(Photo: PNG ) Magician, prankster, illusionist, comedian. That’s how Las Vegas-based, Burnaby-raised performer Murray SawChuck bills himself on his YouTube channel.
Also known as Magic Murray and Murray Celebrity Magician, his edgy videos have generated millions of views. Stunts such as Escaping Cops Using Magic are a hoot — unless you happen to be the befuddled copper expecting to lay a public drinking charge when the bottle suddenly vanishes.
“Ever since I saw David Copperfield vanish the Statue of Liberty, I was held captive by the massive appeal of the ‘big’ trick and the effect it had on everyone who saw,” said SawChuck. “When you create a magic trick, you want something that people go away discussing and Copperfield’s trick is still talked about 30 years later. I want my show to reach that level using all my own inventions and creations.”
Headlining six shows a week in the summer season at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Murray can mix up his tricks any way he wants. That’s what comes when you have worked your way up from $50 birthday party gigs at age 12 to adult parties, cruise ships, small-town casinos and eventually wowing 22 million viewers as a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent. Read more..
The odds are in Mat Franco‘s favor for a long run as the Strip‘s next resident magician. DENISE TRUSCELLO/COURTESY PHOTO
By Mike Weatherford – Las Vegas Review-Journal
Ah, that smile.
Mat Franco could sell snow to Eskimos.
Musical instruments to a boys band in River City.
Shares in Enron. Or Bernie Madoff’s securities fund.
Selling magic tricks is a minor challenge then for last year’s “America’s Got Talent” winner. Even when, as the 27-year-old notes, his audience is “sitting there trying to ruin it for yourself” by trying to figure out how they’re done.
Maybe the next TV competition can put Franco up against Jimmy Fallon and Andy Samberg as guys who get you with a contagious smile before they even say one word. I wouldn’t bet against him, especially if they let him play the “Grandma card” as he does in the show, one more powerful than all The Flash-like speed shuffles.
Franco’s odds are also good for a long run as the Strip’s next resident magician at The Linq Hotel. A two-hour NBC special airing Thursday can’t hurt.
So, make room for still another magician. But it’s probably good to separate Franco’s short game from the long one. In the early going, his show is more modest than you might expect from a serious commitment by The Linq and producers Base Entertainment, and maybe a little too familiar for those who see other magic shows.
For nine years, Las Vegas based magicians have competed on “America’s Got Talent,” from Nathan Burton in season one to Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini this year.
But on Wednesday, it was non-Nevadan Mat Franco who became the first magician ever to win NBC’s talent contest and its $1 million prize.
Still, the city is so thick with magicians that it’s no surprise Las Vegas can claim a little piece of the 25-year-old magician’s victory.
“It’s not little at all,” Franco said by telephone from New York today. “Jeff McBride was the biggest magic influence in my life growing up,” he says of the Las Vegas-based veteran who stages the monthly event “Wonderground” in Henderson.
“It was just a complete obsession ever since I saw him on ‘The World’s Greatest Magic 2’ on NBC back in ’95,” Franco says. “He’s just a huge inspiration to me, big time.”..