KEVIN KOPFSTEIN A touch of magic

Scottish comedian and magician Kevin Kopfstein has been making audiences roar with laughter and gasp with amazement across the globe and throughout Australia for over 30 years. Now the award-winning performer has announced his Fringe World premiere this summer, bringing his comedy and magic show Smoke and Mirrors to Girls School from Sunday, February 6 to Sunday, February 13, 2022.  BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Kopfstein to find out about the highlights of his colourful career to date, and what Perth audiences can look forward to at his shows.

Great to have you here for Fringe 2022! Do you remember what it was that first drew you to performing magic and what has kept you doing it since?

I saw a magician on TV when I was eight years old and I was instantly hooked on that sense of amazement and wonder. I found a book of magic tricks in my local library and began learning from there. I keep performing magic because when I see that childhood sense of wonder in the adults in my audience, I know I’ve achieved my goal!

Who is the most famous/memorable person you have ever tricked, or performed to, and what was that experience like?

Because I do comedy with my magic, the most famous person I was nervous about performing for was the Glasgow folk musician Danny Kyle. He was Billy Connolly’s best friend in Glasgow. When I found out he was in the audience, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be funny enough. I was too scared to look at him in the audience in case he wasn’t laughing.

Do you ever use your magician powers in everyday life?

My wife has far greater magical powers than I do. She knows what I’m going to do before I do it. She calls it women’s intuition but I call it witchcraft!

Is there actually a ‘code’ for magicians about revealing tricks or secrets?

There’s no written code, but the secret to a trick is such a small part of the whole, that it’s often very disappointing when you learn the secret. The real secret is in the presentation and the psychology. I like to call it mental misdirection. Hopefully my audiences are having such a great time that they suspend their disbelief and just enjoy the show.

As someone who has been performing as a magician for several decades now, what’s one thing that has changed since you started, and one thing that hasn’t?

Technology is the biggest change. Any one with a couple of tricks can go on YouTube and gain an audience, even if they aren’t very good. The one thing that hasn’t changed is presentation. Good performers know that it’s not about the tricks but what you do with them to entertain.

What are you bringing to Fringe 2022 and how might it be different from what we’ve seen from you before?

I’m really excited about bringing my new comedy and magic show, Smoke and Mirrors to Fringe World. One of the new things that I’m particularly excited about is I’m going to be recreating a Victorian seance. I have a haunted doll I found in an antique shop. Her name is Harriet and without giving too much away, she tends to take on a life of her own!

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