This week Jonah connects with David Regal to discuss writing magic for television and the innovative ways that David approaches magic.

David’s trick creation is incredible. And not only is his sleight of hand amazing but so is his writing. Among his multiple writing credits, David was also the head writer for The Carbonaro Effect.

Interpreting Magic

As much as David loves performing he especially loves the process. In theatre and film the concept of a screenwriter is much more common but not so in the world of magic but that’s where David talks a lot about with Jonah in his work helping to write for and develop magic. 

David’s books, Approaching Magic and Interpreting Magic, are all about challenging the status quo in the magic world and encouraging the joy and innovation that can come when magicians embrace the interpretive nature of magic as an artform.

Writing Magic For Television

Among his many writing credits, David is also the head writer for The Carbonaro Effect. Starring Michael Carbonaro, the show sets up moments in the real world where the subject in the scene is unaware that magic is currently being performed around them. The titular effect is the belief that something is shattering their world view of what is possible.

David opens up about what it was like writing for The Carbonaro Effect and how he had to explain to the show producers that what they were doing was not a magic show at all but was utilizing magic to create a very strange day for the “mark” on the show.  

Developing Judgement

Judgement is a rare thing and the reason, David believes, that a lot of performers are as good as they are is because they have exceptionally good judgement as to what makes a good effect. The really good performers either have this judgement or have a group of people around them who bring that judgement to the table with them. Without good judgement you won’t have good magic. 


Endless Chain

Armando Lucero is such a strong performer and a very soulful guy. Just speak to him. 

And Rocco Silano is a real thinker in magic. He does a dazzling stand up act and his persona is very… debonair. He’s a very thoughtful, almost philosophical, magician.

What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?

David love’s Penn & Teller’s [Fool Us]. Magic is held back when the audience doesn’t even understand what good magic is and making the American audience understand that this is an interpretive art will go hand in hand with more artists interpreting it.

David does not like the other side of interpretation though when magicians seek out the full proof perfect effect. What screws up interpretation is there are effects that if you just do them well are great tricks but if you find the greatest tricks that work every time then you’ll end up doing the exact same tricks as the other magician who has those same tricks. 

Take home point

“Make sure that when you’ve done all the other work… that you’re putting in an idea of your own into it. If it’s the tiniest thing, it can be a one word thing, but that’s really what it’s all about. 

You’ll enjoy performing much more and the audience will always sense… your connection to the material” 


You can follow up with David by visiting David Regal’s website at

Wherever you are on your magic journey, we're here for you

Get the tips, strategies, and actionable advice you’re searching for delivered straight to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit