Episode 3: Carisa Hendrix

You may know her better as Lucy Darling (Or Dee Dee Darling), or you may know her as a fire eater, or an artist. Or you may know her as all of the above. It was an amazing pleasure to speak with Carisa this episode. You can find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Carisa Hendrix is a magician, circus stunt girl and bubble performer featured in the Guinness Book of World Records 2014 and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. This 5-time award winning performer has been thrilling audiences all over Canada and internationally for the past 15 years with her signature blend of classy, cute comedy entertainment. Multi-talented, she has a huge vocabulary of Circus Skills, Sideshow Stunts and Magic effects under her belt as well as Balloon Sculpting, Stilt Walking, Fire Dance, Visual Art and Acting.

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Kray Mitchell: My next guest is a five time award winning entertainer. She has been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and she has her own documentary from Super Channel. Please welcome Carisa. Carisa, welcome to the show.

Carisa Hendrix: Thank you so much for having me.

Kray: Thank you for having, for having me. Thank you for coming on the show. Great to have you. And it's great to talk to somebody somewhat local. I lived in Calgary for 18 years myself, so I know some of the pain of living there this time of year. Luckily you're down in LA right now at Magic Castle, correct?

Carisa: I'm actually in Calgary during the Christmas season for a week and then I'm going to do a couple shows in Vegas and then I'm down doing the Peacock Theater with Ruby Coby and Dan Sperry and then it's the Magic Castle. So I've got a little touring around to do before I get there. But I technically, I mean I sort of live in Calgary still, but I pretty much full time travel. So I've basically not seen snow for quite awhile and I landed here I guess three or four days ago and was overwhelmed by snow. It took me a year to unlearn snow and I was just, I felt so like unCanadian to just look at it and go, what is this fluffy white stuff and why is it trying to kill me, get away, snow. Get away from me. It was, yeah, it's so cold here. It's unbelievable.

Kray: It really is. When you go back after having been there for a little bit, it's like, holy jeez. You just forget exactly how cold it gets.

Carisa: Yeah. Oh yeah. And it's crazy too because in Calgary, we're by the mountains. So it's this like weird dry, windy, cold that gets into your soul. So your soul feels it. It feels like pathetic fallacy. Like it feels like it's a representation of your emotional state. It's more than cold. It's psychological. It's awful. I can't wait to be in Vegas in a couple of days.

Kray: I can only imagine. Much warmer temperatures down there. So, tell me, how long have you been performing your magical arts? Like when did you first get into magic?

Carisa: So I've been in entertainment since I was 16, 17. So that, that's, you know, 16, 17 years ago. And when I first got started I was interested in magic and I was doing like little bits of magic but it was so hard at the time to get resources and feel like part of the community and on. So basically I ended up focusing on circus, so I was a really good fire eater and I could do a hoop act and a few other things. And then a few years later I got picked up by a magician as an assistant. I started assisting in illusions and box jumping even though, I mean I already had a knowledge base of magic from being a child. I really was taught that's my role. I'm an assistant. That's the role for women in this industry. And I was so young and I didn't know any better.

And I basically assisted for all these different magicians in the city and they were great to me. They were really, really nice people who were very supportive and a lot of the times they would have me do like a solo spot in the show and I completely fell in love with magic. At one point I remember we booked this New Year's show and the magician wanted to use this illusion from a different magician when he called him and said, "Hey, can I borrow your whatever?" And he said, "Who's your assistant?" And he goes, "Carisa." "Oh yeah, yeah, you can borrow it, but the rules are Carisa can set it up. Carisa does it. She teaches you how to do it and she disassembles it. You're not allowed to touch it." And so he shows up. It's got like a letter taped to it that says only for Carisa to build. Because I had basically built every illusion in the city at some point and been inside it. I was like, total, you know, box jumper, slut or whatever. I'm not sure if we're allowed to say that word on your broadcast.

