Status: Magic trick Stevie Starr
calls himself a professional regurgitator. He's been doing his act for a long time, and is quite famous. (He's appeared on shows such as Jay Leno and Ripley's Believe it or Not.) But I just became aware of him through a video of one of his performances
on Google Video, and I'm at a complete loss to explain how he does what he does.
His performance includes some of the following tricks: He swallows sugar, followed by a glass of water, and then regurgitates the sugar, completely dry. He swallows a live goldfish and regurgitates that a minute later, still living. (As he does this, he mentions the urban legend about goldfish having 5-second memories
.) Reportedly he's also able to swallow a (miniature) rubik's cube and bring it back up — solved. (Though the Rubik's cube trick isn't shown in the google video.)
I can't find anyone on the web who has a decent explanation for how Starr is able to do all this. Obviously he has a genuine talent with his stomach. An article about him in the Amherst Student
he was born in a children’s home in Scotland, where he lived for the first 19 years of his life. When little Stevie was four years old, he discovered this unique talent by swallowing his lunch money and realizing he could bring it right back up. Thus, a freak of nature was born.
But this doesn't explain how he can swallow sugar, followed by water, and bring the sugar up dry. Or the trick with the rubik's cube. Does he have a second stomach, or something like that? To do the rubik's cube trick I assume he must have swallowed a solved rubik's cube before the show. But like I said, I'm pretty much baffled.
Incidentally, history is full of famous vomiters, so Stevie Starr evidently isn't the only one who has ever had this talent. In 1621 there was the case of the nail-vomiting Boy of Bilston (who had been trained by a priest to simulate the symptoms of being bewitched). This was followed in 1642 by Catharina Geisslerin, "the toad-vomiting woman of Germany," who, as you might guess, had a talent for vomiting up toads. In 1694 there was Theodorus Döderlein, who vomited up twenty-one newts and four frogs. (I'm getting this info from Clifford Pickover's The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits
.) Pickover also reports that there have been cases of compulsive swallowers who don't later regurgitate what they swallow, including one guy in 1985 who had "53 toothbrushes, 2 razors, 2 telescopic aerials, and 150 handles of disposable razors" removed from his stomach.
Who cares how he does it on a scientific and biological level. What if he does have the unique biology to pull this stunt off without slight of hand and lies? Look at freaks from the turn of the century. Look at pictures of people who showed up in Ripleys who took canon balls to the stomach and turned their bodies around 360 degrees at the waist.
Just enjoy the show. What happened to just being entertained, being playfully curious and leaving it at that? Why does everyone have to be so rude, judgmental and accusatory?
I tip my hat to him for the entertainment and joy he has provided over the years. He seems like a great guy.
i had never seen the rubik cube trick with him before but i knew what he was up to. it is a rather old trick. he just made it smaller.
indeed, he has a cavernous mouth, mostly on the top which is a convenient stash point. his british isles accent helps him here, one might not notice the mumble so much. especially if you are a bowdoin student from away.
as for the sugar trick, that is really easy too, another old trick. same for the goldfish.
stevie is a right good showman, i too have the arsenio hall clip and a few more. best is that he is a showman, a really, really good showman.
he would have been a regular on ed sullivan. i hate to say it, he could've topped joan rivers.
As someone said earlier stevie NEVER talks while having "swallowed" the big objects. Thats for a reason: He stores things in his cheek.
He definitely does sleigh of hands as you can see in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kck6bHXxGk&feature=related
whatch how he puts the golf ball in his mouth and pretends to vomit it!!
This fact clearly shows, that he is an illusionist - or why should he use this trick, if he is actually able to store things in his stomach an vomit them out again.
If you watch carefully you can even see in other videos that the big things like the billard ball go to his left side of his mouth instead of going down his throat.
He must be a master in talking while having things in his mouth and maybe he also has some kind of physical aberration that alows him to store such large objects.
No question he is great. Im a big fan!
If there are people in the world who can actually swallow a billard ball then there are people who can manage to put a billiard ball in their cheek as well.
Concerning the dryness: it is definitely a matter of fact, that everything that goes DOWN his esophagus will get wet - no doubt (ask a doctor).
