Eureka Springs illusionists to be featured on CW show

Friday, June 2, 2017
Eureka Springs illusionist Sean-Paul and his partner Juliane will be featured along with their monkey, Frankie, on an upcoming episode of the CW Network show Penn and Teller: Fool Us.
Submitted photo

If you’ve never been to Intrigue Theater, you can get a taste of what illusionists Sean-Paul and Juliane do on the silver screen this summer.

Sean-Paul reported that he and his longtime partner will be featured on Penn and Teller: Fool Us, a program where magicians perform for the famous illusionists, sometime over the next few months. The show is shot in Las Vegas. He submitted segments to the show last year, Sean-Paul said, because it’s considered one of the best TV shows a magician can go on.

“In our industry, there’s America’s Got Talent, Masters of Illusion and Penn and Teller … and Penn and Teller is absolutely the best show to be on in terms of exposure,” Sean-Paul said.

Sean-Paul said the producers of the show looked at his Youtube channel and found a video of the act he and Juliane did with their monkey, Frankie. The video was from 10 years ago, Sean-Paul said.

“They said they’d really like us to do that. I said, ‘I don’t want to do that,’ and I turned it down,” Sean-Paul said. “I talked to a bunch of people since then. They said, ‘Are you kidding me? You really owe it to yourself to try it again.’ ”

He and Juliane did try again. This time, Sean-Paul said, they included Frankie in their act. He said it was a new act based on the Infinity Theory, which says if you give a monkey a typewriter and enough time, he’ll eventually come up with the complete works of William Shakespeare.

“We submitted it. They liked it, and we went out there,” Sean-Paul said. “It was a big struggle going out there. You can’t fly with a monkey anymore, so we had to drive out there. It was a fun road trip. The monkey loved it.”

Frankie has been a part of the family since 2002, Sean-Paul said, when he and Juliane wanted to add an exotic animal to their act.

“We basically have a child that will never grow up that lives to be 45 years old,” Sean-Paul said. “We had not idea what we were getting ourselves into.”

When they got to Las Vegas, Sean-Paul said, he feared Frankie would get distracted by everything going on around him during the performance.

“We did rehearsal after rehearsal after rehearsal. There were people all around us, and Frankie was so distracted, and I thought, ‘This is going to be a disaster,’ because he needs to be focused,” Sean-Paul said. “I even said to the producers, ‘Please tell me you can clean this up if it takes him a long time to hit a punchline.’ ”

He continued, “We went out there, and when Frankie walked on-stage, his eyes got real big and he understood this was for real. He went out there and didn’t miss anything. He was just locked and loaded. It couldn’t have gone much better than it did.”

One of the best parts of the show, Sean-Paul said, is that he and Juliane got to showcase Eureka Springs in their introduction package.

“I realized this could be a national commercial for what we do here in Eureka,” Sean-Paul said.

He doesn’t know when the show will air, he said, but he did give a little hint about how the performance went.

“When we got done, Penn said, ‘I love monkeys, and I love the infinity theory, and I can’t believe what you guys did here,’ ” Sean-Paul said. “I’m really glad we did it. It turns out it was worth the effort. It was exciting. I hope it will promote the town.”

Sean-Paul and Juliane perform Wednesday through Sunday at Intrigue Theater at 80 Mountain St. He said they have been working on improving the theater, upgrading the inside of it to offer better production quality.

“It’s really just upgrading the production elements in our show … the lighting and the video and all the things that enhance it,” Sean-Paul said. “When people walk into our building, just the setting and the decor is going to make an impression before the show even starts.”

Sean-Paul said he’s constantly adding new things to the show and hopes being on Penn and Teller: Fool Us will bring more people out to see it. Many of those who appear on the show, he said, spend most of their time touring.

“They don’t have something they can actively promote. They’ll get more bookings because they’re on that show, but we have this place, this geographical location, where people can come to us and see us,” Sean-Paul said.

This is the seventh year he and Juliane have been in Eureka Springs, Sean-Paul said. The reason they choose to stay here, he said, is because of the Victorian nature of the town.

“There’s nothing like it anywhere else, and the show was inspired by the characteristics of this town. This was a haunted Victorian town. We used to come down here to escape Branson, because this had a much more textured, layered character,” Sean-Paul said. “It’s much more intriguing. We created this experience for people to come to Eureka Springs because of the town’s character. We wanted to create an experience that really embodies the spirit of the town.”

Penn and Teller: Fool Us will air on Monday nights this summer. When he finds out the air date for his segment, Sean-Paul said, he’s considering having a viewing party at the Crescent Hotel. For more information about Intrigue Theater, visit www.intriguetheater.com.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: