Tait said he feels honored to have stood on the podium at what he calls the “Olympics of magic” in front of thousands of world-class magicians using a routine he developed over four years. He said he was the first American to place in card magic in about two decades.
Locapo attended the recent world championship and said he was unsurprised to see Tait on the podium.
“I saw amazing stuff, but nobody that threw in as strong of a performance as Erik did,” he said.
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Tait, who has a degree in comedy writing and performance from Humber College in Toronto, said he started juggling at 17 at
The Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, before the owner of a local magic shop taught him some card tricks.
After Tom Vorjohan, a program chairman at the International Brotherhood of Magicians, recommended him for it, he joined the organization, which sponsored him to attend FISM.
Vorjohan, 58 of St. Petersburg, Florida, said Tait’s magic is on “a whole ‘nother level,” with unique card tricks paired with comedy. He said Tait puts a lot of effort into his shows, even working with numerous local businesses in Columbus on his suit, music and more for the world championship.
Tait said he has graduated to using older methods for his magic that he’s found through extensive reading and research. These methods are less-recognizable to established magicians, particularly when Tait adds his own unique comedic spin to the tricks, he said.
“I won this award because of the way I do magic, and I’m not going to change that,” Tait said. “The only thing that’s going to change is my focus. … I’d very much like to perform for audiences and teach magic.”
Tait said he hopes to leverage his accomplishment to help aspiring magicians learn and compete if they want.
“I should not be an anomaly on the podium in card magic; I should be the beginning of the tradition,” Tait said. “Some of the best card magicians in the world live in the United States — they live in New York … they live in Chicago, they live in L.A., they live in Las Vegas, they live here in Columbus.”
ThisWeek reporter Gary Seman Jr. contributed to this article.