Jimmy Marvel may have a few tricks up his sleeve but he will be performing them from his new base of Gore.
The magician, his wife Luisita Fuller and sons Evan (14) and Elliot (12) moved to Gore from Auckland at the end of last year.
Mr Marvel was one of the entertainers at Gore’s Santa Parade and carnival in December.
Ms Fuller visited the South earlier last year and recommended it would be a good place to live, Mr Marvel said.
He followed up on her suggestion and initially checked out houses in Invercargill, but then found one in Gore he liked.
Gore reminded him of the rural town near Chicago in the United States where he grew up.
‘‘It felt like home.’’
The cheaper house prices was another attraction, he said.
‘‘Gore is one of the last holdouts for fair-priced housing.’’
He and Ms Fuller immigrated to New Zealand in 2006, and six years later he decided to become a fulltime clown.
Clowning was something he had enjoyed when he was younger.
About three years later, after noticing some children found clowns upsetting, he decided to become a magician.
He had sometimes performed magic tricks when he was entertaining as a clown, so he kept some elements of clowning in his show.
‘‘Being a magician and acting like a clown is a lot funnier.
‘‘It gave me a lot more freedom.’’
In his shows, while he appears as a magician, he behaves like a clown — but tries to convince the audience he is a magician.
‘‘Jimmy Marvel is really a clown in denial of being a clown.’’
The work was very rewarding, he said.
‘‘I think it’s the best job ever.
‘‘You get invited to go to people’s parties and have a good time with them and you get invited to help them to make memories.’’
He also enjoyed creating props and making new acts.
‘‘I like to come up with a lot of original material.
‘‘I might be inspired by someone else’s act or something outside of magic, but one rule I have for my own show is it has to belong to me.
‘‘It has to be something unique to me.’’
He liked to include items in the show which he described as ‘‘eye candy’’.
‘‘It’s a term I like to use for anything that pops out at you, that grabs your eye, grabs your attention.’’
His car was an example of this.
It was vinyl-wrapped in a collage which he put together from the children’s fan mail.
He had left behind an established client base in Auckland, which was ‘‘scary’’, but was looking forward to building a new business from Gore.