James Galea is no ordinary magician. He’s not the smarmy guy in purple velvet with a cage full of pigeons sawing women in half. In fact, James is proud to say he has never cut anyone in half. James is an award-winning magician/writer/producer and Australia’s foremost magician. He has been producing and writing magic-based television and theatre internationally for 15 years.
His one man adults only show is called POOF!
Yes, it’s the kind of title that has the woke going wtf? He’s a magician and he’s gay. AND he’s Australian, so in a way, it’s a wonderfully impactful title.
Poof! is autobiographical – I have a lot of stories – they seem outlandish; it seems so unbelievable at times.’
Galea explains how he came up with the idea for the show, ‘I remember being at a magic convention and looking around, and then having a moment where I just thought, “Hold on – are all magicians gay?” It served as a jumping off point for a ridiculous world to live inside.’
James also told me of the surprising conversation he had with a cabbie in LA:
‘I told him I was a magician, and he just said “Poof!”. I thought “Wow…” I’d just met the guy – but in America the word isn’t derogatory for being gay, it’s actually a very magical word…’
Poof! is personal.
‘There are some deeply personal stories shared and secrets brought into the light. It’s exciting to be challenged and nervous again. I miss that’, says Galea.
James started out at 14 as the protégé of an older magician.
‘He took me under his wing and taught me magic tricks. I started later to play the piano and write comedy songs but I didn’t add anything to the show until later.’
‘I have awesome tricks that are part of the show, I have tunes as well that I have played for years – so it’s a mixture of both. In one parts I talk about psychics, in a song called ‘All Psychics are C*nts’. I want them to be challenged!’
James gets the audience to join in on that one for a sing-a-long.
At one of his Opera House shows recently one woman got very offended. She was late, arriving just in time for the song about psychics… and she was a psychic. So she probably should have seen it coming?
Poof! has been a huge success. Galea’s Opera House season sold out.
‘I thought it was going to be just a queer audience, but regular general public turned up. People want to see into worlds they haven’t seen.’
James Galea presents Poof!, sharing the secrets of a magician at NORPA, Lismore Hall on Friday 4 & Saturday 5 June.
Tix on sale at norpa.org.au