Merlin, Gandalf, Dumbledore . . . and now Doug
Doug Robertson might look like he’s dressed for Halloween, but his pointy hat, robe and magical staff are actually a year-round costume – the 25-year-old is in wizard training.
The musician and performer became an official apprentice six months ago to The Wizard of New Zealand, a well-known figure in Christchurch since the 1970s, and has already got used to kids calling out to him on the streets of the Auckland suburb of Stonefields as he strolls out in his mystical garb.
‘‘A lot of the time they jump straight to comparing me to Harry Potter. But for the ones that are more inquisitive, I’m always open for a chat on philosophy or magic or anything like that.’’
At 25, Robertson is the youngest of The Wizard’s six apprentices – and the only one in the North Island (four live in the South Island and one in Virginia in the US).
The self-confessed ‘‘theatre nerd’’ has always been fascinated by religion and mythology, and completed a music degree before following up a long-held interest in wizardry.
There’s no set training or reading. Instead, wizards draw on concepts from many disciplines, including psychology and philosophy.
In November, Robertson and The Wizard will be taking to the streets of Auckland with their own blend of music and magic.
It’s a first step for Robertson on his journey to becoming a wizard and towards his ambition to also become a living work of art, like his mentor.
But fun was still very much at the heart of wizardry – something human yet ‘‘completely off the wall’’, he said.
Apprentice wizard Doug Robertson has all the kit: hat, robes and staff.