Updated Monday, August 22
Sometimes you’re in the moment. And sometimes it is your moment to shine. Mario Marchese, known in most circles as Mario The Magician, was the focus of a recent successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign and will now be the subject of a documentary film. For Mario, the magic moment is at hand.
LoHud writer Alex Taylor just published an extensive article on Marchese’s Kickstarter effort, spearheaded by Mario’s wife and manager Katie Marchese. The project grew out of Nyack filmmaker Kal’s short film on Mario, Building Magic. A popular street magician who works all over NYC, Marchese also books events throughout the New York City and Hudson Valley but prefers to travel the streets on skateboard and in top hat, with nothing but his suitcase of magical instruments.
Building Magic (Official Trailer) from Kal on Vimeo.
Kickstarter is an increasingly popular crowd-sourced site for the artists and non-profit groups looking for an alternative way to finance projects. The site launched in 2009 and has grown in scope, with recent celebrity efforts to use Kickstarter to jump start projects, including Kristen Bell and Robb Thomas who raised money to make a film version of the popular kind of cultish series Veronica Mars.
Katie Marchese kicked the whole magical Kickstarter effort into high gear as the project’s deadline approached on August 7, using an extensive social media effort that reached out to friends and neighbors and businesses and fellow entertainers — all who responded in the crunch.
Mario is known for making all of his own unique props — it’s all handmade magic.
“Magic is a handcraft,” said Mario during Kal’s short film Building Magic on his magical creative process. “Magic is creating a moment for someone else . . . a total moment of being astonished.”
When the dust settled and the Kickstarter campaign ended, the effort had just exceeded the $35,000 goal by raising $36,000 dollars from 321 supporters. All donations will go toward producing a 60 minute documentary feature on Mario that will be shot by Kal.
The short version of Mario’s magical life is certainly worth the six plus minutes it takes to watch Kal’s film. Mario’s brand of handmade magic is a gift that keeps on giving in the hearts of minds of the kids and everyone else that sit amazed at his entertaining sleight of hand.
As Marchese said, it’s all about reinforcing each kid’s natural instinct to believe. And that each magic trick he performs, each handmade prop he labors over and each gesture of controlled chaos sends that message to the kids — believe in the magic of life and in creativity.
Still photos of Mario The Magician courtesy of Kal‘s short film Building Magic.