David Copperfield is a magician and entertainer, best known for his combination of storytelling and illusion, and described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. His illusions have included the disappearance of a Learjet, the vanishing and reappearance of the Statue of Liberty, levitating over the Grand Canyon, walking through the Great Wall of China, escaping from Alcatraz prison, and flying on stage. He has received 21 Emmy Awards, 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a knighthood by the French government, and the Living Legend award by the US Library of Congress. You can watch him live performing 7 days a week at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- While he’s passionate about magic and one of the greatest magicians ever, at heart he is a storyteller. He is a multidimensional entertainer.
- His role models growing up weren’t other magicians but actors and dancers like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. And storytellers like Walt Disney.
- He likes to make audiences feel something in the heart, not just a challenge in the brain.
- To this day he is inspired by a quote he read as a kid: “You’re only as good as you dare to be bad.” You can’t do something unique and special without taking some risks along the way.
- The formula for his success is summarized with his mantra: “Passion, preparation, and persistence.”
- He still has imposture syndrome at times which pushes him to continue to keep trying to perfect his craft.
- “Excellence is about nothing ever being finished. It’s a process that never ends.”