There is a bit of magic that resides in Lincolnton. It comes into the hands of Jason “Doc” Docherty.
“My parents went on vacation to Puerto Rico when I was eight or nine and brought home a magical set,” he said. “Any little boy this age would be fascinated by a magical ensemble. There was also a TV show that went on in the morning called “Mr. Wizard” which I loved to watch. “
It all started there.
When he was a little older, a friend gave him a copy of Henry Hay’s “Amateur Magician‘s Handbook,” which taught him more advanced sleight of hand and opened up a whole new world for him.
“I visited the magic store in Charlotte and ordered things by mail order and waited for UPS to deliver to me,” he said. “I just did it as a hobby, but I really wanted to play. I started to organize birthday parties locally for children, mainly for friends and family. I remember selling tickets around the neighborhood and the only ones who came were mom, dad and sister.
After graduating from Lincolnton High School, Docherty was encouraged to try for Carowinds. In early 1994 his father drove him to Charlotte and he tried.
“I did all the tricks I knew,” he said. “I had a whole briefcase full of magic. My mom called me that Monday while I was in class and told me Carowinds wanted to talk to me. They offered me a job to do two standing shows and four shows a day.
I moved to Charlotte that summer and it opened up a whole new world to me. In December, my father, who is from Pittsburgh, found out that one of his brothers was going to school with Paul Gertner, a well-known magician. I bought his book, “Steel & Silver”, which was a professional magic book. It took me even further down the rabbit hole.
“Paul then invited me to Pittsburgh, so when I was 18, I got in my Civic on my own and drove all the way to Pittsburgh,” he said. “Another uncle surprised me when I arrived and paid for my room. The next day Paul picked me up and took me to eat for lunch. Then we went back to his house and he performed his book tricks. It overwhelmed me.
Docherty returned nonstop in Charlotte to the magic store to buy the parts he needed to do the tricks he had seen Gertner do.
“Magic is probably one of the most written topics on topics that most people don’t know about because they are intended for magicians,” he said. “These are very small prints. It opens up your world and you meet people from all over the world.
Over the past decade, Docherty has had a regular job and done some magic on the side. He did, however, have a long-term goal: to perform at Hollywood’s Magic Castle, which has been considered the capital of close-up magic since the 1960s.
Close-up magic is just that – the magician performs sleight of hand right in front of the audience. They are much more intimate shows.
In 2017 or 2018, Docherty decided it was time to focus on this goal. He kept sending tapes and talking to the booker.
“I received a call in January 2020 asking me to come in March,” he said. “I had booked from March 2 to 8e. I did a whole week of magic in the close-up room. It’s only been 15 months, but it seems like forever now. “
The thought of COVID was only just beginning at that point, Docherty added. The masks were right here and there, and he always shook hands after every performance. The room he was in was small and held 30 people.
“The way the Magic Castle works is that there are two people in the close-up room, an early performer and a late performer,” he said. “The same in the living room and the palace. The shows take place from Monday to Sunday. That Wednesday, it was learned that someone at LAX had allegedly been stricken with COVID and all the flags were raised. I had another engagement in Vegas where I was to give a talk, which always happened on March 11th. I returned home on the 12the and then everything stopped on the 13the. I was the last full week of live shows at Magic Castle.
Magic is now Docherty’s full-time job. While on leave during the pandemic, he designed a show that has a hidden secret, but this is the show and it’s a great performance. It’s the most involved show Docherty has ever designed, and it’s aptly called “The Spectacle”.
“It’s not a typical magic show, there are a lot of amazing things going to happen,” he said. “It’s about the incredible beauty of life, of being human and connected. A friend of mine once told me that you have to dream out loud because you never know when faith is listening. My goal one day is to own a magic theater.
Docherty will perform The Spectacle at BrickTree Brewing Co. on June 26 at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets cost $ 15 per person. Tickets are available online at https://spectacleshow.wellattended.com. BrickTree Brewing Co. is located at 414 E Water Street in Lincolnton.