The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a great profile piece on Italian escapologist Andrew Basso today. Mr. Basso is receiving raves for his twist on Houdini’s Water Torture Cell escape performed as his turn in The Illusionists nationwide tour.
How did he get into magic? To impress mom.
“If you knew my mother, you would say she’s Morticia [Addams],” he said. “She was very serious, no smiles. But when the circus came, she watched the magician’s act, and laughed out loud. I thought, Aha! He has the power to make my mother laugh. I want to be like him.”
He has worked escapes professionally since 2003 and has brought audiences to the edge of their seats and the limits of their composure town after town during The Illusionists’ tour.
Mr. Basso can hold his breath for about four minutes but aims to be out of the restraints and back to breathing air in two minutes. He has had a couple of close-calls.
“It was this big opening, Sydney Opera House, and I was pumped — I just couldn’t get my adrenaline down,” he said. “After 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it was taking longer than normal, and my guys knew that I was in trouble, so they got me out.”
He was also burned when performing an escape on live Italian TV. He was locked in a wooden coffin rigged with explosives and severely burned over his face and hands. “I haven’t done that trick again, but I would, but different,” he said. “I learned something from it.”
Be sure to check out his incredible website here.
Check out The Illusionists’ website to get updates on their tour schedule.