The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

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The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 23rd, 2017, 2:37 pm

I have no idea what has come over me. I am not prone to hyperbole about magicians, male or female, as I consider 90 percent of them to be crap. However, I have been watching several videos today of The Sacred Riana (what a stage name!) and despite myself have been getting more and more impressed with each video. I have never seen anything like it in 60 years of doing magic. I am a lousy audience for magicians and I detest watching magic as it bores the crap out of me but despite all this somehow this scary character has held me spellbound. Judge for yourselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D_BNS2yL_0

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Joe Mckay » December 23rd, 2017, 5:00 pm

Hey Mark,

Thanks for sharing that. Certainly something completely different.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 23rd, 2017, 6:03 pm

Here is another one. Somehow all this reminds me of that thread about art in magic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-bvSY2f_4

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Joe Mckay » December 23rd, 2017, 9:44 pm

She won Asia's Got Talent a week ago. And has over 70 million views online! Really great stuff.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 23rd, 2017, 10:50 pm

Total commitment to character. And she reads David Berglas, too.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 23rd, 2017, 10:55 pm

How do you mean she reads David Berglas too? I didn't see her do the any card at any number trick.
And what puzzles me is, if this is Asia's Got Talent how come everyone on there has an American accent?

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Bill Duncan » December 23rd, 2017, 11:54 pm

Holy cow Mark. That was amazing.

Thanks for posting that.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 24th, 2017, 12:26 am

I have been watching quite a few of her videos today. Each and every one is excellent. I haven't even been paying attention to the tricks she is doing. I couldn't even tell you what they were. I was just transfixed by the showmanship. Even her awkwardness in speaking English adds to the scariness.

It is very rare I get enthused by magicians (or in this case magiciennes). It probably won't happen again for a very long time if ever. Make the most of it.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 24th, 2017, 1:36 am

I can tell that Mark has not read his David Berglas.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby CraigMitchell » December 24th, 2017, 3:21 am

Amazing performance ... reminds me of Rob Zabrecky and his incredible committment to character, too.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Jack Shalom » December 24th, 2017, 1:40 pm

I found the phony reaction shots of the judges just incredibly distracting and laughable.

She's got nothing on Zabrecky, in my opinion, from a character point of view. Not even willing to show her eyes...Meh.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby chetday » December 24th, 2017, 1:56 pm

Her performances and character appear to me to owe quite a bit to the Silent Hill video game series.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 24th, 2017, 1:57 pm

I am truly psychic. I knew Jack posted something about this but I hadn't seen it. However, I knew instinctively he would say something negative. I just KNEW!
How did I know? You get a gut feeling about people in my business. And of course an amateur sees things differently than a professional does. The combination of these two elements told me he would be critical.

Not that I have any objection to this of course. Opinions are always subjective. I detest watching ninety percent of magicians so I am not in a position to complain about this.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 24th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I can tell that Mark has not read his David Berglas.


I will concede you wrote the book but I don't think you have read it either! I haven't seen Riana do a single trick in the book as yet although I will admit she does a floating table which I have seen David do. In fact I remember decades ago when he mentioned he was thinking of doing a floating table trick. So I was there at the beginning of his thought process anyway.

Riana is quite scary. David may be many things but scary isn't really one of them. I will concede that Any Card at any Number is scary because I am always terrified someone is going to show it to me.

Or perhaps you are referring to the principle of assuming a character. I learned that when I was 16 years old but not from David. Maybe Riana did or maybe she didn't. I learned it from the Presentation section of Expert Card Technique. I do use David's method of sleeving and have done for decades. But of course that isn't in the Berglas book anyway.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Jack Shalom » December 24th, 2017, 2:42 pm

Berglas's sleeving is on the DVDs. A very overlooked bonus to that book.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Jack Shalom » December 24th, 2017, 2:45 pm

performer wrote:I am truly psychic. I knew Jack posted something about this but I hadn't seen it. However, I knew instinctively he would say something negative. I just KNEW!

LOL. I just have a real aversion to performers in any field who make the character choice to cover their eyes, be it with hats, hair, dark glasses, or some other way. It feels lazy to me.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 24th, 2017, 3:35 pm

I don't like people looking at my eyes either. I consider it an invasion of privacy. They are my eyes and I can do what the bloody
hell I like with them. They are none of any one's business. Besides, they should be watching the tricks not my bloody eyes.

However, I see (no pun intended) your point. Decades ago I saw Jeff McBride do his mask act and I thought the hiding of his face was a detriment to his work. Then just a few years ago there was a famed director (I forget his name but he does magic lectures and drops coins on the floor all the time) who did a lecture for the local magic club and he stated exactly the same thing. I felt quite vindicated in my opinions after that.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » December 25th, 2017, 10:40 pm

She reads Berglas, or me, or she came up with it all own her own. When I returned to magic, I considered a mental act that was inspired by the whole spectrum of mental disorders like OCD and Autism, It was written about here. She id doing what I felt was the most difficult part, staying in character. SHE'S GOT GUTS, i wish her luck.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 25th, 2017, 11:28 pm

Alas I am sad to find out that she did not come up with it all on her own. A whole bunch of people seemed to come up with it for her. I found this video disturbing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InM6Wp-mKS8

Apart from the fact I found the host nauseating for some reason, it makes Riana just look like someone they took off the street and moulded her like a piece of clay. It was almost as if they could have done it with anyone.

I just hope they are not using her. They make all the money and she gets nothing. She looks young and innocent and could easily be manipulated.

Just my cynical mind at work. Once a grafter always a grafter.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Christopher1979 » December 26th, 2017, 6:00 pm

Some of the stuff she does looks like some variation on a Criss Angel trick/act. Looks like she has based her character on the horror film The Ring. This type of weird Emo/Goth performance is just not my type of thing at all. Seems like some sort of craze that will pass... Hopefully!

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 26th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Oh, she is FAR better than Criss Angel!

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 26th, 2017, 6:21 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Berglas's sleeving is on the DVDs. A very overlooked bonus to that book.


I learned it from an excellent source. There is a whole chapter devoted to David Berglas and his sleeving methods in "The Art of Close Up Magic (volume two) by Lewis Ganson. Some great tricks using his method. I really love the one where when he signs autographs and the pen keeps disappearing!
An excellent chapter but the entire book is a good one. I have used the Tony Griffiths presentation for pseudo psychometry for decades. I learned it from this book.
I often muse to myself that authors can give priceless gifts to people and yet they often never find out about it. The amount of material I have learned from Lewis Ganson, for example is incredible and yet he would never know about it.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Christopher1979 » December 26th, 2017, 6:47 pm

performer wrote:Oh, she is FAR better than Criss Angel!


I agree, she is!, i could talk about the reasons why i dont like Criss Angel all day long. In fact, many similar acts like his also.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 26th, 2017, 7:20 pm

Christopher1979 wrote:
performer wrote:Oh, she is FAR better than Criss Angel!


I agree, she is!, i could talk about the reasons why i dont like Criss Angel all day long. In fact, many similar acts like his also.


I met someone who saw his show in Vegas. A non magician. She said all he did throughout his show was use profanity. She considered it "unclassy" And he is not the only one. I was horrified to see Derren Brown swearing on stage too. The SECOND you do that is the SECOND you automatically become a bad magician.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Christopher1979 » December 26th, 2017, 7:25 pm

performer wrote:
Christopher1979 wrote:
performer wrote:Oh, she is FAR better than Criss Angel!


I agree, she is!, i could talk about the reasons why i dont like Criss Angel all day long. In fact, many similar acts like his also.


I met someone who saw his show in Vegas. A non magician. She said all he did throughout his show was use profanity. She considered it "unclassy" And he is not the only one. I was horrified to see Derren Brown swearing on stage too. The SECOND you do that is the SECOND you automatically become a bad magician.


Could not agree more!, that is the same with a lot of entertainment in general these days. It is not clever, it is not funny, it does not add anything, it just makes you look stupid and uneducated.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 26th, 2017, 10:06 pm

I find it horrendous and alas there is a lot more of it about than there used to be.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Herb » December 31st, 2017, 5:08 pm

Thanks for pointing out this magician to me. I love the characterization and - as others have commented - the commitment to it. It's brilliant. I wish more magicians would perform with more specifically defined characterizations. However, I wonder if we can remark on her contributions and innovations without having to qualify them by pointing out her gender rather than just calling her a "magician." While she may draw on her gender for the specifics of the character she has developed - the idea of creating and committing to a well-defined character is something that could or should apply to all magicians, male and female. -- By the way, I think the majority of the comments in this thread, including the original one, DO look at her for her broad, general magical accomplishments, rather than any tied to her being a woman, but somehow people still have the tendency to refer to someone as a "female magician" rather than just a magician and I think it is worth pointing this out from time to time. Thanks.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » December 31st, 2017, 7:06 pm

I hardly mentioned her gender except in the headline. But I think the headline brought more attention to the matter and I meant what I said. She is female and she is a magician. And a damn good one. And I bet she would be quite pleased with my description.

I am not particularly concerned with her gender. I am only concerned with her art. And she is an artist and I really appreciate that.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Susan Arendt » January 8th, 2018, 3:44 pm

chetday wrote:Her performances and character appear to me to owe quite a bit to the Silent Hill video game series.


