Tag Archives: magician

UNLV football borrows Strip magician to present walk-on scholarship


Ray Maker/ Las Vegas Sun UNLV football’s Ammir Aziz hugs coach Tony Sanchez after learning he was put on scholarship on Friday, April 13, 2018.

=” Ray Brewer contact page” > contact) Saturday, April 14, 2018|2 a.m. Associated Content Ammir Aziz thought his Friday couldn’t get any better when, during his early morning shift working security at the MGM Grand, he was introduced to country music star Blake Shelton.

Aziz is no stranger to Shelton’s lyrics, regularly singing them and other tunes to his UNLV football teammates.” Ask any of the men, I love to sing,” he said.

Aziz, as he does most early mornings, left work about 5 a.m. and went to campus for spring practice and classes. He is a walk-on defensive lineman who has actually played just a handful of snaps in three seasons.

However coaches say he’s an important member of the team, nonetheless, and deeply respected by his teammates. That’s because of what the 6-foot-6, 335-pound senior endures to be a Rebel reserve.

Take Friday, for instance.

Although Aziz was just a few hours eliminated from finishing a 13-hour work shift, he was still filled with interest at practice. He’s also kept a 3.0 GPA and is on track to finish next spring with a degree in sociology.

Click to enlarge photo

Ray Brewer/ Las Vegas Sun Magician Farrell Dillon, left, from the Masters of Impression program at Bally’s assisted UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, right, present protective lineman Ammir Aziz a scholarship after practice on Friday, April 13, 2018.

When practice ended, Aziz’s day got better with the help of another Strip performer.

Coach Tony Sanchez arranged for magician Farrell Dillon from the Masters of Illusion show at Bally’s to carry out for the players.

Dillon, who donated his time, requested for the most significant Rebel to assist him, and the players all yelled, “Aziz.” At the end of the act, there was an envelope with Aziz’s name on it. He opened it to discover a message: “Congratulations on a complete ride scholarship.”

Within seconds, he was swarmed by his teammates in event.

” I didn’t know what was going on,” Aziz said. “This is such a true blessing. I am blessed to be on this team. I have 100 bros on this group. I would take a bullet for each among them.”

The scholarship will cover Aziz’s tuition, space and board for his final year. More important, he’ll no longer need to work the night shift to make ends satisfy.

This is the third walk-on Sanchez has actually granted a scholarship throughout his four years at UNLV. When he put Dalton Baker on scholarship 2 years earlier, Sanchez did a sophisticated discussion on the big screen at Sam Boyd Stadium.

That statement went viral, even finding its method to ESPN’s College Game Day. This one may likewise.

” It is Vegas. We can do cooler stuff than anyone,” Sanchez said. “There were a lot of ideas, however it’s hard to include 105 people into that. This worked out completely.”

Aziz, whose parents live out of the nation, has worked considering that he was a teenager at Durango High School to help support himself. During a night shift at Little Caesars 4 years ago, he was spotted by a UNLV assistant coach on a supper run.

The Rebels, in Sanchez’s initial spring, were brief on linemen for practice. This huge body working the pizza counter, a few months removed from playing in high school, would assist fill the space.

Little did the coaches know what type of person they were getting in Aziz. His character is contagious, his work ethic unmatched.

” He never ever had expectations of being on a scholarship,” Sanchez said. “It shows everyone out there that it is not always about (football), it is about doing the ideal thing each day.”

The balancing act of school, football and work isn’t really easy. However quitting was never a choice for Aziz– a mentality he credits Sanchez for helping instill.

” He established GATA in my life. You need to get after it,” Aziz stated, describing the acronym for Sanchez’s catchphrase: Get after them strongly.

The Rebels have actually enhanced their win total by one game in each of Sanchez’s seasons however still fell one win shy of getting approved for a bowl last season. This season will be different, Aziz said.

If his journey has actually taught him anything, it’s that the benefit for hard work isn’t really constantly instant.

” We have the talent. We have whatever we have to win,” he said. “We are a snap here and there away from winning, you know? Truthfully, this year I think we will take it all. We have the skill. We have the brotherhood.”

Ray Maker can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [e-mail protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

Magician Mat Franco is feeling very much in your home at the Linq

Wednesday, Might 17, 2017|2 a.m.

Performing in a Las Vegas Strip display room with his name over the door was never ever a goal for Mat Franco. For that matter, neither was winning America’s Got Talent and its $1 million prize. The 29-year-old magician was completely delighted earning a living by revealing his things at little programs across the country before he arrived on AGT’s ninth season and took the reward; he’s still the only magic act to do so.

His life is changing again this summertime when his home on the Strip, the Linq Theater at the same-named hotel and casino, will be rechristened as the Mat Franco Theater in July. We caught up with the friendly, innovative star– winner of the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Strip Show in last year’s Las Vegas Weekly Finest of Vegas– to discuss his fast increase and the state of magic in Las Vegas.

