"In 1989 I did my first Murder Mystery. I was cast in Kathy Reed Productions' acclaimed Murder on Cue Mystery Company in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The show was at the Magnolia Inn in Matawan. I was to play a loud and garish thug. I was costumed in a bright yellow suit that was first worn by "Little Steven" Van Zandt. As I mingled in character with the audience, producers Kathy and John approached me and told me the sound system had stopped working and they had no music to play during mingling. They recalled from my resume that I played some piano. They asked me to play piano for 20 minutes and then drop dead for the mystery to begin. That was my glorious start in the immersive theatrical sensation called murder mystery theater. I did tons of performances with that incredible troupe with dinner shows and weekends at the Bavarian Manor in the Catskills.
In 1992 I moved to Los Angeles to give Hollywood a go. I met up with some players who had a group called Comedy on Call Murder Mystery. It was very short lived but we played Fung Lum in Universal City so that was pretty exciting. After that show closed I was doing kids parties as Sharpo and other characters and I heard about Keith and Margo's Murder Mystery Dinners. They had weekly shows at Yamashiro's in Hollywood (Right next door to the Magic Castle), Madam Wu's in Santa Monica and Scott's Grill in Costa Mesa. I wrote to Margo and told her I saw the detective character as a cross between Jay Leno and Columbo. She called me in and started me doing shows. I played for years with them traveling all across the USA. Fantastic travels.
In 2004 I started Sharpo Entertainment Productions and started producing kids party magic shows and I created my own Murder Mystery Show. I took the broad comedy elements from Kathy Reed Productions and blended that style with the more realistic homicide investigation shows Keith and Margo produced. My show was a hit! Audiences loved it. In 2004 I did mostly party magic shows but I did manage to sell two corporate mystery events. In 2005 I produced 12 murder msytery shows. In 2006 I think I produced 80 murder mystery events. I continued to hone the act and soon I was doing mysteries full time and working with fantastic guest artists and performers who still perform with me today in 2021.
My passion for magic continued to grow and I started integrating strolling magic with my mysteries around 2006. I found it gave me a terrific opportunity to get to know my audience before the mystery started. I remember hearing from some wise performer that if you give the audience enough performances and if you listen to them - responding and adapting and adjusting the script - they will write your whole act. So over time - over thousands of performances, I have listened to my audiences and honed the act. It is a smash hit. After so many years we have it down to a science. We know exactly how this works and how it doesn't... I almost can't belive my good fortune to have had the opportunity to carve out this niche for myself in the world of entertainment.
After all these years I have several great acts I can offer. These are all time tested, audience tested, proven hits...My famous Murder Mystery, My Strolling Magic act, my Parlor Magic Show and my Kids Magic Show. In between this I am raising my wonderful kids and have even been cast in a few plum roles in A-List Hollywood. So that's where I'm coming from. That's my story. I'm excited and ready to come play for you and your party or event. CSI means Call Sharpo In." - Eric Howell Sharp better known as 'Sharpo!®'