Donegal magician Jessica Harkin has scooped the spellbinding title of Irish Magician of the Year at the IRARA Awards 2019.

It’s not often that a magician is stunned, but Jessica Harkin was amazed to claim the prize alongside Burtonport’s Dylan Murray in the International Runway Achievers and Recognition Awards on Saturday last.

“It was fantastic,” Jessica told Donegal Daily.

The 22-year-old from Convoy has been doing magic for the past 11 years and has her sights firmly set on breaking America.

“I’ve been trying to move to America and having an award under my belt is a great help,” she said.

Jessica Harkin at the 2019 IRARA Awards

Jessica was first enticed into the magnificent world of magic in 2009, when she saw psychological illusionist Derren Brown stick TV viewers to their sofas.

“I was hooked after that. I started looking up tricks the next day and I realised this would be a great way to make friends.”

Now, Jessica wows her audiences with comedy magic and prop tricks. She performs at parties across the county while astounding customers with clever tricks during her day job in Tesco. ‘Watch the little blue tokens’, is all she’ll say about that.

The ultimate dream is to conquer the US, where the magic scene is so vast and the magic shops are plentiful.

“Everything I’m doing is to work towards America, I’ve been three times since May, visiting Los Angeles and Vega. There are so many magicians and so many shows in places like the Magic Castle. To have my own show would be cool,” she said.

Jessica Harkin Magician doing some tricks at the Donegal Women in Business Network 20th Anniversary Celebrations Launch in January 2019

Jessica has been building up her contacts in the industry in the only way a magician can – through a deck of cards.

“I’ve known Keith Barry since I was 14 and he sent me a deck of cards and some books. I kept those cards and anytime I ever meet any magicians I get their signature.

“I’ve just filled a whole pack with names such as Derren Brown, Penn & Teller, Paul Daniels and David Copperfield,” she said.

For now, Jessica is enjoying comedy and open mic nights to showcase her captivating and entertaining skills.

“Performing is so much, I just love making people smile.”

For a sample of her magic, check out Jessica’s Showreel here: