S6E5: Mac King — Vegas Afternoon Magic
These are show notes taken from an audio interview.
To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.
Mac King! Mac tells us about his early days performing in comedy clubs and talks about how he keeps things fresh in his show at Harrah’s in Vegas.
I probably don’t have to say this, but if you’re a magician and don’t know who Mac King is, I hereby revoke your magician card.
That said, Vegas Headliner Mac King is resident magician at Harrah’s Hotel & Casino and has been there for 15 years. This makes him the longest running magician in Vegas to be working at the same hotel!
He’s appeared on TV in countless shows on a variety of stations and in multiple countries. He also performs at corporate events for a select number of clients each year.
He’s authored and co-authored three books on the subject of magic, wears an awesome couch-plaid suit, and has a Fig Newton complex. Yet, according to his wife and daughter, he is a fine husband, a great dad, and all around swell fellow.
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Big slumps come before big jumps. — Mac’s wife
Keeping his show fresh
• He really makes an effort to keep things fresh in his show.
• Keeps a dialogue open with the audience.
• Doesn’t just use audience members “as a prop.”
• Has a script for structure yet tries to find “little detours” to stray from the script and add variance to his shows.
• Talks a little about burnout and how it’s affected him.
• Doesn’t really add material, but he finds ways to tighten it.
• Things evolve and change over time.
• How he uses his show to test fly things he’ll perform elsewhere, for example the suspension he performed at the Academy of Magical Arts Awards.
• Likes to “feel rushed” right before going on stage. It helps him to think on his feet and discover new things.
Tells who he ended up vomiting up a goldfish on stage and how the audience seemed none-the-wiser. And the lessons he learned.
Other Topics Covered
• How your brain still works while you sleep and helps you work out problems.
• Tells his journey in magic which included a lot of hard work in comedy clubs.
• Working as a magician and sharing the stage with comedians.
• Recording and listening to your shows to make improvements.
• Emulating what you see other successful performers do.
• Having a beginning, middle, and end to your show.
• Finding his niche in Vegas.
• Tells some of the pitfalls he had to overcome before starting his current residence at Harrah’s.
Do as many shows as you can and be a good listener.
Recommended books and resources:
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Keeping a count of all the props you have in your pockets before you go up on stage.
Be sure to set up a retirement account.
McComb’s Magic by Billy McComb
Where can we find Mac King?
Mac Performs at Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas every Tuesday thru Saturday at 1 & 3 PM.