Releasing Magic with Luke Dancy
March 12th, 2020
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Jonah joins Luke Dancy this week to discuss exposure online, consulting for Criss Angel, and the magic marketplace. Alongside being a magic consultant, Luke works with Murphy’s Magic Supplies and hosts a weekly livestream where he talks with magic creators about their recent product releases.
At the age of eight, Luke saw David Copperfield performing on TV and, since then, he’s been a magician. While his journey into magic began with him dabbling with tricks, he began to take it seriously after attending a S.A.M. convention in Milwaukee when he was sixteen. Seeing so many magicians and masters of the craft in one room was an eye opening experience to him. He began to befriend people in the community, and he quickly developed a community around him.
He started out as a performer, polishing his magic at a high end sushi restaurant two nights a week. As he continued to attend conventions throughout his early twenties, he began to build a name for himself and, through the help of his friend Tim Trono, Criss Angel eventually reached out to him, inviting him to join his team. After working with Criss for seven years, he would eventually move on to working with Murphy’s Magic.
Consulting for Television
Being a television consultant is more than just creating concepts for tricks. While you are taking old plots and making them fresh for a performer, you also need to recognize that you’ll need to wear various hats behind the scenes. There is a timeline with television productions, so if something goes wrong, you need to be ready to think on your feet and be ready to move on to the next effect if necessary. It’s a fun but extremely stressful job.
Luke’s strength with consulting was his ability to take effects and place them into a real world context. When he was plotting out new tricks for Criss to do, he would walk through the casino and figure out what effects Criss could perform based on the spots he passed.
The Magic Marketplace
The marketplace is flooded but you shouldn’t let that discourage you, Luke explains. If you have a trick you want to see become a reality and you’ve put months or years into perfecting it, you shouldn’t give up on bringing it to the marketplace. That being said, you shouldn’t expect to become rich from releasing material; to actually make money doing that, you would need to constantly be creating and releasing and it’s impossible to continuously release quality effects.
But what makes a good effect? Based on Luke’s observations, he says that tricks that have a toy aspect, are built well, and are visual are often the effects that sell well in the marketplace. The tricks also need to be something you would perform. People can tell when a trick is released for the sake of making money.
If you’re sharing magic online when it’s not your material, Luke does not agree with it. He sees these people as wanting to gain views and monetize ideas of other people. Most of the people online sharing the scerts haven’t done anything for the community and are only damaging it by teaching other people’s material incorrectly. While he hopes that this is only a fad and will soon die out, Luke points out that if the people who stumble across these videos and gain a real interest in magic dig deeper, they’ll find the actual good material.
What do you like about modern magic? What don’t you like?
While Luke loves that the internet has given us the ability to connect with magicians and discover a deeper wealth of magic making it easier to cite sources, he dislikes how people abuse social media to get views and skip the hard work necessary to build a real name in the industry.
Take Home Point
Luke wants people to know that he loves magic, and he is doing everything he can to inspire and guide the next generation into the art form.
Luke’s Facebook Group: All Things Magic
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