Showing posts with label # interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label # interview. Show all posts

29 May 2020

Mark Clearview and Mysterion in Toronto.com

From the May 26th article "What happens to Toronto magicians when COVID-19 takes the magic away?" by David Nickle in Toronto.com:

Clearview’s act is one that comes alive in person — a combination of standup comedy and sleight-of-hand work. He’s dipping his toe into YouTube with two channels — one called Noodle Boys, where he performs with his roommate, and another eponymous channel for his magic: Mark Clearview.

So, too, is Mysterion, in spite of his trepidation, moving to online video to showcase his talents and keep his creative juices flowing. He has been drawing on his network, including his wrestling contacts, fellow magicians and other celebrities, to take part remotely in a series of videos he and his girlfriend have put up on Facebook: Dr. M’s Mad Mausoleum.

Read more.

18 May 2020

Jamie Allen interviews Paul Romhany

Congratulations to Paul Romhany who is featured on the cover of the April 2020 edition of Northern Peeks (vol 24, 2).

Paul is also taking on the role as producer/designer of Northern Peeks, the official publication of the Canadian Association of Magicians.  Thank you Paul for taking on this important role!

From the Jamie Allen's May 8th iMagician Live Show 6 featuring Marc Spelmann, John Archer, and Paul Romhany.


06 May 2020

Lee Asher on episode 12 of Deckin' Around

Thursday May 7, 2020 at 8PM EST, catch Lee Asher in episode 12 of Deckin' Around, where he'll talk magic, sleight of hand, and playing cards!


Here are the links to watch Lee Asher this week on Deckin' Around:
YouTube Live: https://youtu.be/gPt1euLw4Nw
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/DeckinAround







29 April 2020

A peek behind the curtain with Piff the Magic Dragon

A peek behind the curtain with Piff the Magic Dragon 
I was delighted to receive an invitation to interview Piff the Magic Dragon!

You can watch Piff, Jade, and Mr. Piffles on PiffTV, where Piff has magicians and comedians on as guests, does some magic, and has little video features.  Episodes are uploaded M-F at 10am and 5pm PST.



Who inspires you magically?

Penn & Teller. The greatest of all the great.

What magical effect would you have shown me had I been there to interview you in person?  
None. Save it for the stage is my golden rule.


What is your first memory of magic?
I think I was around 8 or 10 and I helped someone do the linking rings. I was pretty convinced I had magical powers. So when I bought a set years later I was disappointed to find they were broken. One had a hole in, one was already linked. Very upsetting.


Who inspires you that is not a magician?
 

Jerry Seinfeld.
Had you not shown up at a fancy dress party in your sister’s dragon costume, what type of magic show do you think you’d be performing now?
Something really not worth watching.


Have you experienced anything specific about performing for Canadian audiences in particular?  
You have the optimism of the Americans and the sarcasm of the British. A great combination.


Piff’s connection to Canadian magic?
  

Rick Bronson, who runs the Comic Strip in Edmonton, was the first to book us out there. We sold out 12 shows in a week. A record! I love Rick Bronson.!
Life on the road isn’t all glory and glamour.  There are tight schedules, never-ending bus rides, questionable accommodations, missed connections, and broken or disappearing props.  Tell us about your most memorable touring misadventure.
The dog once defecated all over Jade live on stage, to our mutual horror. By mutual I am referring to Jade and I. The dog felt only relief. I was so appalled I gave a play by play commentary over the whole event as Jade left the stage dripping. Offstage she shed and burnt a few hundred dollars of feathers and returned looking thoroughly nauseated and depressed. After the show the meet and greet line was longer than ever before with people petting, holding and even kissing the dog. Turns out the audience thought it was just a hilarious bit. None of them took it seriously at all. That was until round two started... 




If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick and why?
 

The narrator from Shockheaded Peter. My favourite show.
So as to not scare off any aspiring performers, please share with us your favourite thing about touring.
Doing the show. That's the only part of this whole enterprise that makes it worthwhile, and I love it to pieces. If you don't like the show part, then quit immediately and start making some real money.



 Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals you’d be willing to share with our readers?
I try and do nothing ritualised so that I don't have to do it every night. Once I had a lucky t-shirt. I lost it and the next gig went very badly. I swore off talismans after that.



Do you have any tips for keeping up one's mental health during quarantine?

