Felix Jones

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EP 208: Felix Jones (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: You booked it episode 208. Okay. Let’s get this thing started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Felix Jones. Felix, are you ready to do that? 

[00:00:17] Felix Jones: Oh yesterday and I am ready for you. 

[00:00:20] Dane Reis: Brilliant Felix. Yeah. Is a member of the international brotherhood of magicians and a magician member of the academy of magical arts at the world.

[00:00:29] Famous magic castle in Hollywood. Felix is a frequent performer in the magic castle showrooms, and has also appeared at several Las Vegas venues. He performs his a claim to comedy magic and mind reading show in nightclubs for private parties. Events, some of Felix’s clients include Amazon John Hancock, investment management, the Otis college of art and design the Toledo golf club and the California association of marriage and family therapists, Felix, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:12] Felix Jones: Sure. Uh, so what I do is, um, I do mind reading, which is also called mentalism, uh, in the past year, though, with zoom, I’ve incorporated a lot more magical effects and a few illusions. So during the pandemic I was working exclusively on zoom. And then, uh, when things started loosening up, I had three private parties in a row.

[00:01:39] So because of, uh, with zoom, all the tricks I was doing on zoom, I had to sort of like get back into the magic saddle and kind of retrain myself from the routines that I’ve done hundreds of times that I couldn’t do over here. Happily. There are tons of videos of me online, YouTube. I have my own YouTube channel and I was able to watch those videos and retrain myself into the routines that I completely forgot. 

[00:02:09] Dane Reis: okay. Yeah, that’s wild. That mean I guess it makes sense. Right? I mean,  we got to keep practicing, right. And if it’s, if you’re not doing it 

[00:02:16] live 

[00:02:17] Felix Jones: You know, with magic, You know, with magic, with magic, it is it’s nonstop. And if you let it up for even a minute, it’s, there is muscle memory. You know, when you’re doing a particular effect, you literally, when you’ve done it, hundreds of times, I don’t have to think about it. I can just, by my hands move, as they’re supposed to my mouth moves, as opposed to saying the words that are going to work, to get people to understand what I’m doing.

[00:02:44] So, uh, if you don’t then yes, you kind of lose it a little. But with zoom, I was doing many, many performances, but I had to completely reshape my material for a zoom audience. So I, um, um,I’m very interactive whether it’s in live, uh, performing live, or if it’s on a zoom show, I made sure that I wasn’t going to do just a bunch of card tricks.

[00:03:09] Um, I wanted my audience to be involved. As much as possible because they’re watching me on a small screen. So I’ve worked very hard at developing material that was specific for zoom now, right.

[00:03:24] now, of all of that material that I did, there’s only two that I’m able to perform live. So I,um, had to go back to the, uh, my old bag of tricks, Felix

[00:03:38] and revive some that had fallen by the wayside. But, um, the first party that I did, uh,after zoom, it was a, um, a group of ladies and they were all. I believe somewhat related and it was on mother’s day and all of them had had their mothers who had passed away, uh, either within the year with two years. And, uh, definitely a few from COVID.

[00:04:01] So they wanted me to, you know, be light and funny entertain them. And there they were a rowdy group. It was so much fun getting back into it. And even though I may have like, struggled with the move every now and. They were just so into it and laughing that it was a really, really joyous time for them as it was for me, because I was performing 

[00:04:20] live again. 

[00:04:22] Dane Reis: yeah, you were back at it, you know, and I think it’s so cool that you were able to so successfully. Transition and evolve into making zoom, your platform to do your magic. I was watching a bit of your, your reel and some of your content. And you really do. It’s not just like watching TV and just watching someone do a card trick.

[00:04:41] Like you really appear to be making a very inclusive experience, uh, which I mean props to you. That’s hard to do. That’s really hard.

