Monday, April 17, 2006

An Entertainer Entertains

I just spent another hour being highly entertained and didn't even notice the time passing. Glenn Bishop has added a number of fun videos to his site (see the link over in the right column of the main page of this hyar blog) and I'm still tingling from the sheer fun of it all. There's a couple of clips with him performing effects on Chicago television of a few years back, and I got a real kick out of the befuddlement of the TV personality trying to follow that elusive pea under three shells. And then Glenn pulled out bottlecaps and did it again -- the poor chap was completely lost and astounded.

My favorite happens to be his rendition of the cups & balls. I really like the fact that Glenn goes right back to the classics here -- the Vernon influence is obvious and acknowledged. But it's Glenn's relationship that he builds with the spectator that makes this a real winner. In lesser hands, these same words might very well make the fellow watching him (right there at Glenn's fingertips!) feel like a fool, and become resentful. Instead, the guy is very amused and entertained (there's that word again) and ends up shaking his head after the entire piece (which includes some linking rings) is finished.

Glenn frequently feels he has to step up and defend himself, since he gets attacked on various boards. I say he doesn't have to defend himself -- just put up links to these video clips.

But that's not why I called you all here today.

No, I convened this meeting to talk about a DVD which I wanted to review more than a year ago. But at that time, Glenn pulled it off the market and it just didn't make sense to raise interest in a non-existent product.

What I'm talking about is Glenn Bishop's Tested Tricks for Tableside Tricksters. No card tricks -- "just" a scam, a fooler, and some real magic. At least, it looks real!

It's been said, by no less than Bill Palmer, that no one does the 3 Shell Game better than Glenn -- you read about the TV clip of it just a few paragraphs ago -- and Glenn offers us a chance to do it just as well. I will admit that Glenn performs better in front of an audience than he does for a cold, lone camera -- so do watch the aforementioned clip. If you want the sort of reactions that you see Glenn get, then you'll want his explanation -- with his little subtleties. It's worth mentioning that he's been doing this routine since he was eight years old. We might not ever get quite as good as this boy.

Coins to Glass follows and, if you've much history in your blood, you won't be wondering how he does it. This is, after all, an old routine. But you'll be wondering how he does it so well and so smoothly. And part of it, is that Glenn suckers you. Once he has you positive that you know how he's doing it and what he's doing -- he proves that it couldn't be that way after all. In this, it reminds me very much of Michael Ammar's Incredible Coins Across which makes it VERY obvious how the coins are moving across - and then reality is yanked out from under you. Glenn's "Coins to Glass" is very much like that. And nice and noisy -- which makes it great for trade shows!

I absolutely LOVE Leipzig's Pride! The spectator sees - and feels -- the coins go right through her hand. This is also known as "Cap & Pence" if you're trying to look it up. There was some clunkiness in Leipzig's handling (Hard to believe, isn't it?) which Glenn cleans up admirably.

Now -- the Cups & Balls. You might guess how much I love Glenn's version of this wonderful classic. (Yes, Glenn does return to the classics, and I do find that admirable. There are reasons, and it has to do with the way these classics affect audiences.) The demonstration suffers from Glenn not having a spectator to act and react with (Which is something at which he excels!) and he makes the moves VERY obvious for teaching purposes. For entertainment value, see the aforementioned TV clip. You'll appreciate the power of this routine much better. Then come back for the explanation - and the ease at which Glenn loads the final loads. I have the feeling that even if he flashed them, his actions seem so normal that no one would notice.

Die Namic Diamonds finishes up the set, and will make you crazy when you watch the demo. It's the paddle move -- with a kicker that you see coming and is irresistable in its inevitability. Your non-magician spectator might not see it coming -- I doubt they will -- but it's equally entertaining either way. Because even if you see it coming, you're thinking "No way! No WAY!!"

And that IS a nice paddle move, by the way.

For this DVD, I can't believe he's selling it for only $20.

What can I say? I need to get more of Glenn's videos. He's fun!

--Gran'pa Chet


Blogger Rick Carruth said...

Glenn is a very talented magician, and one can learn much from watching Glenn and his rendentions. Now... if we could just get Glenn to focus on magic and not personality conflicts..


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