Ent Scoop Interview
“Intimate Illusions” takes the stage for the first time in New York City this May. Illusionist Ivan Amodei brings his award winning show home to the Big Apple on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 for six jaw-dropping shows. Amodei grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and is excited to perform at the Roosevelt Hotel. “I love New York, I think it’s going to be an amazing experience,” said Amodei.
The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif. has been home to “Intimate Illusions” for the past four years and has been sold out for three years running. Amodei is expecting an even bigger crowd in New York City. The shows are already filling up and the audience is expected to be between 250 and 350 people per show.
Amodei became fascinated by magic at the young age of five and has since won six “Peoples Choice Awards.” “I think the awards are really great, but the real pedal to the medal is when you go out and are working and people come to see you, that’s more of an award to me,” said Amodei.
He has performed for celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey, Dick Clark, Nicholas Cage, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. “They’re regular people. They don’t act any differently. I’ve done magic for Ashton Kutcher a few times—he loves magic. Ashton Kutcher asked me to hangout and drink coffee after. When he was with Demi, she would take my coat upstairs and would ask what she could get me,” said Amodei.
Ivan Amodei is bringing a new illusion to the stage in N.Y. For the past six months, he has been perfecting this surprise illusion. “This will be a great mother’s day illusion to bring to New York,” he said. No two “Intimate Illusions” shows are alike. Amodei has four hours of material that he alternates between each 90-minute performance. Differing from other magic shows, “Intimate Illusions” uses audience participation as a main part of the show. “A percentage of the success of the show is that people are not just sitting and watching, but they are actually participating and they are actually changing the direction of the show,” said Amodei.
“Intimate Illusions” has moments that make the audience laugh, cry and think. Amodei says it’s sometimes like a sit-com because the audience says things that cause hilarious things to happen to the members on stage. In N.Y., Amodei plans to perform “Up in the Air,” an illusion that fills the stage with hundreds of helium balloons with paper messages inside. The selected audience member will have their choice of any balloon. The balloon will be popped to reveal the message inside and the audience will be shocked. “Somebody in the audience is going to find a miracle when they decide which balloon they select,” said Amodei.
Another act that will be performed Mother’s Day weekend is “The Miracle Worker.” In this act, Amodei will turn water into wine. Other acts include “Mona Lisa’s Secret” and “Einstein’s E=MC2.” Amodei’s illusion shows differ from other magic shows by having more meaning than regular magic tricks. “I think magic and illusion have one distinct difference; a magic trick is simply a trick, it’s a stunt,” said Amodei. “An illusion has a meaningful storyline that makes you understand why I’m about to do what I’m about to do and it has some sort of a meaningful ending.”
At an illusion show, audience members will receive an overall uplifting message. “Mostly, you’ll walk away with an inspirational message because my show is about what I’ve learned in life,” said Amodei. He performs destiny illusions and time illusions to help others understand what he has learned. His favorite trick to perform is an illusion around a glass barrel full of scrabble pieces. Audience members reach in to see if they hold their own fate in their hands, and they find out they do.
By following his destiny, Amodei has found that he is able to love his life, he said, “I wake up in the morning thinking about it and I go to bed late because I don’t want to stop doing it—that is the most rewarding thing.”