Eventually I realized that the money was good, but it wasn't as good as it could be if I was doing my own show. And there was also this, this feeling I had to make my own art, you know, I, I liked doing these shows. I felt like I was a good assistant. I enjoyed the work, but it wasn't artistically satisfying. So I started touring with my stunt show and I went to art school. I went to Contemporary Art School in Calgary, Alberta College of Art and Design and, and I got this great education in critique and accepting criticism and recognizing artistic vision and symbolism and communication and it was so valuable. And I've been doing this sideshow stunt show and I've done like street, done street shows and I'd done bar shows, did all this stuff and I was doing this bar show, I was like 25 I think I was.

And I had just won my world record and I remember the woman came up to pay me at the end of the gig and she goes to hand me the check and she immediately takes it away. Oh, okay. And she says, "Can I give you a piece of advice?" Of course. "You know, we, hired you because we thought it was a stunt show. We had a magician last week here at the bar and, if we would have known you were a magician, we might've booked you in two weeks. So just make sure you include that you do magic in your writeup." And I went, "Oh, yeah. Sorry." No problem, yeah. No problem. Great show. She walks away. And all I can think what is she talking about? I fire walked over broken glass. This is a stunt show.

What did she think was magic? Oh wait, I did a razor blade swallow. Oh. And then I did a card trick. Yeah. Okay. Oh. And then I did a robisk. Oh Wow. Yeah. And apparently all of the tricks I was doing in as part of the stunt show and communicating as stunts were similar tricks to what the magician who had done the week before. And she was like, "Oh, this is just a magician." And she just assumed everything wasn't real and in that moment I kinda had to like look at myself and go, oh my goodness, am I a magician? Is this what I want? And so I got a little bit of money from doing the TV show in Italy and winning the world record, I get a bit of a lump sum. And I had looked online and there was this amazing theater course, the One Yellow Rabbit lab intensive, which you're from Calgary, you know One Yellow Rabbit. It's just like three week theater intensive.

It's like 12 hour days and every day you wake up and they ask you who are you, who are you as an artist? And so I went and I went to sort of deal with these feelings. And by the time I got out, my graduation piece was a magic act with a dove because ... it was called three letters. And it was like a letter that I had been written by like this imaginary assistant character, a letter that had been written by the dove and I did a dove production. And then a letter from me like genuinely from me about how I was walking away from everything and walking into magic and it sort of this promise and that was sort of the day that I was like, okay, it's magic. It's magic or bust. And I took everything else I did, and I basically put it aside.

I stopped rehearsing or practicing or writing for any of my other shows and totally focused on magic. And that's now six years ago. And so it, you know, it's such a ... I know that this is a long answer to your very simple question, but basically my life in magic is sort of six years old if you think about it in terms of like the intense part. But if you think about it in terms of, of my whole relationship, it's like 16 years old, but it took 10 years for me to go, you know what? I think I'm a magician. I think I'm supposed do magic and now I'm here doing magic, you know? I get to do the Magic Castle for New Year's this year. I was at just at a Chicago Magic Lounge during the all women's week was maybe the best experience of my life. It was so cool like Alba and Jade and just the camaraderie and Joan and everybody. Just unbelievable and I can't imagine having not made that transition like I clearly this was what I was supposed to do and I almost didn't notice.

Kray: I think there's a lot of people that miss out on, on different opportunities in life then you just never know about it because you know it totally passed by, but what could have been often creeps into my mind. After you had taken that course and you kind of made the transition of, okay, I'm going to be the magician. Do you remember your first performance as a magician? Like booking yourself as a magician? Tell me. Tell me about that.

Carisa: I think so. I kind of took some time off from performing and really focused on writing a show because I wanted to have an hour by the end of the year was the goal and I specifically remember booking a lot of burlesque shows because burlesque is such a safe environment. I've said this on a couple of other podcasts, but I, I think that you have to have someplace to be terrible. I was normally doing a lot of corporate shows. I had not done my street show a long time. I had stopped doing bar shows, for like six months and doing a bar show. They mostly want polished show anyway. I didn't really have any place to be terrible and burlesque shows are really great space to kind of try stuff out because the audience is extremely welcoming and very generous and they love having a variety act.

