Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
For this month’s blog I thought we’d give everyone a behind the scenes look at our experience creating and performing magic on SyFy’s Wizard Wars! For starters, the pressure of the show was very real, and the stress of creating magic under such limited parameters and time constraints was one of the most difficult experiences of our career. We only had a matter of days to create, build and test our routines before performing them for the judges – including Penn & Teller – and for millions of viewers at home. At times it felt like complete insanity, and needless to say it was a lot of work with very little sleep!
Each team creates routines for both the challenger and the wizard round, with the assumption you will go forward and compete against the in-house wizards. We actually went through several different ideas for the routines that we wanted to perform, but one thing that was important to us no matter what, was that it flowed and that each routine had a beginning, middle and end, and most importantly, that we try to combine all of the items in creating the magic.
Above are a couple of Kyle’s sketches of our first ideas. It’s amazing to see how much they came to be a reality! Kyle is also quite the carpenter, and having built many of our illusions in our show, and he was able to build props for this round while I focused on writing the scripts and streamlining the routines.
Here we are in our own little corner of hell, where we we spent hours and hours creating and building our routines for the show. This photo was taken right before we got into wardrobe and went onstage to perform our first routine.
This photo above was taken after we tested putting the ring in the blender, which resulted in the blender exploding in Kyle’s hand and us calling the medic for the 2nd time that day!
Making the toaster work the way we needed it to was a never-ending project. After the toaster starting burning, the fire caught on the rose so Kyle could do some fire-eating. Fun fact about that “rose” – the stem was made from twigs found on the ground outside and the rose bud was made from torn pieces of an old red sweater. Finding resources to create magic so quickly wasn’t easy!
In the photos below we’re shooting our “side stage” magic performances featured in our intros on the show. We actually filmed two different effects including the rose production that was seen on the show, as well as our ring escape illusion, which didn’t air. You can see us below getting a make up touch-up between takes.
For the workshop scenes, we tried to just have fun with it, but I think Kyle might’ve been serious when he suggested that he was “totally rethinking the way the travel.”
After we found out that we’d won the first round and were advancing on to the final round, we only had 10 minutes before we were to be onstage performing our 2nd routine, and in that time we had to change microphones, set up the props and change costumes. They have a curtain across the stage that is lowered once filming is ready to begin again, and behind that curtain just minutes before the photo below was taken, it was total chaos for us. I was half-naked onstage trying frantically to get into my costume and the production assistant is telling me we have to film NOW! At that same moment, Kyle realized that someone had though they were helping us by filling our egg carton with eggs. Needless to say this was not helpful and Kyle was throwing raw eggs offstage and they were smashing all over the place minutes before cameras started rolling again. It was crazy, but once we hit the stage our head was back in the game and we nailed it!
When we filmed the workshop scene for our round two routine, we had actually planned on performing something completely different for our use of the “table set for two” in our required items, and when Kyle tried pulling the tablecloth at that point we hadn’t figured out a way to do it and leave the glasses standing, so it really was accurate when we tried it and all the dishes crashed to the ground. We came up with the idea for the tablecloth trick just hours before filming, and it ended up being a great ending for the routine!
This are just a few of the funny moments and inside stories from our experiences on set filming Wizard Wars. We can look back and laugh on those memories for the rest of our lives, and the best part was not only winning the grand prize, but winning it with an original magic routine that was deceptive enough to fool the judges!
Thursday, February 26th, 2015
What a month February was for us! We spent the beginning of the month in Japan & Thailand and the trip was amazing. We’d racked up a lot of frequent flier miles traveling for the show all of these years, and we decided to use some miles for a special trip since I’d always wanted to visit Southeast Asia. We had one day of exploring in Tokyo & Narita, Japan and then 2 weeks in Thailand with stops in Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Phuket. The entire trip was incredible and I will be posting photos and video from our adventures on my Youtube travel channel and my travel blog. The photo collage below shows some of the highlights of our trip!
While we were over in Asia, our episode of “Wizard Wars” aired on the SyFy channel back in the US! What amazing experience that was, creating magic with random objects and competing against other magicians on national television. In the end we won both rounds, fooled the judges – including Penn & Teller – with an original magic effect and took home the $10,000 grand prize! We got lots of great press for our win on Wizard Wars, including articles in VegasNews.com and on VegasChatter.com. If you missed our episode – “Silly Rabbits” – you can view it on demand on SyFy.com/wizardwars or download it on iTunes. Stay tuned for another blog talking about what it was like creating and performing magic under such pressure, with a look behind the scenes!
