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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Woody Harrelson (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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CardStudent
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Hello all!

I recently posted some comments on Jesse Eisenberg's Late Show magic "performance." Here's a link to that thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=2&43

Last night Woody Harrelson performed some mentalism. It was "just" David Hoy's Impromptu Book Test, but he performed it as well as I've ever seen it performed. He had one psychological touch in particular that only those familiar with the effect will appreciate. On the whole, a vastly superior performance to Eisenberg's, and proof that close-up magic can play well on TV if you do it right. There is much to be learned about presentation from this performance for both magicians and mentalists. Here's a link to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6eICRkRtGQ

On a related note, here is a link to an interesting thread about performing magic on Letterman specifically that evolved into one about performing on TV in general.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=2&54

Some in this thread had difficulty believing this type of magic could ever play well on TV. I think Harrelson's performance is proof positive to the contrary.
"Cards are the poetry of magic." J.N. Hofzinser
Chaz93
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I didn't know Woody Harrelson was into mentalism. That's kind of cool.
Randwill
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I posted about this in the 'Magic and the media' section earlier.

I believe a big factor in why it played well had to do with Dave's cooperation. Letterman can be, and has been, difficult and challenging when confronted with someone "who wants to fool him". Since he was already predisposed to like Woody Harrelson, this worked to his (Woody's) advantage. I'm not taking away from his fine and subtle presentation, but another performer (a self-defined 'mentalist') with an equally smooth presentation might not have fared as well on the show.
CardStudent
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I think he just learned some for his role in "Now You See Me," but my point is that he obviously learned at least this one piece very well. Further, it is apparent that he has an instinctive knack for presentation.
"Cards are the poetry of magic." J.N. Hofzinser
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2013-05-23 14:37, Chaz93 wrote:
I didn't know Woody Harrelson was into mentalism. That's kind of cool.


He was there promoting his new film, "Now You See Me", in which he plays a mentalist. He said he learned about the art in preparation for the role.
Alwow
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Woody's performance was well let's just say significantly better than Jesse's crash and burn...
"Everything I show you is the truth... And the truth is the loveliest of lies"
Chaz93
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Quote:
On 2013-05-23 14:43, Randwill wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-05-23 14:37, Chaz93 wrote:
I didn't know Woody Harrelson was into mentalism. That's kind of cool.


He was there promoting his new film, "Now You See Me", in which he plays a mentalist. He said he learned about the art in preparation for the role.


Ahhh. This makes sense.
Avocat
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He really played up the mistaken page number aspect. One bit I thought he'd do, which I started doing for exactly that reason (i.e., the awkwardness after the first page number selection), is flash the second page number for verification.

In other words, mimic the motions of the first selection, where you actually do show the selected page number. But the second time, you have to rush because of the "mistake."
Moderncelt
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Props to Mr Harrilson.
DynaMix
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Very natural, relaxed, and felt "fun" - definitely something to be learned. Sometimes we can make the mentalism seem so serious, no?
smullins
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I have to say... Woody Harrelson performed like a PRO on the set. Calm, collected, added a nice subtlety and HAD FUN. I think that's the most important part of it, he had fun with it and really just let Letterman BE Letterman.

Awesome job
Shawn Mullins

www.MullinsMagic.com
eSamuels
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Well, he is a PRO....actor that is.
To me, this is a big part of the story here, - committing to the role.
It's all about presentation, presentation, presentation!

e
landmark
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Sweet.
Here's my review of the movie where I single out Harrelson's performance:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=62&5
A.G.
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Not sure if it has been mentioned here, but my buddy Keith Barry was the mentalism/ hypnosis consultant for Woody in the film, and for the Letterman Show.

As Keith's consultant for the past 5 years, It was nice to see him in my shoes ! Woody did amazing of course, and he and Keith have become good pals too.

I can't wait to go for beers, and watch Woody do mentalism.


best thoughts,
Andrew Gerard
Zombie Magic
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2 things to note:

David Letterman said he forgot the word, but was just teasing. When he did that to a card trick of a Magician, internet Magicians immediately flamed him. The Letterman bashing concerning magic is so off base and stupid.

Woody is a A+ actor. That's the real secret in performing magic well.
dmkraig
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Quote:
On 2013-05-23 16:47, eSamuels wrote:
Well, he is a PRO....actor that is.
To me, this is a big part of the story here, - committing to the role.
It's all about presentation, presentation, presentation!


Exactly!
With so many mentalists looking for a new effect (one that will fool magicians, of course), the leave out what, IMO, they should be learning: presentation, stage presence, acting, performance, public speaking, etc.

I think (I sure someone will correct me) it was Robert-Houdin who wrote that a magician is an actor pretending to be a real magician. Again, IMO, a mentalist (as opposed to a mental magician) should be acting the role of what they think a mentalist would be: say, move, act, think, breathe, exactly like their imagined real mentalist.
kambiz
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Cardstudent, I'm interested to know what was the psychological subtlety that impressed you?

PM me if its in any way exposure and this doesn't go into Inner Thoughts

Kam
If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,
And if I write, many a pen will break.
.....and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!
mrkmarik
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Would you be kind guys to point out exactly what you find amazing in Woodys performance?
There was no cause only effect, no drama nothing , he was nonhuman, he clicked his fingers and Voilà was able to read Lettermans mind. But why books??? Because it was a trick and what almost follow the trick is a dreaded question feared by many performers "how did you do that"
Woody is indeed high class actor and may done this much , much better!
Flopgunder
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Woody is just so cool and relaxed and this short to the point effect seemed to suit Letterman and his low tolerance towards magic (which is only beaten by my sister). And my guess is that dramatic, Uri Geller-like "real" mentalism is still just magic tricks in his view and would get the lifted eyebrow "yeah right"-treatment. But I agree that the presentation probably isn't elaborate enough for a professional Woody mystic tour stage act.

In my personal opinion as a complete non-mentalist amateur, I like when I get an honest and upset "how did you do that?" afterwards btw..
Jon_Thompson
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The other thing to notice is that he just got on with it. No padding, no flim-flam, just the effect. Lovely.
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