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Avi's Thrillride

From the New Times, February 4, 2009

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Tonight: Magician Escapes From Straitjacket on Dania Roller Coaster!

By Deirdra Funcheon

Tonight at 7, local magician Avi Frier plans to be put in a straitjacket and chained to the 100-foot tall, 60-mile-an-hour Hurricane roller coaster in Dania Beach. He claims he can escape from the getup before the ride ends its two-minute run. He promises there will be a "surprise ending." The public is invited to watch the spectacle, help chain him up, and ride the coaster before and after the stunt. (Rides are half-price tonight.)

How did you come up with this idea?
My son had a day off from school in mid-Novemeber and said, 'Let's go ride the roller coaster!' I was sitting there, and my mind started to wander...

How did you get into magic?
I've been doing it since I was 15, living in Baltimore. My parents stopped giving me an allowance and so out of necessity, I started doing kids' birthday parties.  I could make $75 a show and do five shows a weekend. In 11th or 12th grade, I was making more money than anybody my age.

Did it help you pick up chicks?
It did! I actually met my wife at a comedy/magic show where I was performing.

Did you say, 'Hey baby, let me saw you in half?'
No, it wasn't anything that glamorous. I actually bombed that night. I had to bribe her with Broadway show tickets. At a later gig, she found out I really was funny.

I saw online that you run a "guerilla marketing" company...
I still have a few clients but for the past year and a half I've been a full-time magician. I teach a magic class at my kids' school, I do a monthly show at the Improv [at the Hard Rock, the first Tuesday of every month], and I do corporate work.  I just did a Miami Heat party at Pat Riley's house.  I had Michael Beasley in a guillotine!

So this "surprise ending" isn't going to be, like you popping up with a banner saying, 'Shop at Wal-Mart!'?
Not at all.

Is there a secret code that prevents magicians from telling how a trick works?
Yes. Because whenever a magician tells a non-magician how a trick works, they always say, 'Really? That's it? That's easy.'

 

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