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Profile of landmark
Oh my. I've just come back from Monday Night Magic. Todd Robbins is my new god. Billy Baxter was supposed to headline, but he couldn't show for some reason, so Todd took the headliner spot, about one hour's worth of material after the intermission. What an amazing performer! Robbins did fire-eating, glass-eating, the human blockhead, balloon through nose into mouth, and blowing up a hot water bottle. The carny stuff was wonderful, but what was more wonderful was the lesson in presentation that Robbins gave. From beginning to end, the act was routined to slowly gain our trust and amazement. It didn't take too long though for Robbins to have us eating out of his hand. Robbins bio says he's a classically trained actor, and it shows—he takes each carny stunt and builds it into a little playlet of drama humor and amazement. He takes his time to establish a rapport with his audience from the very start. He even has an audience participation segment where he takes 4 members of the audience and has them do a pyramid levitation stunt. Not the most incredible stunt in the world—but that's the point in a sense, it just makes what he does all the more amazing, as it cements the audience relationship to him. There's no way you're not going to love the guy for making the audience members look good.

Then, his ending. Listen to this brilliant showmanship. He finishes his last effect, and as the audience is clapping, he says jokingly to the audience, "No, sit down, please, sit down," as if he were getting a standing ovation—which he wasn't at that point. But he's planted the seed. He now stops the audience applause, and gets serious—he talks about how he enjoys trying the impossible because it encourages people to go beyond the possible. Now he recaps for the audience what he's done—"You've seen me fire-eat, eat glass, drive a nail up my nose, I've done the impossible so that I may encourage others to go beyond themselves. That is the true magic. Now it is your turn to go beyond yourself. My name is Todd Robbins. Thank you!" and now the audience gets to their feet and applauds like mad.

Brilliant. What a lesson in the magic of building a relationship with an audience and winning them over. A real privilege to see him. There were other competent performers tonight on the bill, but none of them could match Todd with his performance skills. Anyone else seen Todd perform?
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Profile of RoyHolidayMagic
I was at the show! (sitting second row). I agree that Todd Robbins (as well as Michael Chaut) put on a great show. Todd tends to, umm, beg and fish for applause sometimes (a technique looked down upon by many performers), but other than that, he is great! Amazing stuff (in some cases, better than magic). I always enjoy his and Michael Chaut's acts.
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