MCJ Advent Calendar - Day Sixteen - The Magically Mystifying Mentalism of Professor Magic and Friends

What follows is a description of the traveling stage show I imagined for myself back in 2004. 

Some of the jokes in it are callbacks to previous posts, so let me explain them. 

First, in a post about how phony the books that come with Larry Becker's Final Flashback look, I wrote the following:

"Now I'm sure this trick is very clever and I'm sure a lot of thought went into it. Unfortunately though, you're expected to convince people you have psychic power by using the most totally bogus looking book I've ever seen. Check out the cover for "Band of Brokers," have you ever seen anything so completely shady in your life? That picture looks like it belongs on the cover of the "3M Corporation's Guide to Team Building and Diversity Training," or in an ad for an insurance company, "Our agents are waiting to handle your claim." The one thing it doesn't look like is the cover of any legitimate book published in the history of book publishing. "Stained Justice" is pretty shoddy as well. But "Band of Brokers" is so obviously phony it's amazing. That thing couldn't look more suspect if it had a bright pink cover and was titled "Gimmicked Magic Book" by Fakey Authorton."

A little while later, someone sent me a mocked up cover.

The other thing it references is what I still consider to be the dumbest thing ever written in the history of magic. It was in Luke Jermay's book 7 Deceptions, which itself was one of the most unintentionally funny things I ever read. (I recognized it as completely untried and untested when one of the effects relied on you showing a piece of paper to a spectator. The paper says "woq" on it, and you ask them to read it out loud and they're expected to say "Walk." Then you show a second spectator the word "bom" and ask them to read it out loud and they're expected to say "Boom." This situation would happen exactly zero times if you tried it on the entire population of earth.) Mentalism was in a morass at this time as a bunch of dumb people tried to reproduce what Derren Brown was doing. So convinced were they that mentalism and magic were somehow different things that they didn't recognize he was doing magic tricks with better scripting. So they then spent 10 years trying (and failing) to reproduce his stuff based on his presentations. Geniuses!

I think history has borne out my opinion on that book and that style of methodology and performance as even Luke's work no longer resembles it in any way. 

But the absolute dumbest thing in the book came from Kenton Knepper, as I wrote at the time:

I've saved my favorite thing for last. On pages 8 and 9, Kenton himself pops in to write about one of his pet effects. Oh boy, it's a doozy. Get ready to have your minds blown. 

Find or cause someone to be under pressure and preoccupied. Someone stepping off the subway at rush hour is one good example. Without any warning or conscious rational [sic], walk up to such a hurried and self-occupied person and say

"This is a very odd thing that has just happened! You can't tell me your name!" 

A person who is sufficiently internally focused and scurrying to a task will have trouble indeed… 

When you see the person appear to be recovering from this type of minor shock or surprise, snap your fingers and say, "It's okay now, you can say it." She will usually not only say her name, but will also give you credit for making it come back to her mind.


No, that's not the way that would ever happen. It makes me wonder if Kenton Knepper realizes that he's peddling complete horse-shit, or if he thinks he's really imparting valuable information. 

This idea that if you walk up to someone on the street and tell them they forgot their name and if they don't speak for a second that people are going to think they really forgot it is such a complete insult to the reader that it's amazing. He says that even if the person argues with you that he didn't forget his name that the other people around him "will generally accept you have done what you have said." No they won't. "If for one second the person you stopped stalls, it seems as if you have done as you have claimed to the rest." Again, no. 

What would be really amazing would be if you walked up to someone on the street and said, "This is a very odd thing that has just happened! You can't tell me your name!" And he immediately screamed, "It's Billy!" That would be strange. 

Monday, October 25, 2004

On The Road 

A couple people have written recently saying I should post more often. I agree, I should, but the thing is, I only want to post when I think I have something fun or worthwhile to say. I don't want to force myself to post just because I know there are people checking in every day. That's how I maintain the high-quality content this site is synonymous with: I never post unnecessarily.

Unfortunately I haven't even been able to post as much as I'd like to recently due to my hectic touring schedule. As most of you know I have a traveling mentalism show and I'm in the midst of my world-tour. So today I thought it would be fun to describe my show for those people who aren't able to come see it when it visits their town, perhaps they're in a space capsule or maybe they're in the process of setting a world's record that involves living in a tree for a lengthy period of time. Whatever the excuse may be, there most certainly will be some people who won't be able to make it out to my show "The Magically Mystifying Mentalism of Professor Magic and Friends."

When I first get into a new city I always try and create some buzz with a big publicity stunt. These include, but aren't limited to, my harrowing performance of The Frisbee Catch, or a stunt called The Blindfold Nap. These never fail to get the locals talking.

Then, around 8 o'clock, the show starts in earnest. After a 90 minute opening act (dirty limericks by Sgt. Schlong and The Ballz), the lights are dimmed and I walk out on stage. I sing a slightly altered version of the Disturbed song "Down With The Sickness" called "Down With The Magic." During this, a clip of David Copperfield floating across the Grand Canyon plays on a video screen. It's truly a magical multi-media experience.

Then I invite a young lady on the stage with me and say, "Hello, have we ever met before?" When she says no, I say, "That's strange, then why does my breath smell like your pussy?" And I exhale slowly in her face. The lady is so surprised she usually doesn't say anything. When this happens the audience truly believes that my breath does, in fact, smell like the lady's pussy. This is called Wonder Words. Then I magically divine this woman's Select Comfort Sleep Number and send her back to her seat.

The next effect I perform is 7 Bic Pens to Kryptonite Lock.

This, of course, is followed up with Fakey Authorton's book test.

Next I sit in a lone spotlight and talk to the audience about these uncertain times we live in and how the last thing we need is more misery and more incertitude. I go on to denounce, by name, magicians who willfully contribute to this state of unrest by maliciously bending silverware with their minds. "Is this," I ask, "how a magician contributes to society? By purposely disfiguring cutlery? What might this world be like if instead magic was used to make the world a more sane, more rational place." Then I sit in silence and use only the power of my mind to straighten a Krazy Straw. The lights dim and the sound of John Lennon's Imagine slowly fades up.

For an encore I bring up the town constable who carries an envelope I sent to him earlier that week in which I have successfully predicted the winner of that evening's Harlem Globetrotters-Washington Generals game.

After the show, a select few ladies are brought back to my dressing room for a private vagina reading, an ancient ritual that involves analyzing the creases in a woman's vagina, and then fucking for the next 6 hours. 

And then we do it all over again the next night: different city, different audience, different vaginas…same incredible show!