Behind the Magic: An Interview with John Kinney
Magician John Kinney is without a doubt one of the standout performers at Teatro Martini, who never fails to amaze and delight audiences with his incredible illusions and sleight-of-hand tricks.
John is a seasoned professional who has honed his craft over twenty-eight years of performing. His illusions are both impressive and entertaining, and he knows just how to work the crowd to get the biggest reactions. From levitating objects to making things disappear and reappear, his magic always leaves audiences wondering, “How did he do that?”
We were able to sit down with him and ask him about his craft and performing at Teatro Martini:
What inspired you to become a magician?
Initially, it was because I wanted to have the knowledge and ability to accomplish impossible things.
It has never been about the idea of becoming a magician but rather about me doing magic and giving the experience of magic. From there, it was up to the audience or observer to then see me as a magician, storyteller, actor, or whatever that may be.
What was the first magic trick you learned?
I actually don’t remember the first trick I learned. I remember receiving a decorated file box painted black with gold glitter trim that my mom put together as a Christmas gift. It was filled with all sorts of magic tricks and props and I completely devoured that and it dawned on me to ask my parents where they got all these wonders and curiosities, and they said, “The magic shop.” My head exploded: “There’s a store?!” I exclaimed. My world changed after that.
How do you create your own new magic acts?
Imagine you replace “magic acts” with film, art, music, poetry, etc. It’s the same universal challenge. I explore what interests me and find out what I want to say, do and express. It’s truly a lifelong journey and that process is different with every piece.
What is Magic, is it a science, art, trick, or reality?
It can be all of those things. My entire magic career I’ve read magic publications that express how important it is to define what Magic is. There are many wonderful definitions out there but there’s one thing I’ve noticed about all of them and it’s that they’re all different. I think that’s because only you can define Magic for yourself or rather Magic defines itself to you. Magic is unique to each, and every person and it can be felt on many different levels. I can only express to you what magic is to me and how I see it. It has led me to the definition I’ve settled on. . .for now: “Magic is a performance that ignites your awareness in the changing perception of your reality.”
What advice would you give to aspiring magicians?
Study all forms of magic because there’s a kind of hand intelligence and physicality that can translate itself into other parts of your magic. However, I might suggest you pass up on the thimble magic genre. Take up other skills like writing and learn how to create captivating stories. Study design and photography, just to be endlessly curious about the world. Be yourself and most importantly be a good and kind person.
What are some of your favorite things now being a part of the Teatro Martini cast?
The people. 100%. Everyone here practices being a good and kind person. It’s a safe space and everyone wants to give the audience a special, unique experience. The cast of Teatro Martini creates an environment unlike anywhere else I’ve performed.
You can see John Kinney and his amazing magical act at Teatro Martini. Reserve your seats now!
Be sure to follow John on social too: