08 April 2021

A peek behind the curtain with Big Trick Energy

A peek behind the curtain with Big Trick Energy 

In October we reported that Chris Ramsay, Eric Leclerc, Wes Barker, and Alex Boyer created a show called Big Trick Energy that is scheduled to air on April 22nd on truTV in the US.


The Universe knocked (for real) last week, offering us the chance to interview these newly minted "bad boys of magic" and find out more about their show.  We happily accepted.

Tell us about a memorable prank that didn't make it to air.
Eric: I convinced Wes' wife to have a Boudoir sexy photoshoot with me in a hotel room months before filming, with a professional photographer and the network deemed it a little too risqué because they didn't know our characters yet, they didn’t know how good friends we are. 
So it’s going to be up on my YouTube channel.    
The show is unscripted.  Can you give an example of things that turned out better than you hoped?
Chris: Definitely the thrift shop.  That was probably right down the last thing and we surprised you guys so bad he fell on his a$$! That was like the opposite of where the trick was going to go originally so it's just beautiful like all the minds working together and then you come up with something that no one wrote down on a piece of paper the night before.

Eric: This show is unscripted but there’s also pranks. So we're having secret meetings, secret production calls with producers and show runners where maybe one or two people aren’t involved because to we’re there to prank them.

Chris: It might be three versus one, one pranking three, one pranking two, two people pranking two other people and this  constant secrecy going around.  A lot of us are blind to that actively because we want to make the show good.  So, I'll be at table they’ll go “Chris, can you leave?”  And I’m like, “got it.” 

[SPOILER ALERT (but you may have seen it already on social)]

Eric:  A perfect example was in the show in the first season in episode one they crushed my BMW, my car, my baby, and I knew something was up but I had no idea that they brought my car down and crushed it in front of me. It was really something that I had no idea so that synergy is very interesting amongst friends, y’know to hide stuff like that.  

What unique talent or skill did everyone bring to the project?

Chris:  Wes is a massive jack of all trades. He learned everything so quickly he has all these crazy abilities that we're still finding out about because he keeps them secret and he practices in the dark and then all the sudden he'll show up and be an amazing axe thrower or a ride a unicycle or something. He’s got a lot of hobbies. 
I love putting Eric in the worst situations and watching him get out of them cuz that's his skill, it really is, he can get out of any situation flawlessly and turn it around.
Alex doing all the music.  All the animals actually.  We found out, there’s something we didn’t know, Alex does all the animal magic [in the show].  If you look at all the trailers and stuff you keep seeing Alex with animals and it doesn't appear that much in the show but they used all of it. So Alex is now the professional animal wrangler!
Wes:  And Chris talks a lot.  I don't know if you noticed.

What were the more challenging parts of the project?

Alex:  I really thought by the end of the season one we’re not going to be friends anymore because it’s hard to be with same people all the time and riffing and being like  “I like that.  I don’t like that. Who’s going to do this trick?”  But it brought us closer. 

Chris: I think obviously, the pandemic has been challenging to shoot through but besides all that we were in a bit of a time crunch too. We had a couple months of production leading up to this, but when you're in a position to create these magic tricks, we need professional builders, we need locations, we need all these things. With the pandemic happening nothing was super accessible. We had to really think on our feet for a lot of those things. So a lot of late-night meetings staying up till four in the morning, finalizing what we're doing the next day showing up at 7 a.m. call time. So the difficult part was really creating all of that ‘cause there is a lot of magic in the show. 



There’s a ton of magic and we wanted to make it all original. Not out of the box tricks.  We wanted to make this show as original as we could. 
That was the most challenging part.


Eric: We really had to rely on our bag of tricks…

Chris:  … and also on our magic consultants. We had Daniel Garcia, Enrico de la Vega, Marcus Eddie, and we also had Blake Vogt helping us out.  So we had the best, arguably The Best magic team did on the planet.  We could not have done it without them. Period.  The show would not be possible without those guys. One hundred percent are they took it on their backs and you know so like really us as a group putting our minds together every single day, every single minute, to go into the show.

What's the origin story of how the four of you came together
Chris: Mainly through magic conventions.  These two [Alex and Eric] have known each other because they grew up in the same place, Eric kind of took Alex under his wing a long time ago and taught him a lot of magic and business stuff.  Then we kind of all met at a magic convention. You know how magic conventions go, most people just hang out at the bar like once you're done watching the shows, going to dealers room. You go to the bar and then you find each other and we found that we really clicked.  We have the same sense of humour, we didn't get offended by each other just you know digging in each other and stuff like that so we became instant best friends.

Wes: Eric was the common thread at the beginning. I think he was holding it all together a little bit.

Eric: Wes and I worked on a show called Trick’d in 2015, Wes was a consultant on the show, we became best friends.

Chris:  Me and Wes did Wizard Wars around the same time and were in the studio together.

Who are their non-magical inspirations?

Wes:   I’m totally inspired by the world of stand up comedy just I love the world of stand up so that's that's where I get all inspiration from and then I'm a huge like Jim Carrey fan my whole life so I always try to think of that when I’m on camera and be more physical.
Eric: Steve Carell.  
Alex:  For me it’s the world of music, like the bands and stuff how they work together. 

You’ve all be YouTubing / magicianing on TV for many, many years.  How have you changed or evolved?
Eric:  I mean when I started YouTubing it was 10 years ago I did this project [Editor's note: Eric's referring to his Project 365], I did a video every day and I didn't know what audiences want I just wanted to do this for myself and now these guys are much better at it than me nowadays and much more successful at.  It's a big thing to listen to your audience, right?

Chris: But I also think it’s up to people in the entertainment industry and in magic to teach that audience where magic is going and what's happening.  Always catering to an audience can be a detriment because in you’re stagnant. You know if you give me analytics and numbers I look at them.  Then you think, forget all that.  We’ve got a vision, we think this is right, we think this is the way to go, let's see if they'll follow us instead of us following what they want. I really believe that it's up to people to push the boundaries and no matter what entertainment field you're in. Respectfully, magic on TV in the past 20 years... David Blaine changed the game up in 96, but since then I would say only probably Michael Carbonaro has done something totally different. Other than that it's reiterations of the same show over and over and over and over and over. But it took those guys for us to realize that something needs to change. 
Without them we wouldn't have come up with these crazy ideas and this crazy outlook we have today with magic. We're really trying to change it up with a vision we have for magic.


Thank you Chris, Eric, Wes, and Alex for making the time to answer our questions.  We hope it comes to Canada soon! 

Catch Big Trick Energy on April 22nd on truTV in the US!

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