Can you create miracles in your life? What is the secret to manifesting everything you want? Can you have it all?
Ivan’s Inventing Miracles is an incredible and motivational keynote speech featuring his remarkable performance style, combining amazing illusions and powerful life messages, culminating in theatrical entertainment pieces.
It gets everyone participating, cheering, thinking, learning, and mastering techniques that ultimately allow one to master themselves and succeed in every aspect of their lives.BOOK IVAN
With an incredible twist on traditional motivational speeches, unlike any you’ve seen, Ivan demonstrates how magic and illusion can help everyone succeed in every aspect of their lives.
Join him on a rollercoaster ride through a collection of demonstrations involving everyone in the audience. You’ll understand, you’ll master techniques, and you’ll walk away astounded at what you just saw, but most of all, you feel empowered to go out and conquer the world.
Learn how to face your fears, memorize large lists instantly, trust your intuition, fine-tune your listening skills, and attract what you want, including relationships, finance, and health.
Illusions and magic go beyond what you can physically see. There are psychological factors. You can utilize these tools if you understand them. Ivan will teach you how to employ the techniques to be wildly successful in your
relationships, business, and self.
From his humble beginnings in Cosmo, 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 story line and meaning into each custom demonstration of the human experience. The Boston Globe raves “Magic with a message.”
With a unique philosophy and showmanship that emphasizes inspiring and uplifting his audiences, Ivan has entertained thousands of people from all walks of life – including notable Hollywood elites, and even royal nobility. The very definition of a consummate showman and a world-class entertainer, tonight you will witness for yourself the reason Hollywood Today hails Ivan Amodei as “The most entertaining and exciting illusionist we have ever seen.”
From ten years and 3000 performances of sold-out shows in Beverly Hills, to travelling the world entertaining royalty and winning Penn & Teller Fool Us, Illusionist Ivan Amodei has an illustrious career. His new show SECRETS & ILLUSIONS is now on a national tour and selling out theatres all over the country.
“Great illusion centers around meaning,” says world-renowned illusionist Ivan Amodei. In the case of his new show, Secrets & Illusions: Unlock Your Destiny, “meaning” is with a capital M. Coming to the Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Oct. 6, Secrets & Illusions is billed as a “psychological thriller t...
The Magic Is Back: 5 Best Places You Can Catch This Travel Trend. Intimate Illusions, LA: Ivan Amodei has been performing his upscale – cocktail attire requested – and more illusion-driven 90-minute show for eight years in a suite at the Four Seasons Beverley Wilshire – the hotel where the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts film Pretty Woman w...
Illusionist Ivan Amodei brought his show Intimate Illusions to an intentionally intimate-sized ball room at Seattle’s Westin Hotel last week, and the audiences of 200 were able to have a close look at being magically entertained. From my seat on the aisle in the second row during a Saturday evening show, I paid close attention to Amodei’s every...
On a magical, mystical evening, none other than New Year’s Eve, ringing in 2017, something of almost supernatural, magical, other worldly realm took place. All were in awe at the Grand Trianon room at the Beverly Wilshire, as the esteemed illusionist Ivan Amodei graced the stage. With his one of a kind (sui generis) approach to all things ill...
Ivan has celebrated his 1000th show at the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, where his 8 year run of SOLD OUT shows was just getting started. Each Friday and Saturday evening, he performs 2 90-minute shows accompanied by his convert cellist Ms. Irina Chirkova to crowds from all over the world. Most of his shows change from week t...
“Intimate Illusions” takes the stage for the first time in New York City this May. Illusionist Ivan Amodei brings his award winning show home to the Big Apple on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 for six jaw-dropping shows. Amodei grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and is excited to perform at the Roosevelt Hotel. “I love New York, I think it’s go...
On the evening of October 19 2013, Ivan Amodei celebrated his 400th show of INTIMATE ILLUSIONS at the uber-posh Beverly Wilshire hotel. Part of the genius of the location is that the magic begins long before the show starts. It starts as you drive past the shops of Rodeo Drive toward the historic hotel and intensifies as you enter its gilded doors ...
" PURE ENTERTAINMENT" - DC OUTLOOK Parlor magic. Sleight of hand. One could argue that you see it every day in the political capital of the world; but I’m referring to the magical variety… the kind you discover in places like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo. As much as DC has to offer, sometimes you have to bring in a third party. That was the case...
By Matt Robinson For many magic fans, the bigger the better. Make a building disappear, they think, and you have earned my applause. But as any good magician or true fan knows, however, it is often the smallest, most subtle deceits that truly amaze and impress. Though he has won awards around the world and appeared in front of thousands of flumm...
“Brilliant, Hilarious & Enthralling!” - BEACON HILL TIMES Brilliant, hilarious, and enthralling, Ivan Amodei’s “Intimate Illusions,” at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers during the third week of July, was celestial. Illusionist, Amodei, charmed the 250 audience members with his introspective questions, witty banter, and dry hu...
Ivan Amodei might be the best-kept secret in tinsel town. He is celebrating his 400th show this year at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and is the most entertaining and exciting illusionist we have ever seen. Did you know his show is ranked #1 on Trip Advisor of attractions in Beverly Hills? This handsome and charming gentleman performs in a candle ...
By Tommy Lightfoot Garrett The world respected magician Ivan Amodei is perhaps one of the most highly skilled and intelligent entertainers in the 21st Century. The superstar, who will be celebrating his 400th show headlining in “Intimate Illusions” at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel this fall spoke exclusively with Highlight Hollywood last week, ...
By Dwayne Ladd World-renowned illusionist Ivan Amodei (e-von ah-moe-day) celebrated his 400th show past Saturday at the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, on the famed Rodeo Drive. It was a refreshing approach to magic, in our opinion. Held in an intimate setting and close to the action, there was fun to be had for all. Ivan started the show wi...
MARINESCOPE MAGAZINE SAN FRANCISCO REVIEW Dumbfounded is an understatement. Walking away from Ivan Amodei’s “Intimate Illusions” — a magic show at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Friday — I openly reveled in a cathartic state of childhood bewilderment. What just happened? I’ve seen some tricks of the trade, and am hopelessl...
The illusions that magician Ivan Amodei packs in his powerhouse bag of tricks have a potent payoff after the bluff and bluster."All of them have a shocking ending that no one can see coming," Amodei said in an interview from his Somis home last week. At that very moment, when audience members' mouths are agape and a hush has fallen over the room...
