S6E2: Matthew McCoy — Theater Tips for Magicians
These are show notes taken from an audio interview.
To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.
Matthew McCoy gives some great theatrical advice for magicians in some practical steps you can take to improve your act!
Matthew is a theater actor, director, choreographer, and producer up in the Bay Area of Northern California. He’s the founder of BAM!, or Bay Area Musicals and currently serves as Artistic Director.
Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre he’s acted professionally in countless productions like The Wiz, Guys & Dolls, The Sound of Music, Chicago, and Hairspray. He’s also choreographed and directed such shows as Cinderella, The Music Man, Dracula, and Mary Poppins. This is just naming a few.
Finally, he has an extensive background and knowledge of magic which has made him a sought after asset to direct new magical theater projects in the United States and around the world.
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Follow your bliss and the universe will open up doors where there were walls. — Joseph Campbell
BAM! Bay Area Musicals
• Where his inspiration came from in starting this project.
• Spotted a need and aimed to fill that need.
• Forming a board of advisors.
• Creating a business plan.
• Raising funds.
Coaching & Direction for Magicians
• Common magician mistakes: not knowing your audience, not knowing the story, not making eye contact, originality, taking criticism.
• Variance – adding variety “so you’re not just doing cards or split fans.”
• Specificity – every single second should be accounted for. This allows you to test and measure things and find the best options for timing and movement, etc.
• Physicality – the physical life and nature of your persona on stage.
Some tips for magicians:
• If you don’t have a script, write one.
• Kill all stock lines.
• Take an acting class.
• Exercise and take care of your body.
• People don’t care about you or the show. They’re looking for an escape from their day-to-day life.
Called the music incorrectly when calling cues for show. They weren’t able to recover. Ouch!
BAM! Starting Bay Area Musicals!
Biggest Professional Challenge
Raising capital. You don’t want to set sail until you can afford to sink.
Interesting Story From the Road
A quick fun story involving Master Magician Chris Capehart
Other Topics Covered
• Talks about moving out to San Francisco and how he went about it. It was very calculated and planned.
• Talks about his background in magic.
• His involvement in Magic at the Beach and producing variety shows.
Honesty, originality, and professionalism.
Recommended books and resources:
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Apple Calendar with alerts and a giant wall calendar to show a bird’s eye view.
Sense of Direction by William Ball
The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart