Monday, January 04, 2010

4/365, And Some Other Bits And Pieces...

.:4/365: The Abnormal Lift:.

The secret is, there is no secret.

Oftentimes, magicians are accused of trickery and looked down upon precisely for that. Some magicians reveal secrets, on the other hand, and earn the ire of fellow magicians who make a living from the routines and effects they expose. Just ask Valentino: he’d tell you.

On the other hand, there are some things that just don’t have any other explanation other than: it legitimately happened.

Imagine a simple pick-a-card, where you’d choose one out of 52 different cards. The odds of a magician blindly guessing your card without any trickery whatsoever is one out of 52. Is it likely he’d get your card right? Not really. Despite that, with just a little under 2% odds of getting it right, there’s always the ever-tiniest possibility that it works out for you.

Especially if you do the trick 100 times and just show on TV the few times you actually got it right.

When these things happen, there is no other explanation for it: it legitimately happened.

The Abnormal Lift is one of those feats. For the longest time, levitation has always been an illusion that has attracted a lot of interest from outside the magic community, and one that has been exposed so many times.

Without having to reveal anything, the Abnormal Lift is as close to the real thing as can be: a levitation that requires nothing except a chair, a willing volunteer, and a total of eight index fingers all coming together to demonstrate one of the strongest instances of hypnosis (Or self-hypnosis, even.) you will ever see.

The thing is, to perform the Abnormal Lift, it requires a kind of mindset: the persons involved must believe they can genuinely do it, or else, their own self-doubt would doom them to failure.

After all, the logistics seem daunting: a person, often noticeably larger than any of the other four volunteers, will be held up in mid-air only on the index fingers of four other people. To imagine the sheer amount of strain an index finger would sustain as a full-grown human being rests upon it seems a bit terrifying, let alone levitating said person so high up and holding him in place for that long a time.

If you don’t think you can do it, you can’t. This is what makes the Abnormal Lift a mentalism feat, more than anything else: it’s the mentalist’s job to convince the five people involved that yes, they can pull this off. The mentalist may seem inconsequential to the audience; and yes, while that’s the desired effect, that the levitation is indeed genuine because the mentalist’s absence from the actual levitation means it was free of any trickery, this doesn’t mean that the mentalist was truly inconsequential to the feat.

I am a huge fan of the Abnormal Lift because it is the routine that sets apart those who can control their spectators and those who can’t. This is the one routine I can point to as the one that has convinced the most people about the reality of mentalism, because any other routine can always have naysayers label it merely as a “trick” or even a “setup”, but you can’t get any more legit than the Lift.

To the mentalists out there, I share with you the Abnormal Lift: no tricks. No secrets. No lies. Just the sheer ability of a performer to make people believe that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. The ability to make people believe they can. This is practical hypnosis at its best.

.:Getting Cultured...:.

Believe it or not, that packaging is painted on.

Last Saturday, me and a friend decided to get a dose of culture by going through Megamall’s Art Galleries on the fourth floor, and we were definitely enthralled when we saw the section that featured Sarmiento’s work. On first glance, it looked as if he had so many unfinished paintings all over the place, amid his breathtaking 3D paintings of houses and the like.

Upon closer inspection, though...

Yep. So’s the tape.

... you realize that every piece of masking tape, every wrapper, is actually painted on. That the colors and shadows of each painting are so convincing that you believe they’re real until you move close enough to see otherwise is sheer genius. Sarmiento is an amazing artist, and I was floored with how he fooled my eyes just like that.

Do drop by in Megamall when you can. This art gallery is a must-see.

.:Back To Work...:.

... and it feels so natural.

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