Mentalist James Fabulous – On Magic and Mentors
The Madrid Metropolitan catches up with Spain based Mentalist and Magician James Fabulous who has taken advantage of all things Zoom that the Pandemic has brought to bring a touch of magic to all corners of the world.
How did you first get into magic?
I got into the magic game relatively late when I was 29. I was travelling in South East Asia, at the time I was working in a bar in Laos. There was a magician also working at the bar called Adam Axford. I loved his magic it was beautiful and we got along really well as mates. When I got back to England I was bored so I decided to start learning a couple of bits of sleight of hand. Adam came back to the country a month later and was stoked that I had taken up magic so he started teaching me more and more. We would go to bars and I would watch him perform then I would do my thing and he gave me pointers.
So you had a mentor to show you the ropes?
Absolutely, I never thought of becoming a magician when I was younger. It’s one of the wonderful things about travelling is the people you meet. A brief encounter with Adam on the other side of the world changed the course of my life in a truly positive way.
What is magic to you?
For me the magic is not in what I am doing, it is the feeling it gives people when they see it. Magic turns you into a kid. Suddenly people are transported from their everyday lives to a realm where anything is possible. When we were children, magic was real and it is all around us. As we all grow older our eyes are open to the real world and scepticism naturally forms where as once upon a time we would look at something and believe it to be magic. So when I can revert someone back to that time, just for a moment, when anything is possible because what they have witnessed with their own eyes is seemingly truly impossible, for me that IS the magic.
It says on your website you are a magician and mentalist. What is a mentalist?
Mentalism is the mindreading side of magic. It is gives the audience the perception that I am psychic. It’s something I’ve got into more and more in the last few years. While most people have seen a magician do card tricks not many people have met a mentalist who can tell them the name of someone they are thinking of, or correctly guess their birthday or even unlock the pin code on their phone!
How has Covid impacted your profession this year?
Covid has been really devastating for the events industry. Unfortunately the concept of ‘social distancing’ is incredibly bad for close up magicians! Last summer was crazy busy with events, aeroplanes, hotels, festivals, weddings it was really full on. This summer has been very quiet so I’ve spent my time learning very advanced levels of magic and theory, which I’m looking forward to performing when the world opens back up.
I see you now have a virtual show, how is that going?
It’s going really well, much better than I thought it would! When it became obvious that live events weren’t going to kick off anytime soon I started building a show that could be done exclusively online. Now I join company Zoom meetings or family Zoom nights and perform 20-30 minutes magic and mind reading for those on the call. I’ve really enjoyed the creative process behind building the show, and while reading someone’s mind over the internet rather than having them stand in front of me has it’s own set of challenges it’s a lot of fun and I’ve had wonderfully positive feedback.