The Wonder of Derren Brown!
Growing up I’m sure we all had our favourite magicians. Ones that hypnotize people, sleight of hand magicians, illusionists, escape artists or that do card tricks. All these people make us feel like there is something more to the world than just what we can see. It gives us the hope that magic is alive.
Growing up we realise, there is no magic, no awesome power that can cut people in half without killing them, no life forces that make things move on stage, nothing! It's not real.
That’s where Derren Brown comes in. At the start of all his shows he says that the effects achieved in the show are results of using a combination of ‘magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship’. He claims no abilities such as psychic or paranormal and disbelieves those who do.
Even with the opening statement, what Derren Brown can do is amazing, no doubt about it. In one series ‘The Experiments’ he portrays how someone could be hypnotized and trained to murder without having any knowledge of the act. It works and the man who is unwittingly taking part shoots Stephen Fry on stage in front of a crowd of people. Although the actual shooting wasn’t real, he proved that it can be done.
He creates another experiment where he see’s if he can get someone to wholly believe and admit to committing a murder they didn’t do. This, astonishingly does work. He can walk past someone, barely touch them and they’ll be stuck on the spot! He can put people to sleep over the phone. He can predict the lotto, appear invisible and so much more.
In all of his series, he uses a combination of techniques that make him appear as if he is magical! And if he is obviously denying it, then all the techniques he uses can be learned. This is where Derren rises above the rest. With his tricks and experiments, it shows us as an audience that it can be done and achieved, unlike actual magic or psychic powers. We could learn how to read people’s faces and their body language and use suggestive techniques to apparently ‘read their mind’.
Unlike magicians such as ‘Dynamo’, who uses camera tricks and other techniques to appear magical (Walking down the side of a building, levitating and walking on water) Derren is completely honest. Plus he tells us how achieves the results. In one episode he told us how he hypnotizes people. When people do things like shake someone’s hand, it’s an unconscious response that you can do without really thinking too much into it. It’s a reflection, if someone holds out there hand, you shake it! Well Derren says that if you interrupt a simple action like that with a demand for the person to do something, like sleep, then it is easily achieved. They don’t have to think about shaking the hand but when the act is disrupted, the brain overreacts and goes into a type of hibernation.
He plays chess against nine other professionals at one time. They are all different levels of professionals in chess playing, but indeed are the best. He begins and goes around the room so many times you wonder how the hell he’s keeping up with himself. In the end he wins 4 games, 3 are a tie and he loses one, making him the winner. Then he tells us how he does it. He basically goes around the room, using other players moves. He mentally pairs eight of them up, goes to the first four and does nothing. When he gets to table five he used the first chess players move and so on. So, the chess players are really playing each other, not Derren Brown. With the ninth chess player he loses, obviously, because he actually isn’t that good at it. So simple but without him telling us how he did it, it would appear he is the best chess player.
And this is why I call him the Modern Magician. He’s not fake. He’s not telling us only a few select people can do this. He is not telling us that it’s magical and paranormal powers he’s using. He’s not using camera tricks or editing. What he does, I think, is better than any other magician out there.
The Best Shows:
Derren browns best shows by far are the ones where he takes real people and puts them in situations that really do test a person.
Apocalypse: Here Derren Convinced a poor guy that the end of the world had happened, and was now filled with Zombies, yes, zombies. And it was believable too, the production must have spent months trying to make this happen, and it worked. The Show was incredible TV, but that poor gy will be having nightmares for months.
The Heist: Derren tells a gallery owner that he will be stealing a painting from his gallery with the help of a few friends. He gives him the date, the time, the place everything, and the results are pretty good.
The System: Derren randomly chooses a person and gives her the name of horses that will win the weeks races. Each time she must place her own money on the bet with the final bet being thousands. The results are impressive.
© 2012 belleart