A familiar marketing device for shows involves creating a heightened illusion of taking the audience to another place.
For national touring illusionist Ivan Amodei, that promise is twofold.
Sure, his current show, Secrets & Illusions which makes its Northeast Ohio debut Oct. 20 at Playhouse Squares Mimi Ohio Theatre is set in Paris Louvre Museum.
However, less literally, the entertainer also is promising to empower the audience to do that one thing that theyve always wanted to do but were afraid. Perhaps for some attendees thats going to the actual Louvre or maybe jumping out of an airplane.
Whatever their wishes may be, one-part illusionist, one-part life coach Amodei hopes to inspire folks to eliminate their secrets and illusions in an effort to become their fulfilled self.
My style is not sawing people in half, said Amodei, calling from Southern California. My style is about uplifting people and doing a show where each illusion has a deeper message. Its kind of lowkey, where youre actually enjoying the ride, but at the end, maybe theres a message.
For instance, were going to do an illusion where you can go out and face your fears and maybe youll go for a job you dont think youre qualified for or maybe youll make yourself go skydiving.
It was more than a decade ago when Amodei got his start with Intimate Illusions, which featured a concert cellist and appeared at the famed Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The sold-out show literally ran until last month and also toured the country.
As for Secrets & Illusions, it maintains Amodeis signature style of thought-provoking vignettes, audience participation, uplifting messages and storytelling. This time, hes guiding audiences through galleries of the Louvre Museum while once again being accompanied by an enchanting musical muse and concert violinist.
After Intimate Illusions, my thought was Secrets & Illusions would be the next chapter, Amodei said. It would continue the messages about destiny and also what are the most important assets in life.
Theyre not necessarily material things. Maybe its spending time with your family. So all of these illusions in my show are just another extension of Intimate Illusions, but on another level.
That level includes not only discovering the mysteries of Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting "Starry Night," but also presenting brain games, secrets, magic, music, illusion and a lot of audience participation.
Theres also an intense game of Russian Roulette involving a Bowie hunting knife. Without giving away too much, if an audience member picks the wrong selection, the illusionist could end up with a sharp knife going through his hand.
When asked about the role magic and illusions plays in our society, Amodei, naturally, gravitated his answer towards self-improvement.
It plays a great role because we only get bombarded with negative things, Amodei said. Most people are good. We have to help each other come to a better place.
If youre feeling bummed or victimized because youre not getting the good job and (thinking) everybody is against you, thats not true. Youre in control of your destiny and your life. Thats a good thing to tell people: You can put yourself wherever you want to be its just up to you.