This week Jonah is joined by Adrian Lacroix who has really popped onto the scene during the era of virtual shows with his videos and creations helping people to get into the business of virtual magic.
Adrian Lacroix has worked in some of the most exclusive places in Buenos Aires and in the past year has embraced virtual magic and virtual magic effects releasing tricks through Penguin Magic. He’s also become a prolific participants in panels and discussions helping to rally the magic community around the new normal of virtual magic shows. You can hear him participating in one such panel from our very own UnConventional.fun Virtual Panel.
Performing Miracles At Home
Adrian’s introduction to magic wasn’t at a party or seeing magic performed in person, it was on a tv screen at 10pm at night when he was eight years old. David Copperfield was performing Misled, a pencil penetration trick, and that amazed Adrian to see a miracle being performed with elements you could find around your home.
That love of magic would stay with Adrian into his teens when he would once again come across another tv special, this time David Blaine’s street magic, and the way the crowds reacted to the street magic encouraged Adrian to try performing himself to see if he could get the same reactions, which of course he did.
Reverse Engineering Magic
Without anyone to play the role of mentor, Adrian is mostly self-taught. He turned to watching magic performances closely, attending shows multiple times to see how the performance changed with each iteration and tracking down each detail of every trick and people involved to study how to perform them himself. In the pre-internet and youtube era this meant buying every VHS and book he could get his hands on to figure out the process on his own. If you put a problem in front of Adrian to solve, he’s going to try to solve it.
Adrian admits he struggles with finding his inner motivation but if someone tries to prove him wrong his competitive side will kick in and he’ll be able to push himself to create and prove them wrong.
Accepting Change and Accepting Virtual
It’s difficult to change, we are all creatures of habit and at the start of this year many accepted that they might not find work for a couple of months but wouldn’t have to drastically change the nature of their business. But now that we’re looking at possibly another year of pandemic related restrictions Adrian has some advice to share for magicians struggling to adapt to the changing landscape.
The first step is to accept that you can’t keep doing the same thing. Even if it means watching someone else and copying what they’re doing that’s working, as long as you’re changing things up and learning how to adapt you’ll fare a lot better than those who are rigidly sticking to their ways. We need to keep things moving forward.
You also need to ask yourself why you are doing magic. Are you performing for the audience? Or are you performing for you own enjoyment? These different motivations may lead to different approaches. Then you need to be honest with the audience. Everyone is in the same level now. We’re all stuck in our homes and they are not expecting you to be in a place that you are not with forced background and heavy special effects. Accepting this will help us all find news ways to perform.
“If we make them understand the impossibility of the conditions we are working in now and then we make the magic happen, the tricks for me are even stronger. Because you’ve removed the magician physically from the place where the magic is happening.”
Juan Esteban Varela, who performs magic in the dark for blind audiences.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Adrian loves the feeling when he performs and how audiences feel when he performs. He loves how easy it is to make new friends in this field. That you can travel anywhere in the world and visit a magic store and be invited to join a meeting. It’s like a big family.
Adrian would like to see more diverse innovation and more original thought.
Take home point
You should think about why you are doing this in the first place. Why have you chosen to do magic and chosen to perform? If you find this answer you won’t care if you’re doing it over zoom, or in close up, or the stage.