Welcome to Shezam’s first panel discussion! We’re starting off with a discussion on the experience of performers of Asian descent. What are the effects of using, “an obviously fake piece of plastic with funny squiggles on it that say ‘Fish Market'” on the magicians around us? This episode is so vital to creating a better community. You’ll definitely want to listen twice!
Who are our panelists?
Felice Ling is a social scientist, a Boston-based magician, and an international street performer. She has performed in festivals and on the streets of three different continents but spent most of her pre-pandemic time performing in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. She’s also the Founder of the Boston Magic Lab, a monthly open mic magic show that just recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
Makoto Halverson started studying magic in middle school. Through high school, he learned mentalism and hypnosis but focused on sleight of hand once he started street performing in college. As a busker, he has developed original innovations to the Cups and Balls and popularized the obscure art of Coinistry. He’s performed in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and all over California.
Ed Kwon, from Korea, is known for his undeniable skill with sleight of hand mixed with a conversational style of magic. He holds a phD in magical performance art, given to him at the 4F convention, and has performed in Vegas and at the magic castle. He studied magic in the US for many years before moving back to Korea.
Courtney Pong is the owner and general manager of CSz Boston, as well as the owner of The Rozzie Square Theater, located in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston. As a professional improviser for over 19 years, Courtney has designed and led team-building workshops and provided entertainment for companies like The Boston Red Sox, Bloomberg LP, and Northeastern University. Since 2001, she has been a performer and educator with CSz Worldwide, which is home to the award-winning improv comedy show, ComedySportz, performed in 30 cities across the US and Europe. Courtney hails from San Francisco and holds over 15 years of experience in communication & public relations. She regularly spends her time volunteering with local and national organizations and initiatives that focus on empowering BIPOC/WOC/Women leadership and is currently serving her first of a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for Roslindale Village Mainstreet. In 2020 she was recognized as a Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 Honoree, an annual award that highlights the city’s best and brightest young professionals.
With a father as both a magician and a magic shop proprietor, Julie Eng grew up on the west coast of Canada, learning and performing magic. She emerged from the family tradition as a magician in her own right, and now, holds over three decades of experience. After relocating to Toronto, she has served twelve years as the executive director of Magicana, an arts organization dedicated to the exploration and advancement of magic, where she has been steeped in the study of the rich history and applications of this often-misunderstood art.