The Magical Artistry of MonDre (Ep 65)

In today’s episode, Graeme sits down with Las Vegas Magician, MonDre. MonDre is the first and only African-American Magician to win the prestigious Grand Prix Magiques de Monte Carlo.

MonDre reveals some great tips on developing a core act for competition. He also shares the incredible journey he has taken to become an award-winning, Las Vegas magician.


In 2016 MonDre was awarded the IABMA (International Association of Black Magical Artist) Stage Magician of the year award. To get involved and learn more about the IABMA check out: www.iabma.com


MonDre Online: www.MonDreMagic.com

Facebook: Mon Dre


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Watch MonDre Interview Here



Audio Transcription


MonDre: It's different, you know, back then, you know, Genie magazines and, uh, even Magic magazine was coming on the scene. Uh, those magazines, they made a really big deal out of competitions. I saw, uh, Victor and diamond and they were another blueprint for me that helped me, you know, kind of focus. And they were the ones who really let me see that you have to be original, follow your dreams, follow your dream practice, practice, practice, practice, follow your dream. If you feel it enough deep inside of you enough, then the universe has got to find a way to make it happen for me.


Graeme Reed: Welcome to Magicians Talking Magic. My name is Graemazing that's real. And I left a full time career in TV broadcasting to pursue my childhood passionate, being a magician, Brian and I both appreciate you tuning in this Tuesday to our weekly interview series. This week, we have all the way from Las Vegas. He is one of the smoothest practitioners in Magic Mondre and we talk so much about Magic competition mentorship, and we even dive into a little bit of the IAA BMA what's that you ask. Well, you have to listen to this episode to learn all about it. Folks. Here's my interview with Mondre. Our guest today has been called one of the smooth


MonDre: Practitioners of the art of Magic. He is the first and only African-American magician to win the prestigious grand Prix of Magic de Monte Carlo from Las Vegas. Mondre hello everybody today. Mondre thank you so much for being on Magicians Talking Magic all the way from Las Vegas. This is such a treat to have you on the show. Thanks for asking. Graeme really appreciate it. Um, now we are, obviously, we're obviously in this new, weird world, like this pandemic, uh, global crisis for you yourself, how have you been handling kind of this virtual landscape, this pivot, I guess that everyone's talking about this pivot to virtual Magic right. I've been laying pretty low as far as the Magic is concerned, waiting for this to just get over. There is no work at all here in Vegas and, uh, outside of a few, uh, zoom interviews, that's pretty much it.


Um, as far as the Magic is concerned, um, I a, um, uh, Zuma event of about a month or so ago for, um, Broadway in the hood, uh, uh, uh, what's the word I'm looking for raising money for that? Uh, so we did something like that, but other than that, it's just been, I've just been laying pretty low. Um, I've had a couple of offers to come out and do stuff, but it's, um, uh, for me, I think I'm gonna wait, I'm gonna wait for some Canada vaccine or something before I really get out there. You know, it's the, as you know, the, the COVID has been disproportionately affecting African Americans. So, and I check all the boxes, you know, I've got that. My age range is up in there and I have chronic asthma. So I mean, that's all the boxes are being checked. So I'm being super safe about going out and stuff. So mass did a casket where your mass people


Like that. I've never heard that mascular casket. I mean, if you also want to see people sing again, dance again, share Magic again, share art again, you have to wear a mask it's so important. And I mean, I guess to be honest, when we talk on the podcast, we've been talking about virtual Magic shows and when we think about it all the time, we're thinking kind of like, you know, a children's entertainer, a mentalist mind-reader maybe a card magician, however, you're like a master manipulator, you are so highly skilled and that wouldn't translate the best virtually, right? It would, it's a different kind of,


Yes, it's different, you know? And, uh, I mean, it's not that it can't be done. I mean, that's what we do. We do the impossible, that's our jobs. Um, it's just that, um, outside of what I did for the fundraiser, um, you know, it's, it's kinda rough, you know, for me, because I get no feedback, you know, and I'm just as narcissistic is all of us,


I'll tell you, I've been doing a couple of virtual shows and it's so weird when you finished, you just kind of end in silence and then you hope someone messages, you, maybe they're a pitchers. And you're like, I don't even know.


I don't know exactly


Talking about your act. I suppose I've seen so many videos. You have such an amazing style from your costuming to your stage presence, to the props and everything who does end even right now. I mean, you're so stylish. Who does, who designed your stage costume, who puts that together? Like your own kind of creation?


