In 2017, Shawn Farquhar performed in 51 countries over 235 days. He’s a backstab Apple Champion of Magic, was the aboriginal archimage to fool Penn & Teller twice, and has done close-up agenda tricks on Ellen. But can he get a gig in his hometown? Hell, it’s adamantine abundant for him aloof to be recognized.
About a anniversary ago, he’s sitting in his car in the Downtown Eastside, account emails and cat-and-mouse to do a appearance at Co-op Radio. He gets a beating on his window. A abandoned man is allurement for money and offers to appearance him a agenda trick. That gets Farquhar’s attention. The man has no abstraction who he’s assuming for.
He has a feel that doesn’t bend, but manages to get through the ambush and Farquhar is so impressed, he gives the guy 10 bucks, again gain to accord him a abrupt assignment on a move alleged the tilt. Impressed, the man asks how he knows it. “I’m affectionate of a world-famous magician,” Farquhar says. “Right,” the man says, and walks off attempting to do the angle as he goes.
So it goes for Canadian celebrities. Farquhar, who lives in Maple Ridge now, has appear a continued way back his canicule assuming at altogether parties about Vancouver. With an ad in the Georgia Straight account “That appropriate article for your article special,” Farquhar was earning $30,000 to $40,000 a year in the mid-’80s accomplishing abracadabra for agreeable kids.
“If you didn’t accept me at your party, you weren’t accepting a acceptable party, is what it became,” he says over breakfast at a Kits diner. “I would drive into a cul-de-sac and go, ‘Hey, I’ve done every abode in this cul-de-sac.’ Soon, it was appealing abundant the Lower Mainland that was my little oyster.”
At atomic again he was alive his hometown. These days, he’s too in appeal on every abstemious (save Antarctica), and not in appeal abundant here. He longs for the adventitious to put on absolute shows in B.C. Added than that, he’d adulation not bent on a alike every week.
And he’s accepting his ambition with two altered offerings, starting with a actual affectionate activity at the Shangri-La Auberge on Georgia, and a bigger, longer-run appearance aerial aloft Queen Elizabeth Park.
On October 5 and 6, Farquhar is putting on four shows in a 36-seat theatre at the hotel. He was aggressive by a cruise to Spain.
“I saw all these little, tiny, tucked-away theatres of 50 and 80 people,” he says. “Then I went to Germany and there were all these little salons. Every burghal had one salon of abracadabra someplace. I went, ‘Why isn’t that a affair here?’ And again I started looking.”
After bushing 1,200-seat theatres all over the world, how adamantine is it to ample such a baby room? Especially back it’s a adventitious to see a world-class agenda adept up close. (He’ll additionally use a Rubik’s cube, a scattering of coins, and a cellphone in the 75-minute show.)
“I aloof appetite to accomplish it so that I apprentice every distinct person’s name and they all participate in some way, alike if it’s aloof allotment a cardinal or acrimonious a card,” he says. “I appetite everybody to feel like they absolutely affiliated in the show. For 36 people, it’s an acquaintance that you’re not activity to get anywhere. This will acquiesce you to see a concert of affectionate illusion.”
If it’s successful, Farquhar wants to book aing abatement and winter off and accomplish it a approved weekend event.
And again there’s Bacio Rosso, billed as Canada’s aboriginal gourmet cabaret cirque. Farquhar is the bewitched aspect of a night that additionally appearance jugglers, contortionists, a alive band, aerobatics artists, singers, and clowns, all beneath a board Belgian spiegeltent congenital distinctively for the run.
Farquhar is excited—even added than accepted for one of the best absolute bodies in appearance business.
“Imagine you airing into a restaurant for the black and apprehend that article appropriate is accident that night,” he says. “Well, every night is that appropriate night. It’s this alive theatre demography abode about you. It’s immersive. It’s 360 degrees. My job is to actualize admiration and I’ll be activity in the centre ring, but I’ll additionally be activity table to table freaking you out for an admirers of four people. Alike the delay agents appear out dancing to put your aliment down. Everything is this behemothic production. Three hours of a best meal and all-embracing entertainment, all absorbed in this admirable jewel-box theatre.”
The added benefit for him is that he gets to beddy-bye in his own bed for two-and-a-half months.
“I’ll get some being done at home!” he says. “That will be absolutely weird, because I usually appear home and I’m actuality for 48 hours. Now I accept to do those jobs that I’ve been dabbling on forever!”
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