Dan White on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Last week Dan White made his second appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week following on from the success of his first appearance in March around the same time The Magician @ The Nomad opened.

This time around however, I got to be involved and with others, worked on the routine Dan performed for Jimmy. We knew the reveal would get a strong reaction from Jimmy, but we weren't prepared for Questlove's. I think he and The Roots were still trying to comprehend what they witnessed in their dressing room earlier on, and it all got a bit much for him.

Transatlantic Magic

 

As a relatively recent transplant to the States from the UK, where magic has been steadily making a comeback in recent years, I was initially surprised at how few Americans had seen professional magic live, and the common antiquated views I have encountered about magic.  Most of the magicians I respect and take inspiration from are American, yet public perception has gone downhill since David Blaine's Street Magic created a buzz almost 20 years ago.  I did a little investigating: A quick "magicians NYC" Google search revealed a plethora of dated stereotypes that led the public to find magic far from cool.

 

Against this backdrop, I am thrilled that magic is slowly beginning to recapture the US public's attention through television and movies.  Competition shows like Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Wizard Wars, and America's Got Talent showcase many world class magicians.  Adrian Brody brought Houdini to life in a mini-series for the History Channel, and even Hollywood has joined in over the last few years with The Prestige, The Illusionist, Now You See Me, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

foolus

But big/small screen aside, nothing comes close to seeing magic live, and I hope we also see a resurgence of close up magic as a popular form of entertainment in the US. There are no pause or rewind buttons, post-editing, and an accomplished magician can control your whole experience of wonder and even influence your memory of what happened long after the performance.

Secret Weapons @ Bowery Ballroom

Secret Weapons @ Bowery Ballroom

Had a great night playing at Bowery Ballroom for the first time on Monday with Brooklyn band Secret Weapons. They're incredible musicians with a distinct synth-heavy vibe, epic vocals and fiery guitar. Check them out! Looking forward to working on some more stuff with them.

Mojitos and Magic

Mojitos and Magic

Magic and Mojitos
Magic and Mojitos

Yesterday I performed for the lovely people over at Waggener Edstrom, an innovative PR firm, in their West Village offices. The mojitos were flowing and there was a real warmth from everyone present; a really fun bunch.

After the magic, we chatted about the creative process of conceiving a magic effect and how the same thinking can be applied to advertising a product or brand.

When creating magic effects, I love the challenge of coming up with something that I know will completely floor an audience because of its sheer impossibility, and then actually making it happen. For me this is much more rewarding than learning a particular technique or "move" and figuring out how to build an effect around it. The interesting thing about working this way is that despite something seeming unachievable, there can often be an incredibly simple solution. It may not be necessary to use a complex self-gratifying method to achieve the effect when an elementary alternative will do the same. If the end result looks and feels EXACTLY the same to an audience, shouldn't you choose the method that allows you to focus on presentation?

Good magic, like a good mojito, should be cleanly and simply presented with the focus being on the lasting impression it leaves on the clientele.

Magic at The Immigrant NYC premiere afterparty

Last night I performed magic at the afterparty for the NYC premiere of The Immigrant in the recently opened Beautique restaurant sponsored by Dior, Vanity Fair, Moet & Chandon and the Cinema Society. The star-studded guest list included the film's lead actors Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard, director James Gray, Harvey Weinstein and Uma Thurman. Regrettably, Jeremy Renner, who plays an immigrant magician, was out of town. Or maybe he was just afraid to face me.

Quote of the night:

"Can I hire you to come to my house and make my cats multiply?"
Performing for Marion Cotillard

Performing for Marion Cotillard