Born in Cape Town, South Africa, with an instinctive desire to amaze others, “Astonishment EngineerJesse Brooks found magic at an early age. A graduate of the College of Magic, Jesse has performed in many interesting places, from the middle of the Karoo to Hollywood, as well as being cast in commercials [“Jesse Brooks appears in new VW commercial“]. He has also represented South Africa in Las Vegas at the IMX magic conference. Jesse was one of the first magicians to perform in Cape Town Magic Club‘s “Monday Night Magic” in the show’s very first season.

[blockquote align=”none” author=”Jesse Brooks, Astonishment Engineer”]”Good magic disrupts the ordinary in the most beautiful way.”[/blockquote]

Magic.Africa’s resident reporter Bianca Coleman asked Jesse a few questions

Photograph of Astonishment Engineer Jesse Brooks

Jesse Brooks, Astonishment Engineer

Bianca: What does magic mean to you?

Jesse: Magic has brought me so many incredible experiences, opportunities and friendships so it means a lot to me. The moment of magic is such a special thing. Wonder and astonishment are important and I think that magic represents a chance to step outside of our busy minds and the noise of the everyday. A moment of astonishment blows away all barriers, it is a really primal and clear experience and I think within that there is the possibility for real, authentic connections and experiences that really move and enthral people. Good magic disrupts the ordinary in the most beautiful way.

Bianca: Why should we believe in magic?

Jesse: I think it’s less about believing in magic as it is appreciating its potential. Magic can be so much more than just top hats and rabbits – it can create such memorable experiences and forge connections among people. Watching magic can be like looking up into the sky, seeing a shooting star and being pleasantly awed. If anything, it’s about believing in the magic of ourselves, each other and the world – sort of reigniting the excitement of being alive that exists in the tiniest, most special moments of our lives and recognizing the importance of that. Magic reasserts this sense and I think that is something worth believing in.

[blockquote align=”none” author=”Jesse Brooks, Astonishment Engineer”]”… it’s about believing in the magic of ourselves, each other and the world.”[/blockquote]

Bianca: Do you have a trademark or favourite type of magic to perform?

Jesse: I like to create quirky, whimsical magic with a good bit of laughter thrown in. I enjoy pieces with a good visual element and that have a unique feel. I’m very inspired by music, surrealist art, literature and the journeys that they can take you on. So the type of magic I perform is centred on how I can create good memories for people, with a little spice of the impossible.

Bianca: What would you say to audiences to encourage them to see you perform?

Jesse: Well, I really try to consider how it will be for the people who watch me perform and what would be the best experience they could get for their time across a few different levels. I really hope that audiences feel relaxed, refreshed and have a few great ‘wow’ moments and some laughs. I have so much fun performing and I’m sure anyone who comes to see the show will have fun too.

Magician Jesse Brooks performs a magic trick for journalist Bianca Coleman

Jesse Brooks performing for Bianca Coleman in “Monday Night Magic” at Cape Town Magic Club [Photo credit: Andrew Goreman]