Posted 29 October 2020


The Arts Atlas “In Conversation Series” aims to encourage and inspire people across the arts sector by giving individuals the opportunity to share and talk about their creative professions. The series is about sharing uplifting stories during these unprecedented times.

This week we are excited to launch the fifth conversation with Dan.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Marshall (Geelong) while it was still covered in paddocks. I was always drawn to visual art; illustrating, film-making, photography with a special interest in movie special effects, and puppetry. Jim Henson was my biggest inspiration as a child, and I would storyboard my own movies and figure out ways I would create the special effects for my home-movies, with what resources I had available. My mother made the connection between movie special effects and stage magic and introduced me to an uncle who was a magician, and so my other passion began, creating magic for a live audience not a camera lens.

Tell us about your work and what inspires you?

I enjoy the challenge of creating the impossible, and sharing the “eureka moment” with others. I also the challenge of running an arts-based business. There are times I feel like I’m just creating magic “services” for “the market”, rather than for myself. But when I look back at my body of work, the experiences collaborating with other creatives, and just how creative I have been… I can’t help but feel satisfied. During lockdown I really revalued what it is I do and why I do it, and surprisingly it was one of my close friends who told me that the fact I do what I do inspires him. Not that I perform magic, but that I have made a career out of performing magic. His advice was for me to keep going, and keep inspiring people, one way or another.

What has been the most exciting part so far in your creative journey?

Sharing my passion with my children.

What impact has COVID had on your creative process?

While COVID restrictions saw all my magic bookings disappear overnight, I did appreciate being forced to stop, as I am a bit of a workaholic. I enjoyed a couple weeks off to reassess what the impacts would be, then found myself diving back into work finding alternative ways to create and deliver magic. In many ways COVID enabled me to explore my first passion (movie production) again, developing and producing online videos and exhibitions (while public gatherings and events are restricted). I have performed less magic shows, but explored alternative projects, to keep my creative output going.

Do you have an online presence where we can follow you?

You can see what I am up to on my website, including my latest online presentations…

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