Neil Patrick Harris Chats With Legendary Magician David Copperfield


“It comes as no surprise that members of the public might not want to stick around for a chat with Brown, who has spent over two decades blowing our minds with his captivating specials and live shows. From guessing people’s professions by just looking at them in 2000’s Mind Control, to convincing a man he’s woken up to a zombie invasion in 2012’s Apocalypse, Brown is the face of mentalism in the UK – but now he’s dipping back into the world of philosophy for his latest podcast: Derren Brown’s Bootcamp For Life.

“The eight-part Audible series follows Brown as he examines human emotion and with the help of experts, looks at how to take control of our thoughts. ‘I read a book called Happy a few years ago about stoicism, which struck me as a very helpful, sensible way of avoiding unnecessary anxiety and disturbance in life and it really chimed with how I am in my sort of personality,’ he says.”

Read more at Radio Times.

Derren Brown discusses his work as a “psychological illusionist” in this podcast:

Derren Brown's Boot Camp for Life



Vice News has uploaded a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it interview with “British psychological illusionist,” Derren Brown, that originally aired on HBO late last month. 

The interview mostly concerns Brown’s “vices,” which as the headline of this piece implies, include taxidermy, gourmet coffee, and romantic encounters with other men. I’m not sure I’d call being gay a, “vice,” per-se, but it seems Brown once thought of it as such: He underwent gay conversion therapy during his youth.

It didn’t take. Brown is now a committed atheist as well as a proud homosexual. 

It seems obnoxious now that Brown’s experience with conversion therapy has influenced his career, a large portion of which he’s spent railing against the use of psychological manipulation and “magic,” for anything beyond entertainment.

“A magic trick of any sort works because you tell yourself a story about what you see,” he says. “And politicians use this all the time in their own way by throwing a load of statistics at you when things don’t quite follow and then saying, ‘So therefore blah,’ and you believe that ‘blah’ thing because of the confusion that’s come before.” 

“If you do magic,” he adds, “it’s the quickest most fraudulent route to impressing people.”

There are cruise lines and there are Disney cruise lines, and Shawn Farquhar’s done it all. In this meaty interview with TMR Studios, Farquhar talks about what makes working on a Disney cruise different from the competition, some touching stories from life at sea, and the difference between fooling someone and making someone feel special through magic. Check out the full video above, and watch more of Shawn Farquhar’s videos on YouTube.

When you’ve got an audience of only 30 people, you can actually see the close-up magic, well, up close, and this allows for a much deeper connection between the performer and the crowd. In part three of our five-part interview, Aaron Rabkin explains the benefits of performing in a smaller venue like Trickery, how he uses the energy from the audience to enhance his own performance, and describes what an audience can expect when coming to his show.

For more from our visit to the magic destinations of Chicago, check out our video interviews with Mark Toland, Dennis Watkins, and Nick Roy, and our Magic Anywhere special, focusing on the unique, hands-on approach to Chicago-style magic.

Aaron Rabkin loves theater, but as a young performer, he also knows how hard it is to get a tech-savvy generation raised on instant video streaming to come out and see a play. That’s why he built Trickery, an intimate venue in the heart of Chicago that he hopes will be a gateway drug for people, not just to magic, but for live performance as a whole. In the second part of our five-part interview, Rabkin talks about crafting a unique show to get people interested in magic, what he thinks does (or doesn’t) define Chicago magic, and the origin story of Hoppy, the Psychic Wonder Bunny.

For more from our visit to the magic destinations of Chicago, check out our video interviews with Mark Toland, Dennis Watkins, and Nick Roy, and our Magic Anywhere special, focusing on the unique, hands-on approach to Chicago-style magic.

Mario Marchese is enamoured with his 3D printer. The multi-talented children’s magician talked about a number of topics in this delightful interview with Herb Sher following a lecture at the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians in New York, but kept returning to the subject of his beloved printer. Marchese seems to see the device as more than a tool to print props, but almost as a physical manifestation of his philosophy:

I restored a 71′ Volkswagen Transporter, like the knobs in the Transporter I 3D printed, because I can! You know that’s what it comes to. When you learn how to make something, you start to understand something, when you understand something, it’s like this peace, the fear just goes away. I always tell kids this at the end of my show. I tell them to grab all the money in the world, put it in their pocket, get the biggest toy, hold on to it, and then I say to them, “look at that toy. It can break, you can lose it, someone can take it away from you, but when you learn how to make something, when you learn something new, no one can take that away from you.”       

