Unique magician is philosophical about success

  • By M.L. Dehm HBJ Freelance Writer
  • Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:20pm

You may have seen his magic act on KING 5’s “New Day” program or even in a viral video passed along through email or Facebook. But in King and Snohomish counties, a lot of people know 29-year-old magician Nash Fung from catching his performance at a company party or wedding.

What makes Fung unique is that he develops his own magic. He doesn’t buy tricks from other magicians, so when you see Fung, you’re going to see tricks that you haven’t seen performed before.

“No one wants to see the same old thing,” Fung said.

He keeps the performance moving with a steady, amusing banter that puts volunteers at ease and redirects the attention of even the most hardcore magic cynic.

Fung didn’t plan on becoming a magician. The Hong Kong native had a different goal when he first came to the Pacific Northwest at age 14.

“I was going to be an NBA player. I had a wicked crossover,” Fung said. “But I never grew so I thought I might be better off doing magic.”

Magic certainly wasn’t the career his parents would have chosen for him. But in an odd way, Fung’s parents may have been somewhat responsible for his success. Although they thought his hobby was cute, they refused to buy their son the books and tricks that interested him. This forced him to develop his own repertoire of unique tricks that people find so amazing.

It was when Fung attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg earning a degree in philosophy that magic turned from a hobby into a business. His reputation for mind-blowing magic tricks had spread and he soon made a connection that got him some local gigs to bring in a little cash on the side.

After college, he began getting a steady stream of work from restaurants and bars. That exposure led to bookings at company parties, weddings and more.

“From that point on I started to look at it more as a business,” Fung said. “It’s extremely challenging. I didn’t have a background in business. I’m a philosophy major.”

But Fung uses the same analytical skills that he values for developing new magic tricks to help him run his business. He relies a lot on networking and word-of-mouth marketing to get his bookings and maintains a media-filled website at www.nashfung.com as well a Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

Currently, Fung is hard at work preparing for his upcoming busy season — the corporate holiday party season. He is taking bookings. He also is ready at any time to discuss his favorite topic — the return of SuperSonics basketball to Seattle. Down deep, Fung still would have liked to have been an NBA player.