(Close Window)
Topic: Jason Alexander, Mentalist
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 28, 2006 12:00PM)
So I went to The Magic Castle on Tuesday, and got there an hour before the shows started, expecting it to be a fairly quiet night. Turns out there were people milling about in front, people milling about in the lobby, people milling about in the main bar...all an hour before showtime. Why? It turns out Jason "George from Seinfeld" Alexander is working in the Parlor this week. After catching both close-up acts, we went to the Parlor to see Whit Haydn (Late Parlor), but it turns out that because so many people were there to see Jason Alexander, Whit graciously ceded him a couple of the late acts (and in fact Whit performed in the Hat & Hare that night, and not in the Parlor at all). So we caught Jason's act, having no idea what to expect. I didn't know he performed magic at all. Turns out he has a mentalism set, and it was really quite good. Very polished, big on audience relationship, thematically consistent...I was impressed. It's his debut week at the Castle, but obviously, it's something he'd been doing for a while. Anyone else catch him this week, or know that he did mentalism?
Message: Posted by: Fred E. Bert (Apr 28, 2006 12:29PM)
Is his stage name Art Vandelay? ;)
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Apr 28, 2006 12:43PM)
Art Vandelay is an importer.

He performed as Buck Naked.

0pus
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Apr 28, 2006 01:07PM)
Do you ever which famous people troll out little Café and laugh at our experiments, bickering, and better than thou attitude?
Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Apr 28, 2006 02:04PM)
Hey, they have thier world, and we have ours! ;-)

WOW -- I didn't know Jason Alexander did mentalism -- what type of effects did he do?
Message: Posted by: magician 4 (Apr 28, 2006 05:19PM)
Why do famous men try and steal the work from us all? I am not going to go and star in a comedy show and so Jason Alexander shouldn't take up mind reading. it is simple as that. does he have the skills of richard busch? I think the answer is probably no let's be honest. still, good luck to him and this can only be good for magic.
Message: Posted by: Jay Are (Apr 28, 2006 05:43PM)
Wow -- only 4 posts and bitter ALREADY?!?!?
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Apr 28, 2006 06:00PM)
Yeah, those movies stars should know their place; how dare they intrude into our domain.

You know who I'm talking about: Cary Grant, Steve Martin, Orson Welles, John Calvert ... oh wait.

To suggest that Jason is "stealing" work from the rest of us is pretty ridiculous. He most likely has been a magic enthusiast for years. In any event he has just as much right to perform mind reading as you or I. Get over it.

Okay, I'm done.
Joe L.
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 28, 2006 06:28PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 18:19, magician 4 wrote:
Why do famous men try and steal the work from us all? I am not going to go and star in a comedy show and so jason alexander shouldn't take up mind reading. it is simple as that. does he have the skills of richard busch? I think the answer is probably no let's be honest. still, good luck to him and this can only be good for magic.
[/quote]

Do YOU have the skills of Richard Busch? If not, should you drop out of the field?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 28, 2006 06:31PM)
Was his approach comic or more serious?
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Apr 28, 2006 06:32PM)
Lessee... magic and mentalism are at performing theatrical arts (well, they should be as far as I understand and that is my framework).... also actors are "magicians" in creating illusions in roles and imaginary worlds... so...I'd say watch out that Jason Alexander doesn't spot you and say "man, you are stealing stuff from Shakespeare..."
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 28, 2006 06:34PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 15:04, icy_rabbit wrote:
Hey, they have thier world, and we have ours! ;-)

WOW -- I didn't know Jason Alexander did mentalism -- what type of effects did he do?
[/quote]

