An illusionist with no illusions about who he is, Jody Mihaly delivers a heart-warming autobio through media, magic and music. Montreal Magic’s Me, Myself & Illusion is Jody’s first Fringe show and it was a good one, filled to the brim with wonder, awe, warmth, laughter and of course, magic.
Through music, media and magic, Jody (I will keep calling him by his first name because he is so down to earth that, in spite of all being strangers in the room, it felt as if we had all been friends for a long time) tells the story of how he became a performing magician. And a beautiful story it is; simple in its essence but so heart warming that I shed a couple of tears. I can attest that Jody is a blessed family man, and it is so clear through his magical story telling that he is also a happy man. He has worked so hard to get there and has embraced it with a joy that oozes from his aura to infect us all with this same joy.
His magic tricks are also pretty cool. Very awesome indeed. I mean, I love magic and people like me, who love magic, wouldn’t go to a magic show if they didn’t. But, like so many other types of performance, sometimes it’s not about the tricks but about the showmanship. Jody has a very human showmanship, unlike many other mentalists, magicians or illusionist I’ve seen, he possesses none of that bigger-than-life and disconnected pomposity that can sometimes turn an audience off. Jody is a man, a family man, an honest human and he is with us, on our plane of existence, on our level. I appreciated this so much as I am sure others in the audience did.
Weaving through his life story is quite something. He admits right away that his life has been pretty normal and bland, he’s had his struggles like the rest of us and has overcome many obstacles and in the end finally found his real path. He delivers two very strong messages here: “follow your dreams” and “family is love”.
He explains that he spent a part of his life moving away from his craft and tried other venture; some worked, some didn’t, but in the end, magic pulled him right back where he belongs: on the stage, performing mind-blowing tricks. He talks also of a failed marriage and a life crash; we’ve all had hardships and we’ve all fallen and his story encourages us to pick ourselves up and try, try again until the right pieces fall into the right places. Like the rubix cube he encourages us to conquer, with some work and determination, eventually, we’ll get to where we need to be.
With a small slide show of his youth, growing up as a boy, into a teenager, into a married man, a divorced man and finally, a married man again, with 3 gorgeous daughters, it is absolutely clear that he is in love with his life and it’s such a beautiful thing to see. He demonstrates these losses, gains and recoveries to the sound of Portishead, by breaking a piece of thread into the pieces of the failures of his life, only to magically make the thread whole again; to mirror the wholeness of his life; stating with an unrivaled fervor “family is magic”.
As far as magic shows go, this one is really for everyone. Audience participation is encouraged and frequent but not all scary, embarrassing or mandatory; but, spoiler alert: there will be colouring! Jody is engaging, sympathetic, respectful, funny, witty, warm-hearted and at times awkward in the best way. He is an absolute thrill to listen to and watch. At times, he was drowned out by the loudness of the music, but this is an easy and simple fix.
For a first time fringe performer, bravo Jody, you blew my mind! An all around wonderful and inspiring magic storytelling show.
“WHO IT’S FOR”
This is a heart-warming show for everyone, but it’s also the show for you if you love magic shows, magic tricks and really neat illusions. Every Fringer will get something positive from this experience.
Montreal Magic presents “My, Myself & Illusion”
at the 29th St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Performances: June 6 – 16, 2019
Venue: 01 – Le Ministère
4521 Saint-Laurent, Montréal, H2T 1R2
Admission: $8 – 12 | Ages 16+
Check out all our other 70+ reviews
from this year’s fest on our Fringe page!