Masters of Illusion

Yes, I’m pretty excited. I’m going to be part of season 8 of The CW Network’s TV show, “Masters of Illusion.” Returning host Dean Cain (Superman) will be introducing magicians, illusionists, and performers from all parts of the world. Despite having to follow strict Covid compliance rules, this past week has been one of my magic career highlights. After testing negative from my first Covid PCR, I flew to Los Angeles, CA, early Wednesday morning. Upon arriving, I Urbered to my hotel in Burbank, CA, where I received my second Covid test. I remained quarantined in my hotel room until 8:00 Friday morning. That’s when I was allowed to go outside and see my shadow. I walked to the nearby studio, where I received my third and final Covid test. My nose holes are now happy, and they were looking forward to having only to wear a cover mask. The backsides of my ears are not happy, but they got over it.

Once inside the studio, I was greeted and escorted to my snack-filled dressing room. I quickly began assembling and preparing my magic tricks. Soon, I was having meetings with Gay Blackstone, other producers, and key people to go over the three magic routines that I would be performing. I was blown away by how much these professionals already knew about my act. It was evident they had spent significant time researching and studying videos of my magic tricks and routines. We went over my music, lighting, pre-staging, staging, audience participants, camera angles, prop locations, microphone requirements, and several other details. They ask me a few questions, and I ask them many. Everyone I met was very professional, welcoming, and went out of their way to make sure I felt 100% comfortable. I could not have asked for a better experience. I wish I knew all their names so I could thank each one personally.

After the meetings and more time in my dressing room, assembling and preparing my magic props, we went to lunch at 2:00. Because of Covid regulations, lunch was pre-ordered and served outside in the parking lot, with chairs placed ten feet apart. The studio inside was a little cool, and it felt good to sit in the warm California sun and enjoy a delicious lunch. Because of Covid rules, I had to do my own makeup, which requires a large amount of makeup when you’re not that attractive, and you have more head than you have hair.

At 3:30 pm, I was informed it was time to move my props to the backstage area. Without me asking, there was someone ready to assist with moving my props. At 4:00, it was time to move to center stage and begin the filming. Even though my part on stage would only take about 30 minutes, it had taken hundreds of people and thousands of hours of planning, preparing, and rehearsing to get to this point. The stage lights were bright, and it was difficult to see past the first couple of rows in the audience. To the best I could see, there were two shoulder-mounted mobile cameras and six stationary cameras shooting from all angles. My first routine went well and required only one take. My second routine also required one take. My third routine went well, but the director suggested we do a take-two with some minor changes to help the routine work better for TV.

With any free time I had that day, I watched other performers by way of backstage TV monitors. The amount of high-tech equipment and the number of professional people involved to produce a TV show is unbelievable. The amazing thing is all these activities were pre-arranged and planned well in advance. Not just for the one day I was on set, but for five days of filming; not regular eight-hour workdays for the crew, but long days. There was absolutely no slow or wasted time during that day. Everything happened with precision.

The “Masters of Illusion” Season 8 will begin airing on The CW Network in January 2022. I’m not sure if my three routines will be included in a single episode or if the routines will be separated into different episodes. I’ll let you know when I received more information.

Photo by Masters of Illusion

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