While researching new material for my library shows this summer I came across a Magic Cafe post where some guy was posting free video routines for kid show performers. That man is Christopher T. Magician and so far he’s posted seven FREE episodes loaded with amazing content. Once I started watching the videos I knew I had to do an interview with him and share his videos with my readers.
Christopher T. Magician performs as a children’s magician throughout New York City and New Jersey. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he brings his acting and playwriting knowledge into his magic to create wacky, hilarious, cartoon-like performances. Alongside his passion for magic, he is building a career writing musical theatre as well, performing his Off-Broadway one-man show Just Like Magic at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and currently participating in talks with Broadway producers (real ones, too – not imaginary!) for his horror/slasher musical Most Likely To Die. His love of music influences his magic as well. His USP (as the marketing gurus might say) focuses on his original musical theatre style songs integrated into his routines and the overall throughline of his magic show.
Here’s a video a mother took of Christopher performing his song “Looking Like A Magician Now!” with the cutest little birthday guy…
Leif: Thanks for doing this interview with me Christopher. First off, how did you get started in magic?
Christopher: My uncle giving me a magic set for my eighth birthday and setting me off on my magical voyage is a pretty typical-sounding origin, but I think my path quickly veered away from most budding magicians. Perhaps it was due to my mother being a Kindergarten teacher (so I was lucky enough to receive plenty of experience conjuring in classrooms and school festivals) or to the fact that one of my earliest magic book purchases was David Ginn’s Clown Magic (which I bought purely because, “That there be that darn magician that done come to my school!” – I spoke like more of a Georgia bumpkin in my memories), but pretty early on, I knew I wanted to perform magic for children.
Leif: What sorts of venue’s do you perform at now?
Christopher: I’m strictly a living room circuit kind of guy. On occasion I’ll put together a themed holiday or educational show at the request of someone who saw me at a party, but 99.9% of my shows are of the birthday party variety. The exception to the rule is my Off-Broadway one-man musical Just Like Magic, which still revolves around me presenting a birthday party magic show … only the audience of kids is played by an audience of adults … oh, and I end up having a complete mental breakdown and strangling my puppet to death in front of the ‘children.’
Leif: Haha, that sounds awesome. Where are you located?
Christopher: I live in Jersey City, right across the Hudson River from New York City, and I perform all throughout the tri-state area.
Leif: Tell us a little bit about your free YouTube video series for kid show performers.
Christopher: Christopher T. Magician Presents! offers a much-needed and valuable service to the children’s magic community. Sure, I try to fill the episodes with full-fledged kid show routines as well as plenty of “Take It And Run With It” ideas (ideas that may not be fully fleshed out but still provide inspiration for the viewer), but that’s not the valuable service I’m speaking of. As I point out in the first episode, the real service is simply providing something to watch. So many times I’ve been lying in bed, unable to sleep, wishing that I could find something on YouTube to watch and be inspired by. The amount of card trick tutorials and product reviews is staggering. It’s about time children’s entertainers got a little attention.
Leif: What was your motivation to create the video series?
Christopher: The impetus was last year’s Kidabra conference, which I desperately wanted to go to, but it happened to be scheduled at the same time as my family’s planned vacation. Unfortunately, I had to choose family (don’t tell my mother I said, “Unfortunately…”). I guess I decided to channel my frustration into something productive and useful rather than kettle corn and QVC. My two birthday party magic shows are set; very rarely do I make changes to them. So these videos have granted me a much needed creative outlet over the past year.
Leif: How many episodes do you plan on creating?
Christopher: It’s funny you should ask that. At the outset of the series, the thought never crossed my mind. As I film and edit each video, I realize once again that I can’t do this forever. I don’t have any plans to stop any time soon, but I imagine the series might morph a bit as it continues. I’m imagining quick 5-minute videos in which I present one routine, a bit of business, or a new idea that pops into my head. Of course I LOVE Halloween and Christmas, so I might return each year to go all out for those. But only time shall tell. For now I just revel in the thought that these videos will be on YouTube for new generations of kid show magicians to enjoy.