I just love you for knowing of Silent Hill. But to be fair, the shtick is a pretty well-established Japanese horror trope. Ringu, which is maybe the best-known example here in the West, came out in 1998, whereas Silent Hill came out in 1999.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 8th, 2018, 3:50 pm

She really needs to have longer hair for the Ringu thing to really stick. And, Sadako does not speak in Ringu. She just makes that damn vocalization that sends a chill down your spine.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby observer » January 8th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Herb wrote:Thanks for pointing out this magician to me. I love the characterization and - as others have commented - the commitment to it. It's brilliant. I wish more magicians would perform with more specifically defined characterizations. However, I wonder if we can remark on her contributions and innovations without having to qualify them by pointing out her gender rather than just calling her a "magician." While she may draw on her gender for the specifics of the character she has developed - the idea of creating and committing to a well-defined character is something that could or should apply to all magicians, male and female. -- By the way, I think the majority of the comments in this thread, including the original one, DO look at her for her broad, general magical accomplishments, rather than any tied to her being a woman, but somehow people still have the tendency to refer to someone as a "female magician" rather than just a magician and I think it is worth pointing this out from time to time. Thanks.


Pointing out this person's gender is 100% the right thing to do as it addresses the recurring topic of the desirability of more women in magic. Why on earth would anyone advocate that discussion - or even mention! - of her gender should be suppressed?

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » January 8th, 2018, 8:52 pm

I think a scary woman persona is more powerful than a scary man persona for some reason.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Susan Arendt » January 9th, 2018, 11:12 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:She really needs to have longer hair for the Ringu thing to really stick. And, Sadako does not speak in Ringu. She just makes that damn vocalization that sends a chill down your spine.


True! Would be tough to do an act like that, though. Not impossible, but dang tricky, I should think.

Here's my question, though...can Riana ever stop doing the shtick? Let's say she gets tired of that particular style and just wants to be herself...would audiences reject her? I always wonder about performers who so define themselves by such a specific characterization - do they get sick of it? Could they ditch it if they wanted to?
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Christopher1979 » January 9th, 2018, 11:16 am

Herb wrote:Thanks for pointing out this magician to me. I love the characterization and - as others have commented - the commitment to it. It's brilliant. I wish more magicians would perform with more specifically defined characterizations. However, I wonder if we can remark on her contributions and innovations without having to qualify them by pointing out her gender rather than just calling her a "magician." While she may draw on her gender for the specifics of the character she has developed - the idea of creating and committing to a well-defined character is something that could or should apply to all magicians, male and female. -- By the way, I think the majority of the comments in this thread, including the original one, DO look at her for her broad, general magical accomplishments, rather than any tied to her being a woman, but somehow people still have the tendency to refer to someone as a "female magician" rather than just a magician and I think it is worth pointing this out from time to time. Thanks.


Is this to do with how "Gender sensitive" everyone seems to be these days. It seems that people have to be increasingly careful in how they word things in case you offend someone or inadvertently discriminate someone.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » January 9th, 2018, 12:15 pm

Here's my question, though...can Riana ever stop doing the shtick? Let's say she gets tired of that particular style and just wants to be herself...would audiences reject her? I always wonder about performers who so define themselves by such a specific characterization - do they get sick of it? Could they ditch it if they wanted to?[/quote]

Sure she could. And I bet she will one day. She could even do it under a different name. People won't recognise her anyway.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Susan Arendt » January 9th, 2018, 1:04 pm

performer wrote:Here's my question, though...can Riana ever stop doing the shtick? Let's say she gets tired of that particular style and just wants to be herself...would audiences reject her? I always wonder about performers who so define themselves by such a specific characterization - do they get sick of it? Could they ditch it if they wanted to?Sure she could. And I bet she will one day. She could even do it under a different name. People won't recognise her anyway.


That's a good point. She cuts her hair, comes out all bubbly and happy, nobody would ever know it was the same magician.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Pete McCabe » January 9th, 2018, 2:27 pm

That sounds like a lousy end result for her. She spends all this time and effort developing an identity and then throws it all away to start over from scratch? That's a tough way to make a living.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 9th, 2018, 3:07 pm

I think she will ride this wave for a while.
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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby performer » January 9th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I think she will ride this wave for a while.


It should be good for a few years. Still, in the end the novelty wears off and no doubt a whole bunch of imitators will emerge. The trouble with putting all the eggs in one basket is that eggs, being eggs, will eventually break. Wise for her to think ahead I think.

I am getting a bit of a vibe that she doesn't have a lot say about the way she is headed. One day I hope she takes control of her own career and gets to do things her own way.

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Re: The greatest female magician I have ever seen!

Postby Susan Arendt » January 10th, 2018, 1:33 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I think she will ride this wave for a while.


I agree; it's definitely got legs. I just thought she might get tired of it after a while. Not cracking a smile must be a bit exhausting.
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