Tag Archives: magician

Ridgewood magician competes on ‘Worst Cooks in America’


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Food Network

A Ridgewood magician is trying to make his disastrous cooking skills disappear — and he’s turned to the Food Network for help.

Michael “Six” Muldoon, 26, is a contestant on “Worst Cooks in America,” which kicked off its sixth season on Jan. 4. The show takes 14 abysmal home cooks and divides them into two teams — one led by returning Chef Anne Burrell and the second by first-time opponent Chef Tyler Florence.

The contestants go through a culinary boot camp, during which two of them are eliminated each week. Two finalists, one from each team, will face off in the finale, where they will prepare a three-course menu. The winner will receive $25,000 and bragging rights for their chef.

Just how bad are these cooks? Some admit to starting kitchen fires and even poisoning friends and family.

When the contestants are told to create their signature dish in the first episode so the chefs can choose their teams, one contestant substitutes gummy bears for goose fat, then tries to cut the candy with the wrong end of a knife. Another woman cooks a baked potato by microwaving it in a plastic bag.

But Muldoon is just as clueless.

“I try to make meals that look like one thing and taste like something else, and it just never seems to work,” the magician says as he tries to explain his spaghetti and meatball cake, which looks like a cake but tastes like spaghetti and meatballs.

Florence is not impressed.

“Surprise, it’s burnt,” he says. And Burrell ends up picking Muldoon for her team.

Muldoon’s magic skills are better left for the stage, not the kitchen.

At a young age, Muldoon coped with having a sixth finger and weight issues. His Maspeth house burned down when he was 11 and his parents separated around that time. Muldoon found magic at about age 13, which helped give him the confidence he needed. He later turned the hobby into a career.

In addition to performing, he started System 6 Magic, a company that produces playing cards and DVDs. He is also vice president of Magicians Without Borders, which travels to more than 30 countries “using magic to entertain, educate and empower.”

Muldoon, who was 25 when he appeared on “Worst Cooks,” was nominated to be a contestant by his brother for his magic-inspired food that constantly missed the mark. The two have a bet that if Muldoon learns to cook, then his brother will learn some magic tricks.

“I wasn’t cooking bad. I was cooking over the top more than anything else, ” Muldoon said.

He only heard of the show in passing before being nominated, and after watching past episodes he wasn’t sure he could take the humiliation. But he ultimately decided the challenge was worth it.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. You are learning and you’re memorizing and there are a lot steps,” he said.

Muldoon also wanted to appear on the competition so he could learn to cook for his girlfriend. With his new skills, he says it’s nice to give her a break from making meals.

Though Muldoon says the biggest lesson he’s learned from the show is simplicity, it doesn’t mean he has given up on his magic dishes.

“It’s in the back of my head,” he said. “Knowing what I know, I wonder if I can pull off a good one now.”

To see Muldoon compete in the next episode of “Worst Cooks in America,” watch Sunday, Jan. 18, at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.

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WATCH: Queens magician performs staple gun Russian roulette on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ wows judges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC


Queens magician Roger “Rogue” Quan took his chances with one out of four loaded staple guns on “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night and four out of four judges loved it.

The Briarwood resident and owner of  Rogue Magic and Funshop in Elmhurst performed his staple gun Russian roulette routine on the July 1 episode.

Judge Mel B acted as an assistant, loading one industrial staple gun and shuffling it with three empty ones in a bag. Then, using her “woman’s intuition” she had to pick the three empty ones out of the bag and fire each of them at his temple.

“Do not trust me,” Mel B said as she was about to choose the third gun.

But Quan did trust her, and it was empty. Then, with the fourth gun, he stapled a photo of himself into a piece of wood.

The “dangerous magic” trick as Quan described it rendered Mel B and fellow judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern nervous during the performance and impressed at the finish.

But most importantly it left them wanting more.

“I haven’t seen anything like it. I thought you were fantastic. I want to see more of you,” Klum said.

“You entertained us. It was a great presentation. After seeing that I can’t wait to see you again and that’s how this works,” Stern said.

“It was the most fulfilling moment of my performing career,” Quan told The Queens Courier.

Quan is now slated to appear on Judgment Week later this month, where it will be decided which 48 acts will compete in the live show.

 

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Queens magician to perform on ‘America’s Got Talent’


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC / Below photos courtesy of Roger “Rogue” Quan


Will Briarwood resident Roger “Rogue” Quan be able to work his magic on the “America’s Got Talent” judges this Tuesday night?

The 35-year-old owner of Rogue Magic and Funshop in Elmhurst will appear on the July 1 episode where he will perform a “dangerous magic” act.

Quan is not only aiming for the reality competition’s $1 million prize, but also hopes the show will help him become a world-known performer.

His passion for magic started when he was 6 years old and saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear.

“After that I guess I got bit by the magic bug,” Quan said.

He was soon asking his family to buy him magic tricks, reading books on the art and started performing for whoever wanted to watch, even charging for the shows.

Growing up in Queens, where he lived in Jackson Heights most of his life, magic was just a hobby for Quan.

Following college, the art major had several jobs, but “nothing made me totally happy but performing,” he said.

Quan then took to the streets to sell magic tricks out of a backpack and perform. He later moved the operation to his parent’s home, where people would also come to learn from him.

But Quan knew he needed a proper space and in 2000 found a Rego Park bookstore that had a counter he could use for his burgeoning business. After seven months, the store had to close down, and he decided it was time for his own store. But it wasn’t easy to find someone who would rent to a young man with a magic shop.

He eventually found an affordable space at his current location at 85-08 Queens Blvd., and opened his store in August 2000.

“I was like the king of Queens,” Quan said, describing his business when it first started.

With the Internet and competition from other stores, business is much tougher for his magic shop today, he admits.

“As technology progresses people have seen the bigger things in the world, and magic is pushed aside. It is hard to really impress people nowadays.”

In addition to selling magic tricks, magic performance DVDs, spy equipment and costumes, his store also provides magic classes, entertainers for hire, and has magic and comedy shows.  But he is now trying to transition the business into more of a magic school.

He also has another venture, the Rogue Magic Bar, which opened inside of Panda Asian Bistro in Rego Park this March. The bar, which is about “bringing Vegas to Queens,” features magically-served drinks, magic shows and other entertainment.

As Quan tries to promote his businesses, he is trying to boost his magic career, and “America’s Got Talent” could be his way to do it.

Friends and family were telling him to try out for the show for a long time, but a tweet from the show, saying they were looking for unique talent like him, finally persuaded him to go for it.

“I’m not a very competitive person,” he said.

Quan does everything from close-up to stage magic, including card tricks and illusions with levitation, but excels at magic that has an element of danger to it, which he performed for “America’s Got Talent” judges  Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern.

“I really enjoy the danger magic because of the way people react. It’s priceless,” Quan said.

Quan is not the first Queens resident to appear on “America’s Got Talent” this season.

Mike “Mighty Atom Jr.” Greenstein , a 93-year-old Rockaway man, performed his strongman act on the season nine premiere last month, where he earned three out of four yeses from the judges.

To see how Quan did on the July 1 episode of “America’s Got Talent,” click here

 

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