If you saw a toddler sitting on the floor surrounded in screwdrivers, springs, switches, gears and miscellaneous bits and pieces, you would probably think those are unusual toys for a child. In this case it makes perfect sense… This was a typical moment from the Latimer household as two proud parents smiled at their young child’s ability. Architect and general contractor Jeff Latimer and dancer, choreographer, actress Virginia Latimer knew their son was going to be a little different. His mother recalls watching a two-year-old Jason pushing a small electric piano across the room to electrical sockets so that he could plug it in to turn it on, “He just knew…Somehow he learned on his own that his piano had to be plugged in and he knew how to do it…His father and I had a feeling about what this meant, but we didn’t know how to respond.” Watching their toddler son disassemble and assemble their appliances with ease Jason’s family decided, “to let him tinker with everything at his own pace. We just did our best to make sure he had all the tools he would need to do just that. We had no idea that would lead to all of this. We are so proud of him.” Jason chose to play with numerous electronic sets and science kits rather than building blocks. By age seven Jason started constructing his own remote controlled cars out of salvaged motors and parts of other broken toys and at ten, he built his first radio transmitter. It was obvious to friends and family that Jeff and Virginia had created a mini engineer. At the age of twelve, after being sent to his room for being rowdy in the house, little Jason managed to build himself a phone for his bedroom using leftover parts of an old cassette player. Not only making his first phone, but also the first of many homemade inventions that his parents decided to take away as well as the privilege of being sent to his room after doing something wrong. It was obvious to his parents they were going to have to change their approach if they wanted to try to wrangle their son’s spirit.
At age nine Jason’s world changed. The family took this inquisitive young mind to his first magic show. Jason recalls his reaction as the magician performed on stage, “It rocked my world! I had to know how it worked. It was so beyond anything I had ever seen… Right then, I realized how much more there is to learn…about everything.” Jason began studying the art of magic unlike any child before him. He wasn’t learning magic tricks to show the kids on the playground, he was learning about the trick itself, how it works versus how people viewed it. Enthralled with what it meant to think like a magician, Jason turned a normal childhood hobby into a science. As he grew so did his approach, his effects were his theories, his shows were his experiments, and audiences’ reactions were his results, which he analyzed and interpreted to advance his designs even more. By eighteen his unique approach allowed him to be one of the youngest individuals to ever headline at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA (a twenty-one or older private nightclub) as well as be the opening act for The Amazing Johnathan Show at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Although Jason Latimer is recognized today as “one of magic’s most gifted creators” (Genii Magazine), he openly describes his work as a mission “not to trick you, nor to fool you, but to show you how much there is still left to discover…about everything. There is always a connection between what we know and what we can dream. Impossible is merely an opinion.”
Putting down the magic books and picking up the science books, Jason attended the University of California Santa Barbara. There he received a formal education and degree in fields of Economics and Mathematics, while working with numerous other universities in research of Applied Physics and Perceptual Psychology. His work has gathered recognition worldwide amongst scholars receiving awards in physics and engineering as well being a deemed an authority on subjects of inattentional blindness and visual science. As undergraduate he began combining sciences together, and in turn the academic world united behind Latimer as professors quickly saw the talent of this young man’s adaptive mind. While still attending the university as an undergraduate, Jason was asked to lecture for numerous departments on topics such as Psychology, Physics, and his theoretical work of involving those fields in magic. Often missing classes and labs to lecture at other universities across the country or to perform magic in venues around the globe, Latimer recalls his college career, “I wasn’t really there to study for grades. I was searching for a better understanding of the world. I wanted to really question the impossible and that meant learning more than what was on my curriculum.”
Today Latimer’s brilliant mind has literally developed a style of magic on an unprecedented level. With seventeen consecutive championship titles and awards for his work, including the highest award and honor the world of magic can bestow on an individual the prestigious title of “The Grand Prix ‘Best Overall’ World Champion of Magic,” Latimer is advancing the art and the public’s imagination into the twenty-first century. His live show is actually changing the world’s perception of what is possible, offering effects such as shaping water into objects then popping them, bending light with his bare hands, levitating liquids, animating drawings on his skin, forming smoke and countless other jaw dropping effects. His groundbreaking advancements and contributions in the fields of performance, design, and applied sciences have literally redesigned not only his art but the way one thinks.