MR. JOE MONTI - MINDFREAK PRODUCER Mr. Joe Monti, Network TV Magic Producer and Magic Consultantstopped by June 4th, 2011 and saw the show. "For anyone wondering who will be the next great entertainer look no further…Ivan Amodei is here. Ivan has Hollywood good looks and a Mensa mind. He goes out of his way to be different, mind blowing &a...
"A Master in his Art" Magic is for grown ups, as Ivan Amodei demonstrates in his dexterous 90-minute performance at the acclaimed Beverly Wilshire. From his sleight of hand in a sharp black suit to the reciprocal tunes of concert cellist, Irina Chirkova, in her scorching red dress – classics such as Bach and Dvorak, the Mission Impossible theme...
Ivan Amodei is Ventura County's hottest magician, as evidenced by his more than one-year run of weekend illusion shows at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. On Fridays and Saturdays, Amodei holds court in an intimate setting for about 75 patrons who have come to be entertained and mystified. The 90-minute show is drawn from more than f...
Steve Simmons of the Beverly Hills Courier stopped by to see the show over the holiday. "Magician Ivan Amodei has been packing them in at the Beverly Wilshire. So, to mark his one-year anniversary of sold-out shows, L.A.'s No. 1 magician has added three New Year's Eve shows at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. in the hotel’s historic Le Grand Trianon Theater....
We caught up to Magician Ivan Amodei, pronounced (e-von ah-moe-day) at his photo shoot for BHT Magazine in the Royal Suite at the Beverly Wilshire. Having won countless awards, including the coveted People’s Choice Award, Ivan has had a fruitful career. After a year of sold out performances and rave reviews, Ivan sat down with BHT Ma...
“Great illusion centers around meaning,” says world-renowned illusionist Ivan Amodei. In the case of his new show, Secrets & Illusions: Unlock Your Destiny, “meaning” is with a capital M. Coming to the Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Oct. 6, Secrets & Illusions is billed as a “psychological thriller that reveals the secrets to life, one illusion at a time.” The show endeavors to “inspire and motivate you to discover your destiny.”
It’s a lofty goal, but it’s not a new one for Amodei. The Boston Globe has described his craft as “magic with a message,” and Amodei has earned an international following for his performances that spark not only amazement but thought and self-reflection.
“I can change a blue ball into a red ball, but I’d rather make [an illusion] meaningful,” says Amodei. “A truly great illusion must be something more.” Some of his most well-known illusions include “It’s Destined to Happen,” “Mona Lisa’s Secret,” “The Miracle Worker” and “Time Is Precious.” Some are funny, others are dangerous, but with each one, Amodei hopes to inspire the audience to do something profound themselves, like face their fears or find love.
He finds inspiration almost anywhere, from sitting in a coffee shop to walking down a city street. Once he gets a glimmer of an idea, he has to see it to fruition.
“I can’t get it out of my mind. I have to make it a reality.” From there he begins to construct and choreograph the illusion. He builds the storyline and chooses the music. Probably most important is figuring out what the illusion should say. What will the audience experience while watching it? What revelations or questions will they take away from it?
In Secrets & Illusions, Amodei says that, “Underlying all the magic is the question: How do we discover our destiny?” The show is meant to take the audience on a journey to “unlock their purpose. There are a lot of illusions, surprises and twists in the show, but it’s more about what the illusions tell you.”
Amodei and his wife, Jennifer, were inspired to create Secrets & Illusions after finding themselves in the Louvre Museum in Paris near closing time. “We were alone in these amazing galleries,” she recalls. “The world became so magical. We thought, how do we bring that to the stage?” In the end, they set out to create a show that would “uncover life’s greatest mysteries inside priceless works of art.”
They enlisted the help of RabCup, a tech-driven production company, to create illusions of their own: the shimmering Louvre Pyramid, the moonlit streets of Paris and famous works of art that come to life. Onstage, Amodei is accompanied by violinist Karoline Menezes who plays music that sets the tone and helps guide the audience on an adventure.
The illusions revolve around universal themes like love, fear, time, the power of intuition and the laws of attraction. In Amodei’s signature style, the illusions are immersive and interactive, whether he calls on one audience member or hundreds to participate.
“The whole audience is involved in the trick about time. It makes you think about how valuable [it] is,” he says. When it comes to any illusion, Amodei adds, “You are making all the deductions. I’m basically leading you down a path.” Then he points out a fundamental truth: “Magic is not happening with your eyes. It’s happening with your mind. I want you to watch and think about [an illusion]. You might [go home] and think about it for weeks.”
Amodei has been thinking about magic for a long time. He knew he wanted to be a magician when he was 5 years old. Born in Cosmo, Sicily, and raised in Brooklyn, Amodei began doing magic after he saw a family friend perform a trick. “He was a close-up magician,” Amodei recalls. Even as a child, watching the man perform, Amodei wanted to explore the greater possibilities of magic. He remembers thinking, “There’s got to be something more.”
Amodei doesn’t say whether he figured out how the man did the trick. Even to this day, Amodei doesn’t study the work of other illusionists too closely.
“If I see an illusion I like, I run the other way. I admire a lot of illusionists but I really like to create my own.” His admiration for illusionists of the past led him to write the book Magic’s Most Amazing Stories: A Collection of Incredible Stories From World-Famous Magicians (Eclipse, 2010). True to the magician’s code, Amodei shares anecdotes but he doesn’t reveal any secrets.
He attended Cal Lutheran University and hoped to become a plastic surgeon, but soon switched majors to advertising and marketing. His heart wasn’t in that either. “I decided to give [magic] a try. After all, it would only be me that would starve.” To support himself and hone his craft, Amodei worked as a waiter in Thousand Oaks and performed close-up magic tricks for his customers. He was a hit and soon had a large following. The experience was good training. Surrounded by an audience that was mere inches away, Amodei remembers trying out a new trick and thinking, “How am I going to get this done?”
After 20 years of performing, there is still a first time performing any illusion. “Nobody gets it right the first time,” he admits. “You have to do an illusion in front of people over and over again before you understand the subtleties.” That’s where thinking on your feet becomes one of an illusionist’s greatest skills.
After the restaurant came corporate events and larger shows. In 2008, he opened Intimate Illusions at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Now in his 10th year in residence at the hotel, Amodei performs close-up magic in the show, designed as an elegant, semiformal affair, set in a suite.
A particularly memorable moment in his career came when he stumped Penn & Teller on their TV show Penn & Teller: Fool Us on the CW Network. The trick involved Amodei guessing the name of the state written on cards held by audience members, as well as by Penn Jillette. After 12 minutes of deliberating, Penn and Teller gave up trying to figure out the secret behind the trick. Amodei walked away a winner.
