The world of magic is one that seemingly reinvents itself every few years and has a way of finding completely new ways of appealing to audiences. All the way from Houdini to David Copperfield to David Blaine, magic has always been there amazing people with various styles – after all, escaping from a straitjacket is very different from sitting in a glass box for days on end. One of the latest and most exciting developments in magic is the emergence of South Londoner Troy Von Scheibner, a self-confessed Arsenal fan whose down-to-Earth appeal in the first series of E4’s Troy put him firmly in the spotlight.
Now with the second series about to air on E4, Troy discusses how his life has changed and his own unique perspective on magic.
This second series seems to have come around really quickly! How has life changed since the last time we saw you on air?
I know right. I remember starting the first one! It has definitely changed a bit. Not a lot of people knew who I was before but now people see me in the street and I even have bus drivers stopping. I keep thinking they should be concentrating on driving! I used to get public transport but now I have to drive.
With this second series it picks up where we left off. I’d say with my series, the way it’s filmed it’s more transparent and letting people see more. During the time away from filming we definitely looked at feedback and you’re always looking to make it stronger. We want it to feel raw with nothing too big.
Magic has changed over the years. Is there a challenge to keeping people interested, especially on TV where they might be more sceptical about things like the editing?
Oh definitely. When it’s on TV there’s always some element of doubt with the audience thinking there are tricks and edits going on. I can definitely say that none of it used any camera tricks or anything like that. I like to think that the people watching at home get the same experience as those I did the tricks on. We try to make it as real as possible.
For you personally, where do you pull your inspiration from for the tricks and your performance style? Are you someone that loves doing tricks all the time?
I pull so much inspiration from different things. For me as a magician I try to involve normal life in it. I look at the things that interest me as a person, so I’m not trying to be someone else. I try for a 50/50 balance in my life when it comes to work and personal time, so I’m not always ‘on’ as a magician. There has to be that sense of connection on a personal level.
It’s a performance art. I want to give it 100% and do it properly. People are excited and I get that but they can forget you’re a person or might be having a rough day. It’s the same with anyone in the public eye and you take it as part of everything but I want to be able to do it all properly.
Were you surprised at the success of the first series of Troy? How much has social media and fan interaction helped?
It has been surprising but in a good way. I love the interaction and instant feedback. It’s great to see how people react. I want to come across as an everyday person. The weird and mysterious magician is common so I want to switch it up a bit with my own charisma and personality. I want to have fun with it. People are surprised as I don’t look like a magician and during the first series I could approach them without expectation. It’s all about trying to make it fresh like David Blaine did for me. You don’t have to look a certain way.
How much input do you have into the show itself and what magic you perform?
Pretty much everything. It revolves around me and my life and what I like and what I’m into. I’ve done nearly 100 new effects for this second series alone and it’s hard to think of brand new things. I have other magicians I brainstorm with about how I can improve something and they seem things I might miss out on.
What’s your process for learning new tricks and inventing your own?
As this is all brand new stuff it took 7 months to film as I’m always rehearsing. I won’t do it unless it’s perfect. It’s always going to be a long process as you want the best reaction. You won’t know what kind of connection you’ll have with the person. It can change from one person to the next – from scared to sceptical. You have different thinking and something works better one day than it does another. I do like proving the sceptics wrong though.
After achieving so much early on in your career, what other dreams and aspirations do you have going forward as a magician?
I would love to do a live show around the world. I have a lot of fans so that’s amazing. It’s hard as my dreams change all the time but that’s always been my main goal. I’d love to leave a legacy behind in the UK and all over the world actually. Other than that, I’d just like to to live a long and healthy life.
Magic always comes back. You’ll always have that wonder and that curiosity. I want audiences to be entertained even if they turn up doubting. Magic is an impossible puzzle! You’ll always have people that want to solve it or those that just go along for the ride. Either way hopefully they like what they see.
Series 2 of Troy starts at 9pm on Sunday 8th March on E4.