So if it's just the old boobs, boobs, boobs, and then a card trick. And then more boobs. They're actually like, oh, cool. A card trick. Something different. You'd think that they wouldn't want to see card tricks when boobs are on the menu, but you'd be wrong. And so I remember coming out ... I was dressed as Princess Leia. I actually have footage of this. I'm dressed as Princess Leia and I'm doing a rope tie escape. And I had done like, other magic in my show, but this was the first piece I wrote that was like, I'm just going to do this, this is the one time I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this just for the show. And I'm tied up and I'm doing the whole thing. And it's very, it's very Amazing Randy, but it's, you know, the full Princess Leia and I'm making all these comments about like, you know, you're worse than Jabba the Hut and all this stuff.

And it was very because he was a, it was a Sci-fi themed burlesque run. And I came home and watched the video and I just remember feeling like that was the worst show I've ever done in my life. I am terrible. How can I ... and I come back and I look at the video and I go, oh, it's hilarious. Okay. Okay. I have to change the way I perceive audience reactions because doing side show you, the way they react is loud, right? You go, Ah, Ooh, Hahaha. Everything's big. Reactions to magic are much more subtle. And until I watched the footage where the camera was in the audience and I could hear the gasps and I could hear the actual reactions, I thought I had completely failed. I genuinely thought that this whole room knows exactly how I'm doing this. And so the first time I did magic just to do magic and I wasn't doing any side show around it when it was just doing magic was terrifying because I had to, I had to relearn. It felt like I just started over from scratch.

Kray: It's a crazy feeling, but it can also be a very liberating feeling, especially after you go back and watch that footage and realize after you think you did a terrible job.

Carisa: To this day I will do shows ... This happens at the lounge a lot actually, because the way the room is set up, you really hear the first two rows and you can't hear the rest of the room as much. Often the first two rows. Because I'm talking to them and I'm interacting with them. The reactions are different and so I'll leave a show going, "Oh, they loved me, but they didn't like the magic that much," and then I'll watch the footage from the video camera that was at the back of the room and the gasps are super loud and everyone goes, "You're kidding me." Everyone was freaking out. I have my ears from doing sideshow and street. I'm still looking for those reactions and so learning to change my expectations and change my sensitivity in the room. Has been a struggle.

Especially because with magic when you come into it later in your performance career, at least for me, and I've seen this with other acts, the guilt, there's so much guilt because I'm not really doing it. I'm not really. I'm getting credit for something that I'm not really doing and so I feel guilty, so guilty, with all my little sneaky moves. Yeah. Well and, but it's also like I do a sneaky move and my instinct is like there's no way they didn't catch me. There's no way. These are things I've practiced in the mirror hundreds of thousands of times because my background is circus. I'm used to doing something I, you know, training things at a circus level and so they're great. I know they're great because I watched the footage, but in the moment I feel like, oh, they've, have they caught me?

So that's kind of what I'm working on now as part of this transition is letting myself really believe the magic as I'm doing it and trying to separate myself from the guilt of like, oh, I snuck the ball in. I hope they didn't ... Did they? I think they caught me. Did they catch me? No. Or, like you said, a prop and you're like, Ooh, can they see the flap? I bet they can see the flap and you and you walk two feet away and you're like, no one can see the flap. The black art is perfect, but you're just ... so guilty. I'm so guilty.

Kray: Maybe you could work that into a show or into some patter the whole guilty process. That could be an entire bit within a show making. Bringing that to the surface.

Carisa: That's true. That's a great idea. I should write that down. I'm so guilty. That's why I did this trick is real magic because I'm so .... Can you see what I did? The act. Can you see how guilty my eyes are so bad at lying.

Kray: So when you go into a performance, because you do feel that way sometimes. Do you have any kind of pre show rituals or routines that you do before you go onstage, Every time?

