The London Festival of Magic has been and gone - it was a wonderful celebration. The highlight for me was seeing John Carney's brilliant lecture on Misdirection and Focus and also his wonderful One-Man Show at The Bridewell Theatre.
Dani Da Ortiz was in sensational form with his extended lecture. I have never seen anyone execute the pyschological techniques in card magic as well as Dani, truly superb work and execution. Another treat for me was seeing my friend and fellow card expert Peter Woerde from The Netherlands. Peter gave a terrific performance in the competition and as of this writing, I don't know if he won, he certainly deserves the first place award.
I gave a talk on my evaluation on Dai Vernon's Travelers and I am dleighted to say it was well received by all the attendees who were kind enough to share their opinions.
This event has inspired me to start developing my plans for the next Mastering Magic Seminar in 2014 with the possibility of a very special guest.
Stay tuned my friends.
Throughout the month of April/May I had the wonderful privilige of visiting China. Over a three week period, I visited 10 cities and presented elements of The Mastering Magic Seminar to a very enthusiastic crowed.
This has been a magical milestone in my life and it ha inspired me to run The Mastering Magic Seminar again.
To get a sense of my workshop check out the video performances below
The 2nd Mastering Magic Seminar took place on the 8th & 9th of September. I am happy to report that the two-day event proved to be a successful outcome for all concerned.
I want to personally thank Darwin Ortiz and Charlene Collins for their outstanding contribution and to the following delegates who attended - Tilman Andris, Sam Reynolds, Darren Kidby, Jonathan Allwood, Jose Castro, Giannoz Chalaris, Antonio Zuccaro, Jessica Biase, David Stidler, and Jin Ai Lee.
This particular seminar proved to be the most challenging for me. There was a lot more to organise and working with a team was a new venture for me. This was a growth period and I personally grew as much as the delegates.
The seminar featured my usual lecture style conversations looking at different aspects of communication and how we as magicians can further improve the quality of communication with our audience.
The highlight of the seminar was a beautiful conversation inside the actor’s craft. This conversation was facilitated by Charlene Collins and featured a very powerful improvisation exercise. The improvisation exercise was designed to allow magicians to put down their props and role-play different characters with each other to experience their full-blown self-expression.
One of the biggest challenges we have in magic is that we are all guilty of hiding behind our tricks. During the ‘Improv’ exercise, I was astonished to see how brilliantly all of the delegates were so self-expressed without any props. All they had was their natural ‘child like’ qualities to play and have fun – which we did.
This got me present to how difficult it is to learn magic, execute it impeccably and present it artistically for the enjoyment of an audience. There are many levels in our craft to master, which is why there are only a handful of magicians in the world who have transcended their technical mastery and their artistic presentation effortlessly.
The Mastering Magic Seminar is my attempt to create an environment where magicians can explore what it takes to achieve a level of mastery for themselves.
One of the surprising elements of this seminar was for every magician to come fully prepared to present two of their best tricks. This was a great joy for me, because all of the delegates presented their magic impeccably. Their performances were so stunning it would not have been out of place in a public setting.
The jewel in the crown was on Sunday, with the full day workshop by Darwin Ortiz. The day started with Darwin presenting one of his many close-up acts. His material was stunning and set the tone and context for the rest of the day. He facilitated a hands-on- training session with the delegates covering techniques such as; The Bottom Deal, The Second Deal, Riffle Stacking, Palming and he also taught a routine from his forthcoming new book "Lesson in Card Mastery".
The day completed with Darwin and myself in conversation about his relationship to magic, his journey, his mentors, the books he has written and supporting us all with a new approach to how we can practice and take our magic to the next level.
I am absolutely delighted and proud that this seminar and the contributions by all concerned inspired all of us to become better magicians and performers. I offer my heart felt thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of The 2nd Mastering Magic Seminar.
I would like to also acknowledge The Victory Services Club, who hosted our two-day residential, for their professional and outstanding service and I look forward to working with them again.
I am so thrilled to announce that my friend Darwin Ortiz will be joining us at The next Mastering Magic Seminar. His magic and books on the subject are the absolute best in the field of modern day card magic.
I consider Darwin to be the 'Hofzinse' of our generation and what a privilege it will be for all of us who participate in the Seminar to have this extraordinary magician share his knowledge and wisdom with us.
Be sure to learn more about Darwin's contribution on his dedicated page on this website.
