Art and magic are Jay’s passions.
As a professional magician he has enjoyed success in one of the toughest industries and had made a full-time living from magic since graduating from University in 2000 until 2018, when he ‘retired’ from performing and producing to enjoy a new career pursuing art.
He has performed cabaret and comedy shows in countless venues, from cruise-ship theatres, holiday destinations, corporate events, product launches, roadshows, hotels, conferences, award ceremonies, theme parks and more.
Whilst at University Jay practised his craft working as a street performer. On an art & design degree in Swansea, Jay jumped course after just one year to Bournemouth Institute of Art. There they accepted him straight into the second year, but Jay opted to re-do his first year. His tutors mistakenly assumed this was dedication on his part. In reality, Jay – being on the grant system – wished to have another government funded year as he knew the crowds were better in Bournemouth to entertain!
Upon graduation, Jay began hitting the UK agents and venues direct. He secured a full-time entertainment contract as a magician in LegoLand, Windsor. Within months he also had secured his first agent, who then offered him management. Soon, Jay was performing in prestigious venues such as Tower Bridge, Tower of London and other venues that weren’t just towers.
Always restless, he began soliciting meetings with venue owners and operators, winning contracts to supply entertainment at hotels chains, including Marriott and Holiday Inn.
Gradually, he spent as much time providing acts to venues as he did performing, and being in high demand, branched out on his own. His agency, Corporate Kids Parties, provided entertainment for the corporate event industry family fun days. He also picked up several theme parks. The agency expanded and Jay was now supplying Santa’s for shopping centres across the UK, magicians for weddings, festivals and corporate events.
Alongside this, Jay continued to be the requested magician, emcee and entertainer for award-ceremonies, corporate parties and banquets. He was one of London’s busiest magicians.
In 2008, Jay’s skills as a magician and agent was brought to the attention of Trevor George Entertainments – the UK’s leading entertainment agency. He was invited to join forces and together, with MD Anne George, they expanded further into festivals, tours and productions.
After a health scare brought on from flying worldwide in 2008, Jay stopped his overseas engagements, concentrating on the UK market. He quickly became busy working the corporate scene and holiday centres across the country. He was the most requested comedy magic act for national chains Pontins and Haven.
2011 saw Jay begin his career managing acts. He took on Shaolin Warriors (UK) finalists of Britain’s Got Talent, who went on to have their own 6 part series ‘Kung-Fu Changed My Life’ on Sky One. Jay co-wrote and produced their UK tour Shaolin Elements, including merchandise and original soundtrack.
In 2018, after 17 years as a full-time professional magician with thousands of performances behind him (including one-man shows in Las Vegas, Edinburgh and London) Jay chose to stop the touring and performing, concentrating on his art and bringing other creative projects to fruition. During his performing career Jay was the requested magician to entertain the head-offices of Disney, HSBC, RBS, McMullen’s, Marriott (UK), BT, LandRover, BMW, Aston Martin, Natwest, More Than, John Lewis, M&S to name a few. Plus countless solicitors, accountants, insurance, IT, supermarket and manufacturing companies.
These days, Jay often performs for charity events through his Magic Moments initiative taking workshops into special needs schools.
PRODUCTIONS 2003 – 2018:
Jay has written, directed and produced many tours and shows, including the first magic show at The 02 in London, a two-year Fringe Festival featuring headline acts, music & martial arts shows, TV formats, conferences & seminars with expert presenters and leading talent. Many are experiential-based creative seminars. An overview of past projects are below. Jay ceased producing events in 2018 after 15 years of fun and frolics.
Apr 2018 – Eugene Burger Legacy Tour. Producer. Tour Manager. Guest Speaker.
Feb 2018 – Geosprite Magic Installation. Consultant.
Nov 2017 – Magical Workshop. Producer. Performer.
Oct 2016 – Philosophical Foundations in Osteopathic Practice. Producer.
Feb 2016 – Masters of Magic. Producer. Tour Manager.
Feb 2016 – Focus on Stage Magic. Focus on Mentalism. Producer.
Nov 2015 – Close-up and Personal. Producer & Director. Emcee.
Aug 2015 – Riviera Fringe Festival. Co-Production with Anne George. Trevor George Entertainments.
Aug 2015 – Riviera Fringe Film Festival. Co-Production with Anne George.
Sep 2014 – Magic Moments Variety Show. Co-Production with Richard Leigh. Producer & Director. Emcee.
July 2014 – Riviera Fringe Festival. Co-Production with Anne George. Trevor George Entertainments. 7 days of magic, variety and much, much more. Across 20 miles of coastline, 10,000 people. Starring Milton Jones, Lee Nelson, Shaolin Warriors, music tributes, bands, musicians, talent shows, plays, drama, film, comedy headliners, TV personalities, 10 boat floatilla, Giant People’s Palm-Tree, Art Exhibition, roadshows and more.
