Autographed Photograph of Nate Staniforth
Interview with Nate Staniforth
October 15, 2008
Nate Staniforth freely admits to possessing no magic powers, and promises only “to amaze the hell out of you.”
You knew that from the opening of “Nate Staniforth: Magician.” But you may not know that the magician, who makes an appearance in Crash Course 2, credits his interest, and success, in magic to growing up in magically-isolated Iowa (as opposed to Las Vegas or New York City).
He believes that audiences today have a low tolerance for B.S., that magicians can be inspired by other magicians without copying them and and feels like if he were a better magician, he wouldn’t be as interested in music:
“There are limitations as a magician. You are bound to be amazing. There are only so many things you can honestly talk about as a magician…When you’re in a rock band, you can talk about in your songs love, hope, death, fear, faith, politics, God. You can talk about real things that matter. The blood and guts of being a human being. When you’re a magician, it’s much harder to do that. You can’t really create a routine that speaks about things like that, unless you’re more clever than me…I haven’t figured out a way to talk about anything but mystery.”
That glimpse into his mind is from an interview Staniforth did with Ellusionist after the release of “Magician.” You can hear it in this raw podcast:
Staniforth’s style is laid back and subdued, yet has a lot of warmth.
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"THE BOB DYLAN OF MAGIC" - OZY.COM
"Nate Staniforth’s show is like a TED Talk on wonder and amazement, punctuated with a dozen moments of jaw-dropping 'Holy s*$%!'"
Nate is a magician, writer, traveler, and host of the Discovery Channel’s international hit TV series Breaking Magic, but don’t think of this as a magic show. Nate abandons the ubiquitous style-without-substance bravado so often associated with magic and appeals instead to the imagination and intellect of his audience. With his forthcoming book Here is Real Magic, from the Harry-Potter famed Bloomsbury Publishing, Nate is your guide to finding more wonder in your life.
“Just caught a Nate Staniforth show,” one reporter tweeted after opening night, “and now I have no idea what to believe about anything ever again.” No rabbits. No top hats. No smoke machines. Nate’s shows feel more like jumping out of an airplane than a night at a comedy club. The journey is wild, visceral and immediate, and like all great art, encourages us to open our minds and hearts, and see the world in new ways.
“When you’re young, it’s easy to be amazed,” says Nate Staniforth. “As you get older, that experience of astonishment gets harder and harder to find. Good magic isn’t about deception. It’s about trying to see things the way you saw them before they became ordinary.
For over a decade, Nate has toured the US college circuit as one of the busiest working magicians in the country. He’s given a TED Talk, lectured at the world-famous Oxford Union, and in 2018 the Harry Potter-famed Bloomsbury Publishing released Nate’s memoir. Here is Real Magic follows Nate's evolution from obsessed wunderkind to disillusioned wanderer, and tells the story of his rediscovery of astonishment—and the importance of wonder in everyday life—during his trip to the slums of India, where he infiltrated a 3,000-year-old clan of street magicians.