The legendary Doc Eason is known as the bar magician. After performing for over 27 years at John Denver's World Famous Comedy Magic Bar and Restaurant in Snowmass, Colorado, Eason was honored by the Academy of Magical Arts as the first recipient of its Bar Magician of the Year award.
He often works for corporate clients and recently released a new version of his classic video, Rocky Mountain Magic, on DVD. Eason took time out to talk with us about his latest projects, new website and DVD.
Wayne N. Kawamoto: After 16 years, youre re-releasing your Rocky Mountain Magic video on DVD. What audiences would you like to reach with this new release?
Doc Eason: It is for fans of bar magic, folks who work in bars, or are thinking of performing in a bar. A lot of people may have missed this release 16 years ago and with the deluge of other material, an old video tape has lost a lot sales appeal. DVD technology makes this classic tape more accessible to a whole new audience. But more than that, it is for anyone who enjoys the performance of magic.
WK: Youve added a director-style commentary to your DVD. What insights will you provide viewers with your commentary?
DE: The commentary section provides an insight into what goes on in a performers mind while performing. Since this was shot in 1990, a lot of people have asked me questions about a lot of aspects of this footage. Since the answers seem to be interesting to a wide variety of people, I decided to do this commentary. I am very pleased at how it came out.
[Editor's Note: Eason has another DVD that profiles his bar magic, "...after all these years...."]
A lot went on during the filming of this piece. There were a lot of back stories that are discussed, plus I discuss the real magic of bar magic.
WK: Please tell me about your new website.
DE: I have streamlined it, cleaned it up and made it so I can administer it. I have eliminated several of the old things that weren't moving and am looking to add some new things.
WK: Ive noticed that you carry products on your website that were created by others. What do you look for in a product that you market on your site?
DE: First, I like to carry things that everybody else ISN'T selling... I have no desire to carry all the newest stuff. I will let Hank Lee and others to do that. The current deluge of material that is being dumped on the magic market is staggering. A lot of very good material is lost in the mass of stuff. So I like to spotlight things that I have done or have some kind of first hand experience with.
The products on my page are things I believe in and think is the "good stuff". People have come to know my style of presentation and trust my selection of material. I try to uphold the quality that people have come to expect from me.
WK: What is the state of bar magic these days? Wheres the center of bar magic?
DE: I don't feel qualified to comment on what is going on in the 'magic bar world' from my vantage point, high in the Rockies. There are people plying the trade in many different little bars here and there. I know this because people write to me and ask my opinion or view on many different aspects of bar magic.
I take some comfort in knowing that I seem to have influenced a fairly large number of bar workers. A magic bar has opened in Manchester England. Maybe this concept will finally take off in Europe.
The Magic Castle has recently remodeled the bar in the Inner Circle and it is a joy to work. I will be back out there in September and maybe again in November. There is "some" activity there. I am still weighing my options for continuing the bar in the Aspen/Snowmass area.
WK: What things are you currently working on?
DE: After 30 years of bar magic, my focus is figuring out where the next step is.