LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
Magician Jack Brister, Wedding Entertainer, Photo by Santos Photography
LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW
by Beren Dere
Schools that provide the necessary training to become magicians are only in TV series and movies. Sadly, there is no institution that gives a magician diploma in real life. Those who want to be magicians must have either a master-apprentice relationship or the desire and ability to achieve that goal by themselves. However, when talent, passion, and dedication come together, it is possible to become a professional magician – and this is exactly what Jack Brister did. With a passion for entertaining people, he saw magic as the best way to achieve his ambitions and trained himself in the field. Central to Jack’s practice is his love for weddings and his extraordinary talent in warming any atmosphere. In addition to wedding ceremonies, Jack, who has performed at prestigious events such as Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix, performs anywhere from private parties to corporate events. I had the chance to find answers to my many questions about the magic and the way it can be used to move and entertain people. I talked with Magician Jack Brister, Wedding Entertainer, about his career and the world of magic.
Jack, before talking about magic, I would like to learn more about you. You received your first magic box when you were five years old. How did it change your life?
It was my first soiree into the world of entertainment, so I would say it was one of those defining moments. Once I got the bug for entertaining, I knew it was going to become a life long love affair.
Have you been trained in any school, like Hogwarts or Brakebills, to become a magician? If not, how did you train and develop yourself?
There isn't a school for magic unfortunately; I had to learn it myself. There are some specialist magic shops you can go to to start your learning but then, after a while, you start to find your own style and you end up creating your own magical effects that suit you and your performance style. I think the best way to train and develop though is to get out and perform to people. That's where you're going to see if what you've learned is actually going to be enjoyed by real people!
What do you like most about magic?
It's got to be people's reactions. I don't do this because I get a thrill from "fooling" people. I love being able to help people escape from the mundane, even if that's just a for a second.
How did you decide to follow your current career path? Who or what inspired you to become a professional magician?
Sadly this isn't a magical tale, but rather, I wanted to go to drama school, but I also wanted to take a year out. I didn't really know what I was going to do, so I fell back on what I knew best, which was magic. 7 years later and I can't imagine doing anything else!
Leaving magic aside, who is Jack Brister? Could you tell us about yourself?
I'm a big Disney fan (when I say big, I mean, it would 100% be my Mastermind subject). I think they have a way of encompassing that magical experience unlike anybody else. I also love cricket and play for one of my local teams when I'm not out performing.
I'm a big nerd at heart and love an escape room (yet to be locked in), puzzles, and board games. I'm a film buff too, specifically the MGM Golden Era, although I'll watch pretty much anything!
Could you tell us about your passion? How do you use magic to entertain people?
Entertaining people is my passion. I use magic to create an atmosphere of fun. I like to make people feel like they can relax and enjoy themselves. I like to achieve this through doing something that is impossible right before their eyes. When people are involved in something truly impossible, they're escaping from the realities of the real world, and that's what I'm trying to do through magic.
How long have you been a professional wedding entertainer? What aspect of weddings attracted you?
Weddings are fantastic. I have been a professional wedding entertainer since I left school. I did one and knew that was the route I wanted to head down. There is already just a great atmosphere at a wedding, and I love coming into that environment and adding something special to the most important day of people's lives.
What does a wedding entertainer do? How do you make a wedding day more fun?
There are so many ways a magician can add to a wedding day. The main way a magician can make the wedding day more fun is filling in those quieter moments of the day. For example, there's often not very much going on during the drinks reception. So having a magician come in and entertain the guests will really help boost that atmosphere and help make the wedding even more fun.
Are you focusing on entertaining the bride and groom or entertaining the guests?
Quite simply, both! I have the effects I love performing for the guests at a wedding, but then I also have a 'special bride and groom performance' that is full of one off effects and impossible objects the couple get to keep forever!
How long does it take to prepare for a wedding day? What do you need to know about the bride and groom and the wedding ceremony for good preparation?
It depends on each wedding. In theory (and this has happened before), I can go from not performing, to in the car on the way to the wedding in 10 minutes. However, that doesn't allow for the more intimate nature of some of my effects. If I want to be able to do fully commit to bespoke presentations, then I need a couple of months to fully prepare. This is why I limit the number of bespoke weddings I do. I want to make sure I am able to fully commit to each wedding and create something truly special.
How many different magic tricks do you perform during a wedding day? What percentage of them are bespoke according to the couple's tastes and lifestyle?
This comes down to the level of bespokeness a couple has asked for. I have a repertoire of a couple of hundred of effects I can perform, and I will just select the few that I think are most appropriate for each individual group I am working with at that time.
What should a couple asking you to add fun to their wedding have to decide before contacting you? Or do you provide all the necessary guidance?
I can provide as much or as little guidance as they like. I've had couples have no idea what they want through to one couple whose family had booked me for at least 3 or 4 other engagements before they booked me for their wedding. They were very familiar with how I worked and didn't need much guidance at all!
How can couples who want to see you at their wedding ceremony reach you?
The best way to get in touch is to head over my website (www.theluxurymagician.com) and fill out the form, alternatively you can email my assistant at email@example.com who can gather all the important information to provide a bespoke quote. Alternatively, you can call the office on +44 (0) 208 064 1825, and either Ashlee or I will get back to you ASAP.
What tends to be the favourite magic trick of wedding guests? What about your favourite?
It's hard to pin down a favourite trick. Everyone reacts differently to different effects, and that's why I have a wide ranging repertoire to select from for each group of people. I also don't have a favourite, and if I didn't love every effect I perform, then it probably wouldn't make it's way into my repertoire in the first place!
Do you perform in different events other than wedding ceremonies? What should companies do to see you and your special magics at their opening ceremonies or special occasions?
Yes, I perform at private parties and corporate events on a regular basis. Again, if you head over to our website (www.theluxurymagician.com) you can find out more about that there.
What do you think is the most magical thing in our life?
I don't think I've ever been asked this before. I would have to say the most magical thing in our life is our brains. As a magician, I have an acute understanding of just how little we actually take in, and yet we are utterly convinced we have taken it all in. I find the brain a fascinating subject that we really don't fully understand yet.
What would you like to do if you have unlimited power to do magic just once?
I feel like it would be solving world peace or hunger or something like that. Either that, or, you know, card tricks!
What is next for you?
More of this! I absolutely love weddings. The more I do, the more I fall in love with them. I don't have ambitions to be rich and famous, I just enjoy bringing joy to people's wedding days. I would love to do more weddings overseas. I think there is such a special atmosphere at destination weddings. You're combining the incredible atmosphere of the wedding with that holiday vibe too. I just don't think you can beat it!
What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?
I'm always trying to improve my social game. Instagram is probably my best channel to follow (@theluxurymagician), but I am also on Facebook (@theluxurymagician)
Thank you Jack for your time.