Pure magic: Cath Jamison
ADELAIDE: Cath Jamison is a magician with a difference and she’s bringing her show to the Adelaide Fringe.
“I tell people it’s a mind-reading razor-blade-eating voodoo doll show magical comedy show,” Cath Jamison says, tongue in cheek, about her upcoming Adelaide Fringe show.
“It’s got all my obsessions in there like with knives, my women’s intuition, I gaffer my face and get three people to draw a picture and I have to picture what they’ve done, that sort of thing.”
Some of it sounds a bit dangerous. “Well, I do swallow razors; that’s a pretty dangerous stunt,” Jamison admits casually.
“But I’ve got a very cheeky side to my nature, so it’s not like stand-up comedy, but a lot of comedy comes from the way I interact with people in the audience.”
“I’m a little bit different from other magicians. I don’t really push it as a “magic” shows. It’s more about... well me really,” she laughs.
“It’s about women’s intuition, the paranormal, voodoo dolls, dreams I had last night... we even have a little game of pass the parcel!”
She is also proud of being tagged one of the most bizarre and unusual women in Australia.
“Absolutely, I love it!” she laughs. “But I would say ‘style with an edge’. Very stylish but with an edge. I’m very cheeky – but don’t push me!”
She tags herself “an ordinary person doing extraordinary things”, but it’s still not very often you see a successful female magician. Magic has always been a bit of a boys’ club, although Jamison says that is finally changing.
“In the early days it was all about boys wanting to get into magic. I’ve even got a book called The Boys Book of Magic. Where’s The Girls Book of Magic?” she says.
“That’s changing though. I teach at the Australian School of Magic and what I’m finding is that it’s now about 60 per cent boys and 40 per cent girls. And they’re so passionate about what they’re doing that it’s really an exciting time for magic and girls in magic.
“There’s some amazing female magicians around.”
Jamison admits, though, that the influences on her are mainly male. She loves Penn and Teller, but her mentor is Adelaide based magician Raymond Crowe.
“For me he’s my mentor. He and I, I think what we do is we play with people’s emotions, it’s not just a typical magic trick,” she says.
“He’s got his own vaudeville style of comedy and so forth, but it’s like ‘don’t rely on the tricks, rely on yourself to entertain’. I always say it’s a bit like singing, it’s a form of expression.”
The basis of her show, for instance is building up an alter-ego Cath Jamison on stage. “Although of course it’s me, it’s all about me!” she laughs.
Even though she suspects she may have some psychic connection, the women’s intuition, the mentalism on stage, is all about the entertainment.
“I also love to keep people guessing,” she says. “I love it when people come up to me and say, how did you do that?”
Jamison is well known not only for arguably Australia’s most successful female magician, but she’s well-known on the LGBTI circuit for her performances at Midsumma and Mardi Gras.
“I think one of the biggest things for me was doing Stars Come Out for Mardi Gras at the State Theatre, with Toni Lamond, Tony Sheldon, Blue House... that was a big gig for me,” she says.
Her Fringe show I Know What You’re Thinking will take place in the historic surrounds of Ayers House.
“I looked at all the tents and, well, it was about trying to find a place that has atmosphere, and I felt those tents didn’t have the focus I wanted,” she says.
“When I talk about the paranormal stuff, which is actually quite a powerful point in the show, I feel I need a place with atmosphere, old houses, things like that. I love Ayers House!”
Get along to what is perhaps the classiest Fringe venue of all and you may just find Cath Jamison knows what you’re thinking before you do.
Cath Jamison I Know What You’re Thinking, Ayers House Museum, 288 North Tce, city, March 15-17 adelaidefringe.com.au