An award-winning Victoria magician travelled to Spain recently to take part in the country’s television show, “Got Talent Espana.”
Jason Verners was in Madrid earlier this summer for a whirlwind performance on the show, which airs Saturday night.
“It was a great experience. The crew was fantastic, the rest of the acts were lovely to work with as well, and it’s just been a really interesting experience, especially because of the language barrier,” Verners told CHEK News.
During his performance, a translator would speak to Verners through an earpiece, relaying messages between him and the judges.
“Not only was it a huge learning experience, but I’m really happy with how my piece turned out, and I hope the country likes it and I hope the people at home can sort of rally around a little Victoria kid to maybe make a little splash on an international scene.”
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Verners says he was interested in travelling to Spain because the country is the “mecca of magic” in the world.
“The best magicians all live in Spain, and when you’re in Madrid there’s like 20 magic shows going on every evening and all of them are phenomenal,” he said.
“So I kind of wanted to dive into where the magic’s the best, where the competition’s the best, and stylistically it’s so different than what I do here in North America.”
Verners has performed in venues across the country and in the U.S., including in Las Vegas.
He says that while the stage in Spain may not have been the largest he’s performed in terms of seating, the show was certainly the highest-profile act he’s been involved with.
“Being on a ‘Got Talent’ stage comes with a whole whack of different challenges,” he said.
“You’re not in a showcase, you’re in a competition, and I find that very interesting because I haven’t competed as a magician since I was probably 16,” he said. “I haven’t been in that competitive mindset where people are all trying to get the same prize. and I find the pressure was definitely on.”
Verners started performing magic when he was about eight or nine, and CHEK News followers may recognize him for his “Magic Monday” segments on The Upside.
He says it was tough for Canadian performers to weather the pandemic, and now he’s working on rediscovering what he loves most about sleight of hand magic.
“I would say now it’s re-finding that love as a kid, and The Upside is a good platform for that because Ed and Jeff are basically just two big kids and I get to hang out with them, and it kind of restarts that wonder when I was a kid.”
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Verners says he considers himself lucky to be performing magic as a career, and encourages anyone who wants to make a living in the arts to give it their all.
“For anyone young starting out in any artform, I’d say just take the leap.”