[00:04:50] Felix Jones: It is, and you know, it wasn’t easy. It took me a long time to put the zoom show together. Uh, let alone the technical, if you watched and you saw that I had a lot of technical stuff going on with my green, my green screen and the fades. So I really wanted to, um, you know, Have the technology up to speed as well as the magic.

[00:05:09] So I had to work on those, uh, at the same time and I believe the magic, I got down a lot sooner than I did the technical things with zoom, because. Even there, all the shows I did, there’s always some demon that happens, uh, you know, 15 minutes before the audiences is, wants to be admitted. And, uh, I had a wonderful stage manager.

[00:05:33] His name is Milo seagull. And, uh, he would just, you know, kind of vamp, you know, with, with the audience, but you know what people really, really didn’t care. They were so excited to be there and see this type of performance that they had never 

[00:05:46] seen before. 

[00:05:47] Dane Reis: Oh, I love that. That’s so cool. Well, let’s move on to this first section here. And Felix, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone

[00:05:59] Felix Jones: uh, it’s actually a quote that I really live by and I talk with a lot of magicians about, and what it is is magic without meaning is just a trick. And I find that really important. There was a study that was done by famous magician, about five or six years ago. And, uh, the findings shocked everybody because as it turned out, card magic was the least favorite of this big, big survey.

[00:06:29] And mentalism was the number one. And the reason being is that as a mentalist, I need to connect with people emotionally. And the only way to do that is that what I am saying has meaning to it. You know, You know, that each of my, uh, routines has a beginning, middle and an end. And I tell a story. It within, you know, three to five minutes and the participant is part of that story and their emotion, their memories is what makes that beyond a trip. 

[00:07:09] And that’s what I think is missing from some magicians, not all many, many, many do this. In fact, I’m part of the Jeff McBride magic and mystery school, uh, famous school. That’s in Las Vegas by world, famous Jeff McBride. And, um, they, this is what they teach. This is the money. Put as much meaning pack meaning into your material and people will be walloped though.

[00:07:33] They, they will go beyond, uh, wow. How’d they do that too. I need to think about this. I felt something. I really feel that he read my mind. And that’s, that’s, that’s the difference between doing a bunch of tricks, which by the, uh, by the way, this study that are just, uh, uh, cited, um,magic tricks were the ones that people forgot instantly. I mean, a card tricks for giving card tricks or what people forgot instantly. 

[00:07:56] Dane Reis: Right. I mean, that makes sense to, I mean, you need, the, the relevancy really is what it is, uh, to someone to have that meaning. Right.

[00:08:04] Felix Jones: I mean, Yeah, I mean, card tricks are tons of fun. And I, I admired the skill because there are some friends of mine who are just fantastic at card magic and they’re really great performers. So I’m a fan of card drugs, at least inventive card tricks. There’s some that you see all the time, but every now and then.

[00:08:24] I will see a magician at the magic castle, do something. I went, whoa, I’ve never seen that 

[00:08:30] before. 

[00:08:32] Dane Reis: Yeah, that’s very cool. 

[00:08:34] And would you say that when you put your say you’re doing a whole show, your whole routine, um, do you think it’s beneficial to layer in. You know, You know, a bit of that really high feel, high, high touch, uh, or that really meaningful, uh, those, those tricks or those things, and mix them with the less feeling things to have more of a, like any kind of an arc through your show.

[00:08:56] Is that something that’s 

[00:08:57] helpful? 

[00:08:58] Felix Jones: no, no, no, no, no. I, every single one of my routines has got something to it. Um, Yeah.

[00:09:03] That, uh, has, will have some meaning to it. So for example, there’s a, there’s a new one that I am, um, doing. I started doing it live at those three parties I had previously mentioned. And what it does is that it combines three, Effects uh, with silks, uh, that all three of them are not to perform too much these days and nobody has ever performed them as I’m doing them all three together.

