The Wizard of Dunedin, Jonathan Usher, won a big prize at a national magic convention. Video / ODT / Craig Baxter
Jonathan Usher won the highest honor at Magicana – the Magicians Challenge Trophy for Best Actor in the Evening Cabaret Show – held in Auckland on Sunday.
It also won the award for Best Comedy Magic Performance and Most Entertaining Performance Overall.
That means he won half of the six prizes on offer at the event, which was attended by around 80 magicians from across New Zealand.
Usher said it was exciting to win the highest award because he had never entered a magic competition before and had no expectation of winning on his first try.
Winning the competition would give him and his career credibility and be good for marketing.
Usher, who runs 15 Z Energy stations in the South, said despite a day job he still found time to put on 100 to 200 magic shows a year across New Zealand.
This included performances for birthdays and visits to schools.
Usher came to magic late but quickly became addicted to it.
“I started because I was confused with magic and how it worked.”
His favorite tricks mixed with a bit of comedy.
“I like making people laugh, and the magic is hard to explain, but hopefully people’s attitudes might change if they don’t believe it.”
Her winning performance was rich in comedy and included tricks involving a rope, cards, and a whiteboard.
“I only had 12 minutes, so 12 minutes to have a little fun with the audience and get out of there.”
He will present his winning magic show next month at the Dunedin courthouse.
International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 160 president and event organizer Andy Wonder praised Usher, saying the audience loved him and he was a deserving winner.
“He won three of the six awards, which is unprecedented, truly unprecedented.”
It was the first time the convention had been held in 24 years, which he credited with magicians sharing their tips online instead of meeting to compete.
Holding the convention brought back fond memories of the 1980s and 1990s, when magic was much more popular.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-10 20:42:19