Magicians worldwide were shocked by a Dominican Republic television host’s attack on Wayne Houchin last on November 27th. The story rightly received almost instant world-wide circulation and condemnation. Breaking news reports and vivid video gets the word out but can also allow for unfounded speculation and poor reporting.
Mr. Houchin and his lovely wife Fran sat down with the folks at The Magic Broadcast to offer a definitive recounting of the events and aftermath. The interview is professional and worthy of your time. In just over an hour, the Houchins dispel some of the more irresponsible reporting and rumor trading, explain their purpose in releasing the horrific video tape, express gratitude for the out-pouring of love and support from around the world, and detail their plans for the future.
Mr. Houchin provides an incredible chronology of the moments leading up to the assault and his adrenaline-fueled reaction to being lit on fire. The event triggered his “fight or flight” mechanism which he said was more of a choice between fight, flight or freezing in place.
He felt like he was being consumed as he felt burning across his head before spreading to his shoulders. He also felt an understandable sense of panic. The adrenaline caused his perception to change. He felt time slow and his focus intensify. He stopped panicking and asked himself, “where are you running to?” With incredible presence of mind, he reminded himself, “the decisions you are about to make will determine if you will survive.” He performed a quick poll of his integrity: “Systems check: breathing, thinking, you can move your body, you’re conscious.” He reminded himself “we are not our bodies; we are the ‘knowers’ of our bodies.”
The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), its Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, in conjunction with the Dai Vernon Foundation, Inc., has established a special fund to assist professional magician Wayne Houchin, who was severely injured during a Nov. 26 performance in the Caribbean.
Houchin, star of Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic and a performing member of the AMA, suffered serious burns on his head, face, neck and hands during a national television appearance on the Dominican Republic show Approach the Stars, during which the host threw flaming Aqua de Florida cologne in his face. Only the quick actions of Houchin’s Curiosidades team saved his life.
Rushed to the emergency room, Houchin – who has extended his stay in that country for treatment is now recovering – commented on his Facebook page, “This was not a stunt or part of an act. This was a criminal attack.”
Aqua de Florida is utilized by shamans in that region of the world – where much of the population continues to believe in voodoo and witchcraft and violent attacks by vigilantes are not unheard of – for healing and cleansing rituals. Speculation is that the host may have been motivated by superstition, as evidenced by a statement on the show’s Facebook page calling the attack a “blessing.”
TO CONTRIBUTE: Send a check (with “Houchin” written on the memo line) to: Dai Vernon Fund, c/o The Magic Castle, 7001 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028.
Inside Magic Favorite Magician Wayne Houchin was still in a Dominican Republic hospital this morning recovering severe burns to his scalp, face and hands sustained when a local television host poured flaming liquid on his head as part of a bizarre “blessing.”
Mr. Houchin told his Twitter followers (@WayneHouchin) “doctors are cautiously optimistic will not result in scars.” You can visit his web site, WayneHouchin.com for updates and links to his feeds.
Thousands have viewed the horrific video of TV host Franklin Barazarte pouring flaming liquid on Mr. Houchin’s head and running his hands through the magician’s hair. The video, apparently shot with a cellphone, went viral this weekend after being posted to YouTube.
Mr. Houchin posted a statement Sunday on his Facebook page that he is “resting, healing & working through the legal process” in the Dominican Republic.
The California-based performer was in the island nation to appear on the Closer to the Stars TV program.
Host Franklin Barazarte poured the highly flammable cologne, ‘Agua de Florida,’ into his cupped hands and asked the magician’s wife to light the liquid. Once lit, the host can be seen pouring the cologne on Mr. Houchin’s head and spreading the flaming liquid through his hair.