Prepare to be amazed!
In an exciting new announcement, Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium – an experiential magic exhibit located in Toronto- is opening its doors today to the public. The incredibly immersive experience features life-size holograms, live magicians, and 3D projections that are sure to excite and intrigue. Today, HOLR is sitting down with lead magician, Cameron Gibson, to discuss his passion for performing magic and what we can expect when visiting Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium.
Tell us about yourself and your interest in performing magic. How did you become a magician?
My interest in magic came through a fairly unusual route in the world of magic. Most magicians will be able to tell you some version of the story that they got a magic set when they were 10 and that was it – they were hooked! And while I always remember loving to watch magic shows growing up, my start in performing magic came a little later in life. I started performing magic when I was around 17 years old when a classmate of mine started doing a few card tricks to impress people at school. I’ve always had an interest in how things work (I actually always wanted to be an “inventor” when I grew up!) and so that part of me just HAD to know how the tricks worked. So off I went to YouTube and tried to find out the secrets – and eventually, I did! I also was lucky to grow up in Edinburgh, Scotland which; aside from being a beautiful city in itself; is also the home of the world’s largest arts festival – the Edinburgh Fringe. The sheer scale of the Fringe meant that I managed to secure fun little guest spots in small variety shows when I was quite young (and not very good!) which is really where I cut my teeth and managed to grow into the performer that I am today.
Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium will be opening on July 29th. Can you tell us about your role in the show as a lead magician?
Of course! My role as a lead magician started back in November 2020 when I moved across the pond from Scotland to start construction of the venue and rehearsals with the amazing team of creatives and performers. Since then, my role involves almost every style of magic where I help oversee everything from classic magic performed by our very own “Victorian Magician”, large-scale “Las Vegas-style” illusions, high-tech lasers all the way to close-up & sleight of hand magic that the lucky VIPs will have the chance to experience. I absolutely love this challenge as it really allows me to apply my knowledge of different types of magic across the board in a way that we magicians rarely get to do when constructing our own shows.
I know magicians are never supposed to reveal their secrets, but what are some of your favourite types of magic tricks to perform?
I personally love to perform a type of magic that is usually known as mentalism, but is sometimes referred to as “psychological mind reading”. It uses magic techniques along with psychology and showmanship in order to give the illusion that I can read your mind or influence your decisions. The beauty of this style of magic is that it all happens within the mind of the audience. There are rarely any big props or flashy boxes; it’s just me, my audience, and their thoughts and experiences.
How do you think the pandemic has impacted magic shows, both virtually and in real life?
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a monumental impact on every area of our lives but particularly within the arts and entertainment industry. Back at the start of the pandemic, many performers (myself included) were forced to adapt and create virtual shows that overcome the limitations of not being able to be in the same room as our audience and although it really was the learning curve of the century, I think that once the industry reopens a little more, the changes that the pandemic has had will create a much more interesting space, especially for magic. Quite often you hear that the limitations or constraints can make us more creative. And actually, it’s the exact limitation of a pandemic that brought Illusionarium to life. We wanted to create a magic show that could be enjoyed safely during the pandemic and so this one constraint allowed Jamie and the team to really push the boundaries of not only what a magic show is; but what it has the potential to be.
What can we expect when visiting Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium?
Oh my goodness where to start! At Illusionarium you can expect to see some amazing history of magic, starting your journey in Paris in the 1600s at the birthplace of modern magic – The Palais Royal and finishing up at the present day and beyond with our high-tech show “Evolusion”. You’ll meet a hologram of Houdini, countless magical posters and artifacts including a whole raft of real stage illusions, and even a barrel that was floated over Niagara Falls… with a magician inside! You’ll get to experience each of our beautifully designed sets from the Egyptian Hall to On-Air Studios, our own TV studio where Penn & Teller will actually make magic happen in your own hands. And of course, it wouldn’t be a magic show without one or two BIG secrets along the way… you’ll just have to come visit us to find out!
If you’re interested in learning more about the experience, you can visit the website here for additional details and bookings.
Published by HOLR Magazine.