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Magic of the Mind - 15th February 2007
There were three entrants in the SMC Mentalist Competition, the standard of performance being very high.
First off was Paul Bromley. A pseudo scientific theme of “Morphic Resonance” led into a psychometry routine. There was an ESP matching cards effect and a baffling number prediction. Paul is very convincing when he performs in this role. If he says he can read your mind, you believe him. Very well done.
A very smart Ali Ceurvorst was next. A light hearted intro from this confident performer led into a routine using business cards, followed by a mind reading card effect and an invisible deck routine. There is no doubt that Ali is a Magician who is going places. He has confidence, ability and good stage presence. Again, very well done.
Mathew Parr gave a powerful performance using nothing but “ the power of my mind” to reveal thought of cards, finishing, just in time with a prediction involving a volunteer. Mathew was the deserved winner of the competition.
The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all. There is a perception that Mentalism does not work for Magicians. Our three entertainers this evening proved otherwise. The material used by all was fresh, and stamped with their own personalities. I look forward to the next competition.
There was a good turn out for this evening. This was not just an evening of card tricks. It was more. So much more. Paul’s demonstration of the Art of Card Magic was full of practical tips for magicians of all levels.
The effects that Paul demonstrated were from his vast array of material that he uses as a working performer. He also, with great clarity explained how to do the moves. The Reverse Faro is now within the reach of everyone present at the meeting. The Straddle Faro, with which Paul creates and performs many of his miracles, is also now within everyone’s reach. He also explained what to do when the mesh of cards did not work. He has removed the fear of failure, and substituted clever psychological handling of the audience.
The 16th Card Principle-there is a book, and rightly so, was explained and demonstrated. That’s Odd, performed with jumbo cards was a masterpiece of card magic. The trick built and built as Paul allowed the spectator to say what should be done with a group of cards. It was pure theatre as the final card was shown, first as a comedy prediction, then finally as a revelation that defied explanation or any chance of reconstruction in the spectator’s mind. This was card magic as it should be performed, with drama and passion. Also, That’s Odd had other applications. As well as being excellent for Trade Shows, it could also be used in Kid’s Shows and could also be performed with business cards.
The Corner of Picadilly, a monte type effect with four cards, evoked an atmosphere of the street corner hustler. There was absolutely no way you could outwit Paul as gave you the chance to follow the odd card.
Mars Life was a dazzling display of skill, again within the reach of everyone, that had a double kicker of a four like card display and a two card location. This effect, as did everything else demonstrated this evening, would create an impression in the spectator’s mind that you were a card expert of the highest order, which of course Paul is.
Paul explained his preference for books on magic , as opposed to DVDs, which sparked off a discussion with Reg Howes. Perhaps on a club night, this could be discussed further, and also commented on in the SMC Newsletter? The Paul Gordon Evening has been the highlight of the Sussex Magic Circle calendar. Paul Gordon is simply the best at what he does. Thank you for an inspirational evening of bafflement and entertainment.
Graham Lee Balloons - 26th April 2007
Photos are available here. A wealth of information flowed from this lecture. So many different balloon models were made , I can only list some of them. They included ; Teddy bears, linked and separate, sword, cutlass, shield, flower in vase, duck, parrot, on a swing, ladybug, a gun that fired,a fish hat with bubbles,snake with a long red tongue, a heart,Bugs Bunny and a diver’s air tank and mask.
A varied career that include being a support act at a holiday camp, support act for Bucks Fizz with their Eggs and Bacon show ,panto and performing at Buckingham Palace . The last venue Graham likened to a hospital staff Christmas party”. Graham has also appeared on the cover of Tatler magazine,as well as performing alongside Barbara Windsor, and Ian Keable.
As well as promoting Sempertex balloons,twisting techniques and methods of bursting balloons(citrus acid/ lemon juice will do the trick) were also discussed. A very well received lecture from “a Children’s Entertainer and proud of it”
Close up Competition - 10 May 2007
Paul Gordon - 24 May 2007
Merlins Dealer Dem - 7 June 2007
James Brown - Lecture
Photos are available here. An almost packed Sussex Magic Circle audience and many visitors attended this evening.
This was a master class in misdirection and timing from a close-up champion. The first effect ,a one coin routine, had a coin falling upwards, appearing on the back of a spectators hand, shoulder, in the performer, on the performer’s head and finally under the spectator’s watch-the watch subsequently being stolen. We were all fooled. It was a flawless, flowing piece of close-up theatre-you had to be there.
The card magic was of an equally high standard. An ambitious card routine that demonstrated the top change, cards to pocket, and a baffling card under card box routine was just some of the expertise demonstrated. An elastic band bound pack on a spectators hand resulted in card penetration.
Sue and I were the volunteers for an effect that discovered our thought of cards as well as sorting into red and black a shuffled deck. Baffling and enjoyable, it was a welcome treat to be a volunteer and not to be embarrassed by the experience. Very professional.
A pot of jam was a coin routine that ended with the bare handed production of of a jar of honey in a spectator’s hand. The effect on a magical audience was startling- a lay audience would be reeling.
Interspersed throughout the evening was his thinking behind his methods, and excellent showmanship advice. A particular point was “don’t frame the moment” when you make a mistake. Another tip, keep it natural. Also, particularly with the top change in mind, go for it, try that risky move. Most of all, believe in what you are doing.
CD’s demonstrating his effects were on offer and soon o be marketed, a revolutionary method that will allow you to vanish cards, coins etc, without a jacket, with sleeves rolled up and without going near your pockets. All there present saw this demonstrated, and again were completely fooled.
To all magic clubs and societies out there, the message is clear. You need to book this man. Immediately.