Mortenn Christiansen is a Danish magician who recently won first place at FISM 2022 for comedy. He shares with Jonah his story about growing up without any magicians around him to aim higher and farther than even he originally thought he could accomplish.
A Kid and a Magic Shop
Mortenn was twelve when he discovered his local magic shop, eventually spending so much time there that they would offer him a job where he continues to work there to this day. At the shop he taught himself to learn English, since all the magic instructions he had were printed in english. At first he had no desire to perform, for Mortenn the magic was enough. Eventually, however, he would reach out and began performing in local competitions. It wouldn’t be long before he was winning so often that they would stop letting him compete just to be fair to the other competitors.
Magicians Are Not Great Performers
Mortenn challenges the notion that every magician should perform and recognizes that it’s really strange that this artform, compared to any other, almost mandates that everyone who wants to learn magic must also perform magic. Take away the secret behind the routine and most magicians struggle to be engaging performers, but this shouldn’t be a bad thing and Mortenn encourages everyone, including those who don’t feel like they would be strong performers, to still study and learn magic just for themselves.
If you do decide to perform he offers up the lessons he’s learned himself and pushes everyone to keep their set original. It would be very weird to perform an exact copy of a comedy routine yet in the realm of magic it’s totally acceptable. Keep making stuff and working on original stuff and never let yourself feel like your trick is ever done and doesn’t need additional improvements or modifications. Keep working at it, and always aim higher.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Likes the Zoom shows. Mortenn regrets not getting into Zoom shows but admires how well the magic community adapted to changing needs of both performer and audience.
Does not like magicians who don’t think.
Take home point
Think better. Try to aim higher. It doesn’t have to fool magicians but thinking that it should fool a smart person. Do not assume that lay people are dumb.