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As a magician, I'm always interested in performances that incorporate elements of illusion. And one of the most remarkable was the tanagra theater, which was popular in the early part of the 20th century. It used mirrors to create the illusion of tiny people performing on a miniature stage. Now, I won't use mirrors, but this is my digital tribute to the tanagra theater. So let the story begin.
On a dark and stormy night -- really! -- it was the 10th of July, 1856. Lightning lit the sky, and a baby was born. His name was Nikola, Nikola Tesla. Now the baby grew into a very smart guy. Let me show you.
Marco Tempest: Now Tesla's brain worked in the most extraordinary way. When a word was mentioned, an image of it instantly appeared in his mind. Tree. Chair. Girl. They were hallucinations, which vanished the moment he touched them. Probably a form of synesthesia.
NT: We are at the dawn of a new age, the age of electricity. I have been able, through careful invention, to transmit, with the mere flick of a switch, electricity across the ether. It is the magic of science. (Applause)
Tesla has over 700 patents to his name: radio, wireless telegraphy, remote control, robotics. He even photographed the bones of the human body. But the high point was the realization of a childhood dream: harnessing the raging powers of Niagara Falls, and bringing light to the city.
NT: Everything I did, I did for mankind, for a world where there would be no humiliation of the poor by the violence of the rich, where products of intellect, science and art will serve society for the betterment and beautification of life.
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Combining projection mapping and a pop-up book, Marco Tempest tells the visually arresting story of Nikola Tesla -- called “the greatest geek who ever lived” -- from his triumphant invention of alternating current to his penniless last days.
A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini. Full bio »