Eric Antoine: “There is something mystical in me”

With “Grow up a little!” the comedian magician summons the child who lies dormant in him. Meeting with a giant with assumed flaws.

Paris Match. Why did you write such a personal show?
Eric Anthony. Midlife Crisis! I want to talk about more intimate subjects. I want it to be delirious, but also that the eyes mist up. The character of the magician tends to show off and I’ve always found that cheesy. Me, I wanted to be the bad magician who achieves the extraordinary.

“Grow up a little”, is that what your entourage tells you?
When you are a known artist, a team is there to put you in the best possible position to succeed. And it makes you really want to stare at your navel. I am quite uncomfortable with this position. Especially since everyone has an opinion on what I do. I already spend my time scrutinizing what’s wrong, so that’s a lot for me to deal with.

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Do you understand the decisions taken by the government regarding performance halls?
It is an aberration to receive 6,000 people for a political meeting and that we cannot have more than 2,000 spectators. Only, in the Constitution, we do not have the right to limit political meetings. For the concerts, we do what we want… But I prefer not to enter into this kind of discourse because it quickly slides towards conspiracy. I am a revolutionary rather Gandhi than Marat.

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The more comedians there are, the more it denotes a decadent society

There have never been so many comedians as there are now. Is the period therefore particularly suitable for laughter?
The more comedians there are, the more it denotes a decadent society. This need to be entertained at all costs is not a sign that all is well, on the contrary. Historically, entertainment is: “Give them bread and games, they will calm down.” I preach against my parish but, in laughter, we simplify enormously, the thought is short and

it is quite worrying that we are turning to this so much. But what’s great about humor is the distance. When you have just taken the door, you do not laugh, but if you see the other take it, you can giggle! Humor, that’s it, a breath, a jewel of magic to change the mood.

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Your audience is eclectic and in a wide age range. Does it influence your writing?
I pay attention to language. I don’t want 7-year-olds saying “ass” to their parents after seeing my show. When I was young, I did shows at Disneyland Paris. At the time, guys stole costumes to do pseudo-porn backstage at the park, which they then posted on social media. I said to myself: “They are stupid but it’s funny.” Today, I see to what extent childhood is a dream time where everything is possible. To put Mickey and Minnie in a situation of hypersexuality is to break a little of this innocence. We shouldn’t touch it. I always think about it when I write.

Disneyland, congresses, birthdays… Did your first contracts bring you up the hard way?
They met me in 2006, when I was 30 years old. Before that, it was ten years hosting weddings and children’s tea parties and sometimes it was a little humiliating. You might think it’s easy today when you see me, but ten years ago I made a bowling ball appear at a convention and no one was looking at me… It’s huge, a bowling ball. bowling! That day, I went home, I cried.

There is a flaw in performing artists that drives them to seek recognition

Was it ego or is it because your job is to please others?
Of course we want to please but let’s be honest, we are above all looking to be loved. There is a flaw in performing artists that pushes them to seek recognition. Except that when they realize that, despite success, this void is never filled, they spin. Personally, I have “raised awareness”, but not yet cured.

Your show explores the flaws linked to childhood. Isn’t that just a way to heal your wounds?
There’s a whole too intimate part that I won’t recount, but the child that I was was disappointed by the adults. I never understood what was happening around me. I was told: “Good student but anti-school.” I found the solution, but not with the right method. My eldest son is HPI [haut potentiel intellectuel] and I see that the school system is not adapted. He does not accept extremes. Yes, it also annoys me this tendency to talk about HPI all the time. Most artists call themselves HPI. “I feel misunderstood!” You have to tell them that everyone is alone and that no one understands anyone! The basis of a healthy relationship is to accept that we do not know how the other works and that we are all different.

You say you are an eternal child. But don’t you have to be pragmatic to become a magician?
We are because we know we can do magic without being endowed with powers. Yes, I am pragmatic, it is the facts that interest me. But besides that, there is mysticism in me. When I went to the grave of my mother, Françoise, and at the same time Françoise Coquet, the producer of “Vivement dimanche”, born the same day as my mother, called me, the synchronicity of events was very amazing. .

You have signed up for a new season of “Lego Masters” on M6, you are in “France has incredible talent”. Television has become obvious?
I saw this with a little disdain at first. Except that I started with Michel Drucker, where I had a freedom that I would never have had elsewhere. On M6, I stepped out of my stage character – crazy, eccentric magician – and that gave me other colors. I see TV as an awesome popular medium, although I always differentiate with the stage.

Also read. Eric Antoine: “A magician is a crook, but an honest crook”

Is it really that different?
On TV, you are with people. Even though I’m rock’n’roll, I don’t take my shoes off when I walk into strangers’ houses and cut my toenails on the couch. On stage, I can do it! So I don’t speak and I don’t write in the same way for both. Especially since there is no second degree on television. On stage, we know that what you say is not necessarily what you think. On TV, you are considered to mean everything you say. Fortunately, this is not the case!

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Eric Antoine: “There is something mystical in me”

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