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Hans Klok, World Renowned Illusionist, Shares The Beauty of Magic with PR.com
By Allison Kugel, Senior Editor - September 25, 2007

The Beauty of Magic: Hans Klok Featuring Pamela Anderson
"The Beauty of Magic": Hans Klok Featuring Pamela Anderson
Hans Klok is the latest magician to take the Las Vegas strip by storm with lightening fast illusions that leave audience members scratching their heads and applauding twice a night at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Theatre for the Performing Arts. Hans Klok’s fascination with magic began at age ten when he received a magic kit as a gift. His love affair with the mystery and glamour of magic was set afire as Klok’s father supported his growing passion for the illusive art form, taking him to magic conventions around Europe and constantly practicing with the budding performer. A professional illusionist since the age of seventeen, Klok honed his craft by taking gigs at everything from children’s birthday parties to small nightclubs. Hans became phenomenally famous throughout Europe and his career began to pick up speed, as did his visual illusions that continue to defy his audiences’ five senses. With a show originally titled Faster Than Magic, Hans traveled throughout Europe performing his illusions to sold-out crowds until fate stepped in, in the form of Planet Hollywood owner Robert Earl. Earl brought Klok to the states, creating his current show and making him the latest “it” magician on the legendary Las Vegas strip.

It was after arriving in Vegas that Hans Klok pulled off what could arguably be considered his most spectacular magic trick to date, making Pamela Anderson appear as his assistant on stage and renaming his illusion-filled spectacular, The Beauty of Magic, paying homage to both the splendor and captivity of his illusions and the visual landscape of Anderson’s presence. True to form, Pamela Anderson first appears on stage during each show as a poster that comes to life.

According to his fellow magicians, Klok’s illusions are fast even by illusionist standards, considerably adding to Klok’s growing appeal as well as adding extra pressure to the talented performer to maintain a seamless sequence of events throughout each show.

At the beginning of our interview Hans mentioned to me that he was suffering from the flu and was not only doing press (with moi) that day but would also be performing that very night. Throughout our conversation he struggled a bit to enunciate each spurt of laughter and each lengthy anecdote and I struggled to clearly understand him through his heavy Dutch accent and even heavier congestion, but we both made it through. His enthusiasm for magic transported me back to childhood when you simply accepted what was presented before you and felt the freedom to allow yourself to be dazzled.

PR.com: (Allison Kugel): Congratulations on the success of the show (The Beauty of Magic, featuring Pamela Anderson). How did this particular show and the Planet Hollywood Theatre come together and how did you wind up collaborating with Pamela Anderson?

Hans Klok: The show existed in Holland and in Europe. We made it in Holland for a European tour, but the show became a little bit too big. It was too expensive to travel with. And then Robert Earl, the owner from Planet Hollywood, he came to Europe to see the show and he loved it. He said, “You could be the new magician on the [Las Vegas] strip.” And then it all went very fast. And then we added Pamela Anderson.

PR.com: Was the show called The Beauty of Magic beforehand, or was that title added afterwards?

Hans Klok: Afterwards. In Europe the show was called Faster Than Magic, because I’m known for doing tricks very fast. Even my colleagues don’t get it… how fast I can disappear or change places. We call this [show] The Beauty of Magic because magic is beautiful, but of course, also as a link to Pamela Anderson.

PR.com: Weren’t you working with Carmen Electra at one point? Was that a different show?

Hans Klok Levitating Pamela Anderson in "The Beauty of Magic"
Hans Klok Levitating Pamela Anderson in "The Beauty of Magic"

Hans Klok: Yes. It was actually the same show but she never made it on stage actually. She signed her contract and she came to Vegas to rehearse, but it wasn’t a success because, she’s a sweetheart, but for magician’s assistant you shouldn’t be afraid of the tricks and she was. She was also a little stage frightened. So we broke up before we did any show. Then she decided, “Ok I’m stepping out of this whole project,” and the same day Pamela signed up to do it.

PR.com: I’ve watched many of the illusions and many of them seem risky. Are they as dangerous as they look?

Hans Klok: Yeah, they are. You can very easily hurt yourself. Once in Europe I hurt my feet and I couldn’t perform anymore. It’s a problem, you know? You can replace a dancer but not the magician. It’s hard to do the show when you’re not totally fit.

PR.com: Was Pamela afraid to do any of the illusions that she is required to do?

Hans Klok: No, she loved it immediately. She was really into it. She had some heights fright, she was afraid of heights, but now she’s over that and she loves it.

PR.com: I’ve heard that Siegfried and Roy were big inspirations for you. In what way do you try to model your career after theirs?

