OPINA'S OPINION: "Dare to Believe" - By Jay Owenhouse, Authentic - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

OPINA'S OPINION: "Dare to Believe" - By Jay Owenhouse, Authentic Illusionist Review

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That’s really all I can say after attending my first Magic show in Montana.


One of our sales representatives at KFBB hyped up the show for me before I went to go see Illusionist Jay Owenhouse in “Dare to Believe."

This show was so hyped for me that I was worried I would suffer a bigger disappointment than when I saw Star Wars Episode II or The Last Airbender. 

The truth is, Jay Owenhouse is a must-see master illusionist. His performance and presentation of each illusion is some of the best I have ever seen in person. Jay pulls all kinds of tricks out of his Magical hat: Escape artistry, mind tricks, sleight of hands, sawing in half, levitation, audience interaction and more.

One act in particular had the audience on the edge of their seats. Jay had to escape out of a straitjacket while hanging upside down. He was positioned between two heavy sheets of metal spikes that are comparable to how a bear trap works. A piece of rope held the metal spikes open and kept Jay from getting crushed. Part of the act included setting this rope on fire.

Jay had to escape the straitjacket, free his ankles and jump down to the stage before the rope was done burning, which Jay said could take anywhere from one minute and forty-five seconds to two minutes and fifteen seconds. 

A girl next to me had her hands covering her mouth the entire time, held in suspense of what might happen if Jay didn’t get out in time (it’s a good thing she was a nurse, in case something DID happen).

And of course, Jay escaped the straitjacket and jumped out of the way just as the jaws of metal spikes clasped together with a thunderous snap.

I asked Jay after the show how much work goes into perfecting just ONE illusion, especially an act as dangerous as the aforementioned. He reminded me it’s a team effort that goes into making the illusionist look successful.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes too,” said Owenhouse. “When you look at a movie like [the new Star Wars movie coming out on Thursday], and you look at all the special effects, it takes a tremendous amount of time with a lot of people to pull those off. Really, we’re doing the same thing, it’s just a different set of techniques that’s used in live theater.”

Another interesting aspect of the show that kids in particular would love are the Tigers. Jay uses two purebred twin sister tigers that he’s raised since they were cubs: a White Tiger named Shekinah and a traditional Orange Bengal named Sheena. The family (who is also included in the acts) raised the tigers at their home in Bozeman (they showed home video clips during the show) and moved them to a Sanctuary when they got older.

 “I love sharing the Tigers with people,” says Owenhouse about the Tigers. “I’m so proud of the great job they do in the show.”

Owenhouse emphasized that it takes a lifelong commitment to maintain the relationship with the Tigers.

“They think I’m their Mom,” says Owenhouse. “You get them when they’re twelve weeks old and they imprint on you pretty easily.”

But working with dangerous animals hasn’t come without a couple cuts along the way. Jay would feed the tigers milk out of a bottle after each act that they were used. The Tigers pounced and clung on to his arm as they drank the milk out of the bottle. I thought the tiger was going to rip his arm off.

“We didn’t take their claws out. We just taught them not to use their claws. They’re two inches long,” says Owenhouse. “Shekinah (the white one) remembers really well and Sheena never sticks her claws out when I’m with her. But everyone once in awhile on stage, when the crowd is loud she gets kind of excited. And so it’s kind of like a reaction. You should see my arms. It’s covered in scars where she doesn’t do it on purpose, but basically it’s talons going into my arms while she’s drinking the bottle.”

By the way, I'm very jealous of his kids. It must have been cool to say they had pet Tigers growing up! His kids are included in the show, whether they are assistants on stage or production behind the scenes. 

During the show Jay teaches the audience some tricks that they can take home. If you buy the program, you’ll get seven more tricks that come with step-by-step instructions.

I would highly recommend you go see Jay Owenhouse the next time he has a show in Montana. You'd be absolutely crazy if you don't want to go see this show. It's perfect for families, dates, birthdays, a regular night out or if you want to soften up your boss before you ask for a raise.

Jay lives in Bozeman with his family but he does shows across the country. A tour schedule can be found on his website: http://www.jayowenhouse.com/

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Hit me up on Twitter: @DerekOpinaKFBB

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