From a restaurant dining room to the world stage, Amodei has performed magic in almost every setting. Wherever he performs, one thing remains the same: It’s always different and the unexpected can happen at any time.
“Magic happens because of the audience. It’s more magical if nothing is planned. That makes every performance unique,” he says. “I know we have to get from point A to point B, but how we’ll get there is up to the audience. A lot of thought goes into every illusion, but it comes down to performing. There are challenging illusions I’ve done 10 times that have changed 180 degrees during a performance.”
Some illusions are especially challenging, like the one involving a 14-inch blade, which some venues have asked to have nixed from the act because it is so dangerous. (Amodei and the venue usually come to an understanding and he ends up performing the illusion.)
Sometimes, what happens is more unexpected than usual. There was the time the lights went out in the theater in the middle of a performance. Then there was the time the fire alarm went off and another time when someone fainted. Now Amodei never takes the stage without having a high-powered flashlight, a first aid kit and a glass of water at the ready backstage, just in case. Thinking on your feet also means always being prepared.
There is something or rather someone that every illusionist faces: the skeptic. “Sometimes [there can be an] antagonistic relationship between the magician and the audience … but I keep away from that. If you think negative you get negative back.” Amodei would rather redirect the conversation. He will talk about something universal like the law of attraction to bring the audience on his side. Still, he admits, “There is always a certain percentage of people who are determined to figure out [an illusion].” He shrugs. “I don’t care if you figure it out,” he says, “[but] you’ll miss the whole point.” The point, he says, is to “sit back and have a fun time.” And who knows, you may walk away a little closer to figuring out your destiny.
As for Amodei, is magic his destiny? “I’m not sure,” he replies. It seems that the future is the greatest mystery of all. It’s up to you to make it magic.
Ivan Amodei, Secrets & Illusions, October 6 at Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, for information call 805-449-2700 or visit https://www.civicartsplaza.com.
The Magic Is Back: 5 Best Places You Can Catch This Travel Trend.
Intimate Illusions, LA: Ivan Amodei has been performing his upscale – cocktail attire requested – and more illusion-driven 90-minute show for eight years in a suite at the Four Seasons Beverley Wilshire – the hotel where the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts film Pretty Woman was famously set.
He also takes Intimate Illusions on the road and performs at other luxury hotels and resorts around the country – this week he is at the Park Plaza in Boston for several nights, and in February he will visit the Hyatt Regency Phoenix and Mayflower in Washington DC. The tour schedule is available on his website.
Ahis new show, SECRETS & ILLUSIONS OPEN OCT 6TH 2019 TO A NATIONAL TOUR.
Illusionist Ivan Amodei brought his show Intimate Illusions to an intentionally intimate-sized ball room at Seattle’s Westin Hotel last week, and the audiences of 200 were able to have a close look at being magically entertained. From my seat on the aisle in the second row during a Saturday evening show, I paid close attention to Amodei’s every move and found myself highly entertained as well as impressed by his skill.
Amodei kept everyone in the intimate audience continually involved as he roamed the aisles bantering with people and getting them involved in every illusion. I was particularly impressed when he tore open an envelope that had been signed and sealed by an audience member to reveal her driver’s license that had been put in another sealed envelope in a box only minutes earlier.
Clearly Amodei is a master at slight of hand, but he’s also quite entertaining, moving through the audience and involving nearly everyone in the room. And the accompanying of famed cellist Irina Chirkova takes the Intimate Illusions show beyond simple magic. Although she never speaks words, Chirkova dialogues with Amodei and the audience using her cello in a way that adds both humor and personality to the show.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced production and its genuinely intimate experience, and I have no doubt that Intimate Illusions http://www.ivanamodei.com/ will appeal to anyone looking for an entertaining look into possibilities.
By L. Steven Sieden, Contributor
On a magical, mystical evening, none other than New Year’s Eve, ringing in 2017, something of almost supernatural, magical, other worldly realm took place. All were in awe at the Grand Trianon room at the Beverly Wilshire, as the esteemed illusionist Ivan Amodei graced the stage.
With his one of a kind (sui generis) approach to all things illusion, Amodei never ceases to amaze. His mesmerized audience watched each trick with bated breath, wondering the hidden secret that was never revealed.
Mystical feats galore, including an opening by a beautifully talented cellist to set the mood, Ivan, a wizard genius, had everyone standing in front of their seats, and in a process of elimination, Simon Says style, had the last woman standing (yours truly!), only to find, in astonishment, my name suddenly appearing on a chalkboard onstage! He then went on to swallow nails of steel, miraculously regurgitating them painlessly. Sleight of hand; mind reading, all the while, accompanied with humorous playful banter with the audience was the tour de course.
Amodei shared his journey, as a young boy raised in Cosmo, Sicily…to his formative years in Brooklyn… to a spectacular career as a world class illusionist, the likes of Houdini.
This magician extraordinaire intrigued the audience, with quite a lot of audience participation, with flights of fancy, from guessing cards in a deck to destinations on a globe to revealing love notes in a clear balloon.
As New Years is upon us, it is time to ring in the new, embrace the uncanny, a time of adventure and mystery, a time of new beginnings, abracadabra. This show presents not only magic, but soothing music, and a theatrical flair, a la Cirque Du Soleil. At the magical, daunting stroke of midnight, Amodei, using his innate gift of illusional sleight of hand, transported us to a make believe reality, just the treat we all need this year.
By Bonnie Previer
Ivan has celebrated his 1000th show at the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, where his 8 year run of SOLD OUT shows was just getting started.
Each Friday and Saturday evening, he performs 2 90-minute shows accompanied by his convert cellist Ms. Irina Chirkova to crowds from all over the world.
Most of his shows change from week to week because off his diverse amount of material. So guests keep returning to the show every few months anxiously waiting to see the newest creation.
Once a month, Ivan continues to tour to cities all over the country with the show and then returns to his home base in Beverly Hills.
“Intimate Illusions” takes the stage for the first time in New York City this May. Illusionist Ivan Amodei brings his award winning show home to the Big Apple on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 for six jaw-dropping shows. Amodei grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and is excited to perform at the Roosevelt Hotel. “I love New York, I think it’s going to be an amazing experience,” said Amodei.
The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif. has been home to “Intimate Illusions” for the past four years and has been sold out for three years running. Amodei is expecting an even bigger crowd in New York City. The shows are already filling up and the audience is expected to be between 250 and 350 people per show.
