Darcy Oake, grand illusionist. Picture: Christie Goodwin

He’s recognised as one of the best magicians in the world. But what exactly is Darcy Oake’s secret?
The 30-year-old Canadian won’t say. Good magicians never reveal their secrets, he says.

“I think the best magic trick is being able to hide your skill. It’s the only art form you practise to hide your skill instead of displaying it,” Oake told the Saturday Star this week.

The magician and illusionist, who hails from Winnipeg, arrived in South Africa this week to promote his latest show, The Illusionists, which will be in South Africa for the first time, starting in February.

The Illusionists has shattered box-office records across the globe and continues to dazzle audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts yet seen on stage.

The show includes the jaw-dropping talents of eight incredible illusionists.

Oake spoke to the Saturday Star this week.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into magic?

I experienced a magic trick when I was about six years old. That feeling of being fooled really resonated with me.

One of your most famous tricks involves doves. What are the hazards of working with birds?

There are always risks using live animals. They have a mind of their own, they can fly away I had a bird fly into the audience and lay an egg in the lap of someone in the audience!

Is it difficult to keep trade secrets from your nearest and dearest?

Very! Sometimes I find the method cooler then the actual effect.

How does being a magician influence your love life?

When done properly, everyone loves a bit of magic. It has to be approached strategically as to not seem intrusive or cheesy. Chicks dig magic!

Has the digital age affected magic?

Definitely, but overall it's been positive. There is way more access to information and its really helped make magic popular.

Have any of your magic tricks gone horribly wrong?

I always say a trick never fails, it only gets longer! Usually if something is going to go wrong, the magician knows long before the audience and can make changes to cover up. The great thing about magic is we have the element of surprise on our side.

What is the most rewarding part of being a magician?

The instant response from the audience. You work so long on a particular piece and you immediately find out if the audience likes it.

What would you do with your last day on Earth?

Probably stay low-key and hang out with the family I’ve travelled to some of the most amazing places, but when you live on the road, you start to miss your own bed and your family.

What’s number one on your bucket list?

I really want to see the pyramids!

Tell us one thing that might surprise us?

I’m obsessed with the unknown I might also have a slight fascination with theories about aliens, but people usually think that’s crazy Then again, magicians are usually crazy!

The Saturday Star