Feb 2014 – Jeff McBride LIVE. UK Tour. Producer. Tour Manager.
Dec 2013 – Marvin’s Magic School. Creator. Online tuition platform.
Nov 2013 – International Magic Conference. Guest Speaker.
Oct 2013 – Marvin’s Magic School LIVE at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson.
Oct 2013 – The Big Day of Creativity. Co-Production with George Parker.
Sep 2013 – Magic Moments in conjunction with Magic 105.4 and Paradise Wildlife Park. Producer. A packed family fun-day featuring costume characters, speciality acts, Britain’s Got Talent finalists, singers, magicians, comedians and exotic animals! Over 3000 people. Raising money for Magic 105.4 chosen charity.
Mar 2013 – The Pressure Cell. UK Tour. Producer. Tour Manager.
Feb 2013 – Marvin’s Magic School LIVE at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson.
Oct 2012 – Magic & Meaning – Las Vegas. Expert Speaker.
Oct 2012 – Magic Moments. Co-Production with Richard Leigh. Emcee.
Sept 2012 – Marvin’s Magic School LIVE at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson.
Sept 2012 – Shaolin Elements. Producer. Starring the sensational Shaolin Warriors UK, headed by 34th generation Shaolin Disciple Matthew Ahmet (star of Sky 1’s ‘Kung-Fu Changed My Life’) featuring 20 shaolin warriors, original soundtrack (commissioned by Jay) and merchandise. Various dates across London. All performances sold-out.
Jun 2012 – Marvin’s Magic School LIVE at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson.
Oct 2011 – Marvin’s Magic School LIVE at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson.
Oct 2011 – Magic Moments. Co-Production with Richard Leigh.
Oct 2011 – Zimbabwe Orphan Magic Appeal. Producer.
Oct 2010 – Magic Moments. Co-Production with Richard Leigh.
Sept 2010 – Walk On Stage. Co-Production with John Ross. Producer & Director. Emcee. Feel-good variety show featuring members of the public giving it a go! Raising money for Magic Moments chosen charity. Amazing and emotional show with singers, jugglers, magicians, kids to old folks!
Aug 2010 – Make It Magic. Co-Production with Anne George. Trevor George Entertainments. Writer & Director.
Jun-Aug 2010 – Ghost Torre. Co-Production with Jen Allen.
Oct 2009 – Dr. Doo & Dr. Little. Live at The O2. Co-Production with Steve Sampson. Writer. Director.
Oct 2009 – Magic Moments. Co-Production with Richard Leigh. Emcee.
Jul-Sep 2008 – International World of Circus. Co-Production with Anne George. Trevor George Entertainments.
Feb 2008 – Magic Moments. Co-Production with Richard Leigh.
Sep 2007 – AbracadASBO. Flashback TV. Writer, Performer.
Feb 2007 – Sideshow. A Collection of Magical Curiosities. London. Co-Production with Richard Leigh.
Oct 2006 – Magic & Meaning – Las Vegas. Performer.
Aug 2006 – Edinburgh Festival. Performer.
Jul 2005 – Peculiarities. Co-Production with Matt Herd. Producer, Writer, Performer.
2003 – 2009 – Magick & Mayhem. One-Man Show. London. Co-Production with Richard Leigh. Writer & Performer. Over a 6 year period Jay performed many runs of his one-man show in the West-End. In its various incarnations this intimate theatre show featured original magic created and performed by Jay, all dealing with human emotions and inhibitions. Taboo topics were not off the table. The aim of the show was to explore the connection between the human condition through the performance of magic and comedy. A black comedy. Despite further offers to perform, Jay ceased Magick & Mayhem in 2009 to focus on exploring other topics and concepts through the performance of magic.
2002 – 2005 – The Manic Magic Show. London. Writer. Performer.
2004 – 2005 – The Magic & Music Show. London. Writer. Performer.
Devised by Jay on the back of his successful Radio Magic weekly broadcast, The Magic Interview Series was a collection of CD interviews with leading magicians discussing their life story, theories and philosophy of magic and performance. All 5 releases have sold-out.
2009 – The Magic Interview Series #5 starring Geoffrey Durham. ‘The Great Soprendo’, star of ITV’s Best of Magic, C4’s Countdown and leading magician and thinker.
2009 – The Magic Interview Series #4 starring Noel Britten. Writer and performer of the world’s longest running street magic comedy tour ‘Bizarre Bath’.
