by James Kasper
Victoria’s Jason Verners is an entertainer on the rise. Though not yet a household name, at just 19, he is already an internationally acclaimed magician, and he has recently returned from a stint in the U.S where he was a magic consultant on a Twentieth Century Fox feature film. Verners is launching his new show Millennial December 1 in Victoria, and I recently spoke with him about his career.
Monday Magazine (MM): What is your earliest memory of doing magic, and what made you want to pursue a career in magic?
Jason Verners (JV): In my backyard when I was maybe eight years old. The trick involved a phone book and was so complex I had to have my dad helping me on stage in order for the trick to work. It involved a ton of math.
MM: What can people expect if they attend your Dec.1st show? Will there be surprises? How will it be different from your past performances?
JV: Millennial is a show that really focuses on creating emotion. It isn’t your typical magic show at all. It is about creating moments of magic with the whole audience, not just me on stage. The production uses all kinds of technology to make the magic modern, but I wanted to also keep it simple and genuine. I brought the very best people on board to make this the best show possible. I really pushed myself. All of my productions take blood, sweat and tears, but this one was even more than that. This show feels like where I should be. Anyone who has ever heard my name or thought about going to a magic show in general, this is the one – you won’t be disappointed. I’ll bet my reputation on it.
MM: What is happening for you in the magic world these days?
JV: It’s pretty crazy right now. I just wrapped consulting for a feature film with Twentieth Century Fox, which was wild. I’m constantly travelling with the show. The week following Millennial, I will be up for a run of six shows in the interior. Something that is on the horizon is taking the show to Europe for a run, and getting back into competing. I would love to compete in the world championships again.
MM: What do you think it is about magic that captivates and fascinates people so much?
JV: I think it can be many different things for different people. It can be the eye-candy of magic, but for me, it is creating a moment of wonder for the audience, just like when you were a kid, and everything was magical.
MM: What is your absolute biggest, loftiest goal for your career?
JV: My biggest dream is to be able to look back and be proud of what I created. I would love to see the world and have people travel from far and wide to see the show.
MM: Who are your biggest influences?
JV: My influences are Walt Disney, David Blaine, and Bob Dylan. Weird mix, I know.
MM: You incorporate a lot of comedy into your magic act. Is this standard practice for magicians, or is it part of your own special brand? If it’s standard, how would you describe your style of comedy?
JV: I guess it is becoming standard. I don’t really think I’m funny. I just like to have fun on stage, which creates great moments, which are often funny.
MM: How would you describe the role of the audience at your magic shows?
JV: They have a massive role in the show, as their answers and participation make each show so much different from the last. I don’t want the audience to feel as though they are watching TV. I want them to feel involved.
Jason Verners presents his new show MIllenial December 1 at Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are availale at jasonverners.com, Lyle’s Place, and Vinyl Envy.