Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Psychology of Psychological Illusions - Happy Birthday Derren Brown!

A fourteen year old me was shuffling through Youtube videos based on magic by David Blaine when I came across an almost balding well dressed gay guy by the name of Derren Brown. From that moment on, Magic for me got a new meaning, it transformed from being just a passion to more of a sickness (a good sickness at that).
When we see magic, our idea of it is completely different from what it may be. We expect a guy to do some sleight of hand, use fancy equipment and gadgetry to fool and entertain at the same time. That for me and 99% of the world around us is the psychology of magic. But for me that changed from the second I saw Derren Brown perform on that Youtube video. There is so much more to Magic, probably the reason why I don't like to use the word Magic or call myself a Magician because I at some level feel that it degrades what I do or what Derren Brown does.
Derren calls himself a psychological illusionist, and the psychology of psychological illusions is way different from the psychology of just Magic. When a person can predict what you're about to do, what actions you're going to make, or what you think of based on your body language, the way you talk, the way your voice sounds or the way you're standing and looking at something automatically Magic has a new meaning. It becomes way more personal, it becomes way more intriguing and interesting and it becomes way more fascinating all of a sudden. 
From the hundreds of people who I've met who've seen Derren's shows, less than 10% of the people actually want to know about how a trick is done because they are so fascinated and intrigued by the things he does, knowing how it's done just kills the fun. (And I just realized that rhymes)
As the people on my Facebook page and my Twitter followers will know, I recently had the most amazing opportunity of not just meeting Derren Brown after his show, I had the opportunity to live the dream of performing for the great man. (Click here for the video). Meeting him and performing for him and reading the mind reader's mind just made me more firm about the fact that he is the single most awesome performer (not magician, performer of any kind) that has lived in the past two three decades.
Seeing him live is a treat like no other, and all I want to say on this post is a massive shout, and as massive as it gets so that he can hear me all the way in England from here in India, "Happy Birthday Derren, coming across your videos and your performances was, is and always will be the single most greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You're not just an inspiration or an idol, you are way way more than that. If there was a God, I'd worship you."