The magician’s secret? A passion for performing mixed with entrepreneurial know-how

UAH marketing major and professional magician Jason Flores specializes in card magic, which he performs at high-end parties in Nashville and Scottsdale.

Carrie Evans

You could say that a non-traditional career was in the cards for Jason Flores. "I always knew I wanted to do magic professionally, so I would read books and watch magicians on TV," says the Huntsville native. "That’s how I started learning." Card magic emerged as his forte – "Everyone can relate to cards, as they are in every household. I can literally do a whole show with one deck of cards!" he explains with a laugh – and before long, the young Flores was performing for family members and friends. "I was very shy, but this became my way of connecting with people and starting conversations," he says. "Giving them that escape from reality gave me a sense of purpose."

As a shy young man, Flores used performance to connect with others and start conversations.

Jason Flores

One gig soon followed another, and by his late teens he was enjoying enough success as a performer that a career in magic seemed like a real possibility. Flores decided to enroll at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) to earn a degree that would support him either way. "I think my mindset was to have something to fall back on," he says, "and I felt like marketing or communications was something I could use with performing magic but also outside of magic." Two years later during the housing market crash, however, he left UAH to join the U.S. Air Force. "We are here because of people who served before us," he says. "So I felt like, as a young man, that the least I could do was contribute to that."

Flores continued performing magic during his time in the Air Force. "My commanders were always very supportive and allowed me to travel nationwide for performances during off duty time," he explains. Even as a combat medic deployed to the Middle East, Flores performed his own brand of magic for the troops and locals, as well as at Middle Eastern hospitals, where he would put his own spin on the classics. And when he got out of the Air Force in 2018, he essentially picked up where he left off – returning to UAH as a non-traditional student to complete his degree as a marketing major and pursue his passion for magic.

"I’ve had the practical experience, and now I’m getting the theoretical," he says about his classes. When his head isn’t down in the books, he finds himself performing for celebrities in Nashville and at the poshest of parties in Scottsdale, Ariz., cities where he has established a solid reputation as a magician. "It’s mostly word of mouth," he says. "When you’re fortunate enough to get in the right circles, it spreads like wild fire."

While in the U.S. Air Force, Flores performed for troops both stateside and in the Middle East.

Chris Burch

Unlike in the past, though, Flores now has a much better understanding of what it takes to make a career out of doing what he loves – and he’s about to graduate with a degree that will better enable him to do so. "It’s like being an entrepreneur," he says. "If you don’t want to sit in an office, you have to take care of all the other stuff on your own, which is okay. I like being my own boss." It’s not an easy path, but it is one that’s more than worth the reward of realizing a lifelong dream. "A year ago, if someone had said you’re going to be here performing in these cool places, I would have said, What? No way!" he laughs. "You never know whom you’re going to run into or what kind of opportunities are going to come your way. The sky is the limit!"


Contact

College of Business
 256.824.6735
business@uah.edu

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