Fresh off their triumph as first runners-up on the hit competition television show America’s Got Talent, real-life mind-readers (and couple) Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass are gearing up to bring their unexplainable “mind stunts” to Broadway’s Palace Theatre.
Known as The Clairvoyants, the two will join the cast of The Illusionists: Turn of the Century, which is set to begin performances in New York just in time for the holidays.
“For our illusions, we do predictions,” Ten explained during a break from performing with van Tass in Europe. “We work with the audience and, unlike the other illusionists in our show, where they may use big props or do big escapes, everything we do happens in the heads or in the brains of our audience.”
A quick search on YouTube will reveal just some of what audience members can expect to see. The two are masters at guessing things — down to the tiniest of details. From the number of jellybeans in a glass to the items in someone’s purse, they’ve done it and will do it live on Broadway starting at the end of November.
But while mentalism involves the mind, van Tass made it clear: Don’t expect a performance that’s going to be “small.” “We like to make our mentalism more visual, so we add things on stage — for example, a swing or smoke, something nice for the eyes as well.”
This show — the third version of the Illusionists brand to play Broadway — is a throwback to the Golden Age of magic.
“A hundred years ago, people went to clairvoyants to get answers,” Ten explained. “And I think nowadays, it’s cool to bring this back on stage. To make a show out of this, to have this moment no one can really explain how it happens, and to be in this wonderful world. That’s what we will try to create every night.”
Ten and van Tass began working together in 2011. Both are from Austria and were even born in the same hospital. Though the pair believe that their paths must have crossed over the years, it wasn’t until five years ago when they actually met — and found a connection.
“We had gone to the same places, the same parties, but we kind of missed each other,” Ten recalled. “But then five years ago, we hung out, and since that moment we’ve spent almost 24/7 together.”
Van Tass explained, “We both share a passion for magic and wanted to work together. And then time flew by, and we also fell in love.”
The couple happily admit they are beyond excited to be making their Broadway debuts, and doing so in the historic Palace Theatre. They say they are also looking forward to being together in New York.
“We’re on the road for more than 300 days a year around the world and we’re happy we’re a couple and can share the ups and downs together,” Ten said. “Most of our colleagues — our magician friends — have to travel alone. They have to leave their families and friends behind. And we are so happy we can do everything together.”
When asked about what they’re looking forward to the most with performing in New York in November through the beginning of January, van Tass immediately responded: “Christmas.”
“We were in New York a couple years ago and saw our first Broadway show, which was The Lion King. But I’ve always wanted to experience New York at Christmastime, and I can’t wait.”
And with The Illusionists returning to New York City in less than a year, Ten says it’s all due to an ongoing popular interest in magic and the unexplainable — something that is the basis of their collaboration and performance.
“I think nowadays where you can Google everything and get information on everything, people want to go to the theatre and get away from that. In our show, you can see these incredible illusions and suddenly you can feel like a child again. You wonder how things happen — it’s like going back in time.”
The Illusionists: Turn of the Century will play Broadway’s Palace Theatre from November 25, 2016 until January 1, 2017.