Hans Klok: Well they’re very famous for working with animals and I’m not doing that. I think there’s nobody who could do that better then how they did it. They had a whole zoo to protect the animals and keep them in a kind of freedom. I decided not to work with animals. I did some in the past, like I did disappearing elephants when I was young but I’m not the guy with the wild tigers. I’ve seen many copies of [them], but you always should go for your own way, your own presentation. I still do a lot of illusions which were invented, for example, by Harry Houdini. [But] the nice thing is always to create your own illusions.

PR.com: When you were a kid and learning to do magic, wasn’t it your dad who taught you?

Hans Klok: Yeah, my father was my big inspiration. Not that he was a magician. My brother was crazy about football so my father always supported him. I was crazy about magic and I was reading all the magic books and he was getting interested in helping me make my first tricks. He also supported me through my first shows because I started performing when I was eleven at small children’s birthday parties. My father always brought me to all these places and we would be together all around Europe visiting all the magic conventions. In every country there are magic conventions with contests and with dealers who show their latest tricks, so we’d been through that together and my father was also a big supporter of getting me my own company and he always thought big! He was a great dad. If everybody had the father that I had, then the world would look much better.

PR.com: Does your dad still come to see you perform?

Hans Klok: My father died six years ago, so this show is also a tribute to my father. At the end of the show I tell that this show is a tribute to the man that helped and supported me the most, my dear father. He deserves it because he did an unbelievable job. And he died very unexpectedly. He was just sixty-one years old.

PR.com: It sounds like you got quite a bit from him.

Hans Klok: Oh yes. And in quality time, I had a father for more then all those years.

PR.com: When was your very first professional job?

Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"
Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"

Hans Klok: When I was seventeen years old they hired me for a nightclub, which really I wasn’t allowed to do because you had to be, in Europe, eighteen for that. Then when I was eighteen I went to Japan. That was my first official contract outside of the country.

PR.com: Which is the most challenging illusion that you do in this show, The Beauty of Magic?

Hans Klok: In the show the speed is unbelievable. Some American magicians, when they see the show, they say the speed is so unbelievable that it makes you think, “How is it possible?” What’s also challenging is that I’m doing an illusion with a light bulb that floats over the stage and suddenly starts floating over the audience. It’s a trick from Harry Blackstone. He died ten years ago. He never wanted to sell the secret to Lance Burton or to David Copperfield and I was asking him for five years and he sold me the rights for me to do it. It’s also a tribute to this great, great magician Harry Blackstone. It’s a very difficult trick! I’m always happy when that trick is over (laughs)! Then I think, “Thank God it went well!” That’s hard with magic because people want to see you making mistakes.

PR.com: I was going to ask you about that. When you’re on stage from night to night, are there ever times when certain illusions don’t go the way they’re supposed to?

Hans Klok: Of course it can happen, but we rehearse it so much that it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it can happen that something goes wrong. We are just human beings and sometimes you’re out of timing or something. But the audience loves it because you have two types of audiences. You have the people who are enjoying and relaxing and just want to be amazed, and you also have the people, the other 50% of them, who only want to know how it’s done.

PR.com: The skeptics.

Hans Klok: The skeptics. And I can understand because I was also skeptical, you know? I’m a big time skeptic when I go to a magic show because you love to know how it’s done. But these people, many times they come up to you afterwards and they say, “Well, actually I’m a skeptic but I don’t get it. This is too complex and then I started to just enjoy the show.” And that’s the best thing to do. Just enjoy. Don’t even think that you will go behind the secrets.

PR.com: Do the people who perform with you know how it’s all done because they have to know?

Hans Klok: They all sign a contract that for their whole life that they will never talk about it. All the people around me, the assistants and technicians, they only know a part of the show. They only know the part that they are being informed with. There’s nobody besides me who knows the whole show. It makes you lonely (laughs). I have a lot of magician friends and we talk often about it. It’s very strange because actually you have a very secret life. You might have seen the movies The Illusionist or The Prestige last year. These two big Hollywood movies that were released were all about magic. In The Prestige, it’s very close to the truth, how magicians invented their magic and how their competitors and they were really famous at that time. Pamela Anderson always says that magicians are the rock stars of today. I think that’s true. You see Criss Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield and a lot of new people like me who are coming up. So I think that magic is quite hot.

Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"
Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"

PR.com: I don’t get David Blaine. It looks like what he is doing are just things where he’s putting himself in a dangerous situation, but I don’t really see where the magic is. You know what I mean?

Hans Klok: Yeah, yeah… He was locked up in a glass box somewhere for weeks without food. I also don’t get it. What’s the magic? All the super top models today they are now dating you, if you get locked up in a glass box.

PR.com: (Laughs).

Hans Klok: David Blaine I don’t get but it brought him a lot of fame.

