An exclusive interview with Joshua Lozoff
by Neha Nataraju
The ArtsCenter is excited to present Joshua Lozoff: Life is Magic ONLINE – an interactive livestreamed magic show on Sunday, May 16th! Join us for this magical event by registering on our website here.
We sat down with Joshua to ask him a few questions to get to know him and his magical talents better.
To start us off, can you explain what you do as an magician and a bit of your background?
JL: Well, I am a psychological magician. I do classical magic with card and coins, that’s my background training, but for the last 10 years, my specialty has been influencing choices, predicting what you are thinking, and showing how we are all capable of heightening our abilities of perception.
How did you first become involved with The ArtsCenter and what has it been like performing here?
JL: My journey with The ArtsCenter started when I was a kid. The very first magic trick I ever learned was at The ArtsCenter when it was called the ArtSchool. Whenever I get a chance to collaborate with The ArtsCenter, it’s a huge treat for me because it’s in my hometown art facility and where I learned my first magic trick. I have been collaborating with them for years. I don’t perform locally that often, I usually perform at corporate events, function, and travel nationally. So whenever I get the change to perform locally, The ArtsCenter is my favorite because of the hometown connection.
How did you manage to adapt your show, which relies so much on audience engagement and interaction, to become virtual?
JL: Well, that was a challenge, a huge challenge. In fact, I turned down the first few requests I got to perform virtually during March. First, I thought that everything would die down pretty quickly and we could go back to normal soon. Second, I thought that the magic acts I did in person wouldn’t translate that well into a virtual format. I wanted my shows to be really interactive and not like they are just turning on a screen and watching a pre-recorded David Copperfield special. I worked really hard for a long time to create a show with so much engagement and interaction, and I wanted people who would virtually watch my show to be engaged, not just sit back and watch. Another worry I had was the inability to read my audience – in live shows, I would watch the audience for reactions, body language, facial expressions and really build off that. However, I wasn’t sure if I was able to do that on Zoom.
Luckily, I was wrong. I didn’t really realize the interactive potential for virtual shows. So, I took about a month and a half, still turning down requests to perform, and took that time to create a virtual show in a studio I work in. I invested in good sound, software, and good design so it would look professional. Most importantly, I designed a show that’s very interactive. There is software I use that allows me to “bring” the video of individuals on the zoom call onto my screen, which allows me to interact with them and everyone can see it happen.
Now, for a little bit of a fun question. When you see movies like Now You See Me or magic shows, do you ever know what they are about to do or what the trick is? Or even try to debunk it in your mind?
JL: Some of it. But I’ve always been very strict with myself to not learn more than I need to know. I know a lot of magic, all the magic I need to know for performing and for slight of hand, that I’ve trained in for years and years. But I’ve never done any illusions—I have never levitated or made someone appear in a box. To this day, I still don’t know how any of that is done. And I don’t want to know! I want to keep that experience of wonder and have that sense of amazement that everyone else gets to have.
We asked Joshua more questions which he kindly took the time to answer, and we hope to release follow-up blog posts with his answers to other questions next time we collaborate with him!
Please join us for this magical show on Saturday May 16st from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm. Get your tickets here.
For more information on Joshua Lozoff, please visit his website.
We hope to “see” you all at the show!