Q & A about his unique and crowd-pleasing career
Rob Lake is one of the world’s most celebrated illusionists. His mind-blowing illusions have dazzled and entertained millions across networks as a finalist on America’s Got Talent and in front of sold-out audiences. In addition to his work in front of the curtain, he’s a magic consultant for film, television, theme parks, Broadway shows, and major public events.
Most recently, Rob “made Adele disappear” in front of thousands of audience members during her sold-out Las Vegas residency. The crowd loved it, and the illusion went viral.
fyi50+: What is your favorite part of working with performers like Adele as an architect of illusion?
Rob Lake: Even before I got into magic, my first love always has been live theatre. Working on these other projects allows me to immerse myself in this alternate reality by bringing magic to life in another world and, ultimately, able to experience it from the eyes of the audience rather than the performer!
I also like challenges. In my stage show, I control all the elements. I design my lighting, scenery, and staging to accommodate, support, and sometimes even assist in an illusion. In other shows, I challenge myself to take a (sometimes outrageous) concept of an impossible thing and magically bring it to life on stage while considering a large part of the elements are variables out of my control.
fyi50+: How many stage shows have you worked on “behind the scenes”?
Rob: Too many to count. I have worked on some television and film commercial projects and countless stage shows, including Beauty & the Beast (more than 1,000 productions in 20 years), The Phantom of the Opera, Shrek the Musical, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, Woman in Black, Cinderella, Pippin, and the Nutcracker. You name a title, and I’ve probably had some magical interaction with it!
fyi50+: What is the secret to being a magical mastermind?
Rob: I love trying new things that often have never been done before. Implementing new concepts is always a calculated risk if it will work as intended without having a previous reference. But when it works, it works! Seeing an audience react to a new illusion makes me “ooh and ahh” like they do. The secret is to remember that, to the audience, magic is real.
fyi50+: What is your most personally rewarding project to work with?
Rob: Making Adele disappear was awesome, and the audience loved it! But working with Disney Imagineering and Disney Theatrical on dream projects was and continues to be amazing. However, I think working with Sesame Street Live is the most endearing. That was a fantastic show with great people and a throwback to my old childhood friends… I got to work with Big Bird! And then I took my three-year-old niece to the show and got to experience the magic with her. That was magical!
You, too, can experience Rob Lake and his physics-defying illusions in Dallas on Saturday, July 29, at the Winspear Opera House at AT&T Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.roblake.com.