A new magic show, Wizard Wars is airing in the US right now. One of the brain-childs of the original concept, Justin Flom, speaks with Ben Williams about the show and gives some great advice for anyone interested in magic.
Justin Flom is growing to be a name you hear very frequently within the magic community. If you are new to magic or if you have not yet heard of Justin yet we highly recommend checking out some of his YouTube videos. They are impeccably filmed and edited with amazing close up magic. He has performed on TV shows such as Ellen and has just starred in and helped produce Syfy Channel’s latest magic show, Wizard Wars.
Ben sat down for a Skype session with Justin to ask him a few questions to get the inside scoop about Wizard Wars. It is a US show, so we have no plans for it to air in the UK yet but as the show gains momentum who knows, maybe it will become a worldwide phenomena!
Wizard Wars is a show devised by magicians Justin Flom and Rick Lax that started out as a… Well, you don’t need me to tell you, you can read the interview and find out from Justin himself!
Ben Williams – What can you tell us about Wizard Wars, your show that is airing on US television now?
JJ Abrams once said, if you have an idea then just go and do it! We all have better cameras in our pockets now than NBC had 20 years ago!
So, we had this idea, well mostly Rick Lax, and he convinced me to come over and film it with some friends. We got Bizarro, Kyle Marlett, Jimmy Fingers and Rick to compete and create magic out of ordinary objects. This went really well on YouTube and SyFy got in touch and said this was a show they would like to produce. The last two years have been pitch meeting after pitch meeting, creating magic to sell them in the boardroom meetings whilst trying to deal with the exposure side of magic. We wanted to be able to show the creative process without exposing the secrets. Our classic example was a sucker trick, the silk to egg routine. Where you show them a trick and then in the process of teaching them how to do the trick you actually completely fool them as the trick ends up not explaining what you are doing. They loved all of that.
We have filmed one season, and we should find out tonight if ratings go well whether there will be a Season 2 to be commissioned.
Ben Williams – Are there any plans for Wizard Wars to be spread worldwide so we can see the show in the UK?
Justin Flom – I don’t know if it will go Worldwide or what their plans are or even what their affiliates they have overseas. I am sure they wouldn’t want me to tell you to download it from a bad file sharing site… but… I don’t know how else you would get to see it so do with that what you will! You can of course see the YouTube video that satred it all here! Wizard Wars YouTube Video
Ben Williams – You have risen to fame in the magic world through your YouTube videos. Do you have a favourite video, one that you would say was your favourite one?
Justin Flom – My Magic Block Party 2013, I am really proud of that one. I am in the final stages of editing my Magic Block Party for 2014. So I am very proud of the Block Party videos. Apart from that my Road Trip videos, particularly last year where we went to Zion in Utah was a really great video for me, I was really happy with that. It started with Tensegrity from Art of Astonishment which is a really beautiful trick. For magicians I would say go to watch that or the Block Party video from last year, the Water to Coke was a home run for me, I was very lucky with that and it looked amazing.
Ben Williams – That was very very cool! We were inundated with emails asking how to perform that effect when you released the video!
Justin Flom – Ah, I’m sorry about that!
Ben Williams – No need to apologise, it is a compliment really!
We also try to blog and give out as much free performance advice as possible for our followers. So do you have a tip you can give our followers, anyone who is beginning to learn magic or even someone who has been learning magic for a bit? Don’t just say ‘go out and have fun’ or ‘perform as much as you can’. Is there something more unique you can share with our followers?
Justin Flom – Well, tell me if this is enough. There is an unfortunate stigma among some of the older guys who don’t want you performing in ordinary situations a lot. They want you to do lots of shows, but they don’t want you to walk around with a deck of cards and do card tricks for everybody. Partly because, and this is true for some older tricks, they feel card tricks are boring.
What I have found hanging out with Blake Vogt, Calen Morelli, Dan White, Patrick Kun is that not only do people love magic, but they really want you to show magic in the everyday situations. Me, personally, I always have Loops, I always have Regeneration; I always have Fraud; I always have the tools to do Healed and Sealed, so I am ready astonish people at any time. And I do not hesitate to offer up a magic trick and people really do love it, they really do.
So, there is that.
The other thing I would say is this. Perform closers. I learned this from Shimshi here in Vegas, and he didn’t even know he taught it to me, it's just the way he thinks. He only does magic he could close his set with. So what this means is that when other guys in town are doing magic, they will be performing Ambitious Card and other things like this to open their set with, then they will do other things in between before closing with one big knock out punch of a trick. He only does the big closing effect. People ask what do you follow your closer with; the answer is you have to do another big knock out trick. Most people would close with Fraud; I open with it. Most people would close with Haunted Deck; that is my first card trick I would do if I were to do a card trick. So perform closers, does that make sense?
That is the piece of advice that changed the game for me. That changed everything. When you decide to not perform Doc Daly’s Last Trick and instead do Regeneration or another closer type of trick… Oh my gosh, that just changes everything!
Ben Williams – Well, thank you very much Justin, we really appreciate you taking your time to answer these questions for our followers. We wish you every success with Wizard Wars and hope to see the Magic Block Party 2014 soon!
Justin Flom – Cheers Guys, it will be out soon!!
Be sure to keep an eye out for Justin and his Block Party 2014 video, it is sure to not only be crammed full of great magic but it is sure to inspire you! Click here to view the Magic Block Party 2013!