Friday, January 01, 2010

Project 365, And New Year's Eve

.:1/365: Liquid Metal:.

Use the forks, Luke.

As I’m not much of a photographer, I decided to try my hand at doing a Project 365 out of my magic. Essentially, in no particular order, I’d be talking about one particular routine or performer each day, and I’ll be discussing my thoughts on each topic, thus allowing me to cover quite a wide range of effects and personalities in this very rich art form.

If I can, I’ll even throw in a picture or a video for your personal amusement. I can't guarantee that I'll finish this project as it entails a ton of research and writing, but whaddaheck, I can try. For this week,let me try to focus on mentalism as my art form of choice.

Anyways, here’s my first effort, and immediately, I’m going for an effect that has made my reputation for almost four years now: metal bending, what some people refer to as “psychokinesis,” or the ability to move objects using the full capacities of the mind.

While metal bending has been in existence for a long time, it wasn’t until the 1970’s when an Israeli man named Uri Geller took this feat to television did the phenomenon gain any serious interest. To say that Geller is a controversial and polarizing figure is an understatement. You either believe the man’s claims of extraterrestrial-infused powers far beyond the average human being or think he’s absolutely nuts.

Nowadays, a few thinkers in the scientific community believe that such abilities are not necessarily “exclusive” only to “gifted” individuals. It is merely an application of abilities and capacities that the human person is already capable of doing on his own. It’s just a question of willingness to learn it, an open mind, and the capacity to do persevere at learning it.

I started doing metal bending in 2006, and it’s been one of my signature routines for years. At no point did I claim to have any kind of power nobody else had, making it perfectly clear that what I am doing is extraordinary only because people never really cared much to learn a “talent” that has little application in the real world beyond impressing people and at times, getting/scaring off dates. It’s a very good routine, but I’ll be the first to admit that as powerful as it is, I usually use it to lead into something even more jaw-dropping.

Since I do happen to have a video of myself performing this routine, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to show it to you right now...

.:My Idea Of A Perfect New Year...:.

... was to spend it with Jose Mari Chan?!?

Well, sort of, but it was quite an experience! I had a 30-minute show last New Year's Eve in Makati, and one of the guests that night was none other than Jose Mari Chan himself.

It was a pretty amazing night, to say the least. It was myself, Derf Hebrado, and Alex Calleja, all pegged to entertain for the night, and I was supposed to open for Derf and Alex and get the crowd ready for some good ol' point of view standup comedy. This meant that I had to create a perfect mix of comedy, magic, drama, and mentalism, all in anticipation of out and out laughter from the two Comedy Cartel members.

I finally brought back the Russian Roulette after a long time of not using it, and it was a good call, picking that routine over the multiplying bottles. While admittedly, there are a lot of jokes to be had with the bottles, there wasn't going to be a shortage of funny moments for the night. Mr. Steven Chan, Jose Mari Chan's brother, really upped the ante as he almost successfully fooled me into impaling my hand on a razor-sharp spike that night.

Aside from that, I also performed Black Ops Hypnosis, Improv Card Story, and of course, Liquid Metal. There were a lot of laughs to be had when I started looking for a "Beautiful Girl" to help me out with the Lady and the Rope routine, though. With Jose Mari Chan in the audience, how could I resist, right?

Anyways, that was a great show to cap off a great year of performances for me. One can only hope that this means come 2010, bigger and brighter things will be coming my way. Who knows, right?

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