Thanks to John for joining us this week for a chat.
Established as a magician over the last 25 years with his theatre and TV work. I was surprised when my small website was able to get to chat with John as I was not expecting to be able to attract a number of established and recognised names in magic. Thank you John.
Magic Seats - How are you you and how have you kept busy over the last few months during lockdown?
John - I am pretty good. Enjoying lockdown but also hating it. I do miss being onstage with an audience, it has been my life for over 25 years so I am a bit stuck sat in my office wondering when it will all happen again.
Magic Seats - I guess that gave lots of thinking time. How have you adapted to the business challenges of lockdown while continuing to work as a magician?
John - Business is pretty much on hold. Thankfully I am not too worried financially just yet.
I have used the time to think and also enjoy some things that I rarely get enough time to do. I haven’t been too magic orientated and have seen it more as a sabbatical. My thinking is that taking myself away from it a little right now might make me come back with a fresh approach and see things that I never saw before…. Or I could just be terrible when I start again!
Magic Seats - What are your views on artists who embrace technology for interactive live performances using mediums such as Zoom or other online mediums?
John - I have no problem with artists doing whatever they need, or have to do to get through this time. We are all on a different journey. I have chosen not to for a few reasons: I don’t really need to right now. I also don’t wish to put out what I would consider a diluted inferior version of who I am and what I do. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, but equally, just because I don’t want to doesn’t mean it isn’t right for somebody else.
Magic Seats - With social distancing and lockdown, how do you think it will affect how you perform live in the future and how do you plan to adapt?
John - Obviously, I have thought about the short-term implications and looked at my current routines to see how they could be performed in a socially distanced and safe way. Long term I am obviously hoping that we can hug, touch and interact with each other ‘normally’ again. Personally, I am best when I can have a spectator up on stage with me and interacting normally. I have resigned myself to the fact that it will be a ‘new normal’ for a while.
Magic Seats - I think you're right. We will have to come accustomed to this new way of life for a while. What else have you been up to?
John - I haven’t done any form of performance (other than silly songs with my ukulele) since lockdown began. I have done a few online interviews but that’s about it. I am not really aware of how they have been received, that is the nature of online content sometimes. A bit like this interview, I answer the questions and may never know if it was in any way useful to anyone.
Magic Seats - I will have to let you know! What advice would you give anyone wishing to get into performing magic as either a hobby or professionally?
John - As a hobby I would just say “Do it, it is a great hobby and lots of fun in social situations (Just don’t be annoying – less is more). Try as many different styles and types of magic as you can to start with. Learn coins and cards, mentalism and stage effects. Try and get an all-round grasp of the craft (Art if you want to call it that) as you can.
If you are considering going professional I would say wait. Wait till you get to the point where you can no longer maintain your full-time job and perform in all the things that are coming your way. A lot of the best magicians in the world throughout history have been amateur or just semi-professional. It’s a great life being full-time but it has a lot of challenges, especially at the start. So wait till the moment is right, for some that may be right away but for many it might be never. Also talk to as many professionals as you can before you make the leap.
Magic Seats - What does the future hold for you? Any exciting plans that you can share?
John - Nothing too exciting. I will hopefully re-commence my UK tour at the end of this year or early next year. (This is all a big ‘fingers crossed’ thing). I will also go on tour supporting Tim Vine again. But this time I’ll be doing no magic and just masquerading as a ukulele playing Big Buddy Holly on his ‘Plastic Elvis’ tour. Other than that, who knows. It’s all a big adventure.
If you want to hear more from John, you can also view the Steve Faulkner interview with John that is out this week. View part 1 here. Worth watching.
John Archer Promo
Britain's Got Talent Clip
Britain's Got Talent Semi-Finalist 2019
'The first man to fool Penn and Teller' (There are loads of them now)
'The Magic Circle Stage Magician of The Year' - 2008/2009
"Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star"
And..... "Possibly the best comedy magician in his house"