Maybe he has some sort of thin layer of a certain material on the inside of his left cheek - no problem to prepare that.
For the sugar. It is no sugar. Thanks to scientists we are able to fabricate substances which taste sweet and do not mix with water.
To be honest the cigarette smoke and the gas leaves me helpless. No idea about that but maybe an chemist can give insight.
HOW IT'S DONE:
Isn't it weird, that Stevie doesn't only use EACH single joke in the US & UK & Germany but also EACH single move of his hands and ALL tricks must follow in the same routine order...?
Well, magicians know, that sometimes the order of the routine is part of the trick... : one move from trick 1 leads to trick 2, because trick 2 needs this move.
Easiest to explain is the ring-trick, because you simple can SEE how it works: in the US & UK & Germany, Stevie takes the ring with his LEFT hand, even though he is a right hander. And his right hand remains always closed from leaving the scene until receiving the ring. As soon as he receives the ring with his left hand, he reaches it to his right hand... Why? - Cause there's the (first) secret locker! - While walking back to the stage you can see how he makes in each country each time a FIST that locks the ring onto the open (first) locker. He arrives at the scene and EACH TIME he puts the ring immediately in his mouth. He can't wait a second even though during other tricks he keeps talking a lot... But the ring has to get in his mouth as quickly as possible (with the locker attached to it) and ALWAYS (USA, GB, Germany) under the FULL cover of his hand - unlike e.g. the pool ball.
Why can he keep his mouth open for other objects, but NEVER for the ring? - Because there's a locker attached to it! - He "swallows" the ring (hiding in mouth) BEFORE he steps back to the people with the (second) locker. WHY couldn't he bring the (second) locker at his first walk? - Because he needed the cover for hiding the locked ring in his mouth - far from people an without waiting. THEN he hides the second locker (same key fits it) in his mouth to reveal the first locker with *magically* the ring on it.
He simply has TWO sets with ONE already in his mouth with 5 different spots to reach it - that's why he likes to BEGIN with this trick (with mouth full of 5 coins...). You can see in some videos that the handwritten numbers on the coins are NOT the same from the ingoing and outgoing coins... so there's TWO sets of coins - he can handle the one in his mouth "AT WILL" concerning the order - that's what many magicians are able to in slightly different situations.
rings attached to each other (video Jay Leno) - BIG MISTAKE: you can see him putting the FIRST set of already attached rings in his mouth - some seconds before he "begins" the trick. Why would he reach for a split second his inner pocket without taking anything out? - And why would he then direct that hand immediately towards his mouth - the very same second? - A very quick move, but clearly visible... So the 5 open rings ar like the second set of 5 coins... etc. etc.
For the sugar: again TWO sets of sugar. First already in his mouth (e.g. in a hardcover made of a hard sugar tube that he breaks) the second one gets dissolved in water and drunken. He only has to break the tube with the conceiled sugar in his mouth to pour it out dry.
So basically, he's working with TWO sets of 5 coins, two sets of 5 rings (at Jay Leno's) and two sets of sugar.
And that fact explains the TWO gold-fishes 😊
He is able to hide two objects of the size of the fishes in his mouth (palatal gap... or even not!).
Why couldn't I leave him "entertain" people?
BECAUSE personally, I think that it's a SHAME to hav only a handful of tricks (ball, coins, fishes, rings, ring, sugar, soap, ...) for DECADES !!!
And in ANY country he appears on TV he comes with the exaclty SAME jokes, sentences, story about childhood with coins in mouth, same order of tricks, same programm in talent show UK as Germany!!
NO - sorry, but that's NEITHER a talent after 30 years!! Nor entertainement as he is not capable to at least vary a little bit his tricks or adding new ones or making new jokes.
(so is Uri Geller btw).
COME ON GUYS!! - A little CREATIVITY!! - How can you support your own routine for so manymanymanymany years? - Be an artist / entertainer! - People don't know you in "new" countries, so why not restart with a brand-new routine?
That's why I like e.g. Cris Angel! - He wrapped "old" tricks or own tricks into different clothes. 99% of the mentalists just copy their routines out of the book. I know that because I have those books... and I'd appreciate you guys ADAPTING the written tricks at least a little bit.
Oh - I forgot: Steve has also variation: each time he hides ANOTHER object in his mouth. But come on! - That's ONE really good trick that you show in 10 ways. Even not 50 ways... even not new ways during the decades... always the same 10 variations of ONE good trick. Poor man. No artist. At least good stuff for talking... but after people's conclusions, you're OFF again.
get a life!
He's entertaining, doesnt matter if he does
the same since decades.
..and even if only half of your conclusions are true, you still have to manage doing it.
There are tons of 'entertainers' which cannot
do anything special.
As far as I know, there arent many artists like Stevie Starr - so he's something special.
(One of the participants of this year has been in Big Brother UK)
In my opinion, you should NOT ALLOW professional TV appearancers to participate in this kind of show!
They simply go from one show to another and from one country to another. That's ok for ordinary TV shows, but NOT for competitions with people who need the first prize or a little publicity much more than those professionals like Stevie.
That's why I also don't accept the singer from the Kelly Family to participate in that show...
Give "ordinary" people with an extraordinary talent a chance! - They are for their very first time on stage and have great talents. But a Stevie Starr with DECADES of stage experience will just blow them away.
And for his DECADES on stage, I think that his SAME show of 60 minutes (or 3x 20 min.) is really lame! - NOT if you see it the first time, but as soon as you notice him doing it without a minor creativity a whole life! - So HE's the one who should probably "get a life". I'm happy with 3 professions and countless hobbies - one among them is mentalism and that's why I can say: "I have seen better "talents" in this branche: Banachek or as I already mentioned: Cris Angel." They at least add some creativity and have HUNDEREDS of performaces. Not just ONE with 10 variations as Stevie Starr or Uri Geller.
Nevertheless both have a talent: the talent to shock, entertain, amaze people all around the world for decades with ONE trick and 10 variations. Economy: 100 points. Creativity: 0 points. That's a talent I could not live with. I prefer a "Vincent Van Gogh" with 0% success during his live but a maximal underestimated talent and creativity! He's my "Supertalent 1860".
No, I didn't participate 😊 it's as I said: I'm simply a) unhappy for people with talents who are NOT professionals (e.g. don't work at circuses or in professional music bands etc.) and lost their chances because of a professional and more important:
b) that Stevie at least does not claim it to be an illusion
Cris Angel swallows a needle and a threat and pulls the needle with the thread ON it out of his belly... it's a (btw simple) trick, but it's a "shocker" to the audience and HE CLAIMS IT TO BE AN ILLUSION!
So, a Banachek or Cris Angel or Wayne Houchin would never claim to have real abilities to do what the audience thinks they are doing. As soon as an interviewer REALLY wants to know whether it is a trick or not, they all claim it to be an "illusion". Period. No talking details but neither acting like if they had "superpowers".
Uri Geller never admitted (as far as I know) that all he did for the last 40 (?) years was a trick - even though the prooves started his very first years of acting. THAT'S what I don't like about this sort of entertainement: if you don't admit that it's ONLY entertainement and an illusion.
It seems to me like fortunetellers like Mike Shiva (in Switzerland) who admit in interviews not beeing able to see the future, but beeing able to help people by giving advices... one one hand.... and the very next moment you see them on screen and they do just the opposite: they answer phonecalls of people with problems, looking in the future of those people and telling what they admitted before, not beeing able to tell. It's just moneymaking - that's why they get accused even by swiss national channel (SF1).
Entertain people! Act as if you could swallow this and that - and as if you could get a ring through a locker inside your stomach... but just call this show an "illusion".
If you start claiming yourself beeing an illusionist, then you don't need cheap answers for questions like "Why is there no X-Ray picture of your stomach with the pool ball in it?" etc. - the standard answer remains either silence, or just the story about the childhood, swallowing the pocket money.
I think that also many people don't WANT to know the truth!
(part II follows here below) :
Yes, I'm curious, because I'm a researcher! - Working also as a scientist, I'm open to many things, BUT I always will keep looking for explanations.
As soon as I found the explanation, I stopped researching, as I really have more interesting things to do: I'm learning 9 languages, beeing video-/photographer, washing gold in the river, collecting ancient greek and egyptian art, studiying hieroglyphs, playing music, making sports etc. etc. ... and a little time of the year I spend in mentalism/close-up magic/coin&card; magic etc. - that's the point where my interest got started for Stevie. Has nothing to do with participing myself. I couldn't, because I don't have a "supertalent" that would be worth showing... and I also think that this show MORE embarasses people than helps. It seems to me very embarassing if one participates without exactly knowing what he/she does... and many people make fools of themselves for the next decades with ONE single performance of 2 minutes... so even if I had a supertalent, I'd really think twice, participating in a supercommercial ugly-modern TV-show like this. I prefer watching the poor guys make fools of themselves and the other guys, claiming having a supertalent to regurgirate, but only having a supertalent to give stuff for discussion, amaze and entertain millions of people with almost zero creativity.
In many of his tricks it's easy to see him pulling off the sleight-of-hand and (as Spoiler pointed out) the very specific steps of his routine. His voice audibly changed on several of his appearances after he "swallows" things, indicating that he probably still has them in his mouth somewhere.
But let's give the guy some credit... Despite having a tired routine of minimally varying tricks, he is very good at pulling off these convincing illusions. Just don't forget: They are most definitely ILLUSIONS.
One other thing he cleaned my friends ring while it was in/not in his stomach attributing it to natural stomach acids
Combine it with sleight o hand and misdirection , you've got a show.
And the thing is the trick doesn't end there. This guy lives the trick.
Even here read the comments whenever someone brings out an explanation on how he does anything , some guy tries to bring him down (he says I grew up with him, I saw him in in blah blah blah , I saw him swallowing a bee and bringing it out an hour later) and always the same style same choice of words 😊
The trick is bigger than the man himself.
Didn't you watch "the prestige"
I'm talking about the old chinese guy with the dissapearing fish bowl. They were thinking he can barely move his body. the real thing was that guy acted like an old and sick man. That's misdirection.
Coins trick he hides the coins in his mouth than takes them out in order (which of course pre decided (I saw two different shows which was 3 first than 1 and 5 (one of them was 5 and 1) 😊 the order is not important anyway. The sound of the coins can not be heard if they were in his tomach. He does it in his mouth. And before he is taking the last coin out he needs to put something else first to help it come out.
The ring and lock and , rubik cube and loops all put in his mouth locked changed and connected. than hide it in his mouth and throat than take out. The audience member , show host etc all included in the trick. The sugar thing:
He makes someone taste it and pours it in the water to prove it was really sugar. That's misdirection. In this point many people would think the thing he spits out of his mouth wouldn't be sugar and miss the real trick.
He eats the sugar and drink water after it. Than the sugar is gone now way he can spit it out dry. There is no chemical to make the sugar dry etc. Simply he uses some kind of capsule or anything which he hides in his mouth. Breaks it and spits the sugar inside out , dry.
Than the fish. He puts it in the glass and and before it gets it in the mouth he makes the (it touched my tongue) joke which he uses for breking the attention. then takes the fish in his mouth and throat. 2 fish even. Hides it from the viewers point of view. than takes them out in predetermined order.
The trick is he manages to talk while these were in his mouth as his mornal way (which he already changes his normal speech to match it) and nice misdirection with the scottish accent thing.
Watch the video on Stevie Starr performing the butane gas (trick/illusion)
Normal human anatomy cannot hold butane gas and he is literally putting butane gas in his mouth. A sleight of hand is REALLY difficult or impossible with hiding gas away. Even if he stores the gas in his cheek or somewhere else, when the host lights the gas in his mouth (1, 1:23), it should blow up. So explain that trick? Where does the butane gas go? Or the part where cigarette smoke and butane gas are mixed together inside a bubble that he blew and when a lighter is brought up to it, the bubble goes in flames (2, 4:06 - end)
If there is a way to show a sleight of hand using gas, then I want to hear it.
pity he wont swallow under an xray machine.
i have kept track of him for over thirty years!
he is the best !
he definately swallows lightbulbs,as for locking the lock,
what a great illusion,i have no idea how he does it!
The padlock and ring he conects before ever swallowing it. The sugartrick...if he regurgitates or "just" keeps it in a pouch in his throat don't know but what another guy wrote earlier about a hidden pouch he bites a hole in seems plausible. A second rubixcube also seems more believable.
^alias chainlink link a vid on here that shows another guy doing a the poolball and you can clearly see his throat bulge.
So some of the stuff is fake (maybe not all of it). Don't care still a cool act.
But the plethora of anecdotes placed here reek of desperation.
I enjoy a good show anytime, but people don't come to this page to be lied to.
Instead of investing so much time in fabricating witness reports, perhaps this article had a lower google rank if there didn't come up a totally believable eyewitness belittling any explanations or observations. Observations that are often backed up by video links.
That kind of desperation makes me think there is nothing real to this act, while beforehand I was willing to believe there might be something to it.
First of all it's not that big a deal to inhale smoke, keep it in your lungs and exhale it again. There are many videos on youtube of people doing tricks with smoke or inhaling different gasses.
I even think it's totally possible for him to store smoke and gas separately in his stomach and lungs but this doesn't proof anything in regards to his other tricks, which in my opinion definitely involve sleight of hand.
Then we don't know if it's actually butane gas and we don't know if it actually comes from the can. (Could be stored in a little balloon. Could be the soap-water he is rubbing on his hand right before he does the trick, could be in his stomach all along.
That said, I think it's a great show, but the "proofs" presented here seem gullible at best and misleading and dishonest at worst.
That's why he bills himself as a regurgitator: because that's primarily what he's doing. Does he pre-swallow some stuff to make for a more interesting presentation? Probably. You can only cough up coins and other objects in a selected order so many times in one show before it starts to get redundant. Solved Rubik's cubes and padlocks linked to jewelry just makes it interesting. The sleights are only in place to enhance the actual feats. I find it way more appalling that Criss Angel calls himself an illusionist considering most of the stuff you see from him either involves him stooging the live audience or creative liberties in the cutting room.
For those of you who are too skeptical to believe any of it is what it appears to be:
As a skeptic myself I thought the philosophy of the skeptic was to be an analytical thinker. If you were a true sketpic, an analytical thinker and thoroughly put off by this act you would do some actual research. Regurgitation as a performance is documented back to vaudeville... at least. Hadji Ali shoveled multiple GIGANTIC handfuls of unshelled hazelnuts into his mouth (estimated to be 30-50 total hazelnuts), swallowed them and showed his cheeks and under his tongue empty before drinking a glass of water. he would then spit the dry nuts one at a time onto a platter. He would drink a liter or two of water and regurgitate it as one continuous stream over a period of time approaching a minute. He would swallow different colored handkerchiefs and regurgitate them in the requested order. He drank a bunch of water followed by kerosene, regurgitated the kerosene onto an open flame then extinguished the flame with the water. He even performed his entire act in front a panel of doctors that examined him during his act and they walked away satisfied that all of his feats were legitimate. 80-90% or so of Stevie's stunts are nearly identical to Hadji Ali's and require no sleights.
Keeps a billiard ball under his tongue or in his cheek? Are you high? He's lucky to be able to fit the ball into his mouth to begin with let alone be able to hide it somewhere. I have a huge tongue and can't hide a guitar pick under it without it flashing. Most sideshow arts--which is what this is--are exactly what you see. Eating glass, swallowing swords, human blockhead, lying on a bed of nails, fire eating, et al. It's about manipulating your body correctly, not the audience.
But I think there are several things here:
1/ I wonder if his has an internal abnormality in that he has a separate chamber and he is able to control where what he swallows goes. This would explain why the goldfish aren't affected by the acid in his stomach and how the sugar comes out as dry as it went in.
2/ I think this chamber is higher up than his stomach. When he swallows small things he is still able to talk (although slightly exaggerated), but when it comes to the lightbulb or pool ball he doesn't speak once he swallows them, and he doesn't keep them down for long. I wonder if the size affects his breathing, which would indicate the chamber is up nearer his lungs.
