By Bobbie Katz
Murray Sawchuck: Change is His New Principle of Magic
Now you see him…
…Now you see him again and again – thanks to YouTube.
This September, comedy magician Murray Sawchuck will be celebrating his second anniversary of performing in Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater. But Sawchuck is not one of those magicians who simply disappears after his 4 p.m. show each afternoon. Rather, he is taking all the right steps to ensure that he is not a tough act to follow.
To that avail, the talented Sawchuck has entered the video game. Having signed up with two experienced, edgy viral video guys in L.A, he debuts a brand new illusion on his YouTube channel each week, actually taping 100 videos over a period of 52 weeks. The proof is in the showing – Sawchuck says that he has received more than 300 million views in just five months.
“I create the visual content and these guys make it viral,” Sawchuck explains. “I’ll go to L.A. and we’ll shoot seven videos in three days or they’ll come here and we’ll shoot fourteen videos in three days. What I do on stage is harder – I get tunnel vision and have to think outside of the box. But these situational videos give me new incentive to do tricks. As an example, I couldn’t vanish a house in the theater. Everything in the videos is done in real time in one continuous shot. There are no cutaways and no camera tricks. For instance, I went to Venice Beach at Thanksgiving and there was a guy on the street with an empty shopping cart. I covered his cart with a blanket and when I removed the cover, the shopping cart was filled with food for the holiday.”
According to Sawchuck, there are really only seven principles of magic and it’s just a matter of coming out with different ideas to make them much more viable. He explains that it is in the way one does a trick, the way that magician disguises it.
“I always say that I’m a comedy magician,” he maintains, “But I have a good balance – I do magic first then comedy. I do everything quickly right underneath the audience’s noses – close-up, sleight of hand magic. But on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I vanished a train. I’ve also made a grizzly bear appear and vanished a house – that’s illusion. I call myself a celebrity magician because I work with a lot of celebrities on TV. Just my look is a brand – my hair and my glasses – and my comedy is both written and spontaneous. I’m getting more people from online coming to my stage show and I want to cater to that as well.
“I recently changed my show 45 percent over a five-week period and have even changed my look to something hipper and trendier instead of the suit I had been wearing,” he adds. “It’s a big deal for me to change my look. I wear jeans and a hoodie then halfway through I change into a tuxedo. I close the show in a nice Calvin Klein suit. What I do I the show is the same kind of style. I can do a lot of comedy because of the way I look. I’ve never been a serious magician. When I do comedy magic, people believe that I’m one of them but that I just have a special skill. Personality can make even a classic trick look different.”
Sawchuck, who is a frequent guest on the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” says that he has probably created more than 300 tricks and illusions. He reveals that some are accomplished overnight while others can take 10 months of working on them. He has sold a couple of his illusions to other magicians for a period of time but notes that there are a lot of problems in the industry with copying.
“When I vanished the train on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I was the only illusionist to have come up with that,” Sawchuck acknowledges. “My dad worked for the railroad and my family has had a 150-year history with the railroad. A few years after performing it on AGT, I saw a video of my illusion in Australia. I know those magicians took my trick; their train was even the same design as mine – I used a steam engine. Now three people in the world are doing it.”
One thing others should be copying is Sawchuck’s involvement in charity. Every year, he does a special charity show for animals called “Friends for Life." He is also involved in Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation for kids as well as with the MDA Telethon,
It all adds up to one undisputed fact -- Murray Sawchuck has one of the best reappearing acts in the business with nothing up his sleeve but dedication.
This article appears courtesy of Vegas Insider Daily.com.