Monday, August 16, 2010

20:20 Performance

On Friday the 13th, I had a 45 minutes show inspired from Derren Brown's stage shows. Here's a little review of it written by a friend of mine.
At the end of last week we had a most entertaining celebration to Independence Day, we had Karan perform one of the most entertaining shows I have seen him do, and I have seen a LOT. He started by pointing to a file hanging overhead and told us all to keep an eye on it as it would be important at the end of the show. Next he brought out a few business cards, with contact details on the front and blank on the other side, except for one card which had a big black X on the other side. Everyone took a card, and instantly he took cards from 8-10 people and claimed they were all blank, and indeed they were. He then took 4-5 more cards from random people and again claimed that they were all blank, and again they were. With just 10-15 people remaining with cards in their hands, he got three of them up with him and ensured that one of them had the X marked card. He asked everyone else to hold up their cards...all blank! At this point some of us actually thought that all cards were blank but then he told one of the persons up with him to hold up the X marked card, and it indeed was. People broke into a very encouraging applaud for him. He then asked that man to name any country in the world for future reference, and he said South Africa.
After which, he wrote something down on a piece of paper and asked a lady to name a card, she said Queen of Hearts, he turned the piece of paper over, which said, Queen of Hearts and the audience broke into thunderous applause! But if I thought that this was the best applause he was going to get all his life, I was mistaken, he made a guy look the other way as he wrote the 'Jack of Spades' on a piece of paper, and showed everyone what he had written. He asked the guy to turn back around and name a card, he said....Jack Of Spades, the reaction of everyone was beyond anything even he could've imagined I believe. Breathtaking to say the least...and a dream for any performer.
Next thing was one of the most fun and entertaining pieces of psychological magic I have ever seen, he got five random people, bear in mind random people to come up and pick up a card each and without looking at it keep it on the table and mix them up. He had instructed four of them to place a card from one pile and one person from another, this was because they were separated in reds and blacks, so on the table were 5 cards, 4 reds and 1 black mixed together, he then invited the people to pick up any one of the five cards and look at it as he faced the other way. The idea was that a red card holder should lie to any question asked and the black card holder should tell the truth. He went on to figure out the person with the black card, the truth teller by picking up on expressions and it was a fun routine that got a lot of laughs along the way. But he then guessed the identity of the black card (8 of clubs) leaving the audience in shock!
After this he turned to look the other way and asked someone to chose any book out of around 30 and keep it with themselves. He then got a book himself and asked someone to open it to any page number and see any word on that page. He claimed to pick up on expressions which everyone could see and accurately guessed the page number AND the word. After which he said, and I quote, " At this point, I'm sure all of you must be thinking of going home and reading books to contain or hold back your minute expressions to prevent me from getting to know your password or your pin number, don't do so! Because I din't really pick up on any expression, I made it easier for myself....and memorized every book kept there." Everyone thought, and we can't blame them that he was kidding and started laughing. But he then proved it when he asked the first lady to open the book he din't see at any page number. He looked the other way, asked the name of the book (Swim with the Sharks) and the page number (176) and next second, he read the whole page while looking the other way! The screams of shock were unimaginable at this point. As he went on to guess the word the woman was reading in her head, people couldn't even clap because of shock!
After the applause had died out, which took a while, he gave out a business card and told three people to write any 4 digit numbers and add them up, and as they did that he pointed to the half forgotten file that hung over head. The file was got down, and what was inside made everyone wonder if the guy standing in front of us, claiming not to be psychic and using psychological techniques and showmanship to fool us was actually a guy or an alien with unimaginable powers. In the file was the prediction of the whole damn show! From the country named, South Africa, to the 8 of clubs followed by the identity of the truth teller !! Then the randomly chosen book out of a stack of 30 (Swim with the Sharks) the page number the person opened the book to (Pg 176) and finally the word (Chairs) and the last sheet said, Thank You. Just then the audience broke into undying applause. Half way through the applause, he remembered that some numbers were being added up, and the total came out to be 13810, he turned what we thought was the last sheet that said thank you behind which was written...13810!! It would be an understatement to say that the audience went crazy screaming and applauding just when he reminded them that the days date was the 13th of the 8th, 2010 and indeed was 13810! The man got the undying applause after that which he fully deserved.
Some called him a mind reader, some a magician, but for me, he is the scariest man I have ever met in my life! Absolutely flabbergasted, astounding stuff! Kudos Karan, hope you make it big some day, and I am there the next time you have people add up random numbers to get the date to get another standing ovation. Perfect beginning to Friday the 13th!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Words to the Masters

When I started with magic, I saw David Blaine and the way he connected to the audience, and something as simple as making a chosen card jump to the top of the deck made the people scream and jump with shock. When I did the same thing, people just smiled and moved on, the inspiration given by David Blaine to make people scream with something as simple as a card trick made me work so hard till I got the same effect.
Then I saw the man who is perceived by many to be the modern day Houdini, none other than Criss Angel, but sadly, Criss Angel never had a huge impact on me, I always wanted to be like David Blaine, never Criss Angel.
I then came across a guy named Wayne Houchin, and he is the man who made me wonder why do I want to be like Blaine? I should be myself and be amazing the way I am normally, Wayne made me realize that true magic comes with your true personality not by copying someone else's just because he's good the way he is.
Finally, sometime in 2006, I saw Derren Brown, he took the idea of Magic to a new level, he changed my views, he changed my performance and he somehow made me upgrade my skills, and I can positively say that Derren Brown is the master of all, he is possibly the scariest man alive according to me, and will continue to be so until someone brings something newer and even more amazing to the Art Of Astonishment.
Derren Brown, David Blaine, Wayne Houchin...Great Great Respect!!
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