Amodei became fascinated by magic at the young age of five and has since won six “Peoples Choice Awards.” “I think the awards are really great, but the real pedal to the medal is when you go out and are working and people come to see you, that’s more of an award to me,” said Amodei.
He has performed for celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey, Dick Clark, Nicholas Cage, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. “They’re regular people. They don’t act any differently. I’ve done magic for Ashton Kutcher a few times—he loves magic. Ashton Kutcher asked me to hangout and drink coffee after. When he was with Demi, she would take my coat upstairs and would ask what she could get me,” said Amodei.
Ivan Amodei is bringing a new illusion to the stage in N.Y. For the past six months, he has been perfecting this surprise illusion. “This will be a great mother’s day illusion to bring to New York,” he said. No two “Intimate Illusions” shows are alike. Amodei has four hours of material that he alternates between each 90-minute performance. Differing from other magic shows, “Intimate Illusions” uses audience participation as a main part of the show. “A percentage of the success of the show is that people are not just sitting and watching, but they are actually participating and they are actually changing the direction of the show,” said Amodei.
“Intimate Illusions” has moments that make the audience laugh, cry and think. Amodei says it’s sometimes like a sit-com because the audience says things that cause hilarious things to happen to the members on stage. In N.Y., Amodei plans to perform “Up in the Air,” an illusion that fills the stage with hundreds of helium balloons with paper messages inside. The selected audience member will have their choice of any balloon. The balloon will be popped to reveal the message inside and the audience will be shocked. “Somebody in the audience is going to find a miracle when they decide which balloon they select,” said Amodei.
Another act that will be performed Mother’s Day weekend is “The Miracle Worker.” In this act, Amodei will turn water into wine. Other acts include “Mona Lisa’s Secret” and “Einstein’s E=MC2.” Amodei’s illusion shows differ from other magic shows by having more meaning than regular magic tricks. “I think magic and illusion have one distinct difference; a magic trick is simply a trick, it’s a stunt,” said Amodei. “An illusion has a meaningful storyline that makes you understand why I’m about to do what I’m about to do and it has some sort of a meaningful ending.”
At an illusion show, audience members will receive an overall uplifting message. “Mostly, you’ll walk away with an inspirational message because my show is about what I’ve learned in life,” said Amodei. He performs destiny illusions and time illusions to help others understand what he has learned. His favorite trick to perform is an illusion around a glass barrel full of scrabble pieces. Audience members reach in to see if they hold their own fate in their hands, and they find out they do.
By following his destiny, Amodei has found that he is able to love his life, he said, “I wake up in the morning thinking about it and I go to bed late because I don’t want to stop doing it—that is the most rewarding thing.”
On the evening of October 19 2013, Ivan Amodei celebrated his 400th show of INTIMATE ILLUSIONS at the uber-posh Beverly Wilshire hotel. Part of the genius of the location is that the magic begins long before the show starts. It starts as you drive past the shops of Rodeo Drive toward the historic hotel and intensifies as you enter its gilded doors and walk past the grand staircase where Richard Gere fell in love with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The spell cast by this place is palpable — it’s no accident that the word “glamour” comes from “grimoire,” a book of magical incantations.
Ever since the show opened on December 11, 2010, the magic continues on Friday and Saturday nights in the sumptuous 100-seat room, where the beautiful Irina Chirkova plays Vivaldi on the cello. And the magic builds as Amodei comes out onstage in an Armani tux and Piaciotti shoes — with a bag over his head.
Wait — what?
One of the charming things about Ivan is the way he harnesses the seductive trappings of luxury while not taking himself too seriously. I can imagine unrelieved devotion to elegance by a polished performer with movie-star good looks could come off as too perfect by half. But Ivan is a disarming, likable performer who lets the sumptuous elements work for him without seeming like he has a snobby bone in his body.
He presents himself an immigrant kid who dreamt of putting on a show, and dreamt big. This show is not merely located in old Hollywood, it is old Hollywood. How can you help but get sucked in?
Amodei has a great sense of routining and a relentless desire to find the deeper meaning in his effects. In his water-to-wine routine (which he presented on Arsenio recently), he doesn’t shy away from referencing Jesus and, in fact, builds the themes into a “creation of life” goldfish production, all while keeping a light, elegant tone.
Or consider his presentation of an effect in which he predicts the serial number on a borrowed bill. In some way this effect is terrific, so powerful and so impossible, yet in other ways, it’s not so good — it’s hard to build a routine around it, it lacks suspense and surprise, and it’s so impossible it almost leads to giving away its method by cognitive default. But Amodei builds it into a marvelous routine that taps into the strengths of the effect while avoiding its weaknesses. He makes a big show of the fairness of the bill’s selection and the way it is placed on a thin retractable rod with clip high above a spectator’s head.
He then introduces laminated number cards, using them first to do a spectator divination routine that builds to a Sympathetic card routine. As a kicker, he claims to have predicted the exact order into which the spectator would shuffle the number cards — Amodei pulls out a sealed FedEx envelope from which he unfolds a banner that stretches across the stage, revealing a number — but the number doesn’t match the order of the cards! Only then does our attention turn back to the woman in the audience holding the bill. She reads off the serial number and it matches perfectly. The audience erupts into applause.
The sold-out 400th show milestone was celebrated with champagne and cake after-party.
By Chris Philpott
” PURE ENTERTAINMENT” – DC OUTLOOK
Parlor magic. Sleight of hand. One could argue that you see it every day in the political capital of the world; but I’m referring to the magical variety… the kind you discover in places like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo. As much as DC has to offer, sometimes you have to bring in a third party. That was the case this past weekend, as the Mayflower Hotel played host to The Magic of Ivan Amodei: Intimate Illusions… 90 minutes of pure entertainment, delivered by the unofficial king of Beverly Hills.
The Sicilian-born Amodei performed a total of five shows over two days… the last of which, my brother Brian and I were lucky enough to attend last night. There was a palpable energy in the room before Amodei and cellist Irina Chirkova entered the room. Brian & I sat front row center… just itching to be part of the act. Once on stage, Amodei took control of the room, performing one amazing illusion after another. Best of all, he made sure to incorporate his sold-out audience in every aspect of the show.
That included John and Sean, two guys from the opposite side of the front row. John was up first, nervously joining Ivan on stage. How nervous? Just seconds in, he felt obliged to move his wallet from his front to back pocket! Thankfully, Amodei was only interested in loose change (acquired from various members of the audience.) After blindfolding himself, Ivan went on to astound John, Sean and everyone in attendance with an uncanny display of “guessing.” I was sitting less than five feet away; yet I couldn’t begin to tell you how he does it.
