Interview with Marcos Macri – Illusionist Magician (interview by Mark Stevens, translations by Cilene Alves Stevens)
Para ler a versao em Portugues, olhe abaixo
This interview is available in both English and Portuguese.
Brazilian/ 39 years old/ Married/ Professional for 15 years.
In April 2010 Cilene and I traveled home to Sao Paulo to visit family, friends and clients … Having this opportunity to travel internationally I jumped at the chance to focus on some of the talent (and there is a lot of it) in Brazil. This is the first of several planned high-lights of magicians from Brazil. When I entered the magic business full-time (as many of you know I’ve been involved all my life growing up) in the 80’s – international travel for magic was essential.
Each magician/artist, regardless what part of the globe he/she lives, will face challenges and need to adapt to possible technological and social/economic changes that are just around the corner… For those that are determined and creative, there will always will be a place guaranteed for the performance of this fascinating profession! – Marcos Macri
Having earned my B.A. in Business Administration – I was the beneficiary of great knowledge at the Universities I attended (KU & WSU). While I have yet to finish a master’s degree – I always felt that I got my “advanced degree” in International Travel – having churned up 5 passports in my life (before their expiration date due to no more pages left to stamp) I was able to obtain the education that only world travel can provide. Granted, there are many that have traveled much more then myself, and my intention is not meant to boast or challenge, but instead only to illustrate the time and energy vested in the process with perticular highlight to the benefit of world travel – that paid off with interest. I remember sitting in a Boeing 757 waiting to take off and fly 6,000 miles to Sao Paulo. I was dreading the 10-hour flight ahead, and I asked a Japanese man next to me if he was ready for the long trip. He told me that approx. 24 hours ago, he started his journey and had flown from Nagoya to Dallas, (13 hours), then had a 6-hour lay-over… Here he is sitting next to me getting ready to take another 10 hour flight – I quickly realized my 10 hour flight was a walk in the park! The point – It’s all relative…
“Of course, I was and remain humbled that I was recognized by my peers (whom I have utmost respect for) at the Congresso Brasileiro de Magicos – 2006. – Marcos Macri”
Co-Incidentally, it was my partner in life – Cilene Alves Stevens that provided me with the pleasure of getting to know Marcos Macri as a friend, after meeting him at the Congresso in Sao Paulo in 2006. Cilene and Macri both worked together in Theatre and both attended and also graduated with their Bachelor of Arts from two different prestigious private universities in Sao Paulo (Macri from ECA-USP and Cilene from PUC). The combination of theatrics and the art of magic makes for an interesting interview which I hope you will enjoy. Marcri is a wonderfully charming and intuitive individual. He comes first – as a wonderful human being, and from that “core essence” he is able to pool a lot of energy that he shares with his audience. But while you would be in for a real treat to see Marco Macri perform the truth is – you need not witness one of his energizing performances to sense the radiance that flows from within. His true magic is in his soul, his love for life and desire to engage. All you need to do is meet Marcos Macri and spend five minutes with him for confirmation of his warm, charismatic personality.
MARK STEVENS: WHAT IS YOUR ACADEMIC FORMATION/BACK GROUND AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MAGIC FOR CHILDREN AS THE MAIN FOCUS OF YOUR WORK?
MACRI: I have my degree in Scenic Arts by ECA – School of Communications and Arts from the University of São Paulo. Making a decision to work with magic and/for children was natural for me, since my vocation (which dealt with children), appeared in my adolescence when I used to practice non-professional theater in my community.
“In some ways conceptually speaking, I think of myself as a farmer – in that I have to be constantly planting new seeds (i.e., promoting myself – the business end of the job). My hope? A small percentage of those seeds will take root, and will be able to be harvested in the future (of course in this sense promoting my services and shows, so that I can fill up my calander with confirmed bookings) – at the end of the show when I am paid – that is the business harvest – but as an artist I also have the need for fufilment intrinsically – magic gives me both.”
MARK: HOW WAS YOUR TRANSISTION FROM THEATER TO THE MAGICAL ARTS?
MACRI: I have always been fascinated by magic since I was a little boy. When I used to watch a magic show on TV I was always hypnotized! When my parents asked what I wanted to get for my birthdays or Christmas, I answered: Magic tricks. Therefore, with the passing of years I congregated a good collection of devices and books on the subject. When studying theater, I learned techniques on how to project your voice, body expression/body language and became more confident to face the public. From then on I started to use this knowledge in my performances as a magician and improving my performance.
