Monday, 27 December 2010


So there I was the day before Christmas Eve watching a film before going to bed. You know when you look what's on just for something to watch and think this will do half expecting it to be rubbish, well to start with the film was but then I actually really enjoyed it.

It was called the Illusionist and was about the latter (hence the name) with a love story twist in it but got me thinking about all the famous illusionists there have ever been.

So I decided to do some research on them and what
I found was quite interesting:


Magician of the Millennium

You are more than likely already aware of this mysterious man from such TV series like "Street Magic" and "Magic Man" which first aired in 1997 through ABC television.
Born in 1973, the 37 year old had been interested in magical illusions from a young age as his mother was a gypsy practicing in magic. He would perform card tricks regularly on the street through
his childhood and as a teenager he even performed in some TV
commercials and as an extra on daytime drama's.
Sadly his mother died of Ovarian Cancer in 1994 but this made him stronger and his worldwide career was just around the corner.
The UK first became aware of his presence in 2000 and since then he has performed many endurance style acts and pushed his body to the limit.
I'm sure you all watched as he buried himself alive for seven days and or his few days in an Ice Box.
Although he was criticised for his "dive of death" stunt where he proposed to hang upside down for 60 hours but was seen standing upright regularly whilst doctors checked his health before hanging again.
Apart from this I do believe he is an inspiring man to watch. Do you agree?

No not the novel by Charles Dickens but the most commercially successful magician of the 21st century. He has been in the Guinness Book of Records and has his own Hollywood star.
Born in 1956 he always enjoyed telling stories and started practicing magic when he was 10
years old, by 14 he was sent to the Society of American
Magicians and was teaching his own course there by 16.
By 19 his television and commercial career began in the late 70's with his first TV show called "The magic of ABC". He has had many television appearances since.
His major stunts included walking through the great wall of China and making the Statue of Liberty disappear.
He did have a close shave of death with one of his stunts where he was handcuffed and chained in a tank of water but became entangled in the chain
s and had to be lifted out the tank, the stunt was ironically entitled "escape from death".
One of his role models was Walt Disney and there were plans for him to have a magical underground restaurant built at Disney World but this fell through.

The magical partnership from Germany.
Both had been interested in magic since a young age like many of the famous illusionists. Siegfried had seen a book about magic but was unable to afford it until one day he found the money lying in the gutter and purchased the book. Performing his first magic trick in front of his father who was most impressed
Roy on the other hand found he was able to communicate with animals after he nearly sunk in quicksand and his dog fetched help.
The pair met in 1957 on a cruise ship where Roy saw Seigfried perform and Roy then became the assistant.
After 5 years of been his assistant Roy suggested bringing larger more dangerous animals to the show, Roy managed to smuggle a Cheetah from the zoo and
the magic only got better from here.
They proved to Las Vegas that magic works and have performed all over the world receiving many awards.

AND FINALLY...............

THE MOST FAMOUS OF THEM ALL........................

Born 1874, from Budapest, Hungary, Houdini did not have the best childhood. The family was poor and constantly had to move around America where he moved to when he was just 4 years old.
He started working when he was 8 to help the family out financially and performed his first trapeze stunt at just 9 years old.
A few years later he ran away from home, following and performing with the circus before returning home to his family a year later.
After his father died when he was just 18 years old, he began many different jobs, and learnt how to pick locks. He liked to stay in shape which helped him with his escape artistic work.
He started performing by himself and making money, then he and his brother became a double act until he met his wife and they performed all over the world.
He would offer $100 to anyone who could produce a pair of handcuffs that he couldn't escape from, no one was paid this hence he was given the name "the handcuff king".
His career did go quiet for a while until he met an agent called Martin Beck who put him as his headline act and his career progressed from here.
1900 he came over to Europe.
Some of his great escapes were:
Water Tank Escape
Straight jacket escape
Jail Escape

He has been dead 75 years but his name will always live on.

1 comment:

  1. The Illusionist is a really enjoyable film. Thanks for the summaries on some the great magicians. Interesting stuff.

    Happy Holidays!


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