Reed McClintock is the brightest of the Stars of Magic.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Reed McClintock does some dizzying, cringe-inducing magic tricks. One of his signature moves involves putting razor blades in his mouth. Then he adds a cocktail napkin that he cuts into a snowflake with the razor blades in his mouth. Then, the edgy magician swallows the razor blades. Finally, he takes a rope that he holds around his back and somehow pulls it through his body. When the rope comes out of his chest, the razor blades are dangling from it.
Another fine feat is where the audience chooses a spot on the tattooed magician’s stomach. Then the crowd picks a card from a deck of cards. At the conclusion of the bit, McClintock somehow has a tattoo of the card the spectators chose on his chest. “It brings the house down every time I do it,” McClintock says.
One time McClintock had to use the trick to impress some royalty at the famed Hollywood magic establishment the Magic Castle. McClintock says the prince of Ethiopia was in the crowd one evening but didn’t stand up and applaud the magician’s act until he did the tattoo and card bit. “It’s the strongest card trick I know,” he says.
McClintock discovered the joys of magic while studying graphic design at Seattle’s Art Institute. Obsessed with getting better at his craft, McClintock’s grades suffered. “I went from being on the president’s list to barely graduating,” he says. “I was eating, sleeping, and breathing magic.”
McClintock’s art school education shows when he speaks of his magic tricks. Rather than viewing his bits as technical feats, McClintock sees the tricks as works of art. He describes the razor blade piece as “pure symbolism of man’s reality.”
“There is substance to what I’m offering,” McClintock says.
The magician also describes how the trick itself is not really important. “Tricks aren’t real, but what you experience inside the trick is magic,” he adds.
One future bit that McClintock is developing involves walking up a ladder made of swords barefoot. “If I slip and fall, I die,” he says. “That’s how far I’m willing to go for my craft, to get people to talk.”
REED McCLINTOCK performs as part of the Stars of Magic show 8pm Saturday, July 12, at the Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. $18-$25. 372-3800.