David Copperfield pulls back the curtain (barely)

He’s the most profitable magician of a technology, and certainly one of the most enduring. Hard to imagine it has been 40 years since David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty appear to fade. That feat alone drew a reported 50 million viewers for CBS, and helped make Copperfield a family identify.

Today, Copperfield’s present continues to be a giant draw at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the place individuals crowd in nightly to see a billionaire at work. The present is all his design, from the music that swells at simply the proper second, to the lighting and props on stage that permit the viewers see simply sufficient to be amazed.


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“Sunday Morning” met Copperfield at his personal museum close to the Las Vegas Strip, the place he is assembled the world’s largest assortment of all issues magic, from Houdini’s handcuffs and water escape tank, to the precise Macy’s counter the place a younger Copperfield purchased his very first magic trick.

Smith requested, “Do you still get chills walking around here?”

“You know, it becomes part of who you are,” he replied.

Artifacts in Copperfield’s personal museum of magic.

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 It’s additionally the place he refines his concepts underneath very tight safety.

Smith requested, “How often do you share how you do these illusions with the public?”

“I think this is the first time we’ve discussed the journey, the process, on national TV,” he stated.

Just about all of his illusions begin as sketches, like a flying saucer that magically seems, or an enormous blade that appears to chop a lady in half. “It’s a blade that not only is a blade, but I could hang from the blade,” he stated.

Blade illustrations.

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And the outcomes: divided! It was the first time any individual was seemingly lower in half lengthwise.

Sawing a girls in half, lengthwise.

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We additionally acquired a peek at a future phantasm involving teams of people that will all vanish, or fly, or one thing like that. “This is a model, so we can get camera shots figured out for a big new illusion that … we can’t talk about right now,” Copperfield stated.

Models for planning a future David Copperfield phantasm.  

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If it seems like he is being evasive, it is as a result of he’s:  the first rule of Copperfield’s magic is that Copperfield will not discuss his magic, primarily as a result of he is certainly one of the most copied artists in the enterprise, and he does not wish to give something away. But that does not cease individuals from guessing. Just log on and you will see movies from armchair specialists who declare to disclose Copperfield’s secrets and techniques.

And a few of them are literally pink herrings, posted by Copperfield himself.  

Smith requested, “So, the videos that you put out [as somebody else] are misdirecting people? They’re not really the illusion explained?”

“One hundred percent,” he stated.

“Why do you do that?”

“Because it’s fun!”

Designs for a spaceship phantasm. 

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For him, the magic enterprise has at all times been enjoyable. Born David Kotkin in Metuchen, N.J., the boy who turned David Copperfield began doing tips at age 12, and his success isn’t any phantasm.

“My ‘magic’ is real, to a certain degree,” he stated. “When you hear people call them ‘magic tricks,’ it’s kind of like … I understand, I accept it, I use the word ‘trick,’ I did it today. But it’s kind of diminishing all the hard work that goes in that in-between part, from when it’s not there and when it’s there.”

Web additional: David Copperfield on the disappearing Lear jet phantasm

Web extra: David Copperfield on his disappearing jet


He’s now a really match 66, and in a longtime relationship with designer Chloe Gosselin, with whom he has a teenage daughter. But Copperfield continues to be hustling. He does 15 exhibits every week, with three on Saturdays alone. There are not any days off.  

“But David, you’re a billionaire, you do not need to do this,” stated Smith.

“But I like it, you know?” stated Copperfield. “I really enjoy it. I’m fortunate, you know, to walk out there and people are kind of happy to be there, you know? And some people actually need to be there. People are in the front row, and I can see in their face: Take me away, I need to dream.”

And he says he’ll maintain at it so long as he can stand on a stage and make individuals marvel how the heck he does it.

“There can be 20,000 in an arena; there’s one lady in the front row with her arms crossed, and that’s the one I want,” he stated. “That lady, I have to try to, gotta make her smile, you know?”

“And how does it feel when you do?”

“You know, it feels great when you do. And when I don’t, I keep trying!”

For extra information:

Story produced by John D’Amelio. Editor: Steven Tyler. 

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