What would you do if you had 52 seconds to live? If you’re Darcy Oake, the world-famous illusionist who got his big break on “Britain’s Got Talent,” you use your magical powers to stay alive.
But this is not a trick: Oake will perform later this month at the Republic Bank Decibel Conference & Expo at Queen’s Hall.
Two years ago, his artistic piece for the Series 8 finale of “Britain’s Got Talent” had everybody talking.
Set to the haunting chords of Steven Price’s Gravity soundtrack, two men appear on stage, bundle him into a straight jacket and hoist him into the air by his feet between a pair of razor-sharp blades.
On Oake’s signal, they then torch the ropes holding the bear trap open.
“I’m putting it all on the line,” he says on the show, “and if it goes wrong, it’s game over.”
Yet the 28-year-old appeared at the New Year’s Day Parade in London last January for another great escape.
For this act in front of the British Parliament, crowds lined the city’s West End. Oake is strapped into some kind of contraption.
His arms are suspended below a plank of wood two inches thick that extends about a foot past each shoulder. His wrists protrude holes on either side, clamped by black metal restraints that lock.
Two assistants secure Oake’s head in a glass box and fill it to the top with water. A crane lifts the whole trap into the air.
With a single Bobby pin held tight between two fingers, Oake must pick all three locks and get out before he runs out of air. Two minutes in the crowd falls silent. Oake’s body is shaking. He’s struggling with the last lock.
The illusionist is a dying breed, an artist fast losing limelight to entertainers of every stripe, forced to make magic now on the smallest of stages for only the most loyal fans.
“That’s the big deal about what Darcy has accomplished,” says Simon Baptiste, CEO of Question Mark Entertainment, the company behind Decibel. “He’s made magic a great entertainment option again and here’s an opportunity to see someone who sells out arenas perform on home soil.”
Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada with model good looks and an assortment of tattoos that add to his mystique, Darcy Oake has been practising magic since he was eight.
Simon Cowell, the snarky host of “Britain’s Got Talent,” called him the best magician to appear on the show.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Oake cites as an influence the legendary David Copperfield whom Forbes named “the most commercially successful magician in history.”
Oake is determined to rank right up there when his show is finally over. He’s sparked renewed interest in magic and added twists to tricks that leave audiences asking how.
He’s just one of several stars expected to show at this year’s Decibel extravaganza in Port-of-Spain. Sponsored by Republic Bank, the conference and expo run from April 28-30 with Oake slated to perform over two days from Friday, Apr 29.
Baptiste thinks it’s performance art teens can’t afford to miss.
“Decibel will be huge this year,” he says. “Wait till you hear what comes next.”