Each year it feels like I turn around and MindVention is suddenly over. Maybe it's the fact that people here run on somewhere between two and three hours of sleep a night. Maybe it's because of the steady influx of new information. Maybe it's just because it's Vegas...but suddenly we're out of lectures and coming up on the "Masters of Mentalism" show.
Tonight's line-up features Cashetta, Bob Cassidy, Docc Hilford, and John Riggs.
As usual, the front few rows will be salted with laypeople...who will be eyed by every mentalist in the room and may or may not wind up feeling like the last few mounds of hamburger in the middle of a crowd of teenagers with the munchies.
This afternoon had several really good lectures and discussions...and one very looooong lecture. Admittedly, this is a matter of personal taste -- so I will leave it to you to figure out which I see as which.
Cashetta's creator, Scott Weston, spoke first (out of drag costume) very knowledgeably about Q and A. There's real intelligence in what he had to say. There was genuine compassion when he talked about reading fortunes and loving his audience. The character, Cashetta really rides the edge in much of the material. But in hearing the guys talk about it, this was THE performance of the convention.
The highlight of the day, for me, was a panel discussion on Q and A,. Wonderful thoughts being shared by the likes of Bob Cassidy and Michael Weber. There was a feeling that most of the performers doing Q and A really need to either stop performing it or need to rethink their motivations -- to quit thinking "method" and start making it a depiction of the process of reading a mind.
This was followed by John Riggs doing his first lecture ever. Yup. I was as surprised to hear that as you are. He showed some wonderful methods of getting the peek from imp devices...but the bulk of what he taught centered around readings. Here's a sample: the "oracle" was a series of small objects: a rubber ball, a small teddy bear, a small Wizard of Oz book etc. The sitter chooses "even or odd" and those objects are pushed forward.
In this process, a ladybug fell off the table. Riggs said it was an important event, quoting the rhyme "Ladybug ladybug fly away home" -- and said it was an indication that a critical decision was on the way. Remember that this lecture was taking place in a room full of exhausted performers...most of whom don't do readings. There were a number of "huh" glances exchanged. The room was not as full at the end as it had been at the beginning.
So...in wrapping things up...these were the highlights for me this year:
* I'd never seen Michael Weber perform before. I was really impressed with the show he did, the intelligent thought behind the things he shared and his confident manner with the audience. It is my loss that I was not familiar with him until now.
* There's love in this fraternity. Cassiidy is getting his lifetime achievement award (he said it bothers him a little because he's a little concerned that this means he's done now) -- but I find it wonderful that this is a group that respects it's leaders.
* Mentalism takes many forms. Cashetta to Riggs....Cassiidy to Hilford. There's passion in all of them.
* MIndVention remains a small and friendly convention. Again -- I am struck by the intelligence of the people here. There's no mobbing of the dealer tables -- but there is a genuine exchange of information and feelings.
I love this place. MV Eleven happens next year in October. Richard Osterlind is going to be the guest of honor. And you're going to be seeing a lecture on pendulums as well.
So I'm off to the last show and then the pub. I expect to be out very late tonight -- and we're flying home tomorrow. My first show will be on Thursday --and that''s when the real world will be swimming back into focus.
This will be a good thing...because I can use the rest.
Hope you have enjoyed these updates.
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