Razor Blades

Originally published in May 2009.

In my show I sometimes mention that I believe magic is more than just about tricks. I believe that magic should do the same things that a great movie, or piece of art, or song can do. It should stretch the audience’s boundaries by sharing the artist’s view of the world. This is the way I approach the creative process when working on my shows. I want some pieces to just be fun and I want some pieces to push my audience a little.

I initially developed my razor blade swallowing routine about six years ago after being inspired years earlier by a very little known book by Austin Brooks called Magic as Art. Some of the ideas Austin put forth in that book were very different and controversial. He thought about magic as more than just a variety art. He treated it with serious artistic depth. I was stretched by his book and am very pleased I spent time pondering his thoughts. I was subsequently inspired to create my version of the famous razor blade swallowing illusion from some of Austin’s ideas.

With this piece I wanted to do more than just do a trick. I wanted to tell a story. Fortunately when it came time to stage this piece I found an excellent cut of music that helped tell the exact story I wanted my audience to feel. When I made this illusion sequence a part of my show I was very pleased with the response from my audiences. It really was a piece that everyone talked about afterwards. Some of the toughest guys I know told me that as they watched the story unfold it brought them to tears. Others said they just couldn’t take their eyes off what was going on onstage.

I have since taken this piece out of my show because I want to share a different message with it. Hopefully the new story will touch people as effectively as the original did. I sometimes wonder if I’m crazy to change something that was as powerful as this piece was, but I feel as though I’m being called to share a stronger, more hopeful message with it. I hope you enjoy the original version here.


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