- Iowa City Community School District
Troy Peters, The Mind Meddler
An audience member is asked to write a number, animal, and grocery store product on a sheet of paper.
A sealed envelope containing an answer is presented. The mentalist claims to know what the audience member wrote down and says the answer will be found inside.
The crowd waits restlessly while an audience member opens the sealed envelope.
“The number is 411, the animal is a tiger, and the product is canned corn.” It’s a perfect match. How could he know the answer, everyone wonders? Well, that’s a secret no one will ever know.
This is the Mind Meddler’s secret alone.
Troy Peters has been teaching English and Language Arts at City High for the past 15 years, and during that time he has also directed a number of plays and musicals.
Before coming to City High, Troy and a few friends were drawn to Los Angeles after they were hired as set dressers and prop assistants for a low-budget horror film called "Zadar:The Cow From Hell." While in LA, Troy worked a few odd jobs before ultimately landing in set decoration in the film industry. His resume includes roughly 25 different films and TV episodes, including titles such as L.A. Confidential, Pleasantville, and Catch Me if You Can.
However, after spending his entire career traveling, Troy was ready for a change of pace. That desire for change took him back to his roots in Iowa with the intent to become a teacher.
“I decided to become a teacher after working on the Universal movie The Little Rascals,” said Troy. “I was around so many young kids in that film, and I had such good relationships that I thought, ‘I’m ready for the next step.’”
Before the COVID shutdown, Troy was in the middle of directing the musical Matilda at City High. In the musical, Matilda has a psychic ability where she can move things with her mind. As Troy was directing the musical, he was also doing research into special effects that could be used to illustrate her psychic abilities. This reignited his enthusiasm for magic.
Troy’s passion for magic began when he was young. During the pandemic, Troy got his old magic box out and started reading and watching lectures online about magic. He eventually built an act and the Mind Meddler was born. What started as a childhood hobby quickly turned into a comedy mentalism act, and his first official performance was on New Year's Eve 2020.
“It’s become my creative outlet,” said Troy.
Troy has been able to incorporate magic into the classroom by introducing Freakout Fridays for his students. During Freakout Friday, Troy will do a new routine or test a new idea out on the students.
“I’ve noticed kids really like the ‘Freakout Friday’ when I blow their minds at the end of class,” said Troy. “Students seem much more engaged, and the quiet kids tend to volunteer to be a participant. I also think they appreciate me sharing my own background and interests.”
While Troy’s contributions to the classroom are not a mystery, how he knew the number 411, the animal tiger, and the canned corn sure is.
Interested in seeing the Mind Meddler in action? See his performance for yourself!