An Interview – Kayla Dresher, Magician

Here's the promised interview with Kayla Drescher. I found her answers interesting and inspiring for all magicians, but of particular interest to female magicians. The world needs more of these, and I'm happy that Anastasia had the opportunity to learn from an up & coming star ..

What's something you've found different as a female magician and how did you handle it?

The biggest difference for me is
how I need to act and look on stage.  I can't tell the same jokes or sometimes use the same patter as the man or men who created the effect and wrote the directions.  I can't walk the same, use the same props, or even use the same volunteers.  I shouldn’t use a briefcase or bag.  Most audiences see a female performer calling up a female volunteer to be a type of rivalry, where as if I call up a male volunteer, there is more of a friendly and almost flirtatious interaction, which is more interesting and fun to watch to the audience.  It’s the little details like that I’ve learned along the way that aren’t published in any books for us ladies.

Do you find that different groups respond differently to magic? (Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly as well as male and female)

Most definitely!  Children love visual entertainment, various colors, and physical comedy.  Teenagers don’t think magic is very cool, but are still intrigued and will watch.  Adults think magic is for kids, but LOVE to watch it.  The elderly just love to laugh and be entertained, and therefore love magic.  You can do different types of magic for teenagers and older because they have a better grasp on how things in the world work well.  All of these groups have one big thing in common: laughter.  They love to laugh and be entertained.

How and how often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for any new routines?

I’ve never liked to practice.  But if we’re going to be any good, we have to practice every day.  The best way to practice alone is with a camera at 3 different angles-left, right, and center.  This way, you know what your angles look like.  But the best way to practice overall is in front of an audience.  Use your parents, sibling, friends, open mics, and anyone that will watch.  That’s the best way to see how your routine will work.

David Copperfield has told a story of how he was able to show his pockets empty (when they were not) while being mugged. Have your magic  skills ever proven useful in the real world? How?

 Most definitely!  I used to work as a bartender and would use magic both for entertainment and to get more tips.  One time, a gentleman, who was not very nice, said that if I made his trip memorable, he would give me a big tip.  So I should him magic and got a 50% tip!

Suppose you have just a minute or two to show President Obama a quick magic miracle. What effect would you choose and why?

I would do something original and fun that would make him laugh and make his magical experience memorable.  AKA probably something with a rubber band.

Are there any magical items that you carry almost all the time?  

Rubber bands, hence the answer to the Obama question.  I rarely am without 4-10 rubber bands on my wrist.  I also try to pay attention to my surroundings just in case someone asks me to show them a trick.  That way, I can grab any object around and do something!

An Interview: Magicians Magician Daryl

The Late Great Daryl - A Mgic Interview

Here's an interview Anastasia did with the "Magician's Magician, " Daryl!

Daryl - The Magician's Magician

Daryl, My father has many of your videos and it feels like I grew up watching them. I especially remember in one of the series that each video started with an introduction with you spreading the cards and saying, “ I can explain it in one word, and that word is control…” If you really had to summarize the most important principle/method in magic in one word, what might it be, and why?

Great question and my answer is “Misdirection”. Why, because in magic, it’s ALL misdirection. It’s not really about what you do it’s what you make the audience THINK you do. It’s true that at times you may be misdirecting your audience’s eyes, but more often you’re misdirection their MINDS.

Most magicians seem to begin to be interested in magic at an early age. Can you describe your first experience with magic and how it managed to grab a hold of you?

At the age of seven, a friend of the family, who was an amateur magician, came to visit and performed a quick Svengali Deck routine for me. I was SO AMAZED, that he decided to give me the special deck as a gift. I studied the construction of the pack and I was fascinated by how it worked. I started to purchase other tricks because I was amazed at the cleverness of their methods. Eventually, I started performing the various tricks for family members and friends at school. The rest is history!

In magic, unlike most other art forms, a single error can seem to ruin an entire performance. Do you allow any margin for error in your performance (as mentalists sometimes do)? How do you handle or avoid mistakes?

Another great question! I do not “allow” any margin for error, but if an error occurs, I simply deal with it and move on. I’m and entertainer and magic is my medium. It’s the “instrument” I use to express myself. I do what I can IN ADVANCE to prevent mistakes, but if all else fails, and I can’t make it right, I could imagine myself laughing it off by saying something like, “If this were easy, anyone could do it!”

That being said, so far, this has never happened. By the way, if you do card magic, an EXCELLENT book to study is “Outs” Precautions and Challenges by Charles H. Hopkins.

Do you find that different groups respond differently to magic? (Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly as well as male and female)

Yes, but as minute as the specifics can be, generally, reactions are probably more similar than different.

How and how often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for your new routines?

I don’t practice often these days because I have been PERFORMING the same routines for many years and I’d say I pretty much have them down. If I’m learning something new, then I practice until I can do it well. There is not specific amount of time that is required that is the same for everyone. Just keep practicing until you can perform it properly.

My friends and family serve as my test audience as well as members of various magic clubs.

Often beginning magicians have few outlets to perform and tend to perform nearly exclusively for family & friends. What are the reactions of your friends and family who have been exposed to your magic for years, and do you perform for them regularly?

I’m pleased to say that I have NEVER overexposed my magic to friends and family. This is one of the many good reasons to attend local magic club meetings. NOTHING takes the place for gaining experience than performing for live audiences. If you actively LOOK for audiences, you will find them. Do NOT concern yourself with getting paid in the beginning. Perform for FREE for church groups, retirement communities, even street magic. The most important thing is to get as much PERFORMING experience as you possibly can.

Copperfield tells a story about showing his pockets empty once when being mugged. Have your magic skills ever proven useful in the real world?

The David Copperfield story is a great one, but I’ve never had such an experience. On the other hand, I’ve seen things at the card table that other players probably never noticed. Because of my magical background, understanding the value of what I’ve seen has, at times, been very advantageous!

What's the first thing people ask you (or ask you to do) once they find out about your profession?

Probably the same as most other magicians, “Show me something.”

What is the best piece of advice about magic you've received, and what was the source of that advice?

Dai Vernon has always said, “Be natural and be yourself.” The professor’s advice has served me well!

Suppose you have just a minute or two to show President Obama a quick magic miracle. What effect would you choose and why?

I’d probably do something totally impromptu like the Tenkai Pennies trick. It may not be the greatest miracle there is, but it is impromptu and it can be performed at any time and place.

What magical items do you carry with you everywhere?

At the risk of disappointing you, there are no magical items that I always carry with me. If a situation comes up, I can always do something that is truly impromptu.

Do you have any new releases coming out?

Yes… always! There will be more Essentials in Magic Master Courses to name a few. To be the FIRST to learn of my new releases, simply visit my web site and join our private email list.

Box Jumpers and Magicians

So for the first time tonight I heard the term "box jumper"

This was used by a magician in a derogatory manner. I assume it implies something ...

Nonetheless, I have recently had a positive experience with who I presume would be considered a "box jumper" ... with Harry Blackstone (Sr). In his day, his stature as a magician was such that the (Senior) was never actually required.

Here's a link to her page ... Perhaps the last living member of Blackstone's show:

The Elusive Moth - One of Harry Blackstone's
The Elusive Moth - One of Harry Blackstone's "Box Jumpers"