Last week, GigMasters’ Co-Founder, Mike Caldwell, and I had the pleasure of dining with the brilliant Benjamin Corey in his home city of Bethesda, Maryland. We saw some seriously up-close magic and learned a lot about this multi-talented, magical man. He shared so much with us which I now share with you…
Tell us your story. How did you choose to become a magician?
BC: This is what happens when you make your career decisions at age three! I always knew I wanted to be an entertainer and my passions for comedy and magic worked perfectly together.
In your own words, what is magic?(and what isn’t?)
BC: Magic is the feeling inside of the audience. It is not props on stage, or a trick. I can’t run back to my car and get my magic. Everything I do and say is a vehicle to create the feelings of joy, wonder, and magic. Magic does exist, it is real, and as a magician I find the magic within you!
You perform for such a wide variety of events, how do the event and the audience affect your show?
BC: I customize every show down to the exact company, group, or age of the audience. Sometimes the show comes in to fit in a living room, in the middle of a meeting room, or a theater. Sometimes the show arrives in a truck with several crew members. The production is scaled for the venue and the audience. The show is made to be an exact fit for the people who will be present. If there are kids and adults at a family show, there will be two layers of comedy for each age group. The entire show is adjusted to fit the audience in the room like a glove!
When someone is hiring a magician for a child’s birthday party, what questions should they ask?
BC: How many shows do you perform a month? You need to know if you are dealing with a seasoned pro, or a weekend warrior. Some people perform a few shows a month. As a pro, I have performed more than 2300 shows and it effects everything about the performance and your experience making the plans! What do you do differently for the age group at my party? How will you make sure my Son/Daughter feels special? Ask those questions, but ask yourself – “Does this guy seem like fun? Am I excited by this person right now?”
What makes a great magician for a corporate event?
BC: The opposite of a star. Your event is about the objectives your corporation is trying to achieve. The Magician is here to help make your event a huge success and make you look great. Aside from that there are a million details to performing for this type of audience. You want a Magician who is focused on corporate events because it is a distinct specialty.
Have you performed at weddings? What makes magic at weddings unique?
BC: I have. The feeling of magic is the perfect feeling for a wedding. It brings feelings of love and magic together that are amazing. It adds to the fairy tale element of a wedding. What makes it unique for me is that event planners call me to perform at their own weddings, but brides and grooms don’t know to call!
You have so many talents beyond magic– singing, dancing, impersonation, comedy – how do you weave all of this into your act?
BC: The word is synergy. I find the best magic, the best comedy, the best songs, the best dance, the best impersonations, and I include those together. I sing, only at events where it fits the atmosphere. My range of skills allows me to cut away anything that I don’t think will absolutely blow the audience away. Some acts are choreographed magic, others are singing/comedy impersonation – interactive magic. I look at the emotional quality I want to create with each act and pull the elements together that will provide maximum entertainment.
How has GigMasters helped your business?
BC: GigMasters is a steady source of great leads. It keeps a flow of events coming that are all different. It helps keep me on my toes by challenging me with so many different types audiences. When I spend less time marketing and looking for leads, I spend more time on my show! GigMasters helps me have the time to be a better magician!
How is the art of magic changing? And, what does the future look like for you?
BC: There is a new generation of stars that are deepening the art. Magicians are collaborating and creating new effects. All sorts of things are happening. There is new “Cutting edge” magic emerging as we speak. I see things that blow me away! For me, the future looks exciting. I see the shows getting bigger and bigger. More people know what I’m doing. People are calling me from further and further away to bring in my shows. And I’ve got my team working on some very exciting original magic and entertainment.
Watch Benjamin Corey in action. Videos, photos and more information can be found on his GigMasters profile