This is not your grandparents’ magic show.
The Naked Magicians, made up of Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler, are a pair of talented performers out of Australia who are willing to bare it (nearly) all onstage for your entertainment.
While the nudity is a clever hook, don’t sell them short, they have impressive resumes and are much more than just a nice bit of eye candy. Although they are that too.
Combined, Wayne and Tyler have over two decades of experience, having performed hundreds of shows all across the globe, both as a duo and as solo acts.
We caught up with Wayne by email, ahead of the their show in Charlotte, May 10, at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
How long have you both been performing magic?
Mike and I have both been professional magicians for a long time. I have been doing magic and comedy for about 12 years, Mike for about 9. A lot of people think our show is just about the skin (which don’t get me wrong, is a big part), but the magic in the show is actually incredible.
How was the idea for The Naked Magicians born?
We both really wanted to do something with magic that had never been done before. After the movie “Magic Mike” came out, people always made jokes at Mike (who was a magician).
Jokes like, “Can you make your clothes disappear?” and “How big is your magic wand?” When that started happening, we knew there was something in it.
It turned out that in HISTORY, nobody had ever made a naughty magic show, so we decided it was game on!
What can audiences expect from the show?
Expect three things:
1. The most amazing magic you will see live.
2. To laugh nonstop at pure naughtiness.
3. Two naked Aussies delivering 1 & 2.
If you don’t like that list, stay at home this Wednesday night.
What do your audiences tend to look like? One images you draw a large female contingent, with a handful of men thrown in for good measure.
When we look into the crowd, we are always so excited to see a broad audience. There are definitely a lot of women at the shows. We also love our gay following, and have a surprising number of couples.
Something we are really proud of is that this show isn’t JUST a girls night out, its a nonstop party for anyone with a cheeky side who wants to celebrate that cheeky side with us.
How did your friends, fans, and family react when they found out you guys were going to start performing in the buff?
Everyone was bemused by the idea. Nobody (including us) expected it to become one of the biggest touring magic shows in the world.
People are always so surprised to discover how supportive our families were. Maybe it wasn’t such a shock because they saw us naked as kids (and at my 21st birthday, but that’s another story).
Were you nervous to begin performing sans clothes?
They say that the two biggest fears ever are public speaking and turning up to work naked, so in our first show, we were literally combining those two things…and it was terrifying!
We both knew we had a great concept for a show, and to do it we would have to stand naked on a stage – it was kind of like parachuting for the first time, we just had to jump!
Since then, we haven’t looked back. The best part of my day is getting onstage naked, and it’s going to take a whole lot to get me to put my pants back on.
It seems you guys are careful to make sure your, shall we say, magic wands, are covered. Have there ever been any wardrobe malfunctions?
There is a part of the show where it’s up to one lucky/unlucky (depending on how you look at it) member of the audience to keep my junk covered with a top hat while I do a magic trick. It’s honestly one of the funniest moments of the show.
One night (the woman responsible for holding the hat) was so nervous and excited all at once that she dropped the top hat and started clapping. It fell to the ground, and I was standing there with my magic wand hanging in full view of the audience. Nobody seemed to be too upset.
One of our favorite things about performing this show every night is that there’s always a new story. Our show relies so heavily on audience participation that we never know what is going to happen next!
How long do you hope to be performing as a duo as The Naked Magicians?
Until we are so old that we have to join “Thunder From Down Under.”
For tickets to Wednesday night’s show, go to the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center website.
For more on The Naked Magicians, visit their website.