How long have you been involved in magic?
Since Jan. '85. I went to an audition for the show of an international television & stage star. It turned out to be David Copperfield. He hired me as a dancer, but I worked with him for the next eleven years as choreographer and co-director. I performed as his lead assistant for 8 1/2 of those years.
Did you start out as a choreographer and haven't you worked for David Copperfield and many others famous in magic?
David gave me my first opportunity to choreograph. Prior to working with him, I worked primarily as a dancer/singer/actress. Through staging David's magic, as well as that of numerous other magicians I have gained an excellent understanding of how to best stage magic.
I work with many magicians as an artistic director/ consultant. Fo the last 4 years I have worked with Mark Kalin & Jinger Leigh and Jeff Hobson as the director of their show Carnival of Wonders. That has been a wonderful collaborative process from which we all have grown tremendously. I have also worked with Tim Kole & Jenny Lyn, Melinda, First Lady of Magic, Dirk Arthur, Kevin & Cindy Spencer, Connie Boyd, Princess Tenko, Circo Tihany, Becky Blaney, Marco Tempest, Ashley Springer and others.
I realize you are a very talented lady Joanie, but was it dificult to create your own act and show after working for so many other magicians?
Yes. The reason being that there are only so many illusions in magic. Many people have the same tricks in their acts. It is a real challenge to stage & choreograph the same illusion time after time and make it new & different each time. I do not want to be responsible for everyone I work for (including myself) having a similar look. Choosing the most appropriate magic for my act took alot of thought.
Who are some of your idols in magic?
Obviously, David is one. He is a man of tremendous talent & vision. He understands how important it is to reach the audience on many different levels and he knows how to achieve that. He is not afraid to show his vulnerability; the magician does not need to be all powerful all the time. The man is a perfectionist and that is reflected in all that he does. I've never worked harder in my life than I did for David, but it was well worth it...a product you could always be proud of.
I admire Marco Tempest for his ingenuity, humor, and unique style.
Mark Kalin is an incredibly talented man. He is a fountain of creativity, wonderful ideas, original ideas. A man of great integrity.
Jinger Leigh is a breathtaking performer who has set a very high standard for other women in magic.
Veronin has a charming and hystericallly funny act.
And Richiardi was fascinating, captivating, and SO theatrical!
As a female magician, how are you treated in a predominately male profession?
It is a huge advantage to be a woman in the male dominated field of magic. If someone wants to hire a female magician, the field is MUCH smaller, so your chances of being hired are far greater. We are somewhat of a novelty...that can't hurt! The only drawback is he sexist attitude a woman might encounter that she is just a "babe" and not to be taken seriously. But I can tell you that the women magicians I have seen have been excellent and easily rival the male magicians I have seen.
What do you feel the future holds for other up and coming female magicians?
Very bright. Girls need role models. They need to see other women & girls in the position as the magician. When Becky Blaney and I performed in the Women of Magic we were always surrounded by young girls after the show, buying magic tricks, asking questions. They were inspired. Possibilities opened up. We need to support and encourage those interested in the art. Eventually the number of women will increase dramatically. It is just a matter of time.
Would you like to see a scholarship magic competition just for females?
That is an excellent idea. Another good idea is for those already established in magic to become a mentor for those who are starting out, like a Big Sister.
You are currently performing in the Bahamas. Can you tell us when, where and for how long?
I'll be at the Nassau Marriott, Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas, until the end of March, 2001.
Please tell us more about the show?
The show is called Magical Voyage, and during it we visit several locations, Broadway, the Rainforests, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas. Production numbers open & close the show and are placed in between my sets.There are twelve gorgeous dancers and a wonderful singer, Lisa Chapman.
There are many pictures of the show at my website, www.joaniespina.com