For magician Justin Flom, 2016 came in like a lion and went out like a raging lion. And 2017 looks like that lion still hasn’t been fed.
He kicked off the year having just wrapped up performing on one of the largest tours in the U.S. – Florida Georgia Line. Early in the year, organizers of the giant Country Radio Seminar plugged Justin into their “Magic of CRS” campaign that saw the avid music fan tape magic tricks with country stars like Jennifer Nettles, Trace Adkins, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, Frankie Ballard and others.
February saw the release of his first book Justin’s first book, “Adventures of a Kid Magician,” and a second appearance on the “Today Show.” A month later, he was back in New York to tape the “Rachael Ray Show.” The segment featured him perform three mesmerizing tricks for Rachael, American Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, the studio audience and the rest of America.
TV mogul Harvey Weinstein caught wind of Justin’s unique brand of magic and flew him out to entertain at the uber exclusive Weinstein Oscar Party. And companies like Coca Cola, Walmart, American Airlines and CMT came calling.
Mid-summer took Justin to Nashville to host the American Airlines Lounge on the CMT Awards Red Carpet perform magic on the K-Love Fan Awards and host the CMT Bar B Cue Week – appearances that drove awareness of his talents and sales of his book through the roof.
As the year has progressed companies like Cox Media, Benefit Cosmetics, Walmart and OneMain Financial booked Justin to entertain at their conventions and company meetings.
Coca Cola flew Justin to Croatia to tape several commercials touting the beverage giant’s new branding and packaging for Coke products. In the "Taste the Magic" spot, Justin plays a waiter who approaches a table with a tray full of Cokes. One woman tells him she didn't order a regular Coke. Not problem for Justin Flom, as he transforms it into a bottle of Coca-Cola Zero right in front of the group. The commercial was taped strictly with Justin’s magic and no camera tricks.
He wrapped up 2016 with an event that brought unspeakable joy – Justin and his wife Jocelynn welcomed the birth of their daughter Haven Grace. Seven days later, Haven appeared in her first meme on Justin’s Facebook page, and a month later, she starred in her first video post on the site.
By the end of 2016, Justin had flown over 150,000 miles, posted over 100 original videos, garnered over 400,000 Facebook followers, multiplied millions of YouTube views and was ready to take on 2017 like…well…a hungry lion.
To understand the man behind this boundless energy and creativity, one must follow the circuitous route from his home town of Eden Prairie, Minnesota to Branson, Missouri to the SyFy Channel to some of the largest arenas in the country to being one of the first magicians to focus on social media on his way to becoming one of America’s most sought-after magicians.
What sets Justin Flom apart from most other magicians is the simplicity of his magic and the fact that he cracked the code on doing close-up magic on giant stages. He holds the distinction of being the first magician ever to perform card tricks for a sold out crowd at the fabled Madison Square Garden.
“My magic is organic,” says Justin. ”That means all of my magic uses ordinary objects. You’re not gonna see any big magic boxes that can only be built in Las Vegas. It’s close up magic. You’re gonna see cans of Pringles, candy nerds, Life Savers, dollar bills, and I love to incorporate music into my magic.”
“What’s most important to me is to go out and see the fans, see the people who want to see the magic in person.”
That desire was engrained in him at an early age, almost from birth. “My dad, my uncle, my brothers, my little sister are all magicians, so I’ve been performing from the age of two.” While the family did some touring, the magic bug bit Justin just a little deeper.
Following high school, Justin skipped college and instead took his show to The Branson Mall Music Theatre in Branson, Missouri where he was the youngest headliner on the strip. A year later, he opened The Imaginary Theatre and Magic Parlor, a three room magical experience that culminated in an intimate 108-seat theater stage show.
Considering Branson, MO to be an expensive learning experience, Justin reinvented himself in 2011 when fellow magician, Rick Lax, suggested he make more magic videos online. Justin sold his large magic boxes and started working on new effects with coffee, Coke, Life Savers and Nerds candy.
Justin began posting videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and anywhere else he could find an outlet online. The efforts paid off, when the staff of Las Vegas Weekly named him “Best Up-And-Coming Entertainer” in their 2013 Weekly Awards.
In 2014, James Galea formed the Band of Magicians with Flom, Justin Willman, and Nate Staniforth. Not some mystical collective, but instead a bunch of ordinary dudes who dabble in the extraordinary. Justin Flom took charge and was the “heart throb” of the group who often wore the kind of satisfied half-smile of the only person in the room who knows what’s going on. Justin did new-school card tricks and even a trick with everyone’s phone and Instagram. The audience loved the magic during the Band of Magicians run, standing ovations and packed houses were proof.
That same year, SyFy Television Network filmed a new show, “Wizard Wars,” starring Justin along with Penn and Teller and several other magicians competing to create magic out of ordinary objects on the spot. The lead “wizard” on the series, Justin was also an associate producer of the show.
By the time 2015 rolled around, Justin was taking his magic to national network television with appearances on the “Late Late Show,” WWE weekly telecast, NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and others. His classic “Card Hit Wonder” videos have generated more than 50 million views, and his military tribute “Soldier’s Deck of Cards” has recorded over five million. Buzzfeed named Justin one of their “15 Snapchat Enthusiasts That Will Inspire You To Take Better Snaps.” Corporate events included the Seattle Seahawks, MetLife, The Bentonville Film Festival with Geena Davis and hosting Walmart's International Shareholders Conference and US National Manager's Conference.
Online giant about.com listed Justin as one of their “Ten Magicians to Watch in 2015,” saying: “Along with his Wizard Wars television series, Flom’s career has soared with his ability to create a presence on social media and publish entertaining videos that go viral. Here’s another magician who will increase his mainstream presence.”
For a kid from Minnesota, Justin Flom continues to captivate both online and in person. The numbers of his avid followers grows exponentially every week. He is thankful daily for a family who planted a seed to entertain, to make people laugh, smile and sometimes gasp, and he looks forward to gathering in a new generation of magic lovers.