Rick Maue Lecture – Inside Magic’s Review

Rick Maue

This is the second time I have seen Mr. Maue’s lecture.  This will be the first time I willprovide a review though.  Last year, I was the photographer while our former colleague Ms. Lakeland did the writing.  She’s gone, Mr. Maue is back and I’m ready. 

 

Let’s go to the bottom-line: Mr. Maue’s presence, voice, look, and manner convinced me that he probably could read my mind.  He has incredible style in his presentation and exudes the confidence of someone who has done this once or twice before. 

 

Read On . . .

 

Right off the bat, Mr. Maue showed us his Riding the Wave.  Based Phil Goldstein’s B’Wave, this effect is perfect for opening a show or a lecture.  It is also a great opportunity to encounter Mr. Maue’s incredible presence. 

 

The secret of this effect is the method of presentation.  The scripting of the effect influences the path the effect will take and the conclusion the audience will see.  The spectator’s involvement and responses are free but controlled — if that make sense. 

 

Describing Riding the Wave will necessarily be different depending on the spectator?s choices.  Unlike many of the multiple outcome effects we’ve seen, this effect ends in with the same props shown at the beginning of the trick.  This factor alone makes it so much more enjoyable to watch and do when compared to other multiple outcome effects.  You know the ones I am talking about.  You finish by telling the spectator that her card is in one of 52 locations around the theater depending on the selection. 

 

Mr. Maue ends the trick where it started, the same envelope shown.  So even though the effect’s method — the successful…

Rick Maue

This is the second time I have seen Mr. Maue’s lecture.  This will be the first time I willprovide a review though.  Last year, I was the photographer while our former colleague Ms. Lakeland did the writing.  She’s gone, Mr. Maue is back and I’m ready. 

 

Let’s go to the bottom-line: Mr. Maue’s presence, voice, look, and manner convinced me that he probably could read my mind.  He has incredible style in his presentation and exudes the confidence of someone who has done this once or twice before. 

 

Read On . . .

 

Right off the bat, Mr. Maue showed us his Riding the Wave.  Based Phil Goldstein’s B’Wave, this effect is perfect for opening a show or a lecture.  It is also a great opportunity to encounter Mr. Maue’s incredible presence. 

 

The secret of this effect is the method of presentation.  The scripting of the effect influences the path the effect will take and the conclusion the audience will see.  The spectator’s involvement and responses are free but controlled — if that make sense. 

 

Describing Riding the Wave will necessarily be different depending on the spectator?s choices.  Unlike many of the multiple outcome effects we’ve seen, this effect ends in with the same props shown at the beginning of the trick.  This factor alone makes it so much more enjoyable to watch and do when compared to other multiple outcome effects.  You know the ones I am talking about.  You finish by telling the spectator that her card is in one of 52 locations around the theater depending on the selection. 

 

Mr. Maue ends the trick where it started, the same envelope shown.  So even though the effect’s method — the successful prediction of the spectator’s selection — has several variations to the ending, each method provides an equally impressive conclusion.

 

Is this a tough trick to do?  Nope.  Mr. Maue says he uses VDM sleights.  “Sleights that even Venus Di Milo can perform.”

 

Mr. Maue uses this effect as an opener because it helps him identify audience members he would like to use in the show.  All audience members are not alike.  Mr. Maue believes proper audience management will encourage “rational adults” to volunteer.  Without encouraging the rational members of the audience to volunteer, he believes there are only three personality-types willing to offer to be assistants: drunks, kids and jerks. 

 

The Play’s the Thing.

 

Rick Maue

All of Mr. Maue?s effects share the common theme of preparation and thorough scripting.  The mentalist claims scripting is essential to a successful performance.  So, he insists on scripting everything in his act ? both words and actions ? to ensure repeatable and successful results.

 

Mr. Maue draws his appreciation of great scripting from his s?ances and haunted magic.  As many know, Mr. Maue has his own s?ance parlor in the lower portion of his home.  Sadly, he has recently closed the chamber after many years of acclaimed public performances but the haunting presentations of theatrical s?ances taught him so much.  (By the way, he calls it a ?theatrical s?ance? because: 1) he believes real s?ances are fake and bogus, and, 2) they are fake and bogus).

 

Mr. Maue taught us the secret behind one of his first theatrical magic effect.  In 1976, he held his first s?ance in the playroom of his understanding parent?s home.  He invited spectators to help him call the spirit of Houdini. Once assembled, Mr. Maue lit a candle positioned in the center of the table, and solemnly passed around a gold ring representing Houdini’s spirit.  (?Like a ring, Houdini?s spirit is without end?). He then offered a long leather strap to the assembled witnesses representing the bounds of death from which he hoped to release Houdini. 

The young S?ance Master threaded the gold ring on the leather strap and asked two spectators to hold either end of the strap so that the ring was above the table. As he extinguished the candle, Mr. Maue asked another spectator to hold his arms behind his back to ensure he could not cause any of the expected manifestations of the invited spirit.  