You’ve been carrying out at the Linq for nearly two years now, around 600 shows. Still, does getting your name on the theater feel like an out-of-this-world experience? It’s actually amazing and I’m truly anticipating it. When I was told [the Linq] was going to do that, I still didn’t truly think it. It was never ever something concrete. It never crossed my mind, however having my own program in Las Vegas never ever crossed my mind. I just didn’t believe that would be a chance for me. In my mind, I was doing exactly what I liked and made a full-time living and was very happy. And I guess as an outcome of passion and effort, it blew up into something bigger. It’s one of those things I could never ever consider approved for a single second if I wanted to, it’s really beyond any goals or dreams I had maturing. I suggest, my objectives were reasonable, but even those would be considered insane; saying you wish to be a full-time magician sounds ridiculous.

You first carried out in Las Vegas as a 15-year-old at the Riviera. Exactly what was that like? Yes, it belonged to a young magicians showcase called destiny of Tomorrow at the Riviera. I sent out in an audition tape and they selected five people from all over the nation and it was a fantastic chance, and most likely somewhere in my subconscious it was something that made me aspire to do more. It was a big offer– I made the front page of the paper in my little home town and all that things. But it allowed me to book some more programs and also gave me a little taste of exactly what Las Vegas is about.

Was it your first time in Vegas? I had actually been once prior to when I was 12. I saved a bunch of loan so I could come out and study with Jeff McBride, who was a huge idol of mine growing up. He’s still living here in Las Vegas. I releaseded a three-day class with Jeff, and I saw Lance Burton [carry out], another idol of mine. I keep in mind viewing his TV specials as a kid.

It seems there utilized to be more magic programs, and more big magic-based productions, in previous ages on the Strip. What is your take on the magic landscape in Vegas today? I see magic on the up, actually. It’s rather strong. It definitely comes and goes in waves in the media and pop culture over the years, but with the mix of what you see on TV and a great deal of success in Vegas, I believe it’s really thriving at this point. I’m uncertain if the size of the production matters. Siegfried & & Roy are no longer here and Lance is retired, however it’s not disappearing. The face of magic is just altering and I think that’s a good idea. It has to progress with the times and end up being more modern, which’s exactly what I aim to do. But [Las Vegas] is certainly still the magic capital of the world.

Your theater will have a brand-new name however will there huge modifications to the show? Right now I’m working on a new introduction to the program, what people see when they can be found in and the show begins. It’s been a slow process but I’m fired up about the changes and they might be implemented prior to the name modification.

Have you been performing just recently beyond Las Vegas? I have. I simply began visiting a little this year. I did a few dates on the East Coast in Atlantic City and Connecticut and even in my home town in Rhode Island, and it’s been a great deal of enjoyable bringing the program on the roadway.

How different are those programs from the Vegas program? It’s just a different setlist, really. It’s type of the very same way artists look at it– there are specific staples I sort of need to keep in there, much like not playing hit tunes would bother individuals. It’s type of the same thing in magic. Perhaps they saw a trick on TV and wondered if it was a video camera trick, so they see it in person and know it’s genuine. But you likewise get to see different styles of locations. In Vegas, doing seven to 10 shows a week, the cool thing is you can play a smaller sized space. When you go on the road and play one program in one city, the location has the tendency to be bigger, some as big as 4,000 people. It’s actually cool to play those big spaces, and it makes the intimacy in Vegas that a lot more unique to come the home of.

After 2 years, has Vegas end up being home for you? I believe so. I thought I adjusted pretty quickly and easily but as each day goes by, I’m learning more things and discovering more things that make me question, How did I unknown this was here? It’s so cool. Now I understand a lot more, and it definitely feels like house. Vegas in many methods is type of a covert gem.

What was the last discovery that made you feel that method, that How did I not know this was here thing? Container Park! I heard a lot about it and walked by it many times … There’s a dining establishment near there that I enjoy called VegeNation, and you need to walk by Container Park to get there, however you don’t truly get the complete impact simply strolling by. I lastly stumbled in and couldn’t think there was this whole district therein.

Mat Franco: Magic Reinvented Nightly exists at the Linq Thursday through Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee program on Saturday. Discover more details at 800-745-3000 or matfranco.com.

Magician Mat Franco headings at Linq Hotel, lets audience guide shows


Cashman Photos

Tianna Scartabello, “America’s Got Skill” Season 9 winner magician Mat Franco, Season 2 winner Mirage headliner ventriloquism impressionist Terry Fator and his partner Taylor Makakoa on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, at the Mirage.

Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015|5:02 p.m.

Visitor Columnist Mat Franco
Guest columnist magician Mat Franco.Launch slideshow “

Mat Franco at Terry Fator