Magician Liam Power takes us on a journey through his discovery of magic and his new show coming to Laurieton in April …
Hi Liam. Take us back to when your interest in magic first began …
It was the end of Year 10. I was on summer holidays in Thailand with my family; we were staying with a friend of my dad’s, and he had another friend from America who was staying with him, who was a magician. So he showed me all this magic on Christmas morning and after that – that was it! I was hooked! I thought it was the best thing I’d ever seen.
Was it a natural progression from then? How did you hone in on your talents and become the magician you are today?
Persistence. Even at the start, I started following this guy (the magician) around Thailand. He was doing charity shows, so I followed him around for the next two days like a puppy, watching, and he eventually taught me a trick – just one.
And then I went back and practised magic everyday on the bus to and from school, I went busking on the weekends down at Circular Quay in Sydney, I did kids’ parties and subjected my poor Grandma to too many magic tricks.
I got a little bit obsessed; I think anyone who wants to take magic seriously has to get obsessed, because it’s quite hard to learn at the start. So to get through those few years of difficult sleight of hand and learning where your fingers need to go and how your hand needs to move – that takes a little bit of obsession. I think it’s like learning an instrument, or something like that; the first few years can be hard, and then something just clicks and it gets easier.
Once it got a bit easier, I had finished school and started a Chef apprenticeship and kind of got over it for a bit. I dropped it and didn’t do much magic. But then, I started getting sick of cooking … I had always kept in touch with the American guy who got me started, and I was Skyping with him one day and he suggested I go live with him so he could train me up.
So, I resigned and bought a ticket to America and went and lived with him for two months; it was kind of like the movie The Karate Kid! I was painting his fences in the mornings! From there, I backpacked through Europe and South East Asia and performed everywhere I could.
Who do you look up to in the magic entertainment industry?
There’s a guy in Denmark called Rune Klan; he is my favourite magician in the world. He has this really crazy, whacky style and he’s very left field – thinks outside the box.
And then there’s another American magician called David Williamson; he is sensational – one of my favourite performers. I got to meet him last year.
Those two are the magicians I look up to the most, but I get a lot of inspiration from people like Heston Blumenthal, the chef. I like the way that he doesn’t just listen to the old wisdom and take it verbatim; he listens to it and then works out if he can improve it or what techniques he can do differently that will still work. He’s modernising a lot of things and taking a scientific approach to food, and I like that.
Also, Tim Minchin – I love his performance style and his work. I always get inspired by him.
You’ve received many great reviews. One which stood out was from the late Glenn Frey, that must have been a memorable moment for you …
Tell us about your show, A Muggle Goes to Hogwarts …
The premise of the show is that I’m a muggle (non wizard), and I ended up in Wizard School, and I had to pass my classes … but obviously I’m not wizard, so I had to learn magic with misdirection – the way normal people learn magic.
That’s the premise of the show; it’s not Harry Potter done in a live show at all; in fact, the most Harry Potter thing about the show is the name.
It’s almost written like a Pixar movie; you can bring your kids along and they’ll like one aspect of it, and the adults will like a completely different aspect of the show. It plays on two levels. It’s just a really fun, amazing magic show!
Liam Power – A Muggle Goes to Hogwarts. Mind blowing sleight of hand and Muggle tricks.
Saturday 14th April at LUSC.
Tickets $20. Doors: 6:30pm | Starts: 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased over the phone on (02) 6559 9110, or at reception.