LADY HOUDINI TO PERFORM AT FINAL STAMPEDE GAME

April 6th, 2012

BOISE, Idaho, April 3, 2012 – Ridgeway & Johnson, the international touring duo featuring the World’s Premier Female Escape Artist, Kristen Johnson, a.k.a Lady Houdini, will attempt the World’s Only Full View Water Torture Cell Escape for the halftime show during the Idaho Stampede-Bakersfield Jam game, April 7 at CenturyLink Arena. The game begins at 7 p.m. (MST).

This will be Johnson’s second time coming to Boise, as she performed in the Ridgeway & Johnson show on their own stage for a standing room-only crowd during the Western Idaho Fair back in 2007.

Lady Houdini is inching closer to breaking Harry Houdini’s record for the most Water Torture Cell escapes ever performed, which historians and magic aficionados worldwide estimate to be just over 1,000. Her attempt in Boise will be Lady Houdini’s 976th attempt. This year also marks the 100-year anniversary of Houdini’s first Water Torture Cell Escape, which took place on September 21, 1912 at the Circus Busch in Berlin, Germany.

The escape consists of Lady Houdini holding her breath under water for up to 3 minutes, 18 seconds while she methodically picks padlocks, handcuffs and leg shackles that hold her in the water cell. She has struggled twice, and during one performance, she suffered a hypoxic seizure. She has only been denied the escape three times out of 975 public attempts.

Nashville Rocked!

February 25th, 2012

Kristen and I were in Nashville, TN over the weekend. We were doing a showcase for NRB, National Religious Broadcasters, at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. It was a great opportunity for us, along with the other ministries & performers that Reach Your City represents, to showcase what we do and how we can help make an impact across the country. Kristen performed her Full View Water Torture Cell twice to a breathless audience. Gresham, Tim & Natasha with Reach Your City did an incredible job putting this showcase together. The Gaylord Opryland Resort is a must see if you have not been there before. It truly feels like you’re outside.
Thank you to NRB for letting us be a part of this great convention. We look forward to next year!

Opryland at Night

Hot Hearts Beaumont, TX

January 24th, 2011

Hot Hearts in Beaumont, TX was an incredible youth conference. 5500 teens from Texas filled Ford Park Arena. The event featured speaker Clayton King, funny man Kacy Benson, Christian Stanfill, rapper Tedashii, Family Force 5 and yours truly, Living Illusions.

Kristen kicked of the event with her aerial stunt. She wrangled herself free from a straitjacket while upside down at about 30 feet in the air. Next she pulled herself up and released her feet from the footloops holding her in place. Now hanging by her hands, she let go and did a High Fall to an awaiting stunt airbag. Christian Stanfill led worship for both days. It was moving and got everyone praising God together.

Clayton King really brought home the message. Throughout Friday & Saturday over 1000 came forward and gave their life to Christ. Kacy made people laugh till their sides hurt. Together Kristen and I did several illusions. Kristen also did her Rope Tie piece where she ended up with a gentleman’s jacket on underneath the ropes and knots he had just tied himself. I brought my straitjacket out for a comedy bit. Sorry about the $50 guys.

Family Force 5 rocked the house Friday night. They are good friends of ours and it was great seeing them and catching up. Solomon really knows how to work the crowd. They had them in a frenzy.

Saturday morning we got serious and talked about people’s lives. A teen named Tyrin came up and I hope he never forgets what transpired on that stage. Remember, When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

The afternoon session started and it was time for Kristen’s Full View Water Torture Cell. This was her 893rd attempt. She did great, the crowd was eerily quiet, then erupted with a standing ovation as she escaped that watery grave. The crowd was loud and it was humbling to see the outpouring of appreciation from the crowd. After the water cell I gave the message ‘You’re The Love of My Life’. The true story of Kristen’s incident in the water cell 4 years ago, the extra time I had with my father before he passed away and how God wants to use us, in spite of our failures. Wrapping the message up with my coke can illustration seemed the perfect way to drive the message home to everyone.

Tedashii closed the conference Saturday afternoon with an impressive performance. The bass was thumping, his lyrics were right on target and the crowd was really into it. He reminds me of rapper LG Wise. I talked with him after the show. He’s legit and I hope our paths cross again this year.

Thanks to Adam, Reed, John, both Micah’s, Lee, Andrew, Cindy with Ford Park and everyone else I forgot for helping make the weekend a huge success! You guys made our job easy and we greatly appreciate each of you. To the teens and youth leaders…you guys are awesome. The outpouring of love & support in just the past 2 hours on Facebook has been overwhelming. We love you guys. Texas ROCKS!!!

