Jay Chun’s interest in magic began at a young age from the influence of his father.
“My father was a sci-fi fan, and also a superhero movie fan. So, growing up I was under the impression that out of the billions and billions of people on this earth, there has to be at least one person who actually has superpowers,” said Chun.
In his search for that higher power, Chun, a NAIT student who’s now performing weekly at Remedy Cafe, came across magic.
“You can do things that are impossible with methods that are possible. That really intrigued me.”
He has been studying magic every since and began practising his skills in 2011. His interest in juggling led Chun to start the Juggling Club at NAIT four years later.
“I started expanding more into juggling, and circus art and that inspired me to start the Juggling Club at NAIT which we’ve been running for three years now.”
While most know Chun as a juggler, he sees himself as a juggling magician who also incorporates comedy into his routine.
“I genuinely enjoyed making people laugh and when I started learning magic I realized that I can leave a bigger impact in an individual’s life with a trick instead of cracking a few jokes.”
Magicians and physical performers go through a training regimen which he says is no different than preparing for a physical sport.
“It’s like any performance art. Any discipline requires physical practice … learning techniques, methods, presentations, sleight of hand, actually doing it in person, showing it to people, going through trial and error, making a lot of mistakes, [and] learning from those mistakes.”
Dishonesty often surrounds magic, but he values how spectators can step away from day-to-day life and experience the impossible.
“People usually think of magic as the art of deception. Some people definitely see it as a scam or lying or being deceitful, but I like to see it as theatre and art … you’re giving someone a gift of wonder and impossibilities. With things that are possible, you’re showing them something that they can’t quite explain how it works.”
As a regular fixture at Remedy, Chun performs his upclose magic with a blend of juggling and, of course, comedy. He is also an active street performer during the summer festivals in the city.
“I’ve never had a single customer who left being dissatisfied from my performance. To humbly put it, I’m quite decent at it.”
For more information about Chun’s performances at Remedy Cafe, visit Remedy’s facebook page @RemedyCafeYEG.
– Shawna Bannerman