Fresh from wowing the judges on America’s Got Talent and taking Las Vegas by storm, Piff the Magic Dragon is all ready to enchant Edinburgh.
Did you always want to be a dragon?
Whoa, Magic Dragon. I’m a Magic Dragon. After many years in the wilderness of weddings, bar mitzvahs and corporate entertainment, I began to hope of another way. Becoming a Magic Dragon was my escape. It’s very Zen.
Did you always believe a bloke in a dragon suit doing magic tricks would be world famous?
No, but the first time I walked out on stage in my new skin, I realised I was onto something. Not that many people shared my opinion – in fact, it took a long time for reality to catch up with my belief.
Did you fling yourself at America’s Got Talent, or were you asked along?
It was a mutual fling, for which I am very grateful. Along with rescuing Mr Piffles, a bedraggled chihuahua from Dundee, it turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve made.
Was the audition a Susan Boyle moment?
In some ways. America fell in love with magic dragons almost overnight and life changed dramatically. On the other hand, Oprah didn’t call and I have yet to write anything as funny as #susanalbumparty.
So, about your overnight success?
This will be my seventh show in eight years. I’ve done shows in bars, caves (the natural habitat and birthplace of magic dragons), firetraps, attics and everywhere in between. This year we’re in a 500-seat theatre, the Assembly George Square. Fancy.
It took a while for the world’s media to notice you. Do you ever feel like telling them to get lost now?
The need for vengeance is far outweighed by my innate lust for gold.
And Vegas… How is that, dragon-wise?
I love it; it’s surrounded by caves! You can live at Excalibur! Basically, it’s paradise for magic dragons. I’ve become buddies with Penn & Teller, sung on stage with Shania Twain, and, yes, I even have my very own showgirl. Although personally I think she’s in it for the dog.
So why leave the Vegas glamour and bother to come back to Edinburgh?
Too much happiness is bad for the act. So I thought I’d head back to a rainy, cold land and enjoy a good struggle. Also, you guys have a castle. Dragons love castles.
You will doubtless spawn thousands of Tufty the Juggling Squirrels and AnnAnn the Tap-dancing Pandas. Any advice?
Focus on what is truly important in show business… the catering. And to those out there wondering if they could cover my material – back off. I already have my own tribute act. Google ‘Andrey the Epic Fail Dragon’ and enjoy two minutes of the most magnificent misappropriation.
Who would you like to see follow in your claw prints out of Edinburgh to Vegas? Is Mr Twonkey next?
Las Vegas is surprisingly like the Edinburgh Fringe in many ways, only with far more explicit flyers. So if a grumpy English dragon and his Scottish rescue chihuahua can headline a show at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino (tickets from www.PifftheMagicDragon.com), why can’t Twonkey be the next Cirque du Soleil?
Finally, I assume Game of Thrones have been in touch…
They have. It’s a bit of a sore point. I can’t go into details, but let’s just say that Mr Piffles will be very busy in Wales this autumn and I’m looking for a new co-star.
Could you make Daenerys happy?
Of course. Total MILF
Words: Kate Copstick
The Piff The Magic Dragon Show Assembly George Square Theatre, 3–13 August, 8.30pm