Episode 126 is with Slight of Hand magician Karl Hein who is known for WOWing audiences with amazing and original magic and routines. Jonah has seen him perform both at the Magic Castle, and at a Toronto Magic Company show he produced in Toronto.
Karl started in magic at an early age, learning and performing tricks first from a Disney Magic book. Once he started buying tricks from a local magic shop, he started finding out about clubs and conventions, learning about sleight of hand from there. Finally after college he wanted to go pro. So in those 4 years of college he found many odd magic jobs (birthdays, walk around etc.) and gained enough referrals and money to earn more than his professors were at the time. Making the move from science to magic.
From there, he focused more on performance rather than creation, gaining a read on entertainment and strong magic. Karl then goes on to talk about context – in terms of character, audience and venue – and how to figure out your type of magic (who am doing this for and who will appreciate it?).
Also figuring out how to best express yourself to the correct kind of people. Then, Jonah asks Karl about how he can make magic stronger. He recommends, performing to an audience, but being present and aware to how they’re reacting (mostly on the sceptical and analytic types, and getting them to react) – either by originality or surprise. We want to impress all 100% not just 95% of the audience.
Performing in a variety of environments helps, intentionality is important to craft your own show and character (and then changing that over time). This moves the discussion over to the problems with creativity, noting that there’s an importance to it, but a lot of what you do is based on other people. Don’t be persuaded by what you hear about originality. He says that the more of yourself you put into it then the more creative you become.
Finally, Karl hits on some big piece of advice that he talks about throughout the rest of the podcast. The amount of creativity needed depends on the context you’re performing in (talking again about character, venue and audience). With publishing, allow more time to focus and refine what you’re releasing so that in 5 years’ time it will consistently be relevant, and also just enjoy it!
Creativity is a cool currency to spend.
Do you think that a prop can be overused in magic, so that it goes out of style?
“It can be, but if its more creative in a different way, then it may not matter”
Karl says that with Rubik’s Cube magic, it was being done in the early 80’s and as poplar
during its’ come back in the early 2000s. There was innovation then, and there is popularity now.
What would you like to tell the audience?
Start doing the Vanishing Bandana
What do you want to ask the audience?
How accurate is your awareness of the audience’s perception of you? And how do you act
Who would you recommend to next be on the podcast?
Find Karl Hein