We Remember The Magic Caf We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Marc Salem - "Mind Games" in Toronto (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
trilam
View Profile
New user
Montreal, Canada
65 Posts

Profile of trilam
I have just read a very good review of this show in this morning's paper.
I am in Montreal but would consider planning a business/pleasure trip to Toronto to catch this show if it is as good as it sounds. Since the same show has played off Broadway, I am sure that there are some of you who have seen it. Is it worth the trip?
Drewmcadam
View Profile
Inner circle
Scotland
1238 Posts

Profile of Drewmcadam
I would say don’t miss it! And after the show, tell him Drew McAdam sent you. Quite honestly, I have learned more from Marc – about how to present yourself as a mentalist – than I have learned from everything I’ve ever read put together.

I’m sure he would be delighted to talk to you – and he is one of the most friendly, cheerful, amiable and thoroughly charming individuals you could ever hope to meet.

His style of presentation is beautiful As he said once: “If somebody could really read minds, the participant would find it extremely intimidating. I use humour to get under their intimidation radar.”

He is highly knowledgeable, a great entertainer, a fun person – and it’s a crackling good show. I had the pleasure of reviewing it for the Edinburgh Evening news during the Edinburgh Festival and gave it 5 stars (I don’t hand out 5 stars very often!)

Hope this answers your question!

Let me know how you get on.

Drew McAdam
fordkross
View Profile
Loyal user
209 Posts

Profile of fordkross
Quote:
On 2002-03-05 08:35, trilam wrote:
I have just read a very good review of this show in this morning's paper.
I am in Montreal but would consider planning a business/pleasure trip to Toronto to catch this show if it is as good as it sounds. Since the same show has played off Broadway, I am sure that there are some of you who have seen it. Is it worth the trip?

Definitely,one of the most entertaining evenings, you will ever experience. BTW, while Mind Games originally appeared off Broadway, Mind Games Too was on Broadway
from
Ford
trilam
View Profile
New user
Montreal, Canada
65 Posts

Profile of trilam
Well with reviews like that I think that I will have to start planning my trip.
I hope to be able to meet with Marc after the show as Drew suggests but that will depend on the venue and his accessibility after the performance.
Anyone in the Toronto area with plans to attend? Maybe we could arrange to meet up before or after the show.
Ian Rowland
View Profile
Special user
London
876 Posts

Profile of Ian Rowland
Go. Enjoy. Admire. Learn.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
trilam
View Profile
New user
Montreal, Canada
65 Posts

Profile of trilam
Well, I finally did get to Toronto and I was able to catch Marc Salem's Mind Games.
It was a very impressive display of entertaining mentalism. I can say that the lay-people with me and the others in the audience were extremely impressed. As a magician, I found that Marc's presentation was excellent and the mentalism effects were very effective.
It is a show worth seeing (especially in consideration of the lack of live performances in these parts). I did get to speak to Marc after the show, he will be opening in London in a few weeks.
Tony Razzano
View Profile
Inner circle
South River, NJ
1601 Posts

Profile of Tony Razzano
Marc Salem's Mind games is a MUST see.
Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
Mr Amazing
View Profile
Special user
617 Posts

Profile of Mr Amazing
Go, run, or slide there on a toast - I don't care. But I do care that you get there and watch it. See it as an excellent example of what superbly performed mentalism can be.

Everyone here should see it - especially non-mentalists actually, so that the difference between magic and mentalism can become clear. Pay attention to the audicence. And (I just learnt that Paul Daniels did) - go into the bathroom and listen to the conversations after the show.

/Matias
E-Leoni
View Profile
Veteran user
USA
358 Posts

Profile of E-Leoni
I take it the show is no longer in Toronto ?
If it is still there how long will he be ther ?

E-Leoni.
ddyment
View Profile
Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2388 Posts

Profile of ddyment
I believe Marc Salem's Toronto show runs through 21 April.

And to those of you in the UK (where his London run soon begins): yes, it's a "must see".

... Doug
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
templemagic
View Profile
Elite user
Sunderland, North-East England
420 Posts

Profile of templemagic
Marc Is a friend of mine and is show is absolutely bril. Don't miss it.

from
ROBERT TEMPLE
"The Power to Amaze"

robert@roberttemple.co.uk
http://www.roberttemple.co.uk
Fred Darevil
View Profile
Elite user
446 Posts

Profile of Fred Darevil
Marc is your friend ? Smile
But where do you find friends like him ?
trilam
View Profile
New user
Montreal, Canada
65 Posts

Profile of trilam
That's right Doug, Mind Games is in Toronto only until the 21st.
As is mentioned above, Marc is very friendly. He came out after the show and I chatted with him for a while. I mentioned the Magic Cafe to him and he was very familiar with our favorite hang-out. He told me to keep in touch by email. I wonder how often he checks into the Cafe?
Allan-F
View Profile
Regular user
Toronto, Ontario
131 Posts

Profile of Allan-F
Wow! Okay, based in part on these glowing reviews, I've purchased tickets and am going tomorrow, Thur., Apr. 18, at 7:30 pm. I'll let you all know what I thought after the show. I'm quite excited. I have not witnessed much live mentalism in my life... certainly not any that was of a very high caliber anyway. As an aspiring bizarre magician/mentalist, hopefully I will learn something!

PS: for those interested in going, you can purchase tickets online (and print them out on your printer) at:
http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
Allan-F

"What can be thought of or spoken of necessarily IS, since it is possible for it to be, while it is not possible for NOTHING to be." -- Parmenides
Fred Darevil
View Profile
Elite user
446 Posts

Profile of Fred Darevil
You know what ? I love my country (France) because it is a lovely place to live and there is so much about culture here...
BUT, BUT, BUT... I have to spend a fortune to see the best mentalists on stage BECAUSE they are all english-speaking and they NEVER come in France !!! I'd like to see Mark salem but it will cost me about $450.00 to see him for just 90mn because I have to go to London which is a soooooooo expansive city. On top of that I have to do so much efforts to master a foreign language to communicate with you. Smile

Sorry, I'm better now.
Best,
Fred
E-Leoni
View Profile
Veteran user
USA
358 Posts

Profile of E-Leoni
I wish I could just pick up and go to my old
city. I was almost going to take off today, give my self a birtday present today,...... visit my parents in Toronto, go see the show, and drive back on the weekend. Its only a 15 hour drive,.. unfortunatly I can not do it.

I offered my parents to go see it, I would pay for the tickets, parking, everything, even a limo..(with the exchange US to Canadian $ it's possible to be lavish) they can not go , I offered my sister and my brother inlaw the same deal they couldn't go. Finally I asked my friend Mark in Toronto, ...he said he will go. I didn't need to buy him the ticket though.

I can't wait to get a review. From what I heard he opens up with a magic square ?? I wish I could be there to see his performance.
I've heard nothing but great things.

WHo knows I may just make some arangements and leave anyways..., I should treat myself....just fill up the truck with gas, pack a lunch and go..just go......why not ??...just do it ....Self hypnosis in progress.....shhhhh .......


E-Leoni.
Allan-F
View Profile
Regular user
Toronto, Ontario
131 Posts

Profile of Allan-F
Well, I'm back from Mind Games. I do not have time to post an immediate, detailed review--but I will do so later--however, here are my initial reactions. I was very impressed! Anyone who thinks you can't mix comedy with mentalism without watering down the latter should see this show. Salem mixes the two seemlessly and naturally. His presentation and routining were first rate (although there are a few points I thought were weaknesses--I'll explain later). Seeing such a first-rate performer live and in person was just what I needed at this stage in my own development. (And a reminder of how far I have to go.) It was great!

More later...
Allan-F

"What can be thought of or spoken of necessarily IS, since it is possible for it to be, while it is not possible for NOTHING to be." -- Parmenides
E-Leoni
View Profile
Veteran user
USA
358 Posts

Profile of E-Leoni
Come on Allan, I'm waiting for the review.
Review everything...

Delivery
Timing
STyle
mannerism
effects
audience
lenght of show
act out some of the highlights.

Did you take the TTC to the show or did you park at Bloor and Young parking lot ?

Did you hang out with some of the magi's in Toronto ?

I'm still thinking about driving up.
Smile

E-Leoni
Allan-F
View Profile
Regular user
Toronto, Ontario
131 Posts

Profile of Allan-F
Okay, here is my review of Marc Salem's Mind Games (soon to be closing in Toronto... today, Apr. 21, is your last chance to see it). Sorry for the delay, E-Leoni... been busy with a number of other things.

First, let me say that I don't scrutinize magic in fine detail when I see it performed. I just sit back and let the magic work. I'm really just another spectator. So there may be lots of details in what follows that I am misremembering, like any spectator.

Since there has been some demand for a lengthy review, I will be rather long-winded.

And please, if anyone thinks I have said too much about the show, or hinted too much at methods, let me know and I will edit the review accordingly. This stuff is publicly available on search engines, and I don't want to cause any problems or annoyance for Mr. Salem.

Also, I went with a friend who is not a magician of any sort. She is a pretty hard-nosed sceptic, and very good at working things out and thinking laterally. I asked her after the show what she thought, and she told me which parts completely baffled her, which parts she thought she had figured out, etc. So this review will be from her, too, in a sense... so you will also get the viewpoint of a lay sceptic.

The very start of the evening had the lights dimming out and the theatre going black. The lights then suddenly come on and there he is, in the middle of the stage, looking stern and ominous. He speaks, and you wait for some solemn pronouncement, and he says "Hey, its just me!" and laughs. He creates tension and expectation, but also puts people at ease. That is very much his style. He has in a way a very authoritative, even parental, approach towards the spectators, but in another way, is very friendly and makes them feel at ease and that they like him. I think this whole tension between these two aspects of his personality are part of what makes his comedy mix in so well with the mentalism.

Yes, E-Leoni, he does start with a magic square. He de-emphasizes it as a mental feat, however, and presents it simply as a "warm-up" (although he then goes on to say "we're just warming up" throughout a good part of the night's performance!). The audience was actually very impressed (I heard murmurs all around and the applause was spontaneous, not merely polite). He did it very quickly and rattled off all the sums in rapid fire with great authority and confidence, whilst showing them to the audience, and gave everyone a strong initial impression that "here is definitely someone who has a VERY sharp mind"... not a miracle-worker, but obviously someone with exceptional intellectual gifts. I usually cringe at the thought of any kind of mathematical effects (probably because I have a mathematical background), but this really won me over. The way he did it, it was very clear what its purpose was... just to get him warmed up... and worked very well as a prestige builder.

He went on to explain how he is an expert on "nonverbal communication". He can tell a lot about what you are thinking by body language, facial expression, etc. He had a few people come up on stage and had them each draw a picture on a large card, and then played the lie detector game, asking each "is this picture yours", but instructing them beforehand to always say no. He then "honed in" on who owned each card, by repeatedly asking them and looking to read their body signals. He got them all right. At this point, there is still nothing that would make anyone think he has paranormal powers... it is all explainable if you assume he is simply very observent. He even gave pseudo-explanations for how he knew whose card he was looking at: "she averted my gaze"... "she looked over to see how the others were reacting", and so on. This was all quite well done, and many in the audience probably did believe he had an uncanny ability to read people.

He went on to do some NW (Swami) effects--here is the part where he starts to do stuff that seems to be explainable only as paranormal. He did a number of them, concluding with the interactive invention of a spy story by the audience. He asked several members of the audience each for a piece of the story (not really a story, actually, more of a setting for a story). He then showed that he had already written out the whole scenario and sealed it. A member of the audience read it out and it was VERY impressive. There really did not seem to be any opportunity for him to do anything "funny". It was all very smooth, no fumbling or pauses or apparent stalling; the misdirection was totally natural, and his NWing undetectable (to me at least, someone more experienced might say otherwise).

He also did the effect where the spectators contribute numbers, they get added, and he turns out to have predicted what the sum will be. He reveals the number with a tape-recorded message, protected throughout by a small child from the audience. He pretended to have quite a bit of trouble here: "no, wait, something's wrong, are you sure you added these right?" and so on. On the tape his voice says, "the number will be 2... 0... 3... ... ... no wait, ... that's 4 ... 5!" I hear sighs of relief all around me when he gets it right.

He did a book test, as well, for which I got volunteered! (An aside: as someone with inside knowledge of what was going on--not specifically, but generally--should I have attempted to avoid this? I didn't really go looking to volunteer, but I certainly could have avoided it if I'd thought that he would not want a magician onstage--well, "magic student", really; I'm too green to call myself a magician!). In any case, I went up, and we chatted on stage a bit... he told some jokes, a bit at my expense, but in a very nonthreatening way that makes you feel completely at ease (again, there is this tension in his approach towards you that works very well for him). He asked me to pick three books, and used another one "as a randomizer". He asked a person in the audience to tell him "stop" as he flipped through the book, to get a "random" page number, and asked me to look at the first word on that page in my book. I am forgetful of some details here, but he ended up guessing words, I believe, from all three books, asking us to gaze at his forehead and imagine each letter. He then went back and forth, guessing the letters one by one. My word was a typo, so some of my responses were a bit confused sounding. He played on this, again at my expense, but eventually "picked up" that I was feeling torn between imagining the letter that should have been there and the one that was actually there in the typo. Very effective, although I personally don't like selections based on the "say stop" principle... it just gives the performer way to much apparent control over the selection, in my opinion. Nonetheless, it was quite effective, and the audience reacted well. He signed the book at the end and gave it to me as a souvenir... with the author's name, not his, which caused some laughter. (Another question for you: the book he gave me to keep was dirty. What do you think of that? Not enough to give the whole method away, but still pretty damaging, and obvious enough for the person to readily notice while still in the theatre, and cause some trouble if they were so inclined.)

