The magic of CresFest

March 28th, 2024The magic of CresFest

There will be an element of magic in the air at Creswick this CresFest.

There will be an element of magic in the air at Creswick this CresFest.

There are many ways to transform a town, and across the greater goldfields region community groups work all year to make their villages and towns the best they can be.

Think ChillOut, when Daylesford goes rainbow, think Booktown, when Clunes turns into a massive book store, and think SpudFest, when Trentham gives itself over to celebration of all things potato.

The town of Creswick is no exception, with award-winning event CresFest taking over the whole town from April 5 to 7. This year, says festival director Judy Turner, there is an extra twist.

“We decided to add the element of surprise,” she says, “and our streets will be full of fun – there’s a mini circus, Big Tops for Tiny Tots, a sword swallower, a sleight of hand expert from Texas, and Australia’s leading female magician and mentalist, Cath Jamison, hailing from Hepburn Springs.”

Jamison is noted as one of Australia’s most bizarre and unusual women entertainers – a wickedly hilarious entertainer who offers a feminine approach to the world of intrigue and is recognised worldwide for her astonishing skills in the fields of magic and mentalism.

“We’ve asked Cath to be a roving magician,” Judy says, “so our crowds are greeted with the unexpected. You might be sitting having a coffee with friends, and all of a sudden, Cath will pop up doing magic tricks for you and your gang.”

More than folk and roots music, CresFest has become renowned for its eclectic approach, presenting a series of Courthouse Conversations across the weekend, with host and former Daylesford identity Cate Kennedy talking up a storm with invited guests.

“There’s so much to see and do all across our town, we want people from right across the region to join us the weekend after Easter, and explore all we have to offer.”

Words: Contributed | Image: Eve Lamb

Cath: Magic roller coaster of emotions

December 8th, 2022Cath: Magic roller coaster of emotions

IT'S not your average job description but being Australia’s “leading female magician and mentalist” is a profession Daylesford’s Cath Jamison simply loves.

Words: Eve Lamb | Image: James Penlidis

IT’S not your average job description but being Australia’s “leading female magician and mentalist” is a profession Daylesford’s Cath Jamison simply loves.
“When I was a kid, five years old, I got a magic kit and I loved it,” the award- winning entertainer says.
“I was a quirky kid and I’m a quirky person.”
Today, Cath’s mind-blowing and frequently uproarious shows have earned her a reputation as a leader in her field and she’s known as one of Australia’s most unusual women entertainers wielding her trademark sass, style, and mind illusion to captivate audiences.
She’s been described in high profile places as ‘Ellen DeGeneres meets Derren Brown’, and this wickedly hilarious entertainer has won more awards and done more big gigs than you can wave a wand at. Think Melbourne International Comedy
Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide FEAST and Midsumma Festival.
Her inexplicable shows have held even seasoned entertainers, like Tim Burton, Dawn French and Melissa Etheridge, spellbound.
Cath and her partner Nicole Peters moved from Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula to Daylesford in March last year, as Cath says the town and wider locality ticked all their boxes.
“We’ve always wanted to live and buy in Daylesford. We absolutely love it here,” says Cath who didn’t gain the title of ‘Australia’s leading female magician and mentalist’ overnight.
As a youngster doing magic tricks was “a hobby” and Cath trained and became a professional gardener and horticulturist working at the Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Royal Exhibition Building gardens to make a living.
But the love of entertaining, magic and mystery, and of working a crowd was always there.
“I went to magic school in Brunswick Street and I went ‘Oh my God, that’s what I want to do’,” Cath says.
Busking and playing bagpipes in a pipe band, and even dispensing one particularly crowd-enthralling act that involved juggling rubber chickens, all fed into her development as an entertainer. But it was her passion for acute observation of the
human psyche that led to her evolution as a mentalist as well.
Fascinated by the psychology of human behaviour, Cath began to observe the body language and behaviours of those around her and embarked on studies in mentalism and the esoteric fields of telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance, pre-cognition and mind control.
Together with her onstage collaborator, Daylesford’s Aurora Kurth, Cath became part of the immensely popular Sass & Secrets show, a cabaret-style magic and mayhem act that blends comedy, music, mentalism and mirth.
It proved a sellout at Daylesford’s last ChillOut Festival when they performed it at Peppers Mineral Springs where they so impressed that they’re already booked in to bring it back for next year’s ChillOut.
Cath says Sass & Secrets has also just been accepted by Regional Arts Victoria to participate in the state’s Connecting Places program which enables regional venues across Victoria to host shows that might otherwise be out of reach. Maldon’s new
Festival of Dark Ideas 2023 will be just one of their many dates.
But besides Sass & Secrets, Cath is also busy doing her own magician and mentalist gigs and teaching others the craft of magic.
These days she’s able to make a living from her unique talents fulltime as a magician and mentalist for hire for private gigs, from large corporate functions to intimate cocktail party affairs.
“I’m up to Cairns in a couple of weeks to do a big corporate women in business gig,” she says.
“I also have the Australian School of Magic running since 2006,” she says. Through the magic school Cath is able to share her love of magic and teach youngsters, aged from five to teens, some of the tricks of the trade.
“A lot of magicians are getting work now because people are hanging to be connected,” she says.
“There is more to this world than can be explained and when you talk about magic, there’s a collective consciousness and it’s all about everyone connecting and being happy.
“Magic for me is really about entertaining and transporting people back to their childhood, taking them on a roller coaster of emotions.”

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