Felix Bodden has appeared on Fool Us and has created a really popular Instagram feed. He first became interested in magic when he was eight years old in 2001 – the same year that the first Harry Potter movie came out. But Felix became frustrated when he realized there was no such thing as real magic. His Mom took pity on him and bought Felix his first magic kit. When you’re a kid everything is magical.
Felix has been one of the main proponents of the #Ihatecameratricks hashtag on Instagram. He thinks there is a real problem of people using CGI effects and edits in online videos. It’s hurting magic. Posting illusions that are totally impossible to achieve in real life makes it very difficult for real magicians. The hashtag is intended to let viewers know that the effects they are watching were not created using camera edits or animation.
Felix started using Instagram in 2013 when the magic community on that platform was really small. He got a lot of positive feedback from people like Jeremy Griffith which encouraged him to continue. He likes to use Instagram as a catalogue of his tricks. It helps him to visualize the material he has produced.
After years in magic it’s hard to be fooled. That true even with the huge influx of new magic on Instagram. Felix searches hard for new tricks that stump him. That recently occurred when he was given a sneak peek at a new card trick that left him baffled. Felix believes that magic occurs when there is a real connection with the audience.
There is a lot of debate right now about whether or not revealing secrets online is good or bad for the magical community. Felix thinks there are good and bad things about that practice. He says that revealing methods takes away from the awe of popular tricks. That said, he likes when secrets are revealed in a tutorial, where the history of the trick is discussed along with the secret. If you’re going to do it – do it right.
Many of the people performing magic on social media are doing it wrong, in Felix’s opinion. People look unprofessional with long or dirty nails, bad clothes and a lack of charisma. But beyond appearance and comportment, people are making technical mistakes too. Using unlicensed music that will get your video pulled or not incorporating real people are rookie mistakes.
Felix recently appeared on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and really enjoyed himself. From the production crew to Penn and Teller themselves, everyone treated him with a lot of kindness. The reaction to the piece that he performed was really positive. He focussed more on the presentation that the trick itself. Felix wanted to make sure that he overcame the language barrier. But he made a small mistake while on stage but he was still quite happy with how it came out. His purpose was not fool them. It was to reach as wild an audience as possible.
Felix lives and works in the Dominican Republic which, he says, is a difficult place to access good magic. There are maybe ten good magicians in the whole country. There are no magic shops and there is no way to learn magic without the internet. Adding to the problem is the fact that the Dominican Republic is very religious. And that sometimes means many people confuse magic with Satanism.
What question do you want to ask our audience?
Why is visual magic so important right now?
What do you want to tell our audience?
Just be happy. If you don’t love what you are doing than you’re wasting your time.
What was your favourite part of the episode?
Jonah liked hearing about Felix using Instagram to document his own work for his own use.
Tyler loved Felix’s introduction to magic story as a young kid who first saw Harry Potter.
Felix really enjoyed meeting Jonah and Tyler
Who should we have on the show next?
What do you want to plug?