One moment changed everything for Max Major.
From the age of 12, the mentalist has been practicing the art of magic. But it wasn't until he turned 18 and saw his dad hypnotized to quit smoking that he realized magic was more than just clever tricks — it involved understanding the human mind.
"That was like real-life magic to me," said Major, 30. "And I wanted to learn everything I could after that about our mind and the way that we're wired!"
Major, who lives in Washington but is originally from Carroll County, is bringing his stage show "Think: An Evening of Mind-Reading and Magic" to the Theatre Project at 8 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. and 9 p.m Saturday. This 90-minute show demonstrates Major's abilities to decode the thoughts of audience members, assume the role of a human lie detector and perform other mysterious feats.
"I love getting people to question what's really possible and what people are capable of," said Major.
We got to chat with Major about Fireball shots in Federal Hill, Ke$ha and more.
What songs are you loving right now? I have the music tastes of a 13-year-old girl! Ke$ha, Britney, Katy Perry …
Last concert/gig you went to? My last gig was at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, helping them open their new exhibit "Your Brain." I teamed up with their chief neuroscientist to explore how magic affects the brain.
Your worst habit? Lecturing people: friends, girlfriends, strangers. My friends in college told me I get a "cantaloupe hand" when I'm giving out life advice. I hold my hand out like I'm cupping a cantaloupe and that's how they could tell from across the room.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Working a job that you hate! I have a speaking tour during which I talk to college students about doing what you love instead of wasting your time and talents at something that you have no passion for.
Last movie you liked and last you disliked? Last movie I loved was "The Wolf of Wall Street." It's the new "American Psycho." Disliked? The "RoboCop" remake.
TV shows you can't get enough of? I'm a huge "Mad Men" fan, my guilty pleasure is probably "Suits," and I've just started watching "Penny Dreadful."
Favorite and least favorite fashion statement? My favorite fashion statement: V necks! The deeper the better! Least favorite? Crew necks!
Last great meal you had? Hands down, at 2 Amys in Washington, D.C., but my guilty pleasure has to be Honey Pig in Annandale, Va. It's a 24/7 Korean BBQ joint that is worth the drive.
Favorite magic trick? Making my self-respect disappear after one too many Fireball shots in Federal Hill.
Your favorite thing about Baltimore? Baltimore has a really great arts scene. I also enjoy hanging out with friends on Federal Hill or in Canton. And of course the blue crabs, hon!
AS TOLD TO ALEXA COTTMAN-ROBINSON