Carisa: Well, I perform mostly as characters now. The guilt really only affects me when I'm doing, nowadays when I'm doing walk around as myself or when I'm doing my closeup show. Because I perform as a character called Lucy Darling and also Didi Darling and a couple other characters. Oh thank you. That's very nice. So it's a lot easier because it takes an hour and 20 minutes to put Lucy on. The makeup is very intense. I am full contouring. It's like drag queen level makeup. I have to beat ... my body is bound and strapped in and taped down to look like a different body shape and also the vocal warm ups for that character because it's a very specific voice, take a little while. Although, I was running late for a show at the Chicago Magic Lounge because they had changed the start time and they had sent me emails.

It was posted on the wall. I should have known, it's entirely my fault, but I thought the show started at 8:30, but I started at 8:00. And so I hear the startup music sounding and I can hear them starting to announce and I don't have the wig on. So I had the makeup done by, threw the dress on, threw the wig on like one bobby pin and I didn't do my vocal warmups. I ran on stage and I'm thinking, oh, my voice is going to be so bad. And I was talking to somebody afterwards. That's one your best shows. So maybe I'm delusional and don't need the vocal warm ups. I don't know.

Kray: We're our harshest critics.

Carisa: But that really helps to get me. I think that's probably what ... I was so busy going oh my God. Uh, but I think that really helps me with the guilt because, you know, Lucy, her sort of background inside story.

It's not a story I communicate on stage, but every character kind of has their story so that you can work from a truth. She's not a magician. She's real magic. She's a god. She's a real magical being. So it's very easy for me not to feel guilty when I'm Lucy because the character wouldn't feel guilty because she's real magic. Like she's not being sneaky. She doesn't, she's not tricking you. She's actually magic. She's actually doing what she's implying she's doing. So I have to. I'm in that space when I'm performing those tricks. So when I do the funny move, I don't even think about it. It's not even part of it because that's not part of Lucy's mindset. But when, when the magic is happening for the audience, you know, you can see her concentrate and you can see her wait and warmup because for her she's really doing those things and so I really try and act through those moments and make them feel really real.

But when I'm doing, when I'm as performing myself, that it feels so weird because I am not. I don't walk around and go, oh, I'm a magician. Magic like I like to think of like Lucy is Q from Star Trek. I'm trying right now, I am like a trickster who knows they're doing it. I would like to become like a Dream of Jeannie thing. That's my goal. I have that sort of written on the front of my closeup case. I Dream of Jeannie because I'm trying to give myself that space as a performer, performing out of character, you know, like I'm a genie, I can make anything happen. This is real magic. Don't be guilty, don't be guilty, don't feel guilty.

Kray: That's how you can make it happen. Reaffirm. Reaffirmations.

Carisa: Yeah, and I think also on some level, I'm slowly writing a character that is just me. Because it's just what I'm used to working from. So eventually it'll be like, oh, I'm doing a show, as myself in air quotes because it will be like, yeah, but it's the character. It's a cleaned up character me in the that I've made choices for so that I can feel more safe.

Kray: Your public persona.

Carisa: Exactly. Yeah.

Kray: I think people do that in general these days, like with social media, they've got their social media personality and then they've got their real personality.

Carisa: I think that's probably true. I mean I haven't had to do that because I've only ever been in show business. Like I got into this industry at 16. I got kicked out of the house and this is how I made money. This has been my job since I was a basically a child.

I became who I am in show business. Not in the public eye per se, but basically at crafting a character, so I don't really feel like I have a public persona and then a real persona for social media or for any other thing. Like I think for the most part, people who meet me, they, that's the same person they know from YouTube or from wherever they've seen me because unless they've only ever seen Lucy, then they're like, who is this crazy gangly weirdo? Why are you so odd? Because I didn't like have a life, and then get into show business and have to build a persona. This is all I've ever known, so I don't. This is, this is it, this is it. I have no personal life. I only, I live, breathe, eat, sleep, show business. So there's. But I do see that with other people where you're like, oh, that's your public face and then you hang out with them in real life and they're little more generous or quieter or softer or whatever. But they decided not to show that side to the world.

