Larry Soffer is a breathtakingly brilliant Cape Town-born mentalist, who pursued his childhood dream of becoming a magician when he enrolled at the College of Magic at the age of 13. He was inspired by the charisma and showmanship of David Copperfield, graduating with top honours, earning a Silver Medallion after four years of studying the art of magic.
The young magician continued to work hard, performing at corporate and private events, sharpening his skills and picking up a number of national and international accolades in the process. Vegas magicians, Siegfried and Roy, were so impressed with Soffer that they awarded him The SARMOTI (Siegfried and Roy Masters of the Impossible), a bursary for his final year at the College of Magic in Cape Town.
Larry focussed his energy on mentalism or magic of the mind, which includes mind-reading, metal bending and telekinesis. This enabled him to bend spoons and forks, fix broken watches and even make light bulbs burst across television and radio. He's traveled far and wide, entertaining notable celebrities such as: Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Harry, Michael Johnson, Andie MacDowell, Ruby Wax, Mike and the Mechanics and Vinnie Jones.
In 2006, he performed at, and was inducted into the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, a club with some of the most prestigious magicians of the world as its members, making him the only South African member to join this elite group. Other career highlights include: making the Voortrekker Monument disappear, working with the magical advisor and creator of Copperfield's best illusions and taking Uri Geller's achievements a step further by making light bulbs burst and TVs switch on via radio and telephone lines.
Having personally witnessed his magic up close and personal, with the bent coin and twisted spoon to prove it, Spling can attest to Soffer's spectacular mentalism as awe-inspiring and gob-smacking. As they say, seeing is believing, but in his own words... Larry wants people to believe to see. Cinema and magic have many parallels when it comes to illusion, which is why we thought it was essential we bring you Larry's Top Ten Movies.
You can catch him at Cafe Roux on 27 August, 2014 and at Sea Point Primary on 30 August. Visit larrysoffer.com for more information and be sure to watch Larry in action in the video below.
"I even remember singing to the moon as a little boy..."
I can't watch movies without...
- ...popcorn, and I don't mean the microwave kind, the kind you make with kernels. I am kind of an expert by now.
Which famous people share your birthday?
- I have to be honest, I had to Google that, but I was quite disappointed to find out that there weren't more well known celebrities that share their birthday with me. The best one was Katy Perry. Oh, and Pablo Picasso.
What is the first film you remember watching?
- I think it was E.T., I'm not sure if that was the first movie I ever watched but it was definitely the first one that made an impression on me. The reason being that I thought it was so realistic and above that, a really touching story. I have always been fascinated by the possibility of life beyond this planet. I even remember singing to the moon as a little boy.
What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
- I think we all will remember this one. This movie freaked us all out as children; so much so that I had to shower with my legs spread far apart so that he couldn’t come through the drain and get me. I think you know which one I am talking about. Yes, IT, another good old '80s favourite.
What movies have made you tearful?
- Where do I start?! I tear up so quickly it's embarrassing. Just call me a softy but anything with an inspirational message and an emotional story line gets me balling my eyes out. If I had to name a few I would have to go with, Cinderella Man, Real Steel, We Bought a Zoo and Avatar.
Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?
- Does Beyonce count? I performed for her and JZ at their private party when they visited Cape Town. I have also performed for Luke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210, Bryan Brian from the movie Cocktail, as well as Vinnie Jones from Gone in 60 Seconds.
What's your favourite movie line?
- "All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." ~ We Bought a Zoo
Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?
- Tom Cruise! Definitely! I just think he's such a great actor and people say that I look like him. Don't you agree?
If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?
- That one is way too easy. It will be about magic.
Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...
- Man of Steel ...I love Superman’s strength and his courage to do what is right even when he is betrayed by the people he helps. He has the strength to see past their shortcomings and still care for them.
- Transformers ...these massive beings in steel bodies have the heart of a human and so much care. They are colossal and powerful and even then they welcome and need the help of a little guy with lots of heart, who lacks fear in time of pressure.
- The Matrix ...I love the idea of this world being able to be decoded and the secrets being revealed if we could really see what is in front of us. This movie has great messages about how the answers to life are not in what we see but what is inside of us.
- The Avengers ...the movie is about hope, courage and being in the spirit of play whilst fighting the most intense battles. As superheroes they don't take life seriously even when the going gets tough.
- Avatar ...money and greed are seen to be the driving factors of destruction in our world and on the planet these people traveled to. Yet, one man can make a change for the better and save the goodness that exists within all of us and on this planet. In our history it has been single men and woman with great ideals and purpose to make a better world that have made the greatest changes, and this movie reminds us how we too can change the world if we are willing to find the courage within.
- A Knight's Tale ...I love this movie because it's a love story with action where a young boy named William, played by Heath Ledger, believes that the impossible is possible and that he can "Change his stars". He becomes a knight against opposition of the law, he rises to heights that no commoner ever managed and changes his stars.
- Hook ...the great thing about this movie is that Peter Panning has become a person who is a product of the world we live in. He has lost touch with the boy inside (Peter Pan) and has become cynical. He's forced to look at himself due to the threat of losing his family, he finally finds that boy inside and starts to believe in magic again giving him the freedom to be in control of life.
- Liar Liar ...this is a great comedy filled with laughter. It made me laugh over and over again and I love the strong message that comes through about how it's important to keep your word once given.
- Gladiator ...I love Gladiator because it's a movie about inner strength, courage and persistence. No matter what comes our way we have the strength to fight back and change our circumstances. In the movie he also had a purpose... righting the wrong done to him and his family... and that purpose drove him to be able to be triumphant!
- Bruce Almighty ...everyone would like more power and ability to control one's life and this movie gives the message that all the power you need exists within you right now, you just have to be willing to "be the change" you want to see in the world.
Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.