The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Interview With Paul Brook (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Ugly Phil
View Profile
New user
37 Posts

Profile of Ugly Phil
Last year I purchased a book that completely changed the way that I performed mentalism, The Alchemical Tools. I had a few effect before buying the book and people only every saw these as tricks. Now I am happy to say that my material is taken seriously as well as being entertaining.

When I heard that its author Paul Brook was involved in a serious car accident I was really shocked and something inside of me wanted to let Paul know how his book had changed me. I called him up and he explained that he would be bed ridden till around January. It was then that I offered to visit him, but politely he explained that he would rather chat to me when he was feeling better. I left my phone number with him and really didn’t expect much to come of it.

Then a few weeks ago out of the blue I get a phone call from Paul to have a chat to me. Thankfully I was up in Birmingham last Wednesday and asked Paul if he would mind meeting up with me and maybe do an interview with me. He said yes and also offered to take me for a meal in the city centre.

Let me say that I am in now way a professional interviewer, and I had thrown the idea of an interview in last minute. For this reason I got on the net and found some magic interviews for inspiration.

I recorded the interview on a dictating machine and here is the transcript. I have taken out some of the inane chitchat pieces about how my journey was and stuff like that.



As I stepped off the train I pulled out the paper with directions to the restaurant/bar that Paul had agreed to meet me in. After a short walk and some confusion I found myself at the top of the elegant steps leading down to the meeting place. Walking down the marble step I could feel the price of food and drink increasing with every step.

When I opened the door my suspicions were correct and the place looked like a Victorian gentlemans club full of with a mixture of renaissance charm.

Then in the distance I noticed Paul sitting down. As I approached him I noticed two drinks on the table. Paul stood up and shook my hand and I am not ashamed to say that I felt in awe. We then took a seat.



Paul: I took the liberty to order you a drink, cappuccino, one sugar and an extra dash of milk?


Phil: Uh yeah how did you know…what?


Paul: Oh I’m sorry I can order you a different drink?


Phil: No that is exactly how I take it. Was it my voice on the phone?


Paul: Nope, it was your girlfriends voice on the phone. You had mentioned that you live with your girlfriend so I rang her up during the week and asked her what your favourite drink was so that I could get you one after your long journey.

Your face was a picture.


Phil: You had to tell me though right, because Sarah (my girlfriend) would have told me.


Paul: I could have rang her up pretending to be from a coffee company willing to enter her into a prize draw for a quick 3 question questionnaire. Obviously one of the questions would have been what is your partners favourite coffee, and how does he or she take it?


Phil: Nice. So do you set up things like that often?


Paul: Sure, if people give me the opportunity.


Phil: So what makes you do what you do?


Paul: I love interaction with people. From a young age I became hungry for that deep look a person gives you when both of you are sharing a powerful moment. It doesn’t have to be sexual or intense, it can happen when you have just met a person and share the first laugh even.

When I perform I try not to see the moment as an effect but rather the effect helps me to deepen the interaction between me and those around me. Just like earlier when I had already ordered your favourite beverage.


Phil: It totally creeped me out for a minute. I was getting more and more nervous as I approached you and even when I shook your hand. The second that you had named the drink on the table all of that went out of the window. Although it spooked me a little I felt at ease as though you knew me already.


Paul: Exactly what I like to go for, that feeling of familiarity. Since my days studying Psychology it has always fascinated me that you can within seconds of meeting a stranger make that person feel comfortable. It is even stranger still that these techniques are universally applicable.

Before I became a professional mind reader my job was as a psychotherapist. Even then my objective was still meaningful connections.

People seem to really enjoy a meeting of the mind.

During my college years I had to take an enrichment course. Looking at the list I saw that one of the options was massage. It was an evening class and I had found out that the students practice on each other, AND, I would be the only male of the class. This made it worth losing an evening of my free time for, what can I say I was a teenager.

Anyway after I had gotten past the sexually charged nature or rubbing womens bodies each week I began to enjoy the course for the subject itself. Towards the end of the course members of the public were allowed to have free massages from the students so that we would all have experience with working with strangers.

On one such evening I had a middle aged woman as my client. After the massage she said something that changed my viewpoint of the world forever.

“It is so nice to be touched. When most people touch each other it is so superficial.”

She did not mean it in any way other than one human being touching another without rushing away. Just like a hug from a friend that last a bit longer. The client had felt connected, in a physical sense to someone and it didn’t matter who just that it was someone.

The same is true when we speak with one another, it can be superficial and lacking in depth or substance. When I perform I like to have the same impact on the person as the massage did to that woman. I want the person to feel appreciated for who they are. That alone for most people is a magical experience.


