Toronto Magic Company talks cancellations and coronavirus impacts

Interview with Jonah Babins and Ben Train from the Toronto Magic Company and Discourse in Magic Podcast discuss cancellations and COVID-19 impacts.

WATCH: Toronto Magic Company talks cancellations and coronavirus impacts

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Toronto Magic Company

Discourse in Magic Podcast

Audio Transcript: International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) President, Alex Zander shares message for members about coronavirus impacts

Jonah Babins: Take cinnamon buns out of the oven, really picking up baking now that the world is ending.

Ben Train: The closest thing I can remember is 2008 with the mortgage crisis and everything go. Our last gig was this morning we were actually at Pearson airport, uh, from seven to 10:00 AM doing magic for people that were there. And I will say this, it was very quiet, but the people that were there were extraordinarily responsive. It was really fun. Um, so it was a fun last sort of gig. But now like we don't know what's happening for the next few months. So what I did is I got home, I rested for like an hour or two and then I made a group of four magicians whose brains I admire who are in very different areas of the, of truthfully North America. I picked all over North America and I said, let's do an accountability group. And every week we're going to call the first one's this Tuesday, we're calling from 1130 to 1230.

And we all get 15 minutes to brainstorm with each other, but our projects and the question is like, what do we do? We during this period, so like Jonah Jonah is going to be working on his own projects. I know he has some amazing like discourse and magic stuff. I'm working on my own projects that I've been working on in some cases for more than a decade together. We're working on and we're doing our TMC. So it's like we've got,.

Jonah Babins: I dunno if I can do this right now, but we've got a, a board over there with full of ideas and post it notes that has been stuck there for a, for a few months. So now is the time for us to, to, uh, bring some of those ideas into reality. And whenever we come back, we're coming back with heat here.

Ben Train: Here's my positive spin on this for the next, for the foreseeable future, the whole world is on pause and we're not working and we're just sitting in our homes.

And the only thing we c an do now if we're smart watch Gilmore girls is watch Gilmore girls. Yeah. And that's the only, that's the only option. He does it in the, and I don't know why it's so weird.

Ryan Joyce: For me it's Meryl Streep. For me,.

Ben Train: That's how background, that's what inspires me. No, we get to work on our dreams. All of this stuff that we've talked about, like this stuff that you're saying like you're one too. You're like, Oh, I have some projects online projects that have sort of been on the back burner and Jonah's have stuff that he's been talking about for a while and I have stuff that I've been talking about but like I've, you know, why would I pursue them? There's other projects that I'm pursuing. Those projects are all shut off. So then how we just pursue.

Ryan Joyce: Focus on the craft, the writing our personal skills there and all that.

Ben Train: We're talking about positive spin on it, but like what is the end of the world? What I did just,.

Jonah Babins: We did just refund $8,000 worth of ticket sales and every show I had 12 hours.

Ben Train: So I went from making, I went from making, you know I try to make a certain amount of money to be able to afford the lifestyle that I live, whatever that means. Right. I think that's how most of us work cause we try to be able to afford to live and suddenly I just found out that the next two months of my shows are completely gone to $0 million is coming in for the next two months. My side gig, which is Toronto Magic Company has been shut off completely.

Jonah Babins: Hey this is your main gig. That's your side chick.

Ben Train: That's what we're trying. That's what we're trying your side. That's so important with the goal that I wanted is to move away from my own personal work and have TMC be Mike.

Cause that is my passion. You know what? Now you getting none of it. Okay, well there is that momentum has gone. So like we're putting a positive spin on it, but like obviously all of our work for the foreseeable future shut off. And like if schools moved to online then that like I can't, we can't do speaking at schools. Like we can't do our stuff. That is even our, our, our secondary or backup things that we sometimes do. Like I can't go in and do classes where I teach magic I can't do workshops. I can't do lecture tours. I can't try me.

Jonah Babins: For me, if this lasts, till the summer. I have a massive summer tour every year. So this lasts till the summer. Then like doomsday is, is really near. Uh, there's a, you know, like for me, there's certain months that are higher months and certain months that are stagnant months, um, or average months where the Toronto match company helps in the war, you know, producing shows.

So, uh, again, if, if, if this is a five-month problem or a six-month problem, then uh, it's really scary. Um, if it's a few month problem, then we can manage. And I also think that that as much as you know, we're kind of playing on both sides of this coin here, but, uh, I think if we're magicians, many of us are entrepreneurs, which means many of us are held creative to this.

Ryan Joyce: You're saying, I got skills, I'm going to let know what I got skills and.

Jonah Babins: We will be creative, we will endure. And, uh, uh, we're artists, we're creatives, we're entrepreneurs. And, uh, now to make those words really a bear there meaning, you know?

Ben Train: I think it's also important to note because we're talking about the economic sort of impact, but toss will remember that there are people who are going to be hit worse than us in many cases.

And you know, like some of us are lucky. Like I'm lucky I have a family that it can help. Like, you know, first comes to worse and I lose my place. I can move back in with my parents, I can move in with his parents and they love him like a little too much. It's weird. You've seen them kissing all three of them. Um, yeah. You know, so I have support groups and other people have maybe more money saved up, but like the same way that like magicians are struggling with no work. There are people who are now closing their doors who are also still have to pay rent.

Jonah Babins: It's gonna ruin a lot of different things.

Ben Train: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's gonna be tough for everybody. But the thing to keep in mind is of course that there are worse things that could be happening, like affecting people's health and you know, so like we're doing this to hopefully stop what looks like is something very bad that's a, very contagious pathogens.

Jonah Babins: Yes, of course we're going to reschedule it or excited for when it comes back. And we know we've got the support of the magicians and we know we've got the support of Toronto to come in and be a part of the show and we're excited to share it. And that's part of what's keeping us going is, is not only are we working on such amazing, exciting projects for me to come back, but we know that we've literally put pause on the game, on the video game and when we get back in we're going to be exactly where we left off with the same support, if not more and the same momentum.

Ben Train: And hopefully, yeah, hopefully we can still build on this, like whatever we were all doing before this was happening, we can find a way to continue doing it. It doesn't have to be completely on hold or you pivot a little bit is some exciting stuff. Figure it out. I'm going to be sending pictures of my body if anybody wants them.

WATCH: International Brotherhood of Magician President, Alex Zander discuss impacts to local IBM Ring Meetings & upcoming 2020 IBM Convention

WATCH: Joan Caesar (Founder, Canadian Association of Magicians & International Brotherhood of Magician Past-President) talks coronavirus impacts

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