Features/Kids/Q&A/Sponsored Content/What to SEE/Magic

What to SEE: Abra Da-Cameron! regional tour

9 May 2023

With an interactive magic show that sees an audience member involved in every trick, Cameron the Magician promises you’ll leave feeling like you’ve made a new magical bestie.

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If you’re craving a little magic in your life, and you live in Esperance, Pemberton, Lake Grace, Carnavon, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Shark Bay or Cue, you’re in luck – Cameron the Magician is bringing his Fringe World show Abra Da-Cameron your way.

Offering opportunities to participate for those who are especially keen, Cameron is looking forward to sharing his love of magic with audiences around regional WA.

Inspired as a kid by the likes of Penn and Teller, Cameron fell in love with magic in his early 20s. Ten years later, it’s his full-time job.

Ahead of the tour, Nina Levy spoke to Cameron the Magician to find out more.

Nina Levy: Tell me about your childhood, Cameron. When did you first become interested in performance, and more specifically, in magic?

Cameron the Magician

Cameron the Magician: I grew up poor in a rough neighbourhood. I was a very smart kid but was also a bit of a class clown.

I was always drawn to performance, and I can remember the exact moment all fear of public speaking disappeared, in year 3, when I took a deep breath and dramatically read a Valentine’s poem to the class.

I first became interested in magic when I got called on stage to do a trick with Patches and Sparkles, a couple of clowns that would perform a Christmas show at the Fremantle Yacht Club that my grandparents took me to every year.

Magic took a bit of a back seat through later schooling. I went to John Curtin for drama and changed my focus to acting. During this time, I got really into Penn and Teller, watching everything I could. Their different approach to magic, stepping away from the top hats and magic wands, really piqued my interest.

NL: How did you become a professional magician?

CM: I didn’t get serious about magic until I was 21. I was at my old job (Adventure World), talking to a colleague, when I was playing around with a business card, making it appear from behind my hand. We started talking more about magic, and one day I brought in a pack of cards, and we started playing around with some tricks.

After a few months, I fell in love with the art form. I popped an ad up on Gumtree for $50 birthday parties a couple of months later and started performing “professionally”.

Over the next year, I did some terrible gigs, but you have to start somewhere. Year after year I improved, increased my fee and got more clients. Ten years later, it is now my full-time job.

I’m essentially self-taught, using videos and books, though being a member of the Western Australian Society of Magicians, I have also been able to learn a few things from other magicians.

NL: In addition to being a magician you’re also in your third year of a degree in primary education. How does your knowledge of education inform your practice as a magician?

And vice versa?

CM: Education and magic actually have a lot of parallels. They’re both performative, require adaptive thinking and creative problem solving, and require a solid understanding of how people think. Managing an audience is kind of like managing a classroom, just with a lot more people.

Obviously, having a trick up my sleeve is an incredible tool to have in a school environment. It’s a fantastic icebreaker when meeting students and staff, and being able to offer a very unique end-of-class activity is usually a good incentive for positive behaviour from the students.

‘The best magic happens right before your eyes, or even in your hands!’ Cameron the Magician on stage with a young audience member. Photo supplied

NL: As a magician you offer school incursions that include stage shows and workshops. Aside from being entertained, what are the benefits to kids (and adults) of a magic session?

CM: Magic has so many benefits I could write an essay about it. In fact, I am for one of my units.

Learning magic can improve cognitive skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and even improve creative thinking skills. It can also greatly increase social emotional learning through encouraging participation, practicing audience behaviour, building empathy for others, and promotes imaginative play. I could go on, but the reference list would get too big!

NL: Tell me about Abra Da-Cameron!, the show you’re about to tour. What can audiences expect?

CM: Abra Da-Cameron! is my award-winning kids show. Though it is technically a kids’ show, I always say it’s more of a family show, as my goal is to make it just as fun for the adults (if not more).

Audiences can expect a hilarious show filled with impressive magic, and might even have a chance to get on stage and help out with a trick! Every trick I do involves a member of the audience, as I believe the best magic happens right before your eyes, or even in your hands!

‘Getting as many people involved in the show as possible is always a key ingredient’ Cameron the Magician on stage with a young audience member. Photo supplied

Inclusion is a big focus of mine, both in magic and education, so getting as many people involved in the show as possible is always a key ingredient. Some people might feel a bit shy, or even scared to get involved, and that’s okay – I would never force someone onstage who didn’t want to be there.

That being said, in all my years of performing, I think I’ve only ever had like three people outright refuse to participate. I love to come out and meet everyone before the show event starts, so hopefully by the time I need a helper, I’ve already made friends with everyone and they feel comfortable getting up onstage with me!

One review I received had the line “more than one person will become a magician as a direct result of seeing this show,” and that really sums up what I want audiences to take away from the show. I want people to come enjoy an hour of fun and laughter, experience the artform that I have dedicated so much of my life to. I want them to walk away having learned something about magic, and maybe something about themselves.

Catch Abra Da-Cameron on his regional tour:

Esperance: 25 May 2023
Pemberton: 27 May 2023
Lake Grace: 2 June 2023
Carnarvon: 8 June, 2023
Tom Price: 10 June, 2023
Paraburdoo: 12 June, 2023
Shark Bay: 17 June, 2023
Cue: 19 June, 2023

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Author —
Nina Levy

Nina Levy has worked as an arts writer and critic since 2007. She co-founded Seesaw and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017. As a freelancer she has written extensively for The West Australian and Dance Australia magazine, co-editing the latter from 2016 to 2019. Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.

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