Remy Connor has quite the resume. Dubbed the "Honest Thief," at the ripe age of 15, Connor began competitively performing magic. It won him a couple of awards. Three years later, and Connor placed in the top 20 mentalists in the nation on the NBC show Phenomenon.
He studied with a few big name magicians such as Paul Vigil, Antino Art, and James Coats. We sat with the Honest Thief and learned about how to do magic, tricks gone wrong, and who would win in a fight: David Blane or Chris Angel. We even asked about the car that reportedly cost $100,000 that he drove out of a car dealership.
New Times: What is the craziest magic trick you performed?
Remy Connor: The craziest trick I ever performed was an effect called Thru and Thru. I would take an acupuncture needle and put it through my hand. In one side and out the other side. 100% real. This effect is available by special request.
So is it magic or tricks?
An interesting question, my particular blend of magic takes traditional sideshow stunts and psychology and merges them with sleight of hand and magic illusions. Parts of the show are 100% real, parts of the show are all an illusion. But everything in the show is based in some form of reality.
How does one acquire magic, and can we borrow your magic for a day?
Well, you can learn magic by reading books and watching DVDs. Some people get lucky and get a mentor early on. All of those outlets will teach you how to do the magic, but they won't teach you how to be a magician. There is a difference between the guys who do a few magic tricks, and the guys who are magicians. The difference is the show.
Of course, you can borrow my magic for a day -- it's actually an important part of my show to demonstrate that there are certain psychological aspects of magic that people can do themselves. Every show has at least a few people who did the magic themselves.
Can you elaborate on the time you drove a car out of the dealership that reportedly cost $100,000?
Legally, no. I cannot say the dealership or make and model of the car. What I can say is that one of my side businesses is a getting hired to test the security of different companies via the human element. I test the people of a company to see how easy a security breach is through the human element. It's called social engineering. It's amazing fun. It's as exciting as robbing a bank without worrying about jail.
What is a magic trick that you are dying to try?
I am dying to start doing more escapes (ex. handcuffs, buried alive). I am also trying to create an illusion where you can pour any drink out of a container.
Have you had a magic trick go wrong, like accidentally sawed someone in half for real? And what happened, how did you fix it?
I have done a few straitjacket escapes that were not perfect, including getting stuck in the jacket. I had to start the entire effect over. It was terrible because it was my closer. But the one that really stands out in my memory was doing a fire demonstration. I was breathing fire and suddenly, the flame traced back to my face and set my face, mouth and throat on fire. Absolutely terrible experience; the pain was one of the most unbearable experiences I ever had.
Who would win in a magic fight: David Blane or Chris Angel?
That is such a loaded question, and most people would try to be diplomatic about their answer. The best that I can say is that while they are battling it out, I'll pickpocket both of them. But seriously, I'd say Blaine. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Chris Angel, but something about Blaine has always inspired me to be a better performer, a better magician, and a better person. So if Blaine reads this, please call me! Plus to me, he is more humble. I like that.
What magic does South Florida need?
South Florida needs more magic shows. Currently, there is only one real magic show in South Florida that you can go to (that I have heard of) on a regular basis. It's my show at Gigi's Music Cafe in Sunrise. Sure, you can hire a magician for your party, but I believe that if more venues offered different styles of magic shows, they would blow up all over the state. It is my goal in 2014 to bring the magic back to South Florida, to give people shows that allow them to believe in magic again.
Any additional comments?
My other goal for 2014 is to make people realize that magicians are not only for the five-year-old birthday party. Magic is one of the oldest art forms in the world (I believe that painting is the only one older.) There are hieroglyphs of magicians performing as old as 2000 BC. Magicians used to perform for the kings and queens of the world; now, our books are found at the kids section of the library. Sure, magicians are great for the kid's party, but real magic shows can and will entertain everyone. I hope that 2014 allows for the magic community to come together and really bring magic back into the public eye. I will do everything that I can to make that happen.
Remy Connor. 7 p.m. Friday, December 27. "Magic of the Season" event at Sandbar in 900 Sunrise Lane, Fort Lauderdale. Visit remyconnor.com.