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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Jan 2015

    Derren Brown Penguin Lecture

    Hey all,

    I just finished this last night and have to say it was really helpful. I noticed there are a ton of disappointed reviewers. Most of these reviews were expressing the similar issues such as "there were no tricks taught, I paid good money for secrets." Reading these did not discourage me from making the purchase, however. What I found most humorous about these negative reviews was that Derren, throughout the lecture, explicitly states that the trick or "secret" is the least important part of performing magic and mentalism.

    The part that stuck with me the most, as a blooming performer, was when Derren discussed today's generic model of success. Here in America, instant gratification is becoming habit. This is why I think most of the reviewers were disappointed to watch 3 hours of discussion and learned little to no secrets of Derren's arsenal. Probably because the "secret" doesn't lie in the tangible/mechanical process of conjuring. Other parts of the lecture I really appreciated were when he talks about letting go of "control." You can't control what people think of you or what spectators think -- you can only control your thoughts and actions. Likewise, you cannot "control" your success you, and you alone can only create opportunities for "success."

    I for one found tons of gold in the lecture. I noticed some reviewers mentioning that it seemed really repetitive and seemed to drag on. Yes, in some parts. However, for me, he was able to hold my attention the whole lecture -- even the parts where it seemed to drag on. What made me the most happy was that Derren didn't expose a lot and you get to see how he feels about things like exposure. I'm sure there were tons of Derren fans hoping that after 3 hours he'd transform them into mind control experts. I never expected him to do anything of the sort. I'm grateful he didn't -- it leaves plenty more work and discoveries for the rest of us. I gave this a 4/5 rating because I feel like this lecture could have gone into more depth on performing and specific things like stagecraft/blocking. Some parts seem a little too general for people just "starting out." Overall, this was totally worth the money. Already, I've begun reevaluating my approach to mentalism, how to give my spectators a tangible experience they can take with them, and also creating "world" out of practically nothing.

    Please share your thoughts on this lecture. It would be great to discuss and hear other ideas.
    Last edited by MentalMark; 01-18-2015 at 06:36 PM.

  2. #2
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    :: Gauntlet winner

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Fawn Grove, PA, USA
    I think his advice on staging and blocking largely amounts to "Get a director and have them give you notes." There was the whole part about how there's parts of the show he had never seen because he was watching the audience.

    And in case there's anyone who doesn't know what that actually means (As I didn't until I dated a theater girl) - When a director gives you notes, it's an actual note that tells you what they think you need to work on from a performance. Often these notes are left in your dressing room, or they just have a sit down meeting.

    I really enjoyed his lecture. I knew he wouldn't be teaching tricks and I'd have been disappointed if he did. For two reasons - one, because I really don't need to learn any more tricks and two, because I already half suspect that I'm familiar with the majority of methods he uses and I'd be disappointed to find out that's actually true. I like the mystery of the idea that he's developed skills I've never seen before.

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