During the 14th to 16th September 2004 Derren kindly gave up a lot of his
time to answer questions from the members of The Magic Cafe .
Here are his answers in transcript form. Some of his answers are very interesting and provide an
insight into his unique thinking on the broad subject of magic.
Thank you for having me: flattered to be had by you. I just wanted to apologise
in advance about the fact that due to the ultimately quite public nature of these
fora (I hope to use that word as much as possible), and the small profile I have
amongst the British public, I can't really expose any of my methods here. I hope
that doesn't render my being on the forum utterly pointless: I'll try to be as
helpful as possible.
Many thanks for the invitation, and to my delightful and utterly charming friend
Stephen Long for suggesting and arranging it.
Be gentle with me,
Firstly let me say how much I loved the seance both live and on stage, that inspired
to me start to learn magic. It seems very much in the tradition of Houdini, Randi,
P&T etc. Will using your techniques to debunk flim flamry be developed or
was the seance a one off in that regard?
I feel that out-and-out debunking is a witless stand and a losing battle.
When you tell someone something as a fact, he will hear it, interpret it, apply
it to his own thoughts and beliefs, and necessarily move AWAY from it a little.
The more you insist on it as fact, the more potential scepticism you provoke.
It's utterly natural. It's much more effective, I think, to use presumption and
leave clues. That way, when people do their interpretative work, they move TOWARDS
where you want them to.
So, the ending of the Seance, to me, was a more effective debunking tool than
a dull 'exposure' of charlatanism. I didn't disprove anything, and neither did
I attack spiritualists. The most I said was that 'personally I found it quite
ugly', and then explained that the show was to see whether techniques used by
Victorian charlatans would work on a modern, sceptical audience. That was all.
I was careful not to make the show an attack. Interestingly (as you may know,
it's now the most complained about show in UK TV history), it was anticipated
as an attack, seen as one by many, and taken by others as 'proof' that spritualism
is nonsense. Of course it was none of those things.
So I think that a subtle touch is all that is needed. A scepticism of the new-age
agenda and religion of course underpins much of what I do, but I don't intend
to make that an explicit agenda. Besides, I don't consider my sceptical beliefs
to be any more real than the daft excesses of modern new-ageism. It's all nonsense.
I've thought a lot about this issue, and I think the most that can be said on
the subject is that if you believe something which sounds stupid to the outside
world, it's best to shut up about it.
Great question, thank you,
Whats up with the Ghetto Hoody?
And gangsta signs you're throwing up there??
It's a make-up job from the new series. I had to wear the hood
so I could get from the make-up room to the set without being stared at
I don't really look like that.
Can't think of a subject header...
Just wanted to say that though I'm not a magician or mentalist
or anything like that, I nonetheless purchased both of your books
and had a delightful read. I
have recently finished by Bachelor degree in Philosophy and really
enjoy esthetics and Art theory and do believe that magic as you
define it can be art; I essentially
believe that art is a state of mind.
Anyway, nice to see that a few intelligent people still exist in
P.S. Are there any plans for CH4 to repeat your 1st TV series?
I missed that one...
Thanks very much - very kind. I'm sure they'll repeat it: they seem to repeat
everything. E4 are quite good at showing it over and over again.
I was just wonderin what religious
things you belief in and what religion are you?
I've writtena bit about beliefs in the 'debunking' thread.
Yes, used to be a very happy-clappy Christian. Then came to realise that
it seemed to work like any beleif system, and that everything I found
new-age believers (and woolly, circular-beliefs which were desperately
defended because they were ultimately not about belief but about identity)I
So I felt I needed a more rigorous defence of it that the emotive truisms I was
given from churches, and started reading around how the Bible was put together
and so on. I felt more comfortable not having the pat answers and ultimately circular
arguments I had had before, and thought that from a new uncertainty I might build
a respectable belief. But that part never happened: it all just started to look
However, do refer to my answer in the debunking thread.
Wasn't aware of any blasphemy before the RR. I did say f*ck though. Thought it
was quite nicely placed...
As you are at the forefront of the art, it is inevitable that you
are going to become the object of imitators. As flattering
as this is how do you feel about
I shall pose this in two parts.
Firstly, when someone performs an effect that you do in a sub-standard
fashion, thereby tipping the method, do you feel that weakens
or strengthens your own position
as a performer in the public eye?
Secondly, how do you feel about beginners using your style
as a starting block for their own careers before evolving their
On a final note. Honestly, how annoyed do you really get when
people just ask you how you do a certain effect, and if the
I've enjoyed your posts here and elsewhere when I've looked at sites.
It's a tricky question to answer. I think it's just inevitable, as you
say, and it's pointless having strong opinions on it. I just try and
come up with effects
that most magicians won't be able to work out (!). I haven't
seen anyone do an effect of mine, let alone badly, so I don't know how
to answer the first part.
I've heard of the odd person (you know who you are) pretty
much doing my entire act after seeing the stage show (the first half
is roughly my cabaret show), and
that was galling. Especially as I knew the guy.
As for beginners using my style to start off, I guess that
makes sense. We've all done it in one way or another.
I don't think I've coined any particularly
original approach to mentalism, although I do try and
really commit to it. But there are a hundred possible ways of
approaching it, and most of them far away
from the 'psychic vs. psychological' agenda. I know of
very few people who do think outside of that box. But
sense to copy someone else's style at
first, and ridiculous and hypocritical to argue that
it shouldn't happen. (I just don't want to see it.)
Equally, I hear about younger performers being accused
of aping my style, and it turns out to be nonsense. I
Jermay give a show a while back, and after
hearing and reading bits here and there, I expected a
sort of copy. Couldn't have been further from the truth:
was delightful, original, and far more self-effacing
than I could ever hope to be.
So I don't worry about that any more.
I don't get annoyed if people ask me how to do a certain
effect. I can answer extremely coherently, fully, and
honestly, without saying anything. No-one really
asks about the bullet, though for a while the phrase
'blanks would still kill you' was permanently poised
on the tip
of my tongue.
At your live show in Cardiff
a few months ago one of the spectators invited onto the
stage called you "Darren", and another referred to Figaro as
Which did you find the most distressing?
The 'Darren' thing makes me laugh when it happens during the 'vox pop' interviews
we film for the show. I don't mind it, I've always had it. The 'budgie' mistake
happened a lot, and allowed me a cheeky gag in retort. Something about a cockatoo.
