Before he gets into the mesmerizing magic of his live shows, Carbonaro starts things off with one statement. He lets the audience know that, despite the fact that he’s a magician, he’s not going to lie to them during the night. That always gets some laughs from the crowd, who are ultimately ready to be tricked.
“Even though they know I’m a magician, I take a lot of paths in the show where people believe it’s going one way and then it takes a turn,” he says before saying that we can definitely expect a lot of “audience participation.”
“I love going out into the crowd and performing in the audience or I’ll bring people up throughout the show all the time — both kids and adults… I’ll use objects that they have on them or that they have in their wallets so it keeps it really fresh and improvisational and fun like you see on the TV show.”
Also like his show, his live performance is family-friendly. He even gets letters from parents, who thank him for bringing their family together. Unlike kids’ shows, this is something the whole family can actually enjoy. He’s bringing that family-friendly vibe to season five, which premieres on truTV on Nov. 7. Through five seasons of his hidden camera magic show, he’s learned a lot.
“I’ve learned that I must have some sort of intuition for stuff that’s going to work. However, every day that I go in to do a new endeavor… I’m stricken with panic that maybe I’ve gone too far and that no one’s going to believe what I’m about to pull off today. Every single day is super sensitive and like, ‘Oh my God. Am I crazy to make somebody think that someone’s going to turn into a cat?’… Lo and behold, our first episode of the season someone turns into a cat and everyone believed it. It was amazing. I’m relying on my gut but it’s funny if I get into my head about it, I realize I’m constantly surprised at what people will believe in.”
He was really surprised that one trick, in particular, on season five went as well as it did.
“One of them was an illusion where I was at a high-end pet salon and this new scientific machine, that’s supposed to help a dog’s ability to fix their cartilage and help them with youtification. It goes haywire and it accidentally turns a full-sized dog into a puppy and then the machine haywires again and it turns me into a 13-year-old version of myself,” he explained with a slight laugh.
For that trick, he had reactions all over the board. Some people caught on that something was going on while one woman left the room and made up an emergency so she could leave. Carbonaro explained it best by saying, “She was so deep in it with belief that she thought she was going to be in trouble for turning me into a kid.”
With reactions like that, we had to wonder if it was more nerve-racking for Carbonaro to perform his tricks live like he’ll do at TPAC, or in front of a camera as he does for his popular show.
“The TV show is harder, it’s definitely harder,” he said honestly. “With a live audience, everyone’s coming there to sit in a seat and they know they’re there to watch a show… When I’m doing the TV show, a lot of times, people are walking into a cheese shop to buy some cheese and I’m trying to keep their attention for a second so maybe they see this magic moment or not. I get a lot more flustered trying to pull that off.”
Even though he gets flustered (and even nervous before every show), he’s ready to be here in Music City.
“It’s kind of like you just jump on that ride and use that energy so I’ll be nervous in Nashville but it’ll be perfect.”
Tickets for his live show are available now on TPAC’s website, by calling (615) 782-4040 or at the TPAC Box Office. More information is available here. Check your local listings for more information on season five of The Carbonaro Effect, which premieres on Nov. 7.