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Byron Shire
December 2, 2021

Interview with magician James Galea

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James Galea presents Poof!, sharing the secrets of a magician at NORPA, Lismore Hall on Friday 4 & Saturday 5 June.

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 

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