Onstage performing on SyFy’s “Wizard Wars”
Also this month we performed at Wonderground, a show featuring magic and variety performances each month in Las Vegas. It’s always a fun scene, especially with so many magic industry friends in the audience. We even got a chance to try out a brand new magic effect with an egg, inspired by our winning routine on Wizard Wars.
With fellow Las Vegas magicians Jeff McBride & Jan Roven
If this month wasn’t busy enough for us, we also did an interview and performance on Channel 13 KTNV “The Morning Blend” here in Las Vegas. To view the full segment and see us performing some brand new magic, click on the link below the photo.
Around Valentine’s Day we were also featured on CNN.com in an article called “SoulMate Stories” and the story of how we met was featured in the February issue of MAGIC Magazine, the largest publication for the magic industry. For now we’re enjoying being home in Las Vegas for a few more weeks before we head back to Disney Cruise Line to headline on Disney Wonder in the Caribbean & Bahamas this spring! Thanks for reading – Mistie
Sunday, January 4th, 2015
We just got back from 6 weeks headlining in the 1200 seat Reflection Theatre on Celebrity Reflection! During our time there we visited San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saint Maarten and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and we had the chance to perform for over 14,000 people!
One of the highlights of this contract was definitely our sailing trip with Fury Charters to snorkel with the sea turtles at Buck Island!
We were also lucky enough to have my dad cruising with last month. It’s always special to have him in the audience during our show!
Toward the end of the contract over half of our audience was from Mexico, so I ended up translating bits of the show in Spanish. It amazes me how often that happens with the show, wherever we are! Thanks for reading, hope everyone has a happy new year! – Mistie
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Lots of exciting stuff happening over the last couple of months! We finished up our summer in Europe on the Disney Magic, and right away our schedule was busy. Just two days after returning to Las Vegas we left for Hollywood, California to film a new TV project. We were able to perform some original magic in a show that challenged us creatively, and it will air in just a few months. It was a lot of fun and we’re excited to share more about this when we can, so stay tuned for more details!
On the red carpet at ENTSpeaks at Inspire Theater in Las Vegas
Back in Las Vegas, we attended several show openings and red carpet events, including ENTspeaks, an invite-only event produced by Andy Walmsley, showcasing entertainment industry speakers who share stories about their lives and careers. Speakers at the event included Mary Wilson of The Supremes, comedian Marty Allen, comedy magician The Amazing Johnathan, producer Jeff Kutash, Olympic swimmer and performer Christina Jones, and former showgirl Shellee Renee. It’s events like this that really bring the entertainment community together and make us love living in Las Vegas! Check out the “Las Vegas Round the Clock” blog for photos and a rundown of the event.
With comedy legend Marty Allen & his wife Karon Kate Blackwell at ENTspeaks
Red carpet for the opening of Purple Reign at Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas
Performing at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, October 2014
We always like to perform in Las Vegas when we’re home for a while, and on October 19th we appeared in the variety show “Toast of the Town” at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. We had a blast sharing the stage with several of our entertainer friends and seeing familiar faces in the audience!
Onstage at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino
We even managed to fit in our own video shoot while we were home, and just wrapped up filming scenes for our brand new instructional magic DVD! The DVD will include lots of easy to learn magic tricks with household items, card tricks, interactive magic, bets you can’t loose, optical illusions, behind the scenes footage, photo galleries, and video highlights from our illusion show. We should have it produced by the end of the year, and will keep everyone posted on when it’s available!
Filming our new instructional magic DVD
The best view in Vegas, on the largest observation wheel in the world!
We’re coming down to the last couple weeks before we leave for our next adventure, touring the Caribbean and headlining on Celebrity Reflection throughout the holiday season. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to follow our travels! – Mistie
Saturday, September 20th, 2014
Just back from a fantastic summer on the Disney Magic! Over the past few months we had over 70 different performances in the Walt Disney Theatre and in Fathoms nightclub, and traveled to 14 different countries across Europe and the Caribbean, including Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, St. Maarten and the Bahamas, just to name a few.
Some of my favorites adventures in Europe were exploring Mt. Etna, an active volcano in Sicily; visiting Olympia, Greece, the site of the original Olympic games over 2000 years ago; hiking between the towns of the Cinque Terre in Italy; visiting the famous Blue Grotto in Malta; sailing into the beautiful city of Venice. This was actually our third summer in the Mediterranean, and no matter how many times you go there, there is always something to new to see and experience. For more photos from our travels this summer, be sure to check out my travel blog at blogspot.mistieknight.com.
