When your grandfather owns a magic shop for several decades, you have the kind of access other magicians would saw someone in half for. Such is the case for Dennis Watkins, who grew up learning magic from his grandpa Ed, who ran Douglas Magicland for over 30 years. This exposed Dennis to a vast world of magic resources, including a variety of tricks, loads of books, and the array of illusionists who passed through the shop. In our interview with Watkins, he talks about how this helped get him his start in the business and how that (along with acting lessons) led him to create the House Theatre of Chicago and The Magic Parlour.
For the rest of our interview with Dennis Watkins, check out the links below:
Part two: Chicago magic is all about the up-close and personal touch
Part three: The evolution of the Magic Parlour
Part four: The power of performing magic for a small audience
And for more from our visit to Chicago, check out our video interviews with Mark Toland and Nick Roy, and our Magic Anywhere special, focusing on the unique, hands-on approach to Chicago-style magic.