He did an effect where a spectator hid a small medallion in one of his hands repeatedly, then brought his hands in front of him and Jason identified which hand it was in. He did a Mental Epic effect, and he did a jumbo card effect where four frames each held one of the queens, with the back (red) showing. One at a time, he held up a jumbo blue queen, and had an audience member tell him which frame to put the card in; at the end, each frame held a red queen and a blue queen, and each pair matched. He also did a prediction effect at the beginning of his act, where he showed a woman a picture with a bunch of cards on it and she was to think of one. His "patter" was mute in this effect; he had a spiral-bound book of instruction that he showed, one page at a time, which was very funny, e.g. "Think of one of the cards." "Do you have one in mind?" "Good." "Is it a black card?" "I knew that." etc. At the end, she called out the name of her card, and he revealed the reason for the mute presentation - in his mouth was a folded up card that matched hers.
This description does an injustice to his act; he had a presentation and patter that gave each effect meaning, and there was an overall theme (patterns and basic human connectedness) that made the effects consistent with each other. It was a very well thought-out and presented show.
Message: Posted by: harishjose (Apr 28, 2006 06:36PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 19:28, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 18:19, magician 4 wrote:
Why do famous men try and steal the work from us all? I am not going to go and star in a comedy show and so jason alexander shouldn't take up mind reading. it is simple as that. does he have the skills of richard busch? I think the answer is probably no let's be honest. still, good luck to him and this can only be good for magic.
[/quote]

Do YOU have the skills of Richard Busch? If not, should you drop out of the field?
[/quote]
I would love to see the man practice what he preaches.
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Apr 28, 2006 06:41PM)
Sounds like a fun time.
Message: Posted by: Agathon (Apr 28, 2006 07:00PM)
Jason has been a member of The Magic Castle for quite a few years now. When he is in with guests he performs for them down in the museum. His show was a lesson in presentation and it was one of the best shows I have seen in the Parlor in my 7 years as a member.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Apr 29, 2006 01:44AM)
Actually I believe Jason did magic long before comedy, he just chose to make his living with comedy. I did not know that once one chose a certain profession that they need to remain locked into it for eternity, and may not explore other interests however. There is also such as thing as "comedy magic" also. I find it very odd that anyone would care if Jason chose to do mentalism, or magic, even a magician.

First someone is griping that he is "stealing" from us, and has no skills — yet in the same breath exclaims that "this can only be good for magic." Since when does a performer have to have the "same amount of skill" as another in order to be successful? Never. Also false assumptions about another performer without having been there, nor ever seen them perform is just as ludicrous if not more.
Message: Posted by: Roth (Apr 29, 2006 03:09AM)
Jason Alexander has been doing magic for years and is very very good.
Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Apr 29, 2006 09:11AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 18:19, magician 4 wrote:
Why do famous men try and steal the work from us all? I am not going to go and star in a comedy show and so jason alexander shouldn't take up mind reading. it is simple as that. does he have the skills of richard busch? I think the answer is probably no let's be honest. still, good luck to him and this can only be good for magic.
[/quote]

I am sure as Jason decided that he loves mentalism. He thought boy I can really stick it to some people that are trying to make it. I don't want anyone else to become wealthy or famous. Jason can do whatever he wants. If you want to try out for a comedy show GO FOR IT!!

Your post has me laughing.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Zenitram (Apr 29, 2006 09:17AM)
I've always been a fan of Jason, this just makes him even better!
Message: Posted by: slydini (Apr 29, 2006 09:30AM)
I was there last night. I realy enjoyed his show. More power to him.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Apr 29, 2006 11:27AM)
He's got all the luck being on tv being a good mentalist having hair...
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Apr 29, 2006 11:42AM)
I wonder if Larry David is also into mentalism?

Y'know - Alexander should have tried to create a bumbling mentalist character for a TV show - sort of like the Magician (Bill Bixby) meets Curb your Enthusiasm - that might have been crazy
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Apr 29, 2006 12:37PM)
That's a funny idea; imagine George Costanza as a Kreskin-like character. Despite his best efforts, he still manages to solve the crime by the end of the show!

See ya!
Joe L.
San Antonio
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Apr 29, 2006 03:39PM)
Tv pilot: Mentashlameel

Man with amazing mentalism talents who amazes the public cannot read any ques when trying to engage the opposite sex.
Message: Posted by: RileyG (Apr 29, 2006 09:33PM)
He and Marc Salem could play evil & good twin mentalists
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Apr 30, 2006 04:04AM)
Looks like Magician 4 borrowed Todd75's avatar....Hmmmmmmmmm
Message: Posted by: Roth (Apr 30, 2006 04:20AM)
RileyG's avatar is freakin me out.
Message: Posted by: Jon Allen (Apr 30, 2006 06:52AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 19:34, LobowolfXXX wrote:
He also did a prediction effect at the beginning of his act, where he showed a woman a picture with a bunch of cards on it and she was to think of one. His "patter" was mute in this effect; he had a spiral-bound book of instruction that he showed, one page at a time, which was very funny, e.g. "Think of one of the cards." "Do you have one in mind?" "Good." "Is it a black card?" "I knew that." etc. At the end, she called out the name of her card, and he revealed the reason for the mute presentation - in his mouth was a folded up card that matched hers.
[/quote]