[00:09:31] So that’s great because there’s a lot of skill with that, but I begin the route and the music is I’m actually using if I were a carpenter by Bobby Darin, Bobby Darren’s version of it. And because it’s very, um, it brings the show. Uh, from all the high pitched and hilarious, accurate things that Felix says, um, it brings it down to a real level because it’s, I talk about one time or another, our hearts were broken or we were the Heartbreakers.

[00:09:59] And so I put this meaning at the top of it and I am, I do this and it is one of the, um,probably these days. It is the only routine that I do that you can hear 

[00:10:10] pin. People are, they’re amazed by the silk work, but the story that I’m telling and, uh,because basically what I’m telling is that I, if I, I could have done this, you know, you know, I broke someone’s heart and I could have done this and I regret now.

[00:10:28] And so let me show you what I could have done back then. And I quote a little Shakespeare and it’s really beautiful. Peace. And right, now it’s my favorite piece to perform because it does have that, uh, it, it adds depth to the show. It has that, you know, you know, you do have to build a show so that it builds up and then you bring it down a little and then you go back up to the big

[00:10:52] smash finale. 

[00:10:53] Dane Reis: right, right, but you always keep, you always keep, you always keep the relevancy and the meaning in it and all the time. 

[00:10:58] Very cool. Love that. Well, let’s dig into this next section here. And Felix, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.

[00:11:15] And you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot. Of dedication and hard work. And while yet there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being an entertainer, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures we will experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.

[00:11:39] So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out? The other side better.

[00:11:49] Felix Jones: So when I was first starting out doing mentalism, I was looking at some,um, some older material and trying to adapt it to myself and I really didn’t have the confidence. And so. Wasn’t so. terribly good. But then I was asked to do a charity benefit and it was the first time that I started introducing material that as I’ve been saying has, has meaning to it.

[00:12:22] And I was terrified. I was, um, I was shaking like crazy and, um, I. Heard the audience response, the laughs and the shocked expressions. And I felt okay, I need, this is what I need to always be confident in what I’m doing now. When I was an actor, uh, many, uh, many, many eons ago, and I had terrible stage fright. Um, I would literally throw up before a performance.

[00:12:56] Um, it, it was just awful. And, uh, I had a little bit of that as I was going in. Uh, as I was performing magic for the first time. Now, mind you, I’ve only been performing magic for, um, 6, 6, 6 going on six years now. Um, so it was a whole big change for me and I had to get over this because when you’re at the magic castle, there are a couple of performance spaces there.

[00:13:19] They’re bright lights that are shining on you. And if your hand, because people are watching your hands 

[00:13:24] constantly. 

[00:13:25] Dane Reis: Hey, you’re a room full of professional magicians. 

[00:13:27] mean, 

[00:13:27] Felix Jones: Yes. Yes. And, uh, if that pan just shakes just the slightest bit. I, I would hear it. People would say, all right, you’ve got to get over this. Your hand is shaking. Uh, you know, you’re, you’re kind of stumbling.

[00:13:39] Um, and it was just, it was just fear. And after a few times, and lots of encouragement from fellow magicians. I don’t have the problem anymore at all. Um, and it’s interesting to me now at my ripe old age that I don’t have any stage fright. So that was, that’s always been the most debilitating thing for me as a performer.

[00:13:58] And I know many, many, many, many, uh, performers have got that same thing, that same issue, but I managed to find it, I think by, um, making sure I was always delving into. My character, as long as I was within the character, I could say and do anything. Um, not doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous because if you don’t get nervous and, uh, I feel anyway, if I don’t get nervous and things, I’m going to flub something.

[00:14:22] So just a little bit, right. A A little bit of butterflies in the stomach really helps drive me, 

[00:14:26] Dane Reis: yeah. 

[00:14:26] Felix Jones: me forward to do my best, my absolute best. 

[00:14:29] Dane Reis: Yeah, I really liked how you said, if I could delve into the character, I can say and do anything. It’s really committing to what it is you’re doing and embracing all of it. And I mean,I mean, the thing, I think it goes completely the same for whether it’s being a magician or you’re doing a play or a musical, or even if you’ve got to get up on stage and you’ve got to just give a talk as yourself, but you’re giving your talk.