When, if ever, will you perform in the United States?
Many people in the Magic Cafe
have expressed a desire to see you perform, although I expect you'd
rather have an audience
more than just magicians.
Or perhaps you'd prefer an audience that doesn't include
any magicians at all given the sad prevalence of copying?
Never been bothered about magicians in the audience at a live show, although
I've been to magic shows before where magicians are sat in the front row literally
noting down all the gags in a notebook. That makes me sad.
There are talks underway about making a US special, but the production values
are high, so it's an expensive show to make. But it will happen, and hopefully
over the next 2/3 years.
Thanks for the interest.
I've two questions if that's ok:
1) It's been well documented that at some point in the future you
plan on taking your Mindcontrol act to America and I
understand the original series have already
been shown over there. When this does eventually happen,
would you expect to release the US material to the UK either in
form of a new C4 series or another DVD,
or will we Brits have to make American friends?
2) In your most recent live tour, it seems you've started
making use of a blindfold during Reminiscence - overall,
one of my
favourite mentalism effects. I don't
want to stray into the territory of exposure, but was
this move to support the method of the effect, or for
example to ensure 'true ideomotor
1) no idea as of yet. It's all up in the air. I suspect it would get shown here.
2) Erm... haven't used Reminiscence at all in the live show. Tried it a
bit a few years ago in Bristol and dropped it. The only blindfold part
now is the transfer
of a thought-of number between two volunteers, which
is a different effect and a very different method.
Hope that's OK,
Derren, is magic still "cool"
Do you think because of what
yourself and perhaps blaine have acheived in bringing
the 21st century
individuality to the art that
you you may have in fact made more people dismiss the
more traditional magicians, per say the ordanarry people doing
the circuit or
even maybe people like
Copperfield etc who perform the larger scale illusions?
I don't think it's down to me at all, I think it's entirely due to Blaine. And
I think his early specials provoked a huge interest in magic again, especially
amongst TV companies, and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be doing mine.
Bad performers will always be bad, and good will always be good, regardless
of what's in or out of fashion. All that happens is that a lot of copyists
so after Blaine came a lot of grungy close-up magicians
with a 'street' appeal doing card tricks. But equally, some of them
will be good, others bad. The bad
will be dismissed after a while. I don't think much
changes, other than periods of more acute interest.
Are 'psychological' magicians the new psychics
your interesting, thought-provoking work, and I thought
your recent seance made excellent telly.
As a bit of a Uri Geller fan (sorry) I wanted to ask:
1)if you think that there is really such a difference
between his psychic line and the psychological mantle
that you assume?
given that psychology is
such a floaty discipline and so little of it is based
in solid research trials, where is the difference?
2)if you think it matters? - magicians seem to be a
bit obsessed with the whole skeptic thing, but do you
a magician can
create a coherent vision without
lying about something? and do you think that the likes
of Uri are really being unfair on their audience?
Great question. I did start off with a hard 'psychology' line, but I didn't want
to give myself an ulcer. For me, the challenge and interesting part of it all
is to be as honest as possible whilst retaining the strength of the performance.
It's not about proving I have this or that ability. So I say that it's a 'mixture
of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship', and that's true.
If I have people asking me where they can join a course to learn NLP or
some technique, I'll give them what advice I have, which is both where
the better courses
are, but also why it has to be taken with a huge
pinch of salt. I also reiterate, in case they've missed it, that much
of what I do isn't what it looks like. I'll
be as honest as I can without getting into individual
methods, as I prefer to keep those to myself.
However, I'd much rather someone took it too seriously and decided to take
a psychology course, than someone took a fraudulent psychic seriously
to make life-decisions based on that false information,
or become a psychic themselves. For me, there is a real difference
It's up to any performer what line they take, as
long as they take responsibility for their claims.
For me, it's more interesting and defensible to
be as honest
as possible about it in general, though at the
same time I have to be ambiguous about specifics.
Hope that answers the question. I guess I should
keep my thoughts on Uri to myself.
Hi Mr Brown! I read you article
about card effects in Magic october 2003,and I
realize that you
tricks in your repetoire. But out of
intrest,if someone gave you a deck and asked for
a card trick,what effect would you do?
I have a few card effects I still perform, which are on the Devil's Picturebook
tape, or which have grown out of effects there. Generally 'mental' in nature.
No more picking cards out of my flies for me.
Probably pointless giving names of effects, as if you don't have the tape, you
won't know what I mean. They wouldn't be known card tricks with popular titles.
I'm amazed at how rusty I am at the tricks I used to perform. Shows how important
it is to keep at it...
A few question
Hello there. I have a few
questions that I hope you could answer, some about
1 After a year of messing around with mentalist
(and finally finding my own style) I am looking
my act a little,
help of University open mike
nights. I was wondering if you could share any
advice you have on developing an act, including
as getting yourself
2 How would you suggest dealing with hecklers?
So far my best approach seems to be hoping my politeness
3 Have you ever considered releasing any of the
effects you currently use on stage or television.
4 Suppose you had never gotten into magic or mentalist.
What do you think you would be doing with your
5 Do you intend to perform until you retire, or
do you have a career change planned?
Some more trivial questions:
6 What breed are your parrots?
7 Do you like Jazz?
8 What's your favourite film?
9 Favourite book?
10 Best place to buy classical Cds in Bristol.
Thanks for your time.
Aargh... no time to answer all of these very fully, I'm so sorry. Especially
2 - I agree, seems best. Can't say without seeing your act or knowing the sorrts
of venues you perform in.
3 - No, no plans to release them. Not sure why you'd think I would!
4 - Painting, perhaps.
5 - No changes planned. I'll do this as long as I enjoy it, I guess.
6 - Conures
7 - Nope. Well, trad jazz perhaps, mainly from being a Woody Allen fan.
8 - Wings Of Desire (Wim Wenders)
9 - Don't know. Maybe Boswell's London Diaries.
10 - Was Bristol Classical Discs on Broad St. Now there's nowhere.
Thank you too.
The Figaro Transfer, The Spasm ?
Ken here, one of the two Irish magicians you met after one of your
shows in the palace theatre. Greatly enjoyed the
night, great show, nice to meet you as well.
In an attempt to keep this forum clutter free I'll post a
couple questions in the one thread.
