R.I.P. Roy

Roy Horn

Saddened to hear of the passing of Roy Horn from coronavirus complications yesterday at the age of 75.

Siegfried & Roy took the magic world by storm, from humble beginnings to their breathtaking vision and success of a modern grand illusion show spectacle, featuring tigers, elephants and dragons, ruling the Las Vegas Strip for decades and thus pioneering the city’s change from a notorious gamblers’ joint in the desert into a family-friendly fun park.

One of my oldest memories goes back to seeing, as a boy, their stunning PR shot of Roy floating through a hoop high above Siegfried’s head somewhere in the desert, in bright sunlight. No stage, no backdrop, no dim lighting. It was featured on the cover of a TV guide, and it left me speechless. I am grateful to have seen their show back in the 90s, when they were in their prime, and I will always cherish it as one of the top magic experiences of my life.

Roy had a magic way of connecting with animals of all kinds. On stage, he was highly energetic and athletic, and he aired an infectious, exuberant joy. Fellow illusionist Jonathan Pendragon has called him “the best ‘Cat’ magician I ever saw.” Both Siegfried & Roy and The Pendragons performed the fastest and best versions of all the Metamorphosis illusions out there.

I am sure Roy enjoyed every minute of his life with his animals, his partner and their magic. He will be lovingly remembered by the magic community and innumerable fans worldwide.

Rest in peace, Roy, and thank you for all the magic and the joy.

Deutsche Berichte / German news articles:

“Leben zwischen Tricks und Tragik” – dpa/n-tv.de

“Prominente trauern um Roy Horn”

“Der Exzentriker, der keinen Nachnamen brauchte” – Der Spiegel

Nachruf des MZvD zu seinem Ehrenmitglied Roy



Tricks & Ideas (5): Clear Magic

With many laymen assuming that the bigger part of magic’s secrets lies within suspicious boxes, hidden mechanism, black art and special lighting, I feel it is an interesting concept to present certain magic effects as „clearly“ as possible (pun intended). Think of objects appearing or disappearing in crystal-clear boxes, coins through glass table or „Clearly Impossible“, Jonathan Pendragon’s spectacular sawing of a lady, etc.

On his fine blog (in English and German; login required), Alexander de Cova has recently announced his version of a clear cups & balls routine which he will premier in his lecture tour through Germany and Austria this fall. I am really looking forward to his clever thinking on this. Other clear routines with the cups & balls that come to mind are the ones by Penn & Teller, Jason Latimer and Armando Lucero.

By the way, Alexander recommends using clear tumblers made of polycarbonate now instead of real drinking glasses. These are light-weight, almost unbreakable, easy to carry and easy to drill. (The sound may be a bit flat, though.)

Now clear your mind – what can you come up with?

Find more tricks & ideas here.