Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City magician a big hit on Britain's Got Talent

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A Winnipeg magician had a trick up his sleeve that was impressive enough to drop the jaws of the judges on Britain's Got Talent on Saturday.

Darcy Oake performed a trick he usually opens his shows with, called "dove act," where he turns a burning feather into a dove, multiplies the doves, puts them in a small cage, covers the cage then turns the cage into a woman.

"Darcy is one of the best magicians we've ever had on the series. His act left the judges and the audiences completely enthralled and amazed," said a spokesman for Britain's Got Talent.

"I have no idea how you did that, which is frustrating. It was fantastic. I loved it!" said judge David Walliams, sitting next to judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon. "You weren't corny, you were very different, and I think we have uncovered a star with you, I really do," Cowell told Oake.

His trick was a success, but Oake said so much could have gone wrong because it's a finicky trick and live animals can be unpredictable. Before he got onstage, he watched the people before him get the buzzer, which means the judges didn't like what they were seeing.

"Those buzzers will shake the building. It takes all of the air out of your stomach. Standing there waiting to go on is just like 'Oh my god. What am I doing here?' But no risk, no reward." Oake said he took the risk to travel halfway across the world to the biggest talent show in the world because he thought this opportunity could change his life. Already, the positive reactions he has got from the judges and his fans have taken him by surprise.

"It's interesting from my perspective, because that act that I did, it's a staple point in my show. I've done it so many times that I forgot the impact that it can have to somebody who's never seen it," said the son of CBC sportscaster Scott Oake.

The 26-year-old has been doing magic tricks since he was a youngster, when his dad made him pick a card, put it into the pack then pulled out the one he picked. "Later I found out it was a total accident," he said. "I experienced being fooled firsthand," said the illusionist, who uses techniques from the 1900s with a modern style. "I was hooked."

Oake has done shows in Las Vegas, New York City and at the famous Magic Castle in California. He's been called one of the world's elite magicians. "It's been insane. It's crazy. It leaves me speechless, the amount of people who've been reaching out."

Oake received a unanimous "yes" from the judges and will move on to the next round.

danelle.cloutier@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2014 A2

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