Murray SawChuck

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Murray SawChuck
BornMurray John Sawchuck
(1973-11-25) November 25, 1973 (age 38)
Burnaby, British Columbia
ResidenceLas Vegas
Spouse(s)Chloe Louise Crawford
Website
MurraySawchuck.com
 
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Murray SawChuck
BornMurray John Sawchuck
(1973-11-25) November 25, 1973 (age 38)
Burnaby, British Columbia
ResidenceLas Vegas
Spouse(s)Chloe Louise Crawford
Website
MurraySawchuck.com

Murray John Sawchuk (born November 25, 1973[1], stage name Murray SawChuck) is a stage illusionist, magician, comedian, actor, and host. Based in Las Vegas, SawChuck has dubbed himself "The 'Dennis the Menace' of Magic," and his shows often consist of a blend of "comical mishaps" that result in illusions and magic tricks.[2] He was featured in the fifth season of America's Got Talent,[2] and is the resident magic historian on Pawn Stars. SawChuck has also appeared as a magic coach on five episodes of the VHI series Celebracadabra,[3] and has been a guest star on shows such as Reno 911, Last Comic Standing,[4] Celebrity Blind Date, War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave, and Ring of Darkness. He regularly tours worldwide.

Contents

Early life

Murray John Sawchuk (November 25, 1973)[1] was born in Burnaby, British Columbia to John and Arlene Sawchuck.[4] His father and extended family have a history of working with railways and trains for over 150 years.[5] His father was also a musician and played in bands when Sawchuck was young, and he has cited that musical exposure as an influence on his later showmanship.[3] Sawchuck began learning accordion, keyboard, and saxophone at age five. He learned Ukrainian dancing at age five as well, and at age 7 began taking dance lessons in a variety of genres. He was also active in sports.[4]

At age 7,[5] his aunt and uncle gave him a Siegfried and Roy magic kit. Sawchuck, who then idolized entertainers[4] such as Dean Martin, Johnny Carson,[2] Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye and Phyllis Diller, began working on incorporating magic, music, and dance into routines.[4] He performed his first paid show at a birthday party when he was 11 years old.[3] As a teenager, Sawchuck has stated he did five to six kid's shows a week for six years,[6] often incorporating dancing, accordion, and saxophone. He also worked over 21 jobs, including bus boy, lifeguard, and fixing bicycles. He graduated high school and received a college degree in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.[4]

Early career

MurraySawchuck infrontofsign.jpg

SawChuck in 2011

Sawchuck soon met Marvyn and Carol Roy, also known as "Mr. Electric." The couple, who had toured worldwide as magicians for over 50 years, mentored Sawchuck.[4] He began performing in Europe, with his first show in Brussels, Belgium. He has stated that one of his biggest breaks was performing Paris, France on the Le Plus Cabaret du Monde, a television show which aired across Europe. He also performed in Monaco, Monte Carlo, and throughout Europe. Between touring he lived for some time in Orlando, Florida. After a tour of Canada he moved to Las Vegas, headlining on the Las Vegas strip. He also toured in South Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.[3]

In 1999, he was named "Magic Champion" at the Pacific Rim Professional Magic Challenge. Sawchuck has won over 24 awards, and at one point received the title of "World Champion." He was purportedly the first magician to invent a professional magic act involving the manipulation of multiple CDs. He became a US citizen in 2009.[4]

Television appearances

Celebracadabra

SawChuck appeared as a magic coach on five episodes of the 2008 VHI series Celebracadabra,[3] where magician and celebrity pairs competed for a prize and title of "Best Celebrity Magician."[4] He was teamed up with Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls.[7]

America's Got Talent

In late summer of 2010, Sawchuck was featured on the fifth season of the NBC show America's Got Talent.[2] Judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel voted him on into the semi-finals,[4] and at one point he received a standing ovation from Osbourne.[8] Among the illusions he performed for the show were producing a car from thin air, and transforming a woman locked in a cage into a live tiger, then having the woman re-appear next to the judges.[9] He also disappeared a 1918 steam locomotive.[4] The train trick was an homage to SawChuck's long family history in the train industry. Reviews for his appearances were positive,[10] with About.com saying "Murray seemingly did everything right. He successfully managed to ramp-up the magic and impact as he rose through the eliminations - something that earlier magicians haven't been able to do."[11]

Pawn Stars

The History Channel series Pawn Stars regularly features Sawchuck as the resident historian for antique magic devices.[12] He also hosts the live Pawn Stars tour events[4] that travel to various cities.[13][14]

The Jadagrace Show

As of May 2011, Sawchuck had filmed a role as "Murray the Magician" in the upcoming tween series The Jadagrace Show.[4] The series will star 11 year old Jadagrace Barry, who appeared in Terminator: Salvation, and Sawchuck's comedic role is re-occurring throughout five episodes.[13]

Guest appearances

He has also guest-starred on Reno 911, NBCs Last Comic Standing,[4] Celebrity Blind Date, War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, a number of news channels, Stars of Magic,[15] and Ring of Darkness.

