Artist Interview: Mark Toland talks mentalism, developing an act

December 4th, 2011 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under Artist Interviews, General

Building a magic business takes work, because the business has to be learned as much as the magic. Mark Toland knows firsthand.

Toland, a magician who is active in Chicago’s magic scene, also tours across the country performing for private engagements, corporate clients and colleges. He has made a name for himself with a solid show, great personality and a glass-walking act that has taken years of refinement — and a lot of broken bottles.

In addition to learning magic and mentalism, he has learned the business of magic more than most: He is his own agent. That comes with unique burdens and benefits, he said.

One of the benefits is booking. Making the most of a private gig in Pittsburg, Kan., he also booked a kids’ show at the Joplin Public Library for the same trip. He joined us for a dinner break in Joplin between gigs and talked to us about how he manages all the facets of his business, how he approaches tricks for kids and adults, how his character fits into mentalism and how he developed his glass-walking act.

You can see more of Toland on his website and in his weekly Magic Monday videos.



  1. News from Chicago Magician Mark Toland on:

    […] While on the road last month I sat down for a podcast interview with Joe Hadsall of We talked about the business side of magic, working as a college and corporate magician, and what I’m trying to do with my show. To listen to the interview in full, click here! […]

  2. Doomsday Adam on:

    Great interview. Really enjoyed the fresh approach to magic this guy has. It makes me feel better about the direction magic is going. Good luck Mark!

  3. It’s rlealy sad. I just started photo classes at an art school, so excited about getting into a darkroom and work with film & chemicals as I did in high school only to find out everything is digital and actually developing is a novelty.I heard someone say that one day we might see cameras outdated and replaced by high quality video captures and as ludicrous as it sounds, it’s something to think about.