After all these years, David Copperfield is still the biggest name in magic. But he is not resting on laurels. He continues to amaze in his spectacular live at MGM Grand, and the illusionist recently upped the ante with the release of David Copperfield’s History of Magic, an epic tale of the evolution of its art form featuring the most influential and revolutionary magicians and artifacts through time. Full of never-before-seen images and detailed stories, the book was inspired by the private Copperfield Museum in Las Vegas, known to only a few lucky souls as the International Museum and Conjuring Arts Library, containing over 80,000 pieces. memories collected during his unique career.
Congratulations on the book! Was this project something that you had been developing for a long time?
In a sense. This museum has been almost 30 years of my life. It’s a secret museum, because of all the secrets involved, and people can visit it by invitation only. So the book is a way for other people to see this amazing place and some of the highlights, with beautiful pictures. But the book itself has only been in the works for two or three years because I was looking for another way to share this place. It’s a very rich story, and I’m really proud of it.
You know more about magic than anyone, but did you learn or rediscover anything while you were compiling the material for the book?
I’ve been more of a creator than a historian for decades, inventing new magic, making giant objects disappear, breaking through walls, traveling the world trying to break the mold of what magic was. My current show at MGM is all about dinosaurs and spaceships, aliens and time travel, things that don’t exist in any of these amazing library volumes here. My real endeavor in life was to advance magic, and I haven’t looked back. Then 20 years ago I acquired a collection of things just to save it and keep it together, and I started learning the stories of these magicians, and suddenly it was vibrant. Stories are very important to me. We learn from stories. We learn from our past. So over the past 20 years I’ve looked back and forward, and it was really nice to relearn all of that, and through the book I discovered some amazing things that I didn’t know.
Since your show reopened at the MGM Grand, you’ve been back on stage for 15 performances every week. What is the secret of this incredible consistency?
I don’t take any days off during the weeks I work, then I take 10 separate weeks out of the year and that’s a good balance for me. I have the opportunity to recharge my batteries during these breaks, but while I’m here I love to work. I do three shows on Saturdays and two shows every other day. But the audience is the reason I’m here. I love them, I love the experience, and if I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t. It is very rewarding. I’ve met in a different way now where I’m doing a little behind-the-scenes commissioning performance, and I can’t wait to be there. I can do a piece of new material to test for this band behind the scenes and it’s really fun, and they are thrilled with that as well.
MGM Grand, 866.740.7711
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