Born with the gifts of flexibility, curiosity, and goofiness, Jonathan Burns now uses these unique talents to astonish audiences around the globe. Over the course of his career, Jonathan has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Jay Leno Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, been dubbed “Extremely funny” by The New York Times, and was named “Variety Artist of the Year” by Campus Activities Magazine, TWICE! When he’s not performing he can usually be found in an airport terminal or spending time with his family.
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 twelve years his talents have taken him to over 400 college campuses across the United States and to special events in 9 countries around the globe. He has also performed stunts on The Jay Leno Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, & The Late Late Show with James Corden. When he’s not on stage he can usually be found in an airport terminal or spending time with his lovely wife and two daughters.