Better mark your calendars and start shopping for asbestos undies now, kids. Master illusionist David Copperfield is conjuring up trouble again. No, he isn't making supermodel ex-fiancée Claudia Schiffer's clothes disappear. Instead, the stunt-loving performer will defy death once more in Copperfield! Tornado of Fire (airing live April 3 on CBS).

Enthuses Copperfield: "We've actually developed an F-2 tornado — which could blow the roof off a house or actually blow the house off the foundation — with turbine engines. And [we've] added fire to it, fire in the vortex. I'm going to try to stand in the middle of the vortex without becoming toast, literally."

Feel free to commence the oohing and aahing. The magician is currently testing his incendiary trickery in a Los Angeles warehouse, and it ain't easy. "I've been preparing for it every day," Copperfield says, "trying to learn where that core of the tornado is, because the only way of surviving is to not... touch the fire.

"Every tornado has a center column," he continues. "A kind of safe zone, even though it's not safe because you can't predict a tornado. If you open a door in a room or change some of the air, the bottom of the tornado moves — and if you imagine that tornado is 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, that's not a good thing."

Other than giving couch-potato cynics the chance to yell "Burn, baby, burn!" at their TV sets, why does Copperfield take his life in his hands like this? "It's usually about facing a fear," he shares. "When I was six years old, I was in a fire... in my uncle's house in Brooklyn. We all got out of there; the place was gone, totally burned down. It was a very bad memory for me and my family, and I've always had this fear of getting burned alive. [As] with everything else, I just dive in the pool to learn to get over it."