Palisadian Greg Victoroff Will Soon Offer Magic Lessons Online
By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
For his next trick, Greg Victoroff, a Palisadian for more than 20 years, will soon be teaching magic lessons online from his garage.
The Palisadian-Post caught up with Victoroff to learn more about transitioning his performances to a digital platform and his life-paths of both law and magic.
Victoroff has been an intellectual property transactional and trial lawyer for over 40 years with an extensive background in education. He has guest lectured at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and been a trainer at the Center for Cultural Innovation in Little Tokyo.
His passion for magic stems beyond that, dating back to when he was just a young kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.
He recalled his brother’s interest in theater and knowledge of a few magic tricks, before taking initiative himself and ordering magic books out of a catalogue in elementary school. Victoroff would also visit a magic shop in downtown Cleveland where he would meet other kids and form a magic club of their own.
Victoroff then attended Cleveland-Marshall College of Law before transferring to UCLA to study entertainment law, leaving his hometown behind—but not his passion for magic.
“I came out to Los Angeles in 1978, the first thing I did was join the Magic Castle, which is sort of the mecca for magicians all over the world,” Victoroff said. “It’s the greatest magic club in the world, it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been a member for about 40 years.”
Victoroff practiced his magic privately throughout college and eventually began performing for private parties such as birthdays and events. He even gave a show at Palisades Charter High School once.
He said after his two children grew up, he wanted to contribute in some way and became a volunteer magician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he learned the codes and protocols to become a hospital volunteer about two years ago.
Due to COVID-19, however, his monthly shows have been canceled since March. Eager to continue sharing his magic with the community around him, he reached out to Little Knights, a preschool, after finding out they were looking for content as they transition students to a digital platform.
“It will be all sorts of games and fun, touching on the basics of math and science and reading. These are preschoolers, everything is magic to them right now,” Victoroff said. “But I don’t believe in dumbing things down for kids, you watch ‘Sesame Street,’ it’s not condescending.
“I’m going to have lessons with color and magic and singing and puppets for the very, very youngest kids, but with some really deep content that older kids, their siblings and parents can enjoy too.”
Victoroff kicked off his four weeks of classes on Wednesday, September 9. The Magic Unlimited School of Mirth and Mystery will be his preschool teaching debut—and he couldn’t be more excited.
“Very important learning goes on at the preschool level … These kids’ brains are like sponges,” Victoroff said to the Post. “Teaching magic teaches children to understand this dual thinking: what you show and what you don’t show, what is real and what is presented … the comedy, the irony—pretty sophisticated mental gymnastics.”
Victoroff said the main challenge will be the lack of interaction between him as a performer and his audience, where an audience member is usually asked to participate on-stage. But it can also offer a new perspective and allow him to learn from his viewers.
“You have a camera 24 inches away from your audience members’ faces and you can see if they are happy or confused … are they amazed, are they enchanted?” he said. “For a performer who pays attention, it gives you immediate feedback, and that can be a great thing.”
Victoroff will be performing his lessons from the garage of his Palisades home, which he has transformed into an improvised theater-stage with backdrops, lights and cameras.
“The Zoom platform does certainly offer challenges to magic but it can also make it even more fun,” he said. “This is really exciting stuff.”
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