How to make a career disappear into thin air

AT the age of 27, Matt Tarrant left a high-end job at one of Australia’s biggest banks to become a magician.

“I liked the corporate world, but realised it’s wasn’t for me,” he says.

Telling his mum, a school principal, he’d chucked a good job to start a magic act was his first big trick.

“I popped into mum’s to tell her. She said ‘Do you have any bookings lined up?’ – I didn’t…”

Mum didn’t quite give her blessing, but he wasn’t cut out of the will just yet, and set about mastering his craft.

The first couple of years were tough, but Tarrant is now one of Australia’s leading magicians, selling out shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and winning consecutive awards.

“Since 2012 I have won awards every year. This year I had an award named after me. Which is what they do when they run out of awards to give you.”

Tarrant saw his first magic act when he was seven, but didn’t think for a minute it was anything he could do.

Then aged 18 he saw a magician that changed everything: “I thought ‘wouldn’t it be good if I could do that, only better’.”

It turned out the conjurer worked at the same bank and was happy to pass on some tips to Tarrant, who quickly got the magic bug.

These days the 31-year-old is busy coming up with new illusions to keep his act fresh.

“I have to ensure we have 10 solid, unique tricks. That’s a lot of magic.”

His latest solo show More UNSOLVED, developed over five years, combines storytelling and magic.

“Inspired by my personal journey in magic, it will take you on your own personal journey to enjoy and fall in love with magic all over again.”

Tarrant is in Perth for Fringe World 2019, January 18 to Sunday February 10.

Fringe tickets went on sale last week and you’ll need to get in quick as Tarrant’s shows sell out fast.

By JENNY D’ANGER

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