Now you see him, now you don’t. Well after all, Luca Gallone is a magician. And since he’s taken off big time on social media, with approaching a million followers worldwide, these days he really is here, there and everywhere!
If he isn’t considering TV opportunities, Luca, 22, from Burton, is performing his uniquely fresh brand of magic at corporate events for prestigious organisations like Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Procter and Gamble.
Then there’s his jet setting around the world to do shows internationally. So far he has performed in Italy, Portugal, New York and Las Vegas, as well as throughout the UK.
Since being invited to appear on Britain’s Got Talent three years ago – he won over all four judges and was proclaimed ‘the next Dynamo’ by Amanda Holden – talented Luca has gone stratospheric.
“Obviously BGT was great but my success today has really come from my magic videos on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok. I’m getting messages from across the globe and people even send me gifts. Youngsters in India send me videos of them trying to copy my magic tricks.”
While Luca has fans across the world, he’s particularly popular in countries like India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Having said that, a girl from Poland recently sent me some brilliant pen and ink sketches she had done of me.
“And a 14-year-old girl contacted me to say that I had inspired her to learn how to do magic tricks. She said it was helping her deal with depression caused by bullying she had suffered. That kind of response really inspires me. It’s a good feeling to know you are spreading happiness.”
A huge Derby County fan, Luca recently made a fun video showcasing his tricks with Derby County players Mason Mount and Harry Wilson to launch the club’s third kit. His tricks, he explains, have a different approach to the set pieces magicians traditionally performed on stage, conjuring rabbits and doves out of hats and the like.
“Mine is a kind of cool, modern, street magic,” he says. And over coffee in a Derby cafe, he shows me some amazing card tricks and displays an unbelievable sleight of hand. “I can read your mind,” he assures me with a wicked grin. And much to my astonishment, it seems that when asking me to choose a card, he really can!
So how did his obsession with magic begin, I ask. “It all started with my uncle Bruno when I was about six,” he tells me. “He used to do things like produce a coin from behind his ear, it was all very intriguing for a child, and I wanted to learn how to do it myself.
“When I was seven I got a magic set for Christmas and the next year we went on holiday to the USA, which included a trip to Las Vegas. I thought I was in dreamland. Lots of famous magicians like David Copperfield and the illusionist Rick Thomas, were there and it was amazing.
“I was lucky enough to meet Rick and do some card tricks for him. He was impressed and told me I could become a top magician one day. He also gave me some of his merchandise.
“From then on I read every book and watched every video I could get my hands on to learn how to do magic tricks. I was totally hooked.”
At school, Luca was encouraged by the teachers to try for university and he was indeed offered a place at the University of Derby to study marketing. “Going down that route was what was expected of you but I made the decision to turn the place down and instead work towards being a professional magician.”
It was a brave move but it turned out to be the right one for Luca, who has achieved worldwide recognition at a relatively young age – and is soon to launch his own app.
“Since going on Britain’s Got Talent they have asked me back every year, but each time I’ve said no. I feel that social media is the way forward – it has certainly worked for me.
“For many young people today, television is dying out. They watch much more on social media than they do on TV.”
Luca has been highly focused on his career since he was a teenager. He started out performing at pubs, parties and weddings, then sought the help of the Prince’s Trust in Derby.
“They were excellent, they supported me in setting up my own business and provided me with a mentor, Derby businessman Jay Dhillon, which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Jay has been a brilliant help.”
A highlight of Luca’s burgeoning career came when he was invited to attend a celebratory event of the Prince’s Trust at Buckingham Palace and met Prince Charles. It was a star-studded occasion where he mingled with celebrities like Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Rio Ferdinand.
Another celebrity-laden gig came about when he was invited to perform his magic at a behind-the-scenes Christmas party for the news anchors and weather presenters at ITV.
As his career has exploded, Luca has decided London is the place to be and he recently moved there. Much of his time is now spent presenting his cutting edge style of magic at high end events in and around the capital.
Hypnosis is something he now includes in his act and, not content to rest on his laurels, his latest venture is to take acting lessons. Immensely ambitious, Luca has huge self belief and the stunning success he’s achieved in his career in such a short time is nothing short of, well, magic!