David Lion didn’t always know he wanted to be a magician.
As a teenager growing up in Côte-des-Neiges, he described himself as “shy and awkward” and had few friends.
“I got started when I was about 16-years-old,” Lion said.
“I was at that place in my life where I was trying to find what made me special.”
He tried activities like basketball and rapping, but realized he wasn’t very good at any of them – then, he saw magician David Blaine on television.
Watching Blaine, who is still one of Lion’s idols, evoked that sense of belonging that he was searching for.
“That was it for me, I just saw how he was able to connect with everyone and make them feel good,” Lion said.
There was just one obstacle, though.
Lion calls himself an introvert and did not always see himself as an entertainer, even though he grew up watching David Copperfield and Michael Jackson.
“Because I was one of those shy, insecure kids, I didn’t have very many friends and I just wanted a way of bridging the gap between me and other people,” Lion said.
“It took a lot of courage, but I did it.”
Now, at 30-years-old, Lion has propelled himself onto the world stage with his brand of magic that he calls Lionism, a blend of arts of astonishment, which includes illusion, mentalism and hypnosis.
“When I was getting into magic, I didn’t want to just be labelled as a magician, because I was also interested in mentalism, which is mind reading and prediction, but I was also interested in hypnosis,” Lion said.
“When I learned all of them, I wanted to combine them into something that didn’t exist already.”
Lion coined his term “Lionism” after a performance at Dawson College.
He performed a mentalism trick where he touched one person and made another guest feel that same sensation.
“When someone asked me how did I do it, I was about to say ‘magic’ and some guy said ‘naw man, that was not magic, that was Lionism’ and it just stuck, it just became a representation of my world,” Lion said.
Lion is now travelling around the world, giving seminars in Las Vegas and performing alongside celebrities like Drake, Common and Wyclef Jean.
He said he also wants to give back by offering father-and-son workshops called ‘Magic & Miracles’ where he will teach families about Lionism.