We just finished up our winter educational tour of 2020 and it was a blast!  This tour mainly focused on engineering and explaining the methodology engineers use to build everything from medicine to electronics mixed in with our Tesla coil performance. What better way to do this than a little bit of Tesla coil music!  For us, it’s fun to play some Tesla coil music but what’s more fun is being able to answer the question “How does a Tesla coil work?”, and the kids seem to enjoy it just as much as we did. (If you’re asking yourself “How does a Tesla coil work” you should click here!)

It was also fun to show off what else we have made besides our Tesla coil performance, Like our robot drummer King Beat.  Not only did he rock the drums, but he also dropped some knowledge going over the basics of engineering. Unfortunately, though he dropped more than some knowledge as some of the back roads we took shook him a little bit too much and he dropped a couple of bolts.  Thankfully we had enough time before our shows to get him right as rain. 

This tour was even more exciting with our new crew member Destiny.  One of the best stagehands we’ve had and she also offered to teach me how to weld when we get back. She was definitely a welcome addition and I hope she comes out for many more shows and productions in the future.

Joe and I grew up in Michigan but now live in Texas so it was awesome to see snow again albeit a little scary since we haven’t driven through that kind of weather in a while. As much fun as this tour was, we are pretty excited to get back to Austin to continue working on our DIY Tesla coil kit, The Thundermouse. Hopefully, soon you can build your own ArcAttack DIY tesla coil!  The worst part of this tour though was having to leave our new puppy Riker at home. Maybe one day we’ll figure out a way to take her with us.   

Winter 2020 tour wrap up!

Exciting news! Our performance stunt with David Blaine was a complete success!

On October 5th of this year, Blaine began performing a 72-hour endurance stunt called Electrified: One Million Volts Atop 22-foot high pillar on Pier 54 in New York City. During the stunt, David, wearing a 40lb protective chain mail suit, stood on the pillar surrounded by seven Tesla coils producing an electric discharge of one million volts or more continuously.

With barely 3 months lead time, we manage to build this enormous musical Tesla coil system. The design considerations were tough: we needed to design a musical Tesla coil system that could operate for 3 days without interruption. We began the job in Austin texas and managed to complete most of the project before boxing it up and shipping it to New York City. We arrived about 3 weeks before the event, and built the stage inside a rental warehouse.

What a project! Never before has a Tesla coil system had to endure such rigorous conditions. To operate for 3 days straight, outside and exposed to the elements. Our small crew of technicians worked in shifts to keep the installation running around the clock. Two of us worked in shifts, monitoring everything from equipment temperature to O3 concentrations, conditions had to be perfect to meet the safety standards.

But if you think our job was hard, imagine what it must have been like for David, standing up there for so long. Well I can tell you, I had the privilege of testing the setup for a very short amount of time and my legs were stiff after just a few minutes of standing there wearing all that heavy chain mail. It was amazing to watch him endure what must have been a frenzy of lightning and sleep deprived delusion for three straight days and nights!

While we’re excited to have been a part of this project, one thing is for certain.. we are definitely looking forward to a nap!

 Read more about it from the New York Times!

David Blaine: Electrified

We’re finally wrapping up our stint on America’s Got Talent! What a crazy experience that was. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been involved in this process for almost a year, and even though we didn’t make it all the way to the end, we are thrilled with how far we got.

Who would have guessed that hours of studying how to make a Tesla coil would take us all the way to the semi finals of one of the most popular competition shows on TV.. so bizarre. Also worth mentioning, it’s very exciting to be the first to successfully use these machines live on a major TV network! You couldn’t even imagine the politics involved in making all that happen.

One of the hardest parts about being on this show, is just not knowing how long you are going to have to commit to it. On the chance that you proceed to the next round, you immediately have to change your schedule for months at a time. It was tough but we managed to make everyone’s schedule work!

Next on the list of difficulties was the pressure to keep pushing things up a notch. There was an understanding that every round needed to increase in quality and complexity. The rapid hardware development that resulted from this will likely be used in our Tesla coil performances for years to come! Likely the Lightning guitar is the greatest achievement out of all this. Pretty cool that we got to debut it with a rendition of “Iron man” for Sharon Osbourne. No pressure there!

Here’s some more good news guys, even though we didn’t win, we’re getting LOTS of booking requests because of this. We might actually manage to book more and higher paying shows on our own as independent agents. I’m sure people will be asking us for years to come if we are that one AGT Tesla coil show. Yes, yes we are!

Tesla coils on America’s Got Talent