Opinion Videos

Mostly Illusion with David Copperfield’s Magical Spray-on Hair!

Published in The Vancouver Province.

I really wished I hadn’t sat in the front row at David Copperfield’s “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion” at the Vancouver Centre of Performing Arts. If I’d just been sitting a few rows back I wouldn’t have seen the wires that controlled the singing and dancing tie, or the slightly concave bottom of the magical “shrinking table”, or the girl that appeared & disappeared in the “reserved” seat next to me wearing three different outfits, or Mr. Copperfield’s caked on make-up and spray-on hair. Ouch. That was a low-blow.

Maybe I’m just too cynical or I’ve seen “The Prestige” one too many times to be impressed with a duck being tossed on stage from behind the curtain. In Copperfield’s defense, his show was very entertaining, and face-paced enough to keep me off my iPhone for an hour and a half. There were great moments too. He is an incredibly skillful showman, and irritatingly charismatic, even when he made a sexy Eastern European girl shove her hand down his pants to make sure there was nothing in his pocket; not once, but twice. Charming.

I feel a bit naive for expecting to be completely wowed. But I just couldn’t get past the worn, cheap-looking props, the massive amounts of noxious smoke blown into my face, the planted audience members who could hardly manage a smirk at his rehearsed one-liners, and the cheesy-kitchyness of it all. I was far from amazed and bedazzled by the appearance of an old car on tall pillars in the middle of the stage. Because from my angle, I could see that it was a shell of fake car and that DC was fake driving it and the illusion was marred.

How he does a lot of his illusions still remains a mystery to me… mostly. Ok fine. The duck told me. And all it took was an Oh Henry’s bar.

But don’t take my word for it, check out the hair for yourself. The World’s Greatest Illusionist is conjuring up 5 more shows at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver Oct. 25 & 26th.

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  • Reply
    October 25, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    I hear ‘ya Lisa. I took my 11 year old son to his Atlantic City Show, and I don’t know if he did this trick for your show, But I was picked as one of the lucky members (about 10 of us) to sit in the big two rows of seating up on stage with flashlights, covered up, and then via magic, moved to the back of the audience.

    All my son wanted to know is HOW?
    Of course, I won’t tell him.

    I wish I was never picked.

    MORE VIDEOS and BLOGGING please.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Your card trick is still blowing my mind. HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS THE FOUR OF HEARTS??????


  • Reply
    Bryan Villarin
    October 25, 2008 at 12:22 PM

    Hilarious! Good video, too. :)

    All the fluff you mentioned was the reason why David Blaine appealed to me more – and the reason why I got into card magic.

    Have you seen the David Copperfield parody?

  • Reply
    Ray Garcia
    October 25, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    one of clubs…. you’re so cute.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    From your description, it looks like all the same things he performed last year when he was in vancouver… i guess his acts don’t change much.

    From my 40th row seat – i was impressed! But then again, i was 40 rows behind and probably his prime audience.

  • Reply
    Peter Carlsen
    October 26, 2008 at 3:18 AM

    This post made my day, hilarious. Most of all because I’ve always found Copperfield a complete enigma – clearly dating back to a video I saw as a kid, of him making a train dissapear. Or maybe it was a polar bear, can’t remember.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    I only really ‘got’ into David Copperfield through my Mother as a child, at which point the awe of his tricks was mesmerizing. Now its guessing whether it ‘wires’, magnets or lighting, the magic is gone :( however the entertainment factor and charm is not which makes DC one of the better illusionists out there.

    (I had a disturbing thought that all the cards in the deck were the same, whilst that would have been cheating it would’ve also been incredibly cool.)

  • Reply
    October 26, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    you are awesome!!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2008 at 9:55 AM

    Hey that’s how I do my magic trick too!

    Love the video, it’s hilarious!

  • Reply
    October 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Saw his show in September in Vegas and was picked to do the final illusion. After it was over we had to go back stage to meet him where he said not to tell anyone how his illusion worked…maybe he meant his spray on hair illusion! Yikes!

  • Reply
    Timothy Drake
    October 28, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    For most the magic is in the wonder of how a trick is done. ” How’d he do that?” is one of those questions that we love to ask but don’t really want to know. How terrible is it when someone answers the question for us WITHOUT us asking?

    Sadly .. Lisa didn’t think of that when she decided to tell us how some of Copperfields tricks worked. When her Grandfather taught her that magic card trick he should have also taught her that a magician doesn’t ruin another performers illusion by telling others how it’d done.

    A responsible journalist should know better.

  • Reply
    Lazarus 2025
    October 28, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    I recently worked on one of David’s shows, and I can tell you that in regards to your comment about “the planted audience members who could hardly manage a smirk at his rehearsed one-liners” that those audience members were not plants. Not everyone is comfortable being in the spotlight.

    I’m also disappointed that you chose to share your comments about how he does some of illusions. Even though I had to sign an NDA swearing not to give away the secrets, there are some things that are best left a secret for others to enjoy. I’ve studied magic since I was a kid, and even when I’m with someone who is amazed at something we may have seen, such as on TV, I’ll not tell them because when it comes down to it, most illusions are very simple to pull off, but knowing how it’s done takes away the wonder.

    As for worn and cheap looking props, I saw most of them close up and having worked hundreds of shows of all kinds in my career, they are some of the best built I’ve ever seen, keeping in mind that on a touring show, everything is beat to crap having to be loaded on and off the trucks. You should see the state of some of the sets we work with.


  • Reply
    Randy Peterman
    October 31, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    The video was great fun! I know that card trick, too ;)

  • Reply
    November 3, 2008 at 12:29 AM

    You are way more entertaining than Copperfield. You’re goofy!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    Haha! Your rule on magic! ;)

  • Reply
    November 16, 2008 at 5:29 AM


  • Reply
    January 19, 2009 at 11:45 PM

    David Copperfield is a great illusionist. After watching his show over a dozen times, he still amazes me. Even though I know some of the tricks, he does an amazing job in and out every day creating magic and wonder for everyone. I have to disagree with your entire article and hope that you will have a better experience at his show next time.

  • Reply
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    Street Magic Revealed
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