Here is an interview with magician Roberto Cecchetto, where we discover many hidden sides of the art of magic.
Most magicians became enamored with the magic at a young age. Can you describe your first encounter with illusion and how it managed to grab a hold of you?
Almost 25 years ago, I was at a classic family dinner, with family members and relatives you only see once a year. I remember being bored and wandering around the tables aimlessly, until an aunt called me over and unexpectedly worked her magic on me with a stick and a napkin. A world opened up to me.
The magician’s craft depends implicitly on mystery. What kind of margin for error do you operate with, and does the possibility of your secrets being discovered play in your mind during a performance?
This is a good question, and I think it all depends on before the show and being prepared and ready to make a good impression. Some tricks/illusions will take months and months to get into my show or routine, because they have to be 100% safe, that I can do them with my eyes closed.
The moments before the show are the most stressful for me. Once I’m on stage, all the anxiety goes away and it’s just about entertaining the audience and having fun with them. But it’s before I get on stage that the stress is.
How do different groups respond differently to magic? (Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly as well as men and women)
Children, especially from the age of 6 onwards, use magic as a game. In fact, to a certain extent this is true with all age groups. I often hear “gee Roberto, you were so funny” as well as “how did you do that”. And that’s fine with me, because if people laugh, people enjoy themselves, the important thing is to amaze the audience!
Of course, you can’t do the same trick you would do for a 7-year-old child as you would do for older people. Not that you necessarily have to change the make-up, but definitely the way you display it.
Magic is as much about illusion as it is the art of distraction, and like any vocation, the better the performer, the easier it’s made to look. How and how often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for your new routines?
As mentioned before, some tricks or illusions will take months or even years to get into the show. And the funny thing is most of what I start rehearsing NEVER makes it into the show.
I probably make my living on less than 30 tricks/illusions that I use on a consistent basis. With an average of 8 routines per show, a group can have me 3 years in a row before I start to have to bring in repeats.
So, for a new routine to make it into my show, it has to come to a level that is at or above what I’m currently performing. I would say that maybe 10% of tricks that I am interested in or start working on actually make it into my “repertoire”, the others are just chalked up to research and development!
What are the reactions of your friends and family who have been exposed to your magic for years, and do you perform for them regularly?
Yes, my close friends and family have a “jaded” view of magic now. My career is mostly “ho-hum” for them, except for the major events. But, for day in and day out shows, it’s just “another job” to a lot of my close family and friends!
What goes through your mind when watching a magician perform and who impresses you the most?
I don’t really have this problem, I love seeing each and every magician that I can! I always enjoy good magic performed, if I’m seeing the magician for the first time or the the tenth time. Magic is my passion, and yes it sometimes becomes a “job” and I get burnt out, but only for a night
It’s not every day you meet a magician. What is the first thing people ask you (or ask you to do) once they find out about your profession?
Well, there’s a wide variety of things. Everything from “can you make my wife disappear” which I’ve heard ten thousand times, to “can you make money appear”. I laugh at these like it’s the first time I’ve heard them because, as you said, it’s not every day you meet a magician! But especially I ask myself to give them a game of magic and I always hope it will be a special moment for them!
Can you describe what happens when wizards get together?
Some of my best memories are when I’ve gotten together with other wizards, and I ALWAYS look forward to these moments! Wizards are a special group when there are so many of them together because the wizards have so many fantastic stories they share with each other and “favourite tricks” they try to trick the other wizards with. I can’t even describe how amazing it is when you have a whole group of magicians together!
We thank Roberto for his availability and leave the link to his Instagram channel so you can follow him in his magical world
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