The greatest magicians you probably know
The man who could unlock any lock, the legendary Houdini was famously sceptical of spiritualists. He believed that they were con artists preying on the emotions of families who have lost a loved one. However, just to make sure, Houdini left his wife a secret code that would be used by him, to contact her, after his death, should he have been wrong about spiritualists. For ten years after his death, his wife held a séance once a year. Harry Houdini never made contact.
Siegfried & Roy
This pair were old school magicians who glamorized their stage acts with white tigers & other big cats. However, it was Siegfried whose interest in magic started at an early age. Roy was more interested in animals, often visiting Bremen Zoo, Germany, where he befriended a cheetah named Chico. It was only when they happened to both take jobs on the ocean liner TS Bremen did Siegfried and Roy meet and become a double-act, along with Chico the cheetah. Disastrously, their love for animals came back to bite them as Roy was bitten by one of his tigers in 2003 after stumbling on stage during performance.
He was so good that he taught the magic at the New York University when he was just 16 years old. Probably the most successful & famous illusionist around, Copperfield is also the richest. According to the Forbes Magazine, his per year income of $57 million in 2003 put him in the list of the top 10 highest paid celebrities in the world. In addition, he has also walked through the Great Wall of China & made the Statue of Liberty disappear in front of a live audience.
Recently spoofed by Jim Carrey to hilarious results, Blaine remains a revolutionary magician. He made street magic mainstream, filming on the streets of New York, stopping passers-by in the street and performing magic tricks in front of them. Blaine was sharp enough to realise that the show’s success was not in the magic tricks or his straight face, but in the spectator’s reactions. At the peak of his popularity, Blaine bizarrely decided to become an endurance artist, burying himself under a glass coffin, balancing on top of a 90 feet high pillar & encasing himself in a cube of ice for 62 hours.
The magicians you probably don’t know about
Coulew of Lorraine
The phrase “died on stage” was taken to the extreme by Coulew of Lorraine in 1613 when he was clubbed to death by an angry audience member using one of his own props!
Magicians are good inventors. English stage magician John Nevil Maskelyne invented the pay toilet and his grandfather, Jasper Maskelyne invented the typewriter keyboard.
A popular 18th century magician who was born without arms or legs and was just 29 inches tall, Buchinger was a magician, calligrapher and musician who played the flute, trumpet, and more. He even managed to find the time to father eleven children.
The fastest magician alive is Eldon Wigton who performed 225 tricks in 2 minutes for a World Record attempt in 1991. He says that one day he plans to break his own record.
The most famous member of the Magic Circle is Prince Charles. He joined the club in 1975 after performing the famous Cups & Balls trick for members.