this.
“I do lots of tricks with trash, found objects,” says Steve. “An object that you considered not valuable becomes valuable by changing the way you think about it. I can do magic with something that has been thrown away and therefore it becomes valuable again.”
Steve grew up in Alabama, and spent most of his childhood in the woods, playing and learning about nature. His passion for magic was born early when his Grandfather shared a vanishing key secret with him, and Steve was hooked. He started doing his own magic when a Scouting Expo required each Cub Scout to perform a magic trick. Enjoying the reaction he got, he never stopped.
Around 1981, Mr. Electric, Marvyn Roy suggested I should “go find my light bulb,” Steve explains. “What he meant was to find something that would make me unique as an entertainer/magician in the marketplace. So, very early on, I was looking for a hook or something that rang true for me personally and emotionally.
Steve also took advice from Mark Kornhauser. “Mark once said that we should pick three of our best characteristics and build a character based on that.
I chose big, comical, and environmental. I love the environment and it’s important to me that we have a better understanding of our connection.”
Merging these passions, Steve began searching for a way to do magic tricks with trash. As a child he had always been fascinated by the things people threw away — old footlockers, shoes, and junk store stuff — so he started creating props out of items that had been discarded. That’s when, Steve Trash-Rockin Eco’ Hero was born. After studying theater in Alabama, Trash perfected his routine, working his “street magic” in New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.
Steve works state fairs in the summer and performing arts centers and schools in the fall and spring, traveling 100 to 200 days a year. “My fair shows are similar to street magic shows,” says Steve, “The audience is very close to me and I’m doing sleight-of-hand magic tricks, including changing a red deck of cards into a green deck and my famous eco-effect; transforming real trash into real money.”
He enjoys that style of magic a lot, however, he feels most at home in a theater. Steve started performing in plays when he was eight years old and studied acting in college. Whatever the venue, Steve focus is on the family market. Having a special connection with kids, allows him to create green magic that gets his message across in a “fun’ way — so they remember the content and the magic.
“The best thing about being a green magician is that you can create amazing illusions, but they also “mean” something. The audience can see the pieces of paper instantly change into cold hard cash. It’s both a magic trick and a metaphor for the value of natural resources,” says Trash.
Steve has attracted the attention of adult audiences too. His powerful green magic illusion — recycling an aluminum can is a crowd favorite. In this effect, which he performs live on the street and on the stage, he refills and reseals an empty aluminum can in less than six seconds. He leaves his fans captivated and thinking about their power to make a positive difference in the world.
Steve also really enjoys performing big illusions like the Magical Recycler — in which a young lady wearing a very old and tattered dress is magically recycled into a young lady wearing a lovely new dress. Every trick he performs has an eco-friendly message and he makes recycling cool!
Outside of his green magic shows, Steve is actively involved in making the world a better place. He’s a member of the National Recycling Coalition, the North American Environmental Education Association, the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media and a founding board member of Keep the Shoals Beautiful, a non-profit organization with the mission of protecting and enhancing The Shoals area of northwest Alabama.
Steve was featured at the 2011 “Keep America Beautiful, Great America Cleanup” national kickoff in New York City’s Times Square and won the 2011 Environmental Educator of the Year Award. He also performed at Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle, turning the castle green for the first time. Unlike some entertainers who guard their “territory,” Trash encourages all magicians to join the cause. He goes as far as to make suggestions on how other magicians can get started.
Steve lives in a very energy-efficient home out in the woods of Frog Pond, Alabama. Frog Pond Manor is an earth-bermed home, meaning, it is partially buried in the earth, allowing the natural insulating abilities of dirt to warm and cool it. It features all the eco-amenities you would expect: on-demand gas water heater and a walk-in recycling closet.
“I’d really like for us to be on a path toward energy sustainability in the U.S. and around the world. If people understand nature and how it works, they will make good decisions about how they can use the planet’s resources in a smart way.”
This year, Steve will explore a new venture and offer inspirational keynote addresses to businesses presenting “bottom-line” evidence that sustainability efforts from large and small companies can give them an edge in the global marketplace. This keynote will integrate his lifelong passion for both business and the environment.
Please visit: www.stevetrash.com or www.stevetrash.net