Phil: Do you feel that making such a deep connection is possible even in a walk around situation?


Paul: Oh for sure, it’s just a case of spending some time with each group in order to get to know the people.


Phil: Surely you can’t do that at every table or group though?


Paul: Sure you can, why wouldn’t you be able to?


Phil: What if you had a hundred tables to work in an hour?


Paul: Firstly I would estimate how long it would take to establish rapport with the group, depending on the number of people. Then add in a single effects worth of time to this. I would multiply this number by a hundred and tell the booker that is the minimum time slot required.


Phil: Would you really do just one effect for a table?


Paul: Oh for sure, it is far more important to make the connection than it is to do the effect.

At one gig I the party I was working with had to leave before I had performed a single effect as they were travelling. I had spent about 5 minutes with them building up a connection. Before they left all of them took my business card, and they have booked me for a couple of gigs.

Why? Because I had made a connection with them, that means more to people than the effect. The effect as I see is an amazing bonus, a special something that you can both share in.


Phil: What about the people that pay you, what do they say when you explain you will do just one effect with the group?


Paul: The one effect only was just an example I may do more depending on the initial connection of the group. However I do explain to the booker that I will require to talk to the guests in order to ‘get into’ their minds.

In my experience as long as you are entertaining people and they are happy that is all the booker cares about. If you spend time connecting with people they will talk about you more, it’s great for getting repeat bookings.


Phil: Being bedridden for a few months and not being able to perform must have been annoying for you then


Paul: For the first few weeks as I was on sedatives. As soon as I had more consciousness I was back to creating new effects.


Phil: What kind of effects have you been working on then?


Paul: Normally I never perform on request, but you can be my crash test dummy for this new one.

Don’t take it out if you have any, but just tell me if you have some pocket change?


Phil: Yes I do.



Paul now took out a business card and a mini sharpie and wrote something down on the back of his business card.



Paul: Put that in your pocket.

Take out the change and count it.


I took the change out and counted it on the table.


Phil: £1.74


Paul: Read what is on the card.


I took the card out of my pocket and I kid you not on it was written £1.74

Living over two hours away I took a bus and two trains to Birmingham. Along the way in various spot I purchased things but I also left home with some pocket change as well. I also gave some money to a busker on the way. The only way I can think of is that he had someone follow me, but that doesn’t explain the pocket change I already had and the money thrown into the buskers tin.




Phil: I have NO idea how you did that. I…err…yeah…no idea.

Are you releasing that?


Paul: I might, but I still have a number of creases to iron out first.



Felling peckish we decided to order lunch, and I half expected Paul to order for me. During lunch I picked Pauls mind as to what he thought of some ideas I am working on. He was extremely encouraging and explained some possible pitfalls in my ideas as well as subtleties I might like to use.

Relaxing after food I asked Paul what other things he had been working on.




Paul: I know that this is just a ploy to get me to perform again. But as a matter of fact I have something that I would like to try with you.


Removing a postit note Paul wrote down something and folded it up.



Paul: I would like you to call someone that you know that I could not have possibly prearranged something with. Don’t tell me who it is.

I want you to call them, and ask that person two quick questions. Ask him or her to choose any English coin. Then ask that person to imagine flipping the coin up in the air and ask if the coin falls head up or tails up.



Thinking that Paul may have gotten my girlfriend to go through my phone list I called a local butchers shop that has a very memorable phone number that is not in my phone. I have done a few mind reading things for the butcher before so I thought he would be up for it.



Phil: Hi this is Phil from up the road I’m with a mind reader who has asked me to ask you to think of any English coin and imagine flipping the coin up and does it land heads or tails.

What coin is it and is it head or tails facing up?


The butcher said 20p heads facing upwards.



Paul: As soon as you know you can say goodbye.


Phil: Thanks mate will explain what happens when I come into the shop next.

He said 20p with the heads side facing up.


Paul: Please upon up the postit note.


Phil: No !@#$%^& way. That has got to be a setup.



The postit said 20p HEADS UP. There is just no way it could have been setup.



Phil: That is just crazy Paul. Will you release this one?


Paul: I will be definitely releasing this one in the book after chrysalis of a polymath.



I remained stunned for about 5 minutes whilst Paul took a phone call.



Paul: Sorry about that I had to take the call. Sadly I have to leave in the next ten minutes.

Did you have anymore questions?



Phil: I have got a notepad full, but I will cherrypick some.

What are your top three effects that you have released?


Paul: In no particular order, locked in thought, deuterium and good vibrations.


Phil: What are your top three effects that from other people?


Paul: That is a difficult question because at the moment there is such a wealth of good material being published. If I named people I would feel like I am negating to mention so many others.

Also, there are two effects I would mention, but I am using them in a new stage show I am creating.


Phil: A new stage show? Is it for public or private venues?


Paul: Both, really.


Phil: When abouts for the public shows?


Paul: As I mentioned earlier, with my operation next month I will find out if my tumour is malignant or benign. Until I have gone under the knife I won’t be able to set any dates or make definite plans. At the moment I am just carrying on as normal really until I get results.


Phil: I am planning putting the transcript of this interview online do you have nay advice for people starting out in mentalism.


Paul: With the risk of sounding like an ever prolonged echo, read Corinda. But before you do learn how to connect with people in meaningful ways. There is a fine line between meaningful and creepy, try not to cross it.


Phil: Who is your favourite mentalist of old, so not a modern guy.


Paul: I think Fogel. I know a guy who was personal friend with him, and whenever we meet up I hear another story about how bold he was. All I can say is the guy had the biggest brass balls in the world.

Anyway I nearly got into a massive talk about Fogel then as I can give you story after story, but I really have to go.

It has been such a pleasure Phil and I am sincerely touched that you wanted to interview me. Think about the hints I gave you for your effect and let me know how they turn out.



After taking care of the bill and making sure I knew my way around and shaking my hand he left. As I watched him leave I felt a real sense of loss. It was the hurried nature of his departure I think and there is some part of me that thinks he meant it to be that way, for theatrical effect but who knows.



I was thankful for spending a lovely couple of hours in his company and so very grateful for his input on my effects. I hope some of that magic was transferred to you when reading this. I tried to keep the chit chat and questions about my effects out and have included what I feel would be of interest to you all.
Tjernobyl
View Profile
Regular user
Denmark
120 Posts

Profile of Tjernobyl
Thank you, for taking the time to share this with all of us.

I too read, The Alchemical Tools, and it really raises the standards of how you interact with your audience.

I can only look forward to what Paul Brook has in store for us next.

Thomas
Nathan Pain
View Profile
Inner circle
iowa
2819 Posts

Profile of Nathan Pain
Super cool!

Thanks so much!

Nathan
...
Brane
View Profile
Loyal user
Virginia, USA
272 Posts

Profile of Brane
Thanks, Sir Phillip of Ugliness! That obviously took a lot of typing! Nice insights gained on Paul's motivations/ views.
brane
Mark Roberts
View Profile
Special user
Nottingham, UK
597 Posts

Profile of Mark Roberts
I, too enjoyed reading that.

Thank you
mgclmystrymn
View Profile
New user
76 Posts

Profile of mgclmystrymn
Good read. Studying Paul's work has been very worthwhile. It is good to know that he is up and about and that the creative juices are flowing. Hopefully everything will turn out fine with his upcoming procedure.
Kevin Cook
View Profile
Elite user
431 Posts

Profile of Kevin Cook
I have had a very similar encounter to this just a few weeks ago.

I flew from the US to Birmingham to visit Paul after having briefly corresponded with him last year.

We met in a small pub in Birmingham's crowded center. I arrived first, so there was no time for Paul to do his 'drink buying' trick. (Though when I returned home from my visit my girlfriend informed me that an Englishman had called up several times in the middle of the night, doing various surveys on the type of clothes I wore, my favorite fish etc.)

I sat across the table from Paul. Unlike 'Ugly Phil', I did not interview him, it never occurred to me to do so. But during our brief time together I did see something quite unusual. I shall attempt to put my experience into words, like so...

I asked Paul what new projects he had been working on recently. He told me that, although he never performs on request, he would demonstrate a new piece he was working on. Before I could tell him that, just like Ugly Phil, I had not requested him to do anything, he asked me to think of the name of a brand of UK bread.

Now, I had only been in the UK a few hours and was not familiar with many UK bread companies. However, I did recall seeing a billboard advertising a bread by the name of 'Warburtons'. I told him this. Paul smiled, his beard twitched and glistened in the cool morning air, and he calmly pointed to my turban. "Please remove your turban" he said.

As I carefully unwound the cloth from my head I felt something unusual within it. Sure enough, as I pulled at the last of the material, a large red apple fell from my head and bounced onto the table. Perplexed, I picked it up. On one side of the apple, boldly written in black ink was the word 'Warbuton's."

"But... but how??" I stammered. "You could have chosen 'Hovis'", Paul smiled, "Or Morrison's own brand". I was still shaking and stammering when Paul leaned across the table and gently cupped my nose in his hand. "What's your mother's maiden name?" he asked. I was about to tell him when he leaned back and shouted "NO!" His cape bellowed in the breeze and several heads turned to stare. "Don't say it outloud. Just take a bite from that rosy red fruit."