Quarantine is tough on everyone. Be kind to each other. And make sure you eat well.



Is there anything else you’d like to share about you or Mr. Piffles with our readers?
A dog is a great business partner. Just find someone else to clean up after him.





Thank you Mr. Magic Dragon for making the time to answer our questions!

You can watch Piff, Jade, and Mr. Piffles on PiffTV, where Piff has magicians and comedians on as guests, does some magic, and has little video features.  Episodes are uploaded M-F at 10am and 5pm PST.








21 April 2020

Carisa Hendrix on the cover of Genii

Congratulations to Carisa Hendrix, who is on the cover of the May 2020 edition of Genii magazine!

Read "Uncovering Carisa Hendrix and Lucy Darling" by Dustin Stinett.





17 April 2020

Julie Eng interviewed by Richard Crouse

Richard Crouse has started a new web series from Isolation Studios.  His first guest?  Julie Eng!


From Julie's Facebook page:
My pal Richard Crouse invited me to "Isolation Studios" for a socially-distanced conversation about what it's like to be a magician stuck at home trying to make the minutes disappear. We talked about some magic projects I am involved in, including the Art Gallery of Ontario's poster exhibition, Illusions: The Art of Magic, and another program that is extremely near and dear to me, the Allan Slaight Relief Fund for magicians. Richard is reaching out and finding creative ways to brings us together in these challenging times when we are told to say apart. I am so honoured to be a guest on this wonderful series—where I get my own magical surprise at the end of our conversation! Thank you, Richard






15 April 2020

Greg Frewin in the St. Catherines Standard

A reminder that Greg's hosting his second International Stars of Magic show livestream April 15 @7PM EST to benefit the Niagara SPCA Humane Society on his YouTube channel at:

https://youtu.be/6moYdHS8TYc 


From the April 13th article "Magician Greg Frewin on his anger over ‘Tiger King’" by John Law in The Standard:
Instead of shock and outrage over Joe Exotic's behaviour or whether Baskins killed her husband (and fed him to tigers), Frewin wishes viewers keyed in on a statistic the show shared in its final episode: There are 8,000 tigers in captivity in the United States, and only 4,000 left in the wild.
 
"Why is there only 4,000 tigers left in the wild, and we're worried about 'Did Carole Baskins kill her husband?'" he says. "Why aren't people talking about that? That's the part I'm interested in.

"Those characters are so extreme that the facts that are important got completely brushed over. All we talk about are how crazy they are, how abusive this and that. There's a whole bunch of stuff in this show that's been completely missed."

Read more.

16 March 2020

Perfect Magic in the Montreal Gazette

A wonderful piece by Julie Matlin about her parents!



From the March 13th article "The magic of pursuing your dreams: father's bravery had a ripple effect" by Julie Matlin in the Montreal Gazette:
Phil and Evelyn Matlin, my parents, own a beloved Montreal institution called Perfect Magic. It is, fittingly, a magic shop that’s been serving the community for more than 43 years. Walk in and you’re likely to find amateur hobbyists alongside pros chatting about technique. Or a seasoned performer giving some tips to a kid just starting out. It’s a unique experience.

My dad is 83 now, and my mom is 79 and undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, yet they still go to work every day. Whenever I ask them about retiring, my dad shakes his head. “What would I do?” he asks. They’re happy. And I’m happy for them. My dad followed a dream and it led them to not only run a business that supported a family with four children, but also left a lasting mark on the magic community at large.

It’s funny how we got here.

Read more.

14 March 2020

Darcy Oake in The Sunday Post

From the March 8th article "VIDEO: Illusionist Darcy Oake on how Britain’s Got Talent changed his life and his upcoming Edinburgh and Glasgow shows" by Ross Crae in The Sunday Post:
I started performing magic when I was really young, probably about seven or eight years old. It was actually completely by accident, I was at home and my dad was playing with a deck of cards. He knows zero magic, no tricks or anything. He told me to pick a card, so I picked one, looked at it, put it back in the pack and he was playing it off like he was a pro magician and said he was going to find my card. He did it and I was absolutely blown away, I had no idea how to explain how he did it.

He tortured me, wouldn’t tell me the secret for months and then finally I learned it was a complete accident! That month where I didn’t know how it worked played with my head and I was just so fascinated and adamant on learning how to do it. It’s crazy to look back on, if that trick hadn’t turned out like that…

Read more.

