We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Herren as Faust and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I will always attribute my success as a magician and pantomime to the guidance and support of my small circle of mentors. I believe that it is so important to be able to listen to advice, but also stay true to your own visions and goals, no matter how strange or weird they may seem to be. If you are so fortunate to find that small circle that understands your creative expression, I truly believe that inspiration will spark and possibly surprise you. The magical arts for me has been quite the journey, but that is not to say, that it hasn’t been without harsh lessons learned. I have been faced with many situations where I felt defeated and my confidence shaken, but it has always been my mentors that have brought me back to perspective. In the end, my success will always be attributed to that small circle of mentors. Creativity, inspiration, and imagination in any art, in my opinion, will always flourish as one collective experience.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My artform is a theatrical blend of Magic, Pantomime and Storytelling. I was first inspired to create my character, “Faust”, after I had been diagnosed with Cancer, some ten years ago. During chemotherapy, I read the 18th Century literary classic “Faust”, and I tried to imagine why a person like him would sell his soul to the devil. Then it hit me, I came up with the conclusion that Faust was “desperate to change”. Right or wrong, that’s how I felt at the time, and that was a feeling I could certainly empathize with – because I too felt, “desperate to change”. Taking this emotion, I sought to create a character of my own. What resulted was a masked pantomimic character that I perform today. The greatest challenge that I was faced with was having the confidence to perform as a masked character. I had never done it before, and I often thought that it may have been too bizarre for most audiences. However, what I found is that the audience embraced my version of Faust. Not because of the mask I wore, but it was because of the honesty and emotion I put behind each performance. Understanding this, I make great efforts to connect with my audience. Allowing them to go on a journey with Faust and I, as participants…and not just spectators.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA of course! Although it’s pretty obvious as to what this place is about, it’s very hard to explain what sort of experience you’ll walk out with. Outside of enjoying magical performances in every corner of the Castle, you will certainly experience mystery and wonder by merely walking through it. And yes, a couple of fine elixirs will add to that reminiscent feeling of the Old Hollywood golden era!…And did I mention, it’s not open to the public. It’s open only to its members and their guests. I would certainly put it on anyone’s bucket list. But yeah! that’s where I’d go for the night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
By far, the one person in my life that has influenced me and inspired me to find my own authentic voice in magic is, Legendary Magician Jeff Mcbride, of the Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas. His teachings and guidance have been so critical to my growth in magic, and it is hard to imagine achieving any of my success without him. He is a friend, mentor, and coach, and I’m quite lucky to have him on my side. I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention the most important support system I have – my family. My mom, wife, and my two wonderful kids have always been encouraging throughout and without them this magical life would have no meaning. It is because of them I am inspired to create and express, and continue to create…until I can no longer.
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