Imagine being able to make a living playing with and influencing people’s minds? The mere concept is both intriguing and extraordinarily entertaining. Mentalist/hypnotist/illusionist Bedros ‘Spidey’ Akkelion is someone who has perfected this exact craft and turned it into an abundant and thriving career. From contorting people minds on TV shows like Canada’s Got Talent, Wizard Wars, and Penn & Teller Fool Us, to wreaking havoc with illusionist supergroup The Surrealists, to becoming a household name through his viral videos on YouTube, Spidey is highly regarded as one of the magic industry’s most innovative and intriguing mental manipulators.
Spidey’s association with GhostCircus Apparel began in early 2016 while performing with fellow illusionist and GhostCircus Apparel artist Joseph Réohm as part of the magical supergroup trio, The Surrealists, “Joseph often wears GhostCircus Apparel and I knew I also had to get some of my own, something that reflects the mood of my show but also contributes to the mystery of my personality. As much as people ask, ‘how on earth did he do that?’ I want them to ask, ‘Where on earth did he get his clothes?’” In a profession such as magic, that relies so heavily on visual manipulation and inventive imagery, it is imperative that an artist’s image reflects their skill set, “GhostCircus Apparel is a perfect fit. Performers of my nature need an outfit that stands out and matches the original and magical content of the show. GhostCircus Apparel has custom made clothes for me that I can only describe as the perfect wardrobe for the modern magician. The materials used and the designs are extremely unique. They definitely stand out on stage.”
The human psyche is Spidey’s proverbial playground. There are very few things as fascinating as having someone enter your mind, rearrange your thoughts and then use the result as a form of entertainment, yet Spidey’s ability to use someone else’s brain as a tool for his art has captivated his audiences for over a decade. “A host on Entertainment Tonight ran away and left the studio after I did a Ouija type demonstration with a bell. She was screaming, “I gotta go, I don’t wanna be here anymooooooore!” That video is actually on my YouTube page.” The recognition Spidey has earned for his displays of mentalism and magic, has garnered him international acclaim, resulting in him being nominated for the Canadian Magician of the Year and ultimately being voted the amongst the best performers at the Just For Laughs Festival, from a total of 1.5 million votes.
Magic and illusion are one of the oldest forms of individual performance art, something that in recent times has had to adapt greatly as the world and modern media continues to evolve and develop. “When you perform live, the occasional slip-up or mess up is acceptable, quick recovery and the show goes on. On television [however], those cameras immortalize every moment of the performance, so it needs to be tight! Really tight!” Yet as a medium, television has given Spidey a platform to reach a much wider audience, evident through his YouTube channel, which has amassed millions of views. His performances on TV shows such as SyFy’s Wizard Wars and TruTV’s FakeOff, on top of performances on the Discovery Channel, have seen him gain the attention of not only some of the industry’s most influential personalities (such as Penn & Teller), but the public in general.
With magic having somewhat of a resurgence in recent years, there has never been a better time to be an established and accomplished figure in the illusion industry. “Right now my fall/winter tour has me booked up all the way until December so I’ll be on the road for the rest of 2016.” As Spidey sees the year out from the road, he has already started concentrating on next year, with “a few new projects in the works for 2017.” To experience Spidey’s unique brand of mentalism and hypnosis, check his website for tour dates, or his YouTube page for some truly enthralling spectacles and performances.
photos by – ahhmusephotography