Street performers in Mallorca, Spain
Our audiences over the summer were truly international, some weeks being made up of a mostly Spanish-speaking guests. Fortunately, we’ve had prior experience with international audiences and were able to modify the show to accommodate the demographic, even performing a bilingual version of the show with Kyle speaking in English and me in Spanish.
In addition to our illusion shows headlining in the Walt Disney Theatre, we also performed a special adults only show in Fathom’s nightclub and even a workshop where we performed some new magic for the kids and taught everyone a cool magic trick that they could perform as well.
Next spring and summer we will be back on Disney Cruise Line again, this time headlining on the Disney Wonder and visiting the Caribbean, Bahamas and Alaska, but in the meantime, keep an eye out for updates about our upcoming television appearances and shows in Las Vegas and on Celebrity Cruises! Thanks for reading, Mistie
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
We had four weeks at home in Las Vegas between our contracts on Celebrity Silhouette and Disney Magic, and during that time we have been going nonstop. On May 1st we performed in the “Suncoast Variety Show” at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, debuting one of our newer illusions in Las Vegas. We had two different photo shoots this month as well, one in studio with Bobby Black Photography and at a dry lake bed with Ella Gagiano Photography. Lots of new promo photos coming soon!
One of the best parts of living in Las Vegas is always being invited to different shows in town and being friends with so many talented entertainers. We caught Raiding the Rock Vault at LVH Hotel and had a blast! If you’re a classic rock fan this is a must see show in Vegas. We also saw Vegas Nocturne at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan, which was also a very cool experience. We attended our friend Murray Sawchuck‘s 2nd anniversary at the Tropicana, as well as hypnotist Anthony Cools‘ 20th anniversary show at Paris Hotel. Both were fun shows with lots of Vegas entertainer friends in attendance. Click HERE to read the VegasNews.com article about the event. It’s been a fun month, but we’re going to have to leave Vegas behind for a little while because headed to Europe for summer on the Disney Magic. We’ll be headlining in the Walt Disney Theatre and new adventures await. Thanks for keeping in touch! – Mistie
Here are some photos from some of the highlights of this past month:
Suncoast Variety Show
Raiding the Rock Vault at LVH Hotel
Red Carpet at Murray’s anniversary at the Tropicana
Photo credit: Ira Kuzma photos
Vegas Nocturne at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.
Red Carpet at Anthony Cools’s 20th Anniversary show
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Saturday, April 19th, 2014
This past spring we spent several weeks headlining in the beautiful Silhouette Theater on Celebrity Silhouette, one of Celebrity Cruises’ newest Solstice class ships. In addition to performing our full headline show, we also performed a full matinee in the theater, totaling nine large scale illusions and 16 costumes changes!
During our time performing there, the Silhouette had record breaking ratings and was #1 in Entertainment in the Celebrity fleet! The entire entertainment team there was top notch.
The Silhouette Theater
One of the perks of performing on cruises is being able to travel the world, and we had some fun adventures visiting Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico. Highlights for us were snorkeling in Grand Cayman, visiting Orient Beach on the French side of St. Maarten, strolling Old Town San Juan and going on an island tour of St. Kitts.
Old San Juan
Overall it was a great season on the Celebrity Silhouette, and we’re looking forward to being on our next Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Reflection, this November!
Friday, January 31st, 2014
WOW, these past 6 weeks home in Las Vegas have flown by and it has been the busiest “vacation” we’ve had that I can remember! We enjoyed being home for the holidays and celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends, and since the props were home for the first time all year, any free time was spent doing repairs and maintenance. “Living in the Entertainment Capital of the World” has it’s perks and of course we caught some friends’ shows while in town, including “Pin Up” featuring Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair, hypnotist Kevin Lepine and the very talented Sky Dee Miles at Tropicana Nights.
“Pin Up” featuring Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
On December 30th we performed at a charity event at “The Magical Forest” in Las Vegas, benefiting Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people in the Southern Nevada community with intellectual disabilities. The variety show featured several performers including Scott Dorfman, Penny Wiggins, Tawney Bubbles, Emily Lauren and Andy Martello, and was hosted by Kevin Lepine. Click HERE to read a VegasNews.com article about the Opportunity Village show.