13 March 2020

Shawn Farquhar in the Vancouver Sun

From the March 4th article "No saws, but lots of sleight-of-hand in 'hidden' speakeasy magic show" by Shawn Conner in the Vancouver Sun:
There’s magic happening in Vancouver’s Chinatown, but you wouldn’t know it from a cursory stroll. Shawn Farquhar’s Hidden Wonders is a speakeasy-style performance located behind a fake business facade.

A two-time world champion of magic, Farquhar in this show focuses less on grand-scale illusions and more on intimate experiences. The 75-minute magic experience features effects that the homegrown talent has exclusively designed for the venue as well as effects he created to impress talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and to fool Penn & Teller twice on their hit TV show Fool Us.

We talked to the Maple Ridge-based Farquhar about Hidden Wonders:

Q: What’s the strangest place you’ve performed?

Read more.

08 March 2020

David Ben, Julie Eng, and James Alan promoting #IllusionsAGO

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01 March 2020

Julie Eng in the Toronto Star


From the February 24th article "More than 120 years after the ‘Queen of Magic’ was catching bullets, women magicians are still scarce" by Sue Carter in the Toronto Star:
“Adelaide had a career as a woman, which was a rare thing to see,” says Eng. “She was smart and obviously talented. She competed and she was respected because she could do it.”

Herrmann is one of several women performers on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s new exhibition “Illusions: The Art of Magic.” Co-curated by Toronto magician and historian David Ben, the show features more than 55 promotional posters from the Allan Slaight Collection from the McCord Museum in Montreal, alongside other late 19th- and early 20th-century props and materials, including one of Harry Houdini’s famous straitjackets.



David Ben and Jonah Babins are also mentioned in the article.


Additional media coverage for “Illusions: The Art of Magic:”


















20 February 2020

Random thoughts about "Illusions: The Art of Magic"

Visit "Illusions: The Art of Magic" February 22nd to May 18, in the AGO’s Sam & Ayala Zacks Pavillion.

The exhibition is free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 years and under.
I participated in the recent media preview of the upcoming AGO exhibition, "Illusions: The Art of Magic," which features more than 55 colourful vintage posters from the Allan Slaight Collection.*  The collection is guest curated by Magicana’s artistic director and historian David Ben.



Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co.
Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco, 1905. 186.5 × 266.5 cm. M2014.128.318. ©McCord Museum



The exhibition is a journey back to the Golden Age of Magic.  During this time magicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were among the first artists to embark on international tours.  Promotional posters portrayed magician's magical powers through illustrated advertisements ranging in size from postcards to wall-sized posters.

“These posters tell us so much about that time – the public’s fascination with Asia, with spiritualism, the occult and the changing role of women in society,” says Julian Cox, the AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “Toronto was a popular stop on the international touring circuit for magicians, and Houdini performed here numerous times over his career. These works and the stories behind them remain as captivating today as they were one hundred years ago.”

The Metropolitan Printing Company, Adelaide Herrmann and Company, About 1905, 20th century, 76.7 x 50.2 cm. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. M2014.128.207. © McCord Museum



Listen to the February 18th interview with Julie Eng in the CBC q studio where she talks about the exhibit, cultural appropriation, the role of women in magic, and how many of their stories have been overshadowed and forgotten.
There are many focal points within the exhibition, such as: women in magic, spiritualism, cultural appropriation, and the symbolism of devils, skulls, & demons.



More than posters.

In addition to the beautiful posters, there are wonderful video clips too.  For example:

A still shot from video of Harry Blackstone and his dancing handkerchief

A still shot from an interview with Julie Eng talking about her life in magic.

A still shot from video of Houdini's variation of a forearm riffle.




Keep an eye open for these "hole in the wall" viewing portals to catch a peek of more video!



Make your own magic poster
There's a station where you can digitally create your own magic poster!  (Complete with a legend that explains what all the animals and other objects on the posters represent.)



The exhibition also features other magcially historical items such as:
  • wonderful selections from David Ben's collection, including Hofzinser cards and items particular to magic in Toronto (including a vistors' book from Arcade Magic!)
  • handcuffs used by Houdini, and
  • Houdini's straitjacket

Hofzinser cards from David Ben's collection

Visitor book from Arcade Magic.  From David Ben's collection.

Houdini's straitjacket.


