Welcome to The Discourse in Magic Podcast
We’ve been at this now for over four years with over two hundred episodes and interviews with the best magicians on the planet.
That’s a lot!
Don’t forget to subscribe to Discourse in Magic wherever you get your podcasts so you can start hearing the newest episodes as soon as they come out. We put out new episodes every Thursday; a mix of long-form interviews with magic heroes, and short bite size bits of advice direct from the me!
So if you’re new to the podcast and just diving in, we thought you should start with our best episodes — as determined by YOU – The Discourse in Magic listeners!
Here are the top ten episodes for you to dive into straight away:
1. Be Human with Derren Brown
Master of psychology and human suggestion, star of television and stage, and now a bestselling author. If you’re from North America, you might have been a little late to the game knowing who Derren Brown is, but in the last fifteen years, he’s transformed the way people perform mentalism, the same way David Blaine changed up the way so many people do close-up & street magic. We talk about how he made the transition from restaurant table-hopping to TV specials, to theatre and about how he interacts with and relates to people on stage as part of his show.
2. Magic is Hard with Benjamin Earl
Great sleight of hand is all about detail. Ben’s magic is always very straightforward — I’m just going to take this deck you shuffled and cut out four aces, this coin is going to jump from this hand to this hand — and his methods are often direct. But on top of that he layers so many details and psychological subtleties so by the time he’s done, even if you know the method, you’ll swear he must have been doing something else. We talk about his approach to sleight- of-hand and performing and the latest chapter in his journey — the founding of Studio52 to start sharing his thinking directly with the magic community in all its fascinating details.
3. LOVE with Juan Tamariz
You know him, you know his hair, his hat, his violin, and that watching him perform makes you love magic even more. His books, translated into English, are all must-reads for any serious magicians. In Spain, he has performed on TV for so many years, he gets stopped in the street.
It took two hundred episodes, but I got to travel to Spain and sit down with the Maestro himself. We talk about his love and passion for magic and how to infuse it into everything you say on stage and every trick you do. Chantata-Chaaaan!
4. Becoming an Entertainer with David Williamson
I don’t think anyone alive knows more about making magic fun than David Williamson. He’s crazy, he’s unpredictable, he makes you laugh so much it hurts, but he also does some killer sleight of hand. We talk about his journey from close-up magician to corporate entertainer to appearing on stage on cruise ships and shows like Circus 1902. If you want your magic to be more fun there is a ton of great advice for you in this episode!
5. The Truth About Mentalism with Banachek
Undeniably one of the world’s master mentalists. If you do mentalism, you’re almost certainly doing a trick either created by Banacheck, or a trick based on a trick created by Banachek. But he also has a weird and crazy life story, including being a test subject in a research lab studying ESP and psychic phenomena. He was there under the direction of the great Canadian escape artist and skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi and it’s a story you absolutely will not believe.
6. Understanding Magic with Garrett Thomas
Garrett Thomas is the ultimate wizard. You know how creative his magic and how crazy his sleight of hand is, but you probably don’t know how seriously he thinks about the philosophy of magic and the role of the magician in society. This episode blew my mind open when we recorded it and I know it will melt your brain too.
7. Fool Us and Beyond with Teller
Soooooooo…. people were kind of annoyed with me. A few years ago we put out an episode on April Fools’ Day that had an interview with the one and only Teller. Except everyone knows Teller doesn’t talk… So it was just our theme song and ninety minutes of silence. Now this is no April Fools’ joke, you are not being punk’d. I’ve officially released an episode with TELLER.
Not only does Teller talk, he talks to you! I know it’s an audio podcast, but I fall asleep at night smiling to myself imagining he was in the three-piece suit!
Penn & Teller are at the centre of the magic universe right now. If there’s a magician on Pluto, even she wants to be on Fool Us! But lots of people are fooled by Fool Us. They miss the point that it’s about putting on great magic and educating the public about what good magic is, so much more than whether or not you can fool Penn & Teller… mostly Teller 🙂
But Penn & Teller are famous for a reason. They went from festival performing to theatres to Broadway to TV specials to multiple TV series to being the longest running headliners in the history of Las Vegas, and they did it by taking magic seriously and doing tricks that are wildly original about stuff. They also pissed off a lot of magicians who thought they were giving away secrets.
8. Making Good Magic Great with Tony Chang
Tony is an absolute beast with a deck of cards. But you’ve probably never seen him, unless you’re hanging around late at night at a magic convention somewhere.
Tony’s is the only episode on our top ten with someone who is not a professional magician. He is a hardcore amateur which gives him a very different perspective from someone who is worried about blocking on stage, getting a standing ovation or shooting a new promo video so he can book that next gig.
For the most part, that means he gets to just obsess over some ridiculous sleight hand that us mere mortals can only sit and drool over. But (surprise!) it also means thinking about what it means to be an artist doing magic. Get ready for some deep thoughts from an underground sensation.
9. How to Perform Card Magic with Jason Ladanye
James Bond with a deck of cards. Not many magicians know how to sum up their entire character in one sentence like that. As a student of Darwin Ortiz, Jason knows how to analyze and structure magic. That includes the tricks, but also an entire show where you want to connect with an audience and get your character across.
If you want practical tips for thinking about how to put together your show, whether that’s gambling themed, card based or something totally different, this is the episode for you.
10. YouTube, Exposure and Making Magic with Jay Sankey
Has anyone created more original magic than Jay Sankey? We don’t think so!
He’s also in Toronto, the birthplace of Discourse in Magic. Now he’s become one of the foremost magic teachers online with a YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and a private library of tutorials called “Inside Deception”.
In this episode we talk about Jay’s boundless creativity and desire to take everything he sees and touches and figure out how to turn it into magic!
Right now I’m spending 100% of my time committing to virtual, and I have some resources for you.
Are you a virtual magician or thinking about going virtual?
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