Ryan Plunkett is well known as the author of A New Angle and from his work at The Chicago Magic Lounge. We’ve been eager to get him on the podcast for some time now. Ryan worked for a while at a magic store. It ended up teaching him about the things that he hated about magic. So much of the industry is based on pushing cheap tricks with little actual value.
Ryan first started with magic as a kid. His parents got him a magic kit when he just 5 years old. It has been with him every since. He started performing at a local bar when he was still a teenager. He studied theatre in college and had mostly stopped performing magic. After moving to Chicago in 2014 he met some people starting a weekly show. That show turned into the Chicago Magic Lounge which has become his sole source of income.
After going to his first show at the Magic Lounge he offered to help out. He designed their website and helped out with booking acts. As he became more involved he really tried to focus on serving a lay audience as much as possible. They try and present many different styles of magic. They developed a consistent schedule as well. Every Thursday they produced a show. That Thursday became so successful that the theatre offered them an additional day on Saturdays. That consistency was the secret to their success.
When Ryan graduated from high school a friend began manufacturing affordable card cutters. Ryan thought it was super cool and started using it all the time. The problem was there was not a lot of new material available about how to use it. Throughout college he continued to tinker with a tapered deck. After attending a magic convention he met Michael Feldman. He was super impressed with Ryan’s work with the deck. They started working together on a book that featured new tricks for this very old style of magic. The book came out in July of 2017.
What do you like about the current state of magic?
“Magic is making a big comeback. Even Netflix is investing heavily in magic right now and that’s a really good thing”
What do you want to ask the audience?
“Anyone can have an effect on magic. What are you doing to make magic a better place?”
What do you want to tell the audience?
“More people should spend time diving into the magic of the past.”
Who should we have on the podcast?
What was your favourite part of the episode?
Jonah liked hearing about how they turned the Chicago Magic Lounge into a success.
Tyler liked hearing about how Ryan became involved with people to produce incredible things.
Ryan says the art of collaboration is often overlooked in magic.