Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | October 13, 2009
Home : Lifestyle
Dodd's magic of HOPE
Brian Bonitto, Ja Editor — Overseas Publications

Kemarch 'Wizad' Dodd performs one of his many illusions.

LIKE ace sprinter Usain Bolt and reggae icon Bob Marley, Kemarch 'Wizad' Dodd hopes to put Jamaica on the map. His talent? Performing magic.

An illusion? Dodd doesn't think so.

"I have the showmanship and enough illusions to entertain any audience, in any setting, anywhere around the world," he said with confidence belying his years of experience in the field.

The 24-year-old former student of Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High explained that his curiosity spurred him to be a magician.

"I wanted to know how some of these illusions were done so I went to the Tom Redcam library in St Andrew and read ... I was about 14 then. When I showed my schoolmates what I could do, I became an instant celebrity. I was like Michael Jackson," he continued.

Not obeah

Dodd said crowds of students would gather in his classroom and wait to be entertained at lunch time.

"Teachers would oftentimes come running when they saw the crowd, believing it was a fight," he said.

There was a drawback to his impromptu performances, the magician explained.

"The vendors at school refused to take my money, fearing it was a trick, so I had to ask other persons to buy my lunch!" he said.

That was not the only hurdle Dodd had to face.

"I had to convince my mother, who is a Christian, that what I was doing was not obeah ... I had to show her how the tricks were done. I even performed for her church," he said.

Since those early days Dodd has 'upgraded' his skills under the mentorship of local magician Andrew 'Bruce' Campbell.

"He introduced me to the showmanship aspect of the act," the illusionist said.

Generate excitement

Today Dodd has an expanded catalogue of illusions and has graced several local stages as well as some in Grenada and Curaçao.

"I can make a person appear on stage and I can levitate as well," said the magician. Dodd said he wants to meet US magicians David Blaine, Criss Angel and Lance Burton who have all established themselves at the top of their game. He is convinced that local magicians can make a name for themselves if the promoters change their mindset.

"Promoters should look at other talents too ... they should see magicians as part of an entertainment package ... just like singers and musicians," he said.

This will not happen with the wave of a wand.

"I'll just have to work harder and generate enough excitement to get the right people to take notice," he said. "And, I promise you, I will put Jamaica on the map."


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