Kray: Absolutely. We all have our little masks sometimes. Whether it is a character or not. So as your different characters and even as yourself, do you have a favorite trick that you'd like to each character and as yourself? Or overall? Just performing overall?

Carisa: Oh my goodness. Okay. That's so hard. I think when I'm doing walk around, I love ring and string. Obviously that's what I teach in my lecture. I teach a lot of ring and string stuff and I knew I could do 15 minutes of ring and string. And there's also a final phase that I end on that's mine that I created. So I'm really attached to that because I can, you know, I can end on something I know. Even if they're a magician, they're not going to have seen and probably will fool them because it's mine. I came up with it. It's funny because I'd been doing it for like a year and I'd been telling people like, "I think I came up with this" and finally I showed, you know, I did it, I've done it a couple of places and I finally got a chance to show McBride, called McBride and he was like, oh, he's going out.

So we all went for dinner and then we went to go see Dan Sperry's show and Biz goes, "Show him, show him, show him." So I showed him an and McBride's like, "I know a lot about ring and string. This is, this is definitely yours." So now I feel comfortable even know I'm still a little bit like it's probably in a book or 100 years ago everything is. But anyway, so I love doing ring and string because I have a nice presentation and a couple of days ago, maybe yesterday, I don't remember. What day is it? I was doing a walk around gig and this guy I'm doing ring and string for his wife and he's nodding and I go, oh. And he goes, "Oh, I know exactly what you're doing." And I was like, "Oh cool, well I'll just do it for her then." And then I'm like, in my brain I'm thinking he's a magician, he knows this.

And so then I do, I do the entertain and I'm like, you know, and I, that's the way the routine works. He can actually do the magic movement and it'll still work. So I have him hold the thing in the right place. I have him do the magic move and he and he's holding the chain that has passed through her hand and he looks at me and he goes, I don't think I know what you're doing. And I went, "Probably not. Anyway, good. Do you want to see a card trick?" And it was just so satisfying to be like, you don't know anything. It was so good. It was, so I love that for walk around and plus it's a necklace. I can wear it, so it feels very impromptu, feels very feminine to me. I'm just very proud of that.

For Lucy, again, it's probably either the book production, which I also came up with, or I have a variation on any named drink that is like a combination of a Merv Taylor idea. And then some new things I came up with that only work because I had access to like a candy maker. So I found out how candy works and flavors work. So that one I'm really proud of because it's just so that we're really proud of too because it gets a huge reaction from the audience. It involves me making two strangers dance and be goofy. And also there's a line in it that the line is what I love most about magic is not the tricks, it's the fantasy, the idea that anything is possible and we can be whomever we want to be. And for Lucy to say that to me is so powerful because that's exactly what I'm doing. I am wearing an eight foot tall wig, like I'm this character. That is the one line in that show that is actually me speaking through Lucy.

It's not that it's out of character, it's that it's something that I, as an actress, am saying through this character that magic is a venue that has allowed me to be whatever I want to be. And so for me, I hope that the truth in that moment comes through. So, the book, the drink, the ring and string, I think, when I'm performing as myself in my closeup show that I just did at the Magic Bar, Magic Bar, LA, I was doing this routine. It's this madame mustache card trick routine. And it's basically just like a really elaborate marked deck routine. But I have the Jeffrey Kellogg, marked deck, the Brooklyn. If you guys have not seen the Brooklyn playing cards, I actually, I'm always a little reluctant to talk about how much I love these because I don't want more people to have them because they're not real popular.

