YEDaily: Mike D’Urzo

Mike D’Urzo is the 27-year-old founder and creative director of Mega Magic. He performs in hundreds of shows annually for some of the largest corporations, theme parks and television networks across Canada. His magic and mentalism has been featured on Canada’s Comedy Network, CTV, YTV, Rogers Television, and Fuse TV in the United States. Mike was also voted the “Season Champion” on the hit TV show Keys to the VIP by viewers across the country. Find out more about this mystical mentalist in today’s YEDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe what you do in a nutshell.
I perform Magic & Mentalism shows for corporate events, theatre, international tours and television networks.

Why did you head into the world of magic? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I received a magic kit like most kids when I was very young. Most kids mature, and others don’t, so here I am today working as a professional magician. I was always inspired by the greats such as David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and Houdini. My inspiration to pursue a career in magic came when I got my first job doing shows at the Toronto Zoo and Centre Island. This really helped me get in front of people and perform on a regular basis. It was after this that I created my company Mega Magic.

What lifestyle adjustments have you had to make as a result of being in this business?
This past year, I was nominated for 2011 “Entertainer of the Year” by the Canadian Event Industry Awards. As any performer will say, nothing comes easy in the entertainment business. You have to be prepared to work long hours, be willing to travel, prep your shows, and most importantly run a business. I travelled to LA to take an executive business seminar related to marketing, advertising and sales in the entertainment industry. I have also attended numerous conventions, lectures and workshops for magicians to keep my show unique with a modernized approach.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
It’s not just about the show but rather all of the prep that goes into a production. My team and I are currently getting ready for an exclusive 5-show run at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto from October 20th to 23rd. We’re always developing new effects and ideas that will mess with people’s minds. The show Mind Kontrol was created as a show which puts twists on the classics of magic while combining mind-blowing feats of mentalism. Creating new ideas for the show is the fun part.

The challenging part is coordinating all the behind-the-scenes marketing, advertising, publicity, sponsorships, etc. This becomes a full-time job on its own and isn’t as glamorous as show business may seem. I’m passionate about performing magic so this makes it all worthwhile at the end.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My hope is to have a regular theatre show based out of Toronto. It would be a dream to have a place where people could come out and see the show in my hometown. I also have some more television spots set for the coming year which I’m really excited about.

What does success look like to you?
Success is being able to do what you love on your own terms. There is nothing better than going to your job and loving every minute of it. I have been able to perform at some of the most exclusive events around the world. My magic has allowed me to meet so many amazing people that have helped and supported my journey over the years.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My show tour in China was an amazing memory! I was performing shows across China for over half a million people in just under two months. It was an incredible experience performing for people that didn’t speak a word of English and for a culture that loves magic. It truly shows how magic is a universal language that can be appreciated by everyone without any language barriers.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Find something that you’re passionate about and make it happen. If you’re truly passionate about what you do, the sky is the limit. If I can turn something like magic into a career path, anyone can find their passion and make it happen!

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I perform at numerous charity events every year. I support the Reena Foundation and META which are organizations that help children and adults with developmental disabilities. My show has also been featured at charity events for the Canadian Cancer Society, Star Light Star Bright Foundation, Sunnybrook Hospital, the Huntington Society of Canada and the Make a Wish Foundation. I have also created a fundraising program which helps raise money for numerous charities and non- profit organizations.

What do you find notable?
People that follow their dreams. As David Copperfield said, “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat the possibilities as probabilities.”

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Mike D’Urzo’s Mind Kontrol shows run Thursday, October 20th (8pm); Friday, October 21st (8pm); Saturday, October 22nd (2pm and 8pm); and Sunday, October 23rd (2pm) at the Al Green Theatre. Get your tickets here, and watch the Mind Kontrol trailer here.