MARK: You hit important points, such as “Voice Projection” and “Body Language” and “Choreography” These add to the overall dynamic entertainment experience, and while they have nothing to do with the mechanical execution of a trick – are vital to the success of any magician. I think the fact you have a professional diploma in the arts was a prudent investment that has provided you with a great return. It ads credibility and confidence for those considering booking you, coupled with the tremendous benefit when you incorporate those skills into your performance. When I witnessed your performances, I was immediately impressed with your mastery of Body-Kinesthetic Intelligence, coupled with your ability to make your audience feel relaxed and “involved” (it’s almost as if your shows are very much interactive and the audience is engaged), compared with the traditional “spectator” role. I witnessed a seamless synergy whereby you take all those different disciplines and first harness them and then merge them in harmony into a sort of “super highway,” with you as the traffic director. I know enough, to know – that’s no easy task…
MARK: YOU HAVE WORKED AS A PROFESSIONAL FOR AT LEAST 15 YEARS. DURING THIS PERIOD DESCRIBE FOR ME THE CHANGES REGARDS TO THE MARKET IN GENERAL AND TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
MACRI: Yes, off course. Globalization provided easy access to get images and information through the Internet, as a result the public became much more demanding. The”artista magico” needs to recycle their knowledge and to improve their techniques. Charisma and proper style are very important as well. The end result, if an artist rises to the challenges and demands – is very positive. I think it’s fair to say in any business one must work harder. In my case, the machine never sleeps, as I’m 100% full-time magician/artist. To be successful as a full-time magician, performing is just one factor in the equation (albeit a very important one). In some ways conceptually speaking, I think of myself as a farmer – in that I have to be constantly planting new seeds (i.e., promoting myself – the business end of the job). My hope – a small percentage of those seeds will take root, and will be able to be harvested in the future (of course in this sense promoting my services and shows, so that I can fill up my calander with confirmed bookings – at the end of the show when I am paid – that is the harvest.” But truthfully, while the money is important of course, the intrinsic satisfaction I get after a successful performance is exceptionally rewarding. I make no illusions (well, at least not in this interview), it is not easy to be a full-time magician. However, I don’t think I could ever work a job just for the money… Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who do just that…
“I look for and try to incorporate (sometimes with an unexpected effect), a direct, simple language and at the same time apply comedy to amuse the children so they will be attentive when the magic happens.”
MARK: WHEN WE FIRST MET EACH OTHER IN THE BRAZILIAN CONGRESS OF MAGICIANS IN 2006 IN BRAZIL, YOU WERE COMPETING – IN FACT YOU WERE A WINNER IN THE “MAGIC FOR CHILDREN” CATEGORY – I’M CURIOUS TO KNOW – WHAT HAS CHANGED AFTER YOU WERE AWARDED THIS PRESTIGIOUS PRIZE?
MACRI: The award bestowed upon me by the Congresso Brasileiro de Magicos added value to my work as well as provided reassurance to me that my focus and work were paying off. Here in Sao Paulo (as I’m sure in other places worldwide) we have a very competitive market. An award of this level serves as both certification and recognition of the quality and the creativity of the artist. And when there is the possibility to contract only one artist for an event, the customer is sufficiently inclined to select the most qualified, well-rounded performer. Of course, I was and remain humbled that I was recognized by my peers, whom I have great respect for.
“Globalization provided easy access to get images and information through the Internet, as a result the public became much more demanding. The “artista magico” needs to recycle his/hers knowledge and to improve their techniques.”
MARK: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN THE CURRENT DAYS?
MACRI: The biggest and greatest challenge is to maintain their interest and attention in the show during 50 minutes. It is necessary to have an intelligent dynamic that allows the child to participate in the show without causing agitation and dispersion. I often work in buffets (similar to your Chuckie Cheese Franchises and other places that cater to family parties). As many of your know, performing in these venues is much more challenging at time. For example: my competition is much more fierce due to the infinite distractions that come via electronic toys and other attractive distractions that compete with the contracted artist. I look for and try to incorporate (sometimes with an unexpected effect), a direct, simple language and at the same time apply comedy, to amuse the child while the surprises of magic happens.
MARK: I tip my hat to you amigo – I have trouble maintaing attention myself when “I am” performing for 35 mintues in someone’s unfinished empty basement (with no distractions), not to mention keeping the attention of the children! That is another aspect I noticed you do so very well, when I was studying some of your performance tapes – maintaining a sense of control.
