Magician Kevin Blake’s performance in the 13th season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” captured the attention of a national audience.
Blake has loved magic for as long as he can remember.
“I did (magic) when I was a kid as just a little fun hobby and continued practicing and doing tricks for my friends, my family and my teammates,” Blake said. As time went on, he “became more and more deeply interested in the field of magic and deception, and the psychology behind how people get fooled and how belief systems are formed.”
Blake grew up in Sacramento, studied psychology at UC Santa Barbara, then moved to San Francisco. In addition to his magic show, he also works as the head writer for an ad agency.
Watching videos online of other magicians helped Blake develop his own underground one-man show, Magic Man. In addition to drawing on inspiration from other mentalists and illusionists, such as David Blaine and Penn & Teller, Blake has added his own unique elements to his show.
“When you come to see my show, you’ll see impossible things – miracles, magic, coincidences, and really surprising visual illusions,” Blake said. “But you’ll also hear stories that are interesting and relevant. I bring a spoken word element and a musical element to my performance that you might not see in another show.”
When he was on “America’s Got Talent” earlier this year, Blake was forced to overcome unique challenges and push his magic to new levels. Performing for a television audience was something he had never had to do before.
“I learned how to deal with having cameras on me at all times for days and how to perform in the most high-stress environment that there can be,” he said. “I was trying to do a lot of new things. The routines that I was doing were very new for me in terms of method and presentation.” In addition to the magic, Blake had to write and memorize narratives for his performance, all while under the judges’ scrutiny.
Despite these difficulties, Blake enjoyed the challenge.
“It’s why I love performing magic,” he said. “To be good at magic, you have to be at proficient in a lot of different areas. You have to be good at sleight of hand, but you also have to be good at being aware of what other people are thinking.”
Blake will be coming to Sonoma to do a fundraiser show at the Sebastiani Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., for ages 15 and up. Tickets are $25 and the proceeds will go to the theater.
Audiences should not only expect the entertainment that comes along with a lighthearted and fun magic show, but also more mature themes, such as facing challenges in relationships and finding everyday happiness in a fast-paced adult world.
“While it is a magic show, it’s a show for adult audiences,” Blake says. “The themes that I talk about are the themes that are important to me as an adult.”
After establishing his Magic Man show and gaining national exposure on “America’s Got Talent,” Blake is looking ahead with excitement to where he can take his magic next.
“I think I’m looking at my career in new light, thinking about what’s next more determinedly,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to build a really incredible, high class magic show in San Francisco and make it a staple of the city.”
Magician Kevin Blake is coming to Sonoma to do a fundraiser show at the Sebastiani Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m., recommended for ages 15 and up. Tickets are $25 and the proceeds will go to the theatre.