Updated: Nov 3
Since Magic Seats started running interviews, we have always been keen to chat with magician and ventriloquist Natalia Love.
Natalia Love is a talented magician who works within the corporate space as a solo artist and as part of Chicks 'n' Tricks - the female magical super group. Also known for working with the "iMagician" - Jamie Allan as his lead assistant and company manager.
And as if that wasn't enough, Natalia is also a successful children's entertainer and ventriloquist called "Nutty Natty", working with Charlie and other puppets. A very familiar face within the magic industry, Natalia is also a dancer and fitness instructor.
Natalia is in huge demand with many exciting future plans. And we have managed to get an exciting exclusive that is only shared with us in this interview.
Thank you Natalia for agreeing to be interviewed. You started performing in Chicks ’n’ Tricks in 2013, what did you expect when you joined at the time? Any challenges with performing as part of a group?
Gosh! Has it already been that long?
To be honest, joining the group was completely out of the blue and therefore I had no idea what to expect! I originally auditioned to be a fire breather for one of their illusions and when being offered the part, I was asked if I would consider joining the group as a magician and not just assisting them for this one particular gig. I had very little knowledge on magic back then but had always loved it. I like to think I’m a bit of a “yes” person so I excitedly agreed. Adam Heppenstall taught me my first 3 tricks and I was sent off on a trial gig at a VIP event in Heathrow and the rest is history! I WAS HOOKED!
I was well and truly bitten by the magic bug. That week I decided to give myself 12 months to see where the magic could take me and if it had been financially beneficial, I was going to give up dancing. It was and I did! I have so much to thank Chicks ’n’ Tricks for as I may never have gotten into magic if it wasn’t for that audition!
It’s so much fun being apart of a group and I have had so many amazing opportunities through it. I’d say the biggest challenge working in a group is being offered a gig where we are all actually free!
That was a fantastic opportunity and break to get into the industry with Adam Heppenstall as a mentor. Now into your second decade performing not only within the group but solo, have you noticed any change in peoples’ perspectives of women artists in magic?
I have seen a huge change in punters but I suppose that’s a good thing. When I first started performing magic it didn’t occur to me that it was unusual to be a female magician. I had never met one myself, so for me, it was not a gender specific role. In my first few years I never made it through a gig without several people pointing out that I was a girl and I found it quite amusing. It always surprised me when they were genuinely impressed because most presumed women couldn’t do magic, which in itself is a ridiculous thought.
Honestly and sadly, I don’t think women in magic get treated particularly differently than women in any other industry. The important thing to focus on, is as the years have passed, women have gained respect in all aspects. Careers, ability, motherhood and talent. We are not quite there yet but slowly woman are becoming equals. Society as a whole has learnt a lot this past decade and perspectives have definitely changed!
I agree and I think it is also fair to say that even as a box jumper/assistant, I never realised how much it entailed of an artist. How physically fit you need to be and of course the risks. That must have hurt getting injured on the chin in The Next Great TV Magician Final! Ouch.
My goodness, YES! It most definitely hurt!
One massively underestimates how fit you have to be to execute certain illusions. It’s a big reason why dancers were and still are so often used. It takes a certain amount of skill and training to smile through exhaustion all whilst focusing on the stage, the illusion, the magician, the music, the costume, costume change if one’s involved and the most crucial part, the timing of it all! If the timing is off, you’re in trouble.
And of course as part of this experience, you have been involved in the preparations of "lllusionarium" and "Magic Immersive" as a consultant for iMagician Jamie Allan. That must have been exciting and kept you busy. Can you tell us how you were involved and what it entailed?
It was so exciting and worked beautifully along side just having had a baby! Naturally, I was exhausted being in the 3rd trimester so getting to work from home along side Jamie was so incredible. I was Jamie’s PA right up until he left for Canada so I was pretty much his sounding board from day one. The amount of work that went into those projects was unprecedented and I don’t know how I would even begin to explain what it involved. More importantly, having work non stop during the lockdown was a privilege. I will always be proud of the work Jamie and the team created during such a difficult time, not only because the show was awesome but because of all the people that were provided work during a time where it was close to impossible. The whole thing was incredible.
You certainly kept busy during that period and I loved streaming the "iMagician" show that you were part of. I remember some of the show that you presented and I remember your ventriloquism.
That act with Charlie is now part of your Nutty Natty show. I believe you saw Charlie (Cooper) for sale and just had to buy him, learning ventriloquism after. How did you go about learning this art form?
