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Ryan Joyce aims to bring world class magicians to Fergus

Magical town - Fergus magician Ryan Joyce is hoping to bring world class magicians to the Fergus Grand Theatre.  Photo by  Jaime Myslik

Ryan Joyce aims to bring world class magicians to Fergus

by Jaime Myslik

FERGUS - A local magician is hoping to bring a little more magic to Fergus.

Ryan Joyce, 36, has been practicing magic since he was six years old, after receiving his first magic kit for Christmas.

Immediately after high school, he began touring professionally and “then I never looked back,” Joyce said.

Though the Fergus resident spends most of his time performing on cruise ships all over the world, Joyce hopes to bring high level magic shows to the Fergus Grand Theatre this year.

“I’m trying to find ways to stay more locally bound and still do what I love,” he said. “I think we might have found a unique way to do both.”

The first project he’s working on is called Magician’s Masterclass, which is an educational show for magicians hosted by a guest magic legend and will be filmed at the Fergus Grand Theatre.

The goal is to “see how they learn and teach and explore magic, all on camera,” Joyce said.

The first episode was released in December with host Michael Close, a magic consultant for Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

“I put myself on the line here and I presented Michael with four ideas, one I’m working on, one I would like to hit on the stage and then two ideas that I’ve been festering on for ages,” Joyce said. “I wanted to see how he would dissect those.

“And what makes this challenging is that in the magic industry, it’s not notoriously respectful on intellectual property rights and so nothing like this has been done before because people could just steal my ideas instantly because I’m literally laying them out on the table.

“But I feel like there’s also not an opportunity for magicians to learn this kind of thing unless we take a few risks. So I decided to be the first one to take the risks and I think the payoff should be pretty good.”

Just a day after the first episode was released, Joyce said magicians were signing up to view the recording. Magicians are able to sign onto the Magician’s Masterclass website at fergusfilming.ca for access to the episodes.

Because Magician’s Masterclass is being filmed in Fergus, Joyce decided to take it a step further and create a filmed series called Live at the Grand.

“On a pretty frequent basis I’m going to have some of the world’s greatest magicians and artists coming right here in our own backyard,” Joyce said.

“We’re going to put free shows on and tape this for distribution.”

Each show and taping will involve a variety of different artists in the magic world performing for a live audience and will also be recorded for distribution on a media network like Netflix or Hulu.

“We would probably do two tapings back-to-back in the same day with three acts basically,” Joyce said. “And we tape their 45-minute sets and then we’ll edit all that down into probably two episodes.”

While the shows are free, there is a catch. In order to receive the free ticket, visitors will need to present a receipt to show they purchased dinner at a local restaurant.

“We’re going to drive huge traffic to the restaurants and the community,” Joyce said. “And that’s the goal, and it’s going to be happening sooner rather than later, because we’ve got a lot of interest in the magic community to keep going with the project so we’ve got people lined up ready to film.”

Eventually Joyce said his team would like to be doing about eight shows a year with the possibility that each show could be used as a platform for different local charities and service groups.

Joyce put on two magic shows at the Fergus theatre in October, organized by the Fergus Lions Club, and raised over $11,000 for the new Groves hospital.

“It’s really nice to see that support from the community,” Joyce said.

Shortly thereafter he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship - for dedication to humanitarian service - at a Lions Club meeting.

Through the early years of his career when he was touring from coast to coast, Joyce said he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Lions Clubs throughout the county.

In addition to Magician’s Masterclass and Live at the Grand, Joyce said his team is also hoping to shoot a series about life in Fergus and the behind-the-scenes information about what goes into the other two shows.

Joyce hopes to have his first filming of Live at the Grand sometime this January at the Fergus Grand Theatre.

For more information and to sign up for email alerts visit fergusfilming.ca.

January 5, 2018

 
 

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