Chris Dugdale Interview
This week we are joined by TV and Theatre magician Chris Dugdale. You may well recognise him as one of the stars of Penn and Teller : FOOL US or from his appearances on NBC's Dracula or from various tv shows around the World. His magic has been seen by over 10 million people worldwide. Based predominantly in America, Chris spends time between his homes in the US and the UK and headlines corporate events worldwide. He is currently several months into pre-production of a major new TV series having completed filming in Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, Washington DC, London and The Hague. We had an opportunity to have a chat and catch up to find our how Chris was dealing with lockdown and keeping busy in recent months. Magic Seats - Thanks for joining us Chris. How are you doing and how have you been keeping busy in recent months? Chris - We are doing ok all things considered thank you. I am lucky to live in a beautiful part of the World (Annapolis MD) in a wonderful neighbourhood which makes things a little easier. We all have our ups and downs during the lockdown period. We all have really hard days and better days. Mental health plays a huge role here and a few tips for what it's worth (in the hope they help someone somewhere are: 1) Outline things you want to achieve during the lockdown. 2) Work out regularly (5 times a week) and make sure you get outside to workout at least once a week. 3) Experiment with at least 20 new recipes, explore what is good and what is not so great! 4) Keep in touch with family and friends - reach out to make sure your loved ones are ok. 5) Do some good deeds. 6) Remember there are poor people out there a lot worse off than you... Magic Seats - Living in the US sounds exciting. The challenges of lockdown are certainly something that non of us ever thought that we would have to deal with. How have you adapted to the business challenges of lockdown while continuing to work as a magician? Chris - Well we have all had to work virtually. My business consists of a few strands from performing (my primary source of income) to training (). You have to try different things, work ten times harder than you ever expected, see what works and what does not and focus on those areas. I have used magic as therapy for children worldwide with THE KIDS MAGIC ACADEMY and it has helped a few people during this most difficult of times... Magic Seats - I'm aware that some artists produced some limited content to help teach children magic over lockdown, though many only released a limited number of shows. You have of course achieved over 50 episodes which is amazing. What are your views on artists who embrace technology for interactive live performances using mediums such as Zoom or other online mediums? Chris - It is a necessity at this time. Magic Seats - Absolutely agree. And for those who are fans of magic and cannot currently see live performances, it is great that we can see online recorded content or interactive Zoom content. 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? Chris - My primary venues are large theatres so who knows. We live in hope that things will recover soon. We can only hope for a quick successful vaccine and idiots not undoing all the good work the majority have attempted to implicate. Magic Seats - Lets hope so. While I miss live shows, I have enjoyed some live shows over the last few months. What have the reactions and feedback been like from audiences when you have performed on Zoom/online? Chris - Great but it's not real life is it. It's a 2 D bizarrely distanced experience. Magic Seats - Certainly it must be strange when you are used to performing to live audiences. I expect that some during lockdown have discovered a passion for hobbies that they previously did not have time for. What advice would you give anyone wishing to get into performing magic as either a hobby or professionally? Chris - Get my book XYA! When COVID is over you are going to want to be on top of your game from a performing point of view and a business prospect. XYA is an amalgamation - part business manual, part performance manual with a ton of INCREDIBLE effects! Magic Seats - That must have taken time to write the book. Love the fact it is a limited edition run as well. What else does the future hold for you? Any other exciting plans that you can share? Chris - TV - subject to COVID -19 - Theatrical tours - subject to COVID-19 and...well I can't say just yet, but it's exciting...subject to... well you know what. Magic Seats - Lets hope that all your plans fall into place and we get to be able to see all your projects very soon. Thanks a lot for chatting with us Chris. Make sure you keep us up to date with all your plans. Chris - Keep safe everyone. Look after yourselves and each other. Be kind. Wear masks! Testimonials "There’s no way a mere human can achieve what he does here!" Bouquets and Brickbats ★★★★★ “Mind-boggling...beyond belief!” The Herald ★★★★ “Really Superb” The Stage "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, masterful magic" The Metro ”The undisputed king of the close-up card trick” LBC Radio ”Dugdale is a charming, captivating showman and a natural entertainer who will keep you enthralled from start to finish” Broadway Baby ”Sensational... creates a magical, mystical, mind-bending mirage... the showmanship of PT Barnum combined with the magical skill of David Copperfield and the wit of Jerry Seinfeld... unique talent demands unique description... he is an illusionary extraordinaire!” Lt Gen Christopher Burne, U.S. Air Force - The Pentagon ”It's impossible!” (HM, The Queen). ”The best I've seen, brilliant” (Sir Richard Branson).