Part of the appeal of Illusions, the magic bar in South Baltimore, is that something might go wrong — like in 2010, when the bar’s co-owner, Spencer Horsman, fell on his face while escaping from a straightjacket and hanging from a crane, and wound up with sixteen stitches. But if something had gone wrong for Horsman last night, things would’ve probably gotten even gorier: the 26 year old was strapped in a straightjacket, hung upside down over a set of metal jaws featuring some extremely pointy looking spikes. And he was on national TV.
Yes, the latest Baltimorean making a bid for reality television fame might remind you of Gob Bluth. And yes, he insists on referring to himself as “the world’s youngest escape artist.” Sometimes he says things like “Entertainment isn’t a 9-to-5 job. It’s a lifestyle.” But he’s also a bona fide heir to Baltimore’s storied tradition of magic performance. His parents were both circus clowns and his father, who co-owns Illusions, used to run Ken-zo’s Yogi Magic Mart on South Charles Street.
So far, Horsman has had a good run on America’s Got Talent, appearing to wow judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern. The judges unanimously agreed to send Horsman along to the show’s next round, which takes place in Las Vegas — a good spot as any for an aspiring magician-slash-reality-TV-celeb. Mr. Horsman, we wish you luck.
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