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Interview with Kevin Spencer

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Interview with Kevin Spencer

Kevin and Cindy Spencer, “The Spencers,” are a highly successful illusion team that has performed in many of the nation's top theatres and performing arts centers. The Spencers have been a popular entertainment attraction for more than a decade with thousands of performances throughout the U.S. and in five countries. Their production, Theatre of Illusion, is one of the largest touring illusion shows on the road today.

The Spencers recently released a DVD, The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion-Asia (click here to read a review), which presents their 2004 tour through Hong Kong and Taipei. The DVD presents the trials and tribulations and the joys that Kevin and Cindy Spencer and their crew experienced on the trip. Most of the footage consists of home-movie style segments that show the crew on the road, setting-up for shows and checking out tourists destinations. Kevin Spencer recently took time out from his busy schedule to talk with Magic.About.com.

Wayne N. Kawamoto: Did you start out video-taping your trip with a commercial DVD in mind?

Kevin Spencer: We never planned on actually putting out a DVD of the trip. We started taping things more for a personal record of the journey because we knew it was going to be one of the most unique experiences in our careers. The footage was only supposed to be our "home movies" which is one of the reasons why there is so much behind-the-scenes footage - backstage and set up segments, dressing room stuff, etc.

WK: How did you come up with the idea of sharing your Asia trip via DVD?

KS: When we returned from Asia and resumed our U.S. tour, it was common for people to ask, "Where was your last show?" Once we started sharing with them about our experiences in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the comments were always the same, "How did you get all this equipment to Asia?" and "What was is like performing over there?" When we would talk about the venues, the people and the sights, they would say, "You should think about sharing your trip with people." I guess the idea was birthed because others expressed such an interest in how it all came together and what it was like to perform in Asia.

WK: What do you want to leave viewers with, after they watch your DVD?

KS: We would like people who watch the DVD to get a better idea of what our lives on the road are like. We want them to feel like they took this trip with us and were a part of our team. For those who never have the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S., we want them to experience some of the sights of Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Night Markets are amazing and a true glimpse into the way people there live; the Hong Kong Harbor at Christmas (The Festival of Lights) is impossible to describe in words alone and the 101 Building in Taipei on New Year's Eve was incredible.

We had 27 hours of video and it was difficult to edit it down to what would fit on a single DVD. We actually thought about doing a 2-DVD set but decided against it. Our team experienced so many things but, mostly, we had the privilege of getting to know the people of these countries. We learned that magic is truly a universal language. Ultimately, it would be nice if people who watched this journey walked away with a better idea of who we are and what we're all about.

Magicians who watch the DVD will have a very different experience. For magicians who don't tour, this is a way to see "life on the road" in a "reality television" way. There are some unique glimpses into the way we set up our production, backstage footage during the show, dressing room interviews and more. They will also enjoy seeing how the international media reacts to magicians through our press conferences and appearances. They will really get to see what it takes to transport a large-scale illusion show around the world.

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