Jonah is joined by legendary magician and comedian Mac King to talk about his life growing up with magic, blending stand up comedy with magic performance, and moving to Vegas to perform at Harrah’s Hotel.
Mac King was first introduced to magic by his grandfathers who each had a love for magic tricks. The first time he ever saw magic performed was from one of his grandfathers and the other grandfather owned a collection of magic books that Mac was allowed to pour over them to learn their secrets.
Once he was 14 he was allowed to join a local magic club and he remembers clearly the first night he attended a club that a crowd had gathered around another young magician to see him perform before the meeting began. That young magician was Lance Burton and he and Mac remained friends ever since.
A Comic’s Approach To Magic
Mac King’s act is a blend of stand up comedy and magic, a combination he notices is becoming more rare as time goes on. He got his work touring comedy clubs across the country and got to spend a lot of time in close proximity to other stand-up comedians and saw how they prepared for their shows. Early on he decided he needed to demonstrate to them that he was approaching magic the way a comic approaches comedy. He created his own tricks, and when he couldn’t do that he made sure to create his own presentations. Pretty soon he was tearing up the club scene and winning audiences over.
Genuine Audience Interaction
Seeing his live shows shut down for a year has been really difficult for Mac, he loves interacting genuinely with the audience. Dealing with a person on stage, not just as a prop but as a human being and becoming their friend as the show progresses. Adapting to virtual has been especially difficult for him because of the way he interacts with audiences at his live shows, so rather than pivot to virtual magic performances he’s found a new love in the form of producing a talk show on YouTube called Don’t Everybody Leave. Born out of a mix of missing live shows and not allowed to have friends over to play croquet and eat pie late at night in his backyard, he hopes this show scratches that performers itch until we’re all allowed to attend events in person again.
Jacob Jacks. Nobody has heard of him. He’s a street performer from Vegas. He’s a really good magician, he’s really funny, and he can talk about magic in a pretty smart way.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Mac King likes that there’s been a call around the world for more diversity in every profession and every walk of life and magic might be a little behind that but it’s catching up.
What disappoints Mac is the lack of other stand-up comic magicians, he wishes there were more 17 or 18 year olds expressing an interest in doing what Mac does.
Take home point
Do more shows and listen.
And be sure to subscribe to his new talk show on YouTube, Don’t Everybody Leave with new episodes every week!