Q&A with Nick Locapo, local magician

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From the October 17, 2013 edition
  • Photo by Tim Johnson

Nick Locapo is a celebrity magician who’d been working professional shows for the last 10 years before moving to Columbus two months ago. Why did Locapo move to Columbus? Because there’s a significant magic community and businesses here that he’s working for.

So you may run into Locapo on the street around town (hint: the North Campus area is a good place to start), and he’ll probably blow your mind. Just recently he had a guy so freaked out by a quick mind-reading trick that he thought he was going to have a panic attack.

Besides producing street and trick demonstration videos, Locapo also creates a live talk show about magic and is in the process of setting up live performance shows for November and December.

I’ve been doing magic seriously for 10 years, but I’ve always been into it. I did a show at Universal Studios in Disney World for five years. I was doing that show prior to moving here.

The Universal show is Universal’s magic show. You’re hired as a magician to do this trick, this trick, this trick and these are the jokes. Over time you make it your own, but the thing you really learn when you do something like that — I’ve done over 10,000 magic shows at Universal Studios — is how to stand in front of people, deliver a joke, control the audience. That’s what magic is really about. It’s not about the magic; it’s about the interaction between me and the other person.

There are many film projects that we do. A lot of time it’s just us filmmaking trailers for magic tricks. We’re trying to get people freaked out so we can sell magic to magicians.

I moved here because there’s a magic company here in Columbus. It was started by a couple Columbus magicians [and was purchased by] one of the bigger magic companies in the world. What we do is we come up with tricks, or buy the rights to tricks from other magicians and we sell them to the magic community. That requires, just like any other product, filming a commercial and a demonstration video. When you buy it, you get a DVD along with any props you might need. It’s my job to make the tricks look sexy; get the girls to laugh, get the people to freak out so it looks good on film.

There’s also another amazing thing we do here in town. We film a live show that’s broadcast on the internet every Sunday night. It’s a live broadcast to 6,000 magicians. Every week we have a new magician that comes to town and it’s like a late night talk show. They talk about their life experience, their tricks, their work. It’s usually a three-hour live show. It’s just weird to think about that happening in this town and nobody has any idea.

Penn and Teller probably have the best magic show right now on Earth. David Copperfield is still unbelievable. If you haven’t seen him, it’s important to because he’s not going to do it too much longer. When it’s all said and done, he’ll probably be the best magician that’s ever lived. There’s a guy overseas named Derren Brown. He has that side of the world convinced … he’s something else, which is extremely difficult to do these days. The other guy is David Blaine. I’m a big fan [of his].

Not enough people have a reason to go out and see a magic show. On Friday night, it’s “Let’s go see this band.” Nobody ever says, “Let’s go check out this magician.”

Unfortunately magic is done poorly very easily. If you see a bad band, it’s not going to stop you from going to see a band the next week. If you see a bad magician, it’s, “Yeah, I don’t like magic.” Once they have an opinion, it’s hard to get them off it.