Kevin coke can

God, Family, Stryper
Peace out,
Kevin & Kristen

Can’t Get Enough of Ridgeway & Johnson

August 26th, 2010

WOW…what a very humbling and incredible review we got while performing at the Kentucky State Fair. The following is from the office of public relations for the Kentucky Expo Center.

http://kystatefair.tumblr.com/

There are things that we, as collective humans, come across that make us happy, sad, cry tears of joy, shout expletives, nervous, cry tears of panic. Normally, we are in no place to experience this cavalcade of emotions. We are having a bad day. We are busy. We are in a hurry. We are here just for a good time. These things touch our lives and we never forget.

I wrote this immediately after walking out of today’s 3:00 p.m. Ridgeway and Johnson show. As you bloggers are aware, we, the blog writers, are people too. We like things. We dislike things. We love things. We hate things.

We, or I, love Ridgeway and Johnson.

The show is to be experienced, not reviewed for entertainment quality. Yet, regarding entertainment, this show had it all. Audience participation, humor, ridiculously awesome tricks (sorry, but “ridiculously awesome” just kept popping up as I watched the show three times) and a show finale showstopper guaranteed to make you look at your watch and look up… look at your watch and shake your head.

The entire show is a showcase of every illusion, magic trick, card ruse and the classic “stuff-a-pretty-girl-into-a-box-that-my-3-month-old-son-would-struggle-to-fit-in.”

The 3:00 p.m. show ended in a fashion befitting $100 seats at the MGM Grand (in Las Vegas). Kristen Johnson, the world’s premier and only current female water torture cell escape, performed her signature trade. Bound with two Smith & Wesson shackles and padlocks galore, Johnson jumped into the 140 gallon tank on a single breath, but not before a simple, quiet moment with her husband (the other half of their name, Kevin Ridgeway). One cuff at a time, Johnson removed her shackles.

Let’s not leave any room for disbelief. Every single second that passed by, as a spectator, was gruesome. I felt for her. I longed to leap out of my seat at every wince and grab an ax to bust her out. But quietly and with a couple shakes of her head, Johnson managed to ease closer to taking her next breath.

I won’t spoil the end because it simply cannot be missed. It cannot be described effectively enough.

Memorial Day Prayer

May 29th, 2010

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please hold our service men and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops, and ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes and your peace, provision and strength to fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be filled with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Gulf of Mexico Adventure

May 8th, 2010

We are staying in Dade City, FL for a few days with our friends Bert & Ashley. Bert wrestles alligators for a living in the show called KachungaBert at work and Ashely is a horse barrel racer. I know, I know, most our friends have odd jobs, LOL.

So yesterday we went out on the Gulf of Mexico on an air boat with Gil, the owner of the Kachunga show. Gil knows pretty much everything about fish and game in Florida. We learned a lot about all the animals that reside in the gulf. Here is the short list of what we saw and experienced. Sea Turtle, mullet, manatee, needle fish, stingray, blue crab, horseshoe crab, conch, and of course gators. The air boat of course rocks. We were skimming across water that was a little as two inches deep. You can take an air boat into places that no other type of boat could get into.

It was an incredible day out on the water. God knew what He was doing when we made water. It is refreshing on so many levels. It is amazing what water can do for a person. Kristen truly finds it soothing to be out on the water, listening to a babbling brook or sitting under a water fall. Definitely a far cry from being locked in a chamber of water.

We stopped at several islands during the day. Some are just rocks sticking up out of the Gulf, while others are great sandy get-a-ways with luscious palm trees, vegetation and thousands of small crabs.

Kristen said it best on her Facebook page with the picture below.

Wind in my face,
Sun on my shoulders,
The spray of salt water
Glorious day

Orlando Salvation Army Event

May 3rd, 2010

We arrived in Orlando yesterday and checked into the Wyndham Resort. We had driven 16 hours from Indianapolis and had to navigate through the flooding in Nashville.We pray the waters there recede quickly.

After some good sushi at MoonFish I went to check out the convention center where we are performing today and tomorrow. Rounding the corner I run into Bernie & Rick. These guys are in the Salvation Army and provide live production for SA events around the country. We have worked with them numerous times. It’s always refreshing to know we’ll have an awesome team working with us.

This event is the Territorial Youth Workers Conference. We’ll be sharing the stage with Ron Luce- President and founder of Teen Mania Ministries, Mark Oestreicher- former President of Youth Specialties, Greg Stier & Jennifer Keitt. the Salvation Army always puts on first class events. We continue to be impressed with what they do and we have made lifelong friends along the way with them.

