Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Magic for Modern Day Muggles

True life: I'm a TED junkie.  Actually making it to a TED Conference is pretty high on my Life To-Do List, but given that it costs anywhere upwards of $3700 for a conference membership, it's a wee bit out of my price range. Until I become much richer, I must settle for constantly and vicariously enjoying TED through my computer (and the TED app on my IPod). With the 2012 Conference less than three weeks away, I was skimming the list of presenters. It was there I found Marco Tempest.

Marco takes technology, something new and ever-changing, and blends it with the age-old job of a magician--not that you should refer to him as one.What he does is so different from any magician before him that he prefers to be called a "cyber-illusionist." To him, the term magician brings with it a very heavy connotation of cheap delusion; he strives for something more, as he explains in this interview for Anderson Cooper's Next List.

Why did he decide to combine two such different things? He argues that his job is essential to bringing out the child in all of us. "When we're kids, everything is magic... and then when we grow up, we lose it somehow. A magician, if he does it right, has this power to re-enchant people, to give them that feeling back for a short amount of time."

Marco started off doing typical slight-of-hand magic as a child, and was prominent in England while working as part of a duo. This did not satisfy him, and he started infusing 'magic' with dance. Still looking for new ways to push the envelope, Marco began addings technology to his magic tricks. He struck gold when, in 2006, he caught the attention of the world with PhoneCam magic (tricks that he recorded with his cell phone), like this trick where he makes a woman's umbrella visibly shrink. He also does many tricks with Apple's IPhone.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2006, Marco has won numerous awards, performed all over the world, and even starred in his own TV show. He has also worked closely with corporations, showing them how to turn their logo into a 3-D animatronic.  He currently lives in New York City and continues to enchant his fans with techno-illusions.

Anyone wishing to learn more should visit Marco's webpage or visit his YouTube channel.

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