#004: A Magician’s Story: Performing Magic for the New England Patriots with John Duke Logan
Listen to the episode:
Magician & keynote speaker, John Duke Logan, joins Todd Stewart and Bob Calise to discuss the secrets behind the magic industry, how he became the media-dubbed team magician for the New England Patriots, what it was like performing on America’s Got Talent, and why his motto in life is “Impossible is just a world.” We highlight how his career went from performing magic on YouTube to being the first ever magician for the New England Patriots.
John Duke Logan’s Quick-Hit Career Timeline
John got into magic by performing tricks on YouTube
It all started with him pushing a coin through the bottom of the coffee mug. John put this video on Youtube, it was found by a talent agency who reached out to see how he did it, if he had other tricks, and if he would want to work with their talent agency. At 12 years old he signed a contract with them.
While John attended Bryant University he went on America’s Got Talent
Then, over the years, John kept performing magic. He did so all the way into college at Bryant University. While in school, John auditioned for America’s Got Talent and got in. He approached it as a learning opportunity. But it was way more than a learning opportunity. John made it past multiple rounds, got a standing ovation, and received four “yeses.” Heidi Klum called his magic, “Extremely creative! I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
After graduating Bryant University, John applied for a digital content role with the New England Patriots.
During his interview, the Patriots discovered that he is a magician. They asked him to do a few tricks and then in a matter of a few days John had his own show with the New England Patriots – “Magic Moments.”
His goal isn’t to fool the players. Rather, he wants the fans to see a different side of the players.
Who is John’s favorite player to trick?
Malcolm Mitchell and John are close friends. For Malcolm’s charity, John travels with him and warms up the crowds with tricks before Malcolm comes on stage. They both are very close.
John has also done tricks for Gronk, LeGarrette Blount, and Tom Brady (who talked about John in a press conference.)
How does it feel knowing that you helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in 2017?
It’s really funny (and ironic) that the same year the Patriots hired John to do magic was the same year as the greatest comeback in NFL history. It embodies John’s motto of “Impossible is just a word.”
People were texting John during the Super Bowl asking him to do magic to help the Patriots come back. He said, “Yeah no problem, hold on…” Then after the game, he texted everyone saying, “You’re welcome!”
John calls the Patriots comeback, “The greatest trick he ever did!” 🙂
How does the magic industry work?
Magicians have creative consultants that help them create tricks. He’s learned over the years that there are three types of magicians:
- The Creatives: The one who is behind the scenes making the props and creating the tricks. Think of them as a mad scientist.
- The Performers: The one who is on the stage. They are the face of the show.
- The creators/performers: The person that creates their own material, tests it, refines it, and does everything from start to finish.
In order to have a successful team, you need one of each on your team. Also, know that most every professional magician has a team of consultants that help him/her along every step of the process – even down to the detail of “in row five I had a better angle, so you need to change how your hands are so row five can see better.”
John has his own consultant who after every show reviews everything with him. He is also consulting for other magicians as well, helping them refine their performance.
Why does magic matter?
Magic is an excellent tool for breaking down barriers. When John does tricks for the players, he realizes that they’re just normal people who happen to be really good at football. When John performs magic, he doesn’t think of it as the trick itself, he sees it as a way of bringing people together.
In this episode, we also learn about his favorite trick, why every movement in magic matters, the role of improv, when the last time he surprised himself with a trick, what happens when he messes up, the fundamental things to understand about magicians, and where he sees the future of magic heading.
Connect with John and say hi!