From dancer to magician: An Interview with Hollie England from Champions Of Magic

In a world where magic seems to be everywhere around us, especially during the enchanting holiday season with snowflakes gracing every step and streets aglow with tiny sparkling lights, extraordinary individuals bring magic and mysterious allure to life through their craft. Hollie England, a versatile magician and dancer, stands as a key contributor to the mesmerizing "Champions Of Magic" show.

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In this exclusive interview, Hollie unveils her remarkable career journey and offers a glimpse into her own personal and unique magic that she brings to the stage. Read what audiences can anticipate from the upcoming “Champions Of Magic” performances at Meridian Hall in Toronto December 27-31.

You’ve had an impressive career journey, from dancer and musical theatre performer to Associate Producer and Associate/Resident Director for The Works Entertainment and The Illusionists franchise. How did this transition occur?

Hollie: “I had worked with both the producer and director of “The Illusionists” before the inception of the magic show “Champions of Magic” (COM), many years before it even existed. I collaborated with them in a show called “Spirit of the Dance,” an Irish dance company. I did the UK tour with them, and that company is what brought me to America. Simon Painter produced one of the shows I was in. So when Simon and Neil Dorward started working on illusions separately from “Spirit of the Dance,” I followed them to LA and got cast in the show.

I did musical theatre in between, but then I moved up the ranks from being a dancer to being a dance captain in the show. I already had some experience in magic because I was a dancer on tour with 

As I got older and didn’t feel connected to the LA dance scene, in between contracts, they asked me to help out in the LA office, where I became a production coordinator. I learned a lot from being around these amazingly creative people and the whole production process, what goes on behind the scenes. Then, I became an associate producer.

But I missed being in the theatre environment, so I went back on tour. Still, I quickly got offered the resident director role, which I loved because I could help make the show the best it could be for every audience. The great thing about working with magicians was they saw something in me: the creativity and understanding of how magic worked. They were the ones who encouraged me to become a magician myself.”

What challenges did you face in taking on such diverse roles within the entertainment industry?

Hollie: “Yeah, there are many challenges. Each challenge was a learning experience, helping me grow immensely and making me a better performer and business person. I’d be sent off to do something crazy, like renting a scorpion the day before a photo shoot and getting it in an Uber. Then, I’d have to deal with logistics for a whole cast and crew at the last minute, between being on stage myself. I’d have my laptop, typing away in full costume and makeup, and then have to go on and do my part. 

Even as a performer, you must know how to deal with people. There can be a lot of ego and stubbornness in that industry. Whether you’re a magician, director, or company manager, it’s about believing you can make the seemingly impossible happen and keeping most people happy through compromise.”

“I learned to say yes and figure it out as we go. You end up surprising yourself that way.”

 

The COM show promises a breathtaking experience with mind-blowing illusions. Can you share some highlights audiences can expect during the performance, especially those featuring your magic?

Hollie: “In COM, there are big, grand illusions, as well as mind-bending mentalism and death-defying escapes with lots of pyrotechnics, smoke, and fire, leaving you breathless. I have a kind of artistic style of magic. I start by doing something right in the middle of the audience, up close, and guests can be excited to see an actual flamethrower during the show.”

Could you describe the level of audience interaction in the show and how it enhances the magical experience for spectators?

Hollie: “We start with interactive tricks that involve everyone in the audience. After that, our mind reader Alex McAleer, chooses random people and then reads their minds. Many people try to figure out how illusions and tricks, are done, and then there’s something extra baffling about getting into someone’s mind, especially when it’s yours. It can be anyone in the audience; you come to the show, and you may be a part of it. And that’s really cool.”

With over 50 million online views and sold-out shows globally, what do you think sets COM apart, and why do fans keep coming back to experience the magic repeatedly?

Hollie: “Well, they believe that magic is best and can only be fully experienced live on stage; there’s just something about the energy in the room. COM is not only a spectacle; you get to know the performers and interact with each other. The show is funny, something people may only realize after they get to the showt; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. There’s a lot that an audience connects with because, ultimately, magic is about connecting with your audience. We have new magic in the show. So, even if you’ve seen the show, there will be a few things you have yet to see.”

With COM hitting the stage in Toronto on December 27, what message or feeling do you hope the audience takes away from the show, especially considering the holiday season?

Hollie: “I hope that even if just for a second, they think they’ve seen the impossible happen in front of their eyes. And isn’t the holiday season also about connecting and experiencing magic together? So, it feels like the perfect thing to do in the festive season.”

You’re performing in Las Vegas at ‘Late Night Magic’ and touring the world with ‘COM.’ How do you maintain the energy and enthusiasm for your performances, especially with the demanding schedule of live shows and tours?

Hollie: “I love all the people I work with and all the magic shows I do. I might do another show in Vegas; there are many other magicians in the shows, and all of these people are some of my, you know, best friends and mentors. It can be hard on the road, especially when you’re doing one night stops on a tour bus. But we are living the dream of many magicians and performers. Only some get the opportunity to perform and share their magic with so many people on these types of stages and venues. So, you can’t take these opportunities for granted.

 And yeah, I feel very lucky to be doing this as my living.”

As we conclude this magical journey with Hollie England, a true enchantress on and off the stage, we are left with wonder and anticipation. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the magic—reserve your seats now for Champions Of Magic” show at Meridian Hall in Toronto, starting December 27.


Maria Rostecka picture
Maria Rostecka

Author: Maria Rostecka, Content Specialist for The Onside Media, Canada. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. If you have any stories to share, please feel free to reach out: maria.rostecka@theonside.com

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