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5 Minutes with… Caleb Wiles!

Magi-Fest: You are known for your extremely clever card magic routines. But many of our attendees have never seen you work before. Describe your style, and some of your influences in magic.

Caleb: I strive to create playful tricks with strong premises. I want everything I publish to be practical for use in the real world. I’m happy to utilize difficult sleight of hand when necessary, but I find that there is generally a better, more elegant approach. I’d much rather solve card problems using subtleties and presentation rather than knacky moves that only look good in the mirror. Economy of method is always my goal.

I am strongly influenced by the work of John Guastaferro, Steve Beam, and Asi Wind. They have very different styles, but I find that with each trick I create, they are all in my head pointing me in the right direction. It is said that you should never meet your heroes, but I haven’t had that experience. I was a little starstruck upon meeting each of them for the first time, but their genuine love of magic and willingness to share their knowledge immediately put me at ease. I try to keep that in mind whenever I meet new magicians. I hope that my work and attitude can impact others in the same way that my magic has been influenced by them.

Magi-Fest: You will be doing an all-new lecture. Can you take us through some of what you’ll be covering?

Caleb: I’m really excited about the new items in the lecture. After many requests, I will be going in-depth on the trick I performed on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us. It’s a unique trick in magic in that it is designed so that your participant can perform the entire trick without you ever touching the cards. I will also be teaching some new effects utilizing some clever, subtle principals that not many magicians have explored before. I’m excited to share my results of many years of experimentation. Everything in the lecture is within the reach of any intermediate card magician… and I’ll even be teaching a couple of tricks that are nearly self-working.

Magi-Fest: You are an attendee at Magi-Fest as well. What do you look forward to most about each year?

Caleb: I’ve been coming to Magi-fest for over a decade. While the events are top notch, my favorite activity has always been hanging out in the lobby until all hours of the night sharing magic ideas with old friends (and new ones too!) At this point, Magi-fest feels like an annual family reunion… only Uncle Charlie’s card tricks are actually good!