Your favorite magician in the press!
Étienne Vendette appears occasionally in the medias to promote the events he is associated with.
(Some articles will be translated in English soon… scrool down to read articles in English)
– Nicolas Houle –
Placée sous le thème de la prestidigitation, la troisième soirée du Grand Rire… a réuni numéros de stand-up. sketches et, bien sûr, tours de passe-passe.
Parmi les bons moment des Apprentis-Sorciers, le numéro d’Étienne Vendette vient en tête. L’illusionniste a fait entrer l’une des spectatrice dans une petite boîte qu’il a par la suite transpercée de sabres. Un numéro classique, certes. mais fort efficace, d’autant que Vendette l’a orchestré avec précision, avec rythme et avec un excellent sens de l’animation.
L’art de combiner magie et humour
– Pierre O. Nadeau –
Etienne Vendette combine deux arts, celui de l’humour et celui de la magie, qu’il nous fera découvrir, ce soir, en ouverture …du Grand Rire Bleue!
Même s’il roule sa bosse depuis déjà 14 ans, l’artiste de Québec est encore peu connu du public. Pourtant, il compte à son actif plus de représentations en Corée et au Japon que dans son patelin d’origine.
Etienne Vendette s’est fait remarquer pour la première fois, en 1990, en remportant – avec Laurent Paquin – la finale de Cégeps en spectacle. Sa performance lui a valu un bond au Festival Juste pour rire. Des agents internationaux le remarquent, et il décroche une invitation pour aller de produire dans un immense parc récréatif de… la Corée, où, sous les traits d’un clown magicien, il offrira un total de 2600 représentations, à raison de cinq représentations par jour pendant un an et demi.
Par la suite, il se retrouvera dans un prestigieux hôtel du Japon où il offrira une soixantaire de représentations. Auparavant, il s’était fait valoir au pavillon du Canada, lors de l’Exposition internationale de Séville, en Espagne!
Show en solo
Rentré au pays, Etienne Vendette se produit surtout lors d’événements corporatifs. “Mais j’ai maintenant le goût de me révéler au grand public en montant mon premier spectacle”, nous a-t-il confié avec enthousiasme.
Le jeune illusionniste séduit par la fraicheur qu’il apporte à son art. “Je traite la magie avec sérieux, mais sans me prendre au sérieux. Je préfère aborder la magie avec un sourire en coin plutôt qu’avec l’air sévère du grand prestidigitateur qui joue la carte des pouvoirs mystérieux…”
Notre joyeux clown ne manque pas de surprendre sous les traits de plusieurs personnages, comme ce clown qui avale le long ballon qu’il vient de gonfler, ou en tenue de Zorro, qui empale de son épée la carte de son épée la carte à jouer préalablement choisie par un spectateur.
650 SHOWS IN KOREA FOR MAGICIAN ÉTIENNE VENDETTE
by Jean-Paul Sylvain
“Hello, Étienne Vendette?” ” Yes, it’s me!” “I wanted to send you a fax, but you just answered the phone. Great!”
Well, maybe not so great because even if it was 1 p.m. in Québec, it was only 2 a.m. in Seoul.
“There is a 13-hour difference between Korea and Québec. But I have to admit that the best time to reach me is after midnight,” quickly added Étienne.
Since last January, the 26-year-old Québec magician has given 655 shows in 22 weeks, at a rate of 5 shows a day, 6 times a week.
|The giant poster advertizing Étienne’s show at the Lotte World Adventure|
“South Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos and American servicemen―60 000 are stationed in Korea―comprise my regular audience. I perform at the largest indoor amusement park in the world, the Lotte World Adventure, which is a kind of Asian Walt Disney World,” says Étienne.
The park gathers artists from around the globe: Canada, the United States, Hungary, Mexico, Romania, Russia, etc.
Contrary to the show he gives in Québec, where he combines humour and magic, he does not speak during his performances in Korea. Instead, a musical soundtrack accompanies him as he spellbinds crowds by using a mixture of classical magic tricks, complete with scarves, flowers and candlesticks that disappear and reappear.
“My tricks succeed because my nimble fingers do almost all the work.” Do you use any gimmicks? “No, well… very few!”
Standing 1.80 metres (6 feet) tall, the blonde, blue-eyed Québecer draws a lot of attention, even when he walks down the street.
Have you learned to speak Korean? “A bit. It is very difficult. The words are longer. To say hello takes four syllables! And people don’t speak a lot of English, and French not at all. I watch a lot of American television shows in English with Korean sub-titles on channel AFKN.”
Étienne should be coming home around mid-July, after having given 780 performances. But he is expecting his contract to be extended and that other doors will open for him in the Asia.
“I am single; I appreciate the chance I have to live abroad. In 1992, I gave many magic shows at the Canada Pavilion during the World Fair in Seville, Spain.”
He was the opening act for several performers, including Mario Pelchat, Anthony Kavanagh, Jean-Michel Anctil, Luc De Larochellière and Rock et Belles Oreilles. He also won the Cégeps en spectacle contest in 1990.
