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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jonas on stage in Las Vegas, with Jan Rouven!

Jan Rouven and me, after the show

After we saw David Copperfield, me and one of my friends who performs lots of illusions in Sapporo jogged to the next casino to see Jan Rouven and his show "Illusions". The show won awards like "best illusion show" a while back. It was full of big illusions and escape artist things.


We got seats on the first row, but in the far left corner. The usher came up to us and said that since the center seats were free, would we like to move there? Yes we would. We ended up sitting close enough that you could almost reach the stage with your foot by straightening out your leg. We were so close that at times you could even see some things that you were not supposed to see...

My foot did not quite reach the stage when sitting down

The illusions were nice. We got to see many famous illusions. My friend said that he had wanted to see the huge drill (drilling through Jan Rouven); he had never seen the giant drill live before. I like the substitution trunk, which I have seen many others perform too, but here they had people holding on to the hands of the person inside the trunk which made it a little nicer than normal. The other illusions were fun too.

While a long line of people waited to take a photo with Jan Rouven, I took a photo with one of his assistants.

To get some spectator interaction and going with the escape artist theme (there were straight jacket escapes and water torture escapes etc.), Jan Rouven also did a Russian roulette kind of thing. He had a big knife that he asked people in the audience to touch and check if it was a real knife. He gave it to a few people and then to me. It looked and felt like a real knife to me, and when I tried to return it to him he said that I did not have to return the knife, I could just come up on stage with him.

He also had a girl from another table come up on stage. There were five plates of wood, one which had a hollowed out space to put the knife, with the pointy end up. The girl covered all the plates with paper bags, so you could not see where the knife was. She then shuffled the order of the plates, so no one except her knew were the knife was. Then Jan Rouven had me say if I thought the knife was under bag X and when I said no he smashed his hand down on the bag, crushing it. Luckily, the knife was not there.

We kept going like that until there were only two bags left. Then I was told to hold one hand above each of the remaining bags. He also asked me to raise the hand where I felt something. I raised my right hand, and he then pushed my left hand down and crushed the bag under my left hand using my hand. We then lifted the other bag and there was the knife.

Everyone, including me, started applauding. Jan Rouven told me that since we did this mainly using my intuition, I should not applaud, I should be bowing, haha. So I did.

When he spoke to me during the show, I did not really come up with anything funny to say. After returning to my seat, all these great ideas came to me though... When he asked me for my name, he said that it sounded like a name from northern Europe and asked me where I was from. I just answered "Sweden", but it would probably have been better to say "Japan". Things like that... Oh well, at least I have now been on stage in Las Vegas, more or less doing magic.


After the show was over, Jan Rouven and some of his assistants were in the shop next door. There you could buy small magic sets that he sells, and t-shirts or other goods. I went there and took a photo together with him. He also signed a flyer for me. He asked me if I was a magician too. He said it was the way I took my applause on stage that made him suspect that. I guess people who do other types of performances (say, playing the violin) would also be good at that, so I guess the real reason may have been the way I dress or most likely the way I react (or not react) to magic, haha.

He was really nice, and the show was fun too.

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