Tag Archives: Magicians

Casting Call

26 Jun

Magicana is looking for experienced entertainers, specializing in magic, dance and music for a variety of community programs to be conducted in the Greater Toronto Area. If interested, please contact us along with your theatre and entertainment experience.

We are looking for somebody who can fulfill any of these categories:

1. Instructors/Assistants for Children’s Programming

We are looking for entertainers to instruct/lead a variety of children’s workshops and multiple week courses at schools, community centres and hospitals. This will involve teaching simple magic tricks and guiding children in performing these tricks for an audience. This can include young children (6-10) or youth (10-16).

2. Entertainers for Senior’s Programming

We also conduct dozens of shows each year at nursing and retirement communities in and around the Greater Toronto Area. We are especially interested in engaging magic geared for an adult audience that’s easy to see, hear and simple to understand, but are open to other types of entertainers as well.

Please note that a screening process is involved in working with vulnerable groups like children and seniors. This includes reference checks and criminal record checks.

Please send your contact info and entertainment experience to:

Ellise Ramos
Program Coordinator
(T): 416 913 9034
(@): ellise@magicana.com

Mind Over Matter

21 Jun

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The calm is now upon us after the thrilling chaos that was Luminato and what are we left with? The satisfying aftertaste of success from  the Mind Over Matter magical series!

Mind Over Matter

For this year’s Luminato, Magicana went with the saying, “Mind Over Matter”, a term originally used to refer to paranormal phenomena, to best describe the magic behind these three performers. While each show was different from the other, they all had a common theme: how magic is essentially delivered and perceived through the power of the mind.

The world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, astounded, intrigued and inspired crowds with his life story through The Alpha Project, while Richard Turner cheated his way into the hearts of Torontonians with his incredible feats in card manipulation. Similarly, Juan Esteban Varela, despite NOT being the blonde with rippling muscles as he claimed to be, resonated strongly with From the Dark, as he made his mark with one of magic’s most experiential, groundbreaking shows to date.

The Alpha Project: Insight into the Life of a Mentalist

The Alpha Project revealed Banachek’s life story. Having gone through a trying childhood – abandoned at age 9 – Banachek embraced these tribulations and used them to support him on his way to becoming a mentalist. At 18, Banachek made headlines when, for a period of four years under close scrutiny, he convinced research scientists at Washington University that he was psychic. Entitled Project Alpha,the purpose of this experiment was to disprove others who claimed to be real psychics and to declare to the world that even scientists, when lacking expertise in the arts of deception, can be easily misled.

With rave reviews from The Toronto Star, Mooney on Theatre and Torontoist, it looks like The Alpha Project fulfilled its purpose in spreading this word!

The Cheat: Why One Should Never Play Cards with Strangers

In between wowing spectators for Luminato, Richard Turner, “The Cheat” also performed for Holland Bloorview and the Parliament Branch Library. Rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, blackjack and three card monte then ensued between Richard Turner and the audience. The end results, of course, always went according to his liking, despite the inordinate amount of shuffles by audience members and, at some rounds, with limited cards.

Richard Turner, along with boggling the minds of Toronto,  also charmed the hosts of the Morning Show and the CBC’s Eli Glasner. See Richard’s part in this CBC News clip in which Eli Glasner calls today’s age a “Magic Renaissance“.

From the Dark: Magic at Its Purest Form

For the closing weekend of Luminato, we followed Juan Esteban Varela, blindfolded, as he guided us through his new show, From the Dark – the only magic show that happens in absolute darkness. With everyone participating, the show quickly became an experience with a sea of voices in an unknown space. These factors contributed to the show’s overall mystery, which is essentially magic in its base form.  Indeed, Toronto Star and Cadence Canada both agreed that From the Dark was truly unique in its premise and most of all, its effect.

And so, we end Luminato 6 with invigorating vibes and positive feedback from Toronto.

Volunteers are magic

26 Nov

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There is nothing more inspiring that watching the children from Magicana’s My Magic Hands program. I have been leading this particular program at Holland Bloorview for six years now, and I still can’t get over how amazing it is to see a young student blossom into a confident and charming performer.

Today, we had about 100 people in attendance at the hospital to see The Big Show – a show by students to showcase their favourite magic trick from five weeks of training with our My Magic Hands team. Each performer overcame nervous “butterflies” and really impressed their friends, family and, of course, their magic coaches with stellar performances! Watching these little ones transform over  week by week at the hospital is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had  as a professional magician.

However, as impressive as these children are to me, I also marvel at the power of volunteering and how it impacts participants. We create a supporting role for volunteers in the program by calling them “magic coaches” – and the coaches at Holland Bloorview filled their titles to a tee. We had four volunteers work alongside staff and magic instructors from Magicana, to coach each child through the rigour of learning their magic tricks. Volunteers dutiflly gave their time, energy and encouraging attitudes each week to support their young wards.

Getting up and performing in front of such a large group is a daunting task for most. In fact today, one participant wanted to withdraw from the show. It was heartwarming to see how coaches immediately pounced into action. They rallied behind our wavering magician and quickly melted her nervous fears, enabling her to work through the stage fright and ultimately, to bask in applause. I could not have been more proud.

The secret to our program is the high-level of dedicated volunteers that we have the privilege of working with. To all our volunteers, thank you for giving the invaluable gift of your time –  and for sharing wonder!

Julie Eng,
Executive Director

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