VOA Special English TV – Jay Mattioli (28 Year Old Magician)

STEVE EMBER: Many people first saw Jay Mattioli when he performed on an American television program. The 28-year old Virginia man has been working as a professional magician for six and one-half years.

JAY MATTIOLI: “I think uh, the big inspiration for me as a kid doing magic was that dream, that small possibility, that I can become a professional magician and that would be my life.”

STEVE EMBER: Mattiolis performances combine humor, fast dancing and magic. His youthful image has an effect on those watching.

JAY MATTIOLI: I wanted to be a magician that amazes people, but again that is different enough that everyone can say, Wow, that was special, that was fun. And, I think the word ‘fun for me is like the biggest priority.

STEVE EMBER: Mattioli has won all kinds of magic competitions. This is the second year that he has been asked to perform at a money-raising event for this school. Jason White is head of the schools parent-teacher organization.

JASON WHITE: Last year was the first time and people didnt really know what to expect. But the word of mouth was so great and then with Jay being on Americas Got Talent this summer, it just increased the excitement even more. So we have already, before the show even started, we had already sold more than double the tickets of what we sold last year.

STEVE EMBER: Crowds enjoy Mattiolis performances. Yet, is the life of a magician as exciting?

JAY MATTIOLI: A magicians life is full of magic … duh. The day-to-day life of a magician for me is theres a lot of business. Theres a lot of business to take care of: e-mails, making phone calls, following up on potential shows that might be happening a year from now.

STEVE EMBER: Mattioli says he is always thinking of new magic tricks to perform.

JAY MATTIOLI: In general, to my stage show, I usually add three or four things a year. And thats, for me, thats a lot. Some of these props are very expensive and I build whatever I can build myself.

STEVE EMBER: The lower level of Mattiolis house is his workshop, filled with tools and materials. He builds props not only for himself, but also for sale to other magicians. Mattiolis wife, Flor, serves as an assistant during his performances.

FLOR MATTIOLI: When we first did the levitation and I go up in the air, and I remember feeling so nervous. And, I was scared that what if I fell off the top, and you know, in front of millions of people?

STEVE EMBER: Each minute in a performance requires countless hours of preparation. In addition, two to three hours are needed to move equipment and prepare the stage.

JAY MATTIOLI: There is a lot of physical work doing this kind of show that we do as far as setting up. This is the beginning of it. This is not the so fun part. Then there is a show which is the fun part. And, there is the part thats not fun at all thats cleaning up.

STEVE EMBER: The Mattiolis say the way the crowds react make it all worth the time and effort. Im Steve Ember.