“It’s a symbol of more than just 3D printing ,” he continued. “It’s a symbol like everything is temporary.”

Marchese continued to talk about how transient things, and indeed, life can be, and how his show is about capturing the moment. 

“Everything dies,” he adds, cheerfully. 

That sounds dark, but it fits perfectly with the Marchese’s manic, slightly-twisted stage persona. His dialed-up intensity and off-kilter presentation makes for a killer act. Observe: 

Personally, I’d like to be as passionate about anything as Mario Marchese is about his 3D printer. 

Not one to mince words, Penn Jillette had a simple answer when asked for his opinion on Donald Trump in an interview with Vice’s Desus & Mero. 

Penn met the gameshow-host-turned-leader-of-the-free-world during his time on The Celebrity Apprentice. 

I was told… I guess there’s shame in this now, but I was told Donald Trump himself wanted me on. As the season went on, Donald Trump liked me less. I was asked if I would support him for president, and after I calmed down from laughing, I said, “absolutely not.”    

When asked what the current President of the United States is like in person, Penn’s answer was characteristically blunt:

He’s an asshole. You have to remember if he weren’t president we’d be talking about how great he is. Because one thing, to be on television, especially on a reality show, you want to have almost no filter, you want to be capricious, you want to be unpredictable. Those are really good things, that’s what you want. 

But those aren’t the qualities Penn wants in a leader.

The idea to have those same qualities going to a president is insane. You want someone who’s measured.

The short interview also covers Penn’s experience crowdfunding his new movie, Director’s Cut, and what it’s like being really tall. Spoiler: It’s great.  

In The Illusionists – Live From Broadway, Colin Cloud is billed as “The Deductionist.” A fitting handle given his unique brand of “forensic” mentalism. 

Cloud started his life-long career in deduction at the tender age of 16, when he started studying forensic investigation at Glasgow Caledonian University. Learning how to analyse grisly murder scenes quickly led him to the similarly grim field of stand-up comedy. 

“I realized very quickly that stand-up comedians are great at observing the world and their attention to detail is incredible,” he told Broadway World. “So that led to me getting into stand-up comedy, performing stand-up comedy, and mixing the weird psychological tricks and techniques that I was developing and creating, and before I knew it forensics led to me performing.”

Like a lot of mentalists, Cloud is quick to distance himself from those who claim to be genuinely “psychic.”

“I think I use the skills that fake psychics use but in a very different way, I use it to be very entertaining and reveal things in a fun way rather than trying to deceive people to get them to make life changing decisions,” he explained. “I’m very much aware of how psychics perform and the skills that they use, I like to think that I am just more honest about how I’m using them.”

Cloud is currently writing a show for a European tour starting next year, but admits he enjoys performing for Americans because they’re so emotionally unrestrained.

“I think Americans are much better at showing their emotions,” he explained. “I think here (The U.S) it’s always easier, and when I say easier, I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I mean that it’s more fun, more high energy off the bat rather than in Europe, where people still make you kind of prove yourself.”  

I would be offended by that, but I haven’t felt a genuine emotion since 1995.  

Suhani Shah is an Indian magician, mentalist and public speaker who… wew, yeah. Okay. This is a thirty minute bit and it’s all shot in portrait mode. Yeah, it causes me physical pain to see that as well. Shah tries to fix the issue multiple times, but for some no-doubt-horrible reason, radio host MJ Uday thinks that it’s acceptable to shoot vertical video. It is not. Ever. 

But on the plus side, the extended vertical space does allow Shah to show off her hair, which, as she points out, is actually quite nice. So, no, she doesn’t wear her trademark hat because she’s going bald. 

Skip to five minutes in for the first trick.

Shah is currently performing live shows in Goa, India.