Bishop in 2009
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Jason Bishop (born Jasane Castro; January 23[when?]) is an American illusionist and magician, and performs one of the largest touring magic and illusion shows in the United States. Bishop has won a number of awards in magic, including the Jack Gwynne award for Excellence in Presentation and was the 2006 Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Best Performing Artist of the Year. Bishop performs an average of 150 shows a year, including luxury cruise ships, performing arts centers, theaters, and corporate events. He has done performances throughout the United States and Europe and has been called "one of the greatest modern illusionists of our time".
Bishop was born Jasane Castro on January 23 in Newark, New Jersey to Josefina Castro Hernandez. He and several of his siblings were placed in St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a very young age. After living in the orphanage for some time, Bishop and his siblings entered the foster care system and were placed in several foster homes throughout Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Easton, Fleetwood, Leesport, and Allentown, PA. Bishop continued to be moved from foster home to foster home until he was 18 years old. It was during these years that he developed an interest in magic. He would go to local libraries finding books on magic and illusions and began teach himself small magic tricks and card manipulations. Bishop then began to attend the International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.) Ring 32 meetings in Allentown, furthering his interest and knowledge in magic and illusions.
Jason attended Salisbury High School, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Fleetwood Area High School, in Fleetwood, PA. At the age of 15, in the 9th grade, Bishop began performing at birthday parties and holiday gatherings, as well as for friends and other small audiences. It was in his senior year at Fleetwood High that Bishop met Kim Hess and began working with her as his assistant. Bishop went on to attend Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, as a theater major, but did not complete a degree. He continued to develop as a magician and began performing larger shows and larger illusions.
Bishop and his assistant, Hess, promoted themselves as a touring magic and illusion show. To jump start their career while still attending college, they sent demo tapes to a number of resorts in the Poconos area, including Caesar’s resorts, and Woodloch Pines, among others. From these demo tapes, Bishop began booking shows at several resorts. As more bookers became aware of the new duo, they started getting booked at colleges and universities. Today, Bishop mainly performs at larger venues in cities all over the United States, as well as on Disney Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises. Bishop has performed at The Bamboozle Festival at venues such as the Midland Arena, in Midland, TX, the famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA, the US Naval Academy, and the US Coast Guard Academy.
Although Bishop is not the only grand illusionist in the genre and has competition such as David Copperfield and Criss Angel, he does currently have one of the largest touring illusion show, as well as illusions performed by few others. Bishop also uses more humor in his shows than most illusionists, as well as a number of unique illusions, ranging in type from challenge magic to close-up magic, to manipulation magic. Throughout the performance, he invites a number of audience members, children and adults, to come onstage and assist in illusions. Bishop’s show also contains a large amount of technologically advanced equipment, including plasma and LCD TV screens, iPods and iPhones, and a modern rock and pop music soundtrack that is continuously changing. With the use of modern technology and equipment, Bishop is often billed as "America's Hottest Illusionist".
Kim Marie Hess was born on October 8[when?] in West Reading, Pennsylvania and was raised in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Since the age of 4, she has studied baton twirling. Hess has competed and won over 100 awards at a vast number of baton twirling competitions, including the AYOP baton competition and has been recognized by the National Baton Twirling Association. Hess has known and worked with Bishop since their senior year at Fleetwood High School and has worked on the show with him since then. Hess acts as Bishop’s on stage assistant, assisting in most of the large illusions in the show. She is known for her remarkable ability to change clothes instantly inside illusions and has been known to do over fourteen costume changes in a single show and to bring her own personality to the stage.
- Magician Alliance of Eastern States, Stage Award and Originality Award
- The Jack Gwynne award for Excellence in Presentation
- 2006 APCA Best Performing Artist of the Year
- Double levitation (Bishop is the only illusionist to tour with one)
- Changes $1 bill into a $100 bill and gives to an audience member to keep
- Bounces cards 30 feet off the stage into the audience
- Jim Steinmeyer’s creation Through a Jail Window
- Live goldfish emerges from iPod touch
There are 15 illusions in the current tour of The Jason Bishop Show, including illusions not performed by any other illusionist, such as a double levitation, and Plasma illusion, The tour travels all over the country.
Jason is performing on the Celebrity Solstice as of May 2016 and will be featured on CW's upcoming Masters of Illusion series.
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