1. Seeing as you named a sleight after your parrott,
were you at any stage tempted to name one after
your cat? How could
2. What are your musical interests? I imagine you
would be more inclined to Beethoven than The Beastie
3. Looking back at the stop of your recent tour
in Belfast compared with the English venues, how
you feel it
was received and
were you encouraged
the waters again?
1 - Well, Spasm the cat is stuffed whereas the parrot is real, so I guess he
2 - Big Bach fan.
3 - Belfast was a wonderful last night. Next year we're planning on playing
Dublin too, as we didn't manage to secure it last time. Apologies to
any Dubliners. Don't
know if it was substantially different, as
one tends to feel more exhilerated anyway on the final night of a tour.
Thanks, and it was delightful to meet you both.
Any tips to help
along performances? Always ready to learn from
Script everything carefully and thoughtfully, then learn the script. Never make
it up as you go along. You must deliver it well and naturally, and can ad lib
a bit from the script or discover new moments where they occur, but it means that
if you're ill or not on form one night, you'll still get everything right and
give a great show.
That's what I think, anyway.
Which way now?
Hi Derren! firstly, congratulations
on your phenomenal success! Well done that
Since the airing of the Mind Control Series
a few years ago you have significantly and
and added a much needed breath of
fresh air back into magic with performances
that focus heavily on the spectator creating
where the spectator doesn't feel patronised.
You have also inspired and rekindled an incalculable
number of peoples' passion for magic as evidenced
by the 1000s of
to you and your work on
this site alone.
For some of the effects you have performed
and the underlying ideas I find it difficult
them and that you
have stretched the use
of them to the absolute max. Obviously, you
are working in a very pressurised environment
is expecting you to keep
raising the bar and creating
more and more magical experiences. Because
of this and the
fact that you are still a youngster I was wondering
where you see your
career heading...whether you see
yourself continuing to perform within the realms
of psychological illusion or will choose to
walk in a
direction whether performance related
All the best.
Justin - thanks for the nice words. That's very flattering, though not necessarily
If I start to feel that there's no life left in this, then obviously I'll shift
direction, or continent. But for the moment, there's a lot I'd like to explore,
and in many ways it gets easier to think up new ideas, as I have a clearer sense
of what I want to do now than before. I vastly prefer the live shows, so I think
I'll keep touring for a long time, even if I cut right down on the TV shows or
leave them altogether (by choice or otherwise. Probably otherwise.)
Thanks for the 'youngster' bit. Don't feel it much at the moment.
Derren, a push in the right direction...
I've just recently seen your shows air'd on television, since we
are really delayed in that department. But,
after the first show of yours that I have seen, I knew
there and then that I want to become a magician/mentalist.
What I want to ask you is how did you become who
you are today? Is it
through research and if so
where did you research. The reason I ask this
question is, I need a push in the right direction. I'm from South
industry is not as bustling
as it is overseas. Many people in this forum,
joining a magic club....well, there is no magic club
where I'm from. I
earn dollars so I cant really purchase
books over the internet. My local library sucks.
So what else can I do?
Keep up the good work
I didn't go down the magic club route. I think they have their advantages and
disadvantages. I took a roundabout route through hypnotism and conjuring, and
can only recommend reading whatever you can get your hands on and to have fun
coming up with things. You have the advantage, if there's not much of a scene
in South Africa, of being unfettered by a received style or other people's thoughts
on what you should do. Two of the card greats - Guy Hollingworth and Lennart Green
- and I'm sure many others - came up with their ideas in relative isolation, and
the results really show. So take whatever passion you have and let it take root
in whatever's available.
Borrow what you can, watch and read what you can, find who you can, and just
keep at it. It'll kick in, or you'll get bored of it and do something else. No
Best of luck - sorry I can't be of much use.
Questions concerning nerves and other performers
Q1)When faced with a large audience
do you ever find yourself struck down with
nerves. If so what do you do to overcome them?
Q2)Whom are your favourite other magical performers, and
1)No, never really had that problem. In fact I have to struggle to find nerves
sometimes: they are very useful. I don't like it when I'm trying new material
that's unworked though. That makes me uneasy beforehand.
2)Canasta, Berglas and Teller spring immediately to mind. They have a real understanding
of the theatre of their magic, and ultimately that's what it comes down to.
Hope that answers those ok. Cheers.
Saw your show in Nottingham, my mate and I thought you put on a
fantastic performance. Bravo!
The question I would like to put to you is
this. Now, that you are infamous - do you still
the crew or
swan around in a diva like fashion
making impossible demands?
Big fan and long time stalker
Lee - thanks for coming. Very good of you.
I work with the most delightful crew, so I get to hang around with them. But
yes, there's a terrible danger of turning into a wanker, if I'm not there already.
Any plans on a new book?
Hi, I'm a magician,
not a mentalist, but nevertheless I found your
very helpful to
my presentation etc, especially Absolute Magic.
Just wondering if there are any plans to release
a new book or any otehr new material?
Oh, and that 9-inch nail was never a 9-inch
nail, come on! (How big was it really?)
Never said it was a nine-inch nail. Didn't say anything, from what I remember.
Pleased you liked the book. No, no plans to release any more books or videos
for magicians. In fact when I do, it'll be a subtle sign that my career over here
is flagging a bit.
I'm gagging to release a huge tome, as it were, and I'm sure one day I will.
But not for a long time I think. I am considering writing a book for the general
public, which has been on my mind for a while. Occasionally I read on the net
that I have such a book planned, and that it's a 'self-help style book of standard
psychological techniques you can use at home'. Sounds terrible. I hope if I do
write one, it will be something more interesting, and something I can be proud
Andy's personality re: yours
Humour. Andy Nyman. etc
You don't really 'joke' on your shows. How hard has it been NOT
to want to have more 'fun'? I am sure that
during shooting you have a blast with all involved.
However, I can then imagine you having to pull
yourself together again to be 'DB the TV guy'.
How did you feel about humour before your TV series,
and how has the TV series changed the way you
perform - do you see
now a place where you
can have more fun?
There is SOME humour in what you do like in
the spec as mindreader street stuff. This is
that some of the
material you offer. It's obvious
you are now diversifying slightly in your tv
persona.... yes, slightly, but creeping somewhere
room for maneuver
Anyway. Humour. Etc
Such is the problem with having got here early
Good point. It took us a while to convince C4 that there could be any humour
in the show at all. Part of the problem is that the show is pretty fast-moving,
and just telling the story is hard enough to fit in. Some great gags (and some
dreadful ones) have been lost.
It is getting looser and more wry in places, I like to think. And yes, the rehearsal/creative
process consists mainly of weeping with laughter. Certainly the live show allows
for a lot more fun than the TV, which is partly why I enjoy it so much.
I like the balance now. Think it is less ponderous and solemn.
Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and magic you've offered to
the magic community. I can tell it's because
of the loyalty and fondness you have for the average magician,
especially coin workers and strolling guys
in bright suspenders.
Anyway, I think many of the effects in Devil's Picturebook
are absolutely brilliant. Invisible Deal is
one of my favorites... sorry, favoUrites.
I seem to be consistently off on suit -- i.e. I get
the color right, and miss the suit, then get
the odd/even part right,
and the number.
Any further tips that
aren't on the video? I have analyzed and analyzed
my patter and my observational skills, and can't find
Any general tips on that effect would be welcome
as well. I do love performing it, and of course
when I get it right (it gets pretty
good reactions even when the suit is wrong.)
You can spell out to them that they have to visualise everything perfectly, and
show them each time where to deal the piles, making sure they hear the instruction
that tells them which one to start with. It's just being bold with the emphasis,
Tips - pretend to be using a deck yourself, and mime choosing and dealing your
own. That way you can look right at them, but apparently you're just looking at
your own (invisible) cards. Takes the weight off you watching them. You can shift
the effect so you both apparently choose the same card from your decks. If that
makes sense. Name your card and ask what he had. Obviously you say the one you
know he has chosen.
Don't have them deal R and B at the start. Takes too long. Just give them an
imaginary R pile, and an imaginary B pile. Have them choose either. Cuts out one
round of dealing.
Always predict the card first, and try and nudge them that way with your gestures
as you ask them to make their choices. If you know they've gone with other cards,
reach over and change the prediction. It doesn't matter.
Hope that helps. Struggling to keep up with the questions now!
Would like to know who inspired you all those
many years ago you started out, and who (even
Seeing a hypnotist called Martin Taylor started it all off. Now my influences
are Canasta, Teller and unavoidably the delightful Andy Nyman, with whom I work
pretty much every day.
Hope that's Ok,
I'd like to know your views on stage hypnosis (I know you started
as a stage hypnotist), and the hypnotic state
(if such a state exist).
And keep on the good work, you've created a new art form
That's a massive topic, and I am struggling now to answer what I can.
I don't think hypnosis is a special state. There's nothing that can be done 'in
it' that can't be achieved out of it. I think it's a shorthand term for a mewrging
of a lot of psychological techniques like suggestion, charisma, response expectancy,
It's easy for stage hypnotists to argue that this makes it entirely safe, and
that any criticisms are nonsense. However, this doesn't take in to account that
some are slapdash and irresponsible performers, and that if subjects are left
confused and resentful, or made to have a horrific time, then you're asking for
trouble - real or imaginary.
I use a lot of the techniques within that spectrum for my routines, as I find
it such a rich and interesting area. But it can be a seedy business.
I am a young magician, and aside from the
common aspects of magic which I love, I have
will probably perform souly this
in later life. Now I have been told this
on numerous occasions that 'being young in
gonna work'. I hate
it when people say this to me. As I
enjoy performing mentalism and people enjoy
watching me perform (without being too big
also becasue you are not
even given the chance to show that
it can work you are automaticaly labeled.
I realy dislike this.
So is there any hope for the young mindreading
genius or do I have to wait untill I am older?
I realy loved your show which I caught in
sheffield. I am the young and handsome whipper
who said 'We will probably
someday, as I am going
to be a famous magician' If you remember
me I must apologise for my rather starstruck
I am not nearly
nervous youngster I shamelessly portrayed
myself as. Sorry.
If you don't remember me, its ok, forget
about it. But I will hold you to my statment.
Good question - an interesting issue. The answer, I think, lies in the fact that
mentalists tend to think within a certain box. Somehow there is this idea that
there is one dynamic - psychic vs. psychologist, and that there is little else
to do than decide which side of the line you fall on. Few start up a brand new
and original way of performing it - and I certainly don't include myself in that
number. So if you're 15 (and if you are, that's an effect right there, by the
way), be a 15-year old with an ability. The reason why most youngsters don't get
it right is because the think they have to be sombre mini-grown-ups, and it's
silly. Ignore the role models. Be 15 and bring to what you do all that entails.
Look at that Russian girl a while back who claimed to be able to see inside people
and tell what was wrong with them. It's not a choice for everyone, but it absolutely
fitted her age. So if you're geeky, be the weird geeky freak who can move stuff
without touching it, or who has near-epileptic seizures when he can read thoughts
of those near him. Don't pretend to be sombre and super-cool and much older than
you are if it's not you. If you're asking people to see you as imposing and ponderous
if you're not, of course it won't work.
Of course that's easier said than done: firstly because it's hard to think that
originally, and secondly because it seems to take away the appeal of the mentalist
character. But that's why good mentalism isn't easy. But that's only because people
try in all the wrong places. Look at who you are, and play with what comes from
that character. You can be 10, or 15, or 50, it shouldn't make any difference.
And I think Luke does get it right, though he's old enough not to have to worry
much about it.
Good luck with it -
A bit harsh on trad mentalism?(Invisible Compromise)
"no matter how hard they watch the video over and over again there's nothing
for them to see" DB
Having read "Pure Effect" and wacthed you
International Magic lecture (which I enjoyed
couldn't help feeling
you were a little
harsh on traditional mentalism. isn't the
extent of Invisible Compromise in some
correlated to the skill of the performer
and the knowledge of the spectator?
Having watched Marc Salem a few years ago
without knowing any magic at the time , to
me , then,
his method was
invisible. Now I've
and the like his methods are visiible to me but they they were stilll invisible
to the rest of the audience. I beleive your show is far ahead of your competition
and so many of your methods seem invisible. But isn't this simply another way
of saying "i've got the best tricks " and
no one (including other mentalists) knows
done? Having watched
Reminsice several times I finally
figured out the bulk of the method, did it
become a visible compromise?