[00:14:55] I guess in that sense, the character would be yourself, but the way you’ve been built or the way that someone has chosen to perceive you on their stage and to just own that, uh, in its fullest. And that gives you the confidence to move forward confidently.

[00:15:11] Felix Jones: No, you know, it really helps a lot that, um, from my theater background to create my sciatica character and as, uh, Mentalist. Um, so I write every word. Um, I just to write theater and, uh, so I know the structure that needs to go into it. I also choose specific music that is that’s going to represent the ideas or the emotions that I want for each.

[00:15:37] How I move every single move that I make. Um, you know, where the props are set, whether I turn left, right. Turn right. Uh, all of that, all of these theatrical, uh, standards, you know, if, if you’re in theater, You, this is what you have to know at all times. And so I do that. I bring it all. I am, you know, my own producer, my own director, but fortunately I have a band of a really fantastic magicians who will point out, well, maybe you could do this instead.

[00:16:07] Dane Reis: Yeah. I mean, look at the end of the day, you know, when we see magicians and especially if it’s, I guess it depends really on the, on the act at the time, but oftentimes it’s, everything is set up to seem very casual and very pedantic and to be like, oh, we just kind of stumbled across this, but just like any performance, any, any stage show and he plays.

[00:16:25] Every prop is exactly where it needs to be. Every, every move is choreographed, you know? you know? And it’s, it’s the same thing, isn’t it?

[00:16:32] Felix Jones: It is. And you know what? I also, um, spike here’s an old theater term. Uh, I also spiked the floor of exactly where I want the audience to stay. So when I bring participants up, I’ve even got that marked down. Particularly if I’m doing a private party, it’s not so much at the magic castle though, because, well, it’s not true when I’m in the showrooms.

[00:16:52] I do spike. I do spike the floor and I know where people are going to stand. I want to make sure. Because, you know, it’s, it’s a time thing too. The show has got a mood when you’re in one of the showrooms, it’s gotta be 40 minutes at most. And so you can’t waste time with moving people around and getting them to stand in a particular space.

[00:17:09] So there’s a little piece of tape on the floor. And so I know exactly where, uh, someone needs to go, but I do this for, um, private parties, corporate events as well. Uh, I also try to recruit. The magic castle experience, because many times they will there be a, you know, a big room with tables and chairs, because they usually have had some sort of a mean, uh, a meal and a meeting.

[00:17:31] And then, then I go on and so I actually tell them all, let’s all bring our chairs and we’ll have an aisle down the center. And I moved the chairs and I make it?

[00:17:41] like a performance venue. I always tell them, I want to recreate the magic castle experience for you, right. right. And so I do that too. I, you know, I, I move the audience.

[00:17:52] I make sure the audience is in a really good position to see everything, of course hear everything, but also to be coming up because, you know, during the course of a show, I will have at least a dozen people. Come up with every routine. So, you know, So, you know, I learned all that from, uh, Jeff McBride, because he’s just, he’s actually brilliant at this of where you need to move your audience around, uh, and what you need to do to make it the optimal experience for everyone. 

[00:18:21] Dane Reis: and let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized. Yes, I am going to be a magician or an entertainer for a living, or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing in the industry. Tell us about that.

[00:18:44] Felix Jones: The experience that comes to mind is. When I performed in Las Vegas at Jeff brides wonder ground. So it is a monthly then you and Jeff pulls in some of the world’s best magicians. And he asked me to perform. Now. He had also asked me that afternoon. To, uh, make some script changes to my, this particular, um, uh, effect that I was doing.