There were other illusions, $20 bills for the taking, card tricks, number games, and even Houdini’s Escape (no keys necessary, Ivan uses a bottle of pins) with each one drawing oohs, aahs and laughter; but what made this show extra special, was Amodei’s unrivaled charm and showmanship. It takes a special sort of person to ask a complete stranger for their Social Security number or how much money they have in their checking account. He may not be good with names, but Ivan has a way with people. 90 minutes literally flies by… so much so, that I was genuinely disappointed when the evening came to an end.
Chirkova, who plays alongside Celine Dion in Las Vegas, adds beauty and perfectly placed harmonies to Amodei’s well-timed, seamless act. The candlelit atmosphere oozes style, and you can’t help but feel classy without the unnecessary trappings of trying to impress. It’s an easy audience to be part of. It has an adult feel, but Ivan plays clean (I counted at least two pre-teens in the crowd.) Forever the crowd favorite, Ivan personally greets each and every guest at the end of the show.
Amodei returns home to Beverly Hills, where he routinely plays to sold-out shows at the luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel (remember Pretty Woman?) He celebrates his third anniversary there, next month. As for his newfound faithful in the nation’s capital (myself included) we’ll be waiting with bated breath for his next visit.
By Matt Robinson
For many magic fans, the bigger the better. Make a building disappear, they think, and you have earned my applause. But as any good magician or true fan knows, however, it is often the smallest, most subtle deceits that truly amaze and impress. Though he has won awards around the world and appeared in front of thousands of flummoxed fans (including the legendary likes of Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, Larry David, Dick Clark, Mike Myers and even royalty), Ivan Amodei prefers his audiences and his shows to be up close and personal.
That is what, for the past three years, he has eschewed calls from Vegas and Rome and instead commanded a ballroom at the historically luxurious Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles – an address so swanky and exclusive that his shows have a black tie optional dress code! For those who know how to tie one on (a bowtie, that is!), Amodei delivers enormous fantasy in an intimate setting. Such will be the case when he brings his award-winning act to Boston for an exclusive engagement at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers’ Georgian Ballroom for two nights only – Friday, July 19th (7:00pm & 9:30pm) and Saturday, July 20th (4:00 p.m., 7:00pm & 9:30pm). Having recently become an American citizen, the Sicilian-born Amodei is looking forward to coming to the birthplace of the American dream.“
This is an honor for me to perform in Boston,” Amodei says. In an effort to show his appreciation and gratitude, Amodei will not only be donating part of the proceeds from his shows to the One Fund to help victims of the Marathon bombings, he will also be bringing a brand new illusion to his Hub hosts. “I know the city has been challenged this year,” Amodei says, “and I wanted to create a new illusion that would really reflect on their resilience and strength. As the birthplace of our nation they are a perfect example, we can over come any set back and accomplish great things!” When asked what first drew him to magic, Amodei explains that, when he was five years old, he saw a family friend perform a few “simple tricks.”“I was hooked,” he recalls. “From then on I wanted to use my art to inspire others.”
While his magic has inspired many others to pursue the art, Amodei takes a larger view and advises fans that, if they are ”lucky enough to find your passion at any age, don’t be afraid to pursue it!”Such generosity of spirit is another element of Amodei’s shows that draw people in and leave them enrapt and overjoyed but always wanting more. As his show was designed for high-class hotels instead of strip-side juggernauts, Amodei has had to craft his tricks and his entire performance to a demanding, well-heeled clientele. “I wanted to create an experience for their guests,,” he says about the Four Seasons show he created four years ago, “not just a show. Something that brought people to another world- elegant, sophisticated mysterious but something the whole family could enjoy.”And enjoy they have!
So much so that, as he will in Boston, Amodei often performs three times a day! “The audience keeps it fresh,” he says, “since so much of the show relies on them and their interaction. It’s fun!” Amodei is such a fan of magic that he has also written extensively about it. “I deeply love this art,” he says, “and I think we can learn from those that have come before us. I think it is important find our own way to leave our unique fingerprint to the art.
Writing books, working constantly as a live performer all of it leaves something for future generations.” In addition to leaving something for future magicians (and leaving his audiences’ mouths open), Amodei also tries to leave everyone with positive messages. “Magic is an art form that highlights what we don’t see, what we are not sure we want to believe in,” he suggests, “but those that do, see it everywhere and can do great things. It’s really about believing in yourself.”
“Brilliant, Hilarious & Enthralling!” – BEACON HILL TIMES
Brilliant, hilarious, and enthralling, Ivan Amodei’s “Intimate Illusions,” at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers during the third week of July, was celestial. Illusionist, Amodei, charmed the 250 audience members with his introspective questions, witty banter, and dry humor that was often at the expense of his height or poking fun at guests’ lack of sympathy while he swigs down a shot glass of sharp pin needles.
Amodei is like that whimsical uncle who teaches your impressionable sons how to blow bubbles in the house, catch them, and turn them into goldfish. Your new pets will love their spacious home in the crystal wine glass that was handed down from your in-law’s mother. “My favorite part was when he got the fishies out of the bubbles,” said a little boy who sat in the front row and quickly answered all of Amodei’s questions.
In the grandiose Georgian Ballroom, scattered candles twinkled and stately windows with rich, damask curtains reached to the tall ceiling where six chandeliers with frosted fixtures hung. The ceiling was adorned with gold trim and a painting of George Washington prominently centered the room where Amodei did his magic. It was an elegant affair matched by Amodei’s exquisite suit and perpetual smile that was especially charismatic.
Every illusion involved deep meditation and the participation of the crowd, who sat on the edge of their seats energized with amazement, hoping they would be the one he called on to assist him. Amodei declared that one’s sense will become heightened if he or she focuses. “Intimate Illusions” is contemplative and enlightening as Amodei tests his telepathy and telekinesis. “I think he has psychic abilities and can read people’s minds,” said an astonished woman after the show.
A classical cellist built anticipation and awe during the opulent show, and “Intimate Illusions” would not have been as impactful without her inclusion that added humor and the perfect accompanying sound effects to Amodei’s outstanding feats. Amodei emphasized the importance of time and the miracle of life. “If you believe it, then you’ll see it,” Amodei said.
Ivan Amodei might be the best-kept secret in tinsel town. He is celebrating his 400th show this year at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and is the most entertaining and exciting illusionist we have ever seen.
Did you know his show is ranked #1 on Trip Advisor of attractions in Beverly Hills? This handsome and charming gentleman performs in a candle lit elegant salon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, complete with sophistication and intimacy of a glamorous Hollywood “after party”. What else would one expect from this elegant hotel’s resident headliner?
