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Monday, July 22, 2024

Vincenzo Ravina’s got talent

No stranger to television competitions after appearing on Penn & Teller's Fool Us, the Halifax-based magician will compete for the $1 million prize on this season of Canada's Got Talent.

Halifax-based magician Vincenzo Ravina may not have been able to fool Las Vegas magic duo Penn & Teller when he appeared on the CW Network’s Fool Us in 2020. However, his appearance on that show obviously made an impression on Canada’s Got Talent producers, as he will compete with local comedian Travis Lindsay and others for the show’s $1 million prize when the new season starts airing on March 19 on CityTV.

“They had seen my appearance on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and asked me if I had anything to bring to their show and if I was interested in applying,” says Ravina. “I had a piece that I’ve been working on for about four years or so that I had created for my virtual show right after my Penn and Teller appearance. So I submitted that to them, and they liked it, and they said, come on out to Niagara Falls and show up to the celebrity judges.”

As magic has become a staple of the Got Talent franchise, with magicians such as Mat Franco and Shin Lim winning the American version, Ravina acknowledges that it does add some pressure. Unlike his appearance on Fool Us, though, there are no potential do-overs when it comes to Canada’s Got Talent.

“The thing about Fool Us is that they will never air a failure,” says Ravina. “If a trick fails, they will either not air it or might even reshoot part of it. They are judging you on an objective measure, which is whether or not you fooled them.”

However, shows like Canada’s Got Talent are very much about whether the judges or the voting public like the act.

“Going on [Canada’s Got Talent] felt like a much bigger risk to me than going on Fool Us because I know the judges aren’t always going to say nice things to you, and they can buzz you,” says Ravina. “I wasn’t sure if everything was going to go well and so I was nervous about that going in.”

Vincenzo Ravina competes for the $1 million top prize at this year’s Canada’s Got Talent.
Vincenzo Ravina competes for the $1 million top prize at Canada’s Got Talent this year.

When asked about the potential one-million-dollar prize, Ravina’s dreams extend beyond ensuring a comfortable life for himself and his family. “I would love to open up a combination bookstore, cafe and magic theatre where the magic theatre is hidden behind a bookshelf door,” he says.

Despite challenges due to the pandemic and familial responsibilities, Ravina’s magic career has flourished since Fool Us, with sold-out shows and expanding opportunities. “I’m a full-time father to my daughter, so magic fills my evenings and weekends,” he says.

Despite balancing his time as a magician and father, Ravina says he has yet to introduce his magic to his three-year-old daughter, Edie, as he says that for magic to work, it requires a grasp of reality and having that understanding of reality challenged.

“Right now, she doesn’t really have a very solid grasp of reality, so if I were to make something vanish in front of her, I think she would just assume that that’s possible,” he says. “So, I’m just trying to establish the baseline of reality, and then later, I’ll be able to show some magic, and in order to give her every advantage in life, I’m going to have to teach our magic as well.

As for the future, Ravina remains focused on honing his craft and bringing his magic to audiences across Nova Scotia. “I’m just going to keep on trucking with the monthly or twice-monthly shows here in Halifax,” he says. “I did the Chester Playhouse recently, which was really fun, so I’d love to do more theatres. Plus I have a new show for the [Halifax Fringe Festival] again this year.”

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