Jonah is joined by Moritz Mueller where they discuss how to reach out to some of the biggest names in the magic world, different theories of magic and how it can practically apply your work, and how Moritz prepares and learns his own tricks.
Moritz is an incredibly talented magician and, at twenty years old, he’s very young for someone with his expertise and skill. So what is he doing that other magicians aren’t? How has he accomplished in less than ten years of sleight of hand that other magicians haven’t been able to do in twenty or thirty? In this interview Jonah and Moritz talk about coin magic and card magic, how to bump elbows with the best of the best, and what it was like to appear on Ellen!
The Magic At Home Advantage
Moritz had one major advantage over many other magicians in that his father was already a hobby magician. As Moritz was developing his own interest in magic his father would point out when a trick he was looking to purchase was worth his time or not. Having a magician in the family to help guide his early years meant bypassing a lot of the experimenting that other magicians have to face. By the time he was ready to start performing on his own he already had years of mentorship.
What grabbed Moritz’s attention to magic was the small details. How a very small change in detail can have a major impact on a trick’s effectiveness. Those minute details captured Moritz’s ambitions; he would spend years just practicing and learning all the nuances he could and refining those small details.
Eventually he drew the attention of others who invited him to attend conventions where he would meet some of the biggest names in the magic community and begin learning and befriending them. If you ask him how he’s ended up with so many big names as personal contacts he’ll happily point out that many of the people he’s met in the magic community are very open to being approached and contacted. As long as you approach them with respect and express your feelings and ask a question you might find that a lot of people are more willing to respond in kind than you might think.
The Man Who Has Practiced One Move 10,000 Times
Rather than casting a wide net Moritz focused a very narrow beam early on. It can be very overwhelming thinking that you need to learn all of these many moves to be a successful magician and you can either end up burning out or never developing enough skill in any one move to really be successful. So, being inspired by a famous quote from Bruce Lee, Moritz focused on one thing at a time obsessing over the tiny changes he could do to a single move and it was in coin magic that he discovered was a great playground for him to practice in.
Moritz has a lot to say about coin magic. It’s difficulty stems from how simple it is at its core. There are only so many effects possible and the methods are oftentimes equally simple. But there is a very steep learning curve and so much that needs to be done before it even begins to be deceptive and that is what Moritz finds so interesting. He attributes much of career success in magic to the time he invested in coin magic early on because there is so much work that needs to be done before you can even call it magic.
Walking Your Own Path
Moritz knows that there’s no real “right” way to live your magic life and thinks that what it comes down to is reflection. How often do you stop along your path and actually think if this is the right thing? How often do you question why you are working on a certain routine or a certain move? What Moritz has always tried to do is realize wrong turns as soon as possible by stopping and questioning himself.
Moritz’s advice to you is if you find yourself practicing a lot of things at once and you find yourself so scatterbrained that you can’t keep track of what you’re doing then that might be a sign to keep it simple and focus on one thing at a time. And also read more magic books instead of youtube videos. The theories found in those books will help you understand what you’re seeing in those videos so much more that your entire perspective on magic will shift.
There’s not that many magic theory books out there and Jonah has a whole bookshelf of recommendations that you’ve likely heard mentioned dozens of times in the past on this podcast but Moritz can’t recommend “Expert Card Technique” enough. The theory part is so good that Moritz believes that it’s put so concisely that it’s a very good all rounder of magic theory.
Jan Logemann – “He is just an amazing close up performer… you can’t really put him in a box, he just does great magic”
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Moritz likes that he’s seeing people use gimmicks in ways he hasn’t seen before, especially on Instagram. To an extent where the gimmick is being used in a way that can only work on Instagram.
What Moritz doesn’t like is the overconfidence of new magicians who think that they don’t need to hear what you have to share.
Take home point
What is the right amount of the characteristic that you have? What is the right amount of work? It’s really important to question yourself like that.
And capture your own excitement point. That is the most important resource that you have for your magic, your own excitement. That thing that makes you giggle, that thing that gets your heart going, that thing that really inspires you, keep pursuing that and you will get closer and closer to what it is that you want.