On the Couch with Luke Hocking

Luke Hocking 2Who is Luke Hocking?
A professional magician and entertainer from Melbourne, Australia. I love performing magic with a twist of comedy and have a new show called Impossible Occurrences, which I hope will make audiences laugh, gasp and leave wondering – how did he do that?

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I wasn’t a magician, I would have been a lawyer. Thankfully my parents encouraged me to pursue the illusory arts from an early age – I got my start when they bought me a magic kit one Christmas. I’ve done marketing and advertising jobs to make ends meet, and I don’t want to go back there!

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by Derren Brown, an amazing magician and mentalist who has an incredible career. He fuses magic, ‘misdirection’ (focusing the audiences’ attention on something to distract them from something else the magician is doing, without them realising), and showmanship. He has established himself as one of the best mentalists alive today and what he does genuinely looks real, not at all like a magic trick.

Steve Cohen is an incredible, more ‘traditional’ magician who has a long-running show in NYC called Chamber Magic. Steve recreates an old fashioned salon-style magic show that has been running for more than 15 years. I drew inspiration from his work and his show when creating Impossible Occurrences. I also love watching street performers in Melbourne, because they really work hard and if they’re no good, they don’t eat!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I am a big fan of the pay it forward notion. One good deed does not seem like much, but if everyone did something good for someone else, I think the cycle of generosity and kindness can make us all become better people.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’ve been to Thailand several times and love the food, people and culture. It’s a truly amazing and beautiful place to visit. The beaches are incredible and the locals are lovely and friendly people.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If it’s their first time to Melbourne, I take them to visit the penguins, drive the Great Ocean Road and up to the Eureka Skydeck. Very touristy but great fun. I also like to take visitors Melbourne’s famous eatery, Pellegrini’s, then enjoy a cup of our superb coffee in one of our iconic laneway cafes. I love showing off Melbourne’s looking nooks and crannies to first timers!

What are you currently reading?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I am also a fan of Dean Koontz, David Baldacci and Stephen King. Love a good suspense and horror novel!

What are you currently listening to?
Bastille, Peking Duk, Radio Head, Snow Patrol and Coldplay. I’m not one of those ‘cool music guys’ who can rattle off the names of the new up and coming indie bands – I pretty much listen to mainstream commercial radio.

Happiness is?
For me happiness is about being satisfied with who you are as a person and what you’re doing with your life. Realising it is not something that is ready-made, it comes from your own actions and decisions you make.

What does the future hold for you?
I’d like to think success in entertainment. I’m open minded though; I know there are no guarantees in anything we do. However, I’m always amazed when I hear stories of how people met success on the road they took to avoid it! It makes me wonder if you do change your direction in life what will come of it, and will you be better off? I hope my future holds lots of laughs, good food, family and magic tricks.

Luke Hocking’s passion for magic was ignited at the tender age of five, when he received a magic kit for his birthday. He starting performing for friends and family, and at school in Bairnsdale, regional Victoria. When caught with a cheat sheet during a high school exam and asked to hand it over, he made it disappear, which annoyed the teacher no end.

He performed his first professional magic show at 16 and has since written, co-produced and starred in sold-out shows at major festivals including Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Magic Festival. Luke has emerged from these formative experiences as a masterful illusionist, consummate entertainer and successful professional magician with a swag of amazing tricks up his sleeve!

Luke will be performing in his show Impossible Occurrences at Melbourne’s Marriot Hotel, Friday nights from 4 July. For more information, visit: www.impossibleoccurrences.com.au for details.

Image: Luke Hocking