We feel like we know Liu Chien from our magic marathon sessions watching our fellow artists on YouTube. He probably does not know us, though. It is funny how you feel you know someone because you see them on television or YouTube but when you finally meet them, they stare blankly at you without a hint of recognition. As we wrote in that essay we had to hand into the judge, “we must remember, seeing them is not the same thing as them seeing you.”
There are days when we will actually stop playing Trisk™ to open our laptop and watch YouTube magicians. Some are good, most are not. Liu Chien is one of the very good ones.
As we have admitted on these pages before and have thusly testified before certain international tribunals that the United States may or may not recognize as having jurisdiction over its putative citizens, we do not speak Chinese.
It is not that we speak it sort of good but our syntax is not the best. We know about three things in Chinese and one of them is actually Vietnamese but is apparently a comment that is accepted with the same meaning in China, Japan and South Korea. And even then, we can say it (but we wouldn’t if there there is a chance that anyone from the Asian Rim is within earshot) but we have no idea how to write it.
Trisk™, by the way, is a favorite winter game here in Mystic Hollow. It is essentially Risk® but instead of conquering armies taking over the world in long drawn-out fashion and endless turn-taking; you have a small cadre of well-connected magicians who have access to armies they can summon to do their conquering if necessary. Some have suggested it is the strategy game Risk® but with fewer pieces and twenty or so pewter top hats taken from Monopoly® sets.
They’re probably right. While we don’t know the game’s origins, it has been an essential part of our lives since we were Little Shavers.
Thanks to do-gooders and socially aware voting blocks, Mystic Hollow no longer permits children under the age of seven to shave with a straight-razor or any disposable shaving system. As a consequence, the next generation of young magicians growing up in this hamlet of magic will not learn Trisk™ or Risk®. Their parents won’t have a need to distract their curious attention and less coordinated hands away from sharp blades and mature smelling shaving cream.
Some blame our close proximity to the Straight-Razor Capital of the World, New Finito, Michigan. Kids start out as unofficial “Little Shavers” even before they attend pre-school and get their first box of second blades. Most of the blades are dull — quality control at the factory usually culls the bad blades before they get to the sharpening section — but kids can still find a way to carelessly handle the products and someone always ends up getting hurt.
There are few in Mystic Hollow without a good scar or two on their hands, upper thighs, or cheeks (of their face). Your first scar is a rite of passage; and if not properly handled can require Last Rites. “What does not kill us makes us less attractive,” is the unofficial motto.
We suppose this quirk is similar to other towns adjacent to some factory or service center. The young magicians of Deerfield, Illinois take tremendous pride in their first episode of hypoglycemic shock fostered by the cubic yards of Sara Lee Bakery Seconds and Rejects.
We met a couple of magicians from Clewiston, Florida who were proud of the disquieting orange-yellow stains on their lips, gums, and fingers. Their permanent dermal shading is not due to a tattoo artist but the readily available Cheese Doodles rejects from the mammoth factory in their city center.
But we would be remiss if we left the impression that living in the shadow of an industrial mega-facility was always a positive thing. We have very good friends from Minnesota who can hold your hand or stick their finger in your ear and tell your body temperature with almost no margin of error.
For many kids, eating your ever-increasing body weight in batter-dipped rejected or blemished fish sticks may seem a dream but that is because they give no thought to the side-effects of mercury poisoning. Our friends make the best of it with their Human Thermometer bit or their ability to apparently produce ghostly writing by simply breathing deeply on slates.
But this trip down consumer safety history leads us astray from the ostensible purpose of this article: to dress up a press release into a full-fledged, 450 word article suitable for use on sites around the internets.
We do not need to speak Chinese to understand Liu Chien. This young man has what we in the Magic Butcher Shoppe, Chops. Do a quick search of YouTube and you will find hours of video from different venues, television appearances, and street encounters starring Liu Chien — and each video is worth the download wait. He is consistently on the top of his game.
Liu Chien brings his Liu Chien Magic Show 2011 – Witness Of Miracles to the Encore Theater in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada on April 30 and May 1 at 7:30 p.m.
By the way, we imagine school kids in Vegas have access to all of imperfect dice, cards, and casino chips by virtue of their location. None of those items will cause scarring, unhealthy weight-gain, or sickly colored skin but perhaps they at least risk permanent scarring on the inside. They cannot show it as readily as us, but their condition is probably evident in even polite conversation.
The show features exciting audience interactions and breathtaking illusions. Humorous and unexpected, Liu Chien’s show lets the audience experience the mystery of magic up close, and has earned him a place among the most influential magicians in Asia. The show will be performed in Chinese.
Liu Chien is regarded as one of the most accomplished Chinese magicians. He also is the only magician in the world to have held a large-scale tour – spanning two years and 40 cities – in Chinese history. With nearly 60 performances and an audience of over five hundred thousand, the records Chien have created are without precedent.
Chien has gained the most international awards in Chinese history, including the championship at the Merlin Awards – Magic of the Decade from the International Magicians’ Society. Chien has also performed and judged on the magic segment of Chang Fei’s popular Taiwanese variety show, Variety Big Brother, since 2007.
We found it interesting that the press release says “The show will be performed in Chinese.” There is no mention whether that would make the evening less enjoyable or less mysterious. We know from the YouTube videos that even without a translation, Liu Chien’s performance transcends our ignorance of languages other than Midwestern United States English.
But there are those who do not read Inside Magic and may have been discouraged when they read the curt proviso “The show will be performed in Chinese.” That is understandable. For instance, if Banachek performed his mind-reading act in a completely foreign language, we might not find him as impressive. We tend to trust performers but an effect where the performer has correctly written the word a spectator will shout loses something if the audience does not understand either the written word or the shouted selection.
Liu Chien’s magic does not appear to require knowledge of Chinese to be enjoyed. We hope to be in Vegas for one of the two shows and if so, we’ll let you know if our hunch is right. It is not that pronounced a hunch, though; and we wear padding on the left shoulder to compensate.
Tickets are now on sale for $68, $108 and $188, inclusive of tax and service charge. Call Jade Entertainment 626.964.4747 or visit jadeticket.com to purchase tickets. For hotel accommodations, call 702.770.7100 or visit wynnlasvegas.com.
Don’t miss Liu Chien’s performance. It is the perfect venue for an amazing performer.