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Interview Transcripts | Further Reading

David Copperfield, magician, on:
the audience

David Copperfield In Houdini’s time there was a lot of talk, you know. He talked a lot. He introduced things for a long period of time. The audience would sit there watching a cabinet with him, you know, having to escape from it. And they’d sit there supposedly transfixed, wondering when he’d come out. Today nobody– you know, there’s not enough hotdogs to sell in the lobby to make people sit there. But at that time, they would. And that was great at that time. Again, I would love to have been there and just watch ..... say, you know, "Why are they transfixed by this? Why are they doing that? Why is he communicating those things?" You know, we have tapes of him speaking and so forth. It’s a guy talking and doing intros of things, talking about how impossible certain things are. I think there was a sense that he possessed real powers, which also helps keep one’s interest.

There is no better feeling in the world to have an audience disarmed. It’s amazing. You know. When you do magic for them and they give you a genuine response, it’s an amazing feeling. So for Houdini, you know, you can imagine having that kind of feeling with so many great, you know, world leaders and so forth, and how that makes you feel, how that spirits you on.

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