The highlight of the evening, I think, for most of the audience, was the blindfolded reading of objects from the audience. Volunteers collected the objects. He put coins and tape and a cloth over his eyes. He then identified objects. This was very well done; the objects did not seem to get very close to him. He would call out aspects of the objects, and ask for a verbal response from the owner. He also had some cards handed out, and asked those who got them to write down their name and a place they have visited. He mixed in his reading of the personal articles with snatches of information about the people's trips, using their first names. My feeling was that this effect was strengthened by the fact that he reveals some info that had been written down and other info about objects that were just grabbed from random audience members by volunteers. This gave the vague impression that he was revealing details about people (names, places they'd visited) which had never been written down. Of course, anyone who thinks about it realizes that no, he is doing two different things here. But the overall effect was stronger because he mixed the two. The audience was truly stunned by this display. The murmurs were frequent and almost desperate in their disbelief that he could do such a thing. I sensed that for some around me they were now really seriously considering for the first time that he had some kind of paranormal powers.

He also did a drawing duplication (partly while still blindfolded, if I recall correctly, although I think he did the actual revelation with the blindfold off).

A nice touch: one woman's trip destination he kept trying and getting wrong through the whole thing. It was like he was invincible, but there was this one thing he couldn't get that was a thorn in his side. After his farewell and departure from the stage amid final applause, he turned around at the last minute and revealed her destination. Also, at the end, he gives a disclaimer, which went something like, "Remember, ladies and gentlemen, that nothing you have seen tonight was supernatural--well, maybe a little!"

There was one spot of trouble he had with one spectator in the book test who, I think, misunderstood and was visualizing her own letters, not from the book, on his forehead, making the letters out of the wrinkles and hairs she saw there. So she complained that the letter had changed when he moved. He had a hard time recovering here, because she just wasn't understanding. In order to take control of the situation, he seated her down, put both hands on the armrests on either side of her, and slowly took her through what he was asking of her. This was the one place were the slight parental nature of his presentation style probably went over the line, and was too much. Of course, we know that this was because he needed to get the situation under control. But to the audience, this doesn't matter... they just see him being too overbearing with another audience member. I'm not really criticizing here... he was doing what he could to get through an unexpected glitch and it did basically work out. But I am wondering if he could have done it another way.

My lay friend's reactions are perhaps more interesting than mine, since she has no special knowledge of methods. But I don't want to say too much about her reactions, since they involve guesses as to the methods, and some (but not all) of her guesses were pretty close to the mark. I can email or PM if you want more specific detail. But here, I will try to be sufficiently vague: there was some overacting on Salem's part that she thought gave away the method for the reading of the personal articles. And I think it is true that if his acting had been a bit more subtle, she would not have hit on her theory as to the method (I will avoid saying whether her theory was correct, since what matters here is that she thought she knew how it was done). Thus, the effect that seemed to get the strongest verbal reaction of amazement from the audience was for her one of the least impressive. She also was suspicious that she had lost track of what happened to the cards or whatever he handed out for people to write on. Where were those cards when he was revealing all that personal information blindfolded? She was very suspicious that she did not get to see what was being written down for the sum prediction... she had no idea how it was done, but she was not so impressed, because she felt that certain information was being withheld from her. She thought the book test was "quite baffling" at the time, although she said that later, on reflection, she thought that with all that page flipping, and different people involved, that he probably had time to do "something funny". Part of this feeling might have been because of the distraction of the woman who was not following instructions. It was busier and less straightforward than the effect was supposed to be (and probably is on any other night). Still, she had only fragmented ideas as to how he could actually have pulled it off. She said that his excessive handling of the spectator who was giving him trouble annoyed her, although generally she found his presentation style appealing (she described him as "cute, like a big teddy bear"). She had a pretty good idea as to how the lie detector effect was done, or at least could be done. Now keep in mind that this is someone who is obsessively sceptical and critical by nature, and spends a great deal of her time solving puzzles and lateral-thinking-type problems, and so is probably not a typical spectator. She did love the show, and applauded with gusto at the end, and with a huge smile on her face. Did she have some kind of theory or criticism for everything she saw? No. There was one effect that totally took her in. She thought the NW effects were utterly baffling, and had absolutely no clue, theory or idea how someone could possibly do such a thing. The Swami rules again!
Allan-F

"What can be thought of or spoken of necessarily IS, since it is possible for it to be, while it is not possible for NOTHING to be." -- Parmenides
trilam
View Profile
New user
Montreal, Canada
65 Posts

Profile of trilam
Excellent review Allan.

One effect you left out that went over quite well the night I saw Mind Games was the influenced selection of one of three envelopes not containing a cash prize. Again, good presentation carried the effect.

As a magician who has performed some mentalism, my impressions were very similar to yours Allan. The stunt that impressed me the most, was when Marc read the serial number on the borrowed bill while blindfolded, gotta have some pretty good eyesight.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Marc Salem - "Mind Games" in Toronto (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.09 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL