A Standing Ovation…

Murray Sawchuck burst onto our TV screens as a semi-finalist on the NBC-TV’s America’s Got Talent ( AGT) – just incase you have been living under a rock for the past 5 years, yes it’s the same show we have here in Britain but obviously for America.

The episode was viewed by 22 million viewers which is pretty impressive!

Murray produced a Ferrari from thin air, transformed a beautiful girl into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick EVER performed on Americans Got Talent by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train in mere seconds.

The judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel reacted by giving Murray a standing ovation.

Amassing over 1 Billion views on YouTube, being a regular on one of our favourite TV programmes “Pawn Stars’ as the magic expert, appearing on CW’s Masters of Illusion, SYFY’s Wizard Wars, VH1’s Celebracadabra, TLC’s 4 Houses and What Not to Wear, Reelz Extreme Escapes, PopTV’s Don’t Blink, Master Chef,  Top Gear, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Nat Geo’s Brain Games and many more Murray really is a household name!

Amongst such a busy magic/TV career Murray and his fiancé Dani (who got engaged in September just gone, congratulations guys) also run their own business Dirt2dreamlandscaping which is transforming backyards galore.

We have a feeling that Murray doesn’t like to sit still, so thought we would shoot him a few questions in his very limited downtime!

Murray how old were you when you first got into magic? I started magic at the age of 7 years old in Burnaby, British Columbia (Canada).

What inspired you to learn magic? I saw David Copperfield vanish the statue liberty on TV when I was 6 or 7 years old and thought it was just awesome and wanted to do that myself. I also had a huge fascination of old school performers like Phyllis Diller, Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Liberace, Dean Martin, etc.

Do you have a favourite magic trick? I think anything that makes the audience laugh! I love that natural reaction of pure happiness from an audience. One of my favourite tricks was when I vanished the steam train on America’s Got Talent which was my father’s train that he worked on when he was a kid. Still the largest trick performed on America’s Got Talent.

A most difficult trick? I think one of the most difficult tricks was when I turned a girl into a tiger on America’s Got Talent in 2010.

On average how long does it take you to learn a new trick? It can take between a week to 3 months depending on the routine or idea.

Have you ever botched a trick in front of an audience and how did you handle that? Yes, as a matter of fact today in my show at the Tropicana!  I have been doing improv for years and I always have a backup plan for each trick just in case it does go sideways… I will know the trick isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, but the audience will never know as they were never privy to the outcome.

Most embarrassing moment? I think when I set the fire alarms off at a major college in British Columbia at night time. They had a theatre attached to the whole college which I was performing at with many other magicians. That night the whole school who were taking night classes were doing their final exams.  I managed to clear the whole place out while the fireman came to  check out the alarm – whoops!

What’s the best thing about being a magician? The best thing for me throughout my career is that I have gotten to see the world and have friends in almost every country in the world. You can’t beat making people smile and laugh and taking them out of the real world for an hour or so and making them forget about all their problems into a land of make believe!

And the worst thing about being a magician? Nothing!

Career goals and aspirations? To be on TV consistently with a weekly TV show.

Who’s your favourite magician? My favourite magician is Cardini, an old 1950’s magician that was brilliant at manipulation and had an amazing character! The other is my mentor Mr. Electric… Marvyn Roy!

Do you enjoy watching others performing and what goes through your mind when you watch magic? Yes I love being entertained and I love entertainment and not just magic shows… all types of entertainment. What goes through my mind… everything to their talent, transmissions, material, lighting, music , timing and how much the audience is enjoying their show… or not.

How many shows do you do a year? I approximately do 300 – 500 shows a year.

What’s your preferred size audience to perform for? Do you prefer intimate or large scale events? I like both… the large audiences are unbelievable when they react and you can’t beat the high of a 10,000 person audience cheer or laugh… but there is also something wonderful about a comedy club of 350 people where you can see everyone’s face and reaction instantly.

Most rewarding career moment? Performing the Vanishing Steam Engine for my mom and dad, Arlene and John Sawchuk LIVE. I created it for them and America’s Got Talent and we had 22 Million LIVE viewers see it. It was pretty surreal!

Worst fail you have ever seen? I have seen people float and then fall down on the stage and un-float… I have seen tigers not want to be on stage and disagree with their magician. All sorts of things!

How diverse do you see the magic industry? With Social Media I am seeing a much more diverse world of performers.  Having the ability to customize tricks that suit them or a worldwide audience. It’s always changing because out mediums are changing! It’s wonderful!

Would you like to share any new projects you have coming up? I am currently pitching a couple of Television projects, wrote a children’s book and me and my fiancé Dani Elizabeth have just finished being part of a short documentary that should come out later this year! I also headline my own show at the Tropicana Las Vegas nightly and I am also the guest act in a show called Fantasy at the Luxor Hotel which is produced by my dear friend and dance legend Anita Mann.

Thank you Murray, we really enjoyed that!

Please people, once its safe to do so, get yourselves to Las Vegas and see Murray perform, I know we will be!

Carol Cooper

Carol Cooper

Married to Antony, Mum to our children. Full time working in media for over 20 years, part time writer and assistant to Antony, which I guess makes me a magicians assistant :-)


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