Or is it all
the eye of the beholder?If a well known visiting
US mentalists hides their swami well enough
is he performing
I have been harsh in the past, but only for reasons of rhetoric. 'Invisible Compromise'
was about creating an ideal, not something that one should insist that every performance
adhere to. Equally it has been misquoted and misunderstood, to the point that
I can't quite remember myself what I meant by it. But I stand by the idea of not
compromising the effect - of keeping it simple and pure - a straight line - and
eliminating clutter. Which goes back to Vernon, most famously. Don't worry about
it - it wasn't about great methods, or not knowing how something is done; it was
just about maintaining purity of effect by not letting the necessary 'compromises'
interfere with the story of the routine.
It doesn't matter - you have my permission to dismiss it as rubbish. I talk a
lot of boll*cks sometimes.
A Class A Question
I debated putting this post in as I can see there are a mountain
of questions to answer. However, your television
show has piqued the interest of quite a few
friends, relatives and colleages a few who
went to your live show. I asked if any of them had any questions
you. Most were stumped, apart
from my wife who asks (honestly):
" Our baby is due next week, what shall we call it?"
Feel free to ignore this post - there are better things to attend
I suggest 'Derren'. Has a lovely ring to it.
Derren - you've made my wife's day by responding.
Pleasure... congratulations to the both of you. Hope he/she brings you lots and
lots of joy. I understand the first six months are really easy.
first of all, huge fan.
I just wanted to ask if you ever get, or
have ever been disappointed with the reaction
who maybe didn't
trick or illusion as much as
you'd hoped, or are you happy with any reaction
One particular reaction that springs to mind
for me which I was disappointed with on your
There I was, couldn't have been more impressed,
and I just felt that she could have been
a bit more enthusiastic
Sorry if I've worded that badly, I tried
to say it in a way that didn't make me sound
Yes, she was a little understated. Once the cameras were off and the kids were
out of the way, she swore like a trooper. But it wasn't natural for her to react
strongly with the kids there. Should have thought of that.
I find it hard to keep a straight face when we've gone to a lot
of trouble and the punter just isn't impressed. There's been the
odd one who just stood there,
experiencing nonplussed acceptance, bewilderment
or vague disappointment. Makes me laugh, anyway.
I read somewhere that you've written essays about Kafka. I've always
found your writing delightful and inspiring
and I wondered if maybe there was a way to get
a hold of these Kafka essays or anything
else you may have written.
Very flattered, but it's hardly extensive writing. Just essays and papers from
university. Nothing you'd really want to read. Big fan, though. Sorry if this
information got rather exaggerated...
Absolute Magic and Pure Effect
I recently purchased this book (I got the last one at Davenports)
and have almost read it completly fron to
back 4 times. There is a such a wealth of ideas in the
book and feel genuinly honoured that you
would release such advice to the magic fraternity. Now I realsie
since you wrote the book, and
would like to know if any of your views have
changed over time?
Also I recently attempted to buy Pure Effect which to
my horror I found out of print. Will the
book ever be back
on the market,
am I destined
rest of eternity trawling through ebay or
book bargain bins.
PE is being re-printed again, so hang on in there. AM is probably better though,
so I hope you're not disappointed.
I can't remember all my views in AM, so I can't honestly say how they've changed.
(I don't do close-up any more, so my thoughts are now elsewhere.) But yes, they
probably have a bit, and doubtless for the better.
Oh yeah, I was on your site
the other day and went on the forum......
How do you sleep at night knowing that people
who follow you aroung, asking each other
what you smell
reporting sightings in
are out there looking for you?!?
...No, I didn't really expect it. The only thing to do to keep well is to not
read such things at length or think about it too much. I have had some genuinely
worrying or even dangerous people turn up after stage shows, which is making signing
difficult for the future. Hundreds of letters and emails from obvious schizophrenics,
(including a few Jesus Christs, one of whom accused me of raping her.)
But hey, I get lots of free stuff.
Creating and building a routine
I thought I'd pick your brains or creating and building a routine.
What do you feel is the best way to go about building a routine?
Where do you start and how do you tend to
Any thoughts/tips/pointers would be much appreciated
as I am currently in the process of putting
together a Parlour routine
at the moment.
Other than that I would just like to ad my
congratulations to the many others for 'Absolute
Magic'. I have
recently recieved it and
some of the ideas in there
have prompted me to completley rethink how
I present myself.
I think it's honestly too much to go into - going back through the book will
give you the best answers. I just think in terms of maintaining clarity, and I
tend to think in threes for a sound structure (Tommy Wonder - or was it Tamariz?
- has written a lot about this, if that sounds new to you.)
Sorry, very hard to give advice on such a (very important but) general question.
I'm just wondering about things to study
to get into hypnoses
phycology, and things like
(what did you do)!
Be prepared from some sarcastic answers.
Would like to meet!
Hi there derren, when is the
next time you are in Norfolk, I missed your
show at the theate royal
and was wondering
will be returning! If you do would
you like to come round for dinner? My dear
lady wife(to be!) is an excellent cook , she does beans AND
sometimes at the
time! have a
nice visit here
at the magic Cafe.
God that sounds good. Going for a crumpet
now, which is the nearest thing.
Trolling for your secrets
Whenever word of one of your pieces leaks
onto the board, invariably a number of questions
the lines of, "Is
this trick in print, how does he do it, where
can I buy it?"
Your work is clearly the most coveted of
any performer in recent memory.
How then do you feel about magicians seeing
your specials and then attempting to parrot
developed? How do you
feel about message
boards such as this when speculation to your
methods occur? (Usually the poster begins
saying something to intimate they want to
perform said piece, but when called on the
the safer, "It's only for mere curiosity
and intellectual growth" gamnbit.)
Do you feel magicians should respect each
other's work and honor their ideas by leaving
be, or do you
or not everyone
has a go at trying
to be you?
I've enjoyed your posts here in the past a lot. Nice to talk to you. The copyist
issue I've answered elsewhere, if you can be bothered to look for it. That side
of things is inevitable, and a perfectly sensible way of someone getting started.
Speculation as to methods is part of the game, I suppose, although the internet
is very unforgiving. Someone - I believe it was your good self - likened it to
magicians coming to a live show and then talking too loudly in the bar afterwards
and spoiling it for the rest of the audience.