Opportunity Village Show – Photo credit: www.khanhx.com
January 2014 WONDERGROUND
On January 16th we performed at Jeff McBride’s WONDERGROUND in Las Vegas, a magical nightclub experience with lots of variety performers throughout the evening. It’s always fun to perform at Wonderground because you know you’ll see lots of friends and you never know who will show up. On this particular night there were many fellow magicians in the audience including Criss Angel, Nathan Burton and MAGIC Magazine editor, Stan Allen. That night we were also interviewed by the Las Vegas Review Journal, which will be featuring an article on Wonderground and the different performers in early February.
WONDERGROUND Las Vegas – Photo credit: Ken Elsner
Article in Las Vegas Review Journal about Wonderground:
The World Famous Magic Castle
January 20-26th we had the opportunity to headline at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. This beautiful venue is considered the Carnegie Hall for magicians, and it’s always and honor to perform there! We shared the stage with hilarious juggler Micheal Goudeau and it was truly an amazing week.
Palace of Mystery Theater at the Magic Castle – Photo Credit: Hocus Pocus Focus
We saw so many entertainer friends during our week at the Magic Castle and had such a great time catching up with people we hadn’t seen in years, even some of my fellow Miss America pageant girls came to the show! We also had the pleasure of having HGTV’s “Property Brothers” Drew and Jonathan Scott and actress Nikki Reed from the “Twilight Saga” as guests in our audience on one evening, and on Saturday night actor David Arquette from the movie “Scream” was in the audience. He ended up being one of the audience volunteers during our show and gave us an enthusiastic standing ovation at the end of the show. Fellow magician and friend Christopher Hart, who played “Thing” in The Addams Family movies, also paid us a visit and take this awesome photo with us!
We just finished packing up the illusions, and our equipment is now on it’s way to Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Silhouette, our venue for the next couple of months. Now we’ve got a couple weeks off to relax before we head off to the Caribbean. 2014 is definitely off to a great start! – Mistie
Thursday, December 26th, 2013
2013 has been an exceptionally busy year for us, and we have lots of fantastic memories from the show. Most of our year was spent traveling back and forth from Vegas and performing in the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream, and touring the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Fireworks on the Disney Dream
Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas
It was also really cool seeing the movie premiers of Monsters University, Thor, Planes and of course we had a blast celebrating Halloween and Christmas onboard during the special holidays. Disney definitely goes all out for the holiday season!
In addition to headlining on Disney Cruise Line, we also had the opportunity to perform in “V The Ultimate Variety” at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE, and even had the royal families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in our audience on one evening.
Fortunately after our shows we also had lots of time for sightseeing in Dubai and it was incredible. We went to the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, went dune bashing in the Arabian Desert and went to Ski Dubai, the world’s largest manmade indoor snow park.
We also had the chance to perform in several variety shows at various casinos in Las Vegas including the Renaissance, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Boulder Station and at the Casablanca Resort in Mesquite, NV. And our final performance of the year is at Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, a nonprofit organization that benefits people with special needs.
This year was a record breaking year for us, performing 200+ shows for over 180,000 people, and we’re definitely excited to see what 2014 has in store for Knight Magic!
Friday, October 18th, 2013
The air is getting cooler, then leaves are changing colors and it’s my favorite time of year, the fall! October has already been an exceptionally busy month for us. Last month we loaded our show back into the Walt Disney Theatre for a second time this year, in had family and friends cruising with us on the Disney Dream on two different occasions this month already. It’s been a really fun season on the Disney Dream, since they’ve been celebrating Halloween all month long with lots of special events.
Between shows in the Caribbean, we flew back home to Las Vegas but we didn’t have much time to relax since we also had performances and events there as well. On October 2nd we performed some illusions in the Suncoast Variety Show at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino and were pleased to get a standing ovation for our performance. It’s always nice to finish up a show in Vegas and then just have a short drive home, without having to take a plan and travel across the country to get there!
Then on October 4th, along with many other Las Vegas performers and local celebrities, we attended the red carpet and ShowBiz Roast of 28 year Vegas headliner, Frank Marino at the Stratosphere Hotel. The event, produced by Andy Walmsley Entertainment, was a huge success and helped to raised funds for the Make A Wish Foundation.
Also, my travel report and photo from our trip the the Faroe Islands was recently published on CNN.com! Here’s a link to the article:
Thanks for reading, hope everyone has a fun Halloween! – Mistie