3/ I think he uses some sleight of hand for some of the tricks, most notably with:
3a/ He swallows coins numbered 1 to 5 and then brings up them up in whatever order the audience wants. He could bring a coin up and using sleight of hand it becomes the coin the audience member shouted out (he therefore has another set of coins)
3b/ He swallows someone's finger ring, a locked padlock and the key. He then supposedly unlocks the padlock, puts the ring on the padlock & then locks it again - all while in his stomach. This is another variant on a trick you see a magician do. So he uses the "trick" to get the ring on the padlock, in combination with swallowing.
3c/ He swallows a mini Rubik's Cube and when it comes back up the sides have turned, again, that could be sleight of hand.
So, I'm not saying he's not swallowing the stuff, but he is doing that in combination with sleight of hand and other tricks that usual magicians use.
However, none of the above spoils my enjoyment, I just wish he had a few knew stunts up his sleeve (or perhaps in his mouth), as he has been doing these ones for as far back as I can remember, I remember him first coming on the scene in the 1980s, when I was a teenager.
A little about me and my "credentials", my name is Dean Formica and I'm with The Amazing Traveling Circus Sideshow atcsideshow.com
I'm a genuine sword swallower. Trained by John Red Lawerence Stewart, the oldest living sword swallower on record. Although there ARE in fact ways to fake swallowing a sword that many "magicians" employ, the art of sword swallowing is very much real and documented. Sword swallowing and regurgitation acts are centuries old and have stood the test of time because they inspire people, they show human potential to do things they put their mind to. To consciously overcome their own perceived limitations.
Stevie's claim is completely genuine AND noteworthy. Believe it or not the fact is that he can swallow and regurgitate objects, he is not the first nor will he be the last but his act is VERY entertaining and you can tell he put a lot of thought and time into his execution and apparently now skeptics chastise him for the extra effort in forums like this all over the internet.
The slight of hand is real and present (though half of you only point out that it's there and completely miss the very apparent purposes for it. None of which I care to expose but nothing that devalues the true ability...) it is AS AN ACCENT to the very REAL regurgitation act. To make it more entertaining, for you.
How do I know this? LOGIC! If YOU could regurgitate objects on cue and had been for years and years eventually YOU would think of ways to improve the entertainment value of your act... wouldn't you? well you would if you weren't just an overly opinionated skeptic devaluing a man's life work of literally RISKING HIS LIFE to entertain people like you who afterward call him a fraud because suddenly you're a youtube detective.
It's sad really. I see comments like "just a magician",
So if I swallow a sword and then perform a magic trick that would obviously be "just magic?". It would make me subject to the scorn and ridicule of the audience? Even though the presentation is fun and entertaining? Wow.
even if he was (which, for the record he isn't) "JUST" a magician that'd be one heck of a trick. Does he incorporate magic? Of course, and why wouldn't he, magic is awesome especially when mixed with actual human marvels. It'd be easier to actually swallow the ball and regurgitate it historically speaking than it would be to create THAT convincing an illusion.
Believe what you want but the truth is stranger than the fiction on this one and my hat goes off to the guy.
Hope this helps clear things up though I'll NOT be checking back on this thread because I KNOW this won't reach everyone and there will be comments back that will probably either make my head explode or cause me to lose faith in humanity as a whole.
Also, from over 10 years of research swallowing swords (published in the British Medical Journal), I have learned that the esophagus is rather tight, and must be stretched to swallow swords (the most I have swallowed was 21 at once). But the hardest part is relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter which is an extremely tight muscle that closes off your stomach, and it would be even harder to get it back up again. I do NOT believe that Stevie Starr swallows his props down into his stomach - he merely swallows them back to the esophageal plateau where the epiglottis is (just below the back of the tongue), and then he forces them back up again. But he does NOT swallow them down into his stomach.
I have performed on some of the same TV shows that Stevie has around the world, and I challenge him to be x-rayed like I am, but he has never accepted the challenge. He is a great entertainer, but he does NOT swallow things down into his stomach like we sword swallowers do.
President, Sword Swallowers Association International
Cutting Edge Innertainment (dot) com