Yeah. You know, um, I started off in tuxedo tails and wore tails for the longest and I'm flipping through the internet one day and I saw this jacket and I liked the jacket. I ordered the jacket and I had it altered of course, to, to do the things that needed to be done. Um, and then everything else was just pretty much, you know, pick up PC or pick up piece there. And, uh, and you know, now we're good to go. It's time for me to get a brand new jacket. So I'm in the market for a brand new one brand new.


Where did you find that one originally? Because it's so specific. Like it's,


So that will came from, uh, uh, internet, a website called dark angel they're out of England and they sell that, those type of, I had two of them. I had a purple one and I had a black one. I got the black one. Uh, I thought about wearing a purple one at first, but, uh, there's another magician ice McDonald. He does a purple jacket, so I didn't want to infringe on his, on his thing. So, uh, stuck with the black one. And, uh, the rest is history. We


Love to discuss mentorship because the podcast is actually like the other host of the show, Ryan Joyce, he's my mentor in Magic. And we love to talk about that relationship.


You ended up kind of teaching each other,


Who is your mentors in Magic because


You have this kind of specific,


Slight of hand scale. And I kind of even described before I met Ryan, I kind of, my mentors are


VHS tapes. Well, I started off, I grew up in a little town in North Carolina, uh, and there were some, a couple of Magicians there in North Carolina who, uh, helped me get started. Um, Richard Spain, our was one of the, he was a stage magician, uh, Nan L Ellison Poland was a closeup magician, uh, and both of those gentlemen pretty much helped me get started. Um, um, I had a couple of friends in high school. We did Magic together in high school. I had a actually had a partner. Uh, we were the Gemini twins. And so me and him, we would go around doing birthday parties and special events in North Carolina. Um, and then, um, as I got older, um, my, uh, career and TB took me to st. Louis and it was there in st. Louis that I really developed the act that I have now that you see now.


Um, and Jesus Christ that act as I started developing that act in the eighties, uh, and it was a gentleman called Grice who really helped me with that. Um, and it was just so many awesome. Magicians in st. Louis. I mean, Jesus Christ. We just lost one of our, one of our, uh, st. Louis. Magicians just the, just the other day, John Mendoza. Oh, I saw that genius. You know, I knew John really well. He, uh, took over to Magic shop after another one about, uh, great professionals, uh, passed away Jane Devoe, but, uh, coming up in st. Louis, man, we, we, we had so many Viet Chris from st. Louis. He was a little kid when I was coming up. Chris Kanner was from st. Louis. Um, I got to see a brother John Hammond perform. He would come, come through every now and then, uh, we had so many really, really Jonathan Levitt, uh, was a little kid when we were coming up, Justin Willman. Um, all of these cats came through st. Louis. And, uh, so the act gaps pretty much started there. Harold D. Russell was one of my he's one of my heroes coming up in st. Louis. It was a really, really great time for Magic back then. Um, you know, we, we had active, uh, Sam and IBM ring meetings. Uh, so it was, it was a really good fellowship, uh, back then. So that's where the, the, the, the beginnings of this act that I'm doing now really started in st. Louis. So


That's, so before that, would you say you were kind of like a dabbler and Magic, and then when you landed in st. Louis and you started to feed off of this, it sounds like an incredible hub of Magicians that you got to be around, and that's when you really started to develop and hone in on what you wanted to do magically.


Yeah, I was, I was pretty serious with Magic coming up as a kid and all through high school. And then when I got into college, you know, it kind of cooled off a bit as I pursued my career choice. And, um, man, you know, I get, get to st. Louis and, uh, I've made a few people, a few Magicians and then the, one of the main things that really got me started back with seeing Lance Burton for the first time on TV. And, you know, I've always been into does man, but when I saw him performing, that was just, it just lit a fire, you know, uh, Lance has been the, the blueprint for a lot of Magicians that came up through my era. So that really, really got me started. I'd never really been to any conventions until I came to st. Louis. And so I started going to Magic conventions.


And so I fellowship and with Magicians that way, then I started competing. And, uh, once I, uh, got competed for a couple of years with no luck, and then, uh, I saw, uh, Victor and diamond and they were another blueprint for me that helped me, you know, kind of focus. And they were the ones who, who really let me see that you, you, you have to be original. You can't just look different from everybody. You have to be original. And, uh, it was almost like overnight. I just got threw one act out and started building this new act. And once I got that cat, that shades everything, that's


It, you know, we hear that time and time again about just be original, be interesting, and not just try to look different or, you know, do some acting. And usually it really comes down to being yourself, being your true self and letting yourself shine through.


Yep, yep. Finding yourself, you know, realizing who you want to be, who, uh, your ins and outs, your limitations, your strengths, and, um, jeez practice, practice, practice, you know, um, it was during that period where I discovered, uh, Prince and that was very big on me as well, you know? So, uh, yeah, it's a combination of all that stuff. You know, the eighties, the Lance Burton's, uh, finally started hanging out with other black Magicians in st. Louis that I met. Um, so I could start to see me, people that look like me doing Magic and that's very, very important. You know, I seen, uh, course I'd seen Goldfinger and dove. I never met them, but I, you know, I, I knew of their existence and, uh, I've seen tapes of them, but, um, that's very important to see yourself, you know, on stage, you know,


Who were some of those first black Magicians that you met in st. Louis?


Uh, call Bryce was, was the main one. Uh, Carl had a pyramid at act and, uh, he was doing the Jerry address, uh, uh, Mylar mystery. When he retired his act. He asked me if I wanted it. I said, yes, of course. Uh, so he was one of the ones and he hit one of the really big things about him was he introduced me to, um, to miles Davis miles Davis, his music, and, you know, that, that, that air of mystery that miles Davis had. And because of course, I'm looking at Lance Burton, I'm trying to use finding all kinds of classical music.


Like, you know, this is, you know, that's not what, you know, that's not you, so why are you going to do that? Uh, so Carl really influenced me with that. Um, he was the one that my stand that I have now in my, in my act, he took me around to these. He took me around to these different mannequins stores, and we saw that, that stand there. And I said, this is what I need. I want that right there. And so he was, uh, he was good with that. And then also Harold D. Russell was a really big guy in st. Louis, popular, popular guy. Funny. He was a comedy magician, but very funny. And you know, of course I want to impress her LD. Everybody wants to impress her LD. So, you know, it was, it was a, it was a really treat st. Louis was great. It was, it was a really good time to be a magician, really.


So like before you got into your musically influenced by like Prince and state, what were you listening to? Who were you influenced by musically before then? Or like before, you know, this new, like all the shifts in the eighties?


Yeah. Um, you know, like I said, classical music was the thing. So I was trying to find a really cool classics. There was a guy by the name of Walter Carlos, who later became Wendy Carlos, uh, and he had, he would play all these classical tunes through a synthesizer. So he was, you know, clarinets were big instrument at the time, but, but he would put, you know, you know, 80 spans on these classical tunes. Um, I, in high school, I had been using some jazz music in my act, uh, Herbie, Hancock, that sort of stuff. Uh, but, um, you know, discovering miles, uh, and like I said, the whole air of mr. Around miles, just like totally just, you know, so very fascinating to me. So I was trying to adapt some of that as far as my stage image was concerned as well. Um, so yeah, and like I said, Lance was the blueprint, you know?


Cause you can see like when you, so when you watch Lance Burton do his act, you can see that he enjoys this like classical style. But when you see you do your manipulation act, you get the idea that like, Oh, he's almost like a musician of Magic like the Magic is like the music flowing out of your hands as the notes and everything. It's like, you're delivering it in a different way.


Thanks. Yeah. You know, um, I would go and work at the castle and every week I would go and work at the castle, I'd run into max Maven, he'd come backstage. And the first few weeks, first few years I worked there and he seen my accuracy. Well, you know, you're, you're getting there. You're still like Lance Burton, but you're getting there. And then, so it just always made me go back and try to realize what I was doing and try to get more and more and more to my own character, into my own flow of things. And, uh, finally, you know, he came backstage and he said, you got it. You know, you're you're yourself now. I like it. So that was really good. He was always very honest with me.


That's such a big thing that we miss right now is that comradery at shows to the backstage little suggestions that you get from, you know, someone, anyone that's at those shows when you get to do a group show. Cause we, all those group shows are happening all over the world now. Right? Like it's yeah, exactly. We're like in the golden age of Magic on pause right now, it's such a, it's such a bummer who was the one that, that pushed you into doing competition Magic um,


That came from Carl. Carl was pushing me into that as well, you know, go out and let's go to these conventions and let's, uh, why don't you, you know, enter the contest and see how you can do. And, uh, so he was the one that really pushed me into doing that. And that made me really focus on an act to do for the competition. And then once you get that act, uh, you know, you go in and you try your luck. Um, you know, it was all choreograph. You try your luck. And you know, the first couple of years, man, I, I was doing Kings and candles. Magic, you know, it's just, you know, vanishing, canes and banish and candles and that sort of stuff. And you know, it wasn't going anywhere, everybody at st that. So, um, that's when I that's, when I decided, you know, we gotta do something a little different here, you know, so that's, that's how it started.


It could be, uh, so like, cause this year, like I was never really into competing in Magic and we'd started covering on the podcast. A lot of FISM North America, all the stuff that was happening this year. That's also unfortunately on pause and it got me really excited about understanding how this whole aspect of competition. Magic something that I never really cause I'm just like a restaurant magician. Now I'm doing comedy clubs, you know, I'm like building up my Magic career right now and transition virtually. Um, so it's just, I dunno, it's just, um, it's, it's different, you know, back then, you know, Janie magazines and, uh, even Magic magazine was coming on the scene, uh, those magazines, they made a really big deal out of competitions. You know, they would devote three, four pages to competitions. And, you know, you got your picture in the Lincoln ring because you're in a competition and they say a few words about your act and, you know, competitions were, were really one of the ways that that was really one of the ways that I got my name first out there and in the Magic world was some competitions.


It's a lot different now, but you know, I strongly recommend competitions for Magicians. I think it's a good thing, you know? And, uh, it helps you focus on, um, well, um, I'm going to use Jeff, McBride's saying right now your core act, you know, um, that, that eight, 10 minutes of pure perfection that you want to put out there for the competition. And then you can build your act around that, around that eight or 10 minutes. Um, but it's, it keeps you focused. I think it's a good thing. I wish that the, uh, the magazines and, uh, the publications would cover it a lot more than they use than they, than they do now, because now it's almost like a throwaway magazines and it's too bad because one of the ways that I, that I got my name out there, the first place, do you


Think that maybe in a way these TV shows like the fool us America's got talent, has that kind of not stepped on not replaced,


But like, is it overshadowing competitions you think now, do you think now that's the way that, or it's just a different Avenue. It doesn't totally re places. It's a different Avenue in a, it's a really, really big Avenue actually, you know? Um, I mean, you could go on those shows and you know, you'd be walking around, you know, the streets mr. Joe blow one day and then the next day, your shin Lim, you know, your Matt Franco. So, uh, yeah, those are, those are really big things. I, uh, at audition for back got talent and they wanted me on one of the, on one of the years they go on there and they wanted me to fly into new Orleans. And I, you know, I've said, look, I live here in Vegas. You know, I can just drive to LA, you know, if I fly into, if I fly into new Orleans, I'm going to have to borrow birds and do all that stuff. And it's, and so they catch it, they gotta get fed up with me because I wasn't willing to fly into new Orleans. They didn't want another magician on the LA show. So I lost that opportunity, but that's okay.


I feel like they could have worked around that with clever editing. Come on America.


Yeah, I know. But you know, Kaisa rasa RA so bad


Gone back on competitions. Cause I actually, I'm so fascinated by this.


If you were, do you have some key tips


If someone was developing that core app


That eight to 10 minute act because you have competed a lot now and you also have some very big awards that you've won. So you've probably experienced all sorts of different judges from around the world and different things. What are some key, key, key things that people should focus on? If they're creating a competition, number one, number one is just be original, you know, be original, be yourself, be original, um, ever very, uh, pronounced character. Uh, when you come on stage, you know, if you're funny, God be a funny guy. Um, I was at, uh, when I was at fizzle, there was a male to list that was there. Um, and he was the one that was just on a fullest and he fooled Penn and teller with the, uh, the color cards and stuff, but he came out on stage and he was that guy. He was a funny, very funny mentalist with a very distinct I'm, you know, the Spanish mentalist, you know, that was his, his character. And it was the Magic was off the, off the chain. Uh, so, you know, you, you, you just want to have, like, you want to be original. You want to have your own kind of character, your own style, you know, something that's gonna separate you from the rest. So that's my tip. Just be original, be yourself, you know, and, uh, have your character developed.


And then when it comes to the Magic portion of it, do you have to be incredibly fooling? Is it important just to be yourself and entertain?


I think, uh, I think the entertainment value, uh, I think Magicians want to be entertained, you know, um, it's, it's, there's nothing in my act that's gonna fool Magicians. Um, but they are very entertained by a dead there. They like the, the misdirection aspects are clever. It is, and the, you know, the colors, the color scheme and the continuity of it. Um, so I I'd just say be entertaining. I would put entertainment over the fooling aspect, you know, um, I see a lot of acts on, on tend to tell the fullest that, you know, a couple of them were full Penn and teller, uh, and you know, but a lot more don't, but they're very entertaining acts. And, uh, I think that's, that's the, because at the end of the day, this act has got to play for laypeople as well. So


I, uh, I totally agree with you. I went, I'm a big fan of pro wrestling myself and I heard, um, a wrestler says, cause you'll see wrestlers do the same moves and everything like this, but everyone does it in their own unique way. So wrestler will describe it like, Oh, I just want to see how they do.


