Johnston, a Truro magician, auditioned in front of two producers of the CBC show in Halifax on Saturday at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development.
“As an entrepreneur, I try to promote reading and literature as much as I can, so I came up with a pitch business-wise to promote reading and entrepreneurs.
“I came up with the idea of a Dragon’s Den comic book, which would have bios of all five of the dragons and their life story. It’s all taken from them with their quotes.”
As a big fan of the television show, Johnston has read the biographies on all five dragons and he knows from watching the show the dragons want to get involved in a literacy project.
“They would like to teach kids about money-matters at a young age,” said Johnston, who has incorporated related video clips into his presentation.
With the 2012 movie production ‘The Avengers’ bringing in $207 billion on opening weekend in the United States, Johnston got the idea of featuring each of the dragons as superheroes. Johnston hired a 28-year-old single mother to draw the caricatures, as well as North River’s André Myette to help with the art and graphic design.
“It would not only be a collectable for children and teens, but adults as well,” the magician said.
Auditions were set to begin on Saturday, so Johnston arrived just after 9 to wait his turn. By then, he was already 17th in line.
“The ideas all varied. There were some younger entrepreneurs with Bristol board, but there was one Scottish man in a kilt that actually has a kilt-making business. I think I had the largest and most colourful and theatrical display there. The producers loved the visuals.”
Along with a curtain backdrop and caricatures of the dragons, Johnston also had two live animals – a rabbit in a hat and a white dove – that he used in the pitch.
“They told me I am made for TV, but the one thing I didn’t have was to have the dragons make a clear profit. The producers wanted numbers.”
Johnston’s original idea was entirely to support charity, however, he spent Monday crunching numbers to send to the producers.
“The dragons don’t want that,” he said of charity pitches. “They want something they can make a profit on, so I’m working on print runs and distribution costs.”
He said the dragons, if they so choose to fund his idea, will have final approval of the entire content.
“I think I made a good pitch,” he said.
The producers said Johnston could hear back from them in as early as a week, however, it could also be closer to April before a decision is made.