An interview with magician Jimmy Ichihana

Here’s an interview with magician Jimmy Ichihana. Jimmy will perform at the library’s upcoming fundraiser. To purchase tickets, go to

Q. What made you want to do magic?
A. I learned a few card tricks from my family, and then when I was thirteen, I had the opportunity to attend Tannen’s Magic Camp. It was a week of watching, learning, practicing, and performing magic. It introduced me to the larger magic community, and I was hooked

Q. Who was your first audience?
A. I grew up in Herkimer, so some of my first performances were small shows at places like the Salvation Army gym, Myers Park, and outside by the Basloe Pool.

Q. Is performing on tv different from performing for a room of people?
A. When I’m actually performing, the experience is similar – I’m focused on being present with the people in the room. But in preparation, there are differences because the camera never blinks. So for TV, I need to construct magic that works both for the live audience and for the audience watching the recording at home.

Q. Do you feel pressured to create a persona?
A. No, I just try to be myself and share material I enjoy performing.

Q. What made you decide to perform at the library’s fundraiser?
A. Matt Powers reached out, and we’re both Herkimer alumni, so of course I wanted to join for the event! Also, one of the very first magic shows that I watched was at a public library.

Q. How do you feel about magicians revealing how tricks are done? A. I think it really depends on the intention and what is being revealed. I love when someone creates a new trick and is willing to share and teach to those who want to learn. This is how the magic community can grow and improve. What I don’t like is when someone shares a secret that doesn’t belong to them or when someone shares a secret just to reveal it and reveals it to people that didn’t even want to know the secret. If you just want to enjoy a magic show, it is unfortunate if someone ruins it by revealing the secrets.

Q. Do people recognize you when you’re out at the supermarket? A. Ha ha, no. Maybe I need to work harder on my marketing.

Q. What is magic’s function, in your opinion?
A. Like other art forms, magic can entertain, make you smile, create shared experiences, express larger ideas, evoke curiosity, and make you think. Personally, it has also given me opportunities to travel and has connected me with lifelong friends.

Q. What other magicians do you like?
A. There are so many! Penn and Teller’s show continues to be fresh, fooling, and thought-provoking. Mario Lopez is a clever magician sharing off-the-wall ideas on Instagram. But if I had to pick a favorite, Juan Tamariz is at the top of my list. He is one of the living masters of card magic today. He thinks deeply about magic and his work is inspiring.