Our guest this week is a brilliant mind in the magic community. He’s a magician, a priest and a raconteur – we’re really excited to have Jared Kopf. Every child is born with a sense of wonder that gradually dwindles. For Jared it never dwindled. He doesn’t remember a specific moment when he fell in love with the art form. But by the time he was a young kid he had become totally obsessed. By 14 he was making pretty good money doing walk-around magic in restaurants. By the time he returned to magic after university he was much more interested in the art of magic rather than just fooling people.
Jared is deeply fascinated by how magic has informed human civilizations for millennia. One of his touchstones is the early work of sociology The Golden Bough which revealed how magic, religion and science were deeply intermingled in early human societies. Magic is a real phenomenon and he rejects the idea that it is reducible to simple deception. Not all magic is deception.
Jared sees magic everywhere. It sounds crazy but he sees magic when he is paying for groceries with a debit card. That sense of wonderment permeates his work in film as well. He likes to achieve magical effects on camera but that doesn’t just mean using special effects. When you can make the viewer forget that they are watching a film – that’s a magic trick.
Jared used to play comedy clubs quite a bit as a performer. But he’s not a comedian. There were only about three big laughs in his set. Eventually he stopped doing tricks and focused more on telling stories. It’s about putting the audience into a kind of trance. Magicians that are really popular can do that. All great artists are magicians but not all greats magicians are great artists.
What do you want to tell our audience?
Read as much as you possibly can about any subject that interests you. Be kind to people and know yourself.
What do you want to ask our audience?
Why do you want to fool people so badly?
What do you like about magic right now?
Jared enjoys seeing a performance by someone that is an expression of pure love like Teller’s Shadows.
Who should we have on the show next?
What was your favourite part of the episode?
Jonah liked hearing about the different parts of our world that are magical that don’t appear magical at first blush.
Tyler enjoyed hearing that not all magicians are artists but all artists are magicians.
Jared enjoyed talking about performing in a conversational style.