Just a note about the Rick Maue/Francis Menotti lecture.
A great magic lecture is when you start at 7 pm and you close the place down at 12 midnight. Then you adjourn at Dennys, and all the lecture attendees chat animatedly until 2:30 am.
Thats how it went on Tuesday night at Magic in the 'Burbss first-ever magic lecture in San Dimas, CA, in suburban Los Angeles. Rick Maue had been offered a lecture spot by the Castle, but turned that down in favor of what he considered a more receptive audience, the guys at the Burbs.
If I had known beforehand that Francis Menotti was a mere 26-year-old, I may not have
booked him. Ive seen too many bad lectures to gamble on a whippersnapper. But after Francis began showing us his array of miracles, it became so clear that he was an encyclopedic mage and deep thinker that I wished hed had his own separate lecture. Of the four tricks that Francis showed us, two of them were keepers, which is a pretty high percentage.
As far as Rick Maues segment, it turns out that birds of a feather are pretty damn good together. Rick started off with a multiple-outcome trick that is built to fool magicians. Ive had a taste for risky, walking-the-tightrope tricks ever since I saw J.C. Wagner (on videotape) performing his version of Estimations. You can fail, but it keeps the performance fresh and alive. In addition, these type of tricks tend to fool even the most genius of engineers in the audience. Several of Ricks tricks were like that.
There were lots more high points in the lecture, but Rick saved the best for last. In his THE BOOK OF HAUNTED MAGICK, theres a trick called Terasabos, which has been lauded by all the best magicians in magic as a reputation maker. And after seeing it, we all laughed aloud at how devilishly clever it was.
Terasabos is basically a find-the-object trick, in which five opaque cups are placed in front of the magician and one object (say, a watch) is placed on the table. The volunteer is instructed to place the watch under one of the cups when the magicians back is turned. When the magician turns back, he uses probability and verbal subterfuge to give the illusion that he has performed a miracle. It is so clever that it will affect your thinking on other tricks. It shows superb Maven-like thinking, and carries some risk, as well. But it looks so fun to perform that I cant wait to perform it at my weekly restaurant gig with coffee cups and a Sweet n Low packet. If you get a chance to book these guys, go for it.