Q&A with professor and member of the Magic castle


ECC Communications Studies professor Jason Davidson. Photo taken at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, CA, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Jack Kan/Warrior Life) Photo credit: Jack Kan

El Camino College communications professor Jason Davidson, 46, isn’t like most faculty on campus. He practices magic in and out of the classroom; the accomplished professor had had several performances in our very own Marsee Auditorium. Jason created a trilogy of performances called Phantasms. The self proclaimed “Magic enthusiast” is an active member at prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Although it’s been about three years since Jason last performance he is still very much involved in the magic world.


Editor-In-Chief (EIC): Can tell me a little about how you got in to magic?

Jason: “Well i’ve always enjoyed watch magic back in the day growing up in Illinois me and my family used to sit around the tv and watch David Copperfield specials. with nieces and nephews to look after I used magic to amuse my younger siblings with lights and other illusions”.

EIC: How did that lead you to the Magic Castle?

Jason: “ I was given for one christmas magic classes at the Hollywood Magic Castle and you say a password to the bookcase and the bookcase opens. It’s cool like once I walked in there I was like this is awesome. So, I took magic level one, level two, level three, level four, and then you have to audition to be a member and I passed my audition”.

EIC: What kind of tricks do you use in class?

Jason: “In my interpersonal communications class we’re talking about perception and how we perceive people… and I have two tricks that I often do when i’m doing my act at the Magic Castle that talk about perception and the effect also involves me manipulation how you perceive what’s happening. I tell them beforehand I’m performing this for you because perception is the theme and im doing things here to change your perception to make you think your seeing magic”.

EIC: Are there a lot of stereotypes as a magician?

Jason: “There’s negative stereotypes about magicians and I think some of the negative stereotypes are true there’s the pesky person thats like hey pick a card, pick a card man let me show you how cool I am. Wanna see how cool I am pick a card I bet I could…. Ehhh… Ace of spades. You know? It’s like what are you doing? First of all the person didn’t even ask to see a trick, you’re forcing non-consensual magic. You’re making some watch magic that doesn’t want to see magic and the only reason why you’re doing is to make yourself look good”.

EIC: What magicians influence you the most ?

Jason: “There is a magician named Rob Zabrecky and another would be Pop Hayden. When I was taking classes at the Magic Castle I got a chance to watch one of Rob Zabrecky performances. He took on this persona kinda like the addams family and it was funny. But it was the first time I’d seen magic like that as a performance and Pop Hayden was the same way but he was a snake oil salesman who loved 2018 because people would buy anything. Both of these guys were great performers and musicians and they influenced me a lot”.

EIC: What are you doing at the Magic Castle now?

Jason: “Last year I got a phone call from Genii magazine and they said we want to have this monthly column in the magazine about what’s going on in the castle and would you write it? I said…. Sure.. I live a mile away from the Castle so I go there all the time. I’ll go there tonight, i went there last night. I’m there a lot, so why not”.

EIC: Can you talk to me a little about the series of Phantasms performances thats you held here at EC?

Jason: We almost completely filled out the Marsee Auditorium it holds about 2,000 people. We had a ton of people come to that it was so much fun. I’ll tell you out of the three like most trilogies like the empire strikes back and return of the jedi, the second one is the good one. Phantasms two was the best one, three had the most people but it wasn’t as good as Phantasms two it was so awesome”.

EIC: What is magic all about to you?

Jason: “Magic is all about the wow factor you don’t care how they did it’s the fact that it happened and your mind is blown away and all you can say is wow”.