Ben Hanlin has fast made a name for himself as one of the most exciting magicians touring today.
Having captured audiences via the Discovery Channel’s Magic of Science and ITV’s Tricked, you can experience his live show for yourself at the Museum of Comedy this summer and at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2016.
We caught up with Ben during his work in progress shows – scroll down for the full interview.
Can you tell us three magicians that you look to for inspiration?
“David Blaine; when Blaine’s specials aired in the late ’90s I remember thinking it was the coolest thing that I’d ever seen. If it wasn’t for Blaine, I would not be a magician!
“Penn & Teller; these guys are the rock ‘n’ roll of magic! They have an edge and wit to them that I absolutely love. Every trick is a perfect balance between clever patter and skill.”
“Derren Brown; his career has been hugely inspirational. Countless TV shows and sell out tours. In my opinion he is one of the best showmen in the world at the moment!”
If you could collaborate with any magician in the world, who would it be and why?
“David Copperfield; he has been selling out venues in Las Vegas for years with his unbelievable illusions. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if we worked together.”
Where do you find the confidence to perform in public?
“Confidence came through time. Most people lose their confidence because they have a fear of failing. If you know your material inside out and you know the audience are going to like it, you hopefully get rid of that fear.
“When I was a teenager I used to be the resident magician at a local TGI Friday’s. At the weekends, I would basically interrupt [people’s] meals and force them to watch me do tricks….which looking back could be rather annoying. As I performed to more and more people, my confidence grew.”
And do you have any tips for up and coming magicians?
“Try to put your personality into the performance. There is a current wave of TV magicians that say very little and try to be mysterious on screen. That may work for them but young magicians think this is how magic has to be done.
“Also I would say there is no substitution to performing. If you are starting out, pick 10 tricks and perform them anywhere you can until you can do them in your sleep.”
How would you describe your show in three words?
“Funny, interactive and jaw-dropping.”
Keep up to date with Ben Hanlin’s upcoming gigs via @benhanlin.