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Q&A with Jan Rouven

Category Show and Tell

|by Alex Mateo |

Jan Rouven, whose show “The New ILLUSIONS,” has been named the Best Magic Show in 2013 and 2015 by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, gives an inside look into his show and life in an exclusive interview with Spotlight. From his favorite illusion to the real danger he faces every show, Jan Rouven is one of the best magic acts in Las Vegas today.

Jan Rouven

ShowTickets: What is your favorite illusion to perform?

Jan Rouven: Actually it is very hard to pick. I love them all and when we have to take something out of the show for a new season to put something new in, I never can decide what to take out. In the new show I love the levitation scene. It’s very surprising.

ST: How often do you change the show?

JR: Since we have repeating guests, people coming every year. We want so show them something new. Every year we change a few scenes. I would say between 30 and 40 percent, so people have something new. It keeps things fresh. 

ST: How do you feel when people compare you to Siegfried and Roy?

JR: To be honest I love it, because they are my childhood idols. They gave me an effect out of their show for my show. I’m performing an act from Siegfried and Roy as kind of a tribute. Siegfried came and he staged it, and he worked with me on it.  It is a great act, people love it. I never would imagine that that would happen. To have a show in Vegas was a dream. Now I live five minutes down the road from them and we became friends. So when people do that, I like that.

ST: How do you incorporate the audience in your show?

JR: I have a few acts where they [audience] come on stage and help. The masterpiece of the things which involves audience is like Russian roulette with a knife; the hand stab. It’s dangerous. It should be a serious act. But I take the seriousness out by being fun. It’s a good combination I would say.

ST: You’ve been called the Man with nine lives; do your illusions scare you?

JR: Yea they scare me when something happens. The problem is the routine. I perform the show every day and it becomes a routine, and there is danger involved. Everyday should be the first day. I have to be very careful and check everything. Routine is the biggest danger in that you get used to it [the danger].

ST: Where do you find inspiration for your illusions?

JR: Sometimes in movies, sometimes even by a music soundtrack, sometimes by what kids say, little kids…I talk to after the show. The illusions which are based on dreams are the best, because then people can relate to [it]. By talking to the people, and what they want to see, sometimes they say “why don’t you do this,” and then I think about it and say, “Jan they are right, why don’t I do that.” So first is the idea and then we’d have to see how can we do it.

ST: How do you like performing at the Tropicana? How does it enhance the show?

JR: The property is a great property. I had some acts in my shows in Germany. For example the drill of death, the levitation, we had all that, I performed it in Europe before I came to Vegas, but we couldn’t fit it on the Riviera stage so I had to downgrade when I came to Vegas. The show here is the first time the show [stage] which is as large, and even larger than the ones I did in Europe, so we could put all the things back into the show, plus new things.

ST: Any parting words for the Riviera?

JR: It was interesting. The Riviera is history. To perform there, to be the last headliner, in such an iconic property, that is something. If you see who performed there, to be maybe the last one…in 10-20 years I can say I performed at the Riviera. It was a great time. Being in that dressing room, there was history all over.

ST: What would you like people to know about your show before they go?

JR: They should just know that they won’t be disappointed. Even if they don’t know my name...this is a show even for people who don’t like magic. I see myself as an entertainer. I’m very funny…and I use magic to entertain the people. I treat them like friends in my living room. The stage is my home and all the people are guests. They’re all happy at the end. Just come and be relaxed, and I assure they have a good time. If not come and tell me, and I’ll make them disappear.

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