Justin Sight – Q&A

Justin stands against a wall covered in graffiti. He is holding a deck of playing cards.
Justin Sight. Photography by Brianna Myers.

As part of Southbank Centre’s Unlimited festival the Unlimited commissions program is excited to be hosting New York Based Magician, Justin Sight at a range of events across the festival.  Unlimited Trainee, Simon caught up with Justin ahead of the festival. 

Simon Overington-Hickford: Hi Justin, It’s great that you are joining us for the festival. What first sparked your interest in performing magic?

Justin Sight: I knew deep in my being since childhood that any thing was possible. And was very drawn as many kids are to fantasy, magic, superheroes etc. I rarely had the opportunity to witness magic except on off occasions when it was on TV and it was so rare that up until one day when I was 10 I can’t remember having seen any but I know I probably had. My mom came into the room and told me to turn the channel to ABC family. They were airing a marathon of a show called “Worlds Greatest Magic”. These were specials that aired once a year from the late 90’s to the early 2000’s and showcased magicians of all genres from around the world. I was captivated. I began to record every special and any magic related anything I could find on TV. I began doing research online. In these early days of the internet there wasn’t as much information available aside from purchasing products and I would often read ridiculous explanations for magic effects and be mystified as to wether or not they were really performed that way. One explanation for making doves appear out of thin air I remember distinctly reading was that the birds were composed of almost 90% air and because of this they could be squeezed into the size of a chicken nugget and hidden easily in the magicians pocket. (absolute nonsense) When Christmas came around I had asked for and received a magic set and the learning began. My mom would then give me money over the years to buy instructional videos and to this day I continue to use that method of learning.

SOH: It’s great to hear how you started! So this is your first trip to the UK? What are you most looking forward to?

JS: This is my first trip to the UK but not to Europe. I was born in Poland and am of Polish decent. I’m just looking forward to going. Experiencing the sensory input, climate, customs, culture and people. Hoping to find a good Absinthe bar as well.

SOH: Your career has gone from strength to strength. Do you have any good tips for other emerging performers?

JS: I can only say that once I was able to get my self out there to whatever capacity I was able and eventually to street performing and the like things began to come clear. The reception and personal fulfillment I felt was palpable and eventually all doubt evaporated and I knew this was the path I wanted to pursue. It was important to find good spots and keep promoting myself through handing out business cards. I then wanted to present a professional website and showcase my work and any press I may have received. The same went with social media although I don’t use a smart phone and am limited to what I can do on it. The opportunities that came and continue to come through these efforts are incredible and often in line with where i’m looking to go. Most of my income is now generated through these opportunities. So for me that is what I had  to do and perhaps a quote from one of my favorite anime characters summed it up best. “Nothing can happen until you swing the bat.”

 

You can catch Justin around the festival including speaking at ‘The Generation Gap‘ and his performance at ‘Saturday Night is Variety Night‘ . 

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