 

In the pitch dark, Mr. Maue solemnly spoke about Houdini’s life, there came a loud clang.  Mr. Maue called for the lights, and the spectators saw: the ring spinning on the table; the leather strap was still held at each end by spectators; and that he was still restrained.  

 

The effect was so strong that it caused one of the s?ance members, a 16-year old young woman, to faint and land on the floor.  Mr. Maue thought, “Hey, that’s something you don’t get with card tricks!”  His career path was chosen.

 

Mr. Maue’s scripting and theatrical ability was obvious in his demonstration of a psychokinetic watch effect.  He told us a wonderful story of his ‘Uncle Dom’ his mentor.  He described how Uncle Dom, now deceased, exposed him to magic, eclectic hobbies, collections and the philosophy that ‘every day is a fresh start.’    I believed Mr. Maue?s story and found out he fooled me.   The power of the script and theatrical presentation to perform a trick many of us know and do became clear.

 

Defining the Difference

 

So what is the difference between one who does tricks and one who reads minds? 

Defining the Difference is an effect where he showed the audience the difference between someone who ‘does tricks’ and someone who can read minds.  It is a clever and effective routine. 

 

Mr. Maue divides this effect into two parts to explain how a magician performs a card trick and how a mentalist divines the identity of a selected card. By using the two effects in one, the performer is able to remove all suspicion from the cleverly gimmicked deck of cards. 

 

This effect uses scripting to avoid exposure under the guise of ‘being a gentleman.’  So, out of courtesy, Mr. Maue directs the spectator to stand away from the table after making his selection so ‘there is no chance he could see the card’ and he escorts the spectator back to his seat.  Obviously, the real reason is to keep the spectator from touching the deck of cards. 

 

Second Half:

 

Mental Picture

 

Using only four Styrofoam cups and a ball of paper, Mr. Maue pulled off one of his best effects of the night.   He asked a spectator to leave the room while another spectator placed a crumpled ball of paper beneath one of the four cups.  No force, by the way.  The sequestered spectator returned and stood by the four cups.

 

Mr. Maue asked the spectator to raise his hand as if he was taking a pledge and then slowly lower it to the cup of his choice.  The spectator followed the instructions and correctly selected the cup hiding the paper ball.

 

Incredible.

 

As with the opening effect,  this trick has multiple possibilities and endings ? four to be exact ? but each result is not only credible but equally astounding.  Significantly, this trick does not need a Magician’s choice or Equivoque.

 

How anal is Mr. Maue?  Well, I told you about the incredibly detailed scripting of his effects, yes?  He shared with us his method for properly crumbling the ball of paper.  On reflection, it was good to learn how he crumpled the paper ball because learning the method helped me to understand the whole effect.  I would likely have messed up the routine if I had not learned the correct way to crumble.  This is an effect I will immediately incorporate in my routine. 

 

Alternative to the Classic Pass. 

 

This is my time for full-disclosure: I saw him teach this method in his last lecture and although I thought it was clever, I did not think it would fool anyone.  I tried it on my wife and it went undetected.  This would be the first time I performed a pass undetected by her.  (That reads weird but you know what I mean and besides, a man is allowed to make a pass for his wife, it is just a shame that she doesn’t notice anymore.)  But I digress. 

 

If you care about minutiae or learning the sleights to make you a true finger flicker, learn this alternative to the classic pass.  I can make this confession because you have read this far and, therefore, you and I have a ‘thing’ working ? this sleight feels nice to do.  It feels kind of ?funny? but in a nice way but not a dirty way. 

 

I feel less awkward telling you this not only because you and I have our ‘thing’ going on but because I am not alone.  Mr. Maue admitted he perfected the move by practicing in the dark, next to his wife as they sat in theaters to see ‘chick flicks.’ To ease the incredible boredom, he kept his hands busy while his wife sobbed at the pathos on the big screen.  When he admitted this truth tonight, I no longer felt shame about my special feeling the practice gives me.

 

His last effect is a risky one that is clever but entertaining for both the audience and the performer.  Terasabos is an incredible effect, but not surefire.  A spectator places an important item beneath one of five large clay cups.  Without gimmicks or stooges, the performer dramatically identifies the location of the special object. 

 

Mr. Maue does not believe it is necessary for every effect to be ?surefire.?  He gets an incredible rush from the idea of possibly failing (with some high percentage of likely success).  Knowing failure is an-ever present threat makes watching it exciting for the magician and the audience.

 

Mr. Maue ends his lectures by showing a petrified portion of a dinosaur.  It is a symbol of what he urges magicians to avoid.  If we do not constantly seek to improve, we will fossilize and so will magic.  He begs his audiences to go beyond the script provided with the store-bought trick or the effect taken from a magic book.

 

Mr. Maue performs magic that improves on the state of the art and matches it with scripting and presentation methods that make it a work of art. 

 

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