Monday, August 23, 2010

Project 365 Two-Fer (233-234): Sonny Minoza

.:233/365: Sonny Minoza:.

Sonny Minoza is one of my favourite people in the whole world, and easily makes the top five of my personal list of Filipino mentalists of note.

As a performer, sir Sonny has the chops necessary to be a mentalist, given his ability to communicate clearly and his control over audience members at any given time. I’ve seen the man at work, and I can’t help but appreciate the strides he has taken to establish his credibility as a mentalist, given how the need to set himself apart from the triumvirate of David Elefant, Leodini, and Rannie Raymundo meant that he needed to bring something different to the table.

If I were to look at the great triumvirate and liken each of them to one of the top mentalists in the world, I would say that David Elefant is to Max Maven as Leodini is to Kockov (Or Luke Jermay, if you will.) as Rannie Raymundo is to Derren Brown. While these are admittedly very lose comparisons (Excluding Mr. Elefant, who is every bit as terrifying as Max Maven is onstage.), these comparisons only show the kind of work cut out for Mr. Minoza, as he needed to etch a name for himself without pretty much being a carbon copy of these three luminaries.

So where we have a Maven, a Kockov/Jermay, and a Derren, Mr. Minoza pretty much pegged himself as an Osterlind: that funny uncle you could relate to, but happened to be gifted with mentalist abilities, as opposed to being the demon himself, a shocking and disarming performer who uses humor to his advantage, or suaveness on crack respectively.

Thanks to this, Sonny Minoza has certainly given rise to a kind of mentalism that is every bit as credible as it is “family-friendly” in the way only Sonny could do it. The exercise in contrasts has been nothing short of amazing, as I have certainly tried observing each of these esteemed gentlemen, and the way they wildly vary amongst themselves is a thing to marvel at.

Having said all of that, here’s me tipping my hat to Sonny Minoza: one of the best names in mentalism, a charter member of the Psychic Entertainment Network (Along with David Elefant, Nomer Lasala, Lei Sarmiento, and yours truly.), and a swell guy all-around. His very casual approach to mentalism allows him to just connect with audiences in ways nobody has imagined possible. The fact that he practically avoids an onstage persona and uses the real him to get himself over is just... unique, really.

.:234/365: Q And A With Sonny Minoza:.

By now, you know the six questions I ask, right?

1) Watching the TV series' "Wonderful world of Magic", "Magic of Mark Wilson" & Bill Bixby's "The Magician". All in the 70's...been interested since I was 7 or 8. Couldn't really remember the exact age.

2) Entertaining people by performing psychic/mind power demos/feats.

3) Everytime I see my audience well entertained is always the best experience.

4) When my briefcase (where my whole show is placed) didn't open & I was already on stage. Had to improvise half of the show until my wife was able to force it open backstage.

5) Couldn't think of one right now.

6) Do it for your love of the art & not just because it's the "in" thing right now.

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