2008 – The Magic Interview Series #3 starring Jonathan Goodwin. Re-shaping the role of the magician as escapologist. Star of ‘The Incredible Mr. Goodwin’, Dirty Tricks, Monkey Magic and seen on leading prime-time chat shows.
2008 – The Magic Interview Series #2 starring Anthony Owen. Multi BAFTA winning TV Creative, Executive Producer & Theatre Director. Derren Brown’s TV shows, BBC1’s The Magicians, Now You See It, ITV’s ‘Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic’ and much more.
2007 – The Magic Interview Series #1 starring Wayne Dobson. Legendary magician and TV star. Wayne Dobson’s ‘A Kind of Magic’, Royal Variety appearances and more.
Jay has had over 100 articles and features published in magazines and newspapers.
Writing plays a huge part in Jay’s creative output. To date, he has written, edited and self-published two books (below: now out-of-print), written articles on magic and the allied arts, short-stories in the horror genre (a love of Jay’s) and is currently working on his first novels; a series of childrens’ magical fantasy stories, the first due to be published 2019. His work has been featured in MagicSeen, MagiGram, Club71, Abracadabra, Trixigram and Alakazam magazines. Jay has written gags for leading greetings card companies and comedy calendars. Jay has also written radio advertisements for commercial FM and AM stations. He continues to enjoy over ten years of regular features in MagicSeen, Europe’s biggest selling magical trade journal, being their longest running independent contributor.
As a performer, Jay has written many shows, including his one-man show Magick & Mayhem, touring family show Make It Magic, and Dr. Do & Dr. Little’s Magical Spooktacular which was the first magic show ever at London’s prestigious 02.
Radio Magic. This two-volume set was written, collated and edited by Jay. Featuring transcripts of interviews from his Radio Magic show (live from London, weekly 2005-6) with the world’s leading magicians. Over 1000 copies were printed and is now out-of-print. Magic Magazine called the books ‘the first of their kind in magic’ and has been rated 5 Stars.
MagicSeen Magazine. Jay’s cover star interviews have been published many times in MagicSeen, along with his various articles; ‘The Think Tank’ – a comical take on life as a working professional magician and his ‘Magic Moments’ series, looking at global altruistic magicians and magic projects. Jay has also had his projects featured; Radio Magic, Marvin’s Magic School and Magic Moments, his charitable fund-raising initiative.
The Secret Agent. Over a 3 year period, Jay wrote a series of articles published for the magic community offering advice on how to approach an agent, preparing for showcases, marketing and promoting yourself within the entertainment agency. The series received global praise, which ultimately led to him being offered his own Secret Agent segment on Mystery School, a live internet TV show from Las Vegas hosted by the world’s most prestigious magicians. The name ‘The Secret Agent’ was coined as Jay had been an agent for around ten years working with the UK’s leading event producers and entertainment agents, whilst being a successful performer.
Dr. Do & Dr. Little Live at The 02 Arena was written and directed by Jay. It was the first magic show to happen at the prestigious 02. Part pantomime, full of magic and songs devised for the show, Dr. Do & Dr. Little was an interactive family fun show. The show also featured a collection of real live animals including a tarantula, barn owl, snake and ferret! And a rather famous prop from the Phantom of the Opera on loan from the West-End!
Make It Magic. Jay wrote this original pantomime in conjunction with Anne George. The show featured a unique ‘Make It Magic’ pop-out and keep magic set, which the children got to create during the show as the story unfolded on stage. This unique gift meant the magic continued long after the curtain had come down. The show toured across UK holiday parks and featured original magic, song and dance.
Ghost Torre. Written, produced and presented by Jay (and a medium who’s name is protected for legal reasons) this entertaining and informative tour took place over a 6 week period in the historical Torre Abbey in Devon, reputedly one of the UK’s most haunted buildings. Using cleverly disguised magic effects, combined with a chilling story based on true characters and tales from the Abbey this tour climaxed with a recreated seance. Definitely not for those that are afraid of the dark!
Abracadabra. The world’s only weekly magic magazine, spanned 63 years of publication. Jay not only illustrated editions, but wrote many pieces and articles. Jay received an editorial ‘thank you’ in the final issue.
MagiGram Magazine & Supreme Magic. At only 15 years young, Jay was the in-house illustrator for what was then the world’s largest magic supplier. He illustrated their advertising literature, catalogues, books and the monthly magazine sent to subscribers globally. Jay also devised, wrote and published many of his own magic creations for MagiGram.
Jay has a degree in Art & Design and has been scribbling and doodling since he was a small human in child form. Rumour has it he came out of the womb with a wand in one hand and a pencil in the other.
Check out Jay’s Art Shop to buy an original portrait.
