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Alex Kazam: Niagara’s Man of Mystery

Photo courtesy of Elycia Rose

Alex Kazam got his start as a magician at the age of six when his mother bought him his first kit. These days you can catch Alex ‘At the Table’ at St. Louis’ Bar & Grill, The Forty House & Johnny Roccos performing for patrons. On May 9, Alex is hosting the preview for his comedy special at Yuk Yuk’s Niagara Falls Comedy Club, and later in the month Alex will be emceeing at the Garden City Comedy Festival.

We were able to sit down and ask Alex about where his mind is these days, his trip down south to audition for America’s Got Talent, the Garden City Comedy Festival and his upcoming special.

ABRA KADABRA…
“I could tell people that I do magic but that instantly puts me in a box. If I tell them I’m a mind reader, they’re going to usually react skeptically. Recently I’ve adopted the frame of mystery artist. I think I’m an artist that uses mystery to create art. I think that mystery is integral to what I do and I think it’s sad that 21st century magicians completely trivialized and rendered something as a little bit hokey when it should be full of mystery intrigue and wonder.”

GOT TALENT?
“It was amazing. I can’t say much in terms of results or anything, but the experience was unlike any one I have really had. There something about the energy of that experience. I can’t explain in words how walking into a room of 2-300 other people that all have the same vision and most are coming from a place where they want to make the world better – they want to inspire, they want to help others. A lot of those people aren’t selfish. They are artists in the most traditional way. They work as insurance brokers, some are athletes, and I met a guy who was a cab driver that was insanely good at doing impressions.”

“THE INDUSTRY”
“The thing that bugged me was that I went and auditioned for America’s Got Talent – it’s an American show. It was sad that I got more recognition from American producers going six hours down the border in a car than I have from any Canadian ones. It might be more on me than anyone else, but it seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of variety entertainer’s stories.”

GREEN IN GARDEN CITY
“David Green (Festival Director of Garden City Comedy Festival), I won’t say single handedly created a comedy scene here in Niagara, because he had help, but a lot of people will say that. I think that’s an insult to him. He is so good at organizing and bringing people together and just being around him you feel his excitement for comedy and the arts. What he did single handedly was to wake up every morning and put a fire under his ass to go and change things.”

NEW SPECIALS
“It’s brand new. There might be one piece that people recognize but everything has been rewritten. I finally realized the importance of persona in what I do and writing from that place. Steve Martin said it best, ‘magic is the only talent that you can buy.’ People deserve better than that.

I don’t want to embarrass people, I don’t want to upset people, I don’t want anyone to come away from it any worse than they were when they walked in. I think that’s wrong. You don’t want sympathy from your audience. There will be hypnosis, mindreading and a lot of magic, and I’m excited to say that it’s going to be new for me. I have to be vulnerable or the show will fall flat.

There are no sparkly boxes with giant mirrors and smoke effects. There might be some paper and a dowel with a string on it that we fish with, but it’s all from the dollar store or the office supply store. Maybe Costco, because that’s where I buy my cards.”

THE COSMIC FUTURE
“It’s never been about the fame and the wealth. I make enough money to live, and I sit back some days and think it’s a cosmic joke. I get paid to play with cards and interact and talk with people. But that’s the ultimate joke, how dare I not. You know, doctors, lawyers and architects, those are all cool archetypes, but I’m ok with my own. I’m a magician. There is no escaping it. I am what I am, and I’m going to be really fucking good at it.”

Find out where to find Alex Kazam at thealexkazam.com.

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