The Business Journal | August 2018
TEDxYoungstown – Eric Thompson
As an entrepreneur, magician and stand-up comedian, Eric Thompson brings a wide and interesting perspective to TEDxYoungstown on Sept. 22. Being included in the group is “humbling,” because it’s one of the best TEDx lineups Thompson has seen in a while, he said.
“This group is great. They’re powerful and they’re impressive and they’re inspiring … and then there’s me,” he said with a laugh.
Born and raised in Warren, Thompson combined his magic skills with his knack for comedy and became a comedic magician, delighting audiences around the world. He said he has been performing for almost 40 years, entertaining thousands of people in comedy clubs, theaters and colleges. He often shares the stage with comedy legends and as the opening act for many well-known musical artists.
During a family vacation abroad, Thompson witnessed the troubles of poverty. He passed by a group of begging children when he was sight-seeing with a tourist group. Instead of simply handing the children money, he combined magic and a couple laughs to give each kid a dollar in a fun way. After this experience, Thompson realized he had made a difference in the children’s lives and noticed how a little laugh could go a long way.
While visiting Cuba six years ago, he took a taxi to a baseball game and invited the driver to the game. The taxi driver’s wife came along with them and they had the best time, Thompson said. It is moments like these that Thompson said he loves.
Those experiences inspired Thompson to take his magic and comedy show in the road – more specifically, the sky. Thompson travels the world making people smile in hopes to bring joy to remote and distressed destinations. He has visited numerous places to “interact with these folks on a one-to-one basis and really build a relationship that’s totally based on trust and that trust is totally developed by laughter.”
He has performed in more than two dozen countries around the world and entertained the poorest, most underserved populations, including school children, orphans, patients in medical clinics and residents of leper colonies.
During his TEDxYoungstown presentation, he’ll share his experiences meeting one-on-one with these populations and the impact it’s had on his life. He said for his audience to come prepared to laugh, cry, learn and be inspired to become a better human being by attending his talk.
“It’s going to be an awesome event and I am so proud to be apart of it,” said Thompson.
Eric is a husband, father and grandfather. He owns Satolli Carpet & Floor Covering and The Warren Comedy Club. Eric has served on many boards in philanthropic, business and professional organizations. He served as a firefighter/EMT and was twice elected city councilman.
Copyright 2018 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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