“I consider myself to be one of the luckiest men in the world – because first I have a wonderful family, and second I have the support of that wonderful family to allow me to pursue my passion in life – magic. I must take this opportunity to acknowledge my beautiful and wonderful wife, who has made great sacrifices so that I can continue to enjoy my work – she is my inspiration and I am her greatest fan!”
MARK: HOW DO YOU FACE THE MAGICAL REVELATION OF TECHNIQUES AND SECRETS FOR THE TELEVISION?
MACRI: This is something that makes me very sad. This is something that never should happen. Brazil is worldwide known for the Carnival that occurs here every year in February. This year we had a lamentable fact. The winning school of samba presented in its parade, with perfection, the famous magical number of the QUICK CHANGE. The public loved and it became news. Then: the most popular broadcast in the country decided to disclose/reveal, on national distribution the techniques used for this effect. We, professionals of the Magical Arts, “complained” through letters and e-mails, but nothing was done. It was lamentable.
MARK: I commend you for your efforts … I have always felt sadness for those people, and we performers all know the type – that simply have to know how it’s done! They treat magic, not as an art, but like a puzzle. I have been around magic long enough that I have a theory that those people engaged in disclosure (of magic secrets) are unable to enjoy the wonderment that magic brings. I can’t speak in absoultes, but I don’t think many of these are happy people. At the same time, I have had lengthly discussions with good friends in magic and we all agree that a magician should never have the attitude of, “I can fool you!” I guess a magician that uses this technique is of the same mindset as the non-magician that can’t realize that magic is a vehicle to re-connect with our “inner-child” and not an attempt to insult.
Must be something in the water! Brazilian women are some of the most beautiful women in the world! Marcos Marci’s lovely wife.
MARK: HERE COMES THE OBVIOUS BUT IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHO ARE THE ARTISTS YOU MOST ADMIRE IN OUR PROFESSION?
MACRI: I admired the brilliant Doug Henning very much. I did not miss any of his specials shows. I identified myself with his style on stage, colored clothes, choreographies and his good mood. When David Copperfield was in Brazil I saw his show three times. His is a wonderful artist and propagated the illusionim for all the world. I also like very much the couple Junge Junge, Topaz and the Russian Danilin. I realize when it comes to magic – I have a very eclectic taste.
MARK: LOOK INTO THE FUTURE MARCOS MACRI AND TELL ME WHAT YOUR EXPECTATIONS IN RELATION TO THE MAGICAL ARTS ARE (SHORT OF COURSE, OF SPENDING ALL YOU MONEY AT STEVENS MAGIC EMPORIUM)?
MACRI: I think that Magic never will cease to exist – it will always exist, as well as the circus, literature and the cinema. It will certainly adapt towards many technological innovations in the future, but there are artistic manifestations that are inherent to the nature of the human being. Each magician/artist, regardless what part of the globe he/she lives, will face challenges and need to adapt to possible technological and social/economic changes that are just around the corner… For those that are determined and creative, there will always be a place guaranteed for the performance of this fascinating profession!
Check out Macri’s creative website at: www.macri.com.br
Super Special Thanks to a very special woman that still intimidates me with her inner/outer beauty and incredible mind. A woman that in three years has mastered English so well (with no formal teaching) she was able to provide the translations for this story – my life partner Cilene Alves- Stevens (Gotta love those Brasileira’s right Marcos?).
PORTUGUESE VERSION (Summary)
ENTREVISTA com MARCOS MACRI – Mágico Ilusionista
Brasileiro / 39 anos / casado / Profissional há 15 anos
MARK STEVENS : QUAL SUA FORMAÇÃO ACADÊMICA E POR QUE ESCOLHEU A MAGIA INFANTIL COMO FOCO PRINCIPAL DO SEU TRABALHO ?
MACRI : Sou formado em Artes Cênicas pela ECA – Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo. Escolher atuar no mercado de shows infantis foi algo natural para mim, já que minha vocação para lidar com crianças, surgiu em minha adolescência quando eu fazia teatro amador em minha comunidade.
MARK : COMO FOI SUA TRANSIÇÃO DO TEATRO PARA A ARTE MÁGICA ?