Yes! I saw him for sale one night on Facebook. Like my magic, I had absolutely no experience or knowledge about puppeteering or ventriloquism but what I did have was a huge love for it, ever since I was a child. After much debate and several vodkas later, I made the impulse decision of buying “Cooper” the dog - later named Charlie. I never intended on the puppet ever talking and I really don’t know what got into me to think it was a good idea. It was absurd yet here we are. I really wasn’t very good at the beginning and I cringe looking back at the recordings of my first two performances. I pray they are buried deep within the internet, never to be discovered! I bought many books and DVDs but personally none of it really helped me. I found the best thing one can really do in such an art form is practice, practice and practice some more and that's exactly what I did and still do. I never stop practicing and I vent whenever I can, often venting in my car or testing myself whilst I’m on the phone, seeing if anybody can tell! The puppets began as a very small part of my shows but over the years and gig by gig my magic spot involving Charlie got bigger and bigger. Naturally, I was having to vent more and got to do it over and over again on stage which was definitely what helped me improve. I used to be terrified of venting anything that was not scripted but as the shows got bigger, the interaction with the audience grew and those were the real lessons! The puppets started talking off script and it was terrifying but such a good way to learn!
It sounds difficult to learn ventriloquism, I understand that Charlie is also a big hit with adults and now features in your main show. Any plans to tour??
That’s right. I don’t use him just for my children’s magic show at all, I use him in every gig I do whether it’s corporate or not. Charlie is the biggest hit even though I use several other fantastic puppets in my show (I have 5 puppets now). There is something about that dog that people can’t help but love and it probably helps that he’s my favourite to work with too. I am most comfortable with his character and voice so I can get some great business out of him.
It’s funny to think this very unexpected event in my life, coming across him on Facebook, has completely turned my work around. I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again, Ian Mac - creator of two of my main puppets - is the reason I am where I am today. He originally made Charlie for himself and if he had never made the decision to sell him, my work wouldn’t be where it is today.
It’s a very rewarding art form that brings me so much joy and I really hope that joy passes onto my audience.
I have a huge and guilty love for puppetry and ventriloquism, so much so I have crossed over into the vent world and though I still perform “just” Magic shows I can now say I more regularly perform my puppet show that features magic.
My main focus is to consistently move onwards and upwards with my venues and bookers and see where it all takes me. I’ve been working extremely hard this past year and I’m thrilled to announce that this Christmas I’ll be debuting my first short run of my new show “VenTRICKolist” in Chicago, whilst also working out there on Jamie Allan's show as his assistant. “VenTRICKolist” consists of both magic and puppets and I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to be taking my own work over to the States!
That sounds fantastic and hopefully you will bring the show to the UK as well. Congrats! Loving the promo art work as well.
You have already achieved so much with a very diverse career. Do you have any aspirations to achieve anything else in magic/ventriloquism such as writing a book, publishing effects, tv show or even lectures?
You put it so wonderfully, you make me sound far more successful than I actually am - Thank you - Some may say I have too many aspirations!
I have the “Nutty Natty’s Magic Book” that is only offered to my clients at the moment but there is a children’s magic book in the making for the public. Although it is still in the very early stages and probably not quite what people would expect when they hear “Children’s Magic Book”, I’m very excited about it!
Regarding TV, I have been very lucky to perform many times on screen as a dancer in my younger years and in more recent years, several times as Jamie Allan’s assistant, all of which were fabulous experiences. My two most favourite TV spots were dancing at ‘The Noble Peace Prize Awards’ which was held in Norway and the other being both episodes of ‘The Next Great Magician’ with Jamie Allan’. It would be awesome to do my own spot one day too but currently there is nothing in the pipeline.
People are always so kind and complimentary about what I do and I’ve been asked to do a few lectures but I have no idea what my lecture would be about! I have a few unique moments in my show including an appearance prop we designed (I don’t believe it’s been done before) so maybe that is something I could consider talking about if ever I did decide to lecture!
It would definitely be good to see you out there lecturing. Certainly I have see you chat and be interviewed online so believe that you would have much to share of interest to all.
Of course, when you have appeared online, your office and workspace has many magic collectables on view. What is your favourite magic collectable that you can share?
Oh, you can’t ask me that, there are far too many to choose from. I love them all, I just can’t pick! Whenever we have guests over “proper” magic never gets performed but you’ll definitely get a 30 minute Tenyo show!
Totally appreciate the love for "Tenyo". Amazing and well thought out effects. I need to buy more!
Thank you Natalia for taking time out to be interviewed by Magic Seats. This has been most enjoyable.
To learn more about Natalia or to book her services, please visit the following sites:
Natalia Love website
Natalia Love FaceBook
Natalia Love Instagram
Natalia Love contact
Nutty Natty website
Nutty Natty FaceBook
Chicks "N" Tricks website