An evening of wonders in North Van
Born in Belarus, but raised in Israel, a captivated 14-year-old Vitaly Beckman watched David Copperfield perform on the television set in his family’s Haifa home.
“I was curious to find out how he did some of those things,” says Beckman with a thick Israeli accent. “He did some grand-scale magic but he also did some small-scale magic with a couple of rubber bands. So I couldn’t figure out how he did it, so I thought, ‘If it was me, how would I do it and create an illusion like that?’
“So I developed something and showed it my family and they liked it and I showed it to my friends and they liked it so I wanted to show them more. I discovered that I had ideas of my own, ideas of new magic, new illusions that I could create. And that’s what I’ve been doing to this day — everything in my show is original and something that I came up with.”
Beckman (or simply Vitaly, as he’s known on stage) has lived in Vancouver for four years. He has built an impressive reputation as an illusionist by wowing onlookers around the Lower Mainland with his original, art- and nature-inspired tricks. Beckman will be performing a string of shows in Vancouver (The Cultch March 8 to 10 and March 15 to 17), North Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford and Port Moody this spring.
“You have a vision of something that you think is really great and really wonderful, but it’s all in your mind,” he says. “So then, you are actually able to create it and present it to an audience and to share it. I try to not to watch other magicians. I try to get inspired by sources outside of magic like movies and music and just nature. Like, I have a thing with leaves that was inspired by the sight of falling leaves in the fall.”
Beckman approaches his magic like an art form and like any artist, he hopes to inspire those who experience it, making the creativity contagious.
“Magic reminds us about the special things in everyday life,” he says. During his upcoming shows, Beckman will be performing a trick that removes the person’s image from their driver’s licence. “When you watch magic, you start to notice and appreciate more the magic in ordinary life. For a lot of people, life becomes like a routine and they don’t pay attention to the special moments — being in the present, being in nature — and when you watch magic you start to notice these things in every day life. In some of the magic I do, I try to make it inspiring so that when people go home, they have a feeling anything can be possible. So maybe in their life, their dreams can be possible and maybe they can achieve more.”
So has magic every helped him with meeting women?
“Umm…help me meet women? Hmm….” he ponders seriously. “Not really because in every day life I try not to show off and use magic for those purposes. I treat it more as an art and that’s what it is to me and I really love it as a performance. For people who need help with the ladies, they just need to be confident and believe in themselves — I don’t think a trick will help them.”