In another interview for Smithsonian, Teller spoke with Joseph Stromberg "about the principles of magic, its relevance in everyday life and why used-car salesmen should make jokes when trying to close a sale."
Teller first became infatuated with magic around the age of 5, when he was bedridden with an illness and sent away for a magic set. “That toy became my obsession. I was magnetized to it. I worked these little gizmos till they frayed,” he says. “Nearly 60 years later, I’m still not cured.”
He is now known best as the smaller, quieter half of the performing duo Penn & Teller. In addition to being one of the world’s most famous magicians, he’s also contributed to the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Atlantic; written three books with Penn; edited two volumes on magic history; and published When I'm Dead All This Will Be Yours!, a memoir of his artist parents. Most recently, he directed a horror-influenced version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and in 2010 co-wrote and directed an Off Broadway show, Play Dead.