Zack Mirza has created a remarkable career both as a professional animator and a magician. He has animated a variety of children’s programs and his magic career was featured in the OLN series Illusion of Grandeur. He has combined both those passions in a Kickstarter campaign to create his own unique deck of cards featuring characters based on Arabic folklore. In this episode we discussed Zack’s unique creative process and his love of the art of magic.
Zack first got into magic when he was a young child. He saw a magician perform at a carnival in London, Ontario and he quickly became obsessed. It was his grandfather was someone that loved magic and pranks. That attitude to life became deeply ingrained in Zack. Zack is a natural introvert and he kept his magic practice mostly to himself. His coming out began when famous football player Pinball Clemmons saw him performing some tricks on a basketball court. Pinball took Zack with him to a variety of school presentations and that was the start of his career.
Magic is always at the forefront of Zack’s life. Zack has spent much of the last year performing as much as possible. He was the resident magician at The Drake Hotel. He has taken some time off to get back to the nitty gritty of learning and mastering new tricks. For Zack magic is not just magic, there’s an art to it. He works as a professional animator and he finds that there is a lot of overlap between the two fields. Animation is the illusion of life and magic is almost exactly the same thing. It’s a natural parallel because you’re crafting your own reality.
His TV show Illusions of Grandeur was a perfect example of right place and right time. He had met a few people in the television industry that liked his online videos. Zack emphasized that his success didn’t happen overnight. There were many years of working on his material and being very proactive. Once you’re doing something that you feel very strongly about the right pathways are going to open up for you. Illusions of Grandeur is a very real magic reality show. The show went to the core of someone trying to achieve a goal. What drives a person to master their craft?
Zack has just Kickstarted his deck, The Jinni Deck. Zack got the idea for the deck because he wanted to translate his love of art into a deck. He wanted to create something that had a demonic bent to it. But Zack loves the film Aladdin and was inspired to model his deck on the folklore of the traditional Jinn. He took the Arabian folklore and turned it into a whole fictional world.
Zack thinks the exposure of magic right now has made magic trendy once again. But he thinks that being passionate about the art is what makes it appealing to people. He also thinks that being honest and authentic is the only way to be successful.
Zack’s advice to younger magicians is that you have to be in love with what you do in order for it be successful. He thinks a lot of people have a convoluted idea about what they want to accomplish. And a great work ethic is hugely importantly. Zack believes you have to be OK with baby steps. Setting yourself realistic goals is also very important.
What do you want to tell the magic world?
Be authentic. That’s the name of the game. Be you.
What’s the one question you have for the audience?
Do you prefer the TV magician or the social media magician?
What did you learn?
Jonah liked was how chill Zack was about his failures.
Tyler really appreciated hearing about the design and creation about the Jinni deck.
Zack loves the creative process and where it can take you.
@ZackMirza Snapchat and Instagram