Anything That Interests Me! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anything that interests me - Cyril Takayama

Anything that interests me - Cyril Takayama

Anybody who knows me well would probably know that I have an interest in magic, and in particular, mentalism. Normally that'd be absolutely true - as I do indeed have a great interest in mentalism. However, this time my post is going to be on street magic and stage magic, which are apparently the two things that Cyril Takayama does.

There are different genres of magic, and of course, some of them cross over, some of them are similar and some of them infringe on each other. For instance, right off the cuff, there are stage magicians, card magicians, illusionists, mentalists, sleight of hand artists, hypnotists, street magicians who do close up magic, and so on - but note that each category could potentially include other categories. Sleight of hand artists could be street magicians, and street magic could have an element of mentalism, and so on.

Normally, my interest is quite limited in this respect to merely mentalism, because that's the thing that really intrigues me. I already know how most of the stage magic is done and sleight of hand has already been exposed by my ex-favourites Penn and Teller. Even the sacred cups and balls trick has been exposed by Penn and Teller so that makes my scope of magical interests, so to speak, more limited. But Takayama is different - some of his tricks are, to say the least, bizarre.

I was in fact not going to write about Takayama but about Michael Vincent, who really amazed me (till Takayama came along).

Michael Vincent will get special mention here: he is indeed one of the best classical magicians I've seen so far. He does classical tricks, like the cups and balls, and also card tricks, sleight of hand, and the like. What I like about him most is that he is very traditional and classical, and the tricks that he does are quite immortal. Michael Vincent wears glasses too - that alone is worthy of mention because a la Nana Mouskouri, most celebrities do not show that they wear glasses. He's quite special, in a sense.

Then I chanced upon THEM.

THEM stands for totally hidden extreme magic, which was a short lived TV show, where magicians basically punked people, and everything was recorded by CCTVs. Now the acts that really interested me were:

pretty lady Lisa changing her clothes very quickly (change artist) in the changing room and puzzling the heck out of other women in the store, and
Cyril Takayama's head falling off trick.

Now, call me old fashioned, but that was a funny trick - come on, his head fell off! I didn't know it was Takayama at the time, but later on I chanced upon his other skills, and those hooked me.

Takayama's strengths: he's handsome, he's cool, he makes magic look easy, he switches easily and excellently between street magic and stage magic, and in both of them he aims to shock and stun people. Michael Vincent's magic is more cultured, slow, traditional, and in many ways more mature, but Takayama's hip magic in Japanese and English is quite refreshing. Come on, he's Criss Angel and David Blaine - in Japanese and English! If Criss and David could speak German or Japanese, they might give Cyril a run for his money. However, Takayama currently seems to be the next biggest thing (take it whatever way you will) in magic in Japan, going at least by google and youtube.

By the way, I am an Economist and Historian by training, and one thing is that we are frequently wrong when we predict things. At least I'm honest.

I wrote about Derren Brown, Sos, Angela Funovits, and Morta Deller before, and now Michael Vincent and of course, our great star, Cyril Takayama. 

Angela Funovits hasn't exploded since then. I sort of guessed wrongly. Perhaps the competition among magicians is too stiff? Perhaps she is now famous, but I didn't know - and neither did you? Perhaps youtube is the better medium to reach out to people? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I don't know.

But what I do know is that these write ups on magicians and magic are all my own personal opinions. I also know that economists and historians make mistakes in prediction too. Hoho.

So, to end my long post on magicians and Cyril Takayama - watch him; he's interesting! And he's good.

Anything that interests me!