The first rule of Magic Club is – you don’t talk about Magic Club. But the second rule is equally grim. A magician never reveals his tricks.
But throwing caution to the winds, magician Adam Trent will help out a few friends on Thanksgiving night in his special The Magic Maker (airing 8-9 PM ET/PT Thursday on ABC). He’ll give them a few tricks that will help them in some of the biggest moments of their lives. In two such examples, a US Soldier returning from overseas will ‘magically’ appear for his family homecoming, while a nervous young man uses magic to propose to his girlfriend.
Trent is no mere children’s birthday party performer. He is the only Illusionist in history to have starred on Broadway three separate times, had his own Netflix series (The Road Trick) and does more than 200 live theater performances each year.
He’s also the man behind the Broadway show The Illusionists, which became the best-selling magic show in Broadway history, selling $2.1 million in just one week, followed by a US and world tour.
Trent answered a few questions about tonight’s show and his art.
DEADLINE: Which came first – the idea of the trick or the contestants, which you then fit the trick to match?
ADAM TRENT: The contestants. We found the most amazing and deserving people possible, and then I created magic tricks and effects that custom fit their story and their wishes. It was tricky, because sometimes it was making something as small as a wedding ring appear, sometimes it was making a Soldier appear in front of his family on a park bench in the middle of a grass field…It was certainly a challenge from a magician’s perspective.
DEADLINE: How easy was it for the amateurs to pick up on things?
AT: This is really one of the first magic shows in history where a magician put magic into the hands of a regular person and let them be the star. I had to make sure I designed the tricks so that they were easy enough that they could pull off without being so nervous that they’d blow the whole heist.
DEADLINE: Did you have any tricks that you decided were too complicated?
AT: Certainly. Regular people ended up performing some really spectacular feats – I taught a regular guy how to walk on water to propose to his girlfriend. I taught a firefighter how to levitate. It really was crazy. The challenge was that so many things I wanted to have them do would require years of practice, and I had sometimes only a few minutes to teach a regular person to do them…and do them for the biggest moment of their life! So It was so important I designed the magic in a way that was perfect.
DEADLINE: Does using these tricks in the show mean you can’t use them ever again?
AT: These are once in a lifetime moments that will never be created again. There is so much more magic to come, and as a magician, everything should feel fresh and exciting.
DEADLINE: What are the traits of a good magician?
AT: The ability to entertain is the absolute most important. Audiences today are jaded, so it is a real balance of not insulting the audience’s intelligence, while also allowing them to let loose and be shocked and amazed for a moment
DEADLINE: Do you force trick or treaters to do a trick for you?
AT: I actually forgot to buy candy, so I turned my lights off and hid from the doorbell… I’m not ready to be an adult yet…