PR.com: What is Pamela Anderson’s role in the show? Because I know there’s a big cast and lots of dancers as well as other magician’s assistants…

Hans Klok: She’s one of the assistants actually. That is what she wanted to do. I have three main assistants. I always call them the divas of magic, and then we have the twenty dancers. But she comes up in the middle of the show and steps out of a poster. She comes to life. Then we do a mind reading exercise with somebody from the audience which is quite fun. After that, I saw her in half. Then I let her levitate pretty high. Then she does a striptease act, actually, kind of a striptease act. Everyone thinks they are going to see her naked and then she changes into me and I’m dressed. I’m sorry (laughs).

PR.com: Oh (laughs)!

Hans Klok: It’s a very funny part of the show. I’m very happy with it. We have a good chemistry.

PR.com: And who choreographs the dancers in the show?

Hans Klok: Gail Davies and she did a great job on it. I can say that it is the biggest production show on the strip. It’s a magic show but we have a big production. We also have a story. We have a story about a little boy who dreams about becoming a magician. So it’s actually my life story and there is also a little actor, and there’s six children for that because children are not allowed to perform more then twice a week. Then we have an actor who plays the father. Sometimes there are flashbacks and you see that the little kid is rehearsing in front of the mirror. Then he changes into me and we continue the show. Then we have the dancers.

PR.com: What’s it like performing in Las Vegas as opposed to anywhere else in the world?

Hans Klok: For me Vegas was always a special place because it’s the town of Siegfried and Roy. They performed her for thirty-five years. They were the first performers where a hotel decided to first contract an artist and then built a hotel around them. The Mirage Hotel was built for Siegfried and Roy. David Copperfield…everybody else has performed here, so it’s the city of magic and it has a big magic history. Like Broadway is the place for an actor, Las Vegas is the place for an illusionist.

Hans Klok & Pamela Anderson in "The Beauty of Magic"
Hans Klok & Pamela Anderson in "The Beauty of Magic"

PR.com: How long will The Beauty of Magic run at The Planet Hollywood Theatre?

Hans Klok: We extended to December. It’s a very good sign that they extended the show. We play Friday and Saturday two shows in the evening, one at seven and one at ten o’clock. Then we’re adding another extra day on Sunday. We’re doing pretty well and we started the show in June. It’s very dangerous to start in the summer because the summer is not the best period in Vegas. It’s hot and there are no conventions, so it was pretty brave of the producers to do that.

PR.com: But you guys were still selling out even in the summer. Are you going to be performing during the holidays and on News Years Eve?

Hans Klok: We’re supposed to end the eighth of December, but if we continue, yeah.

PR.com: That would be great if you guys do a New Years Show. I know that you’re very famous in Europe and Asia and that’s where you got your original groundswell of a fan base. When did you first break through in the United States?

Hans Klok: I hope it’s right now. This is a very exciting time because I hope to continue after December, my stay in Las Vegas, and I’m ready for it. And the whole world comes to Vegas.

PR.com: Do you want to stay in Las Vegas indefinitely, for years?

Hans Klok: I would love to.

PR.com: Are you ever coming to New York?

Hans Klok: We were just in New York for several days to do The Today Show.

PR.com: You were doing a lot of press here, right?

Hans Klok: Yeah, we did. We’ve been twice to New York. We’re doing Ellen, we did Live with Regis & Kelly, we did Craig Ferguson.

PR.com: How come you and Pam are insinuating that you’re dating when you do press? Is it an ongoing gag between the two of you?

Hans Klok: Yeah, it’s more a funny thing, because when that happens it’s always during a TV show when the host is always making Pamela Anderson jokes. It’s just a routine. We have a very good chemistry and that’s it. We’re good friends and I’m not going to make it more then what it is.

PR.com: So you’re just playing on the joke basically…

Hans Klok: Yeah, we’re playing on the joke, but I think we played so much on the joke that everybody [believes it].

Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"
Hans Klok in "The Beauty of Magic"

PR.com: There are articles everywhere saying, “Are they dating?”

Hans Klok: We’re not, but it’s fun. We have a great time. It’s just a big joke.

PR.com: I know. You have to have fun with the media.

Hans Klok: Right! Well, they’re picking it up and it’s good for us. And I don’t have any tattoos…

PR.com: Or piercings…

Hans Klok: (Laughs) I’ll do that first.

For more information and to purchase tickets to see “The Beauty of Magic” starring Hans Klok and Pamela Anderson, go to www.hanslasvegas.com or visit The Planet Hollywood Theatre online at www.aladdincasino.com/magicSub.php.

Hans Klok, World Renowned Illusionist, Shares The Beauty of Magic with PR.com


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