Friday, June 04, 2010

Another Project 365 Smorgasbord (168-170)

.:170/365: Kaos:.

Here’s one of the routines I really love from Daniel Garcia: the card through window routine that has some unique touches all its own.

Kaos is an interesting take on the card through window script because instead of just tossing the deck of cards at the window, you drag the whole process out by slowly pulling the card through the window from the other side. Given how you show your hands empty to begin your “surgical” procedure, Kaos can not only stump and impress people, but it really leaves you so clean at the end of the routine, and requires zero assistants or any similar shenanigans.

In fact, out of all the routines I’ve seen from Daniel Garcia, this is really the first routine I’ve really enjoyed and even used in performances from him. This is me, over three years ago, performing Kaos in Megamall. It was a pretty cool performance, and my first street magic stint ever recorded, so I was exceptionally happy how the routine turned out, and how convincing pulling the card out of the window really seemed to them.

Ultimately, this is a routine that I would use whenever the opportunity presents itself. It’s hard to find the appropriate windows and the like for this routine, but when you get to do it as I have done so many times in the past and even most recently, during my Mentos street magic tour, it’s a routine that I definitely use to make my reputation. Learning this routine and mastering the slick presentation that you can utilize for it will pay dividends for any street magician.

A word of warning, though: this routine is obviously not performable when completely surrounded.

.:169/365: Cyril Takayama:.

Cyril Takayama is an American magician of Japanese and French roots. With a troubled childhood that he somehow managed to turn around in his favour, Cyril’s very colourful life story has involved him reaching the highest of the highs after subjecting himself to the lowest of the lows, having made a living for a while busking in the streets of Tokyo until he found a very generous benefactor to support him and his talents.

As a performer, Cyril’s skills are top-notch, and he is very much capable of performing excellent sleights and is capable of talking through his routines as he walks his spectators through it. He also exudes a larger-than-life persona when he’s in Japan, as people around him seem to regard him like some kind of a rock star. He is definitely quite a performer, and personally, I’m very impressed by the immense amount of skill he demonstrates whenever he does his routines.

I chose this routine mainly because I don’t think there’s much to talk about when it comes to showing off how a burger appears and disappears from a menu at a fastfood restaurant. Cyril definitely performs this well, although I am rather sceptical that he can do this routine in just about any fastfood corner, which makes me feel this can’t be genuinely considered as street magic, per se.

If you look at Cyril’s exceptional talent and his ability to speak at least two languages well (I’m not sure if he also speaks French or Korean.), he definitely has the tools required to become one of the biggest street magicians of our generation. We will always respect David Blaine as one of the first people who put street magic on the map for this millennium, but when it comes to sheer variety and an ability to really connect to a person such as myself, it’s really Cyril who does the trick for me, pun intended. Blaine is no doubt a great performer, but his insistence on hyping his stunts more than his actual magic tends to distract from his contributions to the art form.

With the world in the palm of his hands, Cyril can only continue to grow by leaps and bounds as a performer. He has all the tools he needs to really make it, and I, for one, am glad that this magician who has started merely as a street busker is now one of the most popular performers here in Asia.

.:168/365: Balducci Levitation:.

One of the most beloved and beleaguered routines in the street magician’s arsenal, the Balducci Levitation is arguably one of the routines I get most frequently asked to perform that doesn’t involve a card, a fork, or a coin. This routine is just stunning to look at when done perfectly, and can demonstrate the seemingly impossible feat of levitation, all the while making jaws drop because of the sheer height one can achieve if they knew how to maximize the levitation.

It’s a very simple script, really, and one that just requires a little bit of audience control, more than anything else: you ask them to stay away from you because of the inherent dangers involved in self-levitation, then while they’re there, you proceed to levitate off the ground for everyone behind you to see. It can shock anyone who sees it without ever having seen the routine before, and has definitely resulted in cases of mass hysteria.

A word of warning regarding this routine, though: as awesome as it is, this routine is one of the most heavily exposed routines in magic. Almost everyone knows how it’s done now, and with that, you should learn to choose your audiences carefully when performing this.

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