His 90-minute “magical and musical” experience has received rave reviews. Ivan, skillfully accompanied by Celine Dion’s talented cellist, is a master performer, who has performed with two decades of royalty, and celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey, Sly Stallone and Ashton Kutcher to name a few.
By Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
The world respected magician Ivan Amodei is perhaps one of the most highly skilled and intelligent entertainers in the 21st Century. The superstar, who will be celebrating his 400th show headlining in “Intimate Illusions” at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel this fall spoke exclusively with Highlight Hollywood last week, and his wisdom and his love of magic is infectious. His shows are legendary, this man doesn’t perform on a stage, his acts are always part of the audience, and he is as well. “I love to be among the people, who come to see our shows. It’s important to make sure everyone at some point at the show is a part of the many acts being performed,” said the talented uber-magician.
The local entertainer has been headlining at the famed Beverly Wilshire, which was home to Cary Grant and where “Pretty Woman” was filmed, for two-years and is celebrating his third year here in Beverly Hills in October. The star also recently sold out all of his shows in Chicago and San Francisco. His show is called “Intimate Illusions” and he is amazing. He’s created all of his own illusions and has philosophy behind each of the illusions. “I wanted to make the show very unique and I strive to inspire people, so that when they leave my show, they can find courage and confidence within themselves to set goals and possibly make their own dreams come true. Magic is very important in that way. You want people to see no limitations, and therefore, maybe in some small way, they can use that lesson in their own lives,” said Amodei. Coming up on Tuesday, May 28, Highlight Hollywood has learned that the magician and star will be a guest on the nationally syndicated “Home and Family” Talk Show on the Hallmark Channel, which airs locally at 10 a.m. PST. Check your local listings across the country.
A rep for Ivan Amodei also confirms, Ivan will be performing as well. And it’s definitely a treat. He’s known as the magician to the stars, because so many celebrities are fans of his work. The late great Dick Clark was a huge fan. He once said of Amodei’s dazzling performance, “Amazing, Fabulous and Mind Boggling! You’re great!” “I have no idea how you do anything and I loved it. Awesome,” “Two And A Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher has said of Ivan’s work. The six-time People’s Choice Award winner is so positive and so supportive of his peers in the industry.
He spends so much time praising others’ work, and in his exciting new book, “Magic’s Most Amazing Stories,” which is a page-turner, by the way, Ivan gives short and concise, as well as dedicating several pages to some, stories about his peers in the business. “I would listen and converse with other magicians, and eventually I realized not only stories of my own experiences, but many other great magicians had incredible stories to tell as well. So, I compiled them all, and now the book is available on my website,” said the star, but wit and a great positive spirit as well. I once was told by a legendary singer in Hollywood thirty years ago, that a positive spirit and surrounding yourself around positive people was the answer.
I just mentioned someone who reminds me a great deal of Ivan, Joel Osteen, and he quickly lit up. “I am honored that you would compare me to Joel [Osteen], Tommy. That is the sort of role model and life I want to live. When I am performing, I want people to feel good, not an antagonistic way about my work. I want them to feel a part of the show, and to inspire others to find their destiny. So, in that way, I suppose I am a lot like him.
I want people to leave my show, and feel like they can face their fears and insecurities. That anything is possible. If I can change lives, then I’ve done my work, and my mission is accomplished,” said Amodei. Tourists, celebrities, local icons are all enthralled by Ivan Amodei’s grand performance on a regular basis. And please don’t miss him on Tuesday morning on the Hallmark Channel. Highlight Hollywood will have the opportunity to review his show in the future.
Ivan Amodei is not only a celebrated magician and extraordinary talent, but he’s one of the most brilliant human beings on this earth.
By Dwayne Ladd
World-renowned illusionist Ivan Amodei (e-von ah-moe-day) celebrated his 400th show past Saturday at the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, on the famed Rodeo Drive.
It was a refreshing approach to magic, in our opinion. Held in an intimate setting and close to the action, there was fun to be had for all. Ivan started the show with a simple illusion at first and then built from there.
As the illusions became more and more complicated you are left scratching your head and wondering what just happened and how. Ivan tells us that all his illusions are self created or at least highly tweaked to suit his style of performance. The final illusion, a real brain twister which Ivan created entirely himself, once again you find yourself thinking “How did he do it.”
Ivan has been performing and studying magic since he was a kid, and to this day he is still studying and designing new illusions. In fact Ivan has told the Beverly Hills Courier that he is in the process of creating a brand new show for a bigger audience. We are sure that it will be just as amazing or even more so than the show he is currently performing.
One interesting fact is that Ivan refuses to perform in Las Vegas, contrary to almost every magician out there. He states, “I want to give the audience something different and personal, moments they can remember for the rest of their lives.” That is exactly what we enjoyed at this hallmark performance, moments we will always remember. We look forward to seeing Ivan’s new show sometime next year. Until then we will keep scratching our heads and thinking what? How did he do that and I don’t want to know.
MARINESCOPE MAGAZINE SAN FRANCISCO REVIEW
Dumbfounded is an understatement. Walking away from Ivan Amodei’s “Intimate Illusions” — a magic show at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Friday — I openly reveled in a cathartic state of childhood bewilderment.
What just happened? I’ve seen some tricks of the trade, and am hopelessly gullible, but this one threw me for a loop. Amodei, dressed in a dark pressed suit, did things I couldn’t possibly explain, or attempt to understand. I guess that’s the point.
A women cellist, dressed in a blood-red gown softly bowed its strings before a couple hundred guests. Dozens of Victorian chandeliers kept the room dimly lit and a spotlight shone on a draped-covered painting and a table full of antique-looking props. It reminded me of “Interview with the Vampire,” – that classical eerie setting. Shortly I was shown to my seat. Smack dab in the front row. My friend looked at me, already blushing at the thought of being “cut in half” on stage.
We scooted down a bit, but were still in full view of Amodei, who opened with a few jokes, before swallowing a shot glass full of pin needles. Attempting to beat a Houdini record, he asked random audience members to yell out their favorite “exotic destination.”
Bombay,” one hollered. “Hawaii,” said another.
Pressing his fingers from his abdomen to his throat, Amodei regurgitated the first three needles in order of their color, which was predetermined by the audience. Picking up a globe he tossed it in the air, catching the spinning sphere on the tip of his index finger. Then the unthinkable happened.
