Jonathan Burns always thought he was special. He was the kind of kid who would put his leg over his head at the family reunion or perform musical armpit farts to impress the girls. In 2004, contorting his body and impressing people with his unusual talents became his full-time job. Since then he has performed at over 200 colleges & universities, at festivals across the US, Canada, China, Ireland, & New Zealand, and was recently featured on the Jay Leno Show & the Late Show with David Letterman. When he’s not performing he can usually be found in an airport terminal or spending time with his lovely wife & daughter (I guess the armpit farts worked!).
Jonathan Burns always thought he was special. He was the kid who would put his leg over his head in gym class, get the dance party started at any wedding, or perform musical armpit farts to impress girls.
At age twelve, a magic shop opened near his hometown of Johnstown, PA, and a family friend took him on opening day. “I think she thought it would be a good way to direct my never-ending energy,” Burns joked. “At the time I thought it was the coolest place on the planet, but looking back I realize it was a small closet, inside a pizza shop, where a local magician had a few tricks for sale. None of that mattered, it was amazing!”
Jonathan would show up every weekend and come home with new tricks, and then would try out his new found “powers” on his family, friends, and basically anyone who would watch. Eventually, someone took notice and asked him to perform at their daughter’s birthday party. He bought a sparkly vest, threw all of his tricks in a suitcase, shoved some silk scarves up his sleeves, and wowed those kids for about 20 minutes (it was a pretty long scarf)! “Maybe it was the laughter and applause from the audience or the $20 I made, but that’s when I knew I needed to be in show business!”
Throughout middle school and high school Jonathan performed at dozens of birthday parties, church functions, camps, and nursing homes. “While my friends got jobs bagging groceries and flipping burgers, I was out wowing crowds of people with my little magic act. I’m not sure if my show was truly entertaining, or if people just liked seeing a cute kid on stage, but I’m glad people kept calling!”
“I left for college in 2000, and at my freshman orientation I showed my roommate a card trick. He was so excited that he made me show everyone from table to table in the cafeteria. People started calling me ‘Magic Jon’ and you could usually spot me on campus riding my unicycle to class.” While in school, Jonathan’s act started to break away from the traditional magician’s tricks, and he began experimenting with other skills including juggling, stand-up comedy, contortion, and sideshow stunts. Eventually, these new talents made their way into his variety show. In 2004, Jonathan graduated from college with a degree in Art Education. “I’ve been lucky enough to perform full-time since then, and I never had to get a ‘real job’.”
Over the past ten years his talents have taken him to over 250 college campuses across the United States and to special events in Canada, China, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He has also performed stunts on The Jay Leno Show & the Late Show with David Letterman. When he’s not on stage he can usually be found in an airport terminal or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter.