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“…what is strange, unusual, odd and unconventional is beautiful. Life is full of the strange, and in that is beauty.” -Ron Fitzgerald

DarkMedia Interviews Ron Fitzgerald:

As the great magician Harry Houdini once said, “Magic is the sole science not accepted by scientists, because they can’t understand it.”  But more than that, Houdini knew, from start to finish, the allure of magic was not only in the element of  the impossible — but within the promise of danger and potential harm; that to watch a man perform a seemingly dangerous illusion was akin to our fascination with any act or profession that walks the fine line between safety and sudden death.  The observer shares that euphoric thrill of coming out unscathed on the other side.

In the grand tradition of Houdini, Ron Fitzgerald is no stranger to heart-pounding, potentially perilous, illusions.

With the addition of a vampire aesthetic, and the dark beauty inherent in the Gothic tradition, when you enter into “Fitzgerald’s Realm”, you can guarantee you’re going to be entertained, amazed, and terrified in the best possible way, before the night is over.

DarkMedia had the privilege of talking with Ron about not only his magic, but his philosophy on beauty, his favorite horror films, and the unassuming box that contained his future.

You’re an illusionist, an actor and a model who sites David Bowie as a professional inspiration. Can you explain a little more about your vision? What is “Gothic Illusion”, and what does “Fitzgerald’s Realm” symbolize to you?

Master Ron Fitzgerald

It’s dark, sticky vampire fun!

What I do in my live Gothic Illusion show is fuse Theatre and performance art with the art of illusion and stage Magic that’s inspired by Horror films and the supernatural. It’s edgy and it takes a lot from the Gothic aesthetic as well. I also perform this with a wicked sense of humor. If you don’t like ‘normal’ stage Magic then you’ll love this!

You’ve said “Strange is Beautiful”. Can you tell us a little about the meaning behind that statement? What is strange? What is beautiful? And what do you hope to say to your audiences in relating the two as one?

It comes from the philosophy that what is strange, unusual, odd and unconventional is beautiful. Life is full of the strange, and in that is beauty. That beauty is not reserved for the standard definition. It’s also directed at a part of my audience that considers themselves to be strange and unusual, not the norm. It says that it’s excellent to be yourself, an individual, to wave your freak flag and love it!

In your show, you’ve passed a woman through the center of your body, and eaten razor blades. What’s your favorite illusion to perform?

That’s a hard question. I like all of them for different reasons, but there are a few that are favorites. The razor blades is one of them. The audience really likes it and I find it’s very fun to perform. I also like the Head-Mover, where I decapitate my assistant, leaving her very live body in full veiw of the audience!  Also the cremation illusion, where I do a live witch burning in a coffin!

Family fun… if you’re the Adams family!

In addition to your live show, you also had a television show, based in Chicago, called “The Realm” that offered Horror and Sci-Fi trailers, Gothic Magic, special guests, and music videos. Can you tell us a little more about this project, as well as your current internet radio show, “Dead of Night”?

Well, the cable show was called “Fitzgerald’s Realm” and I did it in the early 90’s. It’s been done for quite a while now. It was great fun to do and I still get recognized for it where it was shown. I’m working on a new project now called “Dead of Night” which is, at the moment, an internet radio show that interviews guests from all segments of what I call “Dark Culture”. It’s planed to become a television show soon. I’d like it to go everywhere, either on cable or possibly the web.

Additionally, how do you find the time for all the projects you’re involved in? You truly do seem to put your all into each and every one, what’s your secret?

As for where do I find the time for everything… I just do. I hate to say no to anything that I find to be a tasty project. It’s all about the scheduling! Life’s too short and I’ve got shit to do! No rest for the wicked you know!

At what point did you begin to study the art of becoming a stage magician/illusionist? Did someone mentor you?

