Who Is The Masked Magician?
Who was The Masked Magician?
The masked magician is the Las Vegas entertainer universally despised by magicians who recoil in disgust from the man who wears a mask. Why does the failed magician wear a mask?
Failed magician? But in the first 60 seconds of the first episode of Breaking The Magicians’ Code, the narrator said, “You’re about to see one of the world’s top magicians break his code of silence and reveal magic’s most closely guarded secrets. We’re really not sure why a well-known magician would go on television and expose deep dark secrets.”
To protect his identity so that he will not be banished for his betrayal of the profession. That's the idea, anyway. It's probably more of a publicity stunt to make the premise of the show more sensational.
The intriugue makes for great marketing. The Masked Magician has been claiming to reveal the secrets of the trade for a long time now and is still alive — and happy — to talk about it.
Has he really been revealing the secrets of the trade, or just convincing the uninitiated that these are the real secrets?
Who was the masked magician?
In case you are one of those people who is always asking yourself, "Who is the masked magician?", his name is Val Valentino, a native of Los Angeles who was tapped by the Fox Network in 1998 to portray a character called the Masked Magician for a series of specials called “Breaking the Magician’s Code.” The specials were such a hit Valentino has been breaking the code with regularity ever since.
“The ratings for the shows went through the roof, with 26-point-something million viewers,” Valentino says. “Since then I haven’t stopped. I’ve been continually working, touring the world. “I especially struck a nerve in Brazil. No one can explain it. It must be something in the psyche of the Latin American people.
After the specials aired I spent two years in Brazil performing in large arenas with 15,000 seats — and we were turning away thousands. Then I went to Japan for a couple of years and did several TV specials there.”
The Masked Magician returned to television with a 13-episode syndicated series of “Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.” The hour-long episodes are being shown worldwide.
In one of the final specials, when the Masked Magician’s identity was revealed, Val Valentino gave a four-minute speech to the viewer, explaining his motives. He said that he was wasn’t revealing his identity because of the controversy, or pressure from fellow magicians, rather his love of magic, and fear that it had taken a backseat to movies and video games, and was in danger of being forgotten.
He wanted to let the viewer in on the magic, to increase their appreciation of the art. And force magicians to reinvent; letting go of “old and tired tricks”. Those who are not familiar with this confession keep asking who is the masked magician secret revealed.
Fox Television had an offer on the table for years, looking for a performer for a show they wanted to call “Breaking the Magicians’ Code”. They were repeatedly turned down by pros. Valentino was the only one who was willing to sell out and took them up on it. It gave him the chance to do an act he otherwise couldn’t do, complete with big, expensive illusions and lots of scantily clad female assistants.
One thing to his credit… he never revealed the secrets behind any contemporary magic tricks. He made it all up! His “explanations” were complete and utter garbage. (With the exception of sawing a Woman in Half. He did explain the way that one was done… back in the late 1800’s. We use completely different techniques these days.)
The explanations he offered were clever and entertaining, but that’s not what a professional magician looks for when crafting a magic trick. The true magician couldn’t care less about the cleverness or intrigue of the method. He is concerned chiefly with the effect of the trick on an audience, who will never see the method (it is hoped).