Today we are chatting with Dane Certificate, one of Melbourne’s most unique magicians and a very popular artist in the Melbourne magic community.
Dane’s innovative abstract approach to magic, accompanied by his original soundtracks, makes him an absolute must-see whenever he presents a show at The Melbourne Magic Festival.
When did you get into magic?
It wasn’t until i was 19. I was walking down Elizabeth Street in Melbourne (fresh from my country town Albury) when i noticed someone doing magic on the footpath for around five people. He put a ball into his hand and when he opened it, it wasn’t there! I went straight to Bernard’s Magic Shop and have been captured by magic ever since. I worked for a poster distribution company and would practice card tricks on baristas and book shop keepers as i worked. I was later asked to do magic on a band line-up where i made raw sausages appear and threw them at the audience and performed cigarette magic which filled the room with smoke. I was disappointed because it got a better reaction than my music had been getting at the time… so i didn’t do it for a little while after that. Then I spent a few years doing magic in-between bands at places like The Corner Hotel, The Tote and The Toff In Town. Life as a magician in the city is different to life on an ostrich farm.
How do you describe your style?
“Abstract orchestral close-up magic”- the sounds are in the light shining off the coins. George Solti, Jacques Tati, Wassily Kandinsky in a carpet bag beside a card table.
What role does your music and painting play in your magic?
Painting, to me is like making a storyboard for the magic. It’s good to know what the feel of what you’re doing is and it’s best to come at this from different angles. If you hear music, and melodies come to you all the time then it’s hard not to see things differently, because you now have a soundtrack to everything you look at. Now you can see things from different perspectives.
What are some of the strangest places you have performed?
Strangest? hmm… A petshop in China and a festival in China where i wasn’t allowed to do anything I had planned because everything was classified a danger. Like a balloon and getting the audience to stand up.
What was your role in THE WORLD’S LONGEST MAGIC SHOW?
Dom Chambers and The Australian Institute of Magic (A.I.M) organized the world’s longest magic show. The event for Guinness Book of Records took place at my Magic Theatre and Bar in Brunswick, Melbourne. My role was to serve coffee, alcohol, popcorn and keep people hydrated as well as perform several times. Magicians from all over Melbourne dropped in to create a continuous magic show that lasted 85 hours.
I saw a lot of card tricks that week!
What can people who come to your show expect?
In Japan I’ll be doing shows in small jazz bars and collaborating with experimental musicians. Sometimes by myself with a deck of cards and a jar, other times with live improvised musicians simultaneously. People can expect some original magic.
You can watch Tim Ellis, President of the Australian Institute of Magicians, interview Dane during the Covid lockdown, here