Tonight we have a 20 minute set, which will consist of Kristen’s Full View Water Torture Cell. After her escape I will share the true story of the incident she had in the water cell almost four years ago. In the audience that afternoon was my father whom I had not seen in over eight years. Also in attendance was an emergency room physician. The events that unfolded that day were nothing short  of a miracle. They show that when we let God be in charge, he can turn around a negative situation and change it into something positive and life changing.

The whole story will be part of a new book coming out by John Eckeberger, called The Secrets We Keep. I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be released.

K&K

“Chicken Strips”

April 23rd, 2010

Kevin dragonWe loaded up the trailer last night and got the motorcycles strapped in. We’re now driving 17 hours to Houston, TX. We have two shows on Sunday at The Woodlands, East Campus. The show will kick off with our latest opening effect of Kristen appearing in the air upside down. This newest piece was unveiled in West Palm Beach, FL in January and has been rocking ever since. Of course Kristen will also do her signature piece, her Full View Water Torture Cell. After that I will share the true story of Kristen’s incident, the last chance I had with my father before he passed away and the impact it has had all over the country. See ya in H-Town.

K&K dragonKristen and I had some down time and took advantage of nice weather and twisty roads. We hit the curvy roads of southern Indiana and really tore it up. The best part of the day was a fellow Buell sport bike rider checking out Kristen’s tires. He was quite envious of Kristen’s non existent ‘chicken strips’ For those that don’t know…a chicken strip is the unused portion of motorcycle tires. This area is unused, because the rider only travels in straight lines and doesn’t know how to take corners. It’s always great to see Kristen showing up the male riders LOL

We hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. We spent the weekend with family. Got to spend time with the nephews and had a great time. Easter is the ultimate celebration of Life!!!

Who is Living Illusions?

April 23rd, 2010

LIVING ILLUSIONS, the international touring production featuring Master of Illusions, Kevin Ridgeway and Premier Escape Artist, Kristen Johnson is a one of a kind Christian event jam packed with illusions and escapes featuring dazzling special effects, breath-taking illusions, incredible lighting and death-defying escapes insuring the audience a wave of emotions not soon to be forgotten. From Kevin’s hysterical comedy to Kristen’s charm, this award winning team is sure to capture the audience’s hearts as they share the Gospel in a unique an innovative way creating an inspirational evening.

LIVING ILLUSIONS is the largest show of its kind in the Christian marketplace and the only show currently touring and performing the Water Torture Cell escape immortalized by the great Harry Houdini. Kristen Johnson, recognized as the World’s Premier Female Escape Artist, is the only female in the country attempting this suspenseful escape on a regular basis. Among illusionist, escapologist and historians there is no disputing the fact that she is only the 5th female in the history of the world to even attempt it. You won’t even find this daring escape in the largest stage shows in Las Vegas. Another first you won’t find anywhere is that they perform this amazing escape in full view. Every escape artist including Houdini himself covered the water cell with a veil not allowing the audience to actually see the escape. Since most have never witnessed this daring event first hand, they’re mesmerized as they watch an audience member help shackle and chain Kristen with locks, Smith and Wesson handcuffs and leg irons before she is immersed into a watery grave and the lid padlocked into place above her head. Her record underwater on one breath is currently 3 minutes 18 seconds.

Kevin Ridgeway and Kristen Johnson were given the top award in their field during the 4th Annual International Escape Convention where they unveiled their futuristic 360 degree Full View Water Torture Cell Escape to their peers. Kristen was also featured as the only woman on the Discovery Channel produced TV special Inside the Houdini Museum, highlighting the life and escapes of Harry Houdini. For this documentary style show which aired numerous times on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel, she performed the Spike Escape, as she was handcuffed under a ceiling of 13 razor sharp spikes with only seconds to escape before they came crashing down and slicing through her body. Each year along with their LIVING ILLUSUIONS faith based show for churches and conferences the duo also performs numerous general market shows at large arenas, fairs, festivals, sporting events, theaters, colleges and high schools across the country. In 2009 the couple was featured numerous times on national and international television including CNN Headline News, the new Hollywood taped series Master of Illusions where they performed the finale for two of the episodes as well as the subject of a special feature on Inside Edition which was shot on location at one of their theatre shows. The in-depth interview produced by CBS New York, titled Lady Houdini gave Kristen her new moniker as the show aired in 206 markets across North America.