Monday, September 12, 2011

Just Another Magic Monday: Michael Ammar Live In Manila!!!

.:Just Another Magic Monday: Michael Ammar Live In Manila!!!:.

They don't call it "The Michael Ammar Experience" for nothing.

Last Sunday night, Manila played host to the legen... wait for it... dary magician, one of the students of the Professor, Dai Vernon, none other than Michael Ammar. It all came together on such short notice, but lo and behold, the fine people from the Philippine magic community, including Chubster, George Ma Mon Luk, and so forth really worked hard to make this event succeed.

The event happened at Pepeton's Grill, which had awesome barbecue, to say the least. I went there not knowing what to expect, and half-assuming we'd be eating inside a restaurant or outdoors in a very informal setting, which I'm certainly would've been strange.

Of course, when I discovered there was pretty much a function room for the lecture, my expectations went back to normal, albeit I definitely figured there was going to be a shortage of space given how many people wanted a chance to meet Michael Ammar.

That night, we were treated to an amazing time, and the Philippine magic community showed Mr. Ammar all the love in the world as he delivered a world-class lecture worth every single penny everyone paid for that night.

I've always liked Mr. Ammar because he was a true student of the craft. His very simple and old-school approach, punctuated by his very infectious humor, never fails to remind people that magicians don't always need to reinvent the wheel to become luminaries in this industry. While many would say Ammar gives us a back-to-basics approach, very few would ever say that Ammar's skill level is anywhere near "basic." He is exceptionally skilled, and with his simple but funny story, he lets that skill shine through without having to rely on hype or gimmickry to carry him through. It's this old-school sensibility that many people overlook when trying to be contemporary magicians. Too many people pattern themselves after the Blaine's and the Angel's of this world without even first figuring out if the old-school approach would fit them more. Michael Ammar proves effortlessly that old-school isn't out of time or out of style: it's just out of this world!

That night, we learned a lot of subtle nuances from him, but overall, just like the last time Shoot Ogawa came here, what I appreciated most was the chance to see a performer at work, showing us the difference between doing tricks and performing magic. I think that all things considered, every single magician in that room that night got more than their money's worth from that experience alone, even if they never bother to do a single routine from the lecture for the rest of their lives.

So yes, thank you very much, Mr. Ammar! You were phenomenal, and picking your brain was, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful opportunities we Filipino magicians have ever had the honor of being gifted with.

Damn. Shadows. Didn't "The Omen" say something about that?

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