„I love magic. I eat, sleep, breathe magic. I think I'm the closest thing to a magic addict. It's all I've ever done and wanted to do."
Today our guest is Shawn Farquhar. Shawn is a canadian magician. He won two times at „Penn & Teller: Fool Us“ and is an award winner of the world championship of magic „FISM“. In this episode we will look behind the scenes of his magic.
From the conversation with Shawn
What Shawn loves about magic
I think I love what magic does for others, which is a great feeling for me. I like to give. I think that when I do magic, the trick itself isn’t really that important. What’s important for me is the reaction that I get from the audience. The tricks I do are just a vehicle to create a moment of wonder. And I love when I see that moment of wonder when people just go: „Wow, how is that?“ It takes them out of their business thoughts and puts them in that childhood thoughts. It’s a really cool thing.
Small VS big Finish
There are moments at the end of the show where I just do something that’s incredibly skill based. I’ve always ended soft, never ended strong, never had a big finish. I don’t like big finishes. I even have a line. I say it’s an unwritten rule in show business to end big. And so tonight I’m going to break that rule and then I do something really soft and skillful so that when they leave, they leave with the impression of: „Oh wow, he was playing with us all night. Look what he can do.“
Listen to the episode
More thoughts from Shawn
Shawns way to start a show
I usually come out and talk for a minute or two and establish a connection with the audience because that’s what theater is about. It’s different, our type of theater. Most, you know, they keep a fourth wall. The first thing I want to do is break that wall between me and the audience. I want them to know I’m human and that what they’re going to see is personal experience that there won’t be another one like it ever again, that the next one will not be the same. So I I usually start off talking to the audience and then do something that is skillful, but not the best. I don’t want it to be the best thing in the show. I want to be something they’ll remember.
Magic around the world
The magic in other countries is different. Some countries, they’re very based on the techniques. Some countries, they’re very much based on the style or presentation. Some are just on story. Many are just about fooling. And I’m not really a big fan of any of those being the primary. I want it to be a whole package, not just a single thing. So as I travel or see ones that are fixated on: „Well, it’s not very technical.“ I’m like: „Right? But did you see the response from the audience and other ones? Were they going to say: Well, that one, you know, was really, really hard.“ Yeah, there’s a reason I do that one technically difficult and having a mix, a lot of different countries don’t understand that.
Shawns Top 3
Advice for success:
Talent. And not the talent you think. Tenacity, attitude, likeability, entertaining, naturalness and tenacity talent.
One of my favorite books to read in the entire world is „How to Win Friends and Influence People*”. It has nothing to do with magic. But if you want a magic book, I would get Ken Weber’s book „Maximum Entertainment”. And in fact, it’s just been released as a new edition and it’s filled with wonderful stuff.
I have a responsibility as a magician. It’s to create magic and wonder in the world. Remember, the magic isn’t about you. It’s about making the other person affected by your magic. And if you can do that, you’re really a magician in my eyes.