"Matt the Knife" (also called MTK; born 1988) was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Boston, but now resides in Rhode Island. He is a magician and mentalist and has broken a number of Guinness World Records, but began his career as a professional con man.
From approximately 16 through 21, he worked as a con artist, operated a card-cheating ring, a shoplifting gang and a pick-pocketing ring which bilked dozens of casinos, corporations and even at least one Mafia family.
Transition into the magical arts
Sometime around 2000 he began to adapt his talents from that of a criminal to the skills of a conjurer and slowly transitioned out of an illegal lifestyle over the next couple of years. Since then his magic has taken him on to perform in 17 countries across 4 continents (including television shows in the United States, China, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and several others).
He's probably best known for his feats of mentalism, but also often mixes sword swallowing, stunts, escapes, magic and his unique brand of humor in to his stage performances.
Guinness World Records
As of 2012 he's broken 12 Guinness records. They include records for things such as escapes, sword swallowing, fire manipulation, feats of strength, and card manipulation. He usually performs these stunts for publicity or as the climax of his television specials.
Since his transition from a grifter to a performer he has also gone on to be an anti-fraud expert. The stories from his early years along with tips on how to protect yourself, information about fraudulent activities, and demonstrations of many of these feats were put together for his keynote speaking engagements. The lecture has been featured at theaters, colleges and corporate events.
In 2003 he founded a consulting firm that specializes in the prevention of fraud and cheating within the gaming industry. He also works with corporations, security & police forces, as well as the film, literary, theatrical and television industries to create realistic characters and help develop more accurate depictions of topics involving criminal activity, the occult, the allied arts, the magical arts and mentalism.
Spiritualism and séances
Lately, he has begun to present a different style show than what he'd become known for, a séance based performance entitled "Epitaph". It debuted in Rhode Island and it has toured in several major cities including Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New Orleans.
Matt The Knife has been featured in The New York Post, The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, PLAY Magazine, The "METRO" Paper, Road King Magazine, Escape Masters Magazine, Amusement Business Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal; as well as being on The Discovery Channel, NBC, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, CNN, The History Channel, National Geographic Channel, Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network, Guinness World Records, Sirius Satellite Radio, CCTV (China), Rai Tre (Italy) and The BBC (United Kingdom).