Local magicians all about the performance

Matt
Matt Gardner
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For Prince Albert magicians Roger and Adreanna Boucher, crowd participation is an essential element of any magic show.

“We enjoy having people up on stage,” Roger said. “I find that the crowd participation really helps with drawing the crowd in.”

“Magic is all about the performance,” he added. “Sure, you can trick the mind and the eyes with different routines. But if people aren’t invested in it, either emotionally or entertainment-wise … if the performance isn’t there, the magic isn’t there, really.”

As the founders and namesakes of Boucher Entertainment, Roger and Adreanna have steadily built a name for themselves across the region with their eclectic performances.

Aside from more modest magic tricks involving cards and coins, their shows include newspaper predictions, a 100-foot rope escape and other mind-bending routines -- as well as their fair share of comedy.

One illusion involves locking either of the pair in a box while the other stands on top, before the couple switch places.

In another, Adreanna is put inside a hoop with an audience member and manages to steal their coat while her own hands are tied.

One of their newest tricks involves escaping from straitjackets, with the couple adding a competitive twist.

“Rather than just escaping from the straitjacket, we’re going to be competing to see who can do it faster,” Roger said.

“I’ll send text messages to friends, ‘Can you come over tonight and put us in straitjackets?’” Adreanna said with a chuckle.

“Otherwise only one of us can do it at a time,” she added.

Roger’s interest in magic first began at age 14. A competitive swimmer at the time, he watched in wonder as a friend of his performed magic tricks on the pool deck.

Asking where he had learned the tricks, the friend said he had watched a special on TLC. But after a year of watching the channel to no avail looking for a program on magic, Roger eventually forgot about the matter.

It was while in residence during his university years that a fellow student on Roger’s floor re-ignited his interest in magic.

“I saw him perform and I’m like ‘Man, that’s awesome. How did you get into that? How do you learn that?’ and he told me a little bit more and I was just hooked,” Roger recalled.

“So I basically bought a cheap $10 book at the time from the bookstore at the University of Calgary and then I started practising.”

At first concentrating on card tricks, since the necessary props were easy to find, Roger kept at his craft and gradually learned more routines.

He characterized learning new tricks as one of the most appealing aspects of magic.

“It’s always a growing process … There’s always something to learn,” he said.

Adreanna began helping Roger with his magic shows behind the scenes after the couple met, but it was only after the birth of their daughter Isla 15 months ago that she became a firm onstage fixture.

If the performance isn’t there, the magic isn’t there. Roger Boucher

“When (Isla) was born we decided to really incorporate me into the stage show,” Adreanna said.

“Before that I was helping backstage and kind of being eyes and ears for Roger, but now I’m part of the stage show.”

In her role as “lovely assistant,” Adreanna draws in part upon her 12 years of community theatre experience.

Her officially joining the show also allowed the family to travel together, rather than being separated when Roger was performing magic shows.

Travel is a major part of the job description, with the Bouchers regularly performing throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Having performed for both children and adults, they described the main difference being in how they talk to the audience.

While they tend to adopt a more playful approach with children, when it comes to adults “you’re more playing on their delicate sensibilities or their preconceived ideas,” Roger noted.

Conversely, Adreanna described the cross-generational appeal of magic as part of its charm.

“It gets (adults) to relax and almost be a kid,” she said.

“I think there’s the idea magic is just for kids, unless you’re going to the Vegas shows or whatnot -- but it’s not. Everybody can have fun at it. It’s a good laugh for anybody, whether you’re five or 95.”

The Bouchers’ most frequent audiences are private events such as weddings, corporate groups and businesses.

Having recently performed for the Prince Albert and Area Chamber of Commerce, their next performance in the city will be a May event for the Kinsmen Club.

While their next public performance will take place at the Refinery in Saskatoon on Feb. 22, the couple is also working to put on a public show in P.A. sometime in 2014.

“There will be one this year,” Adreanna said. “We just don’t have a date set.”

Tickets for the Bouchers’ upcoming Saskatoon show are available at www.ontheboards.ca.

Those interested in booking the couple for shows may contact Boucher Entertainment at (306) 922-2505. Additional information is available at www.rogerboucher.com or on official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Organizations: University of Calgary, Prince Albert and Area Chamber of Commerce, Kinsmen Club

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Alberta P.A.

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