Claremont magician aims for magical performance

Caitlin Hutchison, 15, from Claremont will be looking to dazzle the crowds on Sunday September 18.

The magic just never seems to stop when 15-year-old Caitlin Hutchison steps onto a stage.

A Westerford High School pupil and Claremont resident, the second-generation magician just returned from the Magic Live Convention in Las Vegas and now has her sights firmly set on competing against 10 of her male counterparts in the upcoming 2016 Western Cape Junior Magician Championships.

“I can’t wait to perform. The excitement and nerves are building,” she said.

Caitlin was “inspired and motivated” to learn magic from watching her father performing for children.

“Magic has taught me so much about performance and to have confidence in my abilities. I’ve made friends I probably wouldn’t have and learnt to take projects from beginning to end. I’ve watched it happen countless times around me too. Magic has helped to breed my love of stage and performing and entertainment,” Caitlin said.

She started ballet when she was four and then developed interests in acting and songwriting.

Caitlin is a pupil at the College of Magic. Since her first year she did well in competitions with her classmates and then in 2014 she made it into the Western Cape Junior Magic Championships.

“I enjoy my music and singing and I’d love to put that and magic together in some way in the future, but I also find the human brain fascinating and may study that further. I’ll decide when I get there. For me, performance has always been one of the most important things about magic. Since I grew up dancing and watching magic, I haven’t found it too difficult. However, there are many tricks I still struggle with on the technical side that are challenging me to overcome them.”

This year’s championships , hosted by the College of Magic, are at Milnerton High School on Sunday September 18. The event is billed as the ultimate battle of the wands, testing the mettle of young magicians in the quick-fingered art of close-up magic and the grandiose illusionary techniques of stage magic. The championship contestants are vying for the 2016 Western Cape Junior Magician title, top honours and opportunities to perform at international magical events.

The teen wizards must perform a 10-minute act in close-up, which includes card tricks, coin effects, cups and balls and mentalism, or stage magic such as big illusions like multiple quick costume changes, making assistants disappear, producing flowers out of thin air, making assistants levitate and more.

Four judges from the magic and entertainment industry assess them based on presentation, skill, storytelling /following a script and audience reactions. The Tatler tried to get young Caitlin to share some of her secrets, but her response was no different to any other magician out there: “A true magician never reveals her secrets!”

College of Magic director David Gore said this year the non-profit organisation is celebrating 36 years of teaching the art of magic and its allied arts as well as vital life-skills to children and adults.

“The championships event is a fantastic platform for our young magicians to get a taste of what it is like to compete professionally in the world of magic. I’ve had a sneak peek at the creative acts our contestants are preparing and they are incredible. Join us and see them for yourselves,” said Mr Gore.

For Caitlin, the championships is an opportunity to get her name out there, as she hopes to incorporate magic into a much bigger act to add the element of mystery to an otherwise normal show.

“I’d like to put an act with dance, music, and ballet together to give the average performance a twist of mystery,” she said.

She also called on youngsters to take a keen interest in magic, saying: “If you’re looking to astonish people beyond your imagination, magic is definitely the thing for you. All it takes is a lot of passion, a lot of practice, and you’re on your way to greatness. Keep being inspired by all the incredible magicians out there. They’re hiding all around you under their invisibility cloaks.”