And so nobody's seen them before. I bought enough decks that I was able to remake all my gimmicks and make an invisible deck for my invisible deck routine out of them so that all my cards matched because basically, this is my favorite deck in the whole world. But it's a marked deck you can read from like four feet away. So it's very hands off. And it's, it's got a lovely story and it's really fun and it feels so impossible because it's like I put a little extra procedure in it, that's the best part of a good marked deck routine and I think is if there's just enough procedure in it that people are like, "Oh, it must have been here" and then they lose track and are like I don't know. And so I love doing that one because I think it's the kind of routine that makes people's shoulders drop. You know, that moment when someone's watching a magic show where they go, oh, maybe magic's real and they just give up, you know? And they don't actually think magic is real, but it's just that moment where you can't handle it anymore. So you're like, I don't know. And then the rest of the show is better because you can just experience it.

Kray: Did you ever watch Wizard Wars?

Carisa: Yes.

Kray: There's one episode, it's episode seven and I can't remember which trick it was, but both Penn and Teller, the dumbfounded looks on their face. Like they're just like, this is great. What just happened? And that I love those reactions from people for any trick that you can get a reaction from anybody to make them just disbelieve what they just saw. I love. And that's one of the reasons I love magic so much is giving people that sense of wonder that they had when they were a kid that they don't seem to realize that they still have is just hidden anymore.

Carisa: Yeah. So true. So true. Yeah. I don't even know sometimes. So let me take this again. You have to edit all that out. There's a part of my brain that is an artist and there's a part of my brain that is a magician that likes making up new tricks and it inventing things or creating new concepts. I build most of my props. I prefer to have only stuff in my case that I made, you know, I have with me the Roger Nicott Bar Cup in my case. And I have, no, because even my multiplying bottles, I remade. So that's the only thing I have in Lucy's show right now that is a thing that was commercial I bought. Everything else I've made. All my force books, everything, everything I made and I think I have to go back through and look through my stuff.

Even the cherries I use in the Roger Nicott thing I made those. They're hand sculpted silicone and I love that. I love making stuff. And however often the part of my brain that's like, I want to make really fooling magic has a fight with the part of my brain that wants to make really profound and interesting art. Because often the things that are the most fooling tend to be too procedural. Or they just don't have, they're not performative necessarily. You can fool the pants off of someone but it's not a routine or it's not a concept. And so I think what I love about those kinds of things, I like what you're saying when Penn and Teller forget, that tends to only happen when it's both fooling as hell, but well presented like so, like the, all the art part of your brain is happy and the magic part of your brain is happy and they're making out and they're just like singing sweet nothings. And they're like, yeah, we did it together. We made this beautiful magic baby that has all the things that, that's the kind of routine that I love.

Kray: That's the kind of routine I want to watch. Awesome way to describe it. I love it. So what do you think would be one trick that you would suggest that every magician should learn or at least attempt during their career?

Carisa: I would say I am the wrong person to ask that particular question. I think it's less about what trick you know, or what effect you know? I mean, I would say everyone should know some basic coin stuff like a French drop, you know, basic ball manipulation. That sounds weird coming from me. Everybody should know what an invisible deck is and how it works. Everybody should know a double lift and you know, at least two or three false shuffles and you know, there's some basics that everybody should have because these are things you can do impromptu. They're skills that are going to help you do other things. In terms of a trick trick, the trouble I have with that is it's really gonna depend on your venue and your character. So if you're a closeup magician, it's going to be different than if you're doing table shows or close up shows or parlor shows, stage shows, illusions. I'm a character comedy act. So the material I'm going to do is going to be, what I would say is essential to my work is very, very different than what would be essential to an illusionists work. And also if I'm touring with a van that's going to be different than if I'm touring with a suitcase. So my full 40 minute show fits into one 50lb piece of luggage.

Now in fairness, that piece of luggage is away luggage. So it's very, very light. So the luggage itself doesn't have a lot of weight, but that still means my whole show is like 40 pounds. That doesn't mean I ... I would prefer to travel with also my light/heavy box that I made, which is sort of a new light/heavy box. No magnet. Oh sorry. Let me take that again. It doesn't mean I wouldn't want to travel with stuff that's heavier for certain shows that take up a, like I have a light/heavy box routine that's one suitcase for five minutes, six minutes of material. It's not always worth it. I took it to Australia to do the show in Australia and now it's in Chicago and eventually I'll do it in the show in Chicago. But I don't fly that one around, that's not my, that's not my essential show.

