Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Magician Darcy Oake Back in Canada after 'Britain's Got Talent' Fame

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Magician Darcy Oake Back in Canada after 'Britain's Got Talent' Fame

Article excerpt

Darcy Oake heading back to the magic lab


TORONTO - After dazzling millions of TV viewers on "Britain's Got Talent," where discerning judge Simon Cowell hailed him a "star," and getting the rock-star treatment from legions of fans in the U.K., Winnipeg magician Darcy Oake is heading back to "the bat cave."

Fresh off his fifth-place finish on the hit series in London, the 26-year-old says he now wants to regroup and plan some new tricks at his "lab" in his hometown -- a warehouse where he spends up to 12 hours a day creating jaw-dropping illusions with crafty contraptions including a bear trap, bird cages and Plexiglas cubes.

"It's in kind of a dodgy area of Winnipeg, but it does the trick," Oake said with a laugh Friday during a stop in Toronto while en route to Winnipeg. "It's tucked away, so nobody really knows there's a warehouse there.

"If anybody who didn't know me went in there, they'd be like, 'What is this place? This is ridiculous.' But it's really cool."

Oake placed fifth among 11 acts on the live finale of the show last Saturday after a dangerous performance in which he got out of a straitjacket while suspended by his feet -- narrowly escaping the clutches of a giant bear trap hanging from a burning rope above him.

He'd done the trick before, but he might not do it again "because it's too risky," he said.

"I suppose I could be persuaded to do it again, but I don't want to. You want to focus on your performance and connecting with a crowd and not worry about whether or not you're going to die eventually."

The specialist in sleight-of-hand and illusions said he knew he wanted to be a magician when his dad, CBC sportscaster Scott Oake, fooled him with a card trick as a kid. "If it wasn't for that moment, who knows if I'd be sitting here?"

He signed up for "Britain's Got Talent" because he wanted to take his act to the next level after years of touring and headlining shows -- on land and cruise ships -- around the world. He immediately impressed the judges and audiences with tricks including making doves appear out of thin air and making himself seemingly teleport. …

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