Wikinews interviews President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
October is National Magic Month in the United States. Wikinews spoke with William Evans, president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, about the current state of magic and what its future looks like in the world of entertainment.
((Wikinews)) For how long have you been involved in performing/studying magic?
- William Evans: Over 50 years. I am 61 now so I really started when I was about 10 years old even though I had seen and worked with some basic tricks a few years earlier. I remember going into Hollywood Magic and wanting that big red box with the dragons on it and I didn't even know what it did. The magician behind the counter was wise enough not to sell it to me, but instead sold me two books which I still own today — "Scarne on Card Tricks" and "Scarne on Magic Tricks". That started me out on books and I have amassed quite a few since then. My major influences on performance are Eugene Burger and Michael Skinner.
((WN)) October is National Magic Month in the US. Do you think magic is alive as a viable form of entertainment today?
- WE: Absolutely. There are more magicians working today than ever before. There will always be an audience for good magicians doing good magic.
((WN)) Has the internet helped or hurt magic?
- WE: Both. I think it has helped draw younger people to magic as a hobby, but I think it has hurt the ability of young magicians to think because so many rely on the internet for everything and they aren't reading the books. We have to have knowledge of the history of magic and what has been done before. Moreover, seeing someone perform on the internet takes away the use of our senses, originality and imagination that reading and thinking about magic can produce. Anyone can become a monkey; it takes serious study to become a magician.
((WN)) Do you travel much in your current role?
- WE: Yes, I am traveling quite a bit. After I was inducted as International President in Phoenix in July, I have been to the Jeff McBride Experience in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Magic Live in Las Vegas, The Midwest Magic Jubilee in St. Louis, the TAOM in Dallas, the British Ring Convention in Buxton, England and the Magic Circle in London. I am going to Las Vegas and Los Angeles next month, Italy in November, back to Las Vegas in December, Mexico in January, Magi-Fest in February, the Winter Carnival of Magic in Tennessee in March, Eureka Springs Cavalcade of Magic in March, and the FFFF in April. That's as of now.