Magic in the Metaverse & Beyond with Ash Magic
For many of us, the Metaverse feels like science fiction or magic. Upcoming theatre show, Metaverse Of Magic, looks to take that feeling and concept to the next level when it brings world-renowned magicians from around the globe to Sydney for a show blending magic, illusions and theatrical storytelling.
At the forefront of the show is an exceptional young magician named Lennox, portrayed by Sydney’s own Ash Hodgkinson (aka Ash Magic). To help us come to grips with what the Metaverse Of Magic entails, Ash spoke to Neighbourhood Media about his journey into the Metaverse Of Magic!
When & how did you first discover a passion for magic?
Well, I remember I was 11 years old and I was in the city, in Pitt Street Mall with my mum shopping or something. We were just walking around and saw a big crowd of people just gathered in the middle. We're like, well, what's going on? Just like any curious boy, I squeezed my way to the front of the crowd and there was this guy with a table set up and he was a magician doing tricks with people. He showed me this trick and it blew my mind.
As soon as I saw that I went home and just Googled and YouTubed every card trick I could learn. Then I spent the next few weeks just obsessing over it and learning all I could and now here I am.
Your following exploded very quickly with you gaining 1 million subscribers in just 2 weeks. How did that feel?
Oh, it was crazy. It was definitely a weird mix of emotions because it was in the middle of my HSC and I’d sort of been stressing about that my whole life. School was never really my strong suit. I always felt so much more capable and preferred performing arts and creativity. So when it came to school exams and essays I was a bit in over my head.
So during those two weeks, I was stressing about exams, but the following and the videos started exploding. People started following me for my magic and my videos and fun stuff. So it was a little bit all over the place, lots of ups and downs, but it was perfect the way it happened. I was able to leave school and go straight into making videos.
You mentioned having a passion for the creative arts. Was magic always the path or were there other outlets that you were exploring as well?
Magic was always the main thing. It wasn't until I was in Year 11, that I moved to a performing art school to pursue the magic and creative arts. But of course, most performing art schools don't have a magic class. So I went into the acting stream and it was from there that I just fell in love with acting as well and then started doing acting as well as magic. Now I'm just sort of in love with any kind of performing arts in general.
Metaverse Of Magic is such a perfect show for me because it's a mix of acting, magic and theatre on a cool, big stage. It’s spectacular stuff so, yeah it's pretty perfect.
How has that been sort of developing all of those skills now to the point where you're in a show featuring renowned magicians from around the world?
It's great and it's such a full-circle moment. Honestly, every few weeks I'll be like oh my god I can't believe this is happening.
For example, the guy who's helping behind the scenes, Adam Mada, who's helping consult and create the magic for the show. We've been working together for years and he was one of the first magicians I ever met when I was young.
And even the show, the producers who are making the show, used to make magic shows that I used to watch as a kid. So it was just so many different things that were all coming together with a mix of acting and magic to form the show. And so it definitely feels like the stars have aligned.
Transitioning over to the Metaverse Of Magic show, can you describe the show for our audience?
Metaverse of Magic is a world-first stage spectacular magic show. It's a mix of some breathtaking magic, unlike anything you've ever seen before, mixed with high-tech illusions and cutting-edge technology. It's a brand new show of its kind, especially with the interactivity.
Usually with magic shows people might come up on stage and they might help out with a magic trick or two. But with this show, it's a sort of tailored experience for every audience member, they get to choose how much they interact using their smartphones, which I'm so excited for.
Audience members can use their smartphones to help interact with the show. They get to control what's happening on stage. For example, there's a moment in the show where the audience gets to choose which trick the magician does by taking a poll. But also if you want to just sit back, relax and watch the show you can still do that too and have an amazing experience.
What has it been like preparing for this show alongside a raft of other magicians?
It's been awesome because I mean with all the TikTok stuff I'm working alone a lot of the time. Occasionally I'll film videos with my parents, who are so supportive behind the scenes.
To be in a full ensemble with all these other amazing magicians and people I've looked up to my whole life and magicians I've seen on TV and America's Got Talent is so cool. To be in the same room, working and jamming with these people is what I love about it the most.
Do you share tricks with each other?
We definitely do.
There's that whole magician's code being we're not supposed to reveal the secrets to non-magicians but I think within magicians we're always thinking of random ideas together. I remember we were doing some of the press during our first block of rehearsals and we're like ‘oh what trick should we do’ and we were sort of giving each other tricks like, ‘oh you should try this’ or ‘you should make this appear’. So everyone just wants to help each other out to make things even better.
Has that further fuelled your passion?
I mean, there's this opening part of the show that we put a lot of effort into which is Lennox's sort of opening magic segment where there's a bunch of tricks all jam-packed together. Lennox is just in his world and in love with all the magic tricks that he's doing. So that’s been a big collaborative effort to pick all of the specific magic tricks for that segment. A bit of everybody's brain has gone into that one two-minute segment which is great.
Do you have a favourite or signature magic trick?
I think a lot of the stuff that Lennox is doing at the start of the show is a lot of my own personal things. That's what I think is so great about the show. It's not just a bunch of magicians who are acting on stage trying to be different characters. Everyone's characters are so embedded within our natural selves, which is so great.
It's cool to take a lot of my own personal material that I love doing, and that I've been practicing waiting to bust out on stage.
During Metaverse Of Magic, there’s a lot of this thing called cardistry, which is the artistic manipulation of playing cards, which Lennox loves. And so a lot of that stuff is going to be really cool for audiences to see.
Now that the show is fast approaching, how are you feeling ahead of the first performance?
Feeling great. I mean, I'm just excited to start and get it happening.
With all of these big productions, there's so much going on in your head so it's not until you actually get on stage and do it with an audience sitting there watching the show that you go, ‘oh my God, this is real. This is happening.’
Following the Australian tour the show is set to tour the globe. How does that feel?
It's great. I’m still a little bit lost for words in terms of the world tour stuff. I've travelled and seen the world with different magic shows here and there but to be part of a full production that's doing a full world tour is great.
A lot of times you put so much effort into a show but you only do one or two performances for a very specific event. So to be able to take the same show on tour and work at it to make it as amazing as possible is gonna be so cool.