We are very excited to have Axel Hecklau join us. He is an award-winning magician, taking second place for parlour magic at the 2018 FISM World Championship, who brings his unique insight to improving existing methods this episode.
Axel took up magic when he was 12 years old after deciding he wanted to perform a magic show for his grandpa’s birthday. Alongside a group of young magicians and the support of a magic club, Axel continued learning and practicing magic. The club eventually put on a competition which Axel competed in. From there, he focused on perfecting his routines for competitions rather than the public.
Creativity and Originality
Axel believes that to bring the art form further, we need to be creative in many ways. However, inherent creativity and talent is not something you can work on, so you should play to your strengths. If you are a talented performer, then it is fine to perform tricks developed by other creators as there are some magicians who cannot perform.
He is never satisfied with a trick, as satisfaction means there is no chance to develop further. His approach to improving his magic is to identify the problem, the moments in his routine he’s unsure of, and find the solution. He makes it clear that if you find yourself thinking “oh, nobody noticed” about a particular part of your performance, people will notice. The audience will feel the offbeats in their gut, breaking them from the moment.
The little moments in our lives is where the magic lies, Axel explains. It’s about looking at the relatable human moments in your life and telling these stories through your routine.
He refers to Dai Vernon when he says “be natural” when performing. Your moves and story need to be believable for your audience to experience a moment of life when the strange and unbelievable begin to happen. Disturbing your magic with artificial elements will cause the audience to notice, breaking the atmosphere.
In recommending the Book of Wonder by Tommy Wonder, Axel explains how you have to work on every little detail like Tommy Wonder. There needs to be a willingness to not simply be satisfied and to push yourself to create and perform better magic.
Magicians’ performances and views of magic are influenced by the other magicians around them. In terms of the German style approach to magic, Axel highlights Alexander de Cova and Eberhard Riese, author of Foundations, as the two biggest influencers.
Axel says to be unsatisfied with your things. But be satisfied with the success you had also. It’s always two things. Not only be satisfied but keep creating.
Who Should we have on the Podcast?
Take Home Points
Tyler liked Axel’s explanation of magic in everyday life.
Jonah liked the idea of asking how far are you willing to go to make something possible.
Axel liked the part about taking a routine you’ve performed for years and improving on it.
Where to Find Axel