Happy New Year to you all…I wanted to start off 2024 with a magical blog so I couldn’t think of anyone better to interview than the Canadian king of Mega Magic himself, MIKE D’URZO.
Mike D’Urzo is an international award-winning magician & mentalist. As the founder and creative director of Mega Magic, he performs hundreds of shows annually for some of the largest corporations, theaters, theme parks, festivals and television networks.He’s won the “Canadian Entertainer of the Year” award by the Canadian Event Awards and was the 8-time recipient of the “Performer of the Year” award presented by Festivals & Events Ontario. He is considered one of the “Top 10 Magicians Worldwide” by the Wedding Industry Experts Awards and the “Entertainment Act of the Year” by the LUXlife Global Wedding Awards. He was the 2-time winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Entertainer by Special Events Magazine and was also named in the Top 5 Magicians in Toronto by BlogTO and won the Toronto Choice Award by Event Source. Mike is a member of the prestigious Canadian Association of Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Whew! that’s quite a staggering line-up of awards and industry accolades! I’ve been lucky enough to know Mike for over 15 years, seeing him at various special events and industry showcases as well as corporate soirees and in theatres. He’s also one of the nicest, most humble entertainers I know, so you can imagine how excited I was for him when I learnt that Mike not only participated in the new tv reality show, The Traitors: Canada, but that he won the big grand prize. He out-played and out-psyched all the other contestants…bravo, Mike!2024 marks the 20th anniversary of his specially curated show, Mega Magic, featuring his talents as magician and mentalist: Mega Magic is a full production show featuring spectacular grand illusions and lots of interactive magic & mentalism. It has elements of video, live eye projection, audio/ visual techs, camera operators and assistants on stage. And it’s because of this special anniversary that I decided to reach out to my friend and ask him to talk about his career and his love of entertaining people.After starting out in the film industry as a publicity & promotions guy, what brought about the switch to magic? I always had an interest in magic since High School. Throughout university I was working at Sony Pictures hosting premieres and launch parties for upcoming films. Although I loved the behind scenes world of movies, performing was my true passion.
Who or what inspired your love of magic as a youngster? I remember growing up watching Illusionist David Copperfield on TV and seeing him live in Toronto – Copperfield (pictured below) was definitely an inspiration. Then there was one day that changed the course of my life forever: I was at Canada’s Wonderland and there was a small booth with a person selling magic. I spent my last dollar, bought a couple of tricks and the rest was history. I never saw being a magician as a career choice but from that day forward, I knew that I would pursue the art of magic.You do a lot of corporate events as well as festivals and residencies at large venues….what is your favourite audience – adults, children, business people looking to switch off from work? In the early days of my career, I performed tons of kids shows. Although I love performing for family audiences, most of my work now is for adults. I love the thrill of truly messing with smart intellectual people and putting them in a state of disbelief and wonder. I feel like the art of magic has evolved so much from the stereotypical “pull a rabbit out of a hat” trick.You recently participated in a new TV game show called The Traitors Canada…and WON congratulations! How were you cast and how tense and stressful was this? This was one of the most thrilling and exciting moments of my career. Such a cool experience being on a show with other reality TV stars and winning the prize pot. They loved the idea of having a magician on the show as it’s based around misdirection and deception. It was a stressful experience having to navigate the way the game would be played by manipulating, deceiving and backstabbing everyone. We all created a great bond so it put me in a very tough position. There is a whole other world of magic beyond the stage and it can be used to misdirect people in everyday life.
You’re celebrating a special anniversary in January 2024 – the 20th year of your “Mega Magic Show” which is a full production grand illusion show you’ve presented across Canada and the US. How did you put this show together and are you still excited to raise that curtain 20 years on? This is a HUGE milestone for Mega Magic! Show business can be tough with many ups and downs but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Getting to do what I love is that best trick of all. I’m very grateful that performing has allowed me to experience so many wonderful places and kept me creative for 20 years.You must tell us about your trip to China where you entertained an audience of over half a million – how did you get that gig? And was there any language barrier or did the magic and illusions overcome that? China was one of the coolest show experiences of my life! I was brought in as a marketing campaign for English Schools across the country. They wanted to bring a Canadian performer to promote their schools in busy public areas. Performing magic for people who didn’t speak a word of English worked out because magic can also be very visual. It’s a universal language that transcends any barriers. I loved that the audiences were so receptive and shared the same passion for magic as I did. During the 2 ½ years of Covid isolation and non-performance, you created online shows and demonstrations – how cool is that?! Are you maintaining those online sessions and how do magic fans participate from home? That was a challenge at first because so much of magic is interactive. Not having anyone physically present forced me to redevelop a show for an online audience. It turned out to be such a joy performing for people from around the world over Zoom where you could still interact with guests. In many cases, the magic seemed even more impossible doing it over a screen. There were days where I was performing up to 6 virtual shows for companies around the world without having to leave my studio. Luckily, I was able to adapt during that time as there were no live events!You have an upcoming New Year’s Eve show way down east in Labrador City, a far cry from China! You’ve played there before – how are the audiences in Labrador? I love Labrador City and the East Coast of Canada. I’ve met some of the nicest people from the East Coast and happy to be making my return. I find in general, audiences no matter where in the world tend to love magic and have an appreciation for the art. It’s unique and certainly gets you thinking.
Any other exciting shows lined up for 2024…or maybe more TV shows? There are always lots of events! Stay tuned for more exciting news in the New Year!
Follow Mike on his social media (linked via his website) and you can learn about his incredible body of work on his website: https://www.megamagic.ca/