Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass make their livings blowing audience’s minds, but even Clairvoyants are surprised by the vastness of America.
“It’s mind blowing, even for us!” van Tass said. “The variety is so great. And the people themselves, the landscape, the architecture ... everywhere is different. America can give you everything you want; You can be in the desert, in nature, and you can be in Los Angeles with millions of people. There is everything.”
The Austrian duo, known as The Clairvoyants, was in town last week rehearsing for its Friday, April 7 show at Silver Legacy Casino’s Grande Exposition Hall prior to embarking on its first American tour. The run will cover entirely new ground for the Clairvoyants, taking them as far afield as Oklahoma, Wisconsin, upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Missouri.
“We love America,” Ten said. “It’s huge. You have so many opportunities here and so many different people.”
“It’s our first time here in Reno and we really, really enjoy it,” van Tass added. “It is already spring, but at the same time, you can see snow in the mountains, and I love that feeling. I love the river and the sun was shining so far every day. We love it. And hopefully we can check out Lake Tahoe. It’s on our bucket list.”
The Clairvoyants got their big break in America as runners up on last year’s “America’s Got Talent” show on NBC, but the duo has been touring the world since forming in Austria six years ago, when both members were in their early 20s. They’ve since taken their show to Europe, Asia, Mexico, Las Vegas, New York City and Australia, where they performed at the Sydney Opera House.
The act consists of several “phenomena,” as the duo puts it.
“We liked stuff like the connection between two people,” Ten said. “For example, when you think about a person you haven’t seen for years, and then suddenly the phone is ringing and it’s exactly that person. We try to keep this phenomenon as our influence in all our shows.”
“Everybody can relate to that feeling,” van Tass said. “Everybody knows that feeling. We just wanted to bring it to another level onstage.”
In one bit, van Tass is blindfolded and Ten is removing items from an audience member’s purse or wallet. Van Tass names the items down to minute details such as the product number on a tube of lipstick. These illusions have left many audience members scrambling for logical explanations. And since the Clairvoyants made their name in the U.S. on nationwide television, the act has received some interesting and widespread scrutiny. Googling “The Clairvoyants” brings up a host of hits for videos, blogs and sites where fans are trying to solve the riddle of how van Tass and Ten do what they do. Is it fun for the Clairvoyants to read the fans’ sometimes wild theories?
“Of course!” Ten said. “It’s an honor that people really think about it and talk about it, and maybe have sleepless nights because of it. Yeah, I like it. It’s cool!”
One recurring theory, of which the duo has taken notice, is they somehow communicate via Ten tapping out Morse Code messages to his partner with his foot.
“Yes, I’ve seen that,” Ten said. “I’m trying to close the door on a couple of theories. So yes, during the show I’ll take off my shoes and I’ll see who’s looking at my feet and who’s not. It’s interesting because people think about it and they have their theories and they talk about it with the friends over days and weeks. What we do in the show is we comment on a couple of these things; We try to close a couple of doors and try to open a couple of new doors. When we’re onstage, we see exactly how some people are looking somewhere because of the video, and then we try a close the door and make something different out of it and then they are baffled again. So it’s fun to play a little bit with the audience.”
The act includes quite a bit of audience interaction. It’s this component of the show that keeps it fresh for the Clairvoyants.
“Because we are working with the audience, every night is different,” Ten said. “We try to influence the audience or to make them experience our show in their hands and in their minds. So, I think that’s what make this different from other shows because you’re not only watching a show, you are going to be part of it, so it’s more of an experience than a show.”
Awards and more
The Clairvoyants were recently nominated by the Magic Castle in Hollywood as stage magicians of the year. They will be in Los Angeles for the awards ceremony this week.
“It’s a huge honor,” Ten said of the nomination.
“Absolutely,” van Tass said. “It’s like The Oscars of magic.”
For now though, the duo is pleased to be readying for their Silver Legacy Casino show in Reno, while America’s open highways beckon. Traversing America is something both Ten and van Tass relish.
“It really is crazy, because it’s something you dream of, but you don’t really think it will come true,” van Tass said.
“It’s fun,” Ten said. “We love to perform. We love to be onstage and show people what we can do. For me, the most fun is (that) every night is different. There are always different people and different thoughts and different objects. So, every night is different and every performance is different. We love it!”
The Clairvoyants appear at 8 p.m. Friday, April 7 at Silver Legacy Casino’s Grande Exposition Hall, 407 N. Virginia St. Tickets cost $35.50 and $49.50 and are available at the box office or online at silverlegacyreno.com.