Av Yaga, Alexander, the Man Who Knows, 1915, 20th century
207.9 x 107.7 cm. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. M2014.128.3. © McCord Museum

But wait!  There's more!

There will be daily live performances at the exhibition provided by the Toronto Magic Company.  Confirmed performers include:

- James Alan (Classics of Magic)
- Jonah  Babins (Interactive Impossibilities)
- Harry Zimmerman and Chris Mayhew (Close-Up Magic)
- Toronto Magic Showcase
- Toronto Magic Company (Making Magic)
- Ben Train (Mental Mysteries)

Check the Toronto Magic Company website for the performance schedule.






Visit "Illusions: The Art of Magic" February 22nd to May 18, in the AGO’s Sam & Ayala Zacks Pavillion.   The exhibition is free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 years and under.


--
* ABOUT THE ALLAN SLAIGHT COLLECTION
Acquired by the McCord Museum thanks to La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, the Allan Slaight Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of rare magic posters comprising more than 600 posters and more 1,000 documents and rare books. The collection was named in honour of the Canadian businessman and magic enthusiast Allan Slaight.

06 January 2020

Canada's Magic in The Linking Ring

I'm honoured to be interviewed by Dennis Schick in The Linking Ring magazine this month!  (Such a terrific way to start the year.)





Thank you for all of your hard work Dennis! 



Welcome IBM members.  Have a look around and enjoy your stay!
















28 December 2019

Sonny Patel on The Kind Of Late Show

From Sonny Patel's Facebook post:
Check out my interview on The Kind Of Late Show with host/comedian Veronica Antipolo!

Also some very funny Christmas tunes by comedian Nikki Yee. Thanks to Frequency5fm for having me out!








15 November 2019

Scott Hammell on "Shoulders of Giants"

From PodTail:
OELC/CASO: Shoulders of Giants focuses on the extraordinary achievements of OELC alumni. Nathan Adams interviews these “Giants” to discuss the impact their time at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre had on their journey.

Episode 2 - Scott Hammell (magician, escape artist and leader):
In this episode Nathan interviews Scott Hammell.   Scott shares his unique perspective on leadership and facing fear as well as the impact OELC/CASO has had on his life.

Scott Hammell, the four-time Guinness World Record holder has hung upside down from a hot air balloon while locked in a straitjacket and chains at 7 200 feet (World’s Highest Suspension Straitjacket Escape), dangled by his ankles and juggled for over a minute and a half (Longest Inverted Juggling Duration), successfully completed a card trick while skydiving (World’s Fastest Moving Card Trick) and jumped from an airplane to skydive while blindfolded and handcuffed (Highest Blindfolded Skydive). 









02 November 2019

A(nother) peek behind the curtain with Sam Strange

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON        
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Sam Strange border= 

You may remember the fabulous interview, "A peek behind the curtain with Young and Strange," from December of last year.  I was delighted to receive an invitation to take a second pass at an email interview with Sam Strange (the taller half of Young and Strange) as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.

Many of you know that Strange orchestrated a most wonderful surprise last June for Richard Young and The Magicians' Podcast.  






You've toured a number of countries.  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?
That run of shows we did in Toronto (in December 2018) is generally considered by the cast to be some of the best shows we have ever done, with some of the best audiences we have ever performed to. That maybe in part due to the perfect theatre for the show and at Christmas time when everyone is in a great mood anyway. Young and I did have to evolve the humour and delivery for our act for American audiences, but it does seem that the Canadian audiences sense of humour is a little more aligned with the British.


What interests do you have outside of magic?
 

The 2 interests I’m about to list don’t do my reputation any favours.

Manmade underground structures.
Included in that are tunnels, bunkers and mines. Specifically NOT caves. As we all know, caves are dull.

Prisons. Difficult to articulate why or how those interests have come about it. If I were a betting man (which Young will testify is the case) I would say it’s the human history and sinister nature of both. Prisons are renowned for the evil held within and most places built underground are not for the living.

I am mindful that this answer has given good ammunition in the next round of off stage ribbing from other cast members.

What are your thoughts on touring life?
If you ever get the chance to be a part of a touring show on the scale of Champions of Magic, take it.

It’s an insane experience when I reflect on it. There's a cast and crew of 14 people all travelling together, who are all passionate about magic, who are all decent people and who are all as invested in the show as anyone else  It’s constantly peppered with euphoric highs. As you can imagine, the show is the focus and pretty much all conversations outside of the theatre relate in someway back to the show. I think it’s important to have a bit of escapism from time to time and respect other peoples space when they need it.




