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Conversations with Joan DuKore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joan DuKore.

Joan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I am originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, where I dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer. My dad taught me cool things with playing cards and the one card trick he knew.

From there, magic became a hobby, but my true love was dance.

Unfortunately, my ballet journey was not meant to be. A friend of mine told me that I was a good enough magician to be a professional and that I should change careers. Not only that, she got me my very first gig. From there the rest is history.

I first heard about Mystique Dining and The Prestige in 2018, and I wanted desperately to perform there. The venue is so beautiful, and I really hadn’t explored much of Utah before. It took a while, but finally, in May of 2022, I got to perform there.

I had so much fun! The audiences were great, and I got to see some amazing views!

I will be coming back in a couple of weeks, and I’m looking forward, not only to performing there, but also to go horseback riding with my friend, and possibly doing a little hiking now that the weather will be warmer.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There are always struggles and challenges, no matter what your line of work. When I first wanted to be a ballet dancer, it was at a time that the body image of a dancer was really strict, and I didn’t quite fit the mold. It took me a while to realize that it was the performing aspect of ballet that I loved the most, and from there I was able to move forward.

I had been trying to get noticed by Mystique for quite a while before they finally noticed me. And then there were all the nerves before my first show there, worried about if the audiences in Utah would like me, whether the venue would be a good fit, as well as a myriad of other self-doubts.

My first week there was wonderful, and I’m sure my second will be wonderful too. I am hoping I will be coming out to Utah a lot more, though I do have to admit, this little girl from Hawaii is very worried about driving in the snow when it gets colder.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I perform as a magician, both onstage and close-up. I don’t know if I have a favorite or a specialty. Whichever one I’m performing at that particular moment is the one I’m happiest doing. I love performing for people and making them smile.

Though some would say that being a woman performing in a male-dominated profession is a struggle. I have found that though sometimes it is a struggle, it also has helped me and opened doors for me because I’m not your typical magician. The magic community, for the most part, is very open and welcoming as long as you share their love of magic.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
The views! Everywhere I look, there’s a more beautiful view than the next, whether it be a city view or the view of the mountains. As a runner, there are so many places to explore and it’s nice to see other runners running by. I’m sure in the summer, it will also be nice to escape the 100+ degree heat that we have in Vegas where I currently live.

My least favorite things are the hills when I’m running. They are no joke! Plus the altitude that gives us those gorgeous views, is tough to get used to when I’m running. In the long run (get it!), I know it will just make me stronger.

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Image Credits
Richard Faverty
Kari Hendler
Rudy Plaza

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