It’s the start of a new year and while my latest stories focused on 2014, here, I want to look to the future. Like the rest of the world, the art of magic is changing with social media and YouTube. And there’s the decline in brick and mortar magic shops and struggling magic clubs. But there are artists who are evolving with the changes and even pioneering how magic is presented in our age.
I think that the following ten artists are the entertainers who will thrive in 2015 and potentially play key roles in redefining magic entertainment.
1. David Copperfield
While he’s currently not touring and staying close to home in Las Vegas, Copperfield is the highest profile magician of our era. While he’s got lots of material that he’s perfected over the years, he is constantly bringing out new and innovative magic. A visit to his show is always an entertaining and inspiring experience.
2. Penn & Teller
Media stars beyond their status as Las Vegas headliners, look for magic’s former “bad boys” to ramp up their presence in mainstream television, theater and films
3. Criss Angel
Television star and Vegas headliner, what will we see next from Angel? You can bet that he’s not resting on his laurels.
4. Mat Franco
After winning television’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2014, Franco became a household name. During this past summer as he made his way to the finals, I recall numerous spectators wanting to talk about his magic at my gigs. Can Franco leverage his huge victory into a breakout entertainment career? We’ll see.
Extremely popular in Asia and well known in the US, this YouTube and television star is always reinventing and innovating. He’s charismatic and fun to watch.
6. Justin Willman
This magician maintains a high media profile and he’s got a host of fantastic television performances under his belt. I look to Willman to one day breakout as a magic star.
7. Justin Flom
Along with his Wizard Wars television series, Flom’s career has soared with his ability to create a presence on social media and publish entertaining videos that go viral. Here’s another magician who will increase his mainstream presence.
Another artist who gained noteworthiness (and controversy) through YouTube, he is now a big star in China. What will he do next?
With his “Magician Impossible” television show, Dynamo has become a star in Europe and he’s announced a world tour in 2015.
10. Jeff McBride
The most influential teacher in the world of magic – many prominent magicians have trained in his “Mystery School” – McBride is magic’s master and always worth following and watching.
Keeping this list to ten was tough. Here’s another tier of key entertainers to watch, and I would love to be proven wrong. Others to keep in mind: 1) Michael Carbonaro – Star of his “Carbonaro Effect” on truTV. Are even bigger things in store? 2) Murray – He’s the Vegas headliner with the trademark hair and glasses, and he’s got a great comedy magic show. I look to Murray for big things and he’s ripe for a television special. 3) Jan Rouven – Another Vegas headliner with a bright future. With his enchanting European flair, can he bring a new era in magic, one that is reminiscent of Siegfried and Roy? 4) Consentino – After making the finals in the 2011 “Australia’s Got Talent,” this artist can dance and possesses a flashy style that is perfect for television. 5) Josh Jay – Best known in the magic community, but I keep seeing his mainstream magic titles in bookstores and he’s been regularly appearing on television, including “The Today Show.” Jay is the full package and like Justin Willman and Justin Flom, can really take off with the right break. 6) Mac King – The king of comedy magic in Las Vegas. His show was recently renewed for four more years. His immensely entertaining show is always worth watching.