MACRI : Eu sempre fui fascinado por mágica desde criança. Quando via uma apresentação na TV ficava hipnotizado! Quando meus pais perguntavam o que eu queria ganhar em meus aniversários ou no Natal, eu respondia : Mágicas . Por isso, com o passar dos anos reuni uma boa coleção de aparelhos e livros sobre o assunto. Ao estudar teatro, aprendi técnicas de impostação de voz, expressão corporal e me tornei mais desinibido para encarar o público. A partir daí passei a usar esse conhecimento em minhas apresentações como mágico e fui aprimorando minha performance.
MARK : VC ATUA COMO PROFISSIONAL HÁ PELO MENOS 15 ANOS. DURANTE ESSE PERÍODO SENTIU ALGUMA MUDANÇA EM RELAÇÃO AO MERCADO DE TRABALHO DE FORMA GERAL ?
MACRI : Sim, é claro. Com a globalização e a facilidade de obter imagens e informações através da internet, o público tornou-se muito mais exigente. O artista mágico precisa reciclar seus conhecimentos e aprimorar suas técnicas. Carisma e estilo próprio também são muito importantes.
MARK : QUANDO NOS CONHECEMOS NO CONGRESSO BRASILEIRO DE MÁGICOS EM 2006 NO BRASIL, VC FOI PREMIADO NA CATEGORIA MÁGICAS PARA CRIANÇAS. O QUE MUDOU DEPOIS DESSE PRÊMIO ?
MACRI : O prêmio agregou valor ao meu trabalho. Vivemos aqui, como em outros lugares, num mercado muito competitivo. Qualquer prêmio desse nível é o reconhecimento da qualidade e da criatividade do artista. E quando há a possibilidade de contratar um artista com esse perfil para o seu evento, o cliente, seja ele corporativo ou não, fica bastante inclinado a isso.
MARK : QUAL É O GRANDE DESAFIO DE SE TRABALHAR COM CRIANÇAS NOS DIAS ATUAIS ?
MACRI : O grande desafio é mantê-las atentas e interessadas no show durante 50 minutos. É necessário ter uma dinâmica inteligente que permita à criança participar do show sem causar alvoroço e dispersão. Eu trabalho muito em Buffets Infantis e estes locais oferecem uma infinidade de brinquedos eletrônicos e outros atrativos que acabam competindo com o artista contratado. Eu procuro usar, além de mágicas visuais, com efeitos inesperados, uma linguagem direta, simples e ao mesmo tempo cômica, para divertir a criança enquanto as surpesas acontecem.
MARK : COMO VC ENCARA A REVELAÇÃO DE TÉCNICAS E SEGREDOS MÁGICOS PELA TELEVISÃO ?
MACRI : Isso é algo que me entristece muito. É algo que jamais deveria acontecer. O Brasil é muito conhecido no exterior pelo Carnaval que ocorre aqui todos os anos em fevereiro. Este ano tivemos um fato lamentável. A escola de samba vencedora apresentou em seu desfile, com perfeição, a famosa mágica da Troca de Roupas. O público adorou e isso virou notícia. Pois bem: a maior emissora do país decidiu revelar, em cadeia nacional, a técnica usada para esse efeito. Nós, profissionais da Arte Mágica, protestamos através de cartas e e-mails, mas nada adiantou. Foi lamentável.
MARK : QUEM SÃO OS ARTISTAS QUE VC ADMIRA EM NOSSA PROFISSÃO ?
MACRI : Eu admirava muito o genial Doug Henning. Não perdia um de seus especiais. Me identificava muito com seu estilo de palco, roupas coloridas, coreografias e seu bom humor. Quando David Copperfield esteve no Brasil assisti seu show três vezes. Ele é um artista maravilhoso e propagou o ilusionismo pelo mundo afora. Também gosto muito da dupla Junge Junge , Topaz e do russo Danilin. Enfim, tenho um gosto muito eclético.
MARK : PARA ENCERRAR, QUAIS SUAS EXPECTATIVAS EM RELAÇÃO À ARTE MÁGICA NO FUTURO ?
MACRI : Penso que a Mágica nunca deixará de existir, assim como o circo, a literatura ou o cinema. Virão certamente, muitas inovações tecnológicas futuristas, mas há manifestações artísticas que são inerentes à natureza do ser humano. Cada artista mágico, seja em que país for, precisará adaptar-se às possíveis mudanças socio-econômicas que estão por vir, mas para todos aqueles que forem determinados e criativos, sempre haverá um espaço garantido para o desempenho desta fascinante profissão !
Muito Obrigado Marcos!