If you love the mystery and awe of illusion, you’ll love the artistry of Vitaly Beckman. This world-class illusionist is on stage at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Saturday, March 24 for one mind-boggling performance. Beckman’s remarkable illusions even impressed the legendary Penn & Teller – he’s that good. “I had a great deal of fun on the Penn & Teller show,” says Beckman. “I presented an illusion where a photograph came to life, and then a bus moved and drove away from the picture.” Beckman will have the audience puzzling over how he has photos and paintings come to life at the Shenkman show.
Beckman was born in Belarus, Russia while it was still the Soviet Union. He grew up in Israel and now calls Vancouver home. As a child, he was always interested in art. “For me, art was always magical,” says Beckman. “Creating art, like a drawing, is producing something that wasn’t there before. And with my magical illusions, I’m doing the same thing. So, I believe that magic is art as well.” His style is captivating and will leave the audience – young and old alike – with a sense of wonder.
Although Beckman makes his illusions look easy, they often take years to perfect. “Believe it or not,” says Beckman, “I get my ideas for illusions from real life. Sometimes the simplest things make for a great illusion.” But that two-minute, seemingly straightforward, illusion on stage may have taken two years to become flawless in front of an audience. Even then, he continues to practice. “It’s just how musicians practice for years,” he says. “I have to keep practicing too.” Beckman is glad to see a resurgence of magic and illusion over the last few years. “Magic has been around for centuries,” he says, “and humans need that sense of wonder. Magic makes us human and celebrates the mysteries of life.”
Beckman knows there’ll be a few aspiring magicians in the audience after seeing his show. He offers some words of advice – “definitely follow your dream and always be you. And learn other arts outside of magic, it will help give you inspiration. Yes, it’s hard work, but it’s not hard if you love what you do.” Beckman obviously loves what he does. Step into Beckman’s world on Saturday, March 24 at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Get ticket information at www.shenkmanarts.ca. Find out more about Beckman at www.eveningofwonders.com.