Are you a risk taker? Have you managed to find a balance between the creative process and earning a good living?
As a writer, David Merry has written jokes for legendary comedians including Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield.
As a magician, he’s invented some spectacular tricks
And as a comedian, he’s one the most “in-demand” performers I’ve worked with doing hundreds of shows each year.
Through all of this David’s taken risks and he opens up about the ups and downs of his many ventures.
David’s a lifelong learner who’s in the process of meeting the requirements to become a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada, but most impressive is that through all the ups and downs and transitions in his entertainment career he’s been a great husband and father.
David Ben is a Canadian stage magician, sleight of hand artist, author, magic historian, creative consultant and former tax lawyer.
David was educated at the University of Toronto (BA), the University of Western Ontario (LLB), and the London School of Economics (LLM).
We talk about his decision to leave his law practice to practice magic.
David is the rare magician who, like Ricky Jay or Teller, of the duo “Penn and Teller,” has an innovative approach to magic that at once respects the historic traditions of magic but pushes the art form forward.
David’s stage show “The Conjuror,” had its world premiere at the Shaw Festival in 1996. The show had outstanding box office and critical reviews and has been mounted several time since then.
His path to success was never easy, and he talks candidly about the time he seriously considered quitting the Arts because of the financial strain it put on his young family.
If you saw “Possible Worlds” during the 2015 Stratford Festival season, you saw David’s magic integrated into the show thanks to director Mitchell Cushman.
Steve Cohen is one of the most respected contemporary magicians in the world. But his success didn’t come without risks, both personal and financial.
In our conversation Cohen shares the secret behind succesfully launching his critically acclaimed show Chamber Magic, which recreates the intimacy of parlor magic that was popular in New York during the 20th century .
“Chamber Magic” is set in an elegant salon in the Lotte New York Palace hotel.
The show features conjuring, mind-reading, sleight of hand, and an astonishing trick called Think-A-Drink. A celebrity favorite, Cohen baffles his guests with magic up close as he recreates parlor entertainment that characterized Manhattan in the early 20th century.
Update: Steve Cohen’s Chamber Magic show will celebrate its 5,000th performance on Friday, October 6.