Hutch's Gallery

Champions of Magic

Jeff McBride's "Burned Alive!"

In September of '97 I travelled to Monte Carlo for Jeff McBride's "Burned Alive!" segment of ABC's Champions of Magic  television special (aired November 24, '97). Jeff was chained to a steel pole and a massive fire was lit around him. If he survived this "trial by fire" it would prove that he truly is a real sorcerer.

For a complete description of the illusion, see Jeff's press release by clicking here.

Also on the team were: Jeff's producer Chris Teague, pyro assistants Charles Cooley and Tom Seymour, and stunt safety coordinators Jennifer Klein and Joe Ordaz.

Before going to Monte Carlo, we rehearsed the illusion in Las Vegas, where Jeff lives and works. We stayed at Jeff's house while we were there. He was a fantastic host, keeping us all entertained and teaching us a few simple ways to "amaze our friends" with sleight of hand. Chris arranged for us all to see Caesar's Magical Empire, where Jeff is currently headlining.

See also the Travel section of the Gallery for Monte Carlo and Paris.

>>  Click on any thumbnail image for a larger view  <<

The illusion is rehearsed at the Fire Department Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. We used propane, instead of burning wood.

On arrival in Monte Carlo the team has a night on the town. From left to right: Chris, Tom, Joe, Jennifer, Charles, Hutch and Jeff.

Jeff rehearses, without the flames, on the beach in Monte Carlo.

One could find a worse place to work!

Ready to go.

Light 'em up!

The next day. Chris and Jeff on the helicopter from Monte Carlo to Nice.
Yes, Jeff survived the "trial by fire".

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© Copyright 1997 R. Hutchins
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are © Copyright 1997 R. Hutchins. All rights reserved. - Revised December 1997