Two hunky naked Australians doing magic tricks in Atlanta. That’s one way to show there’s nothing up their sleeves.
Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler are creating quite a stir. Meet the Aussie natives currently in the midst of their North American tour of “The Naked Magic Show,” which hits Atlanta this week.
The naughty-in-a-good-way production strips away many of the basic theatrics of magic – plus the clothes off the magicians themselves – and delivers a rollicking good time.
According to Wayne, who talked to David Atlanta before the duo makes its Atlanta debut July 8-9 at Buckhead Theatre, the two magicians wanted to combine their acts to create something unexpected.
“We really wanted to reinvent the wheel, because magic has sort of had its time,” Wayne says. “We thought, ‘What about making a naughty magic show?’
“We spent over a year putting together the best bits from our individual shows and changing the context of them into a naughty context,” he continues. “We wanted it to not just be naughty, but really, really funny. We put together this show – the Naked Magic Show – which is now the naughtiest and funniest magic show on the planet, and it’s honestly changed our lives.”
Just to be clear, that name isn’t a metaphor.
“A lot of people think it’s just a gimmick, or just a name,” Wayne notes. “We do start off clothed, and kind of like a date, we lose our clothes bit by bit throughout the show. And by the end of the show, we’re two naked Aussies.”
The show definitely touches on risqué subjects, though Tyler’s quick to point out the show still has some class.
“All of the subject matter in the show and all of the magic is based around the things we normally don’t talk about. But it’s not smutty,” Tyler says. “We don’t go below the belt – we just put our hands on the belt and tear it off.”
The tricks touch on some modern topics, along with some fun naughty subjects – tricks revolving around drunk texting, celebrity free passes and hypothetical porn that involves audience members.
“All of these naughty tricks spin around into amazing magic,” Tyler says. “So it’s taking magic to a place where it’s never gone – into that naughty corner of the room. The thing about it is, every single adult has that naughty side to them, so the show really does appeal to people from all walks of life because of that.”
Of course, part of the draw is seeing these two hunky Aussies naked, something that the pair works on as much as their magic.
“Since Mike and I weren’t strippers or anything like that, the biggest challenge for us is that our bodies always look good,” Wayne says. “So we’re eating well on the road and exercising, and then when we’re on-stage, we’re making sure the audience has something really good to look at.”
Just as challenging: finding ways to perform without the clothes that aid most magicians.
“We’re literally taking away the top hat and cape, the sleeves – everything,” Wayne says. “So we have to be really secure at our craft. I think the challenge is creating jaw-dropping, impossible magic, but without trap doors, without sleeves, without anything.”
Not that performing naked doesn’t have it’s own perks. “It kind of also serves as a bit of misdirection, because half the time, the audience is busy looking at us, and that lets you get away with a lot more than you would if you were a normal magician.”
It’s not just the magicians who are making things wild, though. Tyler notes that even though Australian audiences can get pretty wild, Americans are making the show into something even more fun.
“We’re noticing when a lot of people come to see the show over here, they don’t just come to see the show – they’ve come to party for the night,” he laughs. “So we’re trying to make sure that the show now has a party atmosphere from the second you walk into the room.
“Every night over here, we walk off stage saying, ‘That was the wildest show. There’s no way we can be any wilder than that.’ Sure enough, the next night, we’ll walk off saying, ‘That was the wildest show.’ People are responding to it in a really fun way as we slowly reveal ourselves to more and more of America.”
But Tyler’s excited for the show to hit Atlanta – for one reason in particular.
“We have our first performance in Atlanta at night, but the next day, I’m getting a rental car, and I don’t give a shit how tired I am – I’m going to all the Walking Dead locations,” he says. This is what I’m excited for. We’ve seen some cool stuff … took a day to see New York, and we saw the Bean in Chicago, try to see some touristy stuff, but for the most part, it’s pretty hectic.
“But I’m fucking seeing the Walking Dead.”
“The Naked Magic Show” plays July 8-9 at Buckhead Theatre. Visit thebuckheadtheatre.com.
Originally published in David Atlanta.