Nobody Said It Was Gonna Be Easy
There is a school of mind reading that suggests that everything you do when performing should underline the idea that the thoughts of others are an open book to you. They will tell you that, should you be attempting to duplicate a drawing being made by someone else, it is a nonsense to ask them, when one’s back is turned, whether or not they have finished drawing. You are about to wander into...
Vanishing Inc Does A Christmas
Joshua Jay has edited and released a 550 page book on magic theory. It includes hard to find essays from illuminaries such as Derren Brown, Michael Close, Teller and Juan Tamariz. The Tamariz essay hasn’t been printed in English previously. It is good. So here’s a thing. I’ve never really rated Jay. This probably says more about me than it says about him, but he’d always...
The Year Of The Apparent Process
There are certain lessons in magic and mentalism that one must learn over and over and over again before it really sinks in. These lessons will vary from performer to performer. one that I’ve, not so much struggled with, but have certainly taken a long time to grasp is the idea of focusing solely on effect. I’d understood that how cheap or cheeky the method is has nothing to do with how...
I’m pleased and honoured to say that I have an effect in the Psycrets volume Liber Mentis, which is available for purchase here. Psycrets is a society of Mystery Entertainers run by Todd Landman, Roni Sachnaey and Steve Drury. It organises biannual lectures from leading luminaries that are open to all and well worth getting along to. The book celebrates the society’s fifth year and...
20% Off Any Lulu Order
If you use the code “PLUMA” when checking out, you’ll receive a 20% price reduction from any order. Offer ends October 5th.
Come Mind With Me
This is a thought I had some time ago, that I still pretty much stand by. I’ve seen similar thoughts elsewhere in print, so thought I’d get my ideas down too. This came in part from two things. One was the sense that there is a problem with the way a lot of young people learn magic in these post YouTube days. A student will learn a trick, by fair means or foul, and then will practice...
15% Off Lulu Sale
Until the 21st of September, you can enjoy a 15% discount at Lulu by using the coupon code “PIRATA”. You might like to use this opportunity to purchase a copy of Choked. No pressure.
A Question Of Character
One of the biggest things I think I and a lot of performers or would-be performers struggle with is understanding what their performance character should be. Once we are sure of who we are as performers, we can use that knowledge to inform our decision making when putting routines and shows together, help us choose what areas to study both within and without magic and mentalism. It also makes it...
Of all the memory techniques that I’ve come across, I think the most romantic one is the loci system. This is, as I understand it, the oldest memory technique on record, and one that I have had the most difficulty getting to work. I feel much better able to use it now though, and thought I’d share some tips on how, if you have difficulty with it too, you could make it more workable. ...
Here are some further thoughts on memory that I have been toying with as I prepare the Pi for Memory Athletes volume. The book is something I’m putting together for my own amusement but will make it available through Lulu, should it prove interesting to anyone else. It’s very much a method looking for an effect, though! In conversation with performers I have heard it said that memory acts aren’t...
Just a quick note to let you know that I’m discounting Choked by 20% until the end of June. It’s over in the products page. Check it out!
Getting It In The Ear
True Story. For a time I worked in an art shop. We had many a quiet day, and I understand the shop isn’t there any more. Anyhew, this was back in my shut-eye days. I had a great interest in ESP and the paranormal that was, back then, fuelled by belief. These days I still have that interest but it is fuelled by disbelief. But I digress. I had learnt that there was a famous Japanese...
Everyone goes on and on about Russian Roulette but what’s the big deal?...
Memorable Memory Acts
I have a confession to make. I love effects that have genuine emotional hooks, but at the same time I really love memorisation effects, both real and faked. The trouble is, most memorisation effects are kind of flat. It’s usually paramount that, in order to demonstrate how awesome you are at memorising things, those things need to be pretty abstract. Picture, if you will, the Memory Man....
On Text & Subtext
The other curiosity in the usual run of advice is that your core ability constitutes your subtext. I think this is slightly wide of the mark too, if not in intent, then certainly in practice. We have all seen acts, I’m sure, that have demonstrated apparent mind reading, and then gone on to explain in some detail the extent to which the participants mind had been led into making certain choices. It...
In Defense of the Swiss Army Mentalist
It’s a common enough piece of advice, oft-told, rarely followed (even by the teller), that a mentalist ought to decide what his core ability is, and ensure that everything he does is congruent to it. The logic of this is that if a performer reads someone’s mind, and then whips out a fork and starts bending it, it is too far a stretch to believe that they could be capable of both feats. This is...