Q&A: Hans Klok
The last time 50-year-old Dutch illusionist Hans Klok was performing in Las Vegas, he was sawing Pamela Anderson in half at Planet Hollywood Resort. That was way back in 2007, and since then the artist sometimes referred to as “the David Copperfield of Europe” has been touring the world, selling out stadium shows with original themed productions and taking the stage at Europe’s most iconic venues. Klok has returned to the Strip with a custom-made experience, The World’s Fastest Magician, at the new Thunderland Showroom at the Excalibur, and he’s ready to add to his international legacy of magic with this next Vegas chapter.
What made the timing right for your return to Las Vegas?
I was doing a lot of stuff that was on the big to-do list, playing in Holland’s biggest theater and at the Peacock Theatre at the West End in London. For so long I had been traveling around and living out of a suitcase and thinking of a place I could stay awhile. We were doing a lot of one-nighters around Europe in big stadiums and arenas where you get only one day to arrive, build up the show, perform at night and then break it down and travel to the next city. I loved it, but it was time for something else, and Vegas, of course, was on top of that list.
Your new Vegas home at the Thunderland Showroom is a much different venue than those big arenas.
Absolutely and I prefer it. It is quite intimate and I love it because with magic, you really want to sit close and be mesmerized by what’s in front of your own eyes. In those arenas, so many people are following the action by the big video screens. It’s almost as if you could watch it at home on TV. If I see a magician I want to see close and see what’s going on because there’s always the feeling of trying to discover how it’s done.
What can we expect from this new World’s Fastest Magician show?
For me, it’s the best of everything I ever did. It is a fast show and a lot of things are happening, one amazing illusion after the other. I’m doing the metamorphosis where I change into another person and, overall, it’s a very physical show. I’m doing a few classics that no one really performs anymore, like the floating light bulb created by Harry Blackstone. I saw him on the Strip when I was just a child, and when I met him, I still had to ask, “How did you do that?” So it’s always been a dream for me to perform that one. I suppose there’s a little history of magic to the show.
One of your recent touring shows was House of Horror. Are any of those darker, scarier elements going to show up at Excalibur?
There is a bit about dreams and how they’re not always happy and recognizing that we all have our own nightmares, but I know there will be a lot of children attending this show, so it’s not too scary. It’s a family show.
Being from the Netherlands and having toured all over the world, you probably have a different perspective on magic than American magicians and audiences. Do you consider Las Vegas to be the capital of magic?
It’s absolutely the capital of magic. Las Vegas is the home of David Copperfield, who has been so great for magic in general and now he’s had his residency for at least 15 years. Criss Angel is here doing very well. Vegas names like these are really ambassadors for the rest of the world of magic. It’s big in Europe too. Magic is international, but I think magic is a bit hot at the moment and the greatest magicians ever have always been in Las Vegas.