Yeah.


And it's so, and it's the exact same way I want to see cause everyone's hands work in a different way. And, and we all, we all perceive the words on a page or how we were taught something in a different way.


It was neat to see how someone handles the moves that we know and a little bit of a different way. Right, exactly, exactly. Be yourself. You know, when I first, uh, that's where I made a mistake and that's what, what I learned from Victor diamond, because when I got into, uh, competing and started doing that stuff, you know, I, I wanted to be the black lands burden and you know, you know, it, it didn't work that way, you know, that there was nothing original about that set for the black farm. Uh, so, you know, watching Victor and diamond, you know, I, I see where you had to be totally original. So,


And then that's where you started to shine through your own, like your persona started to come through and you got a little more soulful on stage.


Yeah. Yeah. I remember going through, going through the dealer's room and saying, okay, let me try this. Let me get this, take this. So, yeah. And then, uh, Jesus Christ. I was, uh, talking to a friend of mine earlier today and I was just thinking, uh, when I quit my job in st. Louis and moved out to LA, I mean, man, my app was nowhere near what it is today, but my balls were that big. I was ready, you know, I was ready. I didn't have the parakeets or anything. Any of that stuff in my act, I didn't have the lab yet. Um, I just had my naked stand and, uh, and big balls, man.


Um, what was, what was the catalyst? What made you move? Like what was the preparation step? Cause I, myself I've taken it like I've left a career in TV to do this Magic stuff. And there's always something that pushes you to do that, right.


Well, well for me, um, I had, I had competed in a competition in New York, the New York symposium. Um, I didn't win the competition, but some people there at the competition saw me and they wanted to book me. They all wanted to offer me for, uh, four months in Bermuda, uh, and to be in a variety show there. And I, uh, I said, well, let me see about it. You know, and I went to my, to my people at the radio station and we were a union station and they have provisions for that, where you could take a leave of absence and then come back and not lose your seniority. And, uh, I went through the proper channels to try to get that done and they, they turned it down. And so I said, well, here's my two weeks notice. And I put my two weeks notice in and I was out, I was out of, uh, I was out of st. Louis. I was, uh, you know, uh, fine over to Bermuda. Um, I did that. And when I came back from Bermuda, um, I, uh, said, well, I'm going to wait for my income tax money to come in and take the savings that I have. And I'm throwing everything in my car and I move it out to LA and that's exactly what I did. Wow. That was the, that was the impetus. That's exciting.


That's like the start of an HBO series or something that's so fast. What I'm get landing in LA, how do you get your start? Like where do you,


That was a trip? Um, I had an uncle that lived out in LA and, you know, he told me, you know, if I come out, I could stay with him. I get to LA uh, my uncles there. Everything's cool. Uh, but I had my cat with me. His wife was scared to death of cats and also allergic. So I couldn't, you know, I couldn't stay there because, you know, I, I'm not gonna put my cat somewhere, you know, in a facility and I'm there. So I left there. Um, I ran into, fortunately I ran into another friend who was out there and so I kind of, uh, uh, barked with her for awhile. And she was so far behind on the rent man. Eviction notices came in and, um, so I'm out, I'm out in the street. Um, I'm sleeping in car, my car, uh I'm uh, they had talent contests back then.


So I would go and do these little talent contest, usually first prize, it's like a hundred dollars, $75. So I'd take the money that I want in the contest and go and get a room, a hotel roll, and get cleaned up and, you know, eat and freshen up. And then, uh, eventually I was doing a contest and another guy in the contest, he was, he had this very thick Spanish accent. You say, Oh, I know you you're like Douglas. I know you, I know you're showing us, you know, and it was a sunny Fontana. I don't know if, you know, if you've heard of sunny Fontana, but sunny was just a genius of a magician. You had his shadows act and he was out there in LA performing and doing the competition. I'm doing the talent show circuit as well, trying to get, you know, we were all trying to get started.


So, uh, I ended up, you know, uh, we ended up having a good friendship and I ended up crashing at, at his apartment. It was like, what? It was one to four of us, like a little, two bedroom apartment, you know, right around the corner from Hollywood Magic. So, you know, I was happy I was living my, I was living my dream. You know, we were right around the corner from Hollywood. Magic around the corner from the magic castle, you know, and then eventually things started working out for me. And, um, the, my, you know, I was able to, uh, start to support myself through, uh, different shows or things that were happening. So it worked out. So that is a real deal, grain and grand tale right there.


