Daniel Boud

Five minutes with: An escapologist

Award-winning escapologist Krendl Magic talks going through the pain barrier, brushes with death and how what you see on stage is real

What makes this show so different?

The main thing is in collaborating with some of the best illusionists from around the world and then bringing them together on one stage. Most shows have one or two, we have seven.

What’s your favourite moment?

For me, honestly, it’s when I get out of the Water Torture Cell trick alive. No matter how many times I go in the tank, not once has it come easy to me. The pain I go through nightly is real and getting my first breath of air after holding it for three minutes when I escape is nothing short of ecstasy.

How dangerous are your stunts?

I’m very fortunate to have the support staff that I do and there are procedures in place on how to deal with anything that could go wrong. That said, I’ve had several close calls in my history with the Water Cell. I’ve vomited many times from getting water in my lungs and have passed out twice in my career while in the tank. It’s hard for the audience, sometimes, to accept what they are seeing is real and dangerous. People like to believe because it’s happening in a show that it’s fake. Make no mistake, I am holding my breath for real, in real water, and going through real pain to push past what everyone believes is possible. There is nothing more powerful than the mind.

Getting my first breath of air after holding it for three minutes when I escape is nothing short of ecstasy

What was the first escape trick you perfected?

The very first one for me was the Milk Can Escape, made infamous by Houdini performing it as the first water escape on stage in history. It was years later before I ever thought or contemplated doing the Water Torture Cell.

What happened to using a word when performing a trick?

You know, I’m in awe of the word abracadabra. While I realise it’s kind of lost it’s symbolism and been way over-used at children’s parties, there is a history to it that suggests otherwise. The word abracadabra originated from the Aramaic language and it means, ‘What I speak is what I create.’ Cool, right?