Jay collaborates with writers to bring their ideas to life. If you have a project that you’d like to discuss, please email here.
Below are a selection of titles which Jay has illustrated. Jay lends his artistic skills to magic projects that excite him and, in his words, ‘excite’ him.
Everybody’s Magic. Everybody’s Magic is a collection of easy to perform magic tricks from more than 30 of the best-known magicians in the UK, including Paul Daniels, Wayne Dobson, Geoffrey Durham, Dominic Wood, Paul Zenon. 100% of the publisher’s profits go directly to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity www.rainbowtrust.org.uk. Line drawings by Jay.
‘Doing illustrations for a magic book is hard. They need to be very clear and natural. Jay delivered! And brought his energy, creativity and communicative skills to this project. We were extremely blessed having him on board.’ George Parker. Editor & Publisher.
Gift Magic. Authored by Jeff McBride, George Parker, Lawrence Hass, Eugene Burger, Rich Bloch, and Robert E. Neale and edited by Larry Hass, Gift Magic includes 11 performances pieces, 5 interviews, and 4 essays on gift magic by world-leading performers, teachers, and philosophers of magic. 57 pencil illustrations by Jay.
All the profits from this book goes to Rich Bloch’s Encore Foundation, a non-profit foundation that assists magicians in times of terrible need.
‘Jay Fortune is a wonderful person and an extremely talented artist. His illustrations for the book Gift Magic were beautifully expressive, and I would work with him again in a heartbeat.’ Lawrence Hass, Ph.D., Associate Dean of McBride’s Magic & Mystery School. Publisher.
Geoffrey Durham Professional Secrets. Truly a modern classic in magic and now highly sought-after by performing magicians, for after the two bookshelf editions were sold out, personal downloads from the author were the only way of getting the benefits of years of his professional experience. Illustrated extensively throughout by Jay.
‘When I decided to write a technical book for professional magicians, I was at a loss to know what to do about the illustrations. Jay Fortune came to the rescue with style, flair and panache. His combination of photographic accuracy and elegant draftsmanship worked wonders. He did a fantastic job and made my task a hundred times easier.’ Geoffrey Durham
Master Routine Series Collected Works by Mark Leveridge. A beautiful 125 page hard backed book which brings together Marks’ major magic works; the 12 Master Routines. Complete with 292 illustrations by Jay.
‘When a few years ago I needed help with the illustrations for a big book, I turned to Jay whose knowledge of magic and skills as an illustrator made him a perfect fit for the job. His drawings were clear, informative and accurate, and his ability to clarify text through diagrams was, I’m sure, one of the reasons why the book has proved so successful as a commercial product.’ Mark Leveridge, Author and creator.
Shivers. Weird and eerie performance pieces that will send a shiver down the spine of your audience. Illustrated throughout by Jay.
Jay has also illustrated conjuring catalogues, advertising literature, instructional sheets, illusion plans, magazine covers and numerous articles in various trade journals, Magigram, Club71, Abracadabra and Alakazam to name a few.
If you have an exciting project that needs illustrating, and nobody else can help, then maybe you can hire… well, drop him an email, you never know!
Little known FACTS of FORTUNE:
(OK, this bit may seem a bit ‘blowing of ones trumpet’ but should be excused as this is an ‘about me’ page, and assume that’s what you’d expect to read here) I’ve…;
– been blessed by Del Boy – for real, on set of Only Fools and Horses! As I dropped in worship to my knees before David Jason, he said ‘Thank you, have some more wine and biscuits, you’ve been blessed my son!’ in character.
– won an acre of rainforest in a national schools drawing competition when I was 12. Apparently it’s still there and protected. I really should check…
– managed and trained with the Shaolin Warriors (UK), including commissioning soundtracks, creating merchandise, setting up the Temple as a business and touring the UK and overseas.
– presented my own radio breakfast show for 3 years across London, Herts and Essex. I also created the world’s only weekly radio show dedicated to magic. ‘Radio Magic’ broadcast weekly on AM and online worldwide for one year 2005-6. Great fun!
– written and directed the first ever magic show at The O2 in London.
– been the only English magician to become faculty and broadcast with the world’s most prestigious magic school in Las Vegas, with monthly segments on their internet TV show.
– consulted on BBCs six part ‘Magic’ series in 2001.
– written, edited and published 2 books.
– created the largest online magic school in conjunction with the global leading magic brand.
– devised Magic Moments; a fund-raising magic initiative raising thousands for charity.
– had some awesome pets including three lion cubs, a meerkat, a red-ruffed lemur, baby cheetah, rather large barn owl, three tarantulas, lots of snakes, a bearded dragon… plus the ‘usual’ cat, dog and gerbils!