Today we’d like to introduce you to Skyler King.
Skyler, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started doing magic when I was just a little kid. I don’t remember the exact age, but I do remember two magical moments from my childhood very distinctly. The first was finding a Rubik’s Cube in my grandfather’s backyard and being entirely enthralled by it. The second was finding a magic trick in my stocking stuffer on Christmas morning. Those are my earliest memories of magic. Magic has been part of my life, in a really big way, for the majority of my existence.
I do remember that when I was a freshman in high school, I asked my crush out to homecoming with a magic trick. We met in freshman English class. Today, she’s a 9th grade English teacher, and I’m a professional magician, and last year, she got promoted from my crush to my wife.
I found my motivation to become a professional magician very early on in life as well. My family was camping on the Silver Strand in Imperial Beach when I was in grade school, and my mom told me that there was a professional magician in the trailer next to us and that he was a member of The Magic Castle in Hollywood. The Magic Castle is a very prestigious, private club in Los Angeles, and only the best of the best in the magician world get to call themselves members. I asked this guy to show me magic all week, and he avoided me for a while since he was out there spending time with his family.
On his last day, I saw him packing up, grabbed the casino cut deck of cards in my family’s trailer, ran over to him and begged him to show me just one (really, just one trick!) before he left. He obliged and showed me a trick with my own deck of cards. I knew then in that moment that he had skills in his hands that could be learned. It wasn’t a special deck that made the trick happen. It was my own deck, and this stranger doing magic with it. I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about magic, about making impossible things possible. Today, I am a member of the Magic Castle too, just like the stranger on the beach I met once, a long time ago, who did just one trick for me when I was just a child.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The question of whether or not it has been a smooth road depends on which road we’re talking about!
The road to learning and sharing magic has been a perfect one, by my standards. It’s not easy learning sleights and illusions and it takes a lot of time, but it is incredibly rewarding when I get it right, especially when I get to share the magic with others. People react by laughing, screaming, jumping, dropping their jaw, running away, cursing, clapping–the reactions are endless, and all of them are great positive feedback that keeps me wanting to learn more, do more, and be more when it comes to my life as a magician. I think the challenges and frustrations of learning new tricks is part of its fun!
Paving the road in my business has definitely had its challenges. Most of my clients currently hear about me through word of mouth, and some of them find me through my social media that my wife helps me manage. I have found it challenging to keep up online because so much of what I do has to be experienced in person to really understand its magic. I think something that has changed over the years is the use of cell phones. I’ve been trying to incorporate cell phones into my magic recently just so people can get their picture and put it away and enjoy being in the present moment. However, I’m finding cell phones take away from the magic–instead of watching it happen right in front of them, people are electing to watch it through a tiny screen.
I try to gently encourage people to be with each other in the here and now with my magic, and cell phones, while being incredibly useful and magical in their own way, can sometimes be an obstacle. I encourage everyone reading this to really enjoy the magic of a live performance next time you see a musician, magician, or other type of performing artist! The story you will get out of being in the present with their art will far surpass the grainy video your cell phone would capture.
Sky King Magic – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I have been doing magic for as long as I can remember, and professionally for about eight years now. Some of my clients include Sony, Google, Yelp, Leaselabs, Sycuan, and many others. I bring sleight of hand and other illusions to every kind of event you can imagine. I have performed at festivals, weddings, corporate events, cocktail hours, receptions, dinners, birthday parties, camps, anniversaries, retirement parties and even proposals. I am happy to be part of any celebration of any kind!
I specialize in strolling close-up magic that happens very close to the viewer(s) and sometimes in their own hands. I get immense joy from making the impossible possible inches away from the people who are watching. “Strolling” magic means that I perform from small group to small group at events, walking around and bringing magic to every person I encounter.
I often joke that I am a “professional interrupter” and that it is my job to not only find the right moment to enter the conversation, but to do it in a way that feels natural, and ends with nothing but wonder and joy on the faces of the people I have interrupted. When I first began, it felt scary to interrupt, but now, after years of doing this, I am not only comfortable with it, but excited by its challenge.
I talk about expected and unexpected magic a lot when I perform. You can tell from my photos that I perform in a variety of settings, to a variety of people, in all sorts of attire. Sometimes, I’m known at an event as the magician, and people expect magic when we cross paths. This is always great because it’s always fun to have an attentive audience! However, I’m also really passionate about bringing unexpected magic wherever I go. After I complete my contracted time at an event, I do my best to stop and do magic for those involved in making that event happen, including those working hard behind the scenes like planners, event coordinators, waiters, security guards, and other staff. I think it’s important to cultivate a sense of play in everyone around me, and if I have the power to make people laugh and smile, I’m going to do that for as many people as will have me. I’m very passionate about showing magic to other live performers as well. The photo of me performing to the group of people in black and red was taken in the Philippines, and those people are incredible fire dancers that entertained me and my wife every night when we were eating dinner on our honeymoon.
While I am most passionate about close-up magic, I also offer stage shows, from small parlor audiences to full auditoriums. My wife and I also collaborated to create and bring San Diego A Spoonful of Magic, a dinner magic event, where guests eat a three-course meal, have the option to pair wine alongside their food, as they enjoy three courses of magic. At the moment, we host A Spoonful of Magic at Villa Capri Trattoria & Wine Bar in Poway as well as Seasalt in Del Mar. We’re always looking for new bars, wineries, and restaurants to collaborate with to bring more people magic, so let us know if that’s you or someone you know!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
One of the magic shows that I have written and perform is called “Play More Attention.” I believe I am successful in bringing magic to people when they are returning to a state of play when people are having fun and laughing with one another. I think about our attention a lot, and I’ve come to the realization that one of the most loving things we can give is our attention. When we pay attention to the people in our lives, in a really authentic, present way, we are giving them love. When we pay attention to the world around us, we are showing gratitude for everything that went into curating the environment that we are lucky to live in. When we play, we get the privilege of returning to the present moment, and hopefully, if you’re paying attention, you’ll find that there’s a lot to enjoy in the here and now.
That, of course, is the abstract answer to the question. With my business, I define success as being able to bring magic to as many people as possible. This includes filling my calendar with doing magic at corporate events, parties, birthdays, festivals, and weddings, but it also includes working with my wife and the other creatives around me to create and curate experiences where magic can be brought to the table, like our A Spoonful of Magic dinners. We’re currently working on finding bars, wineries, and restaurants with Happy Hours that would be interested in collaborating, because why go to Happy Hour when you can go to Magic Hour?
Because my mission is to bring magic to as many people as possible, I recognize that I’m not the only magician in the world! I do private lessons for those serious enough to learn and do magic. I also gift those who book me for events with tickets to the Magic Castle in Hollywood so they can enjoy even more world-class illusions!
- Website: www.SkyKingMagic.com
- Phone: 6193954442
- Email: SkyKingMagic@gmail.com
- Instagram: SkyKingMagic
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkyKingMagic
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/sky-king-magic-san-marcos
Annie Laurie Photographic