From his humble beginnings in Comiso, Sicily, to his formative years in Brooklyn, New York, and finally to his spellbinding career as one of the world’s most acclaimed illusionists, Ivan Amodei (pronounced e-von ah-moe-day) continues to amaze audiences everywhere with his one of a kind approach to the art of illusion. Mixing thought-provoking storyline and meaning into each custom demonstration of the human experience. The Boston Globe raves “Magic with a message.”
Intimate Illusions, which Ivan featured a concert cellist, opened on Oct 23rd 2008 at the famed Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The show ran to sold-out crowds each Friday and Saturday evening for ten years. After its third year, Ivan took one weekend a month away to tour with the show to major cities in the United States and Canada. After ten years and 2500 sold-out performances at the Beverly Wilshire and over 500 tour performances, Ivan retired the show on Sept 29th 2019. Intimate Illusions played for more than 3000 shows and over 150,000 guests around the world.
The creation of any illusion is my agony and ecstasy. An idea for one can come to me anywhere — a coffee shop, a deli, a quiet walk through the city, and even a museum. From there, I can get it out of my mind — I have to make it a reality. Shortly afterward, I begin early construction, choreography, and staging of the piece. I typically have no idea where I’m going with it, which is both fun and frustrating — again agony and ecstasy. Frustration usually wins, and I often go running off to find a good book to read. But inevitably, I return to my work after a brief hiatus.
I’m privileged to share with you some of my favorite illusions that I have created over the years. Some may be dangerous, some may be funny, and others might be thought-provoking and inspirational, but all of them share a vital element: an important, deeply-felt message about humanity and life.
SIXTH SENSE show opened in May 2015 and played at select theatres around the United States. This show explored the mind and the supernatural. Most audiences did not call it a magic show, but more of an otherworldly human experience. With people running off stage, married men and women not recognising each other while on stage, raising spirits, burning past relatives names into clothing worn by the audiences members, this show blurred the line of what felt like magic and what was happening live. The show played for 500 performances and a few months after its close, Ivan debuted Intimate Illusions.
Just another American tale: My parents left the small seaside village of Comiso, Sicily — where I was born — for Brooklyn, New York. Like all immigrants, we were in search of the rich and prosperous soils of the American dream.
I was saved literally by magic, my new passion. Illusion was my escape, a chance to explore not only the world but also myself. As I grew so did my magic, and to this day I push myself even harder to reach deeper into this art form. Some of us dream — and it is because of you that I get to live mine. Thank you.