Magician Jason Verners

Teen magician premiers new tricks

Jason Verners, 15, has practised and performed magic since he was seven years old.



Grade 10 student Jason Verners’ friends can’t stand magic.

The thing is, Verners, 15, has practised and performed magic since he was seven years old. He has a wide variety of original tricks to his name, has played gigs all over North America and still finds time to attend Belmont secondary school.

And his friends are guinea pigs for new material.

“They hate magic now, that’s the best way to put it,” Verners laughs. “I’m like ‘Can I do this? What did you not like? Hey, let me show you again,’ for three hours and they’re like ‘What are you kidding me?’”

The bug started for Verners when, so he’s told, he was trotted up on a stage in front of a crowd at a Christmas party and loved the attention. Two years later he received a magic kit and began performing for his family. He was hooked.

Now with shows in Las Vegas, Florida, Toronto, Vancouver and Greater Victoria under his belt, Verners is a veteran of the stage. He speaks of corporate gigs, fundraisers and palling around with famous magicians and musicians, yet he also worries about being late for class and finding a ride home.

Magic is an outlet for Verners, who said as an only child found a lot of free time on his hands while growing up.

“I wasn’t good at hockey, I wasn’t good at soccer. I tried them and I was so bad. Magic was just this space where I was like ‘I do something that no one else can.’”

In his performances Verners acts a perhaps exaggerated version of himself, rather than some persona. He said he admires magicians who can put on a whole extravagant character, but he simply can’t be anything but himself.

“I’m this little teenage boy who likes wearing button-up shirts all the way,” Verners said, shrugging. “It’s like a professional teenager, in a way.”

While magic is an important aspect, Verners ultimate goal is to put on a good show. He revolves his tricks around stories, jokes and music to fill out the experience, and uses audience participation throughout.

“There’s sometimes when you’re in a show and you’re talking to someone …  and something so funny happens,” Verners said. “The people make the show good.”

The use of technology is another gimmick perhaps setting Verners apart from his older peers. He has a whole host of tricks revolving around cellphones and iPods, using audience member’s devices to complete the gag.

Having good people skills and an outgoing personality are the greatest tools a magician can have, Verners said. Once you nail that, anyone can learn tricks, he believes.

That’s not to say it’s simple. It takes practice and dedication, hours spent working with a deck of cards while watching TV or using the computer. Even then, Verners always strives to move beyond basic tricks into areas truly amazing, bringing creativity into the mix.

“I hate clever. I don’t want it to be clever, I want it to be magical,” Verners said.

With a show this Thursday, Dec. 5 at Al Smith Studio (660 Discovery St.) at 7:30 p.m., Verners will unveil a batch of new tricks, along with a couple of classics, in a small intimate setting of about 60 people.

“It’s nerve-wracking but it’s so exciting,” Verners said.

Tickets for the show are $20 plus fees and available at brownpapertickets.com.

 

 

Just Posted

West Shore skatepark moves closer to fruition

Company estimates project will cost $600,000

Well-versed in national competition, trio heads to B.C. Summer Games

The three will be representing Zone 6 in boys field lacrosse

Canada men’s sevens team hoping for a top eight finish

Captain Harry Jones hopes to inspire rugby youth

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Proposed charges will cost Saanich housing affordability

The head of the association representing home builders in the Greater Victoria… Continue reading

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Most Read