Magic, mystery and more
Prepare to have your minds blown.
That is, if you’re in the audience when Matthew Johnson, Christopher Taylor and Damien Carriere perform their Magic & Mystery show at the Terry Fox Theatre this Saturday night. The three magicians, two of whom live in Port Coquitlam, are joining forces to showcase their awe-inspiring talents that will leave show-goers, well, pretty awed.
(Seriously, a brief demonstration of some tricks and illusions during a recent interview left this reporter completely stunned and more than a little freaked out.)
That might be because the magicians each have some significant stage-cred.
Carriere, who lives in Chilliwack, had a rotating roster of no fewer than 11 resorts that he performed at regularly by the time he was 16 years old. Since then he’s picked up a handful of international awards, and performed around the world from North America to the Great Wall of China.
Johnson, originally from the UK, has become a master at several types of magic, having honed his skills in stints spanning from Japan to Las Vegas. These days, he’s most often touring the world, teaching fellow magicians the ropes at global conferences.
And Taylor, a one-time elementary teacher from Maple Ridge, decided to take his magic act from school club to full-time gig when he got a call from David Copperfield — yes, that David Copperfield — asking for Taylor’s help crafting an illusion.
“He’d seen an online effect I’d done and wanted me to build him one,” Taylor said. “He complimented me and said I was ‘brilliant,’ if I do say so myself.”
“Nobody’s ever called me,” Johnson deadpanned.
While Taylor specializes in a type of magic called mentalism, essentially crafting those goose-bump moments where he seems to read your mind, Johnson’s set is all about his larger-than-life personality and non-stop humour.
After graduating from high school in the UK, Johnson joined the circus as a clown. Later he spent a couple of years performing on cruise ships, followed by another two years in Nagoya, Japan as an illusionist (tricks like slicing people in half, piercing the assistant with multiple swords, etc.).
When he left Japan about 14 years ago he didn’t want to lug all the heavy props with him, so once he landed in B.C. Johnson re-made his act into an energetic, uproariously funny, occasionally politically incorrect schtick complete with bizarre balloon art, juggling and anything else that falls firmly in the tongue-in-cheek camp.
“I do some crazy dancing, I’m a model for the Gap, a bouncer for Toys ‘R’ Us,” Johnson said. “It’s fun, upbeat and off the wall.”
“And there’s really good magic, too,” Taylor interjected, noting his friend is a master at close-up magic, the sleight-of-hand card tricks that leave viewers utterly baffled.
“See why I love this guy?” Johnson replied. “That’s why we work so well together... I’m the nutbar and he’s the calm, collected, mysterious performer.”
Taylor, who has also been consulted by Criss Angel of Mindfreak fame, is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association (dubbed the “secret squirrel society” by his wife), building his show on the eery sense that he can literally read your mind.
“It’s a branch of magic that feels very real,” he explained.
In one trick, for example, a wife is seated on stage while Taylor stands beside her husband several rows up in the audience. She’s instructed to stand up the moment she feels a touch, which she does the moment Taylor taps the husband on the shoulder.
“It’s all about connection,” Taylor said.
“And that’s why it’s such a good mix with my brash humour,” Johnson quips.
“Because it’d be hard to take two hours of either of us,” Taylor adds.
And when the show ends, be prepared to leave the the theatre wondering, “How’d he DO that?” because, like any true magician, these guys aren’t giving up their secrets.
Believe me, I tried.
• The Magic & Mystery show is at the Terry Fox Theatre (1260 Riverwood Gate, Port Coquitlam) Saturday, March 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10, available by calling 604-788-9046.
Visit www.terryfoxtheatre.com for more details.