“An animator creates life by bringing spirit, vitality, and energy to others, which is truly magical.”
Joe Ledoux is the animator of spirits. He uses sleight of hand, puppetry, and magical principles to animate ordinary objects. Joe says that folding an origami crane and pulling the tail, causing its wings to flap, is a great metaphor that there is hidden life in everything. “When you fold origami, you create a figure out of nothing. When you animate it, you reveal a spirit that wasn’t visible before. It’s a metaphor that we can apply to our own lives. If we undergo personal transformation, we can find new life.”
Joe doesn’t use gimmicks in his animations. There are no strings. A handkerchief is folded to look like a mouse and runs around; a fan floats a paper butterfly in the air, and then fills the room with a sudden burst of hundreds of colorful butterflies. "These animations are mysterious and have a transformative effect on the audience. Some people leave the show feeling revitalized, and that is my goal - to animate their spirits."
Joe travels around Boston on a magic carpet - a skateboard with a carpet on top and tassels on the corners. He likes to find ways to combine his passions of skateboarding and animation in his magic. Ledoux defines good skateboarding as being animated by nature. "Two of the hardest tricks I have ever performed are landing an ollie impossible on my skateboard, and catching a trout with my bare hands.”
The best magicians in the world do large-scale tricks on stage. Joe thinks the definition of a “stage illusion” can be more abstract than others may think. “I created a stop-motion animation. When projected on a stage, it fills the space from floor to ceiling. That’s a pretty big illusion. When audience members immerse themselves in the animation and suspend their disbelief, they don’t even question the techniques that were used to create it. If the magician has really done his job, when it’s over they won’t even ask how it was done.”
Joe Ledoux is a Boston-based magician who believes magic is not just entertainment, it’s also an art. He has performed in a range of venues from museums and colleges, to dive bars and the streets of Boston. He performed with Le Grand David, which held the Guinness World Record for the oldest consecutively running magic show in the world. He is a member of the McBride Magic & Mystery School of Las Vegas. The Boston Metro had to create a whole new event category called "supernatural" to describe a spell he cast to conjure UFOs, fairies, and sea serpents. Joe is breaking through the walls of theater and casting his spell over the city of Boston.