Check out the video below see an example of Darwin's excellence at work
After the first Seminar, I was so encouraged that I immediately started working on the next event for this coming September 8th & 9th. The one thing that came to mind was sharing the stage with some really excellent guest speakers. I am delighted to announce that all of my guest speakers have agreed to participate and bring their expertise to The Mastering Magic Seminar. So, who are my guest speakers you may be asking? Before I answer that probing question, let me just say that the next Seminar will be much more than just learning new magic. I wanted to create a platform for the delegates to have an experience where they could interact with experts from different disciplines. One of my guest speakers comes form the world of ‘Acting and Improvisation Drama’. She will be bringing her expertise to the Seminar to showcase how the craft of acting can support magicians in their self-expression and delivery. Self-expression and delivering a world-class performance requires any artist to be able to generate himself or herself into a "PEAK STATE" to deliver their performance. One of my speakers comes from the world of ‘Personal Development’ and is an expert in coaching his clients to access their authentic peak state. He will be bringing his expertise and facilitation skills to the Seminar. What all the delegates will get from his conversation can be transformational – I know this for sure because my guest speaker was my personal coach for seven months. Finally, on the Sunday, 9th September, my guest of honor will take the stage and present a very special performance, conduct his hands on training workshop and then be open for conversation and question and answers. That is close to five and half hours of world-class magic with one of the greatest sleight of hand magicians in the world. It is a privilege to have him with us and I am very excited about how this whole experience will pan out for all concerned. So learn to more about my guest speakers’ click here.
To discover who the guest of honor will be, click here. To register for the event click here.
Don’t leave it too long, there are only 9 space left. Thanks Michael
Recently, I have been intrigued by the notion of what does it take to present magic in such a way that my audience will connect powerfully with the experience? This is such a big question because I discovered for myself that the experience of magic is a profound emotional state to be in.
Just take a moment to think back on all of the great magicians you have seen. Try and remember how the experience left you. Think of a great film - how did you feel after the film was over? What about a great song or beautiful work of art? All of these experiences can be meaningful and memorable. The craft of magic is no different. What is the difference that makes the difference between a memorable experience and one which leaves you feeling indifferent?
These are questions which I will attempt to answer in the next Seminar of Mastering Magic - 'Communicating with Magic'. For now, start to engage in these questions, study videos of great magicians with these questions in mind. If you decided to participate in the next seminar, (which I hope you will) please bring your evaluation to the conversation. Your point of view will add value to what I am sure will be a fantastic conversation which we can all learn from.
David Copperfield's Flying illusion is a wonderful example of magic which is meaningful, magical and a memorable experience - it really is a thing of beauty.
Until the next blog, keep well.
I am delighted to announce that the dates for the next Mastering Magic Seminar have been set. They are, 8th & 9th September. This two day event promise to be an exciting program full of conversation, sharing, performance, great magic and most importantly, transformation for all the delegates who register.
I have a number of exciting guest speakers lined up who will bring extra added value to you and your personal transformation as magicians.
You may be wondering what will make this Seminar different from the first event?
To answer this question honestly, what I am present to is the values I hold dear, which have made a difference to the quality of my magic and my personal growth in the craft. Values like, quality, pride, a quest for excellence and mastery, having beautiful magic at my fingertips. Having quality conversations with like minded individuals. Surrounding myself with great teachers.
If you subscribe to this philosophy, then I promise you that I will be doing my utmost to make this next event an unforgettable experience.
I look forward to supporting you on your journey and transformation.
Have you ever wondered why some magicians can take a simple effect and create a magical, meaningful and memorable experience with it? And yet, the same effect in the hands of another may not register as powerfully? These questions have intrigued me for a long time and I have been passionate about finding the answers - the secrets to creating a magical and memorable performance with my own work.
The Mastering Magic Seminar will be taking place over a weekend in early September 2012 (date to be confirmed tomorrow) and we will be exploring the answers to these questions and a lot more.To wet your appetite, the answers to these question are actually staring us in the face. All you need to do is study the work of great magicians at work and model their approach - this is easier said than done. The secret to modelling will be found in having a direct access to the magicians who inspire us. Regrettably, many of the great masters are no longer with us.
Fortunately, we do have archive footage of great magicians to learn from. Take a look at the video below.
From this video performance of Fred Kaps, we can see how he has taken a classic trick and effused it with his charm, technical precision, great acting ability and class to delivery one of the greatest performances of 'The Homing Card' we have ever seen.
At our next event in The Mastering Magic series, we will be exploring in great detail, the secrets to presenting magic in such a way that our audience is left touched , moved and inspired by the experience.
"Who you associate with is who you become"
Anthony Robbins - UPW 2005
When I heard those words from Anthony Robbins, I new I had found the access to raising my standards. Having people in my life who expected the best from me and supported me in that goal has had a huge difference on the quality of my life.
As I look back on my life in magic, I can see that my heroes had a big impact on my train of thought.
Can you imagine what it was like to have the great magician Derek Dingle perform every routine in his book for me personally? It was and still is one of the pivotal and milestone moments in my career.
Derek Dingle left this world before I could say "THANK YOU". His performance for me at The Cobblestone Bar in Greenwich Village NYC was truly AMAZING.
The Mastering Magic Seminar is all about creating a space and environment where dedicated students can learn, grow and be inspired to become masters in their own right. The best way I know to achieve that is to surround yourself with like minded people.
"Your quality of your life will be reflected by the expectation of your
peer group" - Anthony Robbins
"What would it mean to YOU, if you had the opportunity to spend the day in conversation with individuals who could support you in becoming the best you could be? "
Send me your thoughts in an email - Click on the magic button below.