Charles Tertiens is an Actor, Comedy Magician and TV personality created in the Mother City. Having a father in the arts, he started crafting his skills at a young age and later, when old enough, continued his studies at UCT. Graduating as a Bilingual performer in the Musical Stream and with nothing less than a Dean’s Merit!
Tertiens is not only a multi awards purchasing act, but has also been voted the 3rd sexiest magician in the world, by his very own mother.
He has starred in South Africa’s top TV shows such as Montana and 7de Laan and created unforgettable characters such as the Cash Crusader (Cash Crusaders) and that “Mind Blowing” Karl Ahari (Kalahari.com).
Charles has created custom characters and acts for various events including, Madame Zingara, Vodacom CEO awards and Discovery Health, has MC’d events such as Pam Golding Properties Central ad Africa GoldClub Awards, the Forbes Group, Taste Festivals SA and International Body Fitness shows with his edgy blend of comedy and magic.
RUAN: Actor, producer, TV personality, MC and Magician just to name a few of the things you do. When did your love for the entertainment industry start?
CHARLES: I was actually introduced to the arts when I was very young. Showing my age now, but I was in Sub A (now called grade 1 I believe?) when I started Speech & Drama training with Gail Petersen Productions. This sparked my love for the performing arts and set the foundation to a performing career.
Most children around the age of 13 acquire a curiosity towards magic. We all want to believe in magic and to experience the element of true wonder it possesses. The exception for me was that my father saw my interest, took me to the College of Magic and purchased my first three magical props. I needed more! So I started reading all the Magic books at our local library. Unbeknown to me at the time, the amazing Lona Gericke (who then worked at the Bellville Library) noticed my enthusiasm towards the subject and made sure I always had reading material within the allied arts to stimulate my fascination.
This is where I believe it all started and these are the three people who played a huge roll in laying the foundation of the performer I am today.
RUAN: Looking back at your journey and how far you have come, who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
CHARLES: This is a difficult one, as I believe that we collect various elements of inspiration from different sources as we journey through life.
My work ethics come from my parents. They taught me that if I want something, I need to work hard and earn it. To respect what I have and to not take anything for granted.Creatively, two that pop out is Craig Leo and the late Kurt Wustmann. Multi-faceted performers, designers, directors and producers.
After graduating from UCT, I had the honour of befriending and working with these highly intellectual men. I will never forget how they have mentored me within the performing arts and how they continue to inspire and encourage me. One day when I’m big, I hope to have an a part of their genius in me.
RUAN: You have a clear love for the stage and you are currently working on your next theatre production. What is it all about and when can we expect to see your show?
CHARLES: I very rarely do public performances. But I’ve realised (after being told numerous of times) that this might have been a very selfish move from my side. My love for making people laugh and transporting them to a land of make-believe with my style of theatrical magic, is something that I’m very passionate about.
I am working on pop up performances for 2019, but planning a stage production for early 2020. Once the technicalities have been finalised with the venue, it will be full steam ahead.
RUAN: Comedy and magic for me is such a great combination, do you think this combo will take you nationally in your next production?
CHARLES: I would love to do a National tour. I have been out of the comedy circuit for ages and it was time for me to get back on track. This year I started performing as a headliner and support act at various comedy clubs within Cape Town. I will focus on performing in the Western Cape for now, but am planning on touring again soon.
RUAN: With anything in life there are a lot of trials and tribulations, what are some of the ones that stand out for you that made you the performer you are today?
CHARLES: Oh the rejection! In this industry you get rejected daily. It is not something to take lightly as it effects one’s soul. Once you understand that it’s not personal, you will be a much healthier person. When you get rejected, remember to chin up and re-evaluate. Talking is quite a big thing as well.
If you do not talk, no one will know what’s going on in your head. I have recently discovered how therapeutic expressing ones thoughts can be. Never be scared to ask questions and aim high. What’s the worst that could happen …success?
RUAN: Dreaming big and living out your passion is such a great success. What advice do you have for our youth or anyone who would love to follow in your footsteps?
CHARLES: If following my footsteps means following your own passion – then yes. We don’t know how long we’re on this earth for. Why would you do something that makes you unhappy every day of your life? Why chase money, when you can chase living life to it’s fullest? Money will find you when you’re happy and living your dreams.
RUAN: On a serious note your “80-year-old” mother has Vascular Dementia. And together with your sister Amy you look after her together full-time. How do you juggle living your dream while juggling work, your own life and pushing boundaries in the entertainment industry?
CHARLES: Life became real and changed for us in 2014, when my father past away. I couldn’t really cope with much and started distancing myself from everything – the industry and even CT Angels, the charity I started. Our mom already had Vascular Dementia by then. But it was in the early stages and Mom and Dad could look after each other.
Not many people know or understand Dementia, as it is something that people are afraid to talk about. In essence my mother gets frequent silent strokes that damages blood vessels in the brain (the Vascular System), depriving her brain cells of oxygen and nutrients needed to survive, resulting in severe cognitive problems. Amy is the real trouper here. She managed all the research and caring while I wound up my father’s estate and literally became my sister’s assistant. We both actively took on these roles and learnt to juggle work with family life while trying to survive emotionally. No time for personal pursuits – Mom’s needs became our main day-to-day focus.
As the disease progressed and evolved, our dear mother had come to need aid and assistance we were unable to give. Mom has now moved to a care facility specialising in Dementia care. It’s been just over a month, but the last few years have probably the most stressful and emotionally taxing period for both my sister and I.
RUAN: Do you have a motivational quote you live by daily that can help inspire others?
CHARLES: Be true to you!Never doubt who you are and never ever allow people to make you think that you are not good enough.We tend to live other people’s lives, want what others have and be someone we’re not, just to feel accepted or worthy.
Never lose your identity. We are all special beings with different journeys to travel and stories to tell. If you live your life as your true self, it allows us to share our uniqueness with others and hopefully find our fulfillment in living life to its entirety.