[00:19:19] So I was pacing in the parking lot before I had to go on going through the script, moving my hands, going through the script and that it was time to go on and I went on and I was, again, not at all nervous, but at the end of it, These magicians that I’ve seen, um, or read about that came up to me and they said you really have something special that I’ve never seen before. So that was incredible validation for me, that all of the hard work, uh, was paying off and going to pay off. So that, that was, that was a really unique moment for me. It was transformation. I felt so confident that these famous magicians would actually come up and approach me 

[00:20:06] and say this. 

[00:20:08] Dane Reis: Yeah, that’s amazing. And you also mentioned a little bit ago that you haven’t been doing magic since you were four or anything, but what, what inspired you to get into it?

[00:20:19] Felix Jones: You know, You know, everybody always asks that and it does start as a child. Um, so I was, uh, I got into magic from comic books and, uh, I was a big comic book fan. I had tons of them. And on the back cover, you probably may read in the old, in the olden days, there were always, um, uh, magic tricks that you could send away. So I did, I started sending away to, for different tricks. I would try them out. And then, uh, I would get a bunch of friends together and perform in somebody’s garage. I was, I guess, I guess, 11 at that point. And, um, then I was in a summer school play called who do the magician and I was third. I was 13. I was Hoodoo.

[00:21:06] And basically it’s about a shyster magician who, uh, you know, cons uh, you know, people. But then what happens is that, and he’s not really doing magic, but then what happens is that he actually. Uh, understands what he’s been doing and his magic becomes. 

[00:21:22] Dane Reis: Hmm.

[00:21:22] Felix Jones: that was very influential. But then I, uh, as I mentioned briefly, I then was in dramatic arts.

[00:21:29] And so I stepped away from it for a long time. I’d always, I’d always had my interest in it, but I wasn’t really pursuing it actively. I had, I had a big career in, um, in theater for many years, and then I wrote a play. About Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle called flute, flam, Houdini, and the hereafter.

[00:21:48] And it had a very , successful production at the Malibu Playhouse and a bunch of magic castle historians who were Houdini experts. In fact, they called themselves the Houdini nuts. They came to the show. And they said, you know, you really need to come to the magic castle. You need to become a man. So at that point, when we were in rehearsal, I had a couple of fantastic magicians I was working with, uh, first is Jonathan Levitt.

[00:22:15] Who’s currently on the board of trustees and fantastic magician and actor. One of my favorite favorite X-Files episodes, by the way, uh, with the great Ricky Jay. And Jonathan worked with me on the script.

[00:22:26] And, uh, no, you cannot have someone pull a tablecloth, uh, you know, with a fully of a fully set table. And then the next magician I had Jim Bentley who used to do a Houdini act. And so. Uh, I learned a lot. I started really getting drawn in again. 

[00:22:42] I could feel it. I can feel the passion, the passion building up.

[00:22:45] And so when I got the, uh, audition for that, the magic castle, Jim actually trained me for three months. Do it, I was doing several Houdini, like, uh, routines. And at that moment when I was accepted and it was one of the most difficult auditions of my life, if anybody who’s listening and as an actor, I’m sure you’ve had, you know, terrible.

[00:23:11] Stories, but it was so difficult because they were very, very pleasant and chatty the three or three or four, I believe on the audition committee and wanting to know what magic books I had read and what, you know, why I was passionate about magic. And then all that they said, well, well,why don’t you do something for us?

[00:23:29] And so all that pleasant conversations stopped. And this was what I said earlier. They literally just looked at my hand through the whole audition. And then when it was over, they were back to chatting pleasantly again. And, uh, that was it. And, uh, I did get in and in 2015. And so it’s been full speed since then.

[00:23:49] I’ve never let up. Uh, I’ve been in magic doing magic now 

[00:23:53] since then. 

[00:23:54] Dane Reis: oh, that’s so cool. I love that story. Really great. Well, Well, let’s piggyback on the previous question, the spotlight question, and let’s talk about your number one. A book. Did moment walk us through that day? What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:24:15] Felix Jones: All right. So, um, my favorite book did moment happened at. The academy of magical arts has an annual awards show, and I’ve been performing at the castle in the, what they call the impromptu rooms down in the basement. Uh, Uh, they’re really nice venues. And, um, so I’ve, I’ve performed there quite a bit, but I didn’t quite get the attention of the director of entertainment, even though I was filming things and sending things.