Too in awe to do anything else, I bit into the apple. It was one tasty apple; sweet and crisp. Just as I was about to take another bite, I noticed a small wooden trap door on the side of the apple. I looked at Paul. He nodded. Cautiously, I opened the door. The hinges creaked as the heavy oak door swung open. Behind the door, to my amazement, was a tiny, beautiful garden. The detail was incredible. I was mesmerised by the beautiful scene when suddenly a thought hit me. I looked up slowly, dropping the apple. I tried to speak. Paul looked at me across the table, smiling.

"HOw?" I muttered, more to myself than to Paul. "How did you know that my mother's maiden name is 'Garden(er)?" I could not believe what had just happened. I looked across the table but Paul had vanished, leaving just a dense cloud of dry ice. I couldn't help wondering if this was just for effect.

I can't explain what happened. My head was spinning as I left the pub to catch my flight back to the States. How was I going to explain to my girlfriend or to the rest of the world what had just happened? How was I going to explain the apple in the turban? Especially as I don't even wear a turban.

Paul Brook.... he's one incredible male human man.
askernas
View Profile
Loyal user
Sweden
294 Posts

Profile of askernas
Thanks for posting this.

I too have read Alchemical Tools and it really spoke to me.. I have quite a few of Paul's published books as well as some of his other released tricks... I envy you those moments of complete puzzlement!
Micke Askernäs
www.askernas.com
lucavolpe
View Profile
Inner circle
Italy - London
3063 Posts

Profile of lucavolpe
Paul is amazing clever guy!
;)
MindSeeker
View Profile
Regular user
181 Posts

Profile of MindSeeker
Thanks for sharing that, really enjoyed reading it. Must have taken you quite a while to write up.

Not sure what Kevin Cook is talking about but it made me laugh, so thanks.
Kevin Cook
View Profile
Elite user
431 Posts

Profile of Kevin Cook
Quote:
On 2009-01-21 11:51, MindSeeker wrote:
Thanks for sharing that, really enjoyed reading it. Must have taken you quite a while to write up.


Thanks man. Yeah, it took a while. Maybe about 2 or 3 days, with plenty of rest room breaks of course.
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18569 Posts

Profile of IAIN
Kevin Cook - used to be patient one...y'know...the funniest thing since sliced horse-apples...
Nathan Pain
View Profile
Inner circle
iowa
2819 Posts

Profile of Nathan Pain
Iain,

That explains A LOT!

Nathan
...
MindSeeker
View Profile
Regular user
181 Posts

Profile of MindSeeker
Quote:
On 2009-01-21 12:06, Kevin Cook wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-01-21 11:51, MindSeeker wrote:
Thanks for sharing that, really enjoyed reading it. Must have taken you quite a while to write up.


Thanks man. Yeah, it took a while. Maybe about 2 or 3 days, with plenty of rest room breaks of course.



My thanks was for Phil for the work he did.
entity
View Profile
Inner circle
Canada
5060 Posts

Profile of entity
Quote:
On 2009-01-21 10:51, Kevin Cook wrote:
How was I going to explain to my girlfriend or to the rest of the world what had just happened? How was I going to explain the apple in the turban? Especially as I don't even wear a turban.

Paul Brook.... he's one incredible male human man.


Derren Brown did the apple-in-the-turban bit years before in his one-man show: Derren Brown -- Turbaned Legend.

- entity
Roger Kelly
View Profile
Inner circle
Kent, England
3327 Posts

Profile of Roger Kelly
Quote:
My thanks was for Phil for the work he did.


We know it and he knows it. Don't engourage him! Smile

Ugly Phil: Brilliant post - one of the best reads here!
Kevin Cook
View Profile
Elite user
431 Posts

Profile of Kevin Cook
Quote:
Brilliant post - one of the best reads here!


Thanks Roger.
Roger Kelly
View Profile
Inner circle
Kent, England
3327 Posts

Profile of Roger Kelly
Quote:
On 2009-01-22 11:26, Kevin Cook wrote:
Quote:
Brilliant post - one of the best reads here!


Thanks Roger.


Now that WAS funny! Smile Irony often goes unnoticed in text, but I tip my hat to you on that one!
Ugly Phil
View Profile
New user
37 Posts

Profile of Ugly Phil
You are all welcome.

Not sure why Kevin Cook is taking the p*ss as I put a lot of in to writing up the interview. Really not appreciate at all.
Silvertongue
View Profile
Inner circle
One day I will die leaving behind
2424 Posts

Profile of Silvertongue
Thanks for doing that Ugly. I think his advice to do with becoming a people person is Gold* its a skill that can be learnt like everything else.
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Interview With Paul Brook (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.41 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