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Teen uses magic to pay for college as he perfects is trade - KOAM TV 7

Teen uses magic to pay for college as he perfects is trade

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A southeast Kansas 17 year old aspires to be a magic act on the Vegas strip.  He's already been to Vegas to practice and compete against other teens, and he hopes to go international.

Jay Temaat is originally from Frontenac, Kansas and the 17 year old is already out of high school and in his first semester at Fort Scott Community College.  He is getting a degree in marketing and business.

Jay says through the help of mentors he has learned more about the trade he hopes to make a life-long career.

He funds himself through college and living expenses just from his performances.  He performs at conventions in Vegas and has won many awards for his acts including a $1,500 scholarship to McBrides Magic & Mystery School.

"Every opportunity I get to perform I take it.  I got to perform on the strip in Vegas.  I got to perform in front of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.  I've got to perform all around Texas.  One of my goals is kind of to get a video of me performing all of the major landmarks of the United States."

At about five years old Jay began performing magic shows for his family.  But there was a spark that made him want more.

"He came to us probably around seven or eight years old, which is still very young, and said he was wanting to make this a career and wanted to actually do this for life," says Jay's mother, Stacey Temaat.

As the years wore on Stacey and her husband, Brad, supported Jay but his success would be completely up to him.

"We decided to just turn him loose with this and if this was something he really wanted, he would figure out how to make it work without us doing it," says Stacey.

Jay began performing magic shows at nursing homes, preschools and other community events.

Jay has worked on perfecting his magic skills with help from Criss Angel, Jeff McBride, Lance Burton and many other notable illusionists and magicians.

Though he has not lost the love of his young career, Jay says when he is feeling down, there's one memory from his early years at a rest home that sticks out.

"There was a guy in the back of the room and he had the biggest smile on his face," says Jay.  "Everyone smiles but this man was truly glowing."

Following the show Jay talked to the man and his wife.  The man was sick and Jay was asked to perform one more time for him.

"She asked if I would call back a week later, just to bring back the magic," says Jay.  "I called back a week later and that man ended up dying in his sleep that night.  But the last thing that made him smile was the magic that I brought to him."

It's with that smile from one man, Jay hopes to bring his many audiences around the country.

His end goal is to be a permanent fixture on the Vegas strip after he does a world tour.

You can see Jay and his assistant, Rachel Herring, on September 11 at the Jack Overman Student Center at Pittsburg State University.  That show will benefit the ALS association for Lou Gehrig's disease.  For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/451360668241356/

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