Rick Lax, a magician and social media entertainer has been peppering an old email account of mine for years, persisting in telling me about seemingly everything he gets up to. Most of the time I just watch the video, go “Can’t use this today” and go right on deleting the out-of-state Groupons that have overtaken that account. But the other day, Rick hit me up with the news that he would be on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, a show where magicians try and stump two of the masters of magic and prestidigitation. Very cool.
Rick has been at magic for a long time working on both sides of the curtain, including creating the SyFy TV series, Wizard Wars, in which magicians compete against one another under the watchful eye of a judging panel (which includes Penn & Teller!).
While he couldn’t tell me how he did on P&T: Fool Us (his show airs in early September), I, of course, admire the man’s tenacity for A. pestering me relentlessly for media coverage and B. honing his craft to the level it is at. Rick is the kind of person who makes it in this industry — he has the never-say-quit spirit that is necessary for success. And clearly he has the goods to be a star. Now we’ve just got to work on him actually answering my questions …
How did you get into magic in the first place?
When I was a kid, I watched (David) Copperfield on TV with my grandparents. My grandmother was deeply baffled, and she just loved watching the tricks again and again. So from a young age, I saw the powerful effect magic could have on people. So when I got a magic kit at 5, I just
stuck with it (whereas most boys went through a ‘magic phase’ and gave up).
How did you get into YouTube in the first place?
Lately, I’ve been more into Facebook. It’s so much easier to share videos there, and the comments are less mean than they are on YouTube because it’s so much harder to hide behind a secret identity.
So you actually met Penn & Teller before the show?
Yep. I created the TV show Wizard Wars, which Penn & Teller starred on. BUT, that said, they’ve never actually seen me perform a magic trick before Fool Us. So they had no idea whether I sucked or was great.
Now at one point you had to quit magic — does this mean you quit YouTube as well?
I just didn’t have much time for magic when I was in law school; it’s all-consuming.
What made you decide to go on the show?
I usually work as a magic consultant and teacher, which means I’m always telling other people what to do. How to fool. So this was a case where some of my friends told me I should put my money where my mouth is and go up on stage and try to do it myself.
What is a taping like?
This was the first time I’ve ever performed magic on TV. So leading up to the performance, I was very nervous.
What trick did you do for Penn & Teller?
Legally, I don’t think I can say what trick I performed, but I will say that it’s one that I invented myself.
What is your best trick?
Best trick? Whatever comes next. My mind is always on the Next Big Thing.
Then again, considering he’s got lawyer and wizard skills, this could all be one big Jedi Mind Trick.