Style

SawChuck has dubbed himself "The 'Dennis the Menace' of Magic," and his shows largely consist of a blend of "comical mishaps" that result in illusions.[2] He has named his favorite professional magician as Cardini, who performed in the early 1900s.[2]

According to SawChuck, "I think we've [magicians] dropped the ball a bit on originality and keeping magic real and not edited on TV. I think that future magic needs to be smarter than the audience and right now it isn't."[16] While SawChuck occasionally works with wild animals on stage, he does not own the animals himself, instead working with the animals' owners.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b "Murray - ETCETERA - LOCAL TALENT". 1999-09-17. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1999-09-17/entertainment/9909160194_1_magician-magic-kit-murray. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Zajac, Mandy (June 8, 2011). "Murray Sawchuck adds some magic to Showstoppers Live - Interview". East Valley Tribune. http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/get_out/article_0a48961a-9229-11e0-8c8f-001cc4c002e0.html. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bender, Thomas. "Murray SawChuck Interview". Cigar Weekly. http://www.cigarweekly.com/magazine/interviews/08-06-2008/cigar-weekly-interview-with-murray-sawchuck. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Murray's Biography". MurraySawChuck. http://murraysawchuck.com/bio.php. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  5. ^ a b Leach, Robin (September 8, 2010). "Murray Sawchuck just misses Top 10 on AGT with magic act". Las Vegas Sun. http://m.lvsun.com/news/2010/sep/08/murray-sawchuck-just-misses-top-10-emagtem-magic-a/. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  6. ^ a b Zimmerman, Sandy (July 9, 2011). "Murray Sawchuck - Exclusive Interview #2". Las Vegas Tribune. http://www.lasvegastribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1981:murray-sawchuck-exclusive-interview-part-2-&catid=159:2009-12-29-23-08-50&Itemid=261. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Celebracadabra: Murray Sawchuck - Audio Interview". The Magic Newswire. http://www.linkingpage.com/magicnewsfeed/2008/5/28/celebracadabra-murray-sawchuck-2.html. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  8. ^ Leach, Robin (June 29, 2011). "Whispers & Rumors: Murray Sawchuck, Dia Frampton, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson". Las Vegas Sun. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jun/29/whispers-rumors-murray-sawchuck-dia-frampton-paris/. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  9. ^ Melisurgo, Len (August 4, 2010). "'America's Got Talent' recap: Murray is magical, ArcAttack is electrifying". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/index.ssf/2010/08/americas_got_talent_recap_murr.html. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  10. ^ Ross, Michael (July 12, 2010). "AGT5's top 48: #37: Murray Sawchuck". Examiner. 
  11. ^ Kawamoto, Wayne (August 5, 2010). "Murray SawChuck Delivers on "America's Got Talent"". About.com. http://magic.about.com/b/2010/08/05/murray-sawchuck-delivers-on-americas-got-talent.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  12. ^ "Meet the Pawn Stars". History.com. http://www.history.com/shows/pawn-stars/bios/murray-sawchuck. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  13. ^ a b Daly, Sean (May 13, 2011). "Magician Murray SawChuck Films Kids' TV Series - Interview". AGT News. http://www.agtnews.com/magician-murray-sawchuck-films-kids-tv-pilot. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  14. ^ "Murray SawChuck". Vegas Talk Radio. http://www.vegastalkradio.com/media.asp?g=12&RID=1674. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  15. ^ "Clients". MurraySawchuck.com. http://murraysawchuck.com/clients.php. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  16. ^ Kawamoto, Wayne (May 10, 2010). "Murray SawChuck Talks About Las Vegas Magic and Lance Burton". Magic. http://magic.about.com/b/2010/05/10/murray-sawchuck-talks-about-las-vegas-magic-and-lance-burton.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 

External links

Interviews