[00:24:44] And so at the, uh, annual awards, I was. Walking up to the theater and the director started shouting my name and I went over to him and he said, I’ve watched all of your video. You’re going to be on that stage next year. You’re the one who’s going to be getting awards. And he said, call me on Monday and I will set you up for your show in the showroom.

[00:25:13] that’s sort. I know it was intense. It was, I was, I was literally shaking afterwards when I went inside and then I had to do the whole word joke, you know, be a part of their workshop. And I was still just, you know, just extended. I 

[00:25:24] couldn’t be here. 

[00:25:26] Dane Reis: ah, so good. I love that. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And you know, we’re still, I mean, especially in the states, we’re getting out of the pandemic, but how do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple weeks?

[00:25:43] Felix Jones: So right now, I, uh, I had been teamed up with, uh, two magicians. We teamed up about three months ago. Um, Simone Turkey. Who’s a regular, the magic castle, Chris Harrison. Who is in the bay area. And he performs as Faust and myself and I created and produced a show called the Orpheums circuit tour. And it was all based on, um, you know, the Maggie style of magic that was in vaudeville in the twenties, at the Orpheum circuits.

[00:26:15] So we performed that originally as a couple of fundraisers, but then we did that as, um,the magic Castle’s actual virtual. As well. And now, since we’re moving away from zoom, uh,Simone and I actually right before, um, the magic castle shut down in March a year ago, year and a half ago, uh, we were supposed to be performing in the showroom together.

[00:26:36] We had created this, uh, really fun show where the two of us were in the 1960s and the audience was a blighted guests. We created names for all of the audience. It was all, it was a lot of. And it got postponed. So we’re going to be doing that again. Uh, probably in December at the magic castle. Um, I don’t have the exact date yet, but it is going to be coming up and we do a very interesting take on a famous routine called the spirit cabinet that actually Houdini used to do, but a couple of famous conditions in the 1960s, 1970s, uh, Francis Willard and Glenn Falken stone.

[00:27:16] Really. Recreated it to be exciting and thrilling. And what we did is that we changed the genders on it because normally the woman, uh, Frances was the one who was always tied up and hypnotized and all the spooky things happened, uh, inside the cabinet when she was tied up in there. So we changed it. And so I’m the one who’s all tied up and a lot of fun and spooky things happen,um, during our show as well.

[00:27:41] So that is the big one that’s going to be coming up in December that I’m really 

[00:27:46] excited. 

[00:27:47] Dane Reis: very cool. And you’ve mentioned the magic castle, you know, consistently through the interview, uh, for our audience members. Can you just give a quick synopsis of what the magic castle is? Especially? I mean, in, in the magician world,

[00:28:00] Felix Jones: Oh, sure. So the magic castle has been called the Mecca of magic. And what it is is that it’s a private club. It was started in the 1960s by a Milt Larson, his brother, bill and Bill’s wife, Irene, and, uh, Grew into this. It was very small at the very beginning. It was just like a small bar and one small showroom.

[00:28:22] And then over the years it grew in popularity and celebrities. Packing the place. So now what it is, it’s a, it’s a Victorian mansion that’s been magically rebuilt and added onto. So it has, I believe is five full service bars. There are seven or eight performance spaces, including a large theater and 

[00:28:46] to medium-size theaters. . Yes. Uh, and a fantastic restaurant. So you go for the night, you go and you have a meal and you go see the shows. As many as you possibly can get into the lions are usually packed for the pandemic. Uh, Uh, you needed at least two or three months to get a reservation, a dinner reservation.

[00:29:07] And then when you’re there, you have to wait online. A show because it was very, very popular. So it just recently re opened and they have been slowly incorporating, um, live magic and amping up again. So I believe next week is going to be the first time where they’re lifting a lot of the COVID restrictions.

