'America's Got Talent' star Murray The Magician on being Dennis the Menace of Comedy Magic
In an exclusive chat with MEAWW, the performer says at his shows he is "a part of the audience and having a laugh at myself rather than trying to sell that I have a special power like so many other magicians do"
Murray The Magician first made an appearance on our radar with season 5 of NBC’s 'America’s Got Talent,' and since then, has only continued to grow into one of the biggest awe-inspiring illusionists of all time. From producing a Ferrari from thin air to transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450-pound tiger, Murray has put on many unbelievable shows.
Even as his style evolved to stay fresh for changing audiences, Murray has stayed true to his brand of "if Phyllis Diller and Dean Martin had a baby." Comedy also continues to be a constant in every show he puts on, charming his fans old and new. With a new and unignorable YouTube presence, Murray is conquering new waters.
MEA WorldWide chatted with Murray about his journey as a magician from 'AGT' to YouTube. Here are the edited excerpts:
How would you describe your magic and what you do? If you had to pick any other stage name what would it be?
I have always said I am the Dennis The Menace of Comedy Magic and if Phyllis Diller and Dean Martin had a baby... I'm it! I have always performed my magic as being a part of the audience and having a laugh at myself rather than trying to sell that I have a special power like so many other magicians do.
David Copperfield!!! LOL Seems to have worked well for the original guy! Honestly, I have always loved the name Zach or Zachary... so possibly that name...
Who would your favorite magician?
My favorite living magician at the moment I would have to say a magician named Voronin from Ukraine. He is one of the main original acts from a show in the Pacific Northwest called 'Teatro Zinzanni.' I am a fan of acts that not only are good but that have a strong brand and hook!
What do you think still attracts people to magic, even in the age of Instagram and Space X?
I think it’s seeing something in REAL TIME. The more and more we get into technology the more and more we are trying to see the magic in real life. What I mean by this is, look at the Virtual Reality glasses everyone is getting into, playing video games with them and other cool things, and it makes me laugh as people go, it's so cool: you can watch a soccer game or see Paris. And I am like, why don't you just buy a ticket and go see a real soccer game like in the old days, or fly to Paris and really see it in 4D? Hence what people are creating with VR or holograms, we are doing in real time without glasses or apps.
Do you feel the pressure to keep things fresh or do you think that the old charm attraction works in your favor?
Have to keep it fresh. Every time I do a talk show or any TV, I try to walk on with a new bit every time. So all of my footage and when I am seen by people, they always see something new. Also with me producing 2 new YouTube Videos a week on my channel that just hit 1.4 million subscribers, I always have to be thinking and creating!
Tell us about some of your favorite 'America's Got Talents' moments from when you were filming.
I loved that there was no editing and you only got one take. Every TV show on TV or Netflix is using camera tricks and edits and it's frustrating. So with 'AGT,' it's one of the only shows that you see the act in real time. One of my all-time favorite moments was vanishing my father, John Sawchuk’s, original steam train he worked on as a teenager and having him and my mother in the audience watching, and it being a success! To this day, it was the largest illusion ever performed on AGT or any of the AGT shows worldwide to date. Means a lot more as I lost my father 4 years ago now, so that was a nice moment for him to see me succeed in my career.
Other cool moments were making the girl turn into the tiger as it was my first time working with a tiger... as well as I had my dear friends The Property Brothers before they were The Property Brothers hanging on set with me as we've been friends since our days in Vancouver, BC.
What is the one thing that would take them completely by surprise - something that they didn't know about you through the show?
That I rode in the rodeo for over 10 years and rode horses for over 25 years. As with my persona and look... it doesn't look like I could hold a hammer or ride a horse for that matter!
What do you think about The Sacred Riana, from a recent 'AGT season? Do you think we don't see enough female magicians in mainstream TV? Why?
I LOVE that act... I think the hook and brand of The Sacred Riana is brilliant. Magic Tricks are hard to reinvent, but with that character, she reinvented some old tricks.
I don't think we do see enough female magicians in our business. I always said if a female magician could be half as good as some male magicians she would take off!!! I have been doing magic since I was 7 and most great magicians started when they were kids as they had a dream and a passion. Most boys get a magic kit during their youth and it sticks and some become great magicians.
What can be done about it?
Nothing. If you want to succeed in art, that being music, comedy, magic, painting, etc, you need to have a passion, bottom line whether you are male, female, or transgender. It's all open for the taking but you have to work hard, have a passion and never give up! I have seen a lot of crap male magicians because they don't have the passion or drive.
What are some of your future projects?
I am excited about my newest venture with producing YouTube videos weekly, along with my producing partner Seth Leach www.youtube.com/magicmurray. I have a few tv shows I am pitching, but what I'd really like to do is to do a 1 hour special on Netflix or Comedy Central as with my show at the Tropciana Hotel in Las Vegas 5 nights a week. I feel that is my next move and project I'd like to do as I haven't done that yet!
If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515.