It takes a lot of time, work, and dedication to become a professional in any field. Becoming a Professional Weirdo takes something else…
I met Jordan Jonas on Friday the 13th, in July 2018. This was my first official Blood Booth at Sister Bar. He walked in around 1 am, wearing a Local Boogeyman tee, and hair that looked like it jumped off the cover of August 89’s issue of Metal Hammer Magazine. He and his girlfriend, Tiffany, had come into the bar after what I could only assume was the end of his set with a new glam metal band, touring through Albuquerque. It was that moment that I decided it was time for a “bathroom break” and that on my way, I’d casually let them know what we had going on in the corner. To this day, that decision has proved itself fortuitous.
Naturally, one of the first questions Jordan is regularly asked when meeting someone is “are you in a band?” It tends to come as a bit of a shock when they’re met with “No, I’m a magician.” After being taken back, the wheels turn and they arrive at Criss Angel, then it makes perfect sense to them. While I happen to know that Jordan does not take any cues from Angel, the jump is enough for most people to settle aesthetic in their own minds, and accept it enough to move on or ask for a trick.
To address the elephant in the hat, there tend to be stereotypes and prejudices against magicians. People often think they’re geeky, nerds who always have a deck of cards, a sleeve full of scarves, and a dove who’s been inside a secret pocket for far too long. They’ve come across as douchey, tricksters who try to make people feel stupid or inferior. Jordan is all of these things. Just kidding. Though he probably really does have a deck on him at all times. …jury’s still out on the dove. At the risk of saying something as simple as “Jordan is different”, he’s shown me a side of magic that I believe anyone can genuinely appreciate. He has developed a craft that I view as pure art. That, coupled with his eerie stage aesthetic, makes for one of those nights out you’ll not soon forget.
Jordan has curated a performance, both on and off stage that leaves you with an “oh fuck!” sort of feeling, coupled with a strong desire to find an exorcist, and quickly. All of the shows I’ve been to and been apart of, make me want to drop everything I’ve ever worked towards and focus the rest of my life on sleight of hand. Though that may seem overly dramatic, I don’t know if I can refute it. He works this crafted skill into a show that I can only think of as “Rob Zombie’s, The Shining”, but with less fog.
Some things that have struck me most about Jordan Jonas are his attention to detail and a work ethic that puts me to shame. I had the opportunity to film him a little while back, and during the process, I had every intention of not going behind his back or filming too closely, so as not to capture how he pulls off the weird shit he does. Two cameramen in a small venue leave you in positions where that’s not really an option if you’d actually like to capture something dynamic. Much to my surprise, not only did I see him perform new things, I still have no idea how the hell he pulled them off. I’ve seen the footage, and from every angle, it’s flawless. Later, he told me the number of hours he’d put into every angel being accessible to his audience and the camera. This is art.
Jordan is a phenomenal magician. And, because he doesn’t fit the stereotypes of many others in his line of work, I feel proud to be in his circle of close friends. If you have the opportunity, go see one of his shows. Make a night of it. Being the horror fan that he is, the genre makes its way onto his stage in a way that feels so natural, it’s spooky. You may leave having experienced genuine joy, but I’d still recommend having your exorcist on speed dial.
Josh T. Romero