It's Rory here, the editor of One Ahead. I first met Richard Young while working on Dynamo's arena tour. Richard arrived at the vast rehearsal hangar with a podcast mic under his arm. He interviewed Dynamo and his manager at the time, Dan Albion, for his "Magicians Podcast."
We had a meal later with Richard and Harry De Cruz, who was also working on the tour and was a long-time friend of Young's. What struck me about Young almost immediately was how much he genuinely cared about magic. His love for the art is like no one I've met before. Whereas most people's passion for magic comes from a place of being the centre of attention and only getting enthusiastic by tricks they might get to perform – Young cares about magic as a whole, how the world perceives it, and the people who are leading the charge.
He interviewed 100 magicians for the podcast, including David Copperfield. I thoroughly recommend listening to some of the episodes and reading Richard's article about how magicians get TV shows. He just relaunched the podcast as a network with multiple podcasts for magicians going out each week.
When he's not recording his podcast, Richard tours the world in his illusion double act, Young & Strange. Catch them on tour in the US this winter. Youngie was kind enough to answer our questions:
When were you most starstruck?
The first time I met Copperfield was 2010 at the MGM Grand. I saw Chris Kenner in the auditorium and asked if he would take a photo with me; he kindly obliged and then asked if I would like a photo with David, too and took me backstage. What was kinda private at the time was I had just gone through a pretty bad breakup and was in a bad place. That few minutes of kindness from Kenner to allow me to meet my idol gave me a feeling of happiness I hadn't felt in a while and helped me a lot.
What is your favourite magic trick?
That's so hard. Stage: Copperfield's Death Saw or Flying. Parlour: Graham Jolley's snooker balls. Close-Up: Maybe Michael Vincent's Many Faces of a Woman.
Who is the most famous person you could text right now?
It used to be Piff, but he blocked me.
Do you have a nickname?
Has a trick you perform ever gone wrong?
The worst one recently was in Houston during a Champions of Magic show doing a version of Wrapped/Assistants Revenge with Strange and Fernando Velasco. About four things went wrong at once, and we had nowhere to go. Was just before the interval too. Painful.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
There will never be a movie about me, but damn, am I fed up of people telling me I look like movie star Jonah Hill.
How much is a pint of thumb tips?
Learn the bill switch without a thumb tip; it's so much better.
When did a magic trick most fool you?
Derren's 'card to box' in his last tour, Showman. I didn't have a clue how the video at the end could have possibly been created.
What books do you recommend?
Derren's new one, 'Notes From A Fellow Traveller'. Possibly the most important book on performing magic for decades. Also really enjoying Jamie Allan's Everything right now.
Where is the strangest place you've ever performed magic?
San Quentin Prison. It was truly life-changing. Also a swingers club, and I still didn't get laid.