A 30-year-old “real life Sherlock Holmes” appears on America’s Got Talent to read minds and put his best investigating skills on display. Before getting into his main trick, Cloud said that he wanted to give the judges a taste of what to expect. Picking a woman in the audience, he guessed correctly that she works as a teacher and that the man next to her is a police officer. All ready intrigued, Cloud then tells the judges that he’d like to teach them a bit about how his abilities work. He calls host Tyra Banks out onto the stage and has her sit down while holding a “prediction” rolled up on a paper in a glass. Cloud then approaches judge Howie Mandel, giving him a coin and an anti-bacterial wipe, as Mandel is very germ-conscious. Mandel hid the coin in one of his hands and Cloud explained how Mandel’s mannerisms revealed which hand actually held the coin. Cloud had the other three judges pull similar tricks with the coin as well. Now, going back to the “prediction” paper, Cloud revealed that the paper prompted host Banks to open a box on stage. Inside the box was a white cat that had a name tag, which read “Oscar” on it. Prior to this, some of the words that the audience had shouted out to Cloud during his tricks with the judges were “white”, “cat” and “Oscar.”
With a trick as impressive and intricate as Cloud’s, he is sure to go far in this competition. Read on below for our 5 Fast Facts on Colin Cloud.
1. Colin Cloud Is a Forensic Scientist
For everyone who has asked about little Oscar. Oscar wasn't in a box, he was inside of one of these ottoman stools which had been reinforced to take the weight of a much heavier individual than Tyra Banks. Oscar had spent a few days in the box getting comfortable in it before going on the stage. Oscar and I also filmed in the evening performance, however in the afternoon filming, he and I spent time in the room (completely in secret to the judges and even this earlier audience) making sure he wasn't frightened or scared by the audience cheering or the buzzers sounding. It had already been decided that if he didn't seem happy in the slightest, I was going to move to my plan B routine. As you can see in the clip and as you'll see on the show on Tuesday, he's completely calm and even spends time being held comfortably by some other individuals. Oscar's safety and comfort were my and the crew's top priority. As he was totally relaxed, we decided we'd go ahead with the demonstration. Because I knew statistically people would call these things out (you'll see on the clip if you watch carefully, someone does name each of the things), the key was to observe the audience and then quickly read and observe the judges to ensure he was correctly predicted. Thankfully … it all came together perfectly. @agt #agt #kitten #cat #catsofinstagram #thedeductionist #sherlock #sherlockholmes #oscar #sherlockian #holmesian #realsherlock #reallifesherlock #colincloud #nbc
According to Cloud’s professional bio, he “is a forensic scientist who mixes mind magic and brain science with his love of Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, resulting in him being described as the closest thing in the universe to the real life Sherlock Holmes.” In an stv Glasgow interview, Cloud revealed that he grew up being quiet in school and went on to study forensic investigation in college. Cloud earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic investigation, specializing in criminal profiling, at Glasgow Caledonian University, which he attended from 2003-2007.
2. Cloud Is Part of A Touring Magic Show
Along with other magicians and illusionists, Cloud is a part of a show called “The Illusionists Live From Broadway.” The group is set to tour across the country and in Canada in 2018, but it does not list any upcoming shows in 2017. The official description of the spectacular on the show’s website reads:
This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS – Live From Broadway has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage … Audiences will witness stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, disappearance and for the first time ever in history, a full view water torture escape. Performed by the acclaimed escapologist Andrew Basso, he will hold his breath for over 4 minutes whilst attempting to escape from his underwater cell. This group of world-class performers take their cue from the showmanship of the great illusionists of the past – such as Harry Houdini – and pair it with a new and updated contemporary aesthetic, whose set and costume design lend the genre a theatricality and artistry that has rarely been seen before. Collectively, these performers have been seen by millions of people around the world and this production showcases their incredible talents together on stage for the very first time.
For Cloud’s role in the show, he is known as “The Deductionist” and his performer bio describes him as this:
He’ll know what you’ve had for lunch, where you’ve been that day, what you do for a living, the car you drive, even your PIN code. He’ll read you like a book. He’s already sure you’re quite the page turner … The media have described him as the real-life Sherlock and witnesses don’t say much as they’re usually left speechless. When the other boys were out playing football and hiding in the woods, Colin was predicting the score and finding their hiding places with almost psychic accuracy. He’s the Holmes of entertainment, if Holmes had a flair for comedy. He’s the deductionist of hypnotism, the Great Detective of live events.
Cloud has been compared to English illusionist Derren Brown.
3. He Has Performed For Penn & Teller
The famous duo Penn & Teller has seen Cloud’s act, and what’s most interesting about it, is that Cloud always reveals how he does his tricks. Even so, it’s still impressive. Cloud explained to stv Glasgow that:
It’s not like a magic trick in that, once you know how it works, it takes away from it. With what I do, it’s interesting to take a backwards step and reveal the method. It’s a bit like the moment in BBC’s Sherlock, when Benedict Cumberbatch makes a revelation – then it rewinds and reveals how he arrived at it. You’re still impressed when he tells you how he knows what he knows.
Cloud appeared on the reality television show Penn and Teller: Fool Us and you can check out a clip of his act in the below video.
After seeing Cloud’s trick on their show, Penn Jillette applauded him, saying that he did a great job.
4. In the Past, Cloud Was a Motivational Speaker
Previously, Cloud went by the name Colin McLeod and he was a speaker for Tree of Knowledge, which is one of the UK’s most successful motivational companies. He worked at the company from 2007 until 2013 and then moved on to pursue television and the stage. So, what is the vision of Tree of Knowledge? The official statement of the company reads:
At Tree of Knowledge we passionately believe in the tangible benefits that first class motivational speaking, team building and management workshops can bring. We believe that schools and businesses prosper when their people are happy, engaged and motivated. We believe that people are more likely to fulfil their dreams when feeling confident and empowered. Through humor, encouragement and inspiration we can improve the present and help shape a better future for all.
Because Cloud was so quiet when he went to school, he says that going back to his high school to deliver a keynote speech shocked some of his old teachers.
5. Cloud Thinks Psychics Are Full of Crap
I've had an AMAZING time performing and touring America the past year, but it's not the only thing I've been doing here … Whilst I'm not allowed to tell you anything about how far I've gotten thus far, or anything at all about any of the outcomes for anything, what I can tell you is that, on Tuesday June 6th, you'll see me live, on NBC, doing this for the first of what is potentially five rounds (of which, I can again, tell you nothing of my progression). But the other exciting news is, tickets to DARE are now on sale … what a convenient gift for someone else or yourself (link in my profile)!! @agt #agt #america #sherlock #colincloud #nbc #show #tv #thedeductionist #theillusionists #edfringe #edinburgh #tour #sherlockholmes #deductionist #sherlockian #holmesian #love #life #passion #opportunity
When speaking to stv Glasgow, Cloud said that he doesn’t believe that psychics have validity to them, explaining:
The truth is, I think psychics are bullshit. I don’t want people leaving my shows thinking I can use those skills to use those skills to solve real crimes. They’re in a theatrical setting for a reason. I’m the grey area between fact and fiction. The science I have is fact, Sherlock Holmes is fiction, and I’m somewhere in the middle.
Cloud actually learned to perform by touring comedy clubs.