Gosh, like really working in the trenches for sure. And really making your way and doing anything you could to, to become a magician.


Unbelievably cool. Yeah. The universe man wants what the universe wants. Huh?


I mean, eventually this is kind of, I feel like this is a big, fast forward, but eventually you get the, um,


Uh, award from,


I'm going to Canadianize this a little bit with my Canadian French, but the grand Prix, the grand Prix Maggi Monte-Carlo


Mmm.


You got, you won this, the, the grand Prix award. This would be ages after this. I imagine after,


Um, that was about, I was in LA for about, it was about five years. I think I won that in like 93. So I got to LA in 88. Um, so yeah, I was in the middle of, uh, in the middle of a review show in, in, uh, South America, we would travel around to different, uh, cities in South America, Bogota, Modine, uh, a couple of other cities. And, um, uh, how did I get that? I don't know if I submitted a tape for it or somebody. I think I submitted a tape for the competition and got chosen. And, uh, so they flew me out there to, uh, I had to, and they flew me from the show in, uh, in, uh, South America and to France to do the competition. And it was really cool. You know, we had a day off, I'm a really big Prince fan, so we had a day off.


So I got a chance to go to nice on my day off and visit some of the places where Prince filmed, uh, one of his movies under the cherry moon. So that was a big deal for me. And, uh, cause you know, meeting the, uh, the Prince and we got to go into the castle, we got a tour of the, uh, Prince Albert's, uh, principal, Yaz castle, um, and uh, me being the winner of that competition, I also had to get performed for Prince rain. Yay. That was tradition. Uh, so it was, uh, it was a really neat deal for me. It was, it was really, really, really neat deal. So of


One of the, does that even exist?


I don't think it exists anymore. I think they've they've, they've got it done away with it, but


Remember hearing it, wasn't there a TV specials for some of them sometimes. Yeah.


I've got the video tape of, uh, one of the ones that are the, of the one that I'm on as well. Yeah. I've got that tape.


They would always highlight all of you and then show like, Oh, and this was the award gala and the dinner and it was, and you're right. They don't cover the


Things in a Magic special so much anymore. Right. Even things like world's greatest Magic and all that like competitions it's. So, so this was you presented in one with your core act in this then? Yes, I did my core act. I didn't do the lamp. I did just the Duff stuff. Uh, the lamp was what's new at the time. I didn't really, I didn't do it. You know, it was brand new and I knew how to do it, but I just wanted to do that just to dump stuff and it was good enough to win. So it was a great thing. I think, uh, Jeff McBride won that competition one year as well. Um, if I'm not mistaken, but um, yeah, no, that was great memories, you know, great times.


One thing that's always fascinated me about, um, people that work with birds, um, doves, when you have to travel and you have to borrow someone's


Link, how have you,


Is that an easy relationship to pick up with a set of birds? Is


It a totally, no, I've had some good experiences and some pretty bad experiences, but um, you know, you have to, you know, a lot of people, if you are done working, you, you pretty much are used to working with doves. And if you have, you know, someone gives you a set of doves and you have the time to play around with them. You could probably figure out which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones. Also. I know how to, I know how to clip doves so they don't come back all clipped up. You know, there's a very technique. And if anyone wants to know the technique is when you're clipping a does, when you flip their wings, you leave the end wing on and you clip every other wing from there. So they still have their wings. They can still flutter.


They just can't fly, fly, fly, fly, but they can still flutter. And they still pretty, but they're more docile because they can't really go as, as, as like they want, like they want to go. And if you do that, you know, people really don't mind you, you clip and you have to, of course you want to tell people you're not going to trim the wings, but I'm going to trim them in a certain way so that when you get your delts back, the wings will grow back just the way you want them. So it's a, it's good and bad, you know, I've had good experience with him. I had bad experiences.


That's really fascinating. The whole, that's an insider dove tip, right? Yeah.


That's worth the price of the zone folks.


Um, I know you were, you've also been awarded a stage magician of the year by the BMA


International association of black magical artists.


Can you talk about the IAB M and is it still an active group?


Uh, yes. It's still active. Uh, it's still an active group. Um, that was the first year that they had the award. So I was the very first stage Magicians of the year, that year. Uh, so that was very, you know, really nice getting watered by your peers. You know, uh, we made a, we have a convention every other year, this year, fortunately it got canceled. Um, but we need every other year, um, out on the East coast and we, we talk about things that are related to Magicians of color and, uh, you don't have to be a black magician to be in, anybody can be, and we encourage everybody to be in it. Um, but you know, our focus is in our fellowship is, is, is on that, you know, and it's, it's, uh, it's a good peer to peer thing, you know, uh, the same year that I won that award, the first recipient of the closeup magician of the year was Michael Vincent. So I found myself in a really good company with that, you know, so I was very happy to have that and it's proudly displayed up on my wall of plaques.


