“EXTREME MAGIC FOR EVERYBODY” LECTURE BY DIEGO MINEVITZ

Written by John Teo
When Diego Minevitz from Argentina offered to give us a lecture on “Extreme Magic” in Singapore, we were unsure if our local magicians were interested enough in this type of magic to want to pay to attend the lecture.  As we understand it, “Extreme Magic” is magic involving dangerous predicaments.  On the other hand, because “Extreme Magic” is not too common, getting an expert to come and share with us on this special topic may be something we should not miss.  It was with this thought that we agreed to host Diego Minevitz in Singapore When Diego Minevitz arrived in Singapore, we found that he had already sourced, through face-book, a translator in Singapore to interpreter his lecture from the Spanish to the English language.  In exchange for this favour, Diego had to perform 2 short children shows for this Spanish lady in her school in Singapore where she teaches children Spanish. The lecture was held in Bayview Hotel in the evening of 10 October 2013 where 20 people attended. Diego commenced by breaking beer bottles into small pieces on a canvas spread on the floor.  He then proceeded to walk on the glass pieces, jumped on them, laid on them (with his bare body) and even buried his face in them!  Through the interpreter, he discussed the history of fakirism and explained the secret behind working with broken glass.  He invited a member of the audience, had him removed his shirt and did what he had just done, under his strict supervision, of course. Diego then went on to roulettes.  He had a spike (long nail) hidden under one of four inverted foam cups by a spectator.  Although blind-folded all the time, Diego was able to smash a cup each time without the hidden spike piecing through his palm, leaving the “loaded” cup right at the end.  He then showed another variation of this effect.  This time, an egg is supposed to be hidden inside one of six paper bags.  A spectator threw a die and stepped onto whatever bag was indicated by the number of the die.  No egg was observed oozing out of the bag.  When the last bag was revealed, instead of containing the egg as expected, it had a nasty and long nail!  This routine was played to much laughter from the audience. Diego then discussed why he liked to inject comedy into his extreme magic – this was to make extreme magic enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  Next, he talked about the psychological reasons why accidents occur in extreme magic.  He then proceeded to perform and explain a roulette routine using industrial staplers. After a short break with snacks and coffee and tea, Diego went on to the subject of escapes.  He showed how to undo the handcuffs used by police on criminals.  He also demonstrated how to escape from chains and lock on his wrists (Siberian chains), Houdini handcuffs, and an interesting thumb tie using electric tie-cables. Diego had a spectator bound him up in a strait-jacket and he demnstrated how to escape from it.  He then displayed a cute miniature strait-jacket into which he put a cased box of playing cards.  Although the cased deck was completely trapped inside the mini jacket, he was able to extract a chosen card out of it.  It was a close-up version of strait-jacket escape! Brisk sales was observed as participants purchased his lecture notes, spike routine complete with the blindfold, special die, card escape from mini strait-jacket, and the specially made strait-jacket. It was an evening of much laughter and we all went away with relevant information regarding performing “extreme magic”.   Reported by:   JOHN TEO