Calgary teen keeps magic alive by reuniting with idols Penn and Teller

“London the Magnificent” has done what may have seemed impossible.

There are no illusions — she’s breaking barriers in an industry primarily dominated by men.

London Jones has been performing magic since she was a little girl.

London the Magnificent. Jill Croteau/Global News

“It can be hard sometimes but with women in magic, the population is growing,” London said.

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Her dad, Jeff Jones, said she may not know the gravity of her girl power.

“I think she’s too young to grasp the big picture of what she’s doing and how important what she’s doing could be for somebody else,” Jeff said.

It’s exactly what endeared her to the iconic magicians Penn and Teller. In 2017, when London was just nine years old, she met the duo backstage.

Tickets from the 2017 show. Jill Croteau/Global News

Penn Jillette invited her personally after she sent them a fan letter wondering: why there aren’t more girls doing magic?

London’s fan mail to Penn and Teller. Jill Croteau/Global News

During that 2017 interview, Jillette said he was impressed with her dreams.

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“Every interview I’m asked: ‘Is your son into magic?’ They never ask if my daughter is. The answer is: my son is not — not even close — but my daughter is very much,” Jillette said.

London remembers how intimidating it was to meet them and do a magic trick for them.

“When I met them, I was nervous they were really tall compared to me,” London said.

But in the months after that moment, she won an international competition.

She’s being mentored by another Calgary magician currently performing in Las Vegas. Carisa Hendrix said London has come a long way.

“Magic was an art form created for men by men. So, you have to think outside the box, but it’s such a gift because some of the women are devastatingly good because they have to work a little harder,” Hendrix said.

Carisa Hendrix. Credit: Wise Photography

“London was really organically good and a great stage presence.

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“I would love for her to go against 18-year-old boys and just kick butt that would be so satisfying,” Hendrix said.

“I’m hoping one day I can perform on a cruise ship or Vegas,” London said.

“To watch her on stage, it’s an overwhelming sense of pride I can’t put it into words,” Jeff said.

London and her dad Jeff watching their 2017 meeting with her idols. Jill Croteau/Global News

“If you meet her, she’s a sweet and shy, but when she gets on stage she’s 10 feet tall and confident and funny and interacts with the crowd,” Jeff said.

“To see her confidence grow — of being in front of people — is so heartwarming.”

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