Seeing is believing

  • Illusionist Reza Borchardt levitates (Photograph supplied)

    Illusionist Reza Borchardt levitates (Photograph supplied)

  • Magic act: illusionist Reza Borchardt live with girlfriend and assistant Christa Kemnitz

    Magic act: illusionist Reza Borchardt live with girlfriend and assistant Christa Kemnitz

  • Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

    Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

  • Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

    Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

  • Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

    Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

  • Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)

    Illusionist Reza Borchardt (Photograph supplied)


Why use a handsaw on your girlfriend when an electric one is so much easier?

Illusionist Reza Borchardt does not go easy on his assistant, Christa Kemnitz, just because they’re a couple.

She has been cut in half, pushed through an industrial fan and put through countless horrors by America’s top touring magician.

The only thing he will not do is pull a rabbit of out of a hat.

“That’s a cliché,” he said. “I try to use things that today’s audiences can connect with.”

The 30-year-old is bringing his magic to the Fairmont Southampton this weekend, courtesy of Extreme Entertainment.

He started performing at the age of 6.

“Growing up in Brookings, South Dakota, there really wasn’t much entertainment,” he said. “The day a magician came to my school was really exciting.

“I got picked to come up on stage and do a trick with him.”

It sparked something in him. His parents bought him a magic kit, and he started performing before family and friends.

Today, he travels the United States in a trailer, doing shows. He has appeared on A&E’s Duck Dynasty and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, but prefers being on the road.

“With television you don’t get that instant feedback,” said Mr Borchardt who is visiting Bermuda for the first time. “Sometimes it is months before you see how people reacted.

“I get a lot of motivation from music. Sometimes it goes full circle and the show emulates more of a concert than a typical magic show. It is also very interactive as well.

“To be able to bring that experience to a different city every night is a difficult task. It’s hard being away from your family so much. You don’t get to sleep in your own bed very much. The positives are that you get to meet a lot of new people.

“I travel with my girlfriend who is a part of the show. That is cool to be able to work together. Initially, she did not even want to be a part of the show in any way. She wanted to be completely removed from it. Slowly, over time, she did little things with the show, and now she is the leading assistant.”

Although he is billed as a modern illusionist, he loves tinkering with older equipment. As such, he was excited when he found a French arm chopper from the 1990s online.

“It looks pretty dangerous, but it is actually very safe,” he said. “I have this great memory of my family coming over and watching shows where I used that.

“A lot of the magic tools I grew up performing with I have lost over time. I traded some and sold some. Now I try to find those items in magic shops or things people have. I am trying to recreate the collection I started out with.”

Expect a nod to traditional magic and some levitation at his performances here. He also hopes to inspire young people in the same way he was so many years ago — he is offering a special performance and workshop for children aged 15 and under whose parents have bought tickets to his show.

“I love it when things come full circle,” he said. “I always bring some kids up on stage during a performance.”

•Watch Reza Edge of Illusion on Friday and Saturday at 9pm at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. Tickets, $75, are available from Ptix.bm, Audio Visual and at the hotel. The children’s performance also takes place at the hotel on Saturday at 2pm. For more information: rezalive.com

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Published Sep 18, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 18, 2017 at 10:22 am)

Seeing is believing

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