This week Jonah connects with Mark Desouza. Mark might be one of the most well connected magicians around with a deep curiosity of the art of magic and an even deeper collection of magic props.
Mark Desouza has a reputation for knowing everyone and having a foot in both classic and modern worlds of magic. He opens up with Jonah about how he first connected with the community at his magic shop and shares his recollections on how he made his first contacts and found himself invited into the inner circles of top underground magicians.
The real secret he believes is that he had desire, not just curiosity. He didn’t just show up and ask these experts to show him a trick. He did the research, and worked on his craft, and by the time he approached a magician for the first time he already had informed questions to ask them. And everytime he’s asked people in that way, they’ve always responded positively.
Mark never considered himself a collector, yet if you ask around his collection is spoken about for miles. Mark never bought things just for the collection but found himself buying things that truly interested him. That might be why he owns 50 sets of chinese sticks.
Mark shares with Jonah some of his favorite items in his collection, his reasons for buying new props, and which items from his collection he uses in his acts.
If you have any questions about magic competitions you should make sure you stick around to the later half of Mark’s chat with Jonah as he opens up to the realities of modern magic competitions. The competition has never been more fierce but the rewards aren’t as high as they used to be. Even winning the FISM Grand Prix doesn’t guarantee you’ll have work. There just simply aren’t enough venues that will book an act like that.
So why compete? Mark proposes that there are some very good reasons to compete and the best reason is for the critique you’ll receive from the judges.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Likes magicians doing long form. There are magicians doing one-man shows in a whole lot of different venues now.
Does not like the internet not properly respecting magic and its creators. One of the biggest problems is you’re going to get creators not willing to share because they’re just going to get ripped off.
Take home point
Research & diligence.
You need to begin to research your material. Where did it come from? Who has done it before? And what will make it good for you?
If you start on something, carry through with it. Don’t get sidetracked.
You can still find some of Mark’s videos from the early 80’s for sale on Meir Yedid’s mymagic.com.
Mark also has a four hour lecture on stand-up magic available at Penguin Magic.
And while Mark’s books are out of print they will soon be made available as e-books and if you’d like to receive a special deal from Mark then you should e-mail him at email@example.com.