Born in Las Vegas but raised in Savannah, local magician David Jowers has spent his entire life sharing magic across the United States.
After paying his dues working the comedy circuit, Jowers was recently awarded the position of resident magician at the JW Marriott Plant Riverside District.
Specializing in close-up magic with everyday objects rather than large-scale illusions, Jowers has appeared on VH1’s Celebracadabra, performed at Caroline’s on Broadway and been featured on the Food Network alongside famed chef Rachael Ray. He also performed at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas as part of the launch of former professional wrestler and television personality Hulk Hogan’s gaming machine Hulkamania.
How old were you when you performed your first magic trick.
When I was 6 years old my grandfather took me to a magic show then bought me a magic kit for Christmas. My first trick was the Ball and the Vase. It was a little vase with a ball in it. I put the ball in my pocket, placed the lid on the vase and made the ball reappear in the vase. I’ve been totally self taught since that first magic kit 42 years ago.
There are so many famous magicians. Who do you admire and why?
David Copperfield is my hero. I admire his style and his magnetism. From the theatrics he uses on stage, the way he moves to the lighting, music, movement. He is a performer I admire.
Tell us about your first performance.
Big performance, to me? I was 14 and it was at the old Comedy House Theater on Mall Boulevard here in Savannah. They did amateur nights and said I could come in and do my five minutes but then had to leave. I made a dove appear. With lights streaming down on me, I remember the stool supporting an aluminum pan filled with lighter fluid. I threw the match in, the flames came up, I put the lid on and out came the dove. First try—perfect!
Do you consider magic an art, science, trick or reality?
It’s definitely art and dates back to Jean Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic.
When it comes to magic how do people respond?
They pretty much have all the same reaction, disbelief and awe. I really enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face.
You’ve practiced magic from age 14 to now 48, what are some of the unique places you have performed.
When I was doing amateur nights at the Comedy House Theater, I got to do some performances with John “Gemini” Lombardi. He invited me to perform in Canada, Las Vegas, New York and Philly. It was my first time in New York. It was beyond freezing cold and it was the first experience I had with snow. Traveling to all these places, it was pretty amazing!
What is your most difficult trick to perform?
The one that pops into my head is the straight jacket escape. It was at the grand opening of the Distillery in Feb., 2009. They put me in a straight jacket and hoisted me up 40 feet in the air by a boom crane. I had to get out while hanging upside down. I got out in under two minutes.
As the resident magician here at JW Marriot Plant Riverside District for the past 3 months—what has been your experience working here?
It has been unbelievable since I started. Time goes by so fast but I’m having a ball and I’m very honored to be a part of the JW Marriott Plant Riverside District team. Richard Kessler and his had a really good vision on bringing me in.
Jowers performs magic regularly at Plant Riverside District and is typically on-site Wednesday through Saturday from 6-10 p.m., performing free strolling magic throughout Savannah’s Entertainment District. To learn more or to view a performance schedule, please visit plantriverside.com.