It's annoying when I read "I know someone who works closely with DB's team and
he assures me that such-and-such was used." It's never true. But I've learnt to
let it all go. I remember a magic convention where a top French magician had apparently
stolen a rope routine of an American veteran and performed it during the close-up
rounds. The American veteran was performing in the gala show, and started the
act with that trick. He then said something to the effect of "You've all seen
that trick already this weekend, I just thought you should see it done by the
originator and not the man who stole it." There
was much outrage from both sides - juicy
politics and an enormous scandal. But if
back a bit,
it was two
old men arguing about lengths of rope.
So I keep methods secret because it's an important part of the fun. But I'd go
mad if I worried about it all.
Fans and Fora How do the questions
on this forum compare to your own Official
Derren Brown Forum (your fertile
How do you see your 'angle' on magic/mentalism/entertainment
evolving over the coming years? How long
do you think this type of psychological
magic will remain
popular? Do you see any new styles emerging?
Forgive me, I've covered these issues elsewhere now, and have to try and keep
up. Nice picture, though. Notice there how I'm very tall.
Derren, you are one of the influences who
drew me into card magic. I have such a passion
for it, however my family and peers often laugh at me for
practicing. I guess they still think of magic as being
performed by uncharismatic men who often hold the audience with
who just perform
It is, however, their laughing and mockery
which spurs me on. I totally see why they
have the attitude
possess and I
to change their viewpoint. I do
not have the technical ability yet to perform
to them as I feel showing them half-good,
would be humiliating
on my part and would just reinforce their
beliefs of magic. I have a few ideas about
effects (I find most card effects leave me
cold so I want to create myeffects)
and I feel soon I will have a routine which
is totally me.
So, after that long and pointless ramble,
my question is this: Your direction in magic
over the past decade
or so and it must seem as though
an eternity has past since writing Pure
and Absolute Magic. In your books you come
across as having very strong views on magic, but has you attitude
writing them and
do you presently rate card magic?
As I've said elsewhere, it's been a while since I wrote those books, and I think
whatever I wrote (which I sort of remember) still stands as my thoughts on close-up
magic, but I haven't done it for a long time. I don't think my attitude has changed
much, although everything else has. My strong opinions were more about rhetoric
and challenging than anything else, if that doesn't sound arrogant.
I still love a good card effect when I see one. Most leave me cold though, too.
I trust you'll keep at it and see where it takes you. I wish you all the best.
At what point during the development
stage of the last series did the inspiration
hit you to hammer a nail into your nose?
Although beautifully presented, apart from the gratuitous
snot shot at the end, what was your thinking
behind this? Are we
going to see a shift towards some more
bizarrist style effects in the future?
'Derren Brown performs Psychic Surgery' special
on the cards? So
any plans for more bizarre style effects?
Spike through eye or, as is popular in our
household, Cotton Bud in ear!
Actually that idea came from Andy. I was wary at first, but actually I really
love it. My idea was to get someone to hammer it up their own nose without realising.
Proved too dangerous.
I guess you didn't think it sat well with the other material. Well, maybe,
but maybe that's a good thing. As with the nail, one must keep pushing...
As I say, I loved it. And the snot was
a good touch, I thought. Went on ebay
for a fortune.
Becoming world famous...
in Washington, DC. I really enjoyed
and the next day my friends
were all avidly discussing 'the British guy
and is there
particular in the World that you
would really like to tour?
Some countries in Europe get the series - I was stopped in the street by some
Dutch guys the other day who were fans.
Keep getting asked to tour in Iceland. I enjoy comfort and stasis too much
to relish travelling, so I don't much like the idea of touring anywhere
where I can't
get home every few days.
Curious as to your marketing strategy before
you made you name though TV. Did you rely
word of mouth or
did you heavily advertise in magazines
/ radio etc
And now with TV deals and your stage show,
how often do you still perform privately?
Entirely word-of-mouth. Had some brochures made, but never used them. Only advertised
in the Yellow Pages. Made a good, professional living.
I still perform for corporate events and the odd private party, whenever the
shooting schedule permits. At the moment that's not very often - maybe one a month.
Roman Durge, Lenore. Taxidermy and other favorites
A few years back I sent off a copy of some
flash cartoons of Roman Durge's Lenore. I thought you'd get a nice
of something non-magic related, especially the taxidermy episode. I was wondering
if you received it and/or
What are some of your favorite non-magic reads?
Don't think I got those - apologies if I did and don't remember. No bells are
Authors - Boswell; Robertson Davies. You should try the latter if you don't know
Derren Brown Mentalism on Ebay
Search under Mentalism, and virtually
every other item is listed as "Derren Brown
Most of this stuff is old, and a lot is
'borrowed', and I wondered what your feelings
your name being
used to sell effects
you'd perhaps rather not
be associated with? Annoyance? Flattery?
Wish you had a quid for every time ...?
( and I will casually drop in a mention
of a fine show this year in a fine city,
converting my wife,
a fan when
ouija glass. Thank you. )
The people selling their goods under my name is a little annoying when they falsely
claim they correspond to my actual methods, but not as annoying as one guy who
has taken chapters from Pure Effect, re-written and then repeatedly tried to resell
them as his original pieces under the 'Learn Derren Brown Mentalism' banner. That's
a bizarre one.
I just pretend none of it's happening, and let my PA deal with it and send nasty
letters to the worst ones.
Meeting of the minds
Hope this was'nt
already asked. Have you ever discussed
concepts with any of the other notable
mentalists such as Osterlind,Banachek,Lesley
No, not really. I've never known many mentalists. I had dinner with Berglas recently
which was utterly, utterly delightful (I was honoured to be taken through his
Roulette system). Obviously I spend a lot of time with Andy Nyman, as we're often
talking about material.
Cheers -getting tired now, hope these answers are ok...
Just a brief
note to thank you for introducing the word
Magic p7]. I have never seen the word in
print in a magic text before, but have
caught a whiff
around some performers. It's such a lovely
word and much under-used.
tears to my eyes and a
warm glow to my heart to see it in print.
Thank you Richard. You seem a fine chap and I'm sure would be delightful to meet.
Do say hello should our paths cross.
Golly Highworth and Stephen Long
Care to elaborate
on your late night romp through London?
so I must be an idiot!)
Or Stephen Long and your friendship with
him (is that correct)?
The Golly Highworth was a parody of Guy Hollingworth, as I hope was clear, and
Stephen is delightful and a terrible giggler.
Developing analytical mind set
"I found myself developing an analytical
mind-set, able to spot the loopholes in
anyone's argument very quickly"
- how can I develop this?
