I think that the problem is that people fear so many things and they don't live life to its fullest. And for me as an artist, if God should want me to come this Wednesday to the end of my life, so be it.
One of the most gratifying things I get as an artist is when people watch me do these different demonstrations, and they in some way feel empowered by what I'm doing so they can confront their own fears. Maybe it's the fear of getting in an elevator; maybe it's the fear of going on a plane and seeing the world.
I came up with the term 'mindfreak' because I didn't like the word 'magician.' I felt like I wanted to coin a term that would be basically the reaction to my art. It would be a mindfreak and so that's why I came up with that. But, many people say I'm really a student of humanity and psychology.
I have mentally overcome situations most of you would be terrified to ever attempt: heights, fire, needles, spiders, snakes, angry monkeys, being shot, being hit by a car, going blind - you name it, I have been in a situation where I have had to mentally overcome my inherent fears to do my job.
I've never formally trained for pain management, but I have a good understanding of how to conquer it. I just analyze the pain, feel it in the moment, and then mentally become numb to it.
The first time I thought about attempting a body suspension was after watching a documentary on rites-of-passage ceremonies from other cultures. I was completely intrigued by what these people put their bodies through.
I like to say magic is the world's second oldest profession, a mystical and often awe-inspiring spectacle that, throughout the ages, has blended superstition, trickery and religion.
I think we can really use magic in a way never attempted before to inspire these children, help rally their self-confidence and even help them develop social skills. This is a national effort, not just here in Las Vegas. I know we can give them a true passion.
I wish what I do was all real. Some of it's real, some of it's an illusion and I try to blur the line between both, but unfortunately I've got to be honest with you. Taking a $1 bill and turning it into a $100 - unfortunately it's not real.
It's so funny looking back, but my so-called overnight success actually took 15 years. I remember when I didn't have any money, and my only car was mom's Hyundai.
I'm actually tougher on myself as I get older. It's a vicious cycle. The things that are important in life are the things that you can't buy in life: love, health and happiness. I say that, and I believe that, and I try to live that.
Oprah is signed on to help, and a lot of celebrity friends have agreed to help me raise money for Make-A-Wish. We want to make the world a better place for innocent children. I cried my heart out when my father died from cancer. I wish I was smarter, wiser like a doctor, to save these children from dying.
You can't please everyone, and trying to is the kiss of death. I don't care about Wayne Newton's demographics. When I do, I'll know that it's time to quit.
I wasn't a smart kid and I still don't think I'm too smart when it comes to book smart, but I was very good with what I knew and with my craft and I think that was my calling in life. But even today I never went to college.
A lot of the demonstrations that I do, when I get inside people's minds, is understanding human behavior and understanding how people think and getting their patterns down so I know how to create the illusion that I get inside their brain.
Picking locks or handcuffs for me is not really a big deal, I can do it pretty much in seconds, I've been doing since I was 14 years old. I used to sit on my bed as a kid with a pick set and you know just picking locks and stuff, so I'm used to it.
Well, I had an immense respect for Cirque du Soleil when I first say them in the '80s on a television show and just thought, you know, this group is really reinventing the circus, as you know. Because there wasn't three rings. There were no animals.
I'm just a human being that is in touch with myself. And I'm honest with myself. And I really, at the end of the day, don't care what people say. I never cared about what people say.
And you know, I'm so used to going 100 miles an hour in every direction and sleeping you know, two, three hours a night, and that's the way I live.
I put my life in danger every time I do some of these demonstrations, whether it's in the audience hanging upside down or on the stage. We now have a lot of dangerous stunts where anything can go wrong. In fact, I have fallen two stories and landed on the stage, so I am well aware of the dangers.