In 2020 magic went through a radical change – moving predominantly online for the first time in existence.
During that time Ben Train and his [life] partner Jonah Babins performed more than 300 virtual shows for audiences all over the world – and of all ages and sizes. They also produced the world’s first 8-bit virtual magic convention, transformed their magic company so it could operate entirely online, and worked with countless magicians helping them with their virtual shows.
Now Ben and Jonah want to share what they learnt and answer any questions you might have. They’ve got advice on marketing your online shows, tips on how to maximize virtual audience engagement, and insight into what you can do to make 2021 your most magical year yet. This is not a traditional lecture filled with tricks – but it will be a fun night all about the world of virtual magic; filled with learning, laughs, and lots of snacks.*
Jonah Babins Matt DiSero Michael Feldman Graemazing Steffi Kay Felice Ling Aaron Matthews Mysterion Ben “Racoon Tamer” Train
In the past year we have been forced to make drastic and rapid changes if we wanted to continue performing. We have assembled a panel of performers, each of whom has made their own transition into the virtual space and found a way to perform from home. The panel will share their experiences, what works, what doesn’t, the challenges they have overcome and the gadgets and gizmos that make virtual performances possible.
Hosted by David Peck. David is the host of the Face2Face podcast with over five hundred episodes as well as a philosopher and a life-long student of magic. He will try to keep our ragtag rig of rowdy rapscallions and ragamuffins under control.
Jonah Babins is the host of the Discourse in Magic podcast, The Newest Trick in the Book and the co-founder of the Toronto Magic Company. In addition to professional development, he enjoys long walks on the beach and unrolling his eyes after Ben Train has done something irritating.
Matt DiSero is a magician, comedian and aspiring Time Lord. Along with his trusty sidekick Hartnell the Chicken he has brought joy, delight, wonder and sarcasm to audiences across Canada and the world.
Michael Feldman nerdy intellectual property lawyer by day, nerdy magic superstar by night, masked crime fighter at tea time. Known for blending mind bending sleight of hand with mind blowing philosophical puzzles.
Graemazing is a level seven wizard with a black belt and a starfish badge in mind reading. Yes, those are real things.
Steffi Kay is the taller and more sartorially resplendant half of the Sentimentalists having appeared on America’s Got Talent & Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
Felice Ling is a social scientist, a Boston-based magician, and an international street performer. She has performed in festivals and on the streets of three different continents, but spent most of her pre-pandemic time performing in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. She’s also the Founder of the Boston Magic Lab, a monthly open mic magic show that just celebrated its one year anniversary.
Aaron Matthews has been electrifying crowds across Canada and the Caribbean since he was four years old. In his teenage years, Aaron was a featured Magician at some of the biggest theme parks and fairs in Canada including Canada’s Wonderland & West Edmonton Mall. For the past two October’s you can find him starring in his spookiest creation, The Kill Show, featured at Toronto’s Largest Halloween Attraction. Off stage he’s a writer & consultant bringing magic to TV Shows, Music Videos & Major Theme Park Entertainment. Nearest to his heart, Aaron performs for children in hospitals around the world who need positivity and laughter the most! Aaron’s currently performing the finale of Illusionarium in Toronto!With his amazing one of a kind magic, hilarious personality and engaging nature, you will be sure to have a blast with Aaron Matthews!
Mysterion is Toronto’s crown prince of weird. Vincent Price meets Eddie Munster… with Don Cherry’s wardrobe. The shorter half of the Sentimentalists, who have appeared on America’s Got Talent and fooled Penn & Teller.
Ben Train is a trainer of racoons, wrangler of ducks and connoisseur of fine whiskeys. He has lectured across Canada, the US, the UK and now performs virtually at the Margaret Catwood Virtual Magic theatre alongside Jonah Babins who after being in lockdown with him for nine months has managed somehow not to smother him in his sleep.
Are you really still reading this at this point? We gave up after Felice.
Thank so much to everyone who tuned to watch our show last night. Conjuring for a Cure featured 20 magicians from Toronto and around the world and we raised over $5,500 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Thank you to our performers who donated their time and talent:
Jonah Babins, David Ben, Ian Crawford, Matt DiSero, Shawn Farquhar, Gerry Frenette, Robert Herd, Lulu Lin, Patrick Nemeth, Paul Pacific, Marty Papernick, David Peck, Jeff Pinsky, Gordon Precious, Khanya Rubushe, Ari Soroka, Ben Train, Glenn West, “Brookalini” Westfall, Mark Wicken, Andrew Woo
If you missed the show, check it out:
And the link is still open if you would like to DONATE.
Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and contributed to a great show. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to more magic in 2021.
Where: Imperial Pub (54 Dundas Street East, Toronto)
Admission: FREE for members
When it comes to magic in the city of Toronto, we really are spoiled rotten. And we often fail to appreciate the talent right in our back yard. So a group of us are getting to share some magic in what is quite possibly the most eclectic group lecture ever. So far confirmed:
Glenn West – One of the most obsessively dedicated sleight-of-hand technicians we’ve ever met. When we watch Glenn’s magic, our eyes pop out of our heads.
Chris Mayhew – master of mayhem, comedy and duct tape. When he performs, you should not just “expect the unexpected”, you should actually hide under your chair.
Jacqueline Swan – the most recent recipient of the “Len Cooper Memorial Award” and editor of the Discourse in Magic podcast has a secret or two that wasn’t in Tarbell.
James Harrison – when he’s not picking your pocket or summoning Cthulhu he’s a full time performing professional in the great white north that is Barrie.
Jonah Babins – The host of the Discourse in Magic podcast and The Newest Trick in the Book, Jonah is a magician, producer, sword swallower, lion tamer and neologist of great renown.
James Alan – At this point we’re sick of him, but have yet to find an effective way to get rid of him. Whatever he’s going to share, we just pray to Baby Yoda it isn’ Thimble Magic.
Ben Train – Erdnase fanatic, failed usurper and aspiring crazy cat lady; now host of the Art of Magic monthly show at the Super Wonder Gallery in Toronto. Careful he doesn’t cheat you out of your money at a game of Three-Card Monty Burns.