Are you searching for ideas for a digital Christmas party? After online entertainment for your virtual Christmas party? Need to do a Zoom Digital Christmas Party? Well here’s an idea! An interactive show from, World famous, West End, Broadway, TV Celebrity Chris Cox’s Christmas Virtual Mind Reading Show.
Things might be a bit different this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still capture that holiday magic. Last year Chris Cox spent the holidays starring on Broadway. In 2020 world famous entertainer Chris Cox presents his festive virtual mind reading show. Designed to fill you with holiday cheer and bring you together at this special time of year.
If you’re looking for Zoom Christmas party entertainment ideas? Virtual entertainment ideas for a Christmas Party or just virtual Christmas party entertainment? Then this is the show for you. Full of laughs, holiday magic, fun, interactivity and the most amazing mind reading you’ll ever see this show is unique digital holiday entertainment. If you are organising an online Christmas party for your colleagues, work, friends or family then bringing Broadway and West End star, mind-reader Chris Cox into your Zoom room is the perfect way to spread some holiday fun.
Chris Cox is an elite, world-class performer who has headlined shows on Broadway, in London’s West End and at Sydney Opera House. He’s wowed over 750,000 people worldwide in live shows and is the star of his own BBC TV series, Chris Cox’s Mind Boggling Magic and Killer Magic. But Chris Cox is also one of the world’s most in-demand virtual entertainers on the planet. There’s a reason why The Guardian have called him “one of the most exciting entertainers in Britain.”
He has performed across the globe and online virtually for massive multinational companies, small private parties and everything in between, leaving the viewers awestruck by his talents. Chris specialises in creating original, theatrical, engaging and energising virtual mind reading shows and entertainment that you will never forget.
Chris Cox remembers the first magic trick he ever performed. But mostly, he remembers the response it ellicited from a beloved family member.
The trick involved a 20 pence coin, a lead pencil, and the illusion that the pencil had somehow moved through the coin. His uncle, who’d just finished a mouthful of spaghetti bolognese at dinner with his wife and a very young Cox, was instantly infuriated.
London-based Cox loves the challenge of delivering his ‘intimate’ show in a huge venue during ‘The Illusionists’. Photo: Supplied
“He offered me £20 to tell him how the trick was done,” Cox recalls.
“I remember, at eight years old, thinking – I’m a young kid and I’m creating that feeling of wonder and amazement. I realised suddenly I had the power!”
Today, the responses Cox ellicits with his magic are often still borne of frustration, but mostly they are moments of complete and utter gobsmacked amazement.
Chris Cox: ‘Like all magicians, I started out with a magic kit purchased at [London’s] Hamley’s Toys.’ Photo: Supplied
The little boy with a store-bought magic kit grew up to study psychology, and – in a genius move – fused his passion for the human psyche and magic to become a mentalist. (Mentalism is a performing art in which its practitioners, known as mentalists, appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities.)
The UK native – whose protruding teeth, black-framed glasses and cringe-worthy jokes reek of a young Austin Powers – is now in global demand for his ability to “read minds”. Cox will join a line-up of some of the world’s best magicians in The Illusionists, opening at Canberra Theatre this week direct from Broadway.
Cox was handpicked for The Illusionists by producers who saw him astounding audiences in new show, Fatal Distraction, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The simplicity of Cox’s work is part of its attraction.
He starts by asking an audience member to think of a musician. He then correctly guesses the musician they have in mind. He asks another audience member to think of an animal, and takes off his T-shirt to reveal he’s wearing a leotard featuring the exact print of the animal they chose.
It leaves audiences reeling. Is Cox telepathic? A clairvoyant? Does he actually use mind control? Or is it more about deduction? How did he just do that?
“I say I’m a mind reader that can’t actually read minds,” Cox laughs.
“I’m honest. I can’t read your mind, but what I can do is make you think I can read your mind. And that’s the grey area I operate in – that’s where I’m honest and use magic tricks.