I'm happy to say that this is an effect of mine called The Silent Treatment. Whether you think Jason should or shouldn't be doing mentalism, at least he has good taste in his choice of material :)
Message: Posted by: dgcuff (Apr 30, 2006 07:01AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 07:52, Jon Allen wrote:
I'm happy to say that this is an effect of mine called The Silent Treatment.
[/quote]

Oh, thank you! I recognized the effect by its description, but had totally forgotten the name of it.
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Apr 30, 2006 08:59AM)
LobowolfXXX seems to have vanished.

Don't you love "hit and run" posters?
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 30, 2006 11:24AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 07:52, Jon Allen wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-04-28 19:34, LobowolfXXX wrote:
He also did a prediction effect at the beginning of his act, where he showed a woman a picture with a bunch of cards on it and she was to think of one. His "patter" was mute in this effect; he had a spiral-bound book of instruction that he showed, one page at a time, which was very funny, e.g. "Think of one of the cards." "Do you have one in mind?" "Good." "Is it a black card?" "I knew that." etc. At the end, she called out the name of her card, and he revealed the reason for the mute presentation - in his mouth was a folded up card that matched hers.
[/quote]

I'm happy to say that this is an effect of mine called The Silent Treatment. Whether you think Jason should or shouldn't be doing mentalism, at least he has good taste in his choice of material :)
[/quote]


Thanks, Jon...I was wondering where this effect came from. You'll be happy to know he presented it well.
Message: Posted by: RileyG (Apr 30, 2006 02:02PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 05:20, Roth wrote:
RileyG's avatar is freakin me out.
[/quote]

Thanks for the comments...
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 30, 2006 02:08PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 09:59, mindguy wrote:
LobowolfXXX seems to have vanished.

Don't you love "hit and run" posters?

[/quote]

Well, gee, I started the thread (to which this is your first contribution)and followed up twice, including answering a question about the material Jason used. If I'd known you'd miss me so much in the day and a half I was absent from this thread, I wouldn't have been gone so long. Sorry about that. I kinda thought that if I sparked a discussion among people who either A) knew about, or B) were interested in Jason's interest in mentalism, the thread might sort of take care of itself. Seemed to be doing ok, but apparently my absence Saturday may have been distressing.
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Apr 30, 2006 02:27PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 15:08, LobowolfXXX wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 09:59, mindguy wrote:
LobowolfXXX seems to have vanished.

Don't you love "hit and run" posters?

[/quote]

Well, gee, I started the thread (to which this is your first contribution)and followed up twice, including answering a question about the material Jason used. If I'd known you'd miss me so much in the day and a half I was absent from this thread, I wouldn't have been gone so long. Sorry about that. I kinda thought that if I sparked a discussion among people who either A) knew about, or B) were interested in Jason's interest in mentalism, the thread might sort of take care of itself. Seemed to be doing ok, but apparently my absence Saturday may have been distressing.
[/quote]

Not distressing my friend, but the flaming tone fo your first "elite" inquiry had the all too familiar whiff of a winge/moan/and hit and run event.

I'm still wondering why you felt compeled to slag off Alexander in the first place..

Too much time on your hands perhaps?

Just wondering.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 30, 2006 02:32PM)
Excuse me if I'm misunderstanding some cross-country slang, but I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "slag off" or "flaming." For that matter, what's with the "moaning"? I posted because I didn't know that Jason Alexander did mentalism, I thought he did a great set, and I wondered how many others were aware of it. I could be confused, because I don't know what "slag off" means, but it sounds derogatory, when I think it's very clear that my posts are quite complimentary toward him. He did a great act, and I thought it was neat that he's a mentalist, also.

