Meet Stunt Magician Wes Barker
Wes Barker is a Stunt Magician from Vancouver, B.C. whose blend of comedy and magic has taken him all over the world for various festivals and events. He has appeared on America’s Got Talent and he even fooled Penn and Teller which he described as “surreal”! He claimed that since then, it has sometimes felt “like it happened to somebody else. Those guys are my heroes”. Despite his international acclaim, Wes said that smaller venues such as comedy clubs and colleges are still his favourite. He also added that his nerves still get to him every now and then: “Sometimes just a little, but other times, (like on national TV) I can feel it a lot!”
Wes never intended to do magic for a living. However, when he was 19, he found that his job involved a lot of down time, so he bought a book on card tricks and learned from there. “I had never given any serious thought to being a performer of any kind until I was around 23 or 24, and then I just made it happen!” he explained.
On stage, his presence is similar to a stand-up comedian, except he may be swallowing a balloon or rummaging through an audience member’s purse. Wes’ style of comedy and magic came to be because although he loves magic, he admitted, “I could never do it seriously. It didn't suit me. I have always been funny, and joking around so I focused on that.”
Even when things go wrong, (like being stabbed in the leg with a blow dart) Wes gets through every trick with a laugh: “Luckily, with my style of being casual and funny on stage allows me to play it off as a joke. Since people don't really know what to expect in a magic trick, it's not too bad if you miss. It would be much worse as a musician and missing some notes. Everyone would notice that. ”
Wes Barker said that his advice for aspiring magicians is “old advice, but it's the best: Be yourself. Figure out what people like about you and then add your magic to that. ”
For more information and to see Wes perform a magic trick in the shower, please visit wesbarker.ca.
Photo courtesy of Wes Barker.