In The Illusionists – Live From Broadway, Colin Cloud is billed as “The Deductionist.” A fitting handle given his unique brand of “forensic” mentalism. 

Cloud started his life-long career in deduction at the tender age of 16, when he started studying forensic investigation at Glasgow Caledonian University. Learning how to analyse grisly murder scenes quickly led him to the similarly grim field of stand-up comedy. 

“I realized very quickly that stand-up comedians are great at observing the world and their attention to detail is incredible,” he told Broadway World. “So that led to me getting into stand-up comedy, performing stand-up comedy, and mixing the weird psychological tricks and techniques that I was developing and creating, and before I knew it forensics led to me performing.”

Like a lot of mentalists, Cloud is quick to distance himself from those who claim to be genuinely “psychic.”

“I think I use the skills that fake psychics use but in a very different way, I use it to be very entertaining and reveal things in a fun way rather than trying to deceive people to get them to make life changing decisions,” he explained. “I’m very much aware of how psychics perform and the skills that they use, I like to think that I am just more honest about how I’m using them.”

Cloud is currently writing a show for a European tour starting next year, but admits he enjoys performing for Americans because they’re so emotionally unrestrained.

“I think Americans are much better at showing their emotions,” he explained. “I think here (The U.S) it’s always easier, and when I say easier, I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I mean that it’s more fun, more high energy off the bat rather than in Europe, where people still make you kind of prove yourself.”  

I would be offended by that, but I haven’t felt a genuine emotion since 1995.  

Magicians often say that engineers are the hardest people to fool because they’re the ones always trying to figure out how the heck all the tricks are supposed to work. In this video  recorded back in December 2015, Colin Cloud and David Williamson stop by the Google offices in London to perform some magic and from their Illusionists tour and, hopefully, blow a few minds as well. After their routines, they even sit down for 20 minutes to chat about their inspiration for their own work and their tour. Spend your lazy Sunday watching  two of magic’s best try to fool some of the brightest minds in tech. 

And if you’re looking for more, check out David Williamson’s talk at Magic Live last year, or watch Colin Cloud predict tweets on America’s Got Talent.

We live in a digital world, and the rise of online video and social media has had a massive influence on magic. That influence might be good or bad, depending on who you ask. So CBC News of Canada spoke with four different magic acts about how they see the digital shifts changing magic, and how they continue to wow today’s audiences.

Each of the performers acknowledged that digital developments have changed how they approach their craft. But you won’t find any wailing or gnashing of teeth about how YouTube is killing the art form, or unquestioning adoration of the newest modernizations for tricks.

Illusionist Darcy Oake sees the digital world as a challenge to stay sharp. “It helps to push the art form forward, totally, because you can’t become complacent knowing that someone’s going to watch this 50 times,” he said.

Colin Cloud, a mentalist currently performing with The Illusionists tour, opined that fancy tech toys are no substitute for good old-fashioned practice: “The truth is, the way that my ‘magic’ works is it’s all really based in knowledge and practice, and anyone could do what I do if they’ve dedicated the time that I have.”

Toronto locals David Ben and The Sentimentalists had also shared views about tapping into the timelessness of magic performances. Check out all of their thoughts on CBC News.

If you live in New Zealand (or plan on taking a vacation there in the near future), you owe it to yourself to check out Magicians, which will bring five of the world’s greatest magic acts on stage together for what should be a very memorable show.

The official website describes it as a magic show with “a theatrical twist”. It will star the likes of America’s Got Talent finalist Colin Cloud, Shin Lim (whose act successfully fooled Penn & Teller), two-time Magic Castle ‘Stage Magician of the Year’ winner Rob Zabrecky, FISM World Grand Prix of Magic Award winner Hector Mancha, and the world-renowned Charlie Frye & Co.

The act will be performing in cities across New Zealand for four nights, beginning on October 21st, and tickets can be found on the show’s official website. No word on whether this show is merely a test-run for a larger world tour or a special treat for New Zealanders, but either way, this looks like one worth checking out.

We’re in the semifinals for America’s Got Talent now, and “forensic mind reader” Colin Cloud is the last magician with a chance to win it all. His previous performances on AGT have confused the audience and the judges, leaving his fate in question more than once. Last night’s routine was much more focused, but will that make the difference with the at-home audience? We shall see. Watch his tweet prediction below.

“Forensic mind reader” Colin Cloud is the last magician standing in America’s Got Talent, and he’ll be appearing in tonight’s show. He just squeaked through the semifinals after a rather scattered performance. Check it out below to see what we mean.

There is a lot going on in this routine; too much for some of the judges to follow, in fact, including the ones onstage. Then again, ping-ponging back and forth between subjects without giving the audience much time to soak in the trick is kind of his style. His performance on the Judge Cuts was quite similar, as he started with Mel then quickly left her hanging as he switched to Howie before finally coming back to her. 

Colin seems like he might have a bit of Eric Jones syndrome: clearly very talented, but a bit wobbly when it comes to stitching the performance together in a way that lets the audience really appreciate the craftsmanship that’s happening in front of them. Good luck tonight, Colin! Maybe…maybe don’t lick anyone this time, though.