While some magicians do simple hat tricks and other fun but simple illusions, 22-year-old magician Ian Galloway does a unique show to not only engage children, but also adults.
“I levitate a table in the finale of the show and then I levitate myself,” he said. “This is for my parlor show of about 50 people or more. And then at the end of that I make butterflies appear after I levitate.”
This is just one among many of the tricks the magician does while performing.
Galloway’s unique tricks and approach to magic likely come from experience, as he has been practicing magic for more than 10 years and been doing shows professionally for the past several.
The young man had his first show when he was 16-years-old at the Magic Castle in Hollywood not too long after he was inspired by another magician.
“This was after I saw Lance Burton’s show in Las Vegas,” he said. “And after seeing his show in Vegas, I was really inspired to get into it (doing magic shows).”
His first show at the Hollywood Castle was a mind reading act that consisted of – much as the title suggests – reading minds and associated magic tricks. Since that time, the young magician has expanded his magic arsenal even more and improved his skill level.
He still plays shows at the Magic Castle, but now also performs at places like Disneyland Resort and various branches of the Calvary Chapel company. He has also been featured in an award winning film, “Make Believe.”
His magic impresses even his older and more experienced colleagues like Magician Johnny Wonder.
Wonder is a veteran in the magic profession; he conducted a number of different shows throughout the Las Vegas area before coming to California and has worked in a number of different magic acts with Galloway.
Wonder said his colleague’s approach of using older and more classical magic tricks is what separates him from other up and coming magicians.
“It’s just overall the character that he’s performing as; it keeps you in awe and at the edge of your seat,” he said. “Producing live animals such as butterflies, rabbits, doves – it’s more classical magic that you don’t see nowadays.”
Though Galloway’s mixture of classic magic and unique tricks seems to always leave crowds satisfied, sometimes acts don’t work out quite how the magic enthusiast expects them to. And when this happens, the art of improvisation is extremely important.
“Sometimes when I do daredevil stuff I’ll burn myself,” he said. “I don’t burn myself too badly, but there are times when I’ll have to play it off. I’ll play it off and act like nothing happened.”
The magician also said that sometimes he deals with hecklers and people who often challenge his ability to do a trick a certain way.
“Sometimes something might happen where someone will say something out of the ordinary,” he said. “Someone might say, ‘I bet you can’t do the trick this way,’ and you’ve got to know how to handle the situation and kind of get back at them and kind of make fun of them without being offensive to the point where they might get mad.”
Galloway equated his work as a magician to another profession.
“Magic is kind of like you’re the actor playing the role of a magician,” he said. “So it’s kind of like no matter what happens, if something happens where (a magic act) doesn’t go as planned, you try to make it fit and you kind of try to make it look like that’s how it was supposed to happen.
The 22-year-old also said that though he deals with the occasional heckler and might make small errors with his acts from time to time, his magic tends to really impress people.
“There are things that happen where people just get really amazed because most people have never seen magic,” he said. “Most people have never seen any kind of magic show – only a couple percent of the population have actually seen a live magic show.”
Galloway said his appeal comes from exploiting people’s conceptions of what should and shouldn’t be possible.
“In their minds something like that shouldn’t be able to happen. It kind of goes against all of your beliefs and all the things you were taught when you see it because it’s something you’ve never seen in your entire life,” he said.
“Sometimes when people see me levitate, their jaws will just drop in disbelief,” he added.
Wonder, Galloway’s colleague, said the magic act Galloway does is very impressive and proof that the young man is a great magician.
“He’s definitely advanced,” Wonder said. “The way a magician looks at you is A) your performance, and B) the actual moves themselves. His moves are flawless.”
Galloway will be doing shows at the Laugh Factory in Murrieta and Tesoro Winery in Temecula within the next couple of months.
To contact Ian Galloway, visit www.amazingmagic-ian.com.