No doubt about it, Wayne Houchin has made a large hand print within the magic community. His unique combination of creativity, presentation, and production has made him one of the most talked about visionaries among magicians world-wide.
In 2003, an underground tape of Wayne's original work found its way into the hands of Banachek, one of the world's foremost mentalists. Banachek immediately befriended Wayne, which led to him being brought on board as a consultant for the critically acclaimed A and E television series Criss Angel: Mindfreak.
In 2006, W:H Entertainment was born and Wayne released his self-produced sophomore effort - following the success of his first project, Sinful: Coin in Soda Can - the groundbreaking DVD Stigmata. The effect, as well as the production quality of the video itself, garnered widespread critical acclaim within the magic community and the DVD became an instant international bestseller. Indecent, Wayne's third project, was also released later that year.
In August of 2014, theory11 produced Wayne's latest release: French Kiss. It's been called "the most intimate effect in magic" - performed around the world by notable magicians like Cyril Takayama, Yif, Joshua Jay, Dynamo, and Dan White.
Q&A with Wayne Houchin
What is theory11 to you? Why is this site different?
theory11 represents the idea that, if there are 10 theories in magic, THIS is the next evolution - the next step. It is an evolution of our art because it is the first site / production team of this size that was built from the ground up by the artists.
Do you have a favorite effect?
I have several. Stigmata and Thread are two of them.
Who is your favorite performer to watch?
Penn & Teller have the best stage show I've ever seen, bar none and if you haven't seen them in Vegas, you NEED to. However, the only performer to so thoroughly astonish me that I couldn't sleep for about a week was Guy Hollingworth. I had the pleasure of watching him perform in 2001. He crawled inside my head, rearranged things, and then stood there - looking all English and proper - while I had a very real mental breakdown and I'm still recovering.
What do you see as wrong with the industry today?
That is a tough question. Like any industry or any art there are plenty of things that could be better and plenty of things that are just plain wrong and harmful to what we are trying to accomplish. For me, theory11 is a community and a movement that will work together to push and test the boundaries of our art.
Imagine what the magic community could be if we all sat down and read (or re-read) Paul Harris's essay in The Art of Astonishment titled "Astonishment Is Our Natural State Of Mind." The implications of his theory are staggering.
Imagine a community of performers, creators, and hobbyists who genuinely have the desire to push the art of magic to the next level - backed by a state of the art production team that can help present the artists among us and their creations with the respect and quality that they truly deserve. This is what theory11 represents for me.
What advice would you give to those that are just starting in magic?
The single most important piece of advice I can give to someone who is just starting in magic is this: Be a normal person. What I mean by that is don't try to make yourself into something that you're not. Plenty of people can learn sleight of hand, but the performers who stand out above the rest do so because of their personality.
I'm sure that all of us have had the experience of seeing a magician perform while cracking corny jokes and spewing obvious canned lines. It takes an exceptionally gifted actor or actress to pull off a charactar; most magicians just end up making their audience uncomfortable.
Unless you are trying to create a specific theatrical character in a specific setting, be a normal human when you perform. Treat your audience with respect & kindness, and DO NOT underestimate their intelligence. I can't tell you how many magicians I've seen perform who talk to their audience as if they were 5-year-olds.