Do you have any pre-show rituals?
 
As it’s a mixed bill of magicians, it’s always important to get the best response from the audience. I often perform a routine of sabotage on the other magicians props. It’s enormously helpful to making our act peacock ahead of the others and subsequently helps to prop up my misplaced ego.

What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?
As a double act we are fortunate because we can be a catalyst for each other during the performance. If I feel Young’s delivery or energy dip during the performance (or vice versa) we can pick each other up, feeding from each others enthusiasm. I also find that putting the ‘work’ into perspective really helps. [Last December's 17 day run of] 41 shows sounds impressive and tiring, but I’m not at a coalface and I am living my dream. The least I can do to sustain that is to look engaged and interested while on stage.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
My hands are tied. This is an interview for Canada's Magic and it’s important to do everything I can to win you round.
Therefore my answer can only be Doug Henning.

Fortunately not only is that a politically astute answer, but it’s also pretty true. The vibrancy, colour and pure joy of his act would be so much fun to do.
[Editor's note: Truly a terrific answer.  AND it shares internal consistency with last December's interview.  Well done!]



Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
On a personal level, I love being a part of the Champions of Magic show. In buying a ticket and coming to support the show you are allowing me, and many other people I tour with, to live their childhood dreams. Think of it as a charity and spread the word for the next run of Canadian shows.



 


Thank you Sam Strange of Young and Strange for making the time to answer more of our questions!

Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!


Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         
Read more and buy tickets.

26 October 2019

A(nother) peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON        
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer 

You may remember the wonderful interview, "A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer," from December of last year.  I was delighted to receive an invitation to take a second pass at an email interview with McAleer as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.

If you haven't already, check out his YouTube channel where he hosts his series Mind Games in addition to his Champions of Magic tour vlog.






What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?

Although my act has a solid structure, each show is different as the audience play a big part in deciding what happens, whether they know it or not. So it becomes a bit like improv for me. That helps to keep it fresh, but I always try to keep my energy and enthusiasm up for each and every audience because it might be 1000th time I’ve done the show but for them it’s their first time seeing it.

You've toured a number of countries.  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?  
Canadian audience have the North American enthusiasm like crowds in the U.S. but feel a bit more like the audiences back home in the UK in terms of their sense of humour.

Do you have any advice for touring magicians?
Advice for touring magicians...
  • Travel light.
     
  • Don’t use a roller bag. They can never fit them all in the overhead bins on a flight. 
     
  • Save locations like coffee shops, stores, restaurants, whatever, on Google maps so when you go back again for more shows or whatever, you’ve got a list of your favourite locations.
     
  • Take time to see things the town or city is known for. Ask a local, especially Uber drivers.
     
  • If you find good WiFi somewhere, use it wisely - download films, books, podcasts, whatever you need. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.
     
  • Steal all the free toiletries from hotels. They might come in handy on the road, or make disappointing gifts for people you don’t like very much.
     
  • Have something to do in the downtime. Usually I’m editing a tour vlog, or writing up some new ideas. Kayla and Young both have podcasts.  [Editor's note:  podcasts are Shezam Pod and The Magicians' Podcast respectively.]


What interests do you have outside of magic?
Film. Art. Cooking. Gym. Laughing. Anthropomorphising inanimate objects. Not always in that order.
Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals?

Not really as I’m not at all superstitious. However, I always brush my teeth before a show but that’s more of a courtesy to participants that join me on stage and makes me smile more on stage.

If you were to ask the others what McAleer likes to do pre-show they’d say get ready ridiculously early; costume and mic on, ready to go, long before I need to.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
Something from ‘Into The Woods’ ... maybe doubling up as the Wolf and one of the Princes as they get the songs that would be most fun to perform.

Those are fun parts! You can't go wrong with Sondheim.






Thank you Alex McAleer for making the time to answer our questions.


Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!



Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON        
Read more and buy tickets.




19 October 2019

A peek behind the curtain with Kayla Drescher

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Kayla Drescher 

I was delighted to receive an invitation to email interview Kayla Drescher, as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.  You may know already know Drescher as the winner of the Today Show's “The Next Great Magician” (judged by David Copperfield), from appearing on season four of Penn and Teller Fool Us, or from lecturing in Toronto last January

(Read on to learn more about Drescher's connection to the Canadian magician known as "The Beauty of Magic.")






