Magician Jason Verners has a reputation for connecting with his audiences. But for his upcoming show, Millennial, he aims to take that to the next level.
The 19-year-old Langford resident, performing magic shows since his early teens, has made a name for himself in regional magic circles for his adeptness with cards and innovative shows. For the Dec. 1 performance he plans to offer an evening of magic that “doesn’t feel forced and feels so natural.”
“It’s more about connecting with the audience … it’s not even about me, it’s about us all creating a moment,” he says with a tone that hints at his increasingly worldly approach to magic and entertainment.
Verners is methodical about his material and is in continual study mode. He watches top-level international magicians to glean showmanship ideas and uses the voice memo function on his cellphone to record ideas for bits for his shows.
He is always trying to improve and fine-tune his act as a way of making it more relevant to his audiences. He’s also quite conscious of not coming across as the “kid with the cards,” a reference to his early growth in the world of magic.
“I’m not playing the ‘kid’ card any more, I want to go out there and kill it,” he says.
Thus the name of his show, Millennial.
“The show is much more of a theatre piece. It’s a magic show, but it’s so much bigger than that, with social media elements and music,” he says.
Parts of the show will take unrehearsed turns as well, with the direction based on decisions made by audience members during the show, Verners says. For someone in a field where misdirection is one of the keys, being prepared for other people to steer the ship takes hours of practice – not to mention confidence.
“I know where I am and what I can do,” he says on his onstage presence. “I just want to push myself.”
Verners’ tour schedule is rather gruelling, especially with him now studying at Camosun College. He estimates he’ll perform 100 shows this year.
“I tour constantly which is great,” he said, noting that he did shows in the Okanagan this summer with legendary Victoria magician Murray Hatfield. “I think I know what my body can handle and how many shows I can crank out.”
Millennial comes to Glenlyon Norfolk School (801 Bank St.) on Dec. 1, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $35, available online at jasonverners.com or in person at Lyle’s Place and Vinyl Envy.