“I use psychology, influencing, body language. I use devilish good looks. And then if you Google me you can see I also use lots of lying.”
Cox admits that audience members are their own worst enemies when it comes to “tells”, or giving away what they’re thinking through their body language.
“But that’s the joy of being a human and that’s what makes us human,” he says.
“We give things away because that’s how we communicate. We communicate verbally and non-verbally, and everything we do gives something away and allows us to connect with each other on so many levels.
“I get the same reaction to my magic wherever I go in the world because at a base level, we are all human. We’re connected and we all have similar ways of behaving worldwide.”
In Canberra, audience members at The Illusionists will receive a blank card before they enter the theatre and be asked to write down something they want Cox to do on stage. They’ll then seal the card in an envelope and write their names on the front.
The cast of ‘The Illusionists’ (from left) The Mentalist (Chris Cox), The Conjuress (Jinger Leigh), The Daredevil (Jonathan Goodwin), The Trickster (Jeff Hobson), The Showman (Mark Kalin), The Inventor (Kevin James), The Warrior (Robyn Sharpe) and The Manipulator (An Ha Lim).
On stage, the mentalist will draw envelopes at random, call out the person’s name, and attempt to guess what they want him to do. Somehow it works. Every. Single. Time.
“In America, it was all about flossing and singing Baby by Justin Bieber,” he laughs.
“Things tend to get fairly predictable – oops did I just say that?”
In The Illusionists, Cox will be joined on stage by a formidable line-up of seven of the world’s best magicians. There’s The Daredevil, aka escape artist Jonathan Goodwin, who’s been hanged, buried alive, dangled by his toes from helicopters, burned at the stake.
Korean-born An Ha Lim, aka The Manipulator, delivers a slight-of-hand routine “widely regarded as one of the most masterful performances in the world” says the promo materia. The Conjuress, aka Jinger Leigh, is “a modern sorceress with a unique blend of elegance and theatricality”.
But with Cox’s act, a comedy routine underpinned by self-deprecating humour – he seems just as astonished by his psychic talent as the audience is – less is more. And it’s inspired by a range of performers he admires.
“In the world of magic, it’s Penn and Teller,” Cox says.
“They continue to be an inspiration because they’ve been at the top of their game for 20 years and continue to create and perform new material.
“Outside the magic, Tim Minchin inspires me. He’s constantly brilliant at whatever he turns his hand to. His work ethic, he reinvents himself. He just inspires me to be better at what I do.
The Inventor, aka Kevin James, is a prolific innovator and consultant of magic who has contributed to many famous tricks including illusions by Penn & Teller, Mark Wilson and David Copperfield. Photo: Supplied
“And [British actor] Mark Rylance, I am obsessed with. The way he is on stage is indescribable. What he does; I watch him and wonder – how does he do it?”
In the competitive world of magic – where performers’ repertoires range from levitation to complex escape routines a la Harry Houdini – does Cox worry he’s a bit of a one-trick pony?
“I keep coming back to advice originally given by Jerry Seinfield, but which Ricky Gervais once gave me in an elevator,” Cox says.
‘Nobody knows, nobody cares, just find new audiences’.
“Look at the great entertainers – most of them had one gag and they made a living doing that one thing. Reading minds is what I do, but my act is constantly evolving.
“I’m different from other magicians in that I start with the “big moment” I want to create on stage and work backwards from there.
“I think – what will be fun? What will be amazing? Okay great! Now how the hell do I actually do that?”
You know what’s great about interviewing “The Mentalist” Chris Cox from THE ILLUSIONISTS-LIVE FROM BROADWAY? As a mind reader, it makes him an incredibly easy interview since he already knows what is going to be asked!
Chris Cox is a part of a world-renowned THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY tour, which is playing at Broadway San Diego from February 28th – March 1st and filled with some of the best magicians working. But don’t let that fool you, his entry into magic is one that thousands of children around the world are familiar with.