Who inspires you magically?

My mentors are a couple from Indianapolis - Christian and Katalina.  They are my biggest inspiration magically.  I enjoy watching magicians that are grounded and “real”, like you want to buy them a beer after the show.  That’s what I aim for as a performer and am inspired by those that do the same.




What is your first memory of magic?
 

My first memories were from seeing magic at a magic shop at 7 years old.  That’s where I caught the “bug.”
Why do you think people are still fascinated by magic, especially live magic? 
Because it’s happening directly in front of you.  When magic is happening with no screen or special CGI, it adds to the impossibility.  Add in magic happening in your hands… well there’s nothing better.


Where do you find non-magical inspiration?
 

I love watching dance and choreographers tell a story through movement, listening to music that motivates something magically, or watching a movie suspend the audience’s disbelief and transport you to another world.  Comedy is also a huge influence, especially improv and character-based sketch comedy.  I’m also super inspired by Celine Dion and basically everything she does, especially her fashion.  My choice for clothing on stage is highly motivated by hers. 
What’s is it about Champions of Magic that has allowed you to draw large audiences on 6 UK tours and 3 North American tours over the past six years?
Champions of Magic features every type of magic you could possibly imagine while keeping it fun for the whole family.  But really what we feature over any other show, TV program, movie, etc, is us.  The 5 performers have strong, enjoyable, and engaging personalities.  You get to know us individually and as a performing “family.”  We truly enjoy touring together and you can see that on stage.  We probably feature more high-fives than any other show has.  Audience members come back show after show because they enjoy “hanging out” with us.  And because the audiences are different, the show is just a little different each time, making each show super memorable.    We work hard to make the show not just magically impressive, but an absolutely fun time.



What surprised you most about performing in different countries?  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?
The biggest difference is the style of humor.  Because I’m primarily comedy/improv based, I have to study what each audience would find funny.  What I love most about Canadian audiences is the immediate excitement when the show starts.  The roar of the audience when the lights go down is everything a performer wants to hear.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE performing for Canadian audiences and cannot wait to do it again!

Do you have a favourite touring anecdote and / or any advice for touring magicians?
There are so many stories from tour and we certainly don’t have time for them all.  My favorites come from pranking Sam Strange, like when he leaves his belongings on stage during rehearsals and I hide them in one of the cup holders in a 4,000 seat theater.  That’s always fun.

My biggest advice is to just be open to any adventure the tour can bring.  I’ve tried different foods, seen amazing parts of various countries, and rode my first Bird scooter (which I fell off) with the tour.  It’s like an adventure of no other so make the most of it!


 

With respect to your connection to Canadian magic, most of our readers will be familiar with the podcast you do with Carisa Hendrix (Shezam! the podcast hopes to make itself obsolete), and many will know about your connection with the Toronto magic crew.  Do you have any other connections to Canadian magic?
I was influenced by Greg Frewin at a young age.  And there's also Celeste Evans.
I first met Celeste Evans and her daughter Evanna at a magic convention when I was roughly 15/16 years old.  Celeste was a hero of mine, being such a trailblazer in the community and having created a full stage act in a tight dress and no suit jacket (which I was wearing at the time).  Celeste often offered unprompted advice to young magicians, especially women in the community.  She was an amazing human being and a fantastic magicians.

When she passed away, Evanna kindly sent me some of her magic-themed jewelry. After I finished crying of pure joy and honor, the jewelry quickly made its way into my usual performance attire.  Her necklace charm, in the shape of a hand with 4 multiplying balls, is what I mainly wear every show, although the ring in the same shape is often on my hand.  I’m honored to carry on a piece of Celeste through everything I do.  


Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals?

I lay on the floor a lot. It’s very comfortable.  Then I do a ton of dancing to loosen up and get happy, give Fernando a high-five, and get on with the show!
You sometimes perform extremely dense runs.  What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?
I try to change little things about my show each time I start to feel myself get complacent.  It could be adding in a new joke, doing a different dance, wearing a new jacket or shoes, just anything to change things up a bit.  We also all try to keep things fresh, from playing tag on stage to making each other laugh in the wings.  I’m thankful to be with a group of people that all know how to have fun and keep things fresh.

