Jonah is joined by virtual magician extraordinaire, Harrison Kramer, to discuss all things virtual magic and why it’s here to stay forever.
Harrison started off 2020 like most other professional magicians, with a ton of bookings and a bright future ahead. And when the pandemic hit and everything got cancelled he originally hated doing virtual shows. But not soon after he came to realize that virtual is not a substitute for in-person events but rather something entirely different. It’s exciting, it’s new, it’s lucrative, and it’s here to stay… forever.
From Juggling to Magic
Harrison Kramer started juggling when he was eight years old and first got to see magic being performed by his dad when he was ten. For the next decade Harrison describes himself as someone who knew about magic but wasn’t a magician but after college he connected with a magician over craigslist who started setting him up with small kids shows. After that his career in magic has continued to grow.
The Great Cancellation
At the start of 2020 Harrison’s calendar was booked with events and, like everyone else, was faced with every gig he had cancelled. His first virtual magic show was for a kid’s birthday party and after that show he remembers telling his wife how much he hated virtual magic and thought it was stupid. But by April and early May he started getting contacted by more and more corporate clients and getting referrals and soon he realized he was earning more money than he was making the year before with in-person events. Realizing the earning potential of virtual magic, and embracing the differences that virtual events represent, Harrison has come around on virtual magic.
It’s Not A Substitute And It’s Here To Stay
Some of the great strengths that Harrison has noticed with virtual magic include the proliferation of close-up magic that would never make sense in a live stage show, as well as the ability to be able to practice and rehearse your performance in the exact same space you will be performing in. Harrison doesn’t believe that virtual magic is a substitute for in-person shows but rather it’s something completely unique to in-person events. The shows he hosts on Zoom, and the people who attend those events, can’t be compared to live in-person shows and even as the pandemic ends and the world reopens and live events start back up again Harrison is convinced that the growth seen in the rise of virtual shows will continue forever. Harrison is so convinced in the power of virtual events, and it’s earning potential, that he doesn’t foresee a future where he will ever return to full time live in-person shows.
Gary Ferrar. He’s a more advanced, smarter version of Harrison and is also doing as much as Harrison is doing virtually.
And Devonte. He’s a talented magician who is good at connecting with people, especially in the virtual space.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
What Harrison loves is that anybody can do it. Anybody can get a website and buy a deck of cards and start a youtube channel. If you want to be a magician you can go out and be a magician. There is no barrier to entry.
The thing that Harrison doesn’t like is the trend of social media magic. There’s a certain portion of magic these days that has nothing to do with entertaining people with magic. Harrison is really only interested in getting in front of people and getting them to enjoy themselves. It has to be about the people you’re interacting with or it’s just not interesting.
Take home point
I told you so. This is just the very beginning of virtual magic entertainment.