05 April 2024

A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer [2024]

We recently posted that Alex McAleer, the resident mentalist from Champions of Magic, is bringing his one-man show Alex McAleer - Mind Reader to Toronto May 3 - 12th.


(For those in the know, rumour has it that Alexander Marsh will be giving a lecture hosted by Toronto's Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club -- IBM Ring 17.  Keep your eyes peeled for more information.)

In addition to his participation in Champions of Magic, you may know Alex through:

On episode 4 of Through the Magic of Television (Apple Podcasts link), Alex and guest Erik Tait    CanCon   discuss The Worlds Greatest Magic 4 (1997), which includes performances by Juliana Chen and Carl Cloutier.
[Editor's note:  This podcast requires a paid subscription.]


Our regular readers may recall that we were crushed when Alex McAleer, due to circumstances beyond his control, was not available perform in Champions of Magic in Toronto last December.  Imagine our excitement when we learned that Alex is bringing his one-man show Alex McAleer - Mind Reader to Toronto in May!

Read our thoughts about seeing Alex in Kitchener:

Random thoughts about Champions of Magic 2022 



We're delighted to interview Alex ahead of the Canadian debut of Alex McAleer - Mind Reader in May!

A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer

We assume that you perform some pieces of your solo show as part of the Champions of Magic ensemble.  How much of your solo show have we seen as part of the 2018 Champions of Magic experience in Toronto or the 2022 experience in Kitchener?

Yes, there’s a couple of things in the solo show that have been part of my work in Champions over the years - although the vast majority will be fresh stuff!

When you're part of an ensemble show, your performance drops into the overarching dynamic set by the show order and your co-performers' acts.  Has that experience influenced how you structure the rhythm of your one-man show? 

I’ve always liked to keep the structure of my solo stuff as dynamic as possible, like an ensemble show would be; so it’s not all too ‘samey’. I think one of the great things about Champions is that it wasn’t just the same sorts-of tricks over and over again.  That can be trickier with a one-man mind reading show, but I keep the audience on their toes. 

Alex McAleer

Alex McAleer (right)
The soundtrack for your show can definitely enhance the impact of your stage performance.  (We particularly enjoy your use of  Sing! Sing! Sing! in Champions.)   From where (or from whom) do you get your inspiration for your music?

The only music in my show is as the audience walk-in and when they leave, but I pick vintage, up-beat music. Some are mid-20th century rock and blues, others are vintage covers of more contemporary songs. I find it sets the tone, the vibe as the kids say, for my style. Fun, playful, up-beat, retro but familiar. 

We've seen you perform in large theatres and arenas.  What modifications does a performer need to make in order to transition from performing in large arenas to playing small intimate spaces, such as Lighthouse ArtSpace? 

Playing large arenas / spaces means a lot of subtlety is lost. I express with my face a lot, so in a big space that gets lost and I have to use my whole body to tell the audience what I’m thinking (ironically), but in a smaller space large gestures and reactions look a bit forced and unusual. A smaller space allows for a better connection with an audience, and for me that’s what it’s all about.   

Will you be showcasing favourite effects or routines that don't play well large?

Yes I have a few favourites in the show that just wouldn’t really work in the fast paced, ensemble nature of a show like Champions. There’s a routine about my imaginary friend I had as a child, and and effect where the audience help take over control of a spectator. 

Read our 2023 interview with Alex where we learn about:
  • the specific moment he knew he could or wanted to perform magic full time,
  • his most memorable performance misadventure,
  • his guilty pleasures while on tour, and
  • what he brings from home when on tour.

Toronto won't be in the middle of winter when you visit this time!  Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to exploring in the city in the (hopefully) warm weather? 

I’ve never been to Toronto when it’s not been either very cold, or about to be very cold, so I’m looking forward to seeing it in a warmer light. I assume I’ll still have to bring a ‘toque’!? 

What is the biggest change to your act, or change in your approach to your mentalism, since you joined Champions of Magic in 2013?

I’d say one of the biggest changes has been not needing to rely so heavily on the trick. Ten years of performing hundreds of shows, for all sorts of people in all sorts of venues, has taught me a lot about myself as an entertainer and performer.



Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Canada’s Magic?

I'm looking forward to being back in Canada and I hope your readers can make it to my show!

Thank you Alex, for making the time to answer our questions!


Learn more about Alex at AlexMcAleer.com and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.  

Purchase tickets for Alex McAleer - Mind Reader at Starvox Entertainment



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