Tallmadge couple performs magic act on ‘Penn and Teller: Fool Us’

By Allyson Smith

Who would have thought that a chance meeting at Brubaker’s Pub in downtown Akron could have led to a Tallmadge couple performing for two of the greatest magicians of all time?

Jason and Stacy Alan probably didn’t when they first met one night.

Jason and Stacy, known on stage as The Alans, perform a magic and mentalism act that, before COVID, they took around the country. 

Editor’s note: This story initially said that Jason and Stacy live in Munroe Falls. They live in Tallmadge. We sincerely apologize for the error.

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Jason and Stacy hit it off immediately and got engaged about a year after that meeting at Brubaker’s. Jason performed solo on cruise ships for six years. Stacy was working as a therapist at the time, but was always enthralled by magic, and after watching Jason perform, she decided she wanted to play a role. After spending some time as his assistant, they decided she needed a bigger part in the act. 

“it’s really about us, the Alans, and how we have our own skills and strengths and how we use those together to create magic and moments together, so I think that’s really cool,” Stacy says.

They both play specific roles in the act. Jason, who has been practicing magic for over 20 years, performs most of the “traditional” magic acts that involve skills like sleight of hand.

Stacy, with a background in psychology, is a mentalist, and uses strong observations and body language in “getting [people] to give me information without them using their words.”

“Mentalism is maybe kind of a foreign concept for people,” she adds. “I just like to think of it as mind magic… just really reading what is happening between me and another person in that moment and using that information to be maybe steps ahead of people.”

In 2020, The Alans had the opportunity to perform on Penn and Teller: Fool Us

They auditioned for the show for three years and didn’t make the cut, but in 2020, the show reached out to them. 

To prepare, the Alans worked with a group of fellow magicians called Sleight Club, who gave them ideas and what Stacy describes as “intense constructive criticism.” 

Their method of practice, while intense and unorthodox, was effective. 

“We were getting up at 6 am almost every day before this, and we had this process where we would dump out a pile of matches out of a match book, and we would do the entire routine and we’d take one and put it back in the book, and every single time we messed up, we’d dump out the matches back out and start over,” Jason explains.

In October, they flew out to Las Vegas to perform their act in front of Penn and Teller, two famous magicians who perform regularly in Las Vegas.

“We went out and did our set in front of the two greatest magicians of all time,” Jason says.

While they couldn’t reveal the trick they performed, they did say it revolves around the night they met at Brubaker’s Pub. 

Jason says that after practicing magic for 20 years, his perspective on it has shifted.

“When I first got into it, I learned all these different sleights and these different things and learned how to perform, and I’m starting to see it as more of a theatrical skill, tool to make a feeling happen.”

As live performers, COVID was a major disruption to their careers. 

“We stopped counting. I think we’ve lost 97 shows,” Jason says. 

Despite taking her psychology knowledge on the road to perform, Stacy still kept her license and is currently practicing therapy in Munroe Falls, which they are very grateful for.

The Alans performance on Penn and Teller: Fool Us airs on Friday, Jan. 22 at 9 pm on the CW Network. It can also be viewed here on Saturday morning. 

To follow The Alans and know when performances will take place again, follow them on Instagram, @jasonmagician and @stacy_alan, Facebook www.facebook.com/thealanslive, and their website is www.Thealanslive.com