TEDx Speakers | Mark Kalin
Mark Kalin wanted to be a puppeteer until one day, at age 9, when he looked on a shelf at the library and found a book on magic. “I enjoyed the puppets, but the idea of magic really intrigued me. I tried to do a few tricks and found out it was something that I could master”. Ten years later, as a young man, he was recognized as one of the top magicians in the world. Kalin performed around the globe, bringing his innovative routines to theaters, casinos and clubs. That was when he met a performer named Jinger Leigh. Jinger had taken dance lessons when she was four, and by age fifteen she was working as a professional dancer. She worked for companies like Disney, Fuji Television and in Southern California dinner theaters. At a resort in Guam she met Mark Kalin, and was instantly impressed by his magic and his rapport with the audience.
As they began working together, Jinger became an integral part of the show”. “From the start, I realized that those standard ‘magician and assistant’ roles just didn’t fit us,” Mark explains. “We had to find a special combination that made the most of our performances and created our own sort of magic.” Their signature illusions—the Fire Spiker, Circle of Fire, and their amazing Sawing in Half illusion —combined with a unique performing style quickly earned them a reputation among audiences and professional magicians alike.
Mark Kalin (The Showman) and Jinger Leigh (The Conjuress) were featured stars of the worlds largest touring magic show, “The Illusionists” including a European tour in 2014. The duo also starred in “The Illusionists 2.0 “and most recently in “The illusionists 1903: The Golden Age of Magic”, which made it’s world debut in Brisbane Australia in January 2015. Mark was also integral to the creation of The Illusionists 1903 acting as Creative Director for the show. Mark is credited as Illusion Director for “The Illusionists on Broadway”, playing the the Marquis Theater in December of 2014, becoming the highest-grossing magic show in Broadway history.
In 1998 Kalin & Jinger were voted magic’s highest honor, Magicians of the Year, by the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts—Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Other recipients include David Copperfield, Doug Henning, David Blaine, Lance Burton and Penn & Teller. In 2001, the World Magic Awards honored their show with “Best Magic Show” and again in 2008 they received the 2008 Magicians of the Year, by Fox Television.