By George Dixon
Quicker Than the Eye
The Melbourne Magic Festival has grown over the years into one of Melbourne’s major festivals.
One of the wonderful aspects is that, generally, magic is a fantastic live visual experience.
It is a skill that takes years to master to make natural and magical.
Josh Staley is not only a local performer, but he is also easily recognised as one of Australia’s highly regarded close-up magicians. Staley’s skills and artistry are globally highly acclaimed.
For the festival, Staley performs two completely different shows, “back to back”, in other locations and settings.
The first, “Quicker than the Eye, ” is a stand-up card magic presentation designed for a larger audience.
With a sell-out audience of about one hundred people, this family-friendly show is perfect for first-timers to regular followers that take advantage of seeing this fantastic craftsman in action.
With the interplay of comedy and audience participation, Staley has everyone in his hand.
Each show is unique and will never be repeated. While the structure is constant, the elements are variable as they are randomly chosen by the audience on that night.
While what is presented using variables, by the end of the performance, the audience is amazed at how every segment knits together into an understandable, relatable order.
At one stage, Staley’s combination of open magic is displayed to the audience, while a primary segment is played out with an audience member on stage. To the delight of the audience, who believe they see how a simple trick is done, they are unprepared for a fantastic twist.
In this production, audiences are taken on a magical journey where we experience magic within magic, wrapped in magic.
Staley delivers an excellent and complete presentation that satisfies the level of entertainment, while leaving you not only scratching your head about how or what the.
It will have you talking about your experience to others for days or weeks to come.
Up Late. Up Close.
Up Late. Up Close is the second and later performance by Josh Staley.
Unlike the first performance, Staley presents an up-close Magic card master class.
The setting is a card table poker style that sits eight; a second row of seats makes up the audience, with one of two extra people sitting in a third row.
Staley’s introduction lays out the premise of good magic. It should be very well presented with elements of suspense and wonder.
He also states that with cards, there are only degrees of probability, so there are possible, probable, and improbable, ending with impossible.
After witnessing this master class, I tend to differ. I would like to suggest that after improbable, there is Josh Staley; whatever is left becomes impossible until it is mastered by Staley, who absolutely delights in this particular skill set.
Fortunately, I could sit at the table on the side. This presented the opportunity to watch Staley side-on and see the facial expressions of the others at the table.
With close-up magic, there is no margin of error. It either works or fails spectacularly.
It is very fast; the suspense is there for the magician and the audience.
Everything is transparent; some cards were folded and placed under an inverted wine glass.
Participants signed other cards. Others placed under hands or pinned down with a finger.
Cards were shuffled, cut, and shuffled again. Different methods of selection of the target card were also made by audience members.
Various aspects of order and disorder were transformed into complete sets or various orders.
Audience members who came as sceptics walked away believing. There were, at times, muffled sounds as witnesses tried to unravel what they just experienced.
Great magic will have you doing that until you decide to accept what you see and relax and enjoy the skills as entertainment.
Staley is so talented and skilful in this space. Every audience member participates.
The finale is a two-part presentation, starting with each person selecting a random card using different selection methods, which is returned to the pack as the pack is handed around. The outcome of this presentation is a demonstration of chaos into order.
The second part of the presentation is something you will have to experience for yourself.
After all, that’s the suspense of magic.
Other to say that like, everyone who attended was utterly blown away.
This is a not to be missed show.
If you miss it, Staley can be followed via social media.