Michael Vincent Lecture: The Tapestry of Deception Stage Five

The Downtown Magic Club

Monday 18th August 2008

Reported by Chris Harding

On a cloudy wet evening in Ashford, a group of Magicians gathered together to experience, many for the first time, the sleight of hand artistry and perfection of one of the world’s leading exponents of sleight of hand Magic: Michael Vincent.

Having not had the opportunity to see Michael lecture before I was both excited and interested as to what to expect. Like most, I know Michael through reputation and having had only a couple of fleeting chances to say hello on various occasions in the past I for one was really looking forward to his lecture.

After wowing the early arrivals whilst he “warmed up,” receiving much deserved applause and looks of awe and amazement, the crowd settled and the lecture began. One of the things that struck me quite early on in the lecture was Michaels approach to this type of situation. Rather than it being a completely one-way experience, i.e. the lecturer speaking to the crowd and the crowd listening. Michael made the lecture much more compelling by involving the crowd in each discussion and asking for the opinions of and posing questions to members of the group in order to put across his points in a much better way and making the information much more understandable and digestible.

Armed with a deck of cards, a projector and a clear passion for the art of Magic the lecture took the form of Michael discussing different points that he considered essential in creating excellent, mystifying and compelling. Each point would be discussed and then Michael would demonstrate each idea through a performance of an effect that used the points previously made in order to show how these ideas were applied in performance.

The performance segments were clearly popular and particularly Michael’s wonderful version of Francis Carlyle’s Homing Card. I think any performer that can perform an effect, then explain it and still fool an audience of Magicians with it a second time even though they know what is happening is a rare thing and this particular performance was an glowing example of this and clearly showed why Michael is at the top of his game.

I think that this lecture really does offer something to everyone, even the most seasoned of performers. Michael set out with a goal in mind – to make the theory and teaching of that great master of the past, Slydini, more accessible and understandable to a modern lecture room. Michael certainly does do a wonderful job of this and it is extremely refreshing to watch a performer that does not compromise on his ideas and approach to Magic. With the recent trend leaning towards dressing down, wandering the streets and sitting alone hoping somebody will notice your twenty-packet pivot cut, it is a rare and wonderful thing to be able to sit and watch Magic that is not only utterly compelling and mystifying but also has a great element of class and elegance to it.

I would wholeheartedly recommend any Magic club booking in an evening with Michael Vincent, because what he has to offer should be shared with all Magicians. If you do, then I guarantee that you will be amazed, informed and above all – inspired!

© Chris Harding, September 2008




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