The Jalisco illusionist is an escapist in this prestigious magic show

Fernando Velasco's dream was to become a bullfighter, a discipline he loved when he was a child. His family took him to see the bullfights in his native El Grullo, a small town located 80 miles from the Mexican city of Guadalajara.

However, there were two impediments: his mother and having immigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old.

“Since I was little I wanted to do some entertainment,” said Velasco, who is now 21 years old. "If I sang beautifully, I think I would have been a singer."

But life had other plans for him. His father took him one day to the Magic Castle – where he works as a waiter – an exclusive nightclub nestled in the heart of Hollywood where magic shows are offered and also functions as an academy for magicians.

"From the moment I entered I fell in love with magic," Velasco said. "Since my dad knew many wizards, they told him they could teach me."

And Velasco was such a good student that at age 15 he was already debuting professionally in the same place where his father attended tables.

"My dad was the first employee who had a son who became a magician," said this boy who now travels the world as part of the Champions of Magic, a show that integrates five of the best illusionists in the world and will arrive on Saturday at Segerstrom Center for the Arts of Costa Mesa.

Velasco's specialty is escapism, a discipline he learned when he was admitted to this show. Its segment, one of the most dangerous of the show, consists of leaving a cell full of water, where it enters head and tied with a straitjacket. The risk is extreme, he says.

But Velasco has not only distinguished himself as the youngest illusionist in executing this act, but because as part of his outfit he wears charro pants, which feature embroidery or hardware on the sides.

"The idea was from a Japanese friend," he said. “When I was 15 or 16, he told me that I needed to embrace my culture, take how rich it is and integrate it into my magic; that's where the idea of ​​mariachi pants came from. ”

For now, Velasco's plans to study architecture were left aside. His goal is to revolutionize the art of magic, which he considers few have done in the history of illusionism.

"I want to give it a spin," he said. “I put a Latin touch to my shows, and it's a different project; I'm surprised that more wizards don't do it. ”

In detail

What: Champions of Magic

When: Saturday, 4 and 8 pm

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa

As: tickets $ 39 to $ 179

Reports: (714) 556-2787 and

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