If you have that much of an issue with a post under the mentalism topic that says, essentially, "Hey, here's a guy most of us are familiar with, but did you also know he's a mentalist, and a good one?" then it's probably you who has too much time on his hands.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Apr 30, 2006 03:45PM)
Here's a review from Wayne Kawamoto on one of the performances on the night I caught him.




http://magic.about.com/od/biosonfamousmagicians/a/042606alexander.htm
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Apr 30, 2006 05:14PM)
Mindguy, are ye goin' batty? Can you point out where LobowolfXXX derided Jason? He started and maintained the thread with nothing but admiration. I think you are referring to "magician 4," who hurled an absurd insult and left.

Seth
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (May 2, 2006 01:41PM)
"MindGuy" seems to have vanished.
Message: Posted by: TheGreatDane (May 2, 2006 01:48PM)
Jason Alexander is also a big supporter and friend of Penn & Teller's - he's been to a million of their performances and supposedly cries everytime Teller performs his routine where he cuts the sillhouette of a rose, and the actual petals fall off.

He's a consummate show-man, magician, mentalist, comedian, actor, singer, etc. Some people are just talented in the field of the arts, and I don't see any reason why they should extend their creative talents to all aspects of it.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (May 2, 2006 01:55PM)
I assume you mean you don't see any reason why they SHOULDN'T, in which case I agree wholeheartedly. His was one of the best mentalism acts I've seen at the Castle.
Message: Posted by: airship (May 2, 2006 02:31PM)
I would think that a high-profile actor like Jason Alexander would have some real advantages doing a mentalist act: (a) people EXPECT him to be entertaining so they won't have that intital 'okay, you're the entertainer so entertain me' chip on their shoulder, (b) he's got all that performance training and experience behind him, and (c) people will be so distracted by the fact they are with a celebrity that misdirection would not be a problem. I'm sure he killed. (Man, I really, really hate people who have more talent than I do...)
Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (May 3, 2006 01:08AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-30 18:14, Seth speaks wrote:
Mindguy, are ye goin' batty? Can you point out where LobowolfXXX derided Jason? He started and maintained the thread with nothing but admiration. I think you are referring to "magician 4," who hurled an absurd insult and left.

Seth
[/quote]

I apologise to LowbowolfXXX I did indeed confuse him with "magician 4".

I didn't vanish, just got caught up with my day job, being a diplomat....

Sorry again...

By the way, Slag= insult. Flame=contention.

Just two of several UK terms this transplanted Yank from California has learned over the past 17 years of living here in the UK.

Sorry again for my error.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (May 3, 2006 11:20AM)
No harm done; thanks for the cross-country vocabulary lesson. And check out Jason Alexander, if you get a chance. ;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Martin (Jun 25, 2006 02:58PM)
Maybe he gave up tv and took up mentalism to make some real money.
Message: Posted by: tincture (Jun 25, 2006 10:57PM)
Now that is funny!
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jun 26, 2006 06:16AM)
FYI, David Regal wrote an excellent review of Jason Alexander's act in this month's Genii magazine.

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: davybabybrazil (Jun 26, 2006 02:52PM)
If you remember he made some references to mentalism in one of the episodes when he said (and I l quote)"...sometimes I think it would be easier to bend a spoon with my mind than to make that transformation...."

Those of you who rememebr the episode will :)
Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Jun 26, 2006 05:20PM)
From Brazil and a Sienfeld fan. Which episode is that? I cant think of what that is in.
Message: Posted by: davybabybrazil (Jun 27, 2006 02:56PM)
One where they talk about impotency (I'll let your imagination take over from here)
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Jun 28, 2006 08:16AM)
I had heard his name come up before, as far as being somewhat of a magician hobbyist and performer for close friends etc. I also heard that he was pretty good.
So, I made it there on monday of the week he was performing at The Magic Castle. We went straight to the parlor and there was a nice long line already.
Ended up waiting almost 2 hours but I also saw his show and was impressed. He was funny and entertaining and presented his stuff very well. I read in the newsletter afterwards how he was a little nervous and honored to be able to perform at The Magic Castle. It seems magic has always been his passion and he did not want to bomb or put a black eye on the art, so to speak.
Anyways, it was a good piece to read and I was glad I got there and waited it out to see his debut.
I also heard how they were turning people away, including magician members due to the capacity crowd at the place. And that was on Monday!

Hey Jason, where are you? Stop lurking and put up a post already!

