Performance Lectures

The Essential Houdini


 The true stories of Houdini - the American self-liberator, Europe’s eclipsing sensation, World’s handcuff king, Exposer of fraud, Original prison breaker, and Master magician. He is inspiration to generations of children who dare to dream of the impossible. William goes beyond the myth and bring to life the true story of this American icon. 

GASP at the story of his remarkable death. 

RELIVE his baffling magic and escapes. HEAR THE ONLY KNOWN RECORDING OF HIS VOICE.

 (Very interactive, no powerpoint) 

The Essential P.T. Barnum


 The true story of "The Greatest Showman." Years before he revolutionized the circus, P.T. Barnum was the most famous man in the world. William reveals the amazing life of P.T. Barnum through storytelling and recreations of historical sideshow performances. 

HEAR the life lessons that shaped this great American showman, 

MEET the extraordinary people that changed his life, and 

EXPERIENCE the wonders of his American museum. 

(Mildly interactive, with or without powerpoint)

The Discovery of Magic


William, “The Chicago Magic Expert,” cracks open his magic history scrapbooks to reveal a secret world of colorful characters, amusing adventures, and arcane knowledge. 

MEET astonishing magicians who made the impossible possible. 

EXPLORE incredible behind-the-scenes stories that most never hear and your audiences will never forget. 

WONDER at recreations of the baffling magic tricks behind the stories. 

(Mildly interactive, no powerpoint)

Mind Games 1, The Science of Perception Deception


   Our brain decides how we perceive everything around us. It finds patterns and solves problems efficiently, except for when it lies to us. In this engaging program, William explores the real science of how our brains trick us into seeing and believing things that don’t exist. In the program, you’ll experience how optical illusions work, why people fall for scams, and how we make thousands of choices every day that are influenced subconsciously. 

William will also give the attendees proven, scientific, actionable techniques to preserve brain health. At the end, you may be left wondering if your brain has a mind of its own. 

(Powerpoint and Very Interactive)

Mind Games 2, The Science of Curious Thinking


Packed with interactive games, William returns with a second edition of his popular MIND GAMES program. In this program, he reinforces the concepts in MIND GAMES-1 (But you don’t need Mind Games 1 to understand) and adds even more ways our brain hard wired to believe things that defy logic and facts. He’ll show you how our brains seek out patterns and try to make meaning out of nothing. 

As always, William will remind you on the proven ways to preserve brain health.  (Powerpoint and Very Interactive)

The Haunted Page, Trick & Tales for October eves


William returns with an ALL NEW horror 

themed show of performance and storytelling.

Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker, M.R. James, and Shirley Jackson jump off the page and provide inspiration for 60 minutes of spine-tingling magic and spell-binding stories. As always, your patrons participate in the thrilling action that will leave them amazed, that is, after they stop screaming and laughing. 

(Highly Interactive, spooky & fun magic)

STEM for Adults (New 2020)


 What is Science? How does it work? Who should we believe? An emphasis has been put on childhood STEM education that many people in the earlier generations did not experience. With technology constantly advancing, This has left many adults feeling left behind. STEM skills can benefit adults in a variety of different ways. It will allow them to be able to better mentor their children and grandchildren on the topics.  They’ll have an understanding and be able to evaluate good science and bad science. It can also have major benefits on the individual’s health. As related in my Mind Games programs, keeping an active mind into adulthood can reduce cognitive decline that may happen as someone ages.  

(Powerpoint and Interactive) 

Storytelling Lectures

The Essential Great Chicago Fire


 It started in a barn and, two days of flaming hell later, nearly destroyed a city. In The Essential Great Chicago Fire, William weaves together technical details of the fire with vivid firsthand accounts from those who lived through the conflagration of 1871, bringing alive all the excitement and terror in a multi-media storytelling event that will not soon be forgotten.

 (Powerpoint and long form storytelling) 

The Essential Edgar Allan Poe


In The Essential Edgar Allan Poe, William exhumes the tragic life and remarkable writings of this American genius. This program is a biography lecture and relies heavily on dramatic story readings to bring Poe’s disturbing writing (Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, M. Valdemar) to life. 


The Essential Christmas Carol


Destined to become a holiday tradition. In this storytelling lecture, William, using a script derived from Dickens’ 1867 abridged reading copy, will perform a reading of A Christmas Carol (About 60 minutes) enhanced with a modern recreation of a magic lantern slide show popular during Dickens’ lifetime. Then, in a Q&A, he will answer questions the curious origins and motivations behind the story. 


Prairie Poetry, Four Essential Illinois Poets


William celebrates the lives and works of four essential Illinois poets, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Hear the stories of their lives; select poetry readings, including audio recordings of the actual poets reading their works. Each revolutionary in their time, yet vitally relevant and fresh today, their poetry challenges convention and illuminates universal truths. (Powerpoint and audio recordings of the poets)

It Happened in Chicago


We all know the big Chicago stories: the world’s fairs, the fires, the crime. It’s time to see the city anew. A city is made up of 1000s of stories. Stories of the people. Stories of the neighborhoods. Small stories of often forgotten men, women, and places. Storyteller William Pack returns with a program like no other, a collection of unusual short stories that add texture and depth to the everyday life and history of Chicago and celebrates the surprising people who lived and died in the city of big shoulders. (Powerpoint and storytelling)