Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.

Las Cruces doctor is also a master illusionist


Dr. Imran Raza is a respected Las Cruces physician by day, and a world-class illusionist by night.

He is the founder and master illusionist at Raze Studio Illusions and Magic, with a magic shop and performance space next to his clinic, at 3320 Rinconada Blvd.

Step inside and “prepare to be amazed,” is the promise Dr. Raze – that’s his stage name, pronounced “rays” – makes to his visitors.

With seating for 50-60 people, the studio – including a stage with custom-made fireproof curtains and carpeting – is home to more than $100,000 in the tools of illusion and magic, including a giant motorized buzz saw; the Table of Death, a bed of spikes that applies hundreds of pounds of pressure when it slams shut; a box full of spikes; the sword box, which includes 10 Samurai swords; and a world-class sound system.

And there is so much more, including disappearing from the stage and reappearing in the middle of the audience, which is one of the illusions Dr. Raze has performed for full houses at the Rio Grande Theatre, Atkinson Recital Hall, the Plaza Theatre and other large venues in Las Cruces and El Paso.

In his Las Cruces studio, Dr. Raze’s magic includes card tricks, a heavy-duty staple gun illusion and illusions with his pet ball python and a magic eight ball.

As you might expect from a licensed medical practitioner, Dr. Raze’s bag of tricks includes what he calls “med-illusions … the only heart-stopping show that can restart your heart.”

Dressed in appropriate medical costumes, Dr. Raze’s assistants vanish and reappear, and participate in “psychic surgery.” Nurses Autry and Hayden are locked in a glass box to be sawn in half by Dr. Raze, who also makes a full-sized Harley-Davidson motorcycle disappear, and makes an even larger helicopter appear from nowhere.

“I love when I see people’s faces,” Raza said. “They are awe and in shock.”

That interaction with audience members “recharges me,” he said. “This is my passion. You only live once.

“It’s all about practice,” Raza said, noting that it took him a solid month to perfect just three card tricks.

“Give me a pack of cards and I can drive people nuts,” he said. “It’s all about timing.” 

Concentration and focus are also extremely important to making timely escapes from deadly devices and avoiding injuries that can result from spikes, sword blades and staplers.

In addition to his med-illusions, Dr. Raze’s special performances include Halloween vampire shows, Valentine’s shows, large stage shows and charity events. He recently performed for the Paws and Pearls for Patriots fundraiser in Las Cruces.

Dr. Raze’s special performances include vampire shows, valentines shows and birthday parties., business and social events and family gatherings.

A native of Pakistan who came to the United States in 2000, Raza has logged thousands of hours of practice and performance as an illusionist – beginning at age 6 or 7.

An A+ student, he received a magic kit as a school prize for academic performance.

“That gave me a passion for it,” Raza said.

He began practicing magic at every opportunity and spending the money he earned tutoring students on magic tricks. He was performing publicly by the eighth or ninth grade.

The only stumbling block for Raza was his father, who thought magic was a waste of time.

With the money he earned performing magic while he was still in public school in the 1990s, Raza bought a cell phone to schedule magic shows so his clients wouldn’t call his home, where his father might answer the phone.

There were so many calls for magic shows that Raza had to hire staff to help answer them all, and he relied on friends for rides to his performances.

The money he earned helped Raza pay his way through medical school.

He came to Las Cruces to do his medical residency at Memorial Medical Center, then opened his clinic. Raza opened the magic studio in 2019 with the slogan, “There is a touch of magic in all of us … Stay magical.”

Studio and magic shop

Dr. Raze’s magic shop features kits for performing street magic and card magic, and there is also a deluxe magic kit. The entire studio is like a museum, with glass cases and shelves holding posters and photographs from Dr. Raze’s shows and those of his heroes, including Harry Houdini and David Copperfield, along with the memorabilia Raze has collected over the years from around the world.

Upcoming shows

  • Halloween Vampire Illusions and Magic Show: 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October at Raze Studio in Las Cruces. Tickets are $20.
  • Halloween Illusion and Magic Show: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (two shows), Sunday, Oct. 22., Philanthropy Theatre, 125 W. Mills Ave., El Paso. Tickets are $40 at ticketmaster.com and elpasolive.com.

Contact Raza at 575-250-7293. Visit razestudioillusions.com.