So I think step one is to figure out what's your venue and then what do you need to accomplish. So most of the time when I'm performing, I'm performing in an environment where lately where I'm performing to theaters. Theater shows are maybe the easiest kind of show because people come in to have a good time. They buy a ticket knowing they're going to see magic. So you know they already like magic, they probably love magic, so they're going to be the best kind of audiences and they're in small groups. They're in groups of three, four, five, six. These are the kinds of rooms that are really warm. They are not the overwhelming culture. So they're very quick to adopt whoever you are and whatever kind of show you want to put on. I used to do a lot of corporate shows, so in a corporate show it's very different because there is a preexisting culture and you're walking into that culture and so you are the outsider and so it's less about what trick would be best as an opener.

It's more about how can you write a routine that communicates to those people that you're one of them that can win, basically make you likable and make you endearing and show them that you understand their corporate culture and that you're part of it before you continue the rest of your show. So I think a lot of people come out and they'll do like ballarama, which is, which is fine for corporate because it's very, very visual. But it doesn't tell us anything about you as a performer. It doesn't. It just says, okay, so the show is going to be really, really amazing and cool because it's a very impressive trick and it's very fun. So you come out, it's very eye catching, but then if the rest of your show isn't eye catching and big, it might be a false representation of what people can expect. Because in a corporate scenario you're walking out and your people are trying to learn who you are.

If that's not accomplished in your first couple of routines, then people will tend to kind of drift off because they're like, I don't know who this guy is. I don't know, I'm here hanging out with Jill from accounting and Jill and I go way back and I want to talk to Jill. You need to bring Jill up on stage, right? You need to communicate that like, Oh, you've talked to the host, you know that Jill's of the jokester and you and Jill are going to do something hilarious where Jill gets one over on you. And then everyone's like, oh, he gets it. He knows that he picked the right one. He knows. And then you're fine. So yeah, I'm always a little bit more like not as interested in individual tricks and being like, oh, this trick is the trick that everybody should know. It's more about everybody has to know what they need to do at the beginning of the show to win over their audience. That's the thing that you should be looking for. What does your character needs to do in your particular venue to get those people and to hold them for the rest of the performance.

Kray: So you said you were the wrong person to ask. I think you were the perfect person to ask.

Carisa: I feel bad because everyone else is going to be like card warp.

Kray: That's one of the beautiful things about any kind of artistic endeavors, like there's so many different ways to look at things and that's kind of one of the things that I want to do with this podcast is get people to, you know, one, learn about more Canadian magicians out there because it was hard for me to find people. I had to do a lot of research and I don't want people to have to go through that, but also to get all these different perspectives on things because even something as simple as a cup of balls or a rope trick, people have completely different ways of thinking about the trick and doing the tricks and providing so that the answers that come out of that question are just fabulous and I really love your answer for that. So thank you.

Carisa: Oh good. I'm going to pat myself on the head since that's what you did verbally.

Kray: It's much better when you can do it yourself.

I have one final question. I can do that. At the same time though. So my big closer, if you could spend the day with any magician living or dead, who would it be and why?

Carisa: Oh no. Okay. So here's how I'm going to start answering this question. So a year ago there would have been three names on that list and I have spent a day with each of those people. Yeah. And I just feel so grateful and lucky and what I have learned is that, you know, you idolize people and you go, oh this would be like the coolest person in the world and that will be flawless and I would have the best time with them and then you meet them and they are great. They're amazing. But in a totally different way from what you expected. And so I have sort of stopped thinking that way. I've stopped idolizing people in that same way because, you know, I used to, I still do a lot, but I used to especially idolized like Max Maven and now whenever I'm in LA we try to get together for lunch and I can hang out with him for like, you know, a lunch with Max Maven is four hours and I love it.

