According to press reports, the entire pop band One Direction asked UK Magician Troy Von Scheibner a very valid question, “What is wrong with you, why have you eaten a balloon?”
We realized as we wrote this sentence that if we failed to mention that Mr. Von Scheibner is a magician, the teen-fave super-group’s question would likely not have garnered such prominent placement in a major metropolitan daily. It would be just another group of musicians combined for purposes of hitting the top of the charts and asking questions about the eating habits of young people. Like when the Beatles famously asked 19-year-old Mobile, Alabama car wash cashier Harriet Williamson, “Why do you only eat the tops of muffins?” or the Asian Touring Edition of Les Miserables inquired of Japanese supermodel Nozomi Sasaki, “Why do you eat so little in the way of green vegetables.”
But because Mr. Von Scheibner is a magician, the question reveals that he performed a trick for the loveable lads that make up One Direction. He did not really eat a balloon – we think. He just did a trick that gave the impression that a balloon was eaten.
It is a well-respected journalistic technique employed by Susannah Butter, the smitten writer for The London Evening Standard.
Ms. Butter is impressed with the young performer and star of his own television show, Troy. She admits she is frustrated by his skills and her inability to uncover his secrets but she clearly fancies him.
Troy Von Scheibner is the closest thing to a superhero London has. He uses his powers to help others. “I was outside a party with Thandie Newton,” the magician tells me. “She asked for a lighter. I didn’t have one but I made one appear. She kissed me on the cheek and I thought, ‘I’ll never wash my face again’.”
We do not know Thandie Newton but she must be very attractive or famous or both to cause someone to risk acne and general scruffiness from a single, tobacco-smoke infused kiss. For you younger magicians, remember that audiences will judge you on your appearance and hygiene so make good choices and form good habits. Mr. Von Scheibner notes later in the article that he was kidding about not washing. “Presentation is part of the job done so I’ve always made sure I look the part – nails clean, hair done.”
And as for smoking, as someone once said, “cigarettes and kittens are wonderful and safe until you pop one in your mouth and light it on fire.”
Mr. Von Scheibner seems to have a good head on his shoulders and is unlikely to have it turned by the fawning of amorous media types or smoking damsels in distress. He became intrigued with magic after watching David Blaine and clearly enjoys the attention our craft brings him.
At school he was known as “Magic Boy”, and if anyone teased him about it he won’t admit it. “I stopped performing for people at university because when you are known as the magic man everyone wants you to do tricks all the time. Sometimes I just want to chill so I kept it on the low.” Does it impress women? “It does. Girls are like: ‘You must be so good with your hands’. I don’t deny it.”
Ms. Butter ends her article with a purr: “Von Scheibner, I salute you – next time I need a cigarette lighter I will try my hardest to conjure you up.”
Editor’s note: we normally would have an image of Mr. Von Scheibner accompanying this article but were unable to find any available for editorial use.
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