Leif: Are you working on any other projects right now?
Christopher: Over the past year I’ve also been hard at work writing a book on the art of children’s magic. I haven’t told anyone what it is about, so I guess this is the official unveiling. The book is tentatively titled Beyond Look Don’t See, and it presents 30 techniques that magicians can easily insert into their effects to create kids-rolling-on-the-floor-with-laughter routines. Here’s the kicker … Look Don’t See (or any of it’s various pseudonyms) is NOT one of the techniques! Magician In Trouble isn’t either! My goal is to go beyond – hence, the title—the same old techniques that books on the subject have taught repeatedly for decades. Don’t get me wrong, classic techniques like Look Don’t See and Magician In Trouble are critical and will be inherent in most of the techniques I discuss, but this book is intended for magicians who already know the basics. Check out episode three of my series (“Two Techniques and a Rope Routine”) to get an example of two of the thirty techniques.
Sprinkled among the techniques and fully scripted routines will be general discussions in which I explain how my years of studying playwriting, screenwriting, musical theatre writing, etc. have drastically improved my ability to build successful routines and lift shows out of the usual string-of-tricks category.
To raise money for upcoming publishing costs for the book, I created a special donation-only episode of Christopher T. Magician Presents! If any of your viewers have enjoyed the series, I can promise that this special video will completely blow them away. The video is available to anyone who donates $10 or more to the book project, and I absolutely promise that the material on the video is worth far more than that $10.
To donate viewers can simply sign into Paypal and send $10 to ChristopherTMagicianPresents@gmail.com (In the payment notes section include that you found out about the project through Leif David). Christopher will promptly respond with an email providing links and passwords to the videos.
“Christopher, I just sent you more money. The original 15 dollars I donated is not even close to the true value of the treasure chest of magical gold I got in return so far. And, I haven’t even watched part 2 or the bonus material yet. The entertainment alone is worth more than the asking donation price. And, the wealth of info in part 1 is priceless! I can’t believe I have never heard of you, nor seen any of your YouTube video’s before until now. You are one seriously funny guy, and your idea’s for adapting tricks is pure genius. I am going to be using several of your idea’s, and can’t wait to watch part 2 and the bonus material.” Danny Kazam, [TheMagicCafe discussion]
One other product I’ve been working on is a collection of video magic tricks that can be saved into a magician’s smart phone. Based on my 11-year-old nephew, pulling out a smart phone automatically makes an otherwise out-of-touch adult hip (the kids are still saying ‘hip’ these days, right?). The videos will enhance many effects magicians are already performing – Cut & Restored Rope, Sponge Balls, Coloring Book Routines, Coin Magic, and even a basic Double Lift like I perform in the following demo I put together for your readers…
As a special bonus to your readers, I’m adding the necessary video for the X-ray App trick to anyone who wants to donate $10 or more to my fundraising efforts. Not only will they receive the special episode full of ideas and methods, but I’ll also send the X-ray App video as well as an instructional video explaining exactly how to perform my dumbed-down version of the trick. Experienced card magicians can most likely take the provided video and build a showstopper.
Leif: Do you have any other products for magicians?
Christopher: I don’t currently, but I have a few ideas swirling. Not only am I editing and getting the publishing ball rolling on my book, I have also pinned down a birthday mom who has agreed to allow me to get a professional video of my show at her child’s party. I’m really excited about making it available to the magic community. I am also toying with the idea of assembling and/or building the props required to market routines featured in both the book and video.
Leif: If people want to learn more about you, where can they go?
Christopher: They can learn more about me at www.ChristopherTMagician.com. They can also visit my youtube page to see all the episodes of my series. Searching YouTube for “Operation Sutton” will result in a series of promotional videos I made for Just Like Magic in which I attempted to woo Broadway star Sutton Foster into being my escort to the opening night party (numbers 5 and 9 are my favorites). And any readers who need a place to stay while visiting NYC can crash in my spare bedroom … but only by donating $10 or more to my book fundraiser!