Each week I talk to professionals to get an inside glimpse into what they do and ask them to offer advice to teens who may be considering a job in that field. I’ve recently spoken to an actress and writer, AV tech guru, NEAT Services and a marketing director at the YMCA who have all shared advice for kids. I also spotlight teens each week who are entrepreneurs, leaders or influencers in their community.
I had the chance to catch Adam London for March Magic on Vegas Kids Zone. The comedy magician, and longtime local kid-favorite performer, shared how he overcame obstacles to be a headlining magician in Las Vegas, what inspires him and what advice he would offer kids who aspire to work in magic.
How did you get started, what attracted you to magic?
My grandfather was an amateur magician and would always entertain my cousins and I with fun card tricks and coin tricks. It didn’t take much to wow me as a kid. I grew up in a little farming town outside of Ogden, Utah. So anything magical truly excited me.
All it takes is one “Yes” to get out of those hurdles and challenges…you shouldn’t give up on what you want to become in your life.
What have you gained from working in magic?
Confidence! You won’t believe it, but I used to be a half-shy kid. I say half-shy because once I got to know people, then I warmed up and became less shy. In high school, I was always in the school plays or musicals and that helped me come out of my shell. In fact, I came to Las Vegas seeking a Musical Theater Degree from UNLV, which I received back in 2004. I still really enjoy participating in Musical Theater when I am not performing my comedy magic.
What were the biggest hurdles to building your skills and getting a hit show in Las Vegas? How did you overcome them?
So when I was in high school I was performing as a comedy magician, and anytime there was a school assembly I was asked to perform in them. I had to sit down with a high school counselor who asked what it was I wanted to do. I said, “I want to be a magician in Las Vegas!” I remember her giving my Dad a disapproving look. And he replied with, “That’s what he wants to do.”
She said that I needed to be realistic and look for a real career. So I guess one of the hurdles was telling people my dream and then having them shoot it down constantly. My Dad gave me some good advice from all those naysayers, he said “Adam, they don’t have to believe in you, only you have to believe in you. Those people will never pay your bills, so do whatever you want, make it happen.”
In the world of show business, a person will receive many “no’s” along the way. It can be challenging, stressful, and frustrating. All it takes is one “Yes” to get out of those hurdles and challenges. Although it never stops, you shouldn’t give up on what you want to become in your life.
What do you think is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
There have been many. One was when I had a chance to perform for my biggest audience of several thousand people. My comedy magic is small, so it had to be broadcast on two jumbotrons on each side of the stage. That was pretty cool. Getting a day named after me here in Las Vegas was pretty cool too. I hope for many more memorable moments in my career.
What’s your favorite part of your job as a comedy magician?
I like the sound of laughter! I truly do! Every time I get someone on stage for my first few tricks, I enjoy hearing people laugh at the silly stories of hijinks I play on the volunteers. I also love having kids in my audience. Sometimes they will say something that is so obnoxious or obscure that I just run with it and keep coming back to what they said each time I begin a new trick.
What other magicians do you look up to?
I have always liked other comedy magicians. When I was a kid I remember being at Disneyland when a gunslinger magician came up to me and choose me to be his assistant. Later, some 20 years later I was talking with my pal Dana Daniels, (an amazing comic magician in California) after one of his shows. I found out that he was the guy who entertained me when I was 8 at Disneyland. Nick Lewin, Stephen Bargatze, Mac King and Fielding West have always been excellent funny magicians that I have admired.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
NOT the same advice Mac King gave me and still gives to young magicians, “Give up this crap and go to law school!”
I would say don’t quit. Don’t give up on your dreams. Could you imagine where Lady Gaga or Cher or Elton John or Michael Buble would be if they gave up on their dreams? Your dreams are valid just as theirs were. Don’t give up and don’t quit. Make your dreams your own reality.
What are the top 3 skills required to do be a comedy magician?
Stage time, writing, confidence.
What inspires you?
Many things. I have always really loved listening to classical music. I used to love listening to Mozart and Vivaldi and create/choreograph magical acts to them. I am also inspired by my wife and kids and their funny senses of humor. As a comedian, we look for comedy in all things that are around us, and my wife and kids crack me up often. Eventually, it ends up in my show.
What are your future plans?
Right now, Laughternoon is looking for a new home. Since the pandemic hit, the U.S. entertainment has been suffering, but we hope to be back by this summer.