Beginning today, we will be posting a series of blog posts entitled ‘5 Minutes With…’. You are in for a real treat and it is a great way to learn more about some of the fantastic performers who will be joining us at Magi-Fest this year. First up [drum roll please] is none other than Gene Anderson!
You have worked Magi-Fest before, but this time you’ll be presenting a new lecture. Can you talk about this?
This lecture is essentially a tutorial on magical problem solving. It will be demonstrated and described through six “case studies.” These are favorite routines I regularly perform for laymen, and they were chosen from the routines detailed in my new book. While the lessons to be learned are within the routines themselves, the real lessons are how overcoming shortcomings and tiny problems can take any published routine to higher ground, and will make that effect uniquely your own.
You have a brand new book out, which collects your life’s work in magic. Tell us about this extraordinary project.
It’s my legacy book, and was nine years in the writing. In my case “writing” really meant doing everything myself: the words, illustrations, photographs, page layout and book design. For this I learned and used Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Each of the twenty-three tricks is from my current working repertoire, routined and tightened in live performances for real people, and described with every tiny detail. Routines that I no longer perform are not included, and no clever effects were created for inclusion. The Book has 256 pages, 28 chapters, 403 photographs, 487 illustrations and is case-bound with a dustjacket.
Can you share your fondest Magi-Fest memory?
When Jep Hostetler prepared to step down as Executive Director of Magi-Fest in 2011, he booked me to emcee the finale show at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. We didn’t know it then, but it was the end of two eras, and that theatre is no more. I included my photo emceeing in front of its magnificent grand drape in my book.
Even when you’re not headlining the Magi-Fest, you often attend. What appeals to you about the Magi-Fest experience?
Two things: winter scheduling is one. Summer is now jammed up with far too many magic conventions. Magi-Fest has the Midwest winter convention scene all to itself, and we love it. Friends are the other. I’ve frequently performed at Magi-Fests, so people know me, and they’re all very friendly. I’m really delighted I’m part of the new Magi-Fest cast.
What else is new in the life of Gene Anderson?
Secret stuff. I’m busily planning, but I’m not quite ready to tip my hand on what and where just yet.
Make sure that you check back next week for ‘5 Minutes With…’ another fantastic performer!