Still from the Horror/Fantasy film "Magus"

When I was a young lad of eight I got a Magic kit as a gift. I had no idea at the time my future was in that box. I discovered that I liked, and had a talent for, performing. As I continued I did indeed find a mentor, my own personal Obi-Wan Kenobi.  He showed me the ways of Magic, and he even graciously got me my first paying gigs in showbiz. It meant a lot to have that kind of support from someone who was a friend and teacher. We had lost touch for a long time and not too long ago we reconnected. It was a good thing and well timed, as he knew. He’s gone now and I’m eternally grateful for the time, knowledge and talent he shared with me.

What’s your favorite horror film and why?

Are you kidding?! That’s such a hard question! I have many! Here are a few… The origional “Wizard of Gore” by Herschell Gordon Lewis, for obvious reasons.  “Re-Animator: by Stuart Gordon is also a favorite. “Nosferatu”, any Dracula movie with Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee, ok Gary Oldman too! Anything with Vincent Price! “The Bride of Frankenstien”,”The Lost Boys”, :”Silence of the Lambs”, “Underworld”, “House of 1000 Corpses”… there are so many.  And I just saw “Priest” and I can’t stop watching it!

How does the mythology of and/or practice of modern vampires influence your art?

It’s the dark mystery involved in it and the Gothic look associated with much of it that works for me. And, frankly, it’s all about the sex and death! Or is that love and immortality?

So many of your illusions seem incredibly dangerous. Considering there’s always a possibility for error, in anything, are you ever concerned for your own physical safety? Is that kind of risk just part of the job?

It is indeed just part of the job! It’s a calculated risk, but a risk none the less. Lets face it, you can’t work with razor blades and fire and not get cut or burned at some point in time no matter how prepared or experienced you are. Yes, I’ve been cut and burned. It’s dangerous. Don’t do this at home!

How do you feel your degree in Theatre Arts an the ways you’ve studied, and practiced, the craft of acting makes you a better magician?

"Bronze Bat" Illusion (Photo by Miss Lilly Prinn)

It’s said that a Magician is an Actor playing the part of a Magician. It’s also been said that Magic plus Theatre equals Art. So I studied Theatre and Acting to work on my live Gothic illusion show. It made a huge difference because Magic and Illusion is essentially Theatre, performance art and storytelling. It was also a good thing that I did study Acting because later I wen I was asked to start doing Horror films, in large part because of my look and persona, I was able to do it.

In addition to David Bowie, who are your greatest inspirations, both personally and professionally?

Again, there are many for various reasons. Here are a few… Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Tim Burton, Elvira, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Penn and Teller.

What are you currently working on? What’s next in the world of Ron Fitzgerald?

I’m finishing up shooting on “Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned” where I play Dracula. It should be finished early 2012. I’m about to shoot another project called “Year of the Ox”. I’m in several other projects that are finished or nearly, “Conscience”, “Afraid of Sunrise” and “Bloody Baby”. “Bio Slime” should be out soon as well. I’ll be shooting more “Nosferatu” photos in that series with photographer Jim Sorfleet/SnS Photo. (You can see some of the otehers from the first shoot online now.) I’m also hosting Dead of Night on Wed. nights 8 PST, 10 CST, 11 EST on blog talk radio, and deadofnight.net. I’m the regular host for Festival of Flesh Burlesque in Chicago. (@ The Lucky Nimber Grill, Western and Milwaukee, Chicago,IL. Last Thursday of every month.) I’ll also be doing my Gothic illusion shows, check my website and Facebook for time/dates. (Twitter soon)

Thank you so much for participating in a DarkMedia interview. How can people find out more about you and your work? Where can they go to see you perform?

Thank you! It’s my pleasure! People can find more about me and my many projects at fitzgeraldsrealm.com and my Facebook fan page.  For more info on Dead of Night they can go to deadofnight.net and for my movies find me on IMDb. Plus to see video of my Gothic illusions or movie trailers you can find me on Youtube.com, just search under Ron Fitzgerald or Master Ron Fitzgerald.

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Ron Fitzgerald is a Featured Member of  DarkMediaCity, a free social network for those who like it Dark.  Whether it be literature or film, horror or sci-fi, paranormal romance or paranormal investigation, we’ve got something for you.  www.DarkMediaCity.com

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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