At age 11, Kostya Kimlat ’10 became a student of his craft, learning magic techniques and sharing them everywhere, including online magic forums. After years of practice, he is now a master magician, motivational speaker and CEO of See Magic Live — as well as husband and business partner to former kid magician Amy Schwartz Kimlat ’06. Kostya’s magic show brought them together in 2013. After their first date, they realized he had actually answered one of her magic forum posts years earlier.
Seemingly a magical match, their shared interest has since evolved into creating incredible entertainment.
For Kostya, a Ukrainian immigrant, that interest was sparked by an episode of The World’s Greatest Magic TV series. Soon after, he spent his time flipping through the pages of an eight-volume book set that his father gifted him, eager to learn the tricks of the trade.
“When I was 18 years old, I wrote my first book of card tricks. Then I got on a Greyhound bus and did a five-city tour to magic clubs, teaching [magicians] the tricks I came up with,” says Kostya, who earned a philosophy degree at UCF in 2010.
While working on his degree, he spent 10 years traveling to 200 cities across five continents, teaching magicians various techniques and magic psychology.
Talented magicians were out there, but most lacked the necessary business skills to reach their full potential. So in 2010, Kostya launched See Magic Live, an Orlando-based network of magicians whom he trains for live events and coordinates national bookings. He also uses magic to teach perception principles to business audiences — a more fun way of challenging people’s brains, like philosophy. Every performance empowers corporate teams to “think like a magician” by seeing themselves through the eyes of their audiences.
While making a name for himself as “The Business Magician,” Kostya met — and fell in love with — Amy, a UCF advertising and public relations graduate. After marrying, they started working and traveling together, with Amy bringing more than a decade of marketing experience to help amplify See Magic Live as a premier source for entertainment.
Today, the couple brings extraordinary shows to corporate and social audiences with acts like theatrical mentalism, where Kostya presents the entertaining illusion of reading audience members’ minds. Still, the role of perception remains at the core of it all.
“I tell my clients that they can have the best reality (service or product) in the world, but unless the perception (the presentation and communication) of it matches the reality, you’re going to be at a loss,” Kostya says.
This unique take on magic has captured the attention of Fortune 500 companies, led to performances on the basketball court for thousands of Orlando Magic fans and even fooled legendary magicians Penn and Teller on their hit TV show Fool Us — Kostya’s first nationally televised performance that went viral on YouTube and earned him the closing act of the duo’s Las Vegas show. Even as the world shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple managed to pivot their business and reinvent magic entertainment by launching virtual magic shows that engaged thousands of professionals globally.
“I’m proud of the new business we built at the time in a totally new domain,” Amy says.
For their next trick, they’ll serve even more organizations and bring the message of perception to more business groups, both virtually and in person.
- Kostya Kimlat ’10 and Amy Schwartz Kimlat ’06
- Orlando’s top magic entertainment company offering global magic shows and keynote presentations on magicians’ perception principles.
- To inspire professionals and enhance communication through unforgettable experiences.