Um, ms. It was a, it was a really good thing. I was very proud of that.


That is so say we wanted to join, say like I wanted to join after this. How could I go about doing that?


Oh, you just go to dot com and yep. And, you know, register, let's say fantastic. Yeah. I think it's a 50 dues are like $55 a year. And, um, you know, you joined a website and you got, you get a special code, so you can get into the inner recesses on the website and see, you know, what's going on behind the scenes. And so, yeah, it's, uh, it's fun fellowship like, wow.


While we're kind of on the topic, do you find that the black community, like are you, is represented well and treated fairly throughout the Magic community as a whole?


I think things are changing. Uh, I w I want to be politically correct about this because I've gotten myself in a lot of trouble, um, uh, before, uh, we can't miss you have banned, uh, I won't say the name you've been banned from stuff. Um, um, but, uh, at the things that changing let's put it like that. Um, um, I, I don't think I've, that will, I've never experienced really any outright out now. Um, racism. Um, I have had a couple of episodes, you know, endure in conventions, but, uh, all in all, um, it hasn't been much of a problem for me. Um, there are some, there are some who've who've, there are some horror stories out there, but, um, I've, uh, I've, I've all in all life. I think I've been treated pretty, fairly,


I mean, especially this year when everything happened, um, like I felt like we were, like, we always had that conversation that I think we grew up a little naive, just assuming that, you know, racism doesn't exist as much anymore and all this stuff, but then in my neighborhood, like we're in Southern Ontario, just outside of Toronto and not, you know, it's not nearly the same as being in America right now, but then a street over there was like racist hate scraping around someone's fence. And luckily the neighborhood went and took a belt sander suit. It was like, Whoa, I didn't expect that to happen in our neighborhood right now as a, like, as a black male in America. How do you feel right now with the current climate in the States?


Uh, I'm, I'm hopeful, I'm hopeful, you know, um, I think we're, I think people is finally starting to see it, you know, it's unfortunate, it took the death of a, of another unarmed black man, you know, to, to bring it to light. But, um, I'm hopeful even in the, uh, this time around in the BLM, the black lives matter marches it's, it seems like there's more white people in it than black people. And that's very, very hopeful. Um, young, uh, young, young white people, you know, are joining together with young black, with young blacks. And, uh, it's very, very hopeful. You know, things are changing. Um, let me apologize, by the way, um, for United States,


It's just like, it's not like it's your fault or anything. I mean, it's, that's a weird,


It was a weird thing. That's all it is. Uh, this, uh, main is up and they was like, uh, Canada, the Canada feels like we're the meth heads in the apartment below them. Um, but I'm very hopeful, you know, I am, uh, I say that with a grain of salt because, um, it's just like, um, Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown, you know, I don't want to get my hopes way up high and then have that football pulled out from under me again. But I'm very hopeful right now.


I mean, currently, I mean, if you are an American citizen, you do have the opportunity to create


Change soon, as long as, I mean, as long as nothing gets crazier,


I know


Which Robin office it's every day it's every day. It's a new thing, man. I mean,


Yeah, I don't envy you in that sense at all.


I don't understand how we, how we, uh, went to sleep when Obama was president and woke up with Trump. I just don't get it, man. You know, I just don't get it, but hopefully come November, we'll get 'em out of the air and we'll start with starting new so


That we'll be able to see some like, you know, entertainment comeback, and we'll be able to all perform again. And yeah,


You'll be able to, you were performing regularly and sapphires


Sapphires. I was going to say like Starlight and that Sapphire,


Right, right. Yeah. That was, um, Jesus Christ. I had that gig, uh, pretty steady for seven years and, uh, we would do whatever we used to. We started out doing it every Friday and Saturday, and then they cut it down to just one day just Saturdays. But I had that gig, uh, seven years, man. And then, uh, I had to drop out of it for a while. I had a six month engagement at one of the other casinos in town. But as soon as that, that show was over, you know, they took me right back in at Sapphire. So, uh, they are very pleased with the act of you. So there's some, there's some great loyalty too, right? A loyalty is not it's, it's, it's a, it's a rare commodity in the entertainment business. There's relationships. Yeah.


