Illusionist defies logic with magic at Harrah’s


Rob Lake is able to keep a woman suspended in air at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Photo/Kathryn Reed

By Kathryn Reed

STATELINE – Little girls don’t often dream of being on stage cut in half, or into nine pieces, or having their head on one side of the stage and their body on the other.

This isn’t some macabre scene; it’s magic. Specifically, it’s the illusion of Rob Lake.

He couldn’t do it without Katy Veneris, Diana Osborn, Rosie White and Natalie Osborne.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with a magician. I still have no idea what is going on,” Veneris told Lake Tahoe News.

The audience at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on July 8 seemed to echo Veneris’ sentiment. Instead of a resounding round of applause it was a delayed reaction after most of his acts. People were in disbelief. They were left scratching their heads trying to figure out what just happened. Were their eyes playing tricks?

Rob Lake’s helper appears to be split in two; her head on the table to the left, and body to the right. Photo/Kathryn Reed

Lake watches the audience’s reactions and feeds off of that. Confusion on their faces can be a really good thing in his line of work.

Lake is an illusionist who is able to seemingly dismember people and then put them back together; start on one side of the showroom and end up on another; plus, he seems to have super powers when it comes to knowing things.

Audience participation is huge – and from all ages. (This is a kid friendly show.)

The 34-year-old from Norman, Okla., will be at the Stateline venue through Sept. 4, Thursday-Monday.

It’s not uncommon for Harrah’s to book the showroom with a long-running act. Last summer it was Alex Ramon’s magic show.

“We want to have something family oriented during the summer months for vacationers, in addition to the outdoor concerts at Harveys,” John Packer, with Harrah’s, told Lake Tahoe News.

Rob Lake’s performance is fast paced and engaging. Photo/Kathryn Reed

Lake was 10 when he saw his first magic show. He was hooked. Even though he spent two years in college studying health and exercise science, he knew he had to follow his dream. And so he hit the road.

Sometimes the four semi-trucks and 20-person ensemble are in a town for a night, other times they have the luxury of an extended stay. Lake was in Tahoe last winter as well. He is loving the scenery; and staying in a condo allows him more freedom with his new dog Roger, who has a bit part in the show.

Inspiration for new illusions can strike at any time – watching a movie, from music, even a store display. It’s not unusual for a full act to come to him in the middle of the night; that’s why Lake keeps a notebook next to his bed.

What he has going on at the South Shore Room is remarkable and stunning. The hour-plus show is fast paced, with some dancing from the four women in between sets, a great deal of interaction with the crowd and an incredible energy that flows from Lake to the audience.

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