ABOUT KEITH RAYMOND (True facts)

When magician Keith Raymond takes the stage, you never know exactly what’s going to happen… and that’s just the way he likes it. Things appear and disappear, mysteries abound, and most importantly, people laugh and have a great time.  It’s all part of the crazy world of magic.

Keith got interested in magic at a young age, becoming fascinated with magicians he saw on TV.  The magic bug didn’t really bite, however, until he was in his late 20s and working as a firefighter paramedic in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Once again, TV influenced his life, as he saw an ad for a magic kit and ordered it.

Upon receiving the kit, his obsession with television paid off, as he started performing some of the tricks and jokes for his co-workers at the fire department. He liked the reactions of his fellow firefighters, so he started reading and learning more about the art of magic. He eventually started working some of the routines into lectures and classes he was giving for the fire department.

As time went on, he met a few professional magicians, who taught him about making extra income by performing “tableside” magic in restaurants.  This led him to a long career of doing magic and twisting balloons in restaurants around the Rapid City area. He also started performing for birthday parties and other small gatherings.

Keith loves audiences, the bigger the better, and he knew he wanted to take his act to the next level. So he started investing in larger illusions and props to create a stage act, which he debuted at the Central States Fair in Rapid City in 2004.  Since then he has added many other routines, everything from small card tricks and balloon magic to larger stage illusions, some of which have the ever-popular element of danger.

Now based in Forsyth, Montana, and a veteran of hundreds of performances at fairs and other events in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas, Keith has opened for such acts as Sawyer Brown, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Styx, Charlie Daniels, and others. He has been invited back to many fairs on a recurring basis, and in 2020 will perform at the Central States Fair in Rapid City, SD for an unprecedented 17th year in a row.

He still continues to do smaller shows too, and can adapt his act to any venue or any audience. He likes to say he is constantly rebooting his show, adding new routines and honing his stagecraft with every performance. He prides himself on being easy to work with and also on being a self-contained artist, even bringing his own sound system when he performs.

The bottom line, though, is fun. “I have a blast doing magic,” he says.  “Every audience is a challenge and it’s never boring, because nobody -- including me -- knows what’s going to happen next.”

 

THE LEGEND OF KEITH RAYMOND*
*(Some of this is actually true...you be the judge)

Keith Raymond was born in the small midwestern town of Bent Fork, Kansas, in 1976. He became an orphan when he was twelve years old, when during a car trip, he asked to stop at a gas station to use the rest room, and his parents drove off, never to return.

Within a year, he turned to crime, and had gained quite a reputation for attempted bank robberies across the western United States by the early 1990s. Like many teenagers, he was uncoordinated, and the biggest crime wave he was ever able to pull off was a hit-and-run car accident involving a 1978 Pinto.

On the run from the cops, he decided to broaden his horizons and eventually wound up trying to start a gang in South Dakota. Unfortunately, nobody answered his help-wanted ad in the paper because he accidentally put it in the "For Rent" section, so he packed up his tommy-gun (which he had affectionately named "Tommy") and went solo.

During a brave but failed attempt at robbing the payroll from a Deadwood dance hall during the Sturgis rally, he met the woman who would become his wife, Dee "Fast Draw" DeYong. Tired of looking over her shoulder all the time, Dee finally convinced Keith to give up the life of crime and try to find a real career. They were married in 2003.

To make ends meet, Keith had been going from one dead-end job to the next, including a stint as an ambulance driver (he was fired for installing a huge subwoofer in the ambulance and turning up the volume so loud that he deafened several patients). He nearly landed in jail for heckling a rock band's drummer in a South Dakota nightclub.

Finally, the Raymonds hit rock-bottom. Keith was desperate, to the point of considering becoming a car salesman, when one day he viewed a David Copperfield video Dee had shoplifted from a Wal-Mart. That was when the "magic bug" bit him. At first his career was a rocky one, as he nearly burned down a Montana movie theatre in a flash-paper accident and lost most of his hair in several fireworks-related mishaps. But when Dee began appearing onstage as his assistant, audiences began to take notice and the team's reputation was finally legitimate.

Keith quickly learned the mysterious arts of the magician, beginning with the easiest trick of all: making a huge debt appear out of nowhere. His rubber-chicken budget alone was thousands of dollars. To get publicity, he had a giant picture of himself emblazoned on a cargo trailer left over from his short stint as a bootleg beer hauler, only to have it destroyed by a hailstorm when Keith forgot to put the trailer in the garage one night.

In order to regain his financial footing, Keith began to perform his magical illusions for audiences worldwide. Unfortunately, his world currently consists of a sparsely-populated corner of southeastern Montana -- but it will be expanding fast, once his creditors see this website.

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