26 C
Brantford
Friday, July 12, 2024

Brandon Montour to bring Stanley Cup to Six Nations

Burford and Six Nations residents supported their...

Rob Davis reflects as sun sets on career with BPS

As Rob Davis’ tenure with Brantford Police...

BPS Officer awarded Ontario Medal for Police Bravery

Brantford Police Service Constable Trevor Taylor received...

Living a magical childhood dream 

Community ProfileLiving a magical childhood dream 

Graeme Reed, known professionally as “Graemazing,” has been enthralled with the world of magic since he was a child and the path that followed, led him to where he is now.

His first introduction to magic came from seeing magicians perform on television.

“When I was a kid, probably about seven years old, I saw magic on TV. You know, it was David Copperfield, and these illusion shows, these specials called “World’s Greatest Magic” and it would kind of be similar to something like “America’s Got Talent” today,” he said. “It would showcase magicians from all over the world, the top performers, everything from a mind reader to a comedian, an illusionist and a card magician. It gave you the whole thing and showed you that there’s even more kinds of magic. Then I remember David Blaine came out in the early 2000’s with Street Magic, and I kind of really learned about card tricks at that point.”

A young Reed then visited his local public library in Ancaster and picked up two VHS tapes to begin learning simple tricks with everyday objects at home. Later, he attended a small magic camp at the Ancaster Town Hall and the young magician was hooked. He wanted to learn even more.

“I remember, you could order a catalog from the then two magic stores in Toronto and you could flip through and read the description of a trick, and that’s how I got into ordering magic tricks,” he said. “Eventually, we would do road trips to the magic stores, and you’d get to meet the shop owner and I found out, if you really want to learn more, buy a book with a bunch of tricks in it, maybe even pick up a DVD, and that’s how I kind of really started.”

From there, he began doing kid’s birthday parties, but it all changed for him when he visited a restaurant and saw a magician performing card magic at various tables.

“I thought it was so fascinating that this was a thing you could do. Then my parents found out about other magicians because there’s only a few that do this, and they found some in the area for me. I eventually kind of shadowed one in Hamilton, his name was “Magic Mike,” obviously this was before the movie came out,” he laughed. “He’s a legend in Hamilton and he’s like one of those flair bartending jugglers and he’s won many championships and everything. So, he kind of taught me and showed me the ropes.”

It wasn’t long before Reed started doing his own restaurant magic.

“One of the first restaurants I ever performed at was here in Brantford and it was called Mexicali Rosa’s, and I would do one show there and one in Hamilton at the same restaurant, and I would do both shows in the same week,” he said. “And that’s kind of how you earn your chops, you know? You would go table to table, with too many tricks filling your pockets and you would look so silly. Then eventually you learn the tricks that really suit you and your personality, and you would get good at it before you got better.”

Reed said that he often reflects on why he was so drawn to magic but has narrowed it down to a couple of reasons.

“This is something I always explore, like why this? and I think about a lot of the things I’m interested in and it kind of makes sense. The two things I’m really interested in are magic and pro-wrestling,” he laughed. “Those two things, if you look at them, they’re kind of like the stems of the carnival and I think that’s what attracts me. I love any aspect of performance art and theatre art, but more in a comedic sense… something that’s lighthearted and fun. I think it’s also in the realm of being a fun prank. Like we all want to see a magic trick, we all know that no one is going to get harmed, and we know it’s going to be totally fun in the end. It’s not like pro-wrestling where I’m going to get harmed in any way.”

He noted it’s also likely because of the control of the environment around you.

“When you’re doing a magic trick, you’re very much in control of the environment, the situation and the outcome of what’s going on,” he said. It’s really about creating what appears to be an impromptu experience, but everything’s kind of fabricated in the sense that you really learn human nature and how people respond at the right time, and that’s how misdirection works and everything like that.”

Reed went on to perform in restaurants for 20 years before the pandemic hit, and while he doesn’t know if he will return to doing that type of entertainment in the future, he’s found other avenues of performing and being creative.

The magician also went to school at Mohawk College for Television Broadcasting and when he wasn’t performing magic on the side, he worked full-time at CHCH for ten years in the control room and eventually in creative services before leaving to officially pursue magic.

“I left my career to pursue magic full time because I felt like I had enough connections and enough work in the books, as well as a lot of momentum happening,” he said. “Then unfortunately, COVID hit, and it was a real challenge to figure everything out. I was very much feeling like ‘what do I do?’”

At the time, he was hosting a podcast for magicians where they were talking about the pain points for magicians and how to improve it. The podcast team even won the 2022 “Readers’ Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year through Canada’s Magic.

“We were talking about magic theory all the time and we started talking about how do we solve the pandemic? And virtual magic shows had started to become a thing, though it wasn’t a new idea because magicians were already doing this because people were already working remotely doing virtual meetings,” he said. “But now, it was really being shared amongst the community and it became a question of ‘okay, how can we run with this?’ Luckily, I have broadcast and technical experience, so I quickly googled things like ‘how do those Twitch video game streamers do what they do? because they have a screen share, video cameras, sound effects, and things like graphics. I know how to do that in a control room, but I wanted to know how to do it from home.”

Once he figured out it was easy for him to do, and with the help of a previous connection he had made with the Nova Mutual Insurance Company, he got his first virtual gig.

“They asked me to do a virtual magic show and they were blown away by the experience and they asked if I could produce their webinars,” he said. “Then they wanted to do a podcast, so I produced their podcast and then slowly they brought me onto their team and I’m still with them. Now, I do all their kind of content media and multimedia. So, I use all my broadcast experience and what I know from Magic. Ultimately, I kind of fell back into broadcasting, but I continue to share magic at a semi-professional level.”

Reed said that since working with Nova Mutual, he’s gained a unique passion for community experiences.

“We do a lot of community work, so we’ll go to things like the Women’s Shelter and we make a video. It’s very much, tell us what you do, how can people help? And we help people get connected. We give another tool and resource to everybody,” he said. “So we did this for the hospice just recently, and now I have a whole new passion of doing magic in more of these community environments and not so much like chasing some sort of weird other goal. Not that I really had a goal, I just wanted to perform, but it’s way more rewarding than fulfilling your own personal ego.”

Since entering the world of magic at a young age, one thing is clear, Reed has opened a host of opportunities for himself, from doing a TEDx talk, to being Doug “the Great” Hunt’s Guinness World Record Verification and Video\Photograph Coordinator, he continues to work on projects that nurture his passions.

His advice for those looking into getting into magic, is simple.

“If anyone was interested in really learning magic and discovering more, there are local magic clubs you should look into joining,” he said. “The best person to reach out to would actually probably be Doug Hunt because he’s the president of the local Hamilton Magic Club. I first met him at the club when I was a kid, and it’s people like Doug that keep someone like me doing magic.”

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles