This week Jonah connects with Trigg Watson where they break down how he quit his corporate job to perform in magic full time, how he developed his reputation as the “tech magician”, and his advice for you when developing magic for a video camera lens.
The Perfect Vessel
Trigg was four years old when one of his friends performed magic for him for the first time. He doesn’t remember what the trick was, only that a mint disappeared in his hands and that experience stuck with him ever since.
Trigg always enjoyed making stuff and a lot of preparation and learning magic means a lot of arts and crafts and constructing your own equipment and so magic became the perfect vessel for his love of performance and his love of creation.
Starting With The Backup First
Trigg has always lived in two worlds, with his more academic side conflicting with his creativity edgy side. Being both a business and a theatre major in college meant that he was having to be wearing a tie in one moment to putting on leotards in the next. Finally Trigg decided it would be easier for him to do his backup job first. So he left magic behind and went into becoming a business consultant.
Starting with his backup job first meant that when he was finally in a position to quit his corporate life and move into magic full time he wouldn’t have his backup anymore to fall into, it would be a total commitment with no room for error. It also meant that he had spent years developing professional relationships with key people in the corporate world who know very well his charisma and his personality and even before he was a full time magician Trigg would always make sure to work in his theatre training into his presentations and networking so that he would always leave an impression in the minds of the people he met.
Finding His Place
Trigg is keenly aware that the best magicians have a unique angle and a persona that is very definable. And being a comedic nice-guy magician was very hard to define. They all wore the same smiles, and the same sports coat, and were all kind of fun but it was hard to distinguish one from the other. But one strength Trigg has always had is being able to see into the modern world and notice trends and potentials and his years spent in the corporate world meant that when he first saw an iPad he immediately saw the potential it represented for unique and refreshing new takes on magic. Recognizing his talent for working with modern equipment he doubled down to market himself as the “tech magician” which has set himself apart from his contemporaries and allowed him to continue his craft with his love of crafting.
Advice For Magicians
Trigg will share with you some of his advice for performing on TV, or in front of a camera lens, and some of the lessons he’s learned about how different magic is when it’s performed in front of a camera. The camera looks at magic differently and it’s really tough to learn but just throwing yourself in front of a camera and trying to figure it out. Trigg’s biggest advice for aspiring magicians who want to know what it takes to perform on TV is to find someone who is already performing in front of a camera and support them and help them create content.
On top of learning how to perform in front of a camera Trigg also strongly believes every magician could work more to learn how to be more engaging and dramatic actors. Having acting training is the one key element that Trigg can point to for his success. Understanding the importance of a script and creating emotionally engaging moments is what will hit your audiences powerfully. Acting is about listening and responding. It’s not about just showing your emotions but being affected by people that those emotions manifest. Acting makes you more present and more of a listener and that makes you seem more real. And that’s really good because it covers up the fact that we’re also lying.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
I love that I can create magic moments for people that aren’t in the same room as me.
I don’t like how hard it is to create authentic moments of astonishment and control people’s focus.
Take home point
If we can just listen to our audience and be more present then that will take our magic further than any trick we could buy.