Dan Sperry: Anti-Conjuror

3 UP, 3 DOWN Sunday, March 20 Dan Sperry: Anti-Conjuror Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Show at 7 p.m.; Tickets $29 to $44; $65 VIP tickets available includes meet-and-greet, front-row seating and autographed photo ticketomaha.com, 345.0606, dansperry.com “America’s Got Talent” Season 5 semi-finalist Dan Sperry will bring his offbeat style of shock illusion to the Orpheum Theater Sunday, March 20. The Las Vegas-based Sperry received more than 1 million views on YouTube, and sent AGT judge Howie Mandel running into the stands as Sperry chewed up a Lifesaver and then made it re-appear out of his throat. Sperry is a one-of-a-kind-type performer, combining illusion and the bizarre with satirical macabre humor and non-stop mayhem set to an industrial musical score with razor blades, Voodoo, blood and more. What else could you ask for? We caught up with Sperry via email while he’s on the road for his “Magic No Longer Sucks Tour.” So for those of us unfamiliar with your show, can you provide us some highlights? My show is unlike anything you've seen before, especially unlike any magic show you’ve seen before. Everything my audience sees is a completely original approach, from a giant mechanical scorpion with five-foot buzzsaw on the tail to a spinning carcass grinder from Hormel foods that I try to walk through without getting shredded to pieces; ghosts that fly at you around the theater and other paranormal activity. And of course, up close sleight of hand effects projected onto screens so the audience can get an up close look at the demonstrations I do with razor blades, cutting my tongue off and of course the Lifesaver routine I did on America’s got talent. I don’t want to give away too much in terms of what to expect because I want it to be a surprise. I guess you can expect the un-expected. Lots of twists and turns, like a roller coaster! Who are some of your idols and inspirations? I get inspirations from everywhere. A big one is Quentin Tarantino. I’ve always been into his movies and I remember seeing Reservoir Dogs when I was really too young to see it and the scene with Michael Madsen cutting off the police officer’s ear really stuck with me. I loved the feeling of being uneasy and not knowing how to handle the scene, all mixed in together with the dichotomy of Stealers Wheel’s “stuck in the middle with you” really left a mark. Other than that I have to admit I am also influenced by Tim Burton’s art and film‚ ever since I was young and watching everything from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to Batman; and then when Nightmare Before Christmas came out it really stuck with me. Other artists, too, like Dali and Brom, Edward Gorey and Gieger are big influences, along with musicians such as Nine Inch Nails, Emilie Autumn and The Dresden Dolls, too. Which member of the “Jersey Shore” cast would you like to make permanently disappear and why? Yeah ... because I watch that? But from what I hear about the show, they are very good at playing off each other and creating drama for the people at home. Don’t really know who I'd make disappear, but I am sure it would be a close tie between most of the cast!

posted at 03:23 pm
on Thursday, March 03rd, 2011

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