He fiercely spit out the pins, which landed on the previously determined “exotic” destinations. Well, almost. He shot two for three, but humorously brushed it off. Maybe his technique was a mastered skill, not illusion. The opener set the scene for the entire night. The audience gasped when, halfway into his act, he asked a patron to grab a sealed and stamped envelope from the back of the room. Once opened, he presented it to the crowd. Numbers. Letters. What did it mean?
Earlier Ben, a lucky guest, donated a $100 bill, which was held by a woman, in plain sight, across the room. Those letters and numbers consecutively matched those on the bill. Later Ivan pulled me on stage. Bright red, and high heeled, I stood facing the crowd, blinded by spotlight. The only person I could halfway see was my friend, who was pointing and cackling at my nervous attempt to talk before two hundred people.
I picked a card from his deck (a three of diamonds), wrote my name on it and placed it back. He asked me to check his front pocket. Was my card there? Reaching in, I searched the entirety of his pocket, spanning over his left thigh but pulled out empty-handed.
“I don’t feel anything,” I said. The crowd burst into laughter.
Already about a foot taller than Amodei (remember I’m in heels), he said, “You could have just said that you didn’t feel the card!” By the end of the act, I held a Listerine bottle in one hand, and in a second’s time he lifted a small cloth from the bottle and asked me to look inside. There was my card, with my name, inside the bottle, that I had anxiously gripped all along. I’ve been starring at it for four days now, trying to figure out how he could have snuck the unbent playing card into the narrow top without my knowing. I went into the experience with reservations. Maybe I thought I could outsmart the magic man. Maybe I could at least come out with an idea. But I didn’t.
His highly-interactive act was hysterical and successfully did what each patron hoped it would do – instill a childlike wonder in all of us, at least for one night. Originally from Sicily, Amodei brought his intimate show, exclusive for after parties at its venue on Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, to San Francisco March 22-23. He has won numerous magic organization awards, including the People’s Choice Award six times.
The illusions that magician Ivan Amodei packs in his powerhouse bag of tricks have a potent payoff after the bluff and bluster.”All of them have a shocking ending that no one can see coming,” Amodei said in an interview from his Somis home last week.
At that very moment, when audience members’ mouths are agape and a hush has fallen over the room, Amodei also hopes his rapt captives learn something. He strives to create storylines with his tricks and illusions and impart meaning at the end, tossing out “time is really an asset” and “go with your gut feeling” as examples. All, he added, rolled in with comedic fun.
Amodei will pack some new mind-boggling tricks (and a few familiar faves) involving the mysterious Mona Lisa, shattered glass and spittin’ needles when he returns to an old haunt, the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, for three “Intimate Illusions” shows Saturday afternoon and evening.
The Mona Lisa bit stems from a trip Amodei took to Paris. Struck by how Louvre patrons were entranced by the famous painting, he decided to create an illusion involving the work’s psychological aspects, what he termed “the unspoken allure of the Mona Lisa.” Yes, he added, it also comes with “a pretty shocking ending.”
Like almost all magicians, Amodei declined to discuss specifics lest too much be revealed and besides, why spoil the anticipation? The glass shattering is part of one of his newest illusions, one that Amodei said plays off the ship-in-the-bottle puzzle. Except here, an iPod is in the bottle; the message on it that’s played for the audience at the end will shock them. “I’m not going to say what it is,” he added.
He’s been honing the new illusions through his regular weekend gigs at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where Amodei also will be performing on New Year’s Eve, his third one there.
Not only can he incorporate the Mona Lisa and smash glass, he’s also known to spit needles at an apple. That one, he said, involves a storyline about the great escape artist Harry Houdini, whose genius relied in part on his ability to swallow a picklock and harbor it in his stomach. “He’d bring it up with his stomach muscles at the time of need,” Amodei said.
His modern-day version involves more than five dozen 2-inch-long pins. Similarly, Amodei uses long tailor needles in a piece, an audience favorite, involving a spinning globe. As he spins it on his finger a la a basketball, he asks audience members for places in the world they’d like to visit. He then spits the needles at the globe — and they stick on the exact locations they’ve mentioned.
Ivan Amodei has conjured a new illusion involving the famous Mona Lisa painting and a myth about why she’s smiling. Amodei, a Somis resident, said he wanted to examine the “deeply psychological aspects of da Vinci’s great masterpiece.” Sewing needles … iPods … cellphones — Amodei uses a lot of atypical props in his magic act, a list that even includes Scrabble tiles. So much for the rabbit, black hat and wand. And he has a cellist play during his shows, lilting the atmosphere with dulcet classical music, much of it Italian.
Amodei, comes to us via Sicily (his birthplace), but he has a bit of local homeboy in him if you stretch the term. When he was 2, he immigrated to Brooklyn with his hairdresser parents. At 5, he said, he began doing magic after a family friend taught him some tricks “and I was basically hooked from then on.” “Magic was the constant,” he recalled. “There was never, ever, ever a day without magic.”
At 11, he got his first paying gig — $20 for performing for friends. During his late teens, he moved to Thousand Oaks. After finishing up at Thousand Oaks High School, Amodei got a degree in marketing and advertising from California Lutheran University. He now lives on a 30-acre lemon ranch in Somis with his wife and two kids.
He once wanted to be a plastic surgeon, but got bored with the mundane machinations of physics and such and wound up doing the thing he really loved. Among his other accomplishments, Amodei used to be a regular performer at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood.
The coolest thing he derives from his artistry is the ability “to touch people in a way they never really thought of.” Magic, he said, is a valid art form but hasn’t been placed in that category because of connotations that it’s only for kids and the fact that there are more amateur magicians than professionals. All the fun in his act aside, he is very serious about and proud of his craft.
“People can come to the show and go, ‘Wow!” Amodei observed. “But it’s beyond a magic trick and beyond blowing your mind. It’s thought-provoking. It should be theatrical. And that can be translated into an intimate show for 500 people. You can interact with the performer, not like ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ where you’re just watching. And then you can’t believe 90 minutes just flew by and you say, ‘I was transported to another place, and I learned something, too.’ ”
BY BRETT JOHNSON
MR. JOE MONTI – MINDFREAK PRODUCER
Mr. Joe Monti, Network TV Magic Producer and Magic Consultantstopped by June 4th, 2011 and saw the show.
“For anyone wondering who will be the next great entertainer look no further…Ivan Amodei is here. Ivan has Hollywood good looks and a Mensa mind. He goes out of his way to be different, mind blowing & charming and succeeds on a grand scale!
