February 07. 2018 12:52PM

Blast off

Sibling illusionists Rockett to fame on “America's Got Talent' and beyond

By CHRIS BIERI
Special to the Union Leader


If you go...

WHO: Kadan Bart Rockett and Brooklyn Rockett

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 So. Main St., Concord

TICKETS: $35

INFO: ccanh.com; 225-1111


Kadan Bart Rockett knew he and his sister Brooklyn had cleared a major hurdle in their fledgling careers as entertainers.

As finalists on “America’s Got Talent,” the duo managed to warm the heart of one of pop culture’s most menacing and demanding critics.

Winning over Simon Cowell, the notoriously gruff judge of “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol,” may have been the young illusionists’ most daunting trick to date.

“We were definitely, like, all very nervous of Simon,” Kadan said. “In the end he really enjoyed us. He came up to us and gave us a hug and said, ‘Great job,’ and that was incredible. We got a picture with him.”

Their run on the show in 2016 put Kadan and Brooklyn on the map. Now, at ages 12 and 10, respectively, they’re continuing to hone their performances with an eye on the future.

Kadan started his career as an actor, appearing most notably in 2013’s psychological alien thriller “Dark Skies,” and only started delving into magic as a hobby. On car trip to Las Vegas, the siblings were talking about setting goals for the upcoming year. When his father, magician Bart Rockett, asked what he wanted to work toward, Kadan mentioned “America’s Got Talent.” And if Kadan tried out for the show, he would do it as a magician.

When the act was formed, Brooklyn’s role was as Kadan’s assistant but quickly expanded.

“I used to be shy, and it was very hard for me to go on ‘America’s Got Talent’ in front of all those people,” she said.

“By the end of the first audition she ended up taking over the entire show,” Kadan interjected.

Kadan’s specialty is stage illusions, and he models some of his performances from the iconic David Copperfield. Brooklyn said she identifies with Penn and Teller, a comedy duo act that she said shares some traits with her and Kadan.

“We try to do the best of both worlds,” she said.

Brooklyn often plays a comedic foil to her brother, and the two have developed a unique stage rapport.

“We’re still brother and sister so we do fight, (but) after that we’re best friends again,” she said. “I think being on stage especially, if anything goes wrong we know what the other one is going to do to fix it.”

Although they formulate the illusions and practice them in pieces, sometimes the first full run-throughs are at their shows.

“Our main practice is in front of an audience,” Kadan said. “We don’t do as much practicing behind the scenes.”

The siblings have traveled throughout Europe performing and even made a trip to China, where Kadan said they were able to visit Tiananmen Square.

“Really traveling is just amazing,” he said. “Getting to do the shows, we always ask if we can have a few more days to explore.”

Looking ahead

Outside of their act, Kadan and Brooklyn said they live very normal kid lives: Kadan enjoys flying a flight simulator with his dad, and Brooklyn loves dance.

Sports is about the one thing they don’t participate in.

“I have little noodle arms,” Kadan joked.

Although they are emphasizing their act now and are on the road as part of a national tour, the duo said that their aspirations might take them in a different direction.

“I don’t know if we’re going to stay in magic forever,” Brooklyn said. “We love it, but (Kadan) loves to act, and I love to dance and sing. I don’t know if we’re going to do it or move on to something else we love. We’re just going to have to wait and see.”

Children’s performer Mr. Aaron, who has performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and VH1, will open the Rocketts’ Capitol Center show with a story-telling program called “All My Friends Are Giants.” The East Coast artist also runs the recording studio Rattlebox Studio and is a member of kindie band Karen K and the Jitterbugs, as well as the ‘90s alt-rock band Luscious Jackson.