27 January 2015

Thirty seconds with Eric Leclerc

This is the second in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Eric Leclerc is a professional magician from Ottawa, Ontario.  He loves the beautiful scenery of Canada and especially the friendly people.  Eric first saw information about Sorcerers Safari at a convention and decided to investigate further.  He thinks magic camp is fabulous because it's about guiding and mentoring.  "Most importantly," Eric said, "it's about showing that magic isn't all about the tricks; it's about soft people skills like how to approach people."*  He comes back to camp every year to see the kids progress year over year.  He loves that there's a place where a "group of geeks / people just like us" can get together.  Eric's attended camp for six years as a counsellor.

While a fan of Superman, Eric prefers the Marvel world to DC comics.

- You can see Eric on the National Geographic show Brain Games which has over 100 million viewers in 45 languages.  The opportunity came about because of Eric's YouTube video project 365 interactive card trick.

- Some of his project 365 episodes are also appearing on BBC One's "Now you see it!"

- Keep an eye out for Eric on YTV in September.   He's got his own 20 episode show of hidden camera magic!
Eric's first memory of magic was a hat tear performed at the annual Veterans' Christmas party he'd traditionally attend with his grandfather. He thinks that the instant access of so many magic effects today is a double-edged sword. On one hand there's greater variety and ease of access. On the other hand, there isn't the "gate keeper" of a magic store owner to help filter things for kids based on appropriateness and/or skill level. When asked for advice he'd give aspiring magicians, Eric offers up some tips he was given when he was starting out: "Work on your people skills, not just the technical side of the effects. Take marketing and business classes. Learn about promotion and book keeping and everything else you can learn."

When not honing his magic skills, Eric enjoys video editing.

Visit Eric's website at EricLeclerc.com

From Fireside Productions Facebook page, Eric entertaining a volunteer:

From the Brain Games Facebook page, Eric and some chicks:

* I've had the pleasure of seeing Eric perform his "Rocky Raccoon" routine a number of times.  Enough times that I have a good feel for his script, rhythm, and pacing.  One day I saw a young child, six or seven years of age, watch with rapt attention as Eric worked with Rocky.  Eric began to focus the presentation to the child, much to their delight!  This time, however, Eric left out the part of his routine that generally gets the biggest laughs.  I asked Eric about the script change, and he said it was his opinion that the child may not have reacted favourably to the missing bit.  I also chatted with the child's father, who agreed with Eric's assessment that including the left out bit would likely have led to tears.  Knowing "how to approach people" is a big deal indeed!

Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:

From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

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