Having traveled the world 4 times and being the producer of the #1 Primetime Magic TV series in history, I know when I’ve seen a massive talent. Ivan Amodei should be seen LIVE now before a big TV network makes his intimate theatre show obsolete! Bravo Ivan, you’re a rare talent that comes along once every few decades.”
“A Master in his Art”
Magic is for grown ups, as Ivan Amodei demonstrates in his dexterous 90-minute performance at the acclaimed Beverly Wilshire.
From his sleight of hand in a sharp black suit to the reciprocal tunes of concert cellist, Irina Chirkova, in her scorching red dress – classics such as Bach and Dvorak, the Mission Impossible theme, and comical lone notes – we see magic played right. As you step into Ivan’s intimate, 65-person suite, you enter into the exclusive world of an illusionist. Candlelight and props of sorts are scattered before you, accented by the somewhat antiquated furniture befitting the magician’s private theatre. Ivan appears well-practiced and nonchalant, speaking fast, and explaining thoroughly.
But illusion by illusion, you realize he is a master of his art and comfortable in the knowledge that he will not only succeed at every turn, but impress you undoubtedly. And he does. Praised as LA’s greatest magician with over one year of sold-out evenings at this historical hotel, Intimate Illusions, as the name claims, is up-close and mind-boggling magic.
Ivan, born in Sicily, has garnered six People’s Choice Awards throughout his career, including Best Entertainer, as well as first place in both the 2005 International Brotherhood of Magicians Close-Up Competition and the 2005 Society of American Magicians Close-Up Competition.
His parlor magic, performed right under your nose, comes together in an intricate act of not only elaborate tricks, but audience interaction, storytelling, laughter, and ingenuity.
In a Houdini-esque illusion entitled Around the World, Ivan asks the audience to name three different countries. He then seemingly swallows a handful of sewing pins and while coolly spinning a world globe on his finger like a seasoned basket pro, he shoots out the pins onto his geographical targets.
The game goes on to include an apple, more pins, and an awe-inspiring conclusion, but you will have to watch Ivan’s performance for that. Also intriguing are a modern reenactment of the infamous story of William Tell, and another of the inner-workings of the mind of a mega savant.
There are darts and candies, animals, dictionaries, knives, and even ipads in this high-end magic show for the 21st century. In our world of so little enchantment and too much reality, let Ivan Amodei suspend your disbelief for a single evening. You will walk out of his realm and back into yours with greater wonder for the magical world we live in.
Catch The Magic of Ivan Amodei: Intimate Illusions Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm and 9pm, at the Beverly Wilshire.
By Ma’ayan Cohen
Ivan Amodei is Ventura County’s hottest magician, as evidenced by his more than one-year run of weekend illusion shows at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
On Fridays and Saturdays, Amodei holds court in an intimate setting for about 75 patrons who have come to be entertained and mystified. The 90-minute show is drawn from more than four hours of material he has developed during his career. Amodei was 5 years old and living in New York when he discovered magic.
He had plenty of tricks up his sleeves by his teens, when his family moved to California. Amodei, who attended Thousand Oaks High School, said the move was an easy one, thanks in part to magic.
“When I was a little boy I was shy,” said Amodei, who was born in Sicily and lived there until he was 2. “But I also loved magic, and being shy and magic do not coincide well. So the more I did magic the less shy I was. By the time we moved here I could walk up to people and say, ‘Hi, I’m Ivan. Who are you?’ ”
Amodei has always preferred small venues, including performing in the homes of the rich and famous. Eventually, he debuted at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood. “Playing the Magic Castle once a lot of people can do,” he said. “Playing it more than once is another story.” Amodei explained that newcomers to the Castle are secretly vetted by veteran magicians, who report back to the venue’s entertainment director. “I didn’t realize these guys were coming to the show, but I kept getting asked back over and over,” he said. “Then I became one of the guys because I had paid my dues. And once you’re in, you’re in.”
The Magic Castle specializes in close-up magic, and Amodei’s résumé includes a first-place finish at the 1995 “Las Vegas Close-Up Classic.”
His success led to a series of shows at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, followed by the move to the Beverly Wilshire, where Amodei does parlor magic, intended for a small audience, but capable of being transformed to a larger theater.
One trick that’s popular with audiences, Amodei explained, involves him apparently swallowing several large sewing needles. While spinning a globe, he asks audience members names of cities, states or countries they would like to visit. Amodei then takes a straw and appears to spit out the needles toward the spinning globe, where they land on the exact spots that have been mentioned.
“I show the needles to the people who called out the places,” he said. “While everyone can’t see the exact spot, they are close enough to see what’s going on and to say, ‘Oh my god.’ It’s close-up in a sense, but it can play to a larger audience.”
Though the show has a script, Amodei said he tends to veer from it, taking his cues from the audience. He frequently changes the illusions on his set list — even making changes during the show if he sees people he recognizes from previous performances.
And after the show he returns to his Somis home, an Italian-style villa situated on a 30-acre lemon orchard. He lives there with his wife and two children. “I love Somis,” Amodei said. “I can work on the yard while my kids are out playing. I was a city boy, but it’s so secluded, with lemons all around us. It’s beautiful.”
For Amodei, Somis is a place where he and his family can disappear, which is one of his favorite magic tricks.
By Jeff Favre
Steve Simmons of the Beverly Hills Courier stopped by to see the show over the holiday.
“Magician Ivan Amodei has been packing them in at the Beverly Wilshire. So, to mark his one-year anniversary of sold-out shows, L.A.’s No. 1 magician has added three New Year’s Eve shows at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. in the hotel’s historic Le Grand Trianon Theater. His usual weekend shows are in his intimate 65-seat suite and the show is even labeled “Intimate Illusions — A Magical & Musical Experience.”
With Amodei’s friendly, never stuffy or formal manner, the evening’s effect is as if a magician friend has invited you over to show you his latest tricks. If your friend is a world-class magician.Setting Amodei apart from others in his field is his witty banter throughout the 90-minute mix of mystery, comedy and magic, the copious amounts of audience participation and the high caliber of his illusions.
The ever-changing roster of illusions might include:
• A tribute to Houdini, where after to swallowing long tailor pins, he does the impossible with a spinning globe and three audience members.
• A recreation of the William Tell story with three surgically sharpened darts and one nervous audience member.
• Not just “pick a card” card tricks, but one involving the number of years a couple’s been married with an incredible ending.
• Appearing to have Rain Man-like abilities to memorize multiple dictionaries.
Throughout, the evening is ably accompanied and punctuated by cellist Irina Chirkova, also a member of Celine Dion’s orchestra at Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas.”