Matt the Knife

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Matt "the Knife"
Matt the Knife reading minds.jpg
Matt the Knife on stage reading an audience member's mind.
Born Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation Mentalist, Magician, Speaker, Former Con artist, Comedian, Escapologist
Website
Matt The Knife.com YouTube Facebook

Not to be confused with Matt the Knife the WFTDA referee from Rainy City Roller Girls.

"Matt the Knife" (also called MTK) was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Boston, but now resides in Rhode Island. He is a magician and mentalist as well as the breaker of a multitude of Guinness World Records,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] but began his career as a professional con man.[1][3][8][9]

Early life[edit]

From the ages of approximately 14 through 21, he worked as a con artist, operated a card-cheating ring, a shoplifting ring and a pick-pocketing ring which bilked dozens of casinos, corporations and even at least one Mafia family

Transition into the magical arts[edit]

Sometime around 2000 he began to adapt his talents from that of a criminal to the skills of a conjurer and slowly transitioned out of an illegal lifestyle over the next couple of years. Since then his magic has taken him on to perform in 17 countries across 4 continents (including television shows in the United States, China, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and several others).[1][3][4][5][8][9][10][11]

He’s probably best known for his feats of mentalism but also often mixes sword swallowing, stunts, escapes, magic and his unique brand of humor in to his stage shows.[1][2][3][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Guinness World Records[edit]

As of 2012 he's broken 12 Guinness records. They include records for things such as escapes, sword swallowing, fire manipulation, feats of strength, and card manipulation. He usually performs these stunts either for publicity or for the climax of his various television specials.[1][2][3][5][8][9][10][11][14][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Lecturing[edit]

Since his transition from a grifter to a performer he has also gone on to be an anti-fraud expert. The stories from his early years along with tips on how to protect yourself, information about fraudulent activities, and demonstrations of many of these feats were put together for his keynote speaking engagements. The lecture has been featured at theaters, colleges and corporate events.[1][2][7][8]

Consulting[edit]

In 2003 he founded a consulting firm that specializes in the prevention of fraud and cheating within the gaming industry and their personnel, corporations, security & police forces, as well as the film, literary, theatrical and television industries to create realistic characters and help develop more accurate depictions of topics involving criminal activity, the occult, the allied arts, the magical arts and mentalism.[1][3][4][5][8]

Spiritualism and séances[edit]

Some time later he began to occasionally present a different style show than what he'd become known for, a séance based performance entitled "Epitaph". It debuted in Rhode Island and it has toured in several major cities including Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New Orleans.[1][6][22]

But in spite of his claims that it was only intended for entertainment it has come under fire by some religious groups in the US.[1][22]

Media credits[edit]

Matt The Knife has been featured in The New York Post,[19] The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper,[2] PLAY Magazine,[8] The "METRO" Paper, Road King Magazine, Escape Masters Magazine, Amusement Business Magazine,[14] and The Wall Street Journal; as well as being on The Discovery Channel,[11] NBC, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic Channel, Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network, Guinness World Records, Sirius Satellite Radio,[1] CCTV (China), Rai Tre[10] (Italy) and The BBC (United Kingdom).

He was also a question on the American game show Jeopardy!.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "American Voices". American Voices. October 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e Amorosi, A.D. (January 18–25, 2007). "Just Do It". Philadelphia Citypaper. p. 63. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Schwartz, Dan (August 2007). "From Grifter To Guinness". Providence Monthly: 14. 
  4. ^ a b c DeLuca, Sharon (September 2007). "It’s Magic!". QUAD angles: 35. 
  5. ^ a b c d Bozigian, Terri (June 2007). "Prestidigitation Plus". Your Smithfield Magazine: 4–6, 68. 
  6. ^ a b Gabrie, Ptah (October 25 – November 1, 2007). "Haunted Fun for Everyone". Philadelphia Citypaper. p. 66. 
  7. ^ a b Martin, Dick (September 9, 2004). "Not A Hard Act To Swallow". The Observer. pp. 1B, 3B, 20B. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Perry, Rachel (January 17, 2007). "Matt The Knife: Fire-Teething Never Looked So Good". Play (Philadelphia Edition): 10–12. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Jones, J.W. (October 25, 2006). "Guinness Book record holder comes to J&W". The Wildcat Chronicle. p. 4. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Circo Massimo". [Massimo]. Season 8. September 2007.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Daily Planet". [Planet]. July 18, 2007.
  12. ^ Stout, Alan K. (August 30, 2006). "‘Sideshow Gathering’ celebrates tradition". Weekender. p. 43. 
  13. ^ Martin, Leslie (August 31, 2005). "Talking tattoos". The Weekender. p. 44. 
  14. ^ a b c O’Brien, Tim (October 2005). "Oohs, ouches and the odd". Amusement Business: 8. 
  15. ^ >Bishop, Bruce (April 27, 2007). "Bound But Determined". The Chronicle-Telegram). p. 1. 
  16. ^ Guinness World Records. United Kingdom: Guinness. 2005. p. 177. ISBN 1904994024. 
  17. ^ Guinness World Records. United Kingdom: Guinness. 2006. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-904994-02-2. 
  18. ^ Guinness World Records. United Kingdom: Guinness. 2008. pp. 102 and 175. ISBN 978-1-904994-37-4. 
  19. ^ a b Scheck, Frank (June 27, 2005). "Knife flinger". New York Post. p. 38. 
  20. ^ Ryan-Herndon, Lisa L.; Manzanero, Paula (2007). Guinness World Records To The Extreme. United States: Scholastic Reference. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-439-86562-3. 
  21. ^ Brown, Seth (September 2007). Rhode Island Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Globe Pequot. pp. 279–281. ISBN 978-0-7627-4338-4. 
  22. ^ a b Robinson, Dorothy; Boutin, HaLeigh (October 26–28, 2007). "Tricks or treats". Metro. p. 17. 
  23. ^ "Jeopardy!". [[1]]. Season 25. Episode 5592. 23 December 2008.

External links[edit]