[00:29:32] Now, mind you, this is kind of like a day to day, particularly. And, you know, you know, with, with this new Delta variant, but right now they are planning on going forward. They have a lot of strict COVID restrictions. Um, so they’re really a Bain that they are Bain what the county is asking, you know, a a restaurant to do.

[00:29:50] So it’s an unusual space. They have, uh, they had a hard time reopening because not only is it a restaurant, so you have to deal with that and capacity. It was also a bar and it was also a nightclub or theater. 

[00:30:03] Dane Reis: yeah. 

[00:30:04] Felix Jones: Triple whammy on them and you know, what, and trying to overcome, uh,all the restrictions. So, but now it’s, you know, it’s, it’s moving its way back again.

[00:30:11] And I am expecting that certainly by the fall when I know that they want to be fully running up and running again for the, uh, for October, because Halloween is the busiest time. Therethere’s always a theme. Uh, the place is all decked out. Common or costume that’s, you know, it doesn’t have to be part of the theme, but all the staff is wearing a theme themed costume.

[00:30:33] It’s it’s so much fun. So I’m actually, I haven’t been back. Um, so I am actually going next weekend when it’s, uh, somewhat fully opened again. And I’m really thrilled. Oh, by the way, it’s also private invitation only. You can’t just show up, uh, you need to know a magician, uh, and get an invitation or someone, you know, Has a magician connection to the magic castle and you’re sort of like sort of like riding on their coattails on him, but that’s it that’s, that’s what keeps the magic castle premiere and very special.

[00:31:03] Is that not anybody can 

[00:31:05] just walk in. 

[00:31:06] Dane Reis: Aw, that is so cool. Love it. Thanks for that. The summary of the magic castle. Love it. And it is now time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another.

[00:31:28] Are you ready? 

[00:31:30] Felix Jones: Deep breath, 

[00:31:31] Dane Reis: All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? 

[00:31:37] Felix Jones: lack of 

[00:31:38] confidence.

[00:31:39] Dane Reis: Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:31:44] Felix Jones: Honestly, the one thing that I can think of is I had been constantly told to not give up always strive to be best, and there’ll be ups and downs, but 

[00:31:57] don’t give it. 

[00:31:58] Dane Reis: yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:32:09] Felix Jones: Well, what works for me in particular is, uh, I have a, um, when I’m performing, I, I I’m dressed to the nines. I always look fantastic. I look great in a 

[00:32:18] tux and I have. More and more I’ve been incorporating this a martini person. So I’m not drunk or anything, but I want to make sure that everyone’s having a good time, because as we like to say at magicians, I can say, uh, having a drink makes the magic better.

[00:32:41] And, uh, I, what I have found. That every time I like sip a toast because I always have a martini on stage. Sometimes, sometimes there has some gin in it, but most times not. But when I take a sip and I’m toasting people, they want to take a sip. So again, it’s part of that interaction, but I think my martini, my tux persona, and I got to say, I have the best hairstylist in the world.

[00:33:06] His name is Marcus Wolf and my hair is just. 

[00:33:10] Tops. 

[00:33:12] Dane Reis: Yeah, you’re lucky to have hair

[00:33:14] Felix Jones: I am. I am, but I got to tell you, I get, I get commented on the, the hair

[00:33:18] gets the hair is much of characters. 

[00:33:23] Uh, Uh, I it’s constantly commented on, I have people stop me. I have stylists I’ve magician stopped me. You know, what w where did you get your color? You know, this is natural. This is, this is all for real, but I do make a big thing about the hair actually in, in my act.

[00:33:37] So anyway, 

[00:33:38] that’s, that’s it. 

