Friday, April 15, 2016
Written by Ashley Goodfellow.
At first glance, what is most noticeable about illusionist and comedian Murray SawChuck is his wild, platinum blonde hair and dark-rimmed glasses – the uniform of someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously....
But beyond that eccentric persona and the purposefully goofy-looking exterior, there’s something about Murray – a charm, a charisma, a quirky quality you can’t quite categorize.
But it works. He’s got your attention.
Murray is one-part prankster, one-part mastermind and one-part entertainer (if you are only counting three parts), which might explain how a five-year-old Vancouverite went from playing accordion and performing Ukrainian dance (it’s true!) to becoming a fixture in Las Vegas where he performs live and films his YouTube web series (found at murraymagic.com).
As he tells it, he picked up magic at the age of seven when he got a magic kit for his birthday.
“It was another form of getting attention,” he says. But, he got good. Really good. Before long he was working the kids’ birthday party circuit in Vancouver and, wearing a “little tux,” he’d perform for kids only a few years his junior.
He kept that up for several years, and eventually advanced to gigs on cruise ships. He went to school in the meantime and studied broadcast journalism, but knew the stage was his calling.
Now he’s playing five nights a week at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and making appearances on popular TV shows, such as Pawn Stars, Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent, where he amazed audiences by making a 1918 steam locomotive vanish and turning his assistant into a 450-pound tiger.
He has even more surprises up his sleeve (so to speak), and he plans to bring them to life when he performs at the Rose Theatre as Murray: Celebrity Magician – his first Canadian date in five years. It’s also his only stop in Canada on a two-date “tour” he plans to take in mid-April.
“I’ve always loved touring,” he says. “Before Las Vegas, I toured all over the world.”
So what can we expect for this special performance? A lot of real-time magic, mixed in with some comedy, pranks and a lot of audience interaction.
He’s not into tricks with technology, or using “plants” in his show. It’s all real, all the time, he says.
But what makes for a great show is the audience – and how they react.
“I love meeting each and every audience member that comes onstage,” says Murray. “I never know what it’s going to bring, I never know how they are going to react.
“And yes, I tease them, but I can get away with it because I’m ridiculous looking myself,” he jokes. And, that’s what makes him stand out as a performer.
“I just don’t take myself seriously. I’m very much the ‘Dennis the Menace’ of magic,” he says.
As for the magic itself, well, he won’t be able to haul in a steam train for the show, but he does promise to bring some big moves with him. He’ll cut his assistant in half – and though he acknowledges that this sounds very “cliché,” he says the way he executes the trick is much more modern, more like a puzzle.
Most of the time, Murray says, audiences want to see him perform live what they’ve seen him do on TV – and he’s happy to do that.
As for the one-night performance at The Rose, he encourages people to come with their families and have a fun night out.
“I think it’s a cool way to be entertained, and that’s why I stuck with it as a kid. I loved making people laugh and taking them out of the world for an hour,” he said.
Besides, he says, those who get tickets for the Brampton show are getting a steal.
“It’s a lot cheaper than flying out to Vegas to see me,” he laughs.
For more information on Murray please click HERE