I said this came from studying Law, so you could always try that. Or just become
irritatingly pedantic, which is another way of expressing it.
I wouldn't get hung up on it, as I suspect it's either innate or is learnt from
working in a field which promotes detachment and constant questioning or searching
for these sorts of lacunae, to use an annoying word. Perhaps if you try not believing
anything anyone tells you for a while and just muse instead on how their opinion
might fit into a bigger picture, it might work; but you might lose all your friends
and family in the process.
How do handle these things?
Here in the magic community you
might be considered a god. When perfoming
for people that might not know
are, I'm sure
you probably have to deal with
things that we deal with all the time,
hecklers and bad jokes, my question is how do you handle these
This hasn't happened since my close-up days. There's plenty of comments and bad
jokes from punters to be had there, but if you see them as signals to involve
people or routes to allow people to enjoy themselves and not feel threatened or
annoyed, then they're a bonus, not a problem.
It's different if you're working a club room and getting stick. There's no substitute
for just having some good lines for hecklers. If you try and deal with aggression
by ad-libbing something snotty, you'll lose the audience and it will all become
miserable. However, I've never really worked in that environment, so I can't advise.
Worst I ever had was a group of Christians objecting to hypnosis I was performing.
I just suggested they forgive me, which I think got a laugh...
Sorry I can't be of much more help. But I think that in a close-up situation,
it's all worth listening to and reading as very valuable. There's precious little
honest feedback for close-up magicians.
I like to push the envelope whenever possible, even if
fellow magicians think I am crazy or fanatic. I
like to use hypnosis or rapid induction
I sometimes perform hypno heat with hypnosis
sometimes, if the mood is right and sometimes I will cheat
What are your views about hypno heat? There was some
great debating going on about the subject,
but this forum could
not handle it,
so the thread
as I speculate this will too. I have an
analytical mind, and when you have that
mind set debating with someone using their
feelings, is a never ending situation, it is like telling
a religious person
prove the existence
of GOD. Usually
answer is "just because," "it says so in the bible" or
some other person's experience. So sad.....
My views were, hypno heat is safe to the
audience, depending on the quantity at
hand. Some people
used pure powdered
on some occasions
which is crazy, I would
use the same amount in 200 performances,
which is diluted and safe. What do you
do if you
to do a
is not going right, do you
just let it go and try later or do you
cover up? I cover up with hypno heat, or
it to start
I do not mean this to be an onging debate
with others, just let MR. Brown remark.
PM your response, if you would like, I
would imagine you would know why.
I don't know a lot about it, but I did have some once, years ago. A pharmacist
I knew nearly ruptured himself when he found out what it was, and that it's put
in people's hands. Enough to put me off ever using it.
What's your thoughts regarding the record number of complaints
about your Russian Roulette & Seance
(p.s. your profile pic looks like a cross
between Max Maven & Ali
Ever so proud, thank you. About 20 complaints for me blowing my head off, and
700+ for the seance. Nearly all made before the show even aired. Just makes me
feel even more justified in trying to get people to think a little bit more about
Hope you like the new avatar.
showed me that russian roulette poster
on his study
were these put up, because I'm sure I
never cuaght sight of one before the Program.
hey went up in bus stops around London. So you probably
Derren, I know you have got an awfull lot of questions to anwer!
so I'll be brief! Amazing that not many
U.S people have seen you perform but you have more questions
than anyone in the past 2 years! (I did
orginally post else were but I belive it has ben deleted) Firt
want to congradulate
on your success, I think you
are fantastic! Craking the British public
that that is pretty
amazing!I was going to talk to you at Blackpool
magic convention, a few years
ago but you looked to
scary (sorry) if you are going in FebuaryIwilltalk
this time! By the way is this anew look in the avatar?
All I can say
to have you here and well done
for breathing new life into the mind
control and hypnosis.
Many thanks Matt.
During the seance - 'I swear my wardrobe just jerked!'
Hi Derren good to see you here,
loved RR and the seance, I was just wondering
how you felt when there was that woman ringing in during
the seance chatting
how her wardrobe just jumped!
I found it hilarious, I wonder how she
felt when you revealed the seance was
actually a way of 'debunking'
as you put it
what books did you read when you started
becoming interested in mentalism? I have
both Pure Effect
and AM, and I
know you were
a 'regular' magician before
mentalism... well, regular, I mean cups
and balls that kinda thing.
Yes, I loved the wardrobe bit. We had 8,000 calls, and clearly a lot of them
were people making up rubbish to try and get on TV. Many were very funny indeed,
but there was no time to go through them all.
Book-wise, I started with Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, and then Expert
Card Technique. I still recommend them a lot.
As a Sadowitz
fan I heard it was he who helped you
Can you tell us a little about this.
Is it true that much of the card material on "The devils picture book" was influenced
from sadowicz? e.g.the three of clubs bit (which he published in "Profile" and
the "Crimp" magazine?) Also, the oil and water routine using face up bottom dealing.
Did he also put you in touch with ch4 who were specifically looking for a mentalist
to "compete" with David Blaine? Also, is it true that he put you and H&R
magic together to publish your books
with his recommendation?
Or is he just a raving nutter as everyone
seems to agree on!!!
Jerry has been very instrumental
in me getting to this point. With his
encouragement, enthusiasm, faith and help I gave a private
International Magic one
evening (NOT the thing on the tape);
later he put me in touch with
publishers; and most of all he gave my
name to Objective after they had spent
2 years (ahem)
looking for someone to do this sort of
show. So if it wasn't for him,
I don't know what I'd be doing now. I'm
immensely grateful. It's something I've
a lot of interviews, but doesn't often
make it to final press.
So yes, all true. And yes, he's been a real influence on my card magic, along
with Guy and Lennart. He is one of the very, very finest. (Not sure what you mean
by the '3 of clubs' bit, though. He does have a psychological force of that card,
which I've never used. I've got the 3 of Diamonds thing, but that's very differently
Whats your favourite?
I was just wondering what type of magic
you like the best. I know you used to
be a sleight-of-hand
but do you
to the Psychological stuff
you do now?
Also any plans to come to Newcastle in
the upcoming tour?
Hi Clairey - Dates not sorted yet for the tour, sorry, but I'm sure I'll be there.
