Luke Jermay_Sixth Sense

Luke Jermay has performed magic since the age of 12. At age 15, he wrote his first published book 7 Deceptions (Wonder Wizards, 2000) which launched him as an innovator within the magic community. Since then he has written a total of 34 books on the subject of mentalism and mind illusion.

He has performed in more than 20 countries including his native United Kingdom and the United States in venues from local pubs to the London Palladium. Best known for his use of suggestion and covert forms of psychological influence, his trademark routines are a self-induced cessation of his pulse, followed by stopping of a random audience member’s pulse, and The Chair Prediction, a routine in which he predicts which chair a spectator will choose to sit in.

This is the promo video for his Sixth Sense show.

Luke has written a total of 33 books and manuscripts on magic and magic theory, including 7 Deceptions, Building Blocks, Coral Fang, and 3510.

He has also worked with many other magicians and mentalists as writer, designer of psychological illusions and program consultant. His first consulting work was on season 1 of Derren Brown, Mind Control (2000), which he continued on seasons 2 and 3. Luke also worked with Criss Angel on seasons 1 and 2 of Mind Freak, and with Marco Tempest on The Virtual Magician. He also served as consultant for the television series The Mentalist. More recently he has consulted for Dynamo.

On Thursday 1 May at The Magick Lounge you can expect a fun, entertaining, but most of all a thought-provoking lecture. The Luke Jermay Sheffield Lecture is definitely one not to be missed! Doors open at 7:02 and we start at 7:30. Admission is free for Sheffield Circle members, £10 for visiting magicians.

Watch this space for more lectures this year. Already booked are Bruno Copin, Pete Turner, Alex Pandrea, and Karl Hein.

Feeling momentarily philosophical this fine Easter Monday afternoon…

I mean, it’s pretty obvious that as magicians we should wish to appear as more than demonstrators of a clever prop, or even a clever sleight. As if we’re offering a puzzle to solve.

The next step from that is perhaps to perform as the magician — the one who has the power to perform seemingly impossible acts. That’s fine, although if we’re not careful maybe that can be seen by our audiences as another kind of challenge?

Is there a third way? In which we may become facilitators, enabling spectators to explore or discover a kind of magic in themselves… Our performance then becomes a co-operative act. Even, dare I say, a journey which we may share with those willing to join us?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Feel free to use the comment button.

Spent a great day on Saturday at a workshop on ‘Ideomotor Responses, Uncommon Coding, Wobbly Interfaces, and Mind Reading Birds’, run by Stuart Nolan. The aim was to build on the history and science of the ideomotor response to explore new approaches to performance, physical interaction, game design, and the development of new technologies for interaction.

The event was organised by Nik Taylor and David Wainwright of The Magic Research Group, part of the Department of Drama at The University of Huddersfield. It was attended by a small but interestingly mixed group: from magic there was Ashton Carter, Mark Elsdon and myself, and two students from the University Drama Department’s magic group, a theatre director, and a research engineer. I must say I was surprised that there weren’t more magicians there! I don’t know if Stuart intends to do more of these, but if the workshop comes your way, be there.

Ideomotor response has, of course, played an important role in ritual and performance, from early Roman divination, Victorian spirit theatre and dowsing to mindreading, Ouija boards and the sexing of chickens. Cognitive science is now revealing the fundamental role such responses play in learning, communication and physical development.

For those of you who don’t know, Stuart Nolan is a Magician in Residence at Pervasive Media Studio and The University of Bristol Computer Science Department where he has developed the friendly mindreading robots, IdeoBird and OuijaBird.

As a former NESTA Fellow in Applied Magic he is credited with bringing the study of deception out of the lab and into the everyday world. He combines his skills in traditional disciplines of deception with original research into how we are deceived by language and physical gesture. He recently deceived over 700 organisations just to prove a point. (Essentially updating the well-known Bertram Forer personality test and applying it to organisations rather than people.)

Stuart is co-editor of The Magic Research Group’s Journal of Performance Magic.

The workshop was very much hands on and offered much useful background information and food for thought for performers (not just ‘mind magicians’) as well as artists, designers, psychologists, educators and scientists.

