Penn Jillette is a famous magician – he’s one half of the duo Penn and Teller. He has made a career out of sleight of hand and tricks. He credits Teller with getting him into magic. Penn’s specialties are juggling, writing, and comedy. He suggests that when you choose a career you go into a field in which you know you can improve.
He continued his education at “clown college.” He was “forced” into comedy, but he wanted to be a brooding French poet. While at clown college, he learned wire walking, juggling, and tumbling. Penn says card tricks are actually a form of juggling.
When he first began with Teller they went to bad magic shows and learned what they didn’t want to do. They wanted to get away from illusions and focus more on tricks. All magic is about the perception of truth.
Penn says he didn’t have a choice in magic. He was homeless when he started out, but Teller was from a very different background. The pair didn’t like each other, but they felt they could do better together.
Other topics Penn discusses in this interview are:
- Find what you like and let it kill you.
- How dramatic weight loss has changed his act.
- His parenting skills.
- How journal writing has improved his daily routine.
- His biggest inspirations.
- The unwilling suspension of disbelief.
- Built-in biological love.
Resources and Links:
- Kinky Freedman
- Gary Panter and The ROZZ-TOX Manifesto
- Clown College
- Penn Jillette’s books
- The Cups and Ball Trick
- Penn’s Sunday School
- Bob Dylan
- Miles Davis
If you want to learn more about Penn Jillette, check him out on Twitter: @pennjillette.