Just kidding.

GlenD
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Jul 13, 2006 07:22PM)
I jus read his the Article about him at the Castle in "Magic", I am very pleased to hear that he is into it. Good for him.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 23, 2006 03:58AM)
OT: When are you headed back overseas Paisa or are you out of military now?
Message: Posted by: trickiewillie (Jul 23, 2006 12:25PM)
Jason Alexander actually played a mentalist on a little-watched cable tv show about 10 years ago called "Remember WENN," about a radio station in the 1930s-40s. He was a guest star visiting the station.

Check this link:

http://www.tv.com/remember-wenn/nothing-up-my-sleeve/episode/10007/summary.html
Message: Posted by: JustinCredible28 (Jul 24, 2006 03:54AM)
He also wrote the forward to "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic"-- Yes, I'm admitting to have read that surprisingly good book once upon a time, hahaha! :)
Message: Posted by: Maddened (Jul 24, 2006 05:04AM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-24 04:54, JustinCredible28 wrote:
He also wrote the forward to "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic"-- Yes, I'm admitting to have read that surprisingly good book once upon a time, hahaha! :)
[/quote]
Yes! I remember that! And it is a good book, let no man say otherwise. But sadly in a bout of madness I actually sold it off and I've been kicking myself still since then. Aargh.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Jul 24, 2006 09:24AM)
He performed marketed effects that anybody can buy from any magic store. And he did it well. Goes to show you just how important presentation is. Sometimes originality gets in the way of a good performance.
Message: Posted by: Cheety (Jul 24, 2006 02:24PM)
And in the first ever episode of seinfeld he writes sumthing(can't remember wat) on a note book and turns it around like a mentalist would and shows it to jerry. and it was the correct ansa, (i'm sorry I bearly remember this)
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Jul 25, 2006 05:03PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-24 10:24, rowdymagi5 wrote:
He performed marketed effects that anybody can buy from any magic store. And he did it well. Goes to show you just how important presentation is. Sometimes originality gets in the way of a good performance.
[/quote]

Agreed...MAGIC article was a great read...he did a good job of NOT acting like a magician :)
Message: Posted by: crdshark86 (Aug 25, 2006 08:50PM)
Jason did a fantastic performance! I loved it- hes a good friend of mine!
Message: Posted by: T Duncan Smith (Aug 27, 2006 03:51AM)
He's definitely a multi-faceted performer. I've heard that he studied Larry David in preparation for his role as George Costanza, and I can see it, but he definitely made the character his own. Maybe that's why I was surprised to find out that he is also a talented song and dance man (I have a hard time seeing David as that). Good for him, if he did it well.
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Dec 23, 2007 12:54PM)
I consider Jason Alexander a really excellent magician/mentalist. Someone with a really well thought out act. He is fully deserving of being a proffesional magician, far better than most at that job.

That said I do feel that the award of "Parloyr Magician of the Year 2007" is wholly innacurate, the guy while a superb performer, performs nothing original. I am firmly in the camp that says to be great "you must be able to both create and perform your material". His performances, I personally don't feel advance the "artform" in any way. Now I know this is a really pretentious viewpoint, and that I may well get slated for saying this, but none the less I stand by my argument.

So what do you think?
Was this title deserved, or is this just a token jesture to a big name celebrity?
Message: Posted by: The Feegee Mermaid (Dec 25, 2007 09:56PM)
I remember seeing him escape from a straight jacket on a talk show recently, ill try and find it on Youtube.
Message: Posted by: DT3 (Dec 26, 2007 12:17AM)
I mentioned this on another thread a while back.

Way before Jason was George back in college he made his living doing street magic in the Boston Commons area.

Ironically he switched his focus to acting because he thought his hands were too small. As we all know small hands are no problem (Malini and Liepzig both had tiny digits) but the world is a better place because of the work Jason did as Costanza, so fate wins.

As mentioned before, Jason is also an amazing singer and a great dancer, and one of the nicest people I have ever met. For all of his talent he is quite humble.

Also, the spoon bending comment was from a great episode titled "The Mango" from September 16, 1993.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

D.
Message: Posted by: The Feegee Mermaid (Dec 26, 2007 02:11AM)
Not on youtube. It was funny though, he did the interview while trying to escape.