[00:33:39] Dane Reis: Yeah, I love that. And the fourth question. What is your best resource, whether that’s maybe a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:33:52] Felix Jones: Oh, yeah. Well, the big one is always go to the past. Look at the past because what’s happened is that magic is very static. Fad, faddish, uh, beak. Magicians are always wanting to do the top, the newest thing. And so there’s a lot of copycats I’m doing the new thing. So what I do is I go back to mind reading and magic from the 1930s, the 1940s.

[00:34:16] And I look at those resources and I have to make sure. That a particular routine is matching my martini to character. And then I rewrite it and I make it my own. So going back to these old resources is the best way of doing something new. 

[00:34:35] Dane Reis: Very cool. I love that. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:34:52] Felix Jones: I think it’s back to what I’ve been saying is that I, uh, I lacked the confidence and recently what I’ve been hearing, and this is from different people. It’s not just like one person, a couple people, a couple of magicians, whatever. Say to me. You’re a lot better than you think you are. And so I guess I still have that, uh, because I’m so new to the game.

[00:35:18] New to the business that I still have that little bit of, uh, am I good enough? I keep working on that right now. It’s like, like, I know I am. I do know I’m good enough because I hear it over and over, but there’s still that little thing, right? That little bit of insecurity inside of me saying you’re not quite up to their level yet, because where I perform and I perform a lot, I, I, I am clearly. 

[00:35:45] Dane Reis: Yeah, for sure. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our list.

[00:35:56] Felix Jones: You know, I started this when I was 59 and I feel that people who are making these life changes are. Scared or a bit worried about their age. And I just say, don’t put that aside. If you’ve got the talent, if you’ve got the stamina, the energy, just go for it. Just forget about the age and just be exactly the performer you want to be. 

[00:36:25] Dane Reis: well, well, I think that’s incredible advice, especially in such a time of flux. People quitting their jobs and moving all over the world. And everything’s, everything’s changing right now, you know, on a much bigger scale than normal. And I think that’s incredible by advice and very relevant for, for today.

[00:36:42] Felix Jones: Thank you. Yes, it’s. I don’t have a, you know, an, an age issue. And I know when you’re in Hollywood, it’s always a big issue, but you know, I think so much has changed in the business now that, uh, you can have a fantastic career in your sixties and your seventies. It’s it’s. That’s to me is what the biggest change that I’ve seen since I’ve been here.

[00:37:02] I’ve been here since 1990 and it was all about, you know, being young, being hip, being cool and being beautiful. Now that’s, that’s changed. It’s changed. People are appreciating performers who are, as I like to say, seasoned professionals. 

[00:37:20] Dane Reis: Yes, love it. Well, well, Felix, it is time now to wrap up this interview, which means it’s also time to give yourself a plug. Where can our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to.

[00:37:34] Felix Jones: I am available for, even though I perform all the time at the magic castle I’m I’m available for any sort of event. And I’m very reasonable. Uh, you can check me out at my website, Felix Jones, mentalist.com. And, uh, get in touch. I, you know, I respond by phone by email and if you’ve got an event coming on and a matter if it’s like five people or 500 people, I would be very happy to perform for you, particularly as the holiday season comes up.

[00:38:04] Um, it’s, it’s. My favorite time, because I really get to meet a lot of people and they’re all happy and joyful. So check out, check out my website. You also see videos. You can go to YouTube, my YouTube channel as well. Um, and, and see what. 

[00:38:17] Dane Reis: Fantastic. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Uh, I put the links to all the different places you can connect with Felix. And those are all in the description of this episodes. You can easily connect with him and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainer.

[00:38:35] Coaches teachers arts and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry. You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. Case in point, everything Felix gave us today in the interview.

[00:38:55] If you like this episode, please hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next one. Felix, thank you so much for being here. It’s been wonderful to get connected and I think you might be my first magician on the show. 

[00:39:08] Felix Jones: Hey everyone. Everyone has a 

[00:39:11] first time date.

[00:39:12] Dane Reis: That’s it. That’s it. Well, thank you so much for being here.

[00:39:15] Felix Jones: Thank you.