THE MAGIC MAN…
Étienne Vendette has been pulling rabbits out of hats since childhood
SYLVIE RUEL – Freelance
Every day, Étienne Vendette has fun making objects shrink, appear and disappear and change shape or colour… And every day, mesmerized audiences sit and watch him stick knives through his body, make objects float in mid-air and levitate young girls, whom he then causes to vanish…on some days, he will transform an egg into a bird, while on others, a rose dissolves into an avalanche of little red balls that cascade out of his mouth…
|“I love creating the impression of having done something impossible.”|
Étienne Vendette has enjoyed creating fantastic feats of illusion since childhood, never shying away from a seemingly impossible new trick. Today, he earns a living by entertaining crowds of all ages with his magic. On July 18th, the 27-year-old prestidigitator returned from an 18-month stay in Korea where he gave over 2500 shows, at a rate of 30 shows per week. After a brief three-day visit with his family, he set off again for the city of Nagoya in Japan, where he has a month-long contract to fulfil.
“My stay in Japan will be like a vacation,” says Étienne, during an interview before his departure for the Far East. “I will only have to give two shows a day.” Afterwards, Étienne will return to Korea, though as a tourist and not as an illusionist. Despite having stayed in Korea for eighteen months, he didn’t have any time to himself, since he was performing his magical act at a demanding schedule: five times a day, six days a week.
BORN UNDER A LUCKY STAR
Étienne Vendette of Sainte-Foy is truly blessed: he is handsome, charming and gifted. He is comfortable with his success and he already has a promising international career. And he is modest, to boot!
Magic has fascinated him ever since he was a child. He recalls being captivated by magicians he saw on television when he was four, especially Uncle Tom (Tom Auburn), who was very popular at the time. “At the age of 14, I wanted to know more than anything how to make birds appear and how to put girls in boxes and then to cut them in half. That is when I decided to seriously study magic. I visited every library and flea market to obtain books on magic.”
|“Étienne Vendette is autonomous. He develops and produces his own shows, arranging the background music to which he choreographs his illusions. He considers a magician to be an actor.”|
He gave his first show when he was 16 at the Séminaire des pères maristes in Sillery, where he completed his secondary school studies. Then the young magician started being noticed in Québec by placing first in the Cégeps en spectacle contest, a talent search aimed at the collegiate level. He presented his act at many festivals, namely the Québec City Summer Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival, the Halifax International Busker Festival, the Festival de Lanaudière…He was the opening act for such renowned performers as Mario Pelchat, Luc de Larochellière, Rock et Belles Oreilles…He performed for different institutions and companies, including the Musée de la civilisation de Québec, the Musée du Québec, the Montréal Casino, Bell Canada, the Caisses Populaires Desjardins… and appeared on television several times…
During this string of performances, Étienne studied chemical engineering for two years and obtained a Bachelor’s of Public Communication in 1995. “When I was in university, I knew deep down that I would never work in an office,” he says. “Performing magic and giving shows is my life.”
AN INTERNATIONAL CAREER
In 1992, Étienne Vendette’s career got a boost when he was awarded a contract to perform at the Canada Pavilion in Seville for several weeks during the World Fair in Spain.
In January 1996, he was offered a six-month contract to travel to Seoul and appear at the Lotte World Adventure, which is the world’s largest indoor amusement park. After an outstanding run, his contract was renewed twice. Étienne is the first Canadian magician to perform at the Lotte World Adventure, and the foreign artist who gave the most shows, an incredible 2345 appearances.
“Lotte World Adventure is located in the centre of Seoul, in the Cham-Shil district, which is where the 1988 Olympic Games were held,” says Étienne. “It is a meeting place for international performing artists, such as acrobats, jugglers and dancers, from Russia, Hungary, the United States…Working in Seoul was a rewarding experience on both the professional and personal levels,” adds the illusionist who speaks Korean well enough to get by and who has made himself many friends overseas. Étienne had the chance to have the world juggling champion, Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, as a roommate.
|“Étienne Vendette in Seoul.”|
“With a population of 11 million, Seoul is an extremely busy city,” adds Étienne, who was surprised by the large open spaces that we enjoy here in Québec. “Everywhere you go, there are always throngs of people: in subway stations, stores, markets…It is like constantly being in a big shopping mall on December 24 in Québec. The Koreans are a wonderful audience. They are warm, disciplined and above all, very respectful; they always waited until the end of the show before applauding. Furthermore, you can count the number of magicians in Korea on both hands. And they are all at least 60 years old.”
Étienne Vendette is autonomous. He develops and produces his own shows, arranging the background music to which he choreographs his illusions. He considers a magician to be an actor, though an actor who must perform with great precision and very little margin for error, who is expressive and experienced in captivating and surprising an audience. “I like fascinating people and surprising them. I love creating the impression that I have just done something impossible, like having ten balls pop out of my mouth, one after the other. I can see by the looks on people’s faces, both children and adults, that I have mesmerized them with my illusions…Since I do not speak during my show, I can perform before any audience in the world. Magic is universal.”
Over the next several years, Étienne dreams of pursuing an international career. “I am confident about my product,” he says. “In Québec, it is impossible for me to give more than 2 or 3 shows a week, making it difficult to earn a living.” And if one day Étienne decides to settle down in Québec, he thinks he might write, give seminars or work as a consultant to up and coming magicians…
In the meantime, Étienne is working on an act that is guaranteed to thrill the crowds: a girl will lay in a box that will then quickly shrink. Next, the magician will take three swords and stab them through the box. And guess what…
Étienne Vendette has not finished enjoying himself… nor leaving us spellbound!