10 Questions for ... Michael Sondermeyer

Photo: Markus Kleymann

The questions?

1. when and why did you become a magician?

Because I became interested in the art of magic at the age of eight – initiated by a boy in the neighboring caravan at the campsite in the Black Forest – and later, after studying education, I tried to somehow bring together magic and education, which led to the fact that in the first years of my professional magic career I performed magic almost exclusively for children.

2. how would you characterise yourself in a few words?

I always try to work with understatement on stage, because if the expectations of the audience are not particularly high, what you do often works better than if the expectations are who knows how high and then nothing comes …

3. how would you describe your style?

My style is relatively minimalist. I try to get by without many props and to fill the stage with my person. The participation of the audience is also always important to me. Being able to engage the audience is an asset we magicians have over other art forms, and we should take advantage of it.

4. who and what inspires you for your art and who are your most important role models?

For me, role models are, of course, mostly those I admired in my youth. And the nice thing is that I am now good friends with many of them.

5. what do you want to trigger in the audience with your art?

Laughter and amazement (maybe even in that order). At least, both are equally important to me.

6. what is the perfect time and place for the viewer to enjoy your art?

I actually specialize in doing magic in as many places and at as many times as possible, that is, developing programs that work everywhere. Of course, the best are full-length performances, where the audience comes explicitly to see magic. But surprising audiences in a variety of venues with close-up magic also has a great appeal for me.

7. how important is it for you to leave your comfort zone in art?

I already like to rely on the tried and tested. I leave my comfort zone, for example, when I try to add a new piece of art to the program. Since it first has to become established and at the beginning of course can not compete with well-rehearsed tricks, it is very difficult for me to integrate new things into the program. It often takes a long time until I dare to try out a trick in front of an audience, although it has been lying on the magic table for months – at the last moment I leave it out …

8. what role does social media play for you?

None, actually. I have a homepage, but that’s all. And even after all the Corona experiences of the last two years, I still think that – at least for me – magic online is not an alternative to live performances. The art of magic lives from immediacy.

9. what are your short and long term goals or aspirations for your career as a magician?

After briefly fearing that the Corona pandemic would be the end of my magical activities, it was with great joy that I began performing again. Otherwise, my future ambitions lie more in my work in our “Magic Foundation” to document and preserve the art of magic and its history.

10. what advice would you give to young magicians?

That’s a relatively short answer: read, read, read (and don’t consume so much YouTube magic).

*This interview was conducted in German.


Michael Sondermeyer, (born September 25, 1952 in Witten), is a German magician, dealer, publisher and specialist book author.

Together with Uwe Schenk he founded in the 1990s the sic! publisher. The two run an antiquarian bookshop for magic literature and articles near Münster.

On 03.11.2018 he founded, also with Uwe Schenk, the Foundation Magic Art. The aim of the foundation is the creation of a center of magic, with a museum, magic theater and an extensive archive on the art of magic. More info about the foundation can be found at the website of the Magic Foundation.

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