Resident magician: TMC’s De Matteis born to bewilder – by Keith Brooks

magic hat

Most kids pick up a magic trick or two but give magic up. Not magician Jeremiah De Matteis. Something kept him going.

“I started out watching a TV show called Masters of Illusion,” De Matteis said. “And I loved it and I wanted to learn. I knew my friend at church. I knew his older brother was learning magic. So I asked him if he could teach me, and he said, ‘Yeah sure! Bring a deck of cards next week and I’ll show you a trick.’”

This man who taught De Matteis his first trick was Ryan Ramirez. De Matteis called Ramirez his mentor.

“I share every trick with Jeremiah,” Ramirez said.

De Matteis says a trick becomes a magician’s own when he first starts doing it; every magician puts his own spin on a trick. De Matteis took David Blane’s trick of putting a card in a fruit and gave it his own style when he made the audience’s card appear in an orange.

The style De Matteis performs is called mentalist magic. It’s all about presentation. Mentalist magic revolves around the premise that the magician can read someone’s mind. So if a person were told to pick a card from a deck then put it back, the magician reads the person’s mind and finds their card, though the trick is usually something completely different.

“A magician does twenty thousand things,” magician Pablo Bautista, De Matteis’ pupil said, “but the audience only sees one.”

De Matteis also loves the Lord and serving others. He became a Christian in November of 2009 and his life was transformed. De Matteis came to The Master’s College because he wanted to serve others. In his magic he also tries to integrate his faith.

“It’s like a lot of hip-hop artists are like ‘Yeah, I’m a Christian rapper, but not all of my songs are Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ you know. There are different issues.” De Matteis said. “I definitely want to bring like not only a Christian aspect to some tricks, but there are also some tricks and some points where I just want to perform.”

Magic started off as a hobby for him, but recently it has become more than that.

“I had an opportunity to go to Ohio,” De Matteis said. “I just couldn’t make it because I had to perform at a wedding. But, I mean, I think [magic] can take me, at least, around the country. [I am] thinking of possibly coming up with a sermon message with a few tricks and possibly do chapels around the country.”

De Matteis has performed for small audiences, he has performed for a school talent show in front of 500 people and recently he had his own show that about 200 people paid to see. Regardless of the size of the audience, when De Matteis performs he knows that this is where God has called him to be.

“It feels natural.” he said. “Also I perform because I hate it. And what I mean by that is I hate being in front of people. I don’t like big crowds. It’s really my time where I can humbly say, when people say ‘Yo, you did a good job,’ I can be like ‘Thanks. That was all God because I don’t like being in front of people’…It’s my chance to decrease so that He may increase; it’s not my stage, it’s His.”

By Keith Brooks

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