Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass (The Clairvoyants) were born and raised in Austria and now reside both there and in America. When they met in 2011, they began to develop their “second sight” act, and two months later brought it to the stage for the first time. In 2014, they received their first long-term contract in America when they performed in the show The Illusionarium by Jeff Hobson. They were subsequently offered a featured spot in The Illusionists, the largest touring magic show in the world, produced by Simon Painter. With The Illusionists they toured Australia, Mexico and the Middle East and since that time have also appeared in The Illusionists 2.0, The Illusionists — Live From Broadway and The Illusionists — Turn of the Century on Broadway. In 2016, they were Finalists on “America’s Got Talent”, chosen from more than 100,000 contestants and placed second. Van Tass and Ten were awarded the “German Champions of Mentalism”, “Magicians of the Year”, 2015 and, were enthusiastically chosen as the “World Champions of Mentalism, 2015”, a prize that hadn’t been awarded in 30 years. They are currently touring America and Europe with continued sold out shows and standing ovations.
Did you both start with regular magic and how old were you when you started?
T: I grew up in Krems. It’s a beautiful city next to the Danube River in Austria. I started with magic, when I was ten years old. I always wanted to become a performer and show my magic all over the world.
A: I grew up in a small city called Sankt Poelten. Not very far from where Thommy grew up. I started dancing when I was 8 years old and always loved to rehearse and to perform. I started to choreograph acts for magicians. That was my first contact with magic and I loved it. For me it was clear: this is what I wanted to do.
How did it turn to mentalism?
A: We don’t put our show in a category name. We do what we love and whatever we think is interesting that’s what we do!
T: We wanted to show people what happens if two people are really connected. We began working on our show, 7 years ago, as fully equal partners. Our first important decision was that we wanted a show that creates a better connection to the audience. To do that, we had to focus more on our connection with each other. This is the connection we show to our audiences—the experience we strive to give them. To show how magical a connection can be.
A: We want to break the invisible wall between the audience and the stage. People are not only in the audience and watch the show, they are part of it. That makes it much more personal and stays in their memories for a longer time. Let’s say it’s more an experience than just a show. The show is not about showing tricks, it’s about showing how fascinating human beings are and what we are able to do if we really want to! To make this show happen we take the human being itself and everyday life events as an inspiration. There are so many phenomenon’s out there, people can relate to.
T: For example: At some time, most people have had at least one experience where they seem to be able to sense things that go beyond our basic five senses. It’s like thinking about a friend you haven’t seen for years and 2 minutes later this exact friend is calling you! We take those phenomenon’s, and bring them to another level and show them on stage.
How did you meet and did you know immediately that you were going to work together?
T: Both of us worked for a TV show in Austria. Amélie worked there as a dancer and I was a magician. We realized soon that we really like each other and that we have a lot of things in common. I can remember the very first time I saw her in front of the studio. I was standing on the street, huddled up against the cold, damp air, when she appeared, walking slowly out of the mist as though she were just now coming into our dimension from somewhere beyond.
A: I love hearing Thommy tell this story. I did not see the mist around me, which I guess is how that works. The mist around you is too close to see. You only ever see the mist around other people. I really liked Thommy’s presence and somehow I knew, that I found the missing piece. Immediately we figured out that we want to create something new on stage and that we want to share it with the world. Since than we are working 24/7together and created a unique show.
You have traveled most of the world, what has been your favorite place to perform and why?
T: That’s hard to say, we love performing all over America and Europe! Probably some of the most interesting places were Broadway in New York, or our shows in Las Vegas!
Tell me about your experience on AGT?
A: America’s Got Talent was an incredible experience for us. It was an exciting, challenging and wonderful time. It was also a very intense time. It went over 6 months and during that time we were in a constant working and learning process.
T: The reason we went on AGT was that we wanted to present our show to as many people in the US as possible. AGT is the biggest talent Show on earth, and we really liked the way they work and the style of the show. It was so great, to experience all the support from our fans in the US throughout this time. Sometimes our fans ask us how it was working with the judges. We have to say that we loved working with them and including them in our acts week after week. After the show we often talked to them and they really appreciated experiencing something, they haven’t seen before and didn’t know how it was done.
A: And we were also happy to be part of America’s Got Talent The Champions! Our performances just aired at the beginning of this year. One was the biggest prediction we’ve ever done because it was spray painted in huge letters on the rooftop of the Pasadena Auditorium before the show was taped. The prediction was so big that everyone flying over Los Angeles was able to see it from the airplane. The special fact is that we already did 11 performances on America’s Got Talent and that’s a record! It always feels like coming home and we are very happy to be part of the AGT family. We are also looking forward to the new season this year, where you have very good chances to see us again with a brand new piece!
You have won many awards, but how did it feel when you won “World Champions of Mentalism, 2015”, a prize that hadn’t been awarded in 30 years?
T: Yes, We got a lot of recognition from the magic community. We are honored to have this support from the magic community! Also the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood awarded us as “Stage Magicians of the Year”.
What is your favorite trick, and what is the audience’s favorite tick?
T: Our favorite parts of the show is always when the audience is involved. We experience really great moments with our audience. We had people doing a handstand on stage because they liked it so much. Once we also had a couple on stage and the man proposed to his girlfriend because it was the most magical thing they have ever experienced!
A: And she said Yes! 🙂 Probably our, and the audience’s, favorite act is the act that we won the World Championships of Magic with. Every night this act is different because it’s about the audience and about all objects they are bringing to the show! So they can feel free to challenge us and bring some interesting objects to the show! We probably never stop working on this act, because it’s always different!
Are you a couple?
A: We feel very fortunate to share the stage together, but also are a couple in private. On stage we had to learn to deal with unforeseen situation and being very spontaneous. It’s very important to feel your partner’s next move so you can constantly support each other. Of course this special connection also influences our private relationship in a really good way. This makes us strong together.
T: Exploring the world with the woman I love is the best thing I can imagine. And sharing a magical connection with so many people every night on stage is just great and we do everything to give our audience a great time.
Tell me about your show at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino?
T: The audience will not only see our favorite acts from AGT, but also some brand new pieces. We are going to involve the full audience into our show. Right at the top of the show we will make an experiment where we try to read all the minds of the audience at the same time!
A: We are really looking forward to working on and off stage with our audience and make them feel enchanted.
T: It’s a fun show for everyone and every night is going to be unique and different. We are looking forward to it! After the show we will be outside to take pictures with people or just to say hello. We can’t wait to meet our fans.
What’s ahead for the Clairvoyants?
T: We are very happy where we are right now. We’ve always dreamed of touring through the world one day, sharing our passion with people and taking them away from their problems of everyday life for an evening.
A: We also love to travel and to meet new cultures and countries. In our job we can combine all those things. And the best thing about it is, that we can do all of this together. Right now we are working on our very first book together called “Magical Connection.” In this book we are going to teach people how to make strong connections with all sorts of people. People they know and are close to, and people they meet from day to day. And we will teach them how to do it using the same natural senses we all share, by developing them in ways that most people never even think of.
Don’t forget to get your tickets to see the Clairvoyants at the Hard Rock Event Center at the Seminole Hardrock Hotel and Casino Hollywood on Friday, June 7. Tickets are: $40, $50, and $60 at: Seminolehardrockhollywood.com.