Anything Is Possible with Cosentino illusion and magic

Cosentino. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475674
Cosentino. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475674

A 1000sq m area in Melbourne complete with arcade machines, flying fox, rock climbing wall and moving bookshelves is where illusionist and escapologist Paul Cosentino makes his magic.

“I wanted a space that would really nurture this idea and concept of creativity because when you’re working with magic, you’re working with make-believe and fantasy,” Cosentino said.

“The way I come up with my ideas is to try to think like a child; not be childish, but have the child-like sense of wonder that as adults we all tend to lose.

“What I do, it’s child’s play, and you have to think like that to be creative.”

Cosentino said he started with an idea that could be inspired by anything – a book, piece of music, something interesting one of his six nephews and nieces under the age of 10 said – and then worked backwards to solve the mechanics, engineering and structure of it.

Cosentino. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475674

His new live show Anything Is Possible has taken years of preparation and includes stage illusion, close-up magic, escapes, audience participation and dance.

“They’ll be people levitating, appearing and disappearing and melting through steel plates,” he said.

“It’s grand illusion wrapped in a lot of mystery and storytelling with beautiful music, lighting and choreography.

“I’m so much into theatre and theatrics that I don’t like to cut any corners.”

Just one of the heart-stopping moments for the audience will include a death-defying escape involving a buzz saw, cables and grinder.

“It has to be rehearsed with precision and there are no retakes,” he said.

“Right before we go on stage, everything is double and triple checked and to be honest, things go wrong.

“I’ve been in an escape where things have gone wrong and I’ve been slashed by knives or rushed to emergency.”

Graham MacDuff is Puttin’ On the Ritz

Treat yourself with Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow

Cosentino. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d475529

Cosentino said his live shows were hard to diminish when audience members suddenly found themselves, family or friends on stage.

“A family member might levitate in mid-air or you’re child comes up on stage and I saw them in half,” he said.

“You participate and I seemingly read your mind and suddenly magic is so much more potent that it’s almost hard to comprehend; that’s what I love about the live shows.”

Cosentino’s talent has seen him invited to write material for magicians in Las Vegas, like a songwriter writing for other singers, and hired as a consultant on Jackie Chan film Bleeding Steel.

“He wanted to choreograph a fight scene that incorporated magic,” he said.

“We choreographed it for three weeks with his stunt team and then they asked me to play the part of the Oracle.

“He was a true professional. It was an eye-opener and shock to realise you could just fake everything in film; do 10 seconds, stop, and then start filming the next 10 seconds.

“I don’t usually have that luxury, so I think they were impressed when I wanted to do the whole two minutes in one section.”

More Lifestyle

 

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Cosentino – Anything Is Possible

Where: Crown Theatre Perth

When: July 20

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au