Neil Tobin (born July 7, 1966) is a magical and psychic entertainer, theatre producer and playwright, and a writer on related subjects.
Portrait of American magical and psychic performer and writer, Neil Tobin
Since his performance material often involves themes of mortality and spirit contact—in addition to demonstrations of telepathy, precognition, magic, and even divination—he often performs as "Neil Tobin, Necromancer."
Tobin was born in Chicago, Illinois.
Tobin performed an original, interactive theatre show about mortality as site-specific theatre at the historic Rosehill Cemetery, in the Joseph Lyman Silsbee-designed May Chapel in spring of 2018, then returned in fall 2018. Entitled, Neil Tobin, Necromancer: Near Death Experience, the show previewed at Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival in August 2017, where it received the Audience Choice Award. Tobin plans to bring the show to funeral homes and cemetery chapels in New York and Los Angeles, as well.
In November and December 2015, Tobin played the role of Erik Jan Hanussen in the world premiere of his original play, Palace of the Occult. Its first performance was on a Friday the 13th at Chicago's Prop Thtr, and a portion of proceeds benefited the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Starting on Friday the 13th of February 2004, Tobin began performing Supernatural Chicago at the Excalibur nightclub in Chicago. He wrote, produced, directed, and was the sole performer of the show. The show, which was "popular with out-of-towners looking for a Chicago experience" and with "fans of theatrical magic," closed February 28, 2014 after a 10-year run.
Tobin served as Medium of the Houdini Seance at Excalibur nightclub annually from October 2001 to October 2014. This event was presented on behalf of the Chicago Assembly of the Society of American Magicians during the last week of October to commemorate the late magician's death; Houdini helped found the Chicago Assembly in 1919.
For private and corporate engagements, he performs psychic-themed feature-length shows. He also entertains cocktail parties with "Strolling Psychic Sorcery," which includes his abilities as a palmist, tarot reader, and mentalist.
Performances in other media
Tobin has performed on broadcasts for WBEZ-FM, WGN-AM with Jonathon Brandmeier, WCKG-FM, KISS-FM, and WGN-TV (opposite Gary Sinise). He has appeared on "Ghost Adventures" and "Haunted Places" on The Travel Channel, and "Dead Famous" on The History Channel. He can also be seen in the documentary feature "Hearing Is Believing" on the DVD release of the movie White Noise. His original Halloween-themed narrative for Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, entitled Peter and the Werewolf, appears on a CD with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Tobin is writer and photographer of the inspirational art book, "Near Death Experience: Cemetery Resolutions," which is available through several online bookstores. He is also co-writer and editor of Unspeakable Acts: Three Lives and Countless Legends of Tom Palmer/Tony Andruzzi/Masklyn ye Mage, which is available directly from the publisher and at magic shops throughout the world. For the general public, he wrote "Magical History Tour," a temporary exhibit focused on Chicago's contribution to the world of magical performance for the Elmhurst Historical Museum, which ran June 2010–January 2011; it was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois Museum Association. He was also a consultant for "Magic," a temporary exhibit running June 2012-January 2013 at the Chicago History Museum. For the trade, Tobin has contributed material to several magicians' publications, including Genii (magazine), M-U-M, Vibrations, Magicol, and Oracle. He has written three plays (in which he has also performed): Neil Tobin, Necromancer: Near Death Experience, Palace of the Occult and Supernatural Chicago.
Theatre companies have relied on Tobin's expertise to provide technical assistance, design magical sequences, create specialized props, and teach performance techniques to their actors for productions. These include "Ingmar Bergman's The Magician" for National Pastime Theater; "The Days Are Shorter" for Pride Films and Plays; and two acclaimed productions at Chicago's Mercury Theater: the Jeff Award-nominated production of "Barnum" and the Jeff Award-winning production of The Addams Family.,.
Neil Tobin is recipient of two Presidential Citations from the Society of American Magicians, and is past president for the Chicago Assembly, where he founded and chaired the Chicago Magic Competition at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago History Museum, and a run of five summers at Navy Pier. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors for the Psychic Entertainers Association.
- At Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery, A Show About Death from Chicago Tribune, October 30, 2018
- Award-Winning Neil Tobin, Necromancer: Near Death Experience Comes to Rosehill Cemetery from BroadwayWorld.com, February 8, 2018
- Magic Show in Funeral Homes Not as Grim as it Sounds, Performer Promises Archived 2017-04-10 at the Wayback Machine in DNAinfo.com/Chicago, February 28, 2017
- Playwright Enters The Mind of German Psychic in 1933 Berlin from the Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2015
- "Peter and the Werewolf" Kicks Off Orchestra Miami's Family Concerts from the Miami Herald, October 24, 2015
- Haunting Tales Fill Late-Night Haunt Archived 2011-09-22 at the Wayback Machine from the Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2005
- Spirited "Supernatural" Reaches End of the Line from the Chicago Tribune, February 27, 2014
- news/wgntv-news-102805larrysworld,0,2750659.story?coll=wgntv-morning-news-1 Houdini's Halloween from WGN-TV and Red Eye, October 28, 2005
- The Magician at National Pastime Theater
- Cast Announced for The Days Are Shorter, Chicago Broadway World
- 'Necromancer' Neil Tobin Brings Magic to Mercury Theatre's BARNUM, Chicago Broadway World
- Official Site: Neil Tobin, Necromancer
- Official Site: Near Death Experience
- Official Site: Palace of the Occult
- Official Site: Supernatural Chicago
- Neil Tobin on IMDb
- Official Site: Chicago Assembly of the Society of American Magicians
- Official Site: Peter and the Werewolf
- Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, October 2012
- The Magician's Tale from American Theatre Magazine, December 2011
- Isn't It Necromantic? from the Wednesday Journal, October 23, 2007
- House Of Historical Horrors from Time Out, Issue 136, October 4–10, 2007
- Haunting Tales Fill Late-Night Haunt from the Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2005
- Houdini's Halloween from WGN-TV and Red Eye, October 28, 2005
- Show Combines Psychic With Magical from Pioneer Press, October 31, 2007
- Spirited "Supernatural" Reaches End of the Line for the Chicago Tribune, February 27, 2014
- Neil Tobin's One-Man Show "Supernatural Chicago" Gives Up The Ghost for the Chicago Sun-Times, February 12, 2014
- Joe Gets Paranormal, a comedy short for Current TV (airing since October 22, 2005)
- Joe Gets Goth, a comedy short for Current TV (airing since November 23, 2007)
- Mind Games from the Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2006
- Table of Contents for Genii (magazine), January 2008
- Rogues Gallery of contributors to Oracle