“I was at home in England and was ten years old and I got a letter that was delivered by an Owl. Seven years later, I graduated from Hogwarts as a mind reader. Hufflepuff and proud.”
Besides an origin story that features an avian postal carrier and an education set in a castle that continually tries to kill the students (moving staircases are a health hazard Dumbledore!) Cox says that his love for theatre and magic really developed simultaneously.
“When I was six years old I got a magic kit and at Christmas, in Britain, we have this tradition of pantomime. Which is this family show and has lots of interaction. I remember my parents and grandparents taking me to the theatre as a young child and I always loved it and I always loved magic. They were always intrinsically combined.
I’m lucky enough to have fulfilled my dreams as a kid of wanting to perform on the greatest stages in the world by doing it with magic. Which I never thought possible, and it’s incredible that a show like THE ILLUSIONISTS that tours the world means I can play London’s West end, Sydney Opera House, Broadway, San Diego, and all these big cities with no real talent.”
Except, that last part about having on talent isn’t quite true. After all, you don’t get to perform on this tour without being exceptional. So what exactly is the magic of mentalism?
“I am a mind reader. But I am a mind reader who can’t read minds, so I am honest about the fact that no one can read minds. My job is to make it fun, stupid, silly, mainly hilarious and as entertaining as it can be to read your mind without really being able to read your mind- but if I could I’d be saying that I can’t because it would make it easier for me.”
Working and collaborating with amazing magicians also means always Cox is always refining his craft and performance style.
“The joy of a show like THE ILLUSIONISTS is that I am working with some of the greatest minds of magic, and every night we give each other notes and are constantly making our act better. It’s a real joy. I was watching a video from 3 years ago and these tiny incremental changes all add up to it being different and something special.
Mentalism is a popular skill for television and film characters including shows including the aptly named “The Mentalist”, and everyone’s favorite “high functioning sociopath” Sherlock so what does a professional mentalist think of his fictional counterparts?
“I like it because it does the shorthand for me and people know what I am doing with having to overly explain it. Also, I can play against those expectations and conventions. My whole thing is to make it fast, funny, and as fun as possible. When people think it’s mysterious and dark and then to see someone like me who is geeky, and jovial, it’s fun to play with that.”
Being able to be quick, funny, and accurate at reading people’s minds means also having to keep up with current events all over the world, which is no easy feat.
“I need to constantly consume it so I can know what people are thinking about. Like when I’m in America I need to know what’s going on. There are times where people are thinking of things and I have no idea. If it’s sports and it’s not Quidditch I have no idea.”
The Magic of THE ILLUSIONIST is not the only stage magic Cox is involved with, he is also a collaborator on the magic seen in HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. So what is it like teaching muggles about magic?
“It’s integral to the story and I feel very privileged to be a part of that team and part of that world. To work with that team and develop those actors who have never done magic and create magic for them and make them realize how important it is to the story and do a show where the magic is never tricks.”
Performing in American theatres also helps keep his love of theatre alive and well on tour, especially backstage.
“What I love in American theatres are all the tags people do on the walls backstage, I adore that. I look around to see if I can see the names of friends or people I’ve seen in shows. Theatre is in my blood and I enjoy seeing these pictures for different shows and I then sing those songs for the day for soundcheck.”
He then started singing “Guns and Ships” from HAMILTON because, mind reader.
Final question, which is obviously the most important – as a magician, what is his stance on capes?
“I love capes. I wish I had the style to rock a cape. One of my favorite memories while working on Harry Potter in tech is it’s an old theatre so they have air cooling to keep it cold for when the audience arrives and it was freezing. There were times in tech I would be sitting in the audience in cloaks from wardrobe and just swishing and walking around in cloaks – it was the greatest day ever.”
Follow the magical adventures of Chris Cox on tour at Instagram @magiccox or twitter @bigcox
See Chris Cox and THE ILLUSIONISTS -LIVE FROM BROADWAY at Broadway San Diego on February 28th – March 1st. For ticket and showtime information go to www.broadwaysd.com