I have such a good time and he's so fun and a generous with information and such an amazing thinker and he's fun and cool in a way that I totally wasn't expecting. And so I think a year ago I would have been like, oh, I really want to spend a day with Max Maven. And so, you know, things are. Things are all more possible than you realize. So I would say step one, I try not to think that way anymore. I try not to idolize people. However, that being said, I would love to spend an afternoon hanging out with David Williamson, because I that is one of the people on my list that I have not yet hung out with much. We've hung out a little bit. I got to spend a day with him technically at Magic Live because I'm the stage manager for the general sessions and when he did Magic Live I get to spend a whole day with him, but he's working and I'm working so I didn't really get to hang out with him and he's been very nice to me since then.

We've gotten to talk a few times. I saw him at Magi Fest last year and then he added me on Facebook and I even like screen captured in my phone because I was like, this is a big deal. And but I never seem to have time to be where he is and I would love to hang out with him because I think David Williamson is the perfect combination of really established character. Really funny, excellent writer, high level skill. He can do all the hard stuff. He's got a crazy wealth of knowledge. But the biggest thing with David Williamson is that he is one of the most generous, sweet, considerate people I've ever met. And humble and gracious. And that is what I would want to learn. I would want to just be around him because he's fun, but also really trying to focus on like, okay, what is it that has made you so considerate and even tempered and reasonable because I want to be that so bad.

Uh, yeah. So definitely David Williamson would be my person and I don't know, I would want to hang out with dead magicians. I mean they'd be all like dusty and falling apart and crumbling. I mean maybe maybe Cardini oh, or Doug Henning because their relationship with magic was so interesting. I mean like you look at Doug Henning and you don't see any guilt in what he's doing. He really believes in his magic when he does it. And that's so cool and inspiring. But I think because magic is based on what people expect. Magic has to always be very modern. It has to always have a relationship with where it is in time and place because it's about recognizing what people think is possible and then showing them that they're wrong. And so, hanging out with magicians that are long dead would be tough because I think their relationship to magic, it might not skew as well now because things have changed in our relationship with what's impossible is different.

Like just the amount of magic that you read from books that are a hundred years ago that are like borrow a top hat. You cannot borrow a top hat. No one's wearing a top hat. So just like the objects that are that people carry or cigarettes aren't even a thing anymore or technology and culture and just as a current zeitgeist and the way people feel. I mean this is is my lecture, but a people what people want from their art has also changed. You know, there was a time when we wanted sappy, sweet, you know, very emotional, Copperfieldy stuff. And then there was a time that we wanted really cynical, like magic. That was very like punk, you know, that's when we wanted Blaine and Angel. And now we want things that are a balance of the two.

We want Rick and Morty, we want stuff that is cynical but also heartfelt. We want, because that's how life feels right now. We feel like we don't have permission to take anything too seriously and we don't want our magic to take itself too seriously and because magic is based on exactly where we are in time and place, things that are relevant now become what influences our magic. So that's, I think why I picked somebody who is alive and not somebody who is dead and you're probably didn't want me to like justify my answer to that level. So. Oops.

Kray: Again, awesome answer.

Carisa: Okay, good. Great. I'm desperate for validation. That's what all this is. Please tell me this was okay.

Kray: Yeah. it was absolutely amazing. Carisa. Thank you so much for coming on the show. If people want to find you, where should I tell them to go? Where should we send them?

Carisa: Carisahendrix.com. C A R I S A. Hendrix like Jimmy with an X dot com. And that's sort of like my hub where you can get to every single thing that I do. I'm also on Instagram, Carisa Hendrix on Instagram. Carisa Hendrix on Twitter, Carisa Hendrix on Facebook. And then obviously if you want to look up the thing that I have put my heart and soul into than I would, I would check out Lucy Darling because that is the thing that I built that I am the most proud of.

Kray: Awesome. We will link to them all. Awesome. Thank you everybody for joining us today. And we will be back again with another great guest soon.


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