Friday, April 02, 2010

Project 365 (92/365): Mel Mellers

.:92/365: Mel Mellers:.

It’s hard to go through a list of funny magicians without talking about one Mel Mellers, who has certainly become one of my favourite comedy magicians of all time, thanks to his insult theatre style of comedy, which tends to work well if you have the personality to carry yourself through it.

Mel isn’t that well known outside of Britain, and even then, he’s relatively anonymous when compared to the likes of Paul Daniels or Derren Brown. Nonetheless, Mr. Mellers has made a name for himself in the corporate circles, especially in cruise ships, utilizing a wide variety of different routines to make the audiences laugh and gasp in delight at the same time.

What is very deceptive about Mel Mellers is that despite being a comedy magician, his mastery of sleights is nothing to scoff at, and anyone who catches his first DVD entitled “Tickling The Mind” would realize this once you see him perform his version of the Miser’s Dream. The thing that makes his version extremely better than the standard performance would have to be his personal handling of the routine, which you simply don’t see from other performers. He uses a cleaner, although more physically demanding handling, but all in all, this simply lends to a more awe-inspiring routine that’s funny and fast-paced and very clean to look at.

While he is well-known for his comedic stylings and his simple yet clean magic routines, Mel Mellers is also pretty popular for doing bits and pieces of mentalism during his show, and really stumping people when he performs those routines. He’s versatile, he’s witty, he’s incredibly incorrigible, and while nobody could say I’m trying to be exactly like him, I can’t help but point out that he has had quite an influence on my performing style, especially when I work on my own, and I can’t go and do a full-blown Penn Jilette character since I don’t have a Teller to antagonize.

Mel Mellers may not have an elaborate biography to his name, but it would do good for any budding comedy-magician to take a few pointers from him, especially with his comedic timing, which really comes to the fore when he does his own version of the Card Improv routine. This particular routine only underscores how good he really is with controlling his audience and having them eat out of the palm of his hand. That’s the kind of performer I hope to establish myself as, and with Mel’s style being perfectly suited for hosting in an informal setting, I’ve certainly incorporated his approach even there as well.

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