When interviewing any artist, we like to offer something different. In this instance, Chris' credentials as an international performer are impressive.
A successful artist and member of the Magic Circle, who until lockdown was performing internationally for large corporations and cruise ships.
Not one to give up during lockdown, Chris has successfully launched a virtual Zoom show and even featured on ITV news.
Take a look at his social sites and you will instantly see how much he has been in demand. Disney, Microsoft and many other international corporations, and of course the world’s largest Cruise Ship (Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas).
From London, Chris blends the magic style of Dynamo with mentalist Derren Brown. Having performed for many recognisable household names, including Kanye West, Rhianna, Ronaldinho and The Queen.
A busy entertainer who has also acted as a consultant for TV and films, which also includes making an appearance on Now You See Me 2.
His big break was working with magician Zlwin Chew, and also he had a successful residency at Asia's largest nightclub ZOUK.
Magic Seats - Thank you Chris for agreeing to be interviewed.
You are multi-talented and I know that you have studied music, acting and dance. Do you ever incorporate any of these additional skills into your act as a magician?
Chris Fleming - My journey to magic was not the usual one, I've been a lifelong fan of magic but I didn't actually perform magic till I was in my 20's. I think this has given me a creative advantage because I'm able to empathise with laymen far more and create routines with a lot more self awareness. Whilst it's not impossible to do this if your entire life has been about magic, it is far easier if you're coming from the outside in. I wouldn't say I intentionally incorporate my skills into routines simply for the sake of it, but having those skills in my back pocket allows me to be more self sufficient (for example, if I need a specific piece of music I'll just create it myself instead of hiring a musician to do it).
Magic Seats - The ability to create your own music is handy. I appreciate how useful that can be with your music matching the mood and timing of your performance.
Prior to lockdown, you spent a large part of your time travelling internationally. You worked on cruise ships, worked with Zlwin Chew, held residencies, and even worked for major corporations such as Disney, the BBC and Microsoft. What have you missed the most about your usual lifestyle performing prior to the new world of Zoom?
Chris Fleming - I miss travelling and experiencing how different cultures and nationalities react to magic. In 'real life' with magic it's rare that no two events you perform at are exactly the same. Whereas with Zoom shows, sure the audiences change but you're still in your house. That being said, I have absolutely loved the convenience of virtual shows and I've been honestly busier than ever, so from a business point of view that has been fantastic!
Magic Seats - That's good to know that your Virtual show has been a great success. I know that you even promoted it on ITV news. TV, film and media have become an important part of your work.
I understand that you act as a magic consultant for TV and film and even appeared in “Now You See Me 2”. That’s an interesting line of work. How did you get into consultancy for media?
Chris Fleming - I got into consultancy by accident from having done acting and background work in the past. I'm very lucky that I have friends in all areas of the entertainment industry, so when they're working on a project and they need somebody to advise on magic, I pop into their head.
Magic Seats - Having so many connections must be useful. You are of course known for mentalism, Zoom, close up, corporate and even stage magic. What do you prefer?
Chris Fleming - That's like asking a parent which their favourite child is! It's hard to compare because they're all completely different beasts, I love the thrill and adrenaline rush you get with stage magic, I love the interaction and intimacy of close up and I love the convenience of Zoom. However if we're going down the route of picking between magic and mentalism, I'm sure it's no surprise that I'd pick mentalism. From experience it resonates far more with audiences than magic, they can often explain away magic as sleight of hand/misdirection (even if none of that is involved) yet I've found that they don't rationalise mentalism the same way they do magic.
Magic Seats - Certainly mentalism is very popular on Zoom.
Your resume of achievements is impressive. What is your highlight career wise to date?
Chris Fleming - I think managing to somehow pull off a headline show for a packed cruise ship audience with 30 minutes notice is definitely a highlight, just for the sheer craziness of it. I'm sat slobbing out eating dinner whilst watching The Office, and then 30 mins later I'm on stage doing a show for 2,000 people. To this day this is something that I'm both amused and amazed by.
Magic Seats - That was a tall demand. That's not long at all but bet you cannot wait to perform in front of real audiences again post COVID.
What is next for the future, any plans that you can share? Any new ventures or perhaps new services that you will be offering on your website?
Chris Fleming - I think we'd all agree that the last year has taught us that sometimes it's not easy to stick to plans. One advantage that I forgot to mention about having had a fairly unique path into magic is that I'm more used to 'going with the flow' than some other magicians who might be a bit more set in their ways. This has allowed me to adapt relatively easily. I've always been of the mindset that if it seems fun then I'll do it, so who knows what will happen in the not too distant future, but I'm here for the ride.
However, I do plan to continue offering virtual shows to clients along with in-person appearances as I believe there is a future for virtual events, at least in some sort of hybrid capacity. I'm currently creating a totally new virtual show, as well as a new stage act ready for when cruise ships eventually start sailing properly again.
Magic Seats - Sounds like you have lots planned and have kept busy over lockdown.
Thank you Chris for your time today. Good luck with your future plans and for the continued success of your Virtual Magic show.
To learn more about Chris and his available services, take a look at his website and social links below: