Manufacturing engineering student Elliott Hunter Hofferth is a magician on top of being a student. Riley McClenaghan | Courtesy Photo

You may recognize him from Week of Welcome (WOW), or perhaps you have come across his YouTube videos. Manufacturing engineering sophomore Elliott Hunter Hofferth, known onstage as Elliot Hunter, is Cal Poly’s very own magic man. A magician from a very young age, Hofferth brings illusions to life.

“It’s one of the times I am happiest; I don’t think about anything else,” Hofferth said. “I get onstage and everything just melts away. I can communicate with people in a way that no else can.” 

The stories that Hofferth tells in his shows are a mixture of positive messages and his struggles as a college student. One of his favorite tricks to perform is putting a torn newspaper back together. In creating this trick, Hofferth remembered a friend of his dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts and hopes to empower people to find others who will help put them back together.

His performances have taken him all over. He has performed at WOW, for corporate events at Madonna Inn and, as of March 2017, he is a featured headliner at the Magic Castle, an exclusive magician’s club in Los Angeles.

To become a member of The Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle, magicians have to perform a unique show and audition before industry professionals and board members. According to former board member Michael Varma, it is the most tremendous feeling in the world.

“To be part of the Magic Castle, you’re part of this exclusive club,” Varma said. “There is a difference in status viewed by outsiders; it’s almost like a celebrity status.”

For Hofferth, performing at the castle has opened many doors and been a great networking opportunity to work with famous magicians. A quote Hofferth likes to live by is “Success is measured not in the steps you take, but the friends you make getting there.”

Hofferth performs at the castle at least once a month on the weekends, with local performances during the rest of the month. His next performance for Cal Poly students is April 20 in Chumash Auditorium, put on by Cal Poly club sports. 

“I was impressed with his show. He was very talented and I’m always impressed by people who can do magic.  It would be a great opportunity to get Elliott more exposure as well as build a community within club sports,” Club Sports Coordinator Phil Ruskin said.

In addition to his work as a magician, Hofferth is involved in club sports on campus as a member of the triathlon team and a volunteer coach for the swim team. With all of these extracurricular activities and school work, he has made his busy student life as a topic to play off of during his shows. Hofferth says it helps his younger audience connect during his shows and is a large part of his demographic.

Hofferth’s future plans with his magic include a tour of China, a possible world tour and working on cruise ships.

“I’m really focusing on taking my career to the point where I am happy with where I am, where I am financially stable and I can enjoy where I am and the status and not worry about what’s happening next,” Hofferth said. “It’s not a point where I’m performing on the biggest stage in the world. It’s really just being happy with where I am.”

Tickets for Hofferth’s event in April are on sale now here

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