It’s impossible here to give more than a brief flavour of what was covered. During the day we touched on story-telling, Dada and Surrealism, Bob Burns’ The Swan, Raymond Tallis’ The Hand, Saccadic vision versus ‘soft looking’, hypnosis, deceit in sport, tau perception (guidance of body movements through perception by the organism acting as a whole in a dynamic relationship with its environment), affordancy (the property of an object which facilitates action), Alva Noë, common coding (perception and action being directly linked, as opposed to perception, cognition and then action), the Phenomenological Bump (as a reaction to a magical moment), and mirror neuron response (a mirror neuron fires both when we perform an action and when we see someone else perform an action).

I hope I’ve got all that right; it’s taken from my scribbled notes taken on the day. It might all sound a bit daunting listed like that, but believe me, it wasn’t. Stuart has way of talking, explaining and demonstrating which made the workshop both entertaining and easy to follow. I certainly learnt a lot… things which I can apply to mind magic performance, and understanding what works and why, and even to other areas of interest such as dance!

If you’d like to know more go here.

 

Not magic, perhaps, but certainly magical, Fuma-Kai is an incredible performance by Japanese multimedia dance and martial arts troupe, Enra. Directed by Nobuyuki Hanabusa, it was shown as part of Japan’s Olympics bid last year. If you’re into juggling don’t miss the amazing diablo work about two-thirds of the way through.

The performers are Maki Yokoyama, Saya Watatani, Tachun, Yusaku Mochizuki and Tsuyoshi Kaseda. The music is by Yuko Sonoda (Hanabusa remix version).

It must have done its job as Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Olympics.

 

In case the Loungers were wondering where I was last Saturday, I can assure you that no Argentine Tango was involved on this occasion. Andy/Ashton and I spent a fascinating — indeed magical — day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park discussing plans and preparations for the Ymedeca event the Magick Lounge is involved in. We had conflagration conversations with the artist, Hester Reeve, and a talk and guided walk with the YSP’s Senor Curator, Helen Pheby.

I you’d like more information, check out my post of 24 February or speak to Andy or myself.

Steve Gore 2s_sm (1 of 1)Steve Gore finds Pete’s card at the climax of an entertaining gambling routine at last night’s lecture.

I’m sure that Sheffield Circle members and Loungers alike all came away with something they can use. Sales of his commercial products at lecture night discounts were brisk.

Steve had lecture notes for sale, but I thought it was a nice touch that everyone was able to receive a free copy by email if they wished. (And a pretty good marketing ploy too; other lecturers please note!)

For the Sheffield Circle March meeting Steve Gore will be presenting his lecture which has received excellent reviews at the IBM British Ring Convention, the British Magical Society, and even the Blackpool Magicians Club. It will include lots of his original effects, including ‘Trick Photography’, which MagicWeek called “Close-up Trick of the Year” and ‘Visions from Vegas’, which is an ingenious mental effect using a new method in magic. Watch it below:

It won’t be all close-up though, there are effects for stage, stand-up and kids too, so there’s something for everyone. The majority of his effects are also easy to master, allowing you to focus on the presentation or to run through your ready repertoire of one-liners. Here’s what others have said:

“The moment I walked in the room there was a sense of “This is a man who takes what he does seriously, and wants to give of his best” — Keith Wells, Leicester Magic Circle.

“One of the best lectures I have seen at the Guild and I joined in 1989! — John Scott, Nottingham Guild of Magicians.

“A good crowd was assembled for what turned out to be an afternoon full of original ideas, lateral magical thinking and, on occasions, the clever blending of known effects to create a whole new impact. — Brian Lead, Modern Mystic League

“It was professional in every respect from dress to the presentation of the effects whether they be close-up, stage or children’s magic.” — Liz Warlock, British Magical Society

“Your presentation for the York Society last night was excellent with a capital ‘E’. It was one of the most professional presentations I have seen in recent times. I thought your explanations were clear and concise, as was demonstrated by the very few questions asked with each illusion.” — Austin Siviter, YSM

A nice touch is that everyone who attends Steve’s lecture will receive a free PDF copy of his lecture notes.

I’m sure that this will be another not-to-be-missed lecture. The date is Thursday 6 March. Doors open at 7:02 p.m. and we start at 7:30. The venue is, of course, The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Cost is free to members in good standing of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians, £10 for visitors. See you there.

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