Dan Sperry has an unusual way of flossing.
The performer, who's also known as The Anti-Conjurer in the popular touring show "The Illusionists," is famous for his dental floss and Life Saver trick.
"It's like my moonwalk," Sperry said from a tour stop in Idaho Falls, Idaho. "I have to do it."
After he pops a Life Saver in his mouth and chews and swallows it, he pulls out a carton of dental floss, slices off a long piece and prepares to floss... his neck. For a few disturbing moments, the illusionist appears to have buried the floss in the skin of his neck - the flesh moves back and forth as he saws away with the string. He then tucks his chin to his chest, pulls the floss free and reveals a perfectly intact Life Saver spinning in the middle of the string.
That trick earned him a spot on season five of NBC's "America's Got Talent" and more than 1 million views on YouTube.
Since 2012, Sperry has been one of seven magicians and illusionists featured in the show that also includes Kevin "The Inventor" James, Jeff "The Trickster" Hobson, Andrew "The Escapologist" Basso and Colin "The Deductionist" Cloud.
The show will be at Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Friday through Sunday.
Sperry deals in razor blades, broken glass, knives and birds, describing his portion of the program as "a little bit more on the gory side." It's not surprising considering his Marilyn Manson-like appearance and a childhood steeped in monster and horror movies and bands like Alice Cooper.
David Copperfield is the man behind his descent into magic. The 4-year-old watched the master illusionist get cut in half at a show and "freaked out," believing he'd just seen a man die on stage. It didn't deter him, though, and he delved into magic kits and mail- order catalog tricks before eventually working kids birthday parties and opening for DJs at goth nightclubs. It was there he created his nickname as a way to pique people's interest without turning them away with the "magician" word.
"In pop culture in general, magicians aren't the most highly regarded type of folk at times," Sperry said. "It's the only type of talent you can buy. That doesn't mean it doesn't take talent - it does - but you can't go to the store and learn how to sing amazingly. They don't sell kits to become a great actor at Target. They sell magic kits, though."
Despite that belief, Sperry plans to keep freaking out his own audiences.
"Psychologically I think I have a Peter Pan complex - I don't want to grow up," he said.
"This allows me to live in a make-believe world that's not real and not have to put on a suit and tie and do any of that stuff."