An Interview & Conversation
with Gerald Edmundson
(Edited from various news media interviews, articles & other sources)

Commentator: "You have been performing for quite a number of years. How did you first become interested in becoming a magician?"

Gerald: "My parents took me to see the big traveling magic shows when I was a child. I must have been about six or seven years old. My mother took me to the library almost every week and I found books on magic. That got me started. I did my first paid performance when I was about fourteen years old. I've been performing in some capacity ever since. . . as a full time professional for about forty years."

Commentator: "How do you feel about the "Masked Magician" and other exposures of magic's secrets on television?"

Gerald: "We all deal with harsh realities and hassles every day. We all need a release from reality, a little fantasy, a little wonder in our lives. That is why the movie theaters are full every weekend. But once a person knows the secret of an illusion, of a magic trick, the mystery of that trick, the illusion of it is gone forever. One can never again enjoy that illusion with the same wonder. For that very reason, I never watch television shows about the making of Star Wars, Jurassic Park and other special-effects type movies. I want to believe that the dinosaurs are real. It ruins it for me if I know how the special effects are accomplished."

Commentator: "Have you had to leave out tricks from your own shows because of the exposures on television?"

Gerald: "No, most of the tricks which are exposed are standard items available from magic shops. I do mostly original material, things which are of my own making and are not available in magic shops. So it really doesn't affect me in that manner. However, magic is an ancient art, and it saddens me that opportunists cheapen it in this manner. The profession will survive and do it grandly. The opportunists will come and go, but the grand art of magic will remain."

Commentator: "So you devise many of your own tricks. Are most magicians inventors of tricks?

Gerald: "I won't say that most magicians invent their own tricks. Most do not. But most successful performers have their own way of presenting a trick: little variations that allow them to project their personality to the audience. There has been a surge of creativity in the last twenty five years or so. When Doug Henning opened his magic show on Broadway in 1974, his magnetic personality and unique way of presenting magic gave the art a terrific boost. Doug's Broadway show and television specials were pretty much responsible for the current "golden age" of magic. Magic suffered a great loss with his passing. His influence in the art will be felt for years to come. I'm sorry. I believe I have wandered from the subject."

Commentator: "Not at all! As a magic 'outsider,' I am fascinated with this conversation. Speaking of magic on television, do you like magic on television as it is produced today?""

Gerald: "Oh, I think some performers have used the television medium as well as it can be used for magic. Doug Henning and then David Copperfield have handled it probably as well as it can be done. I liked to watch those shows in the past. But to me, magic must be experienced live. It doesn't work on television nearly as well as live. I must admit, I don't watch the magic TV specials as I once did."

Commentator: "I know they say there are "No camera tricks," but I think most people think there are."

Gerald: "Maybe people think that. I don't know. I do know that there are some things that you just have to be there. For me, magic is one of them. But that is just a personal opinion."

Commentator: "Do you mind if we change subject a little? You don't make tigers disappear or saw young ladies in half in your shows. Why do you not do these large tricks in your shows?"

Gerald: "In the profession, we call those large tricks "illusions." Magicians who perform them are called "illusionists." My specialty is sleight-of-hand with smaller objects. Travel for assistants, air freight or large trucks, is very expensive with the large shows. My show is not nearly as expensive to produce as those large shows. I use only small articles, but I construct my show so that it can be seen and enjoyed in the largest theaters, down to the small platform after-dinner banquet situations. I travel with no extra baggage other than the normal two bags to check and one to carry-on. How that is done is one of my show's best secrets! I've devised props and packing methods that keep travel expenses to a minimum for my clients."

Commentator: "I have watched you perform many times. I never see you do anything that looks like sleight-of-hand in your show. I mean, I never see you do anything that looks the least bit suspicious. It looks as if things happen by real magic."

Gerald: "Thank you! Actually, you have just paid me a very high compliment. The artistry in sleight-of-hand is concealed. If something looks suspicious, then the wonder and mystery of the trick suffers or is lost completely. Part of the art is making the magic look real. That is my goal every time I began working on something new."

Commentator: "What do you see for the future of the art?"

Gerald: "Very bright indeed! Many of the young performers are wonderful. They build upon the knowledge of the past like never before. It is really exciting to see it unfold. If you have not seen Lance Burton's superb show in Las Vegas, then you've missed a real treat. The art is in good hands."

Commentator: "Thank you for the "inside look" at your show and your profession. I wish we had more time!"

Gerald: "Thank you for the pleasant conversation. The pleasure was mine!"

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