Comunidad Iberia Plus David López

The Pop Magician explains why nothing is impossible

Antonio Díaz (Badía del Vallés, 1986), the Pop Magician, says he has no powers, but the spectators of his show Nada es imposible Broadway Edition number in the millions, with even more watching on the small screen: first at Dmax, and then on Netflix

Imágenes de James Rajotte

What words defines you best: illusionist, magician...?
Illusionist. And I’m saying that even with ‘magician’ in my name. I promised that I would never call myself ‘the X Magician’, but it happened by accident. I was doing a programme for Discovery Channel in the UK that was called The Pop Illusionist, but they translated it as ‘The Pop Magician’ and it stuck as my stage name. I think that ‘illusionist’ better defines what we do, because, ultimately, we create illusions that the spectator knows are not true. ‘Magician’, on the other hand, has more mysterious connotations, like witchcraft. 

It’s illusionism not because of what you do, but because of what you create...
That’s nice. Well, yes, it goes both ways, and that’s why I like ‘illusionist’ so much. 

You always say that you fight daily against mistakes, so that the ruse can’t be seen. Why make that effort to acknowledge that it’s a trick? Why not just say that it’s magic?
Because I think it’s nice to not ignore it. If I had powers, what I would do would be less interesting, because it would be an exhibition of my powers. In this case, it’s like an exhibition of techniques, mechanisms and findings that will allow me to see – live – something that doesn’t exist. I think that’s fascinating. Many magicians don’t like the word ‘trick’. I love it. 

And all of that isn’t powers?
In some ways, yes. There are people who say that, when you see me fly, it is because I am flying, even though I know otherwise.

“Many magicians don’t like the word ‘trick’. I love it.”

What percentage of a trick’s success depends on the spectators?
I’d say 90 or 95 per cent. The magic is in them, what they feel. What’s more, magic feeds back on itself. When you see the person next to you cracking up, you crack up more. It’s a show that takes place in the seats on the theatre floor, which is more interesting than the stage. 

What affects you more: the reactions of children or adults?
Before, I would have told you that my favourite audience was my age or a bit older. Now, it’s children and seniors. And especially a combination of both. Something happens with the kids: they really appreciate the adults’ reactions. When they see them cracking up, they enjoy it twice as much because they always think their parents know everything, and they don’t understand it. And it’s the same thing with the old folk. They’ve seen so many things, and here they take a trip back to childhood. 

This show is called Broadway Edition. When will it be on Broadway?
In October of next year. I’m in Madrid until July, then I go to the Teatre Victoria in Barcelona and, in the autumn of 2023, to New York.

Does being Spanish make it harder to get there, or does magic have no borders?
It’s something that has never happened before. There are very few – if any – illusionists who aren’t from the US that have been on Broadway. There has been little space for magic on Broadway. 

What is the process for creating a trick and how long does it last?
It depends on the trick. Everything comes from an idea that, in my case, usually comes from a song or a find, from a trick that I think deserves to be in the show. But I really like to do it like I did when I was a kid: go into a room, with music, and imagine it. Then I meet with the team, which is made up of some ten people, and we brainstorm and face the challenge. And then we begin the rehearsals. An illusion can take a year or two to get into the show. Because, in addition, if a new one comes in, another one goes out, so we want to take out the weakest one and put in a stronger one and improve the show. 

You’ve dreamed of flying since you were a child. It was your big challenge. Now that you have achieved it in this show, what is your next dream?
It’s artistic – that things go well on for us on Broadway. But, in terms of the show, my dream is to come up with an illusion that is an event, that is worth buying a ticket for alone – and do the wildest illusion ever done. 

Where do you disappear to when you need to get away? What is your magic destination?
Well, there are several but, since I’m talking a lot about New York, I’d say that. I love to go there regularly and see the best musicals in the world. It’s a city with an offering like no other.