Tricks by Justin Willman
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Justin Willman can currently be seen hosting the hit show Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. He also hosts Last Cake Standing, Hubworld, Win Lose or Draw, and SCRABBLE (he filmed 30 episodes in ONE week). His witty mix of comedy and magic has quickly established him as one of America's premiere performers.
In March of 2012, Justin Willman appeared (not literally) on The Ellen Degeneres Show and received a STANDING OVATION! Watch the video clip here. He's appeared over 20-times on the "Rachael Ray" TV show and can be seen guest-starring as 'Armando the Amazing' on the hit Disney Channel sitcom, "The Suite Life on Deck." He was voted College Entertainer of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine for a record-breaking fourth year in a row. In March of 2013 and February of 2014, he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Justin began performing at the age of twelve. After breaking both of his arms in a uniquely daring bicycle accident while trying to impress some girls, the young Justin started learning card tricks as an alternative to physical therapy. He officially turned pro when his parents hired him to entertain at his sister Ashley's fifth birthday party. He bombed, but was not deterred.
Q&A with Justin Willman
Who are some of your inspirations in magic?
Mac King, David Williamson, Penn & Teller, Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Harry Anderson, Michael Ammar.
What was the first paid performance you ever did?
I got a gig doing a 20 minute magic show every weekend at the local roller skating rink. The only catch was that I had to do an hour-and-a-half of face painting first. I was terrible. Very often I had to wipe the kids face clean with a towel and start over... it was embarrassing.
After a while they had me just stick to the magic. Entertaining kids on roller skates was quite the experience. Volunteers would constantly fall down mid-trick... or just skate away when they were bored. I worked hard for that $45 a week.
You are one of the hardest working magicians in the industry, what are the best and worst aspects of your busy lifestyle?
The best part is that I get to go up in front of a new audience almost every night and do what I love to do. It's what makes me happiest in the world. The hard part is the rental cars, hotels, and airports in between. It takes careful balance and moderation to stay sane, and I still lose my mind from time to time.
What is your favorite effect?
Close up: David Williamson's Torn and Restored Transpo. Simply the best card trick I know, and will fool 'em anywhere, anytime.
Stage: David Williamson's Ring and Rope routine. Been doing it the longest, and it's the effect I think best establishes my character. Hmmm, David Williamson seems to be a theme here...
What advice would you have for amateur magicians who want to bridge the gap into the professional realm?
Perform as much as you can in all types of settings for all types of audiences. The reason I'm successful is not because I'm the greatest magician, because I am definitely not. It's because I busted my ass for years performing my show in all types of settings: living rooms, church basements, skating rinks, soccer fields, porches, classrooms, cafeterias, closets... you name it.
In the sun, in the rain, in the snow, I've learned to make the show play anywhere, anytime. And in the end that's what separates the amateurs from the pros: the ability to make it work.