During his downtime at a construction job, Wes Barker practiced magic tricks.
In the confines of his truck, while waiting to fill the next pothole, the Vancouver-resident developed his next career as a comedian/magician.
“My whole life I’ve always loved making jokes in class and I just loved when I would say something and everyone would laugh. It made going to the principal’s office worth it,” he said.
The outgoing magician has been featured on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, America’s Got Talent, Wizard Wars and MTV’s Greatest Party Stories Ever, offering a twist in the magic world.
“My show is so much comedy magic, there’s no serious magic in it at all. You’ll be fooled, but it’s mostly meant to be a super fun time, so I have some new stories I want to tell people,” he said.
Barker is performing at Creekside Theatre, in Lake Country Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m trying to experiment with some new ideas that might be good for TV… I literally have had some of my funniest ideas in the last two months,” he said.
For live performances, Baker, 31, said it’s harder to perform than on TV, but he can do tangents and is “more in the moment.”
“I can react to what’s in the theatre and I can make it so much fun. I love when I can do something specific to the location or the people. Everyone gets to feel like ‘oh, we’re seeing this the first and only time this exact thing will ever happen’ and it’s such a cool feeling for everybody,” he said.
There’s a difference between a live and filmed performance.
“When you edit magic, it can kind of change the feel of the trick. The actual performance I don’t worry about it too much,” he said.
Reading an audience is also a skill he gained over time.
You’re trying to change directions of a show in real time, he said. When he first starting performing magic shows full time six years ago, he remembered reading the audience and thinking they didn’t like certain tricks.
He also started as a serious magician, before realizing “it’s such against my natural personality.”
“I used to wear a proper suit and I was up there trying to ‘read minds,’ but then I would notice at these shows I was struggling. I noticed all my best parts of the shows are the ones I’m joking around,” he said while during his comedy nights, he would perform tricks and received positive feedback from the audience.
“I decided to forget it; I’m going to go as hard as I can at this.”
Baker plans to continue building his fan base on YouTube, focusing on live shows and touring more. He would also like to see a magic special on Netflix.
He also enjoys collaborating with others on YouTube.
“I’m fascinated by what people watch and how they consume,” he said and enjoys the challenge the platform offers. “You can’t make everyone happy. If I think it’s funny I’m going to do it.”
Creekside Theatre is up and running for another season after flooding in June.
Tickets are $29 and a child-minding service will be offered. For a full list of Creekside Theatre events, visit www.creeksidetheatre.com.
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