Now, um, I was reading, I was kind of digging around and I noticed there's one thing on your bucket list that has alluded you. And it currently, I mean, right now, it's very difficult for you to even achieve this goal because of the fact that we can perform it. That would be to perform at the Apollo theater.


Yeah, that's it. That's the one thing that's left for me. I was talking to a friend of mine at DAS. I feel like I've done everything else that are pretty much wanting to do. I've done a couple of FISM gallery shows. I've done all the major IB, IBM, Sam conventions, more than once. Um, I've got, you know, plenty of award cheer and I met all of my Magic heroes and Jesus Christ, you know, uh, you know, I've done pretty good for myself, but I always wanted to do the Apollo. And so hopefully one of these days I'll get a chance to do it. So,


And hopefully not virtually too.


I want to be, if they gotta pull me off the stage, I don't want them to virtually pull me off the stage. Do it


Was a question. Would you want it to be pulled off the stage and be successful as well?


I'd rather be successful, but if I've got to get pulled off the stage and let it be that one


Right


Backwards,


Um, I feel, I feel like I've taken up a lot of your time and I really do appreciate, um, you sharing so much knowledge with us, but before we kind of wrap this up before we wrap this up, because we are speaking with a total pro who is really, and I feel like there's so much more that we could unwrap and uncover, but, um, even just from the stories of like, you know, having the big enough balls to leave st. Louis and go to LA and pursue, and then like Talking originality and all of this and your mentorship, um, right now tannins Magic camp just kind of finished off, right? So there's some fresh kids coming out of that. There's people like myself where we've recently taken the leap and we're kind of starting a Magic business, but we're in pause and pivot. There's even total pros out there that are just in a pause and a pivot you yourself had, have had so much experience. What is some advice that you could give to us Magicians as a whole, or maybe, you know, like one tip that if you could go backwards in time and give to yourself, maybe when you're on that road trip to st. Louis listening to a podcast.


Oh man, I would say, I would say, follow your dreams, follow your dream practice, practice, practice, practice, follow your dream. If you feel it enough deep inside of you enough, then the has got to find a way to make it happen for you. And, um, there's different. There's different levels of success. So I mean, you know, success could be, you know, Lance Burton riches or success could be, you're making a nice, decent living doing exactly what you want to do. You got a family, you got people around you that love you. You're you're well taken care of. So there's different levels of success. So be, be, uh, be proud of what you have accomplished with your Magic, um, and, uh, follow your dream if that's what you want to do, you know, I still have a day job. So, um, um, so, you know, if, if that's what it takes for you to be able to do the things that you really love to do with your Magic, uh, fortunately I have a day job where they understand that if I have a week at the magic castle, they let me go and do my week at the magic castle.


It's no problem. Um, but, um, yeah. Follow your dreams. Be good at it. Practice your craft and follow your dreams.


I love that message so much. It's so perfect now for people, if we want to get more Mondre if we want to stay in touch with you where the


Best way is to stay in touch, follow, and even maybe listen along, uh, well, yeah, you could go on my web. Uh, my, well, I have my website mondre.magic.com, M O N D R E S. magic.com and my Facebook page, um, friendly it's mine, uh, space Drake and, uh, everything that I do, I usually posted on my Facebook page. So you can always, and then there's always the links and how to get ahold of me and where I'm, where I'm performing at and all that stuff through my Facebook and my, my, uh, website. So that's the best ways. That's my best.


And I reached out, I friended you and you friended me right back and you have been


The nicest guy on the planet has been such a pleasure to sit down with you and talk with you about just a small, like small little portions of your career tonight. Thank you so much. Mondre and I'm going to be on a radio. My radio show is every Wednesday night. Um, it's 10 on the, uh, uh, West coast and 1:00 AM on the East coast. So Tony, and for a couple of hours, there's no politics. It's just really good chill music and the Magic, uh, in the lounge with mr. Mondre


And I was listening to before you have some really great jams, it's really dynamite.


Thank you so much. Thank you. Graeme it's been a pleasure, man. I really appreciate you inviting me onto your podcast.


Thank you so much for listening to this week's interview. I really enjoyed getting to sit down with the Mondre. That was the first time I ever actually got to meet him


And talk with him and he shared a lot. I feel like we could do a couple more episodes. If you liked this interview, please give him one of those five star reviews. That is the best way to let other people just like you Nell about this podcast, plus, Ooh, I don't know if you know this, but you can see this interview plus so much more in video format Magicianmasterclass.com. All you have to do, you pop in your email subscribe and you unlock the inner circle. Thank you so much for tuning in and Ryan and I will see you this Friday on Magicians Talking Magic


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