Everyone on Orcas knows that Matthew Laslo is an amazing magician, and now more than 270 million people in China know as well.
“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done,” Laslo said. “It feels like if I try to explain it to someone they’d think it’s like a dream or something. … It was just so amazing and foreign to me. I just loved it.”
The show “The Amazing Magicians” is a new Chinese reality competition that pits five Chinese magicians against teams of five magicians from different nations around the world. And it is, by far, said Laslo, the largest show he’s ever seen, with more than 200 employees on set.
“These (magicians) are the people I’ve been watching on DVDs. … Everyone was so nice and so helpful, we were all out of our comfort zones,” Laslo said. “I will never forget the people I shot the episode with. Even though it was a competition, we were all just on the same team of magic.”
It all started with a message on Instagram, delivered to Laslo’s spam folder. The note said that producers wanted to fly Laslo to China to be on the show. Laslo and his mom/manager Donna Laslo researched and discussed the proposition and realized the request was legit. Show producers had heard of Laslo because of his participation on the Penn and Teller show “Fool Us” last year.
“We were just kind of like, ‘Uh, what?’,” Laslo said. “China called and they want me to fly there in a week.”
Laslo’s assistant Maria Bullock and stage assistant Kellen Comrie also traveled with him to China.
“It was incredible to see all these people that didn’t speak the same language, didn’t know each other, working together to create really good magic for TV,” Laslo said. “There’s just nothing on that scale. … From my perspective, as a total magic geek, it was the coolest thing.”
At 17, Laslo was the youngest magician in the competition. According to Donna, the audience and crew loved him.
“I think a lot of people were impressed with his ability to take the pressure and perform beautifully — beyond all of our expectations,” Donna said. “I think they were just impressed with his professionalism at his age. They said they couldn’t even imagine doing what he’s doing at this age. It’s pretty cool to get that kind of feedback.”
Laslo said he learned a lot from the experience and is looking forward to his next projects. He’ll be performing on Feb. 17 at Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall. Ticket information is at www.matthewlaslo.com.
Laslo is also preparing to present a new act into his show this summer on Orcas that he’s been conceptualizing for more than a year.
“It opened me up more, in terms of what I picture a successful magician being,” Laslo said. “There is a whole world of magic out there that I can’t wait to explore.”