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North River magician appears on Penn & Teller: Fool Us

Ian Stewart considers himself to be mainly a juggler, but he also performs magic and does hypnotism.
Ian Stewart considers himself to be mainly a juggler, but he also performs magic and does hypnotism. - Contributed

Ian Stewart, known to many for his chainsaw-juggling skills, can now add Penn & Teller: Fool Us to the list of television shows he’s appeared on.

The North River magician and juggler was on the Aug. 6 program, taking part in a performance where crossbows were fired at balloons around him. Adding tension was the fact viewers were unsure whether one of the crossbows would injure Stewart, who was introduced as a “daring deceiver.”

“I thought it was great,” he said. “I guess they figured it out, but the main thing is about getting magic on TV.

“They want people to do things that are different. I pitched this idea and they ran with it.”

Stewart was in Las Vegas to shoot the segment in March.

“I’ve been to Vegas for other performances, and conferences,” he said. “I love it there because I can go any time and meet like-minded people.

“The number of people who perform magic on stage is fairly small and it’s always nice to hang out with other magicians.”

He’s demonstrated his juggling and magic skills, along with a comedic talent, on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, America’s got Talent and Das Supertalent (Germany’s got Talent).

“There are still a few shows I’d like to be on, and world records to break,” he said. “There’s one that involves shooting targets behind your back with a crossbow that’s appealing, and one for how many beer bottles you can open with a chainsaw in a minute.

Stewart currently holds four Guinness World Records for juggling chainsaws and axes. He now owns 22 chainsaws, but he’s broken more than a dozen while practising.

“I know people who’ve been seriously hurt doing some of these things,” he said. “I’ve had injuries, but not too bad. I once cut the tip off my shoe, but didn’t cut my foot.”

His interest in magic began when he was three, and a magician visited his playschool. He started practising with a Fisher Price magic kit and later added juggling to his repertoire, then hypnotism.

More information and photos can be found online at https://chainsawjuggling.com and http://ianstewart.info/

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

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