We had the good fortune of connecting with Hayden Allcorn and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hayden, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
As artists, creatives, and humans, we are always met with the struggle of taking the easy route and either giving up or moving on. However as artists, creatives, and humans, we have been tasked with the incredible gift of story telling. For as long as I can remember, I have given myself the daily creed to “invite at least one person every day to laugh or smile” because that is something I can offer to the world. While I may not be able to cure disease, build machinery to help communities, or donate endlessly to those who have less, what I can offer is the moment of laughter or sheer happiness. When we laugh or smile, even if for just a moment, we forget the nastiness and frustration in the world around us, and we just get to be present in the moment. As a comedy magician, I am nothing more than a story teller with unique props to help tell that story. And as a story teller, my goal and job is to offer you a moment of escape and distraction from what’s outside the theater doors. So, within my story telling I try to give you different moments of laughter and joyful discovery of this impossible feat that happened right before your eyes. And when I look out at the audience, across a table, or over a computer screen, and I can see the spark of joy and laughter in those new friends, I remember why I do what I do, and it pushes me to keep going and not to give up. It is the people who I interact with and moments of joy or laughter that I can offer that keep going, and gets me on that stage night after night.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started performing magic when I was about 7 years old, when a family friend “booked” me to perform my “show” at her daughters birthday party.. and it was my first paid gig! At that party, I made a whopping FIVE DOLLARS and that set me on a path to figure out how to make a career and living doing what I love.

As I got older though, I started to work more with other magicians and professionals to hone my craft and work on my skills as a magician. when it came to being on stage, however, I always loved that aspect. When I was young, my Mom used the diaper points from the boxes to get me my first stage… a pink drawstring curtain set, complete with an applause button, and lights across the top, and I was in heaven.

Growing up, I was never shy about talking to people who I look up to and admire. At the early age of 15, I started to network and meet people, some of whom who would later become some of my closest friends and mentors. My go to phrase would always be, “How do I do what you do?” and it would jumpstart a conversation and teaching moment that has stuck with me ever since, and lessons learned that day are still part of my lexicon when either crafting new routines or working with someone who just got into magic.

Jump ahead a few years, and I am starting to work professionally and starting to find my voice and my brand. I always loved musical theater and acting, but always had a passion for magic. So naturally, I had to come up with a way to combine the two into a theatrical experience that wasn’t just “Hey look.. another magic trick..”.

When creating my show, I always lean on the basic elements of story telling and acting to help craft moments to be clear and meaningful. While thinking of myself as a character in the story, I use objective, given circumstances, and humor to help take the audiences through the act or story, while keeping it fresh and new. I am constantly writing new material and taking old acts and revamping or totally overhauling them, using new knowledge or ideas to boost them up with the level of detail and specificity that is required for todays modern audiences.

All that magic entails is knowledge of manipulation, misdirection, and most importantly, communication. In my show, I never claim to have “magical powers” or any unnatural abilities, all I know is a couple of unique tricks with a packet of cards and the ability to captivate and manipulate your attention so you don’t see the secret move. I have found that for my shows, comedy and story telling are the best misdirection tools I have, and if I do my job correctly, you’ll guess the end of the story and end up fooling yourself.

It is because of networking, constant improvement, never settling, and the support of those around me I have been able to accrue the resume I have today. From starting as a street performer to becoming the resident magician at Knotts Berry Farm (Buena Park, Ca), to working venues like the Queen Mary (Long Beach), Teatro Martini (Buena Park), and the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, I have to thank my younger self for sticking to growth and continuing to hustle, because at the young age of 23, I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For food and atmosphere, of course we would have to take a trip to the Magic Castle in Hollywood for an incredible dinner and evening of shows! We would also have to visit some of my favorite speak easy spots, like Tribune or Blind Rabbit, for a delightful cocktail and mood. However, we would be missing out on the best slice of pizza I’ve ever had (yes, even from the east coast) if we didn’t visit a family favorite restaurant three generations in the running, Dominico’s, in Belmont Shores, for a slice of ground pepperoni pizza!

I’d be remiss if we didn’t visit the beach and pier, a place where I spent many days running, playing, and even working on. I’d also try to catch a show at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts or at the Pantages theater. Those two specific venues hold a dear place in my heart, as its where I saw some of my first big touring shows, and fell in love with the stage and theater! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was 5 years old, my Dad showed me my very first magic trick (a vanishing coin) and he never told me how to do it; so to get even with him I made it my career.

From my earliest memory, my parents and family have been my biggest supporters of me venturing into a career of the arts and performing. From driving me to magic shops to work with my first mentor, Ken Sands, at Magic Galore and More (a magic shop located in the back of a bowling alley), to following in tow as I went to magic competitions, to supporting my dream of going to an arts high school, OCSA, to wanting to pursue a degree in acting, and working exclusively in the entertainment world; they have been supportive through it all. And while I’m sure it is no easy feat to watch your kid walk into a very tumultuous and unstable career with out any guarantee of work, they always supported any venture I set out to accomplish. It is because of their unwavering support and constant guidance that I had the confidence to continue on and pursue bigger and better career moves.

Website: https://haydenallcorn.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/magicbyhaydenallcorn/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thatshortmagicguy/

Image Credits
Westcoaster Reed Flores/Brownguydesign

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