What interests do you have outside of magic?
I’m a big basketball fan and keep up with the WNBA and women’s college basketball regularly.  I try to read a lot but always just end up watching Harry Potter.  And I have a really great dog that I enjoy snuggling with.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
Elphaba from Wicked.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
California weather. I’d share California weather with all of Canada.

Ohhh... best gift ever! Don't forget to bottle some for yourself though.  You'll need it when you hit SK in January!


Thank you Kayla Drescher for making the time to answer our questions!



Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!


Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.

12 October 2019

A(nother) peek behind the curtain with Richard Young

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Richard Young border= 

You may remember the fabulous interview, "A peek behind the curtain with Young and Strange,"  from December of last year.  I was delighted to receive an invitation to take a second pass at an email interview with Richard Young (one half of Young and Strange) as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.

Many of you already know Young through his podcast, "The Magician's Podcast."  He's interviewed a handful of Canadians including Darcy Oake, Billy Kidd, and Greg Frewin.   Last June, Young aired an epic 100th (and final) episode, where he interviewed his magic idol David Copperfield.  The Magic Circle recently recognized the outstanding contribution to magic made by Young through his podcast.


From the Magicians' Podcast Twitter feed:






You've toured a number of countries.  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?
I think the shows we did in Toronto last Christmas were some of the best shows we have ever done in our six year history. We did so many shows back to back and it was really hard work however the enthusiastic audiences kept us going and our spirits high. I think enthusiasm and energy is what I notice specifically about the Canadian audiences.


Do you have any advice for touring magicians?
 
My top tip for other touring magicians is to buy more underwear, washing machines are hard to find on tour sometimes.
Do you have a favourite touring anecdote?
Touring with Champions of Magic has been the greatest adventure of my life. I remember arriving in North America with the show for the first time in September 2017 about to embark on our first US Tour, it was one of the most thrilling times of my life. I couldn’t believe we had finally made it to America, it had been secretly talked about for a couple of years and I was worried it might never happen. Two days after we arrived we threw out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game in front of 30000 people to help promote the show. It really felt like we had ‘arrived in that second.’



What interests do you have outside of magic?
 

I am a huge Musical Theatre fan, I saw both Come From Away and Hamilton last week here in the U.K, I can’t get enough of Come From Away it was the 4th time I have seen it, the London cast are extraordinary.

I also have a weird life long obsession with the Titanic Disaster and know an awful lot about it, from design and conception through to the inquiries that followed the sinking and also how the wreck was found in 1985. If you’re ever struggling to sleep, give me a call and I’ll talk you through Lord Mersey’s inquiry, it was an absolute cluster f**k.
What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?
The fact we are facing forward and talking to the audience as opposed to being in scene or play where we pretend the audience isn’t there means the interaction with the audience will help to keep it fresh night after night. There are a few exercises taught to us by our director which we do during long runs to make sure we are still ‘in the room’ while the show is going on. The same sort of techniques they teach to actors and musical theatre performers on Broadway who do the same role every night in the same theatres for sometimes a couple of years in a row.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
I fantasise about being Javert from Les Miserable quite a bit, however I think if I’m being honest with myself I probably suit Thernadier more. I think I would also be a good Monsier Firmin in Phantom too. 
Could Young play Javert?

Listen to Richard Young interview Andy Nyman in episode 85 and you be the judge.  (The whole interview is fabulous, but the Javert part in particular comes shortly after the 1:14 mark.)

Listen to what Irish tenor Killian Donnelly thinks. Donnelly recently appeared in a West End production of Les Mis as Jean Valjean. 
I know all the words to both parts already so if anyone is reading this looking to fill those parts let me know. I would drop Champions of Magic like a sack of s**t to be in either of those two shows,

this may seem in written published form as a kinda bizarre form of career suicide from Champions however I know Alex the producer of our show wouldn’t take offense to my remarks and if anything would encourage me too do it, he loves both shows as much as I do and would completely understand.
[Editor's note: We certainly hope Alex is as understanding as you say he is!]


Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you haven’t seen Champions of Magic before, I do really think you’d enjoy spending an evening with us.

If you’re a magician, you won’t like everything you see, however I promise you will love some stuff and have a great time slagging off the stuff you didn’t, so you have nothing to lose, I hope to see you at one of the shows.



 


Thank you Richard Young of Young and Strange for making the time to answer more of our questions!

Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!


Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.