In G.G. Green’s world, things are not always as they seem. Flowers levitate and then burst into flames. Playing cards respond to voice commands. Fresh-cut lemons hide $100 bills.
On the contrary, Chad Reibman—G.G. Green’s real name—is exactly as he seems. He’s a normal guy who just really, really likes magic.
By day, the Bellevue Club member is a father of three and financial advisor with JPMorgan. By night, he transforms into the slight-of-hand artist with the alliterative moniker.
But Chad isn’t pulling rabbits out of hats in a hokey suit with tails, nor is he a large-scale illusionist in the David Copperfield-style. No, instead Chad wears stylish sport coats and engages his audiences with an earnest smile and interactive tricks.
“I’m trying to involve the audience and bring them into a magical world and let them leave their current realm, even on a subconscious level for a brief moment in time,” says Chad.
Considering his schedule is packed with corporate events, private parties and his regular gig at the Islander Restaurant on Mercer Island, his brand of magic is definitely catching on. He also performed at the Bellevue Club’s Olympic Ballroom grand opening party in November.
“A lot of magic I do is close-up magic,” he says. “There’s a certain intimacy to it, but there’s not much margin for error.”
Growing up in Clyde Hill, Chad’s magical arc began when he was 8 years old.
“My cousin took a piece of paper shaped like a dollar bill, magically turned it into a dollar bill and gave it to me,” he says. “I was hooked on it ever since.”
However, his love of magic wasn’t enough to keep him from taking a peer-pressured hiatus come high school.
“I gave it up as a teenager because it wasn’t the coolest thing,” he says.
It wasn’t until his daughter Moriah’s birthday party six years ago that Chad rediscovered his passion. She wanted a magician. He obliged, and his inner magician was reborn.
Coming up with the catchy stage name, G.G. Green, from his middle name of Gregory and his wife Jennifer’s maiden name of Greenlick, Chad started practicing—a lot.
“I just started getting gigs,” he says.
Some tricks take years to perfect. He’s currently unveiling a story that traces Seattle’s grunge music scene using an entire deck of cards—it only took him three years to perfect it.
“Others will only take six months,” he says. “Most magic is very old—like 50 to 200 years old—so I’ll research an effect that I want to do and put my own spin on it.”
For example, he often has participants write their pet’s name on a card and watch as it pops to the top of the deck whenever it’s called.
“I try to use everyday objects,” he says.
True to form, his everyday object is our mystery. Just visit gggreenmagic.com to see Chad on YouTube performing impromptu tricks for baffled onlookers at Pike Place Market. He’ll also be making his magical debut at the illustrious Magic Castle in Hollywood later this year.
Despite the hours of tedious practice to perfect his tricks, Chad never gets sick of it.
“I enjoy it more and more everyday,” he says. “Magic lets me meet people that I wouldn’t have been able to meet before.”
In G.G. Green’s world, above all, people find magic in pursuing things they’re passionate about.
“I think too many people don’t follow their passions in life,” he says. “They’re stuck instead of chasing their dream and doing what they actually want to do.”