Are the four words that sit under our next interviewees name on her own website…. no other than Billy Kidd!
Billy is a female, UK based Magician who has performed on television, theatres, corporate events, festivals and cruise lines world wide.
Billy is a women after my own heart, strong, independent, has a flash of red in her hair (just like me when I can actually go to the hairdressers) and when she wants to learn something, she went and mastered magic!
We were lucky enough to take some of Billys time to ask her a few questions, get comfortable this is great reading!
Hi Billy, once again thank you for lending us a little of your time, we know that at a young age you started performing professionally as an actor in TV and Film. How old were you when you first got into magic and what inspired you to learn magic?
I was 24 years old when I got into magic. The first magician I ever saw live was Nick Nickolas. He was doing the cups and balls at a festival and he introduced me into this dark and beautiful world. He inspired me greatly. Nick told me to study the Royal Road to Card Magic and ever since that day I became a serious student of magic. I learned as much as I could and very quickly magic took over my life.
Do you have a favourite magic trick to perform? It is difficult to pick a favourite as I only perform the routines that I love. If I start to hate a trick it leaves my repertoire. I am very picky. But IF I had to pick I would say my fave today is the Diminishing Cards and my Knife Through Jacket Routine.
What is your most complex trick? During the pandemic I have been working on the most complex trick I have ever put together. It is not ready for an audience and I’ve been ticking away at it for almost a year. When it is ready it will essentially be a messed up version of the Thumb Tie and Card Stab routine combined. It is hard to explain because ,well, it is complex.
“The best thing is about being a magician is the fact that I get to travel and perform in different countries for a variety of people and cultures. Also being my own boss and having the freedom to do what I want when I want and where I want. That is the ultimate goal is it not?”
And the worst thing about being a magician? Having to deal with some of the attention seeking female magicians who have not put the time and effort into learning magic but using their gender as a tool for deception and popularity.
Out of all your professions, acting, co hosting, hosting, magic – do you have a favourite or do you enjoy each one equally? I enjoy all them equally. Impossible to pick one over the other.
If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to perform in Outer Space but for now I will keep things down to earth. The audiences in Ireland are some my of my fave audiences ever. Witty banter and a great sense of humours makes shows in Ireland top notch.
If you could collaborate with one person, who would that be? Johnny Thompson
Who’s your favourite magician of all time? Too many to pick one. So here are a few in no specific order….Carlton, Juan Tamariz, Harry Anderson, Johnny Thompson, Arnold Debiere, Keller, Tommy Wonder.
Do you enjoy watching others performing and what goes through your mind when you watch magic? I love watching others performing. I always try and first watch as a lay person as I love to be entertained. It is quite hard to switch off the magic brain but I love experiencing what the layman feels when watching magic.
What’s your preferred size audience to perform for? Do you prefer intimate or large scale events? The bigger the better for me. There is nothing quite as thrilling as performing to a massive crowd and learning to direct, misdirect, and mould them into one big family. But my one true love is card magic which sometimes works better in more intimate settings.
What would you say is your most rewarding career moment? Creating my show Bridging the Gap for Pittsburgh’s Liberty Magic Theatre.
How diverse do you see the magic industry? I think the magic industry is very diverse. From amateurs to professionals and everyone in-between. Magic is a great community because people from all walks of life from doctors to lawyers dabble in magic and are able to share this art form within their own separate communities.
Who’s the most famous person in your phone book? Oooh I’m not one to name drop 🙂
Have you ever been star struck? I used to when I was a kid but not anymore. Everyone is equal to me. Even when Taika Waititi came to my show..ooops shit I Just name dropped. What a dirty floor. But no I do not care for celebrities. We all come from the same place. A ladies well you know……that place.
Do you have any advice for magicians trying to make it into mainstream?- Stop saying puns in your shows. Puns are not great jokes or comedy and definitely not mainstream. Come up with original ideas and presentation and learn the history of magic so you can start thinking outside the norm. Stop taking advice from magicians you have never seen perform in front of a real audience, me included.
What was the process for appearing on ITV’s next greatest magician? One day producer Andrew O’Connor called me up asking if I would partake. I agreed. We spent a few months discussing what routine of mine I would perform. I had at least 3 months to prepare so I decided to re-structure the first ever magic routine I ever did which just happened to be on a Trapeze. I had not done Trapeze for about 8 years so had to get a private coach and start from scratch. Instead of my
card trick I did my Bean trick and rewrote it to fit the Trapeze. It was great to re- create the first magic routine I ever performed for a live televised audience.
Tell us about how Covid has changed your world and how you have adapted over the past 12 months? Not being able to perform is really hard for me. However, I have taken the time off from performing to my advantage. I have been reading and studying a ton of magic for inspiration. New routines that have not had the time to be rehearsed I have spent all of lockdown building and creating my acts for when we are back to live shows again. Even after a year into this Pandemic my new routines are still not audience ready. So much work still to be done behind the scenes.
We would love to hear about Krowd Keepers and your work there? Krowd Keepers Magic Theatre is my weekly intimate theatre space in Bath where I put on magic shows every Friday and Saturday upstairs at the Ale House Pub. We cram 40 people into the space. The show runs approximately 90min. We have been running for 6 years. After the show the audience is invited to head to the cellar where we also have a magic bar called Sleight. Magicians perform close-up magic in Sleight until the wee hours of the morning.
Please tell us about any new projects you have coming up. I have a TV show called Next Stage which will be airing in Canada this Spring 2021. I also will be featured in a new magic Documentary called Before Your Very Eyes produced by Media Juice Productions and hosted by Penn.My other projects I cannot say too much yet but working on some tv projects with HBO, ITV and a pilot in LA.
Thank you Billy, we really enjoyed getting to know you and you really made me laugh with your honesty, its refreshing thank you!