John Railing


John is widely considered to be one of the country’s top close-up magicians.  Based in Chicago, he performs regularly for an impressive roster of celebrities, entertainers, and leading corporate executives; and he has performed for Presidents, foreign dignitaries, and heads-of-state from around the world.

            John is one of the foremost authorities on movable books and has one of the largest private collections of more than 5,000 pop-up books.

            In the last 20 years, John has consulted on film and stage productions, created illusions for trade fairs and corporate shows and has produced a myriad of products for the magic and toy industries.  This has included several licensed toys, magic-related candy packaging, magic books, and various other projects involving 3-D printing, optical illusions and puzzles. 

            John co-wrote and produced a series of 10 magic sets for Scholastic Books, each with its own DVD, called “The Ultimate Magic Club.”  It was regarded by the magic fraternity as the best magic package and has sold over one million copies.   

John is actively involved with the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation, which promotes the work of the legendary recreational math author, the late Martin Gardner.  He serves on the foundation’s Magic Advisory Council and is a member of the organizing committee of the “Celebration of Mind.”  This is a worldwide annual event celebrating Gardner’s life and work, which continues the pursuit of a playful and fun approach to mathematics, science, art, magic, and puzzles.  John also works with other Gardner enthusiasts to produce written and video material for documentaries and educational purposes.

            John lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Sheila, and their three children, Maxwell (19), Mia (16) and Macey (9).