magician

14 Stories

Illusionist in 'Water Torture Cell' Has a Close Call

Spencer Horsman said to have nearly drowned in promo for Criss Angel show

(Newser) - With just a rubber band and a piece of bent wire, Spencer Horsman entered a 30-by-30-inch Plexiglas tank filled with 100 gallons of water on Tuesday in handcuffs and chains, hoping to pull off a feat that would excite crowds for an upcoming show with illusionist Criss Angel, New Jersey... More »

Feds Demand Magician Submit Rabbit 'Disaster Plan'

USDA backtracks on rule after case publicized

(Newser) - Marty the Magician is no stranger to red tape—the Department of Agriculture has long required him to have a license for the rabbit he uses in his act—but even he was surprised when the government ordered him to pull a rabbit disaster plan out of his hat. Under... More »

Magician's Head Set on Fire on Dominican TV

No, it was not an illusion

(Newser) - An American magician was recuperating yesterday in the Dominican Republic after a local television show host lit his head on fire with a flammable cologne. California native Wayne Houchin said he is receiving treatment for burns that doctors are cautiously optimistic will not result in scars. A statement on his... More »

Penn and Teller Suit: Magician Stole Our Trick

Dutch illusionist tries to sell shadow trick's explanation

(Newser) - Half of Penn and Teller is suing a fellow magician who he says ripped off a classic trick. Dutch illusionist Gerard Bakardy reportedly posted a YouTube video of "Rose and Her Shadow," a trick at the heart of the duo's repertoire, and Barkardy said he'd reveal... More »

How to Make Magic With an iPad

Innovative sleight-of-gizmo makes virtual 'real'

(Newser) - Move over, David Blaine: everyone's new favorite illusionist is the iPad, recently put through its mesmerizing paces by innovative Japanese performer Shinya Uchida on the streets of Tokyo. The sleight-of-gizmo on YouTube presents a history of communication with the iPad providing smoke, drink, a cheese appetizer, x-rays, and even a... More »

Ex-Scientologist Actor: Return My $120K

After 33 years, Larry Anderson wants out

(Newser) - After 33 years as a Scientologist and a star turn in a widely disseminated orientation video, actor Larry Anderson wants out—and he wants his money back. Anderson, a magician turned TV actor and game-show host, says the organization owes him $120,000. A Scientology rep tells the St. Petersburg ... More »

Trainee Hypnotizes Himself

Wife finds hapless circus performer in trance

(Newser) - A stage performer's hypnosis textbook apparently forgot to mention that practicing on yourself is a bad idea. Helmut Kichmeier—stage name Hannibal Helmurto—was found by his wife standing in front of a mirror in a zombie-like trance with an open book on hypnosis by his side. She called his... More »

Woman Who Claimed Sex Assault Sues Copperfield

Alleged victim files on statute of limitations deadline

(Newser) - The Seattle woman who accused David Copperfield of sexual assault two years ago filed a federal lawsuit against the magician last month before the two-year statute of limitations expired, the Seattle Times reports. The 22-year-old model and former Miss Washington USA contestant says Copperfield used her in his act in... More »

Hourly Breaks? Blaine's Cheating!

Onlookers unimpressed by Blaine's latest stunt

(Newser) - David Blaine takes a 10-minute break every hour? "It's cheating," says an unimpressed onlooker among a crowd of 8,000 watching Blaine hang upside down in Central Park until a grand finale tonight, the New York Daily News reports. Though the illusionist planned to do his business using... More »

Blaine Dives Into Hanging Stunt

Despite risks, he plans to hang for 60 hours over Central Park

(Newser) - Performance art magician David Blaine dove head first into his latest public show in New York yesterday, hanging upside-down over Central Park. The Brooklyn-born show off plans to hang for 60 hours, despite a doctor's warning that the increased blood pressure in his head could cause blindness, and even death... More »

'Gospel Illusionists' Tricked Out for Jesus

Saving souls with sleight of hand

(Newser) - Though the Bible places strictures on the “magic arts,” a group of faithful tricksters are using sleight of hand to convert the wayward, Mother Jones reports. Weslyan University recently hosted the annual convention of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, where performers were more likely to quote scripture and... More »

David Blaine Breaks Breath-Holding Record

Endurance artist sets new record at 17 minutes, 4 seconds

(Newser) - David Blaine broke the world record for holding one’s breath today when he was submerged for 17 minutes and 4 seconds during a taping of Oprah. The endurance artist looked relaxed emerging from a water-filled sphere, the AP reports. Blaine had undergone simulated altitude training and pure oxygen treatment... More »

Siegfried & Roy Plan Comeback

Duo to perform for charity 5 years after near-death experience

(Newser) - A tiger mauling has kept them offstage for over 4 years, but Siegfried & Roy aren’t letting it end their careers. Next February they’ll perform a one-night-only special for charity, reports Der Spiegel, and their publicist says he’d be “very surprised if animals were not part... More »

Sleight of Hand Gets the Academic Treatment

Magicians break code for benefit of science

(Newser) - Magicians got in on the act at this summer’s Magic of Consciousness conference, hobnobbing with—and even tricking—cognitive scientists as they helped dissect their own profession. The New York Times visits Las Vegas, where master illusionists were welcomed for what one scientist calls "their specific interest in... More »

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