Do come along and say hello afterwards if I come out and sign things. And yes,
I certainly prefer what I do now, though I still have a real love of conjuring.
I guess we're both looking forward to the Willy Wonka remake, unless that means
you've seen it already.
Moving from closeup to parlour
Wondered how, in your early days, you
moved from the closeup situation to parlour
The reason I ask is that I've been performing
closeup professionally for a number of
years but I'm getting
more and more of a desire
to perform TO an audience.
I've drafted a 1 hour ACT which is in
it's infancy, but how do you go about
in that direction?
You're better off with a 45 minute act. An hour will be very hard to book, and
is very long.
For me, I only ever had done close-up until making the TV show. The only
'parlour' I'd done was occasional mini-act at a convention. Once the
TV got underway, I
needed a cabaret/corporate after-dinner
act, so I put one together, which became the first half of the previous
tour. By that point I had a manager and the beginnings
of a profile, so the ball was slowly
rolling. However - I only had 5 gigs in the first year, whereas I'd
had a couple a week for a year or so before that. Bizarrely,
my fee had gone up tenfold overnight,
but no-one knew who I was to pay it. But those who did were expected
to cough up a larger sum. I had to borrow money the
first year, and then it started taking
care of itself.
It's definitely worth making the move.
It's a shame to see how low-profile
even a world-class close-up magician
is working the tables at an event,
the after dinner entertainment on stage.
Get 45 minutes together with an arresting
start and an unforgettable finish,
and make sure you work it through with
someone else who can give you honest
Have it scripted and solid, of course.
Hope that's of some help,
Your creative process
It's a pleasure and an honour to meet
you here at the Cafe. Sincere toadying
I was wondering
for us your
creative process? How
do you get your ideas? (What inspires
you?) And how
do you then develop those ideas for performance?
Caleb Strange. Do you find yourself browsing through
old, dusty tomes to find inspiration
within stories, or do you keep to traditional 'magic' books?
Well, I have the luxury now of having people paid to thrash ideas around with.
It's great. I find conversation with like-minded performers invaluable. But in
terms of when I am on my own, there's no formula. I just try to keep the effect
uncluttered and simple. Or I might think of the situation I would like to have
an effect for first: in the street meeting a fan; in a restaurant; on stage; or
wherever. Somehow from imagining that, ideas for effects sometimes organically
flow. Or occasionally it's from something I realise I can do reliably, or from
very satisfying method I stumble across while playing or out walking.
I don't go through old books as much as I should. But from time to time I will,
and there's normally some treasure in there which I feel I can change into something
which suits me.
No idea if that helps...
It seems that you are very
guarded about your "secrets" and
that I can understand. If someone really
wanted to know how a particular technique was
done and you
trusted that they wouldn't spread the
word on the nearest internet
forum, would you tell them?
Also have you any plans of ever teaching
your techniques? After all you are
not going to
live forever and
it would be a shame
if what you knew died with you.
Loving all your work by the way.
No - the desire to gloat over a particularly satisfying technique has long left
me, so I keep things to myself. There's a tiny handful of people I confide in
connected with the TV show, and all have signed confidentiality agreements. Occasionally
I read on the net that so-and-so knows such-and-such who's involved with the show
and has assured him that this or that technique was used, but it's always nonsense
or exaggerated Chinese whispers.
It's only so as to not spoil the fun. And yes, I'm sure one day, when it's all
going a bit downhill and I need the cash, I'll write a big fat book and pass it
all on to the magic community, if there's any interest. Perhaps the desire to
gloat a bit will find me again...
Derren, could you tell us which is your favourite
of all the effects you've performed,
if you have one?
I also have a couple of other questions: in your
live show, where you let an audience
member win money from
you so you
can win it
back from them, have you
ever had one who just took the money?
(If so, you didn't keep their watch did you? )
How did you feel about Simon Singh's oft-quoted
newspaper article a while back which
accused you of fraudulently
tricks as psychological effects?
Do you find it impossible to define
the difference between magic and psychology?
They only sometimes won the money,
and maybe on a couple of occasions
didn't then gamble it. On a couple of occasions
cheque was won too when they picked
the correct/wrong envelope. Anyone
at the first
night of the
will confirm that.
Re: Simon's article - I think he was more concerned that C4 had billed me under
the science section of their website, which of course was not right. I have no
real argument with the article, other than the fact that I think he thought I
was making claims I wasn't. It's a mixture of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection
and showmanship; as I say in the show. I wouldn't want to nail when something
is or isn't what I'm suggesting it is, as that might spoil the impact of the performance.
Some of it's what I say it is, some of it isn't.
As for my favourite effect... not sure. I loved the Seance, and perhaps most
of all in that I loved the Spirit Cabinet.
Your experience with Objective Productions
Hi Derren from Spain:
First of all welcome and thank you very much for your time.
I know that Objective Productions produced your shows for the english
Recently I met them in Spain, they
were here with Pete Firman and Ali
was an incredible experience. They
are great people, as long as magicians.
And of course, with the Head of Magic
a very kind person,
got a good friendship.
I just want to know how was the experience
of working with them, and your opinion
about Pete and Ali
And of course, if I could ask you a
favour, it will be to give them my
All the best magic,
Without sounding like a horrendous luvvie, Objective are really, really lovely
to work with. I count Andy Nyman, Anthony Owen, Andrew O'Connor amongst my closer
friends, and the producer and director too. It's a bit of a family now. AO and
AOC in particular have a love for magic and an understanding of magic on TV which
is terrific. These years will be looked back on as the Objective years of magic,
in the same way that John Fisher was the name behind TV magic for many years.
Ali Cook and Pete Firman are super-duper too. Pleased you got to meet them. Pete's
an absolute delight.
Now I am sounding like a luvvie, so I'll stop.
The reality of fame
have referred before to how you lost
you began to
faith. Now you are moderately famous
it is clear that you are attracting
unpleasant attention, so
much so that you
no more after-show signings (which
will be a real disappointment
to many people).
If you were to redo the DVD interview
today, would you still admit to having
it, or are
of celebrity now that you are encountering
its darker side?
Ooh - great question. I've always felt that having cake and eating it should
be one's goal, and that still holds.
I get mail and have contact with some people which really makes me shiver. I've
had people threatening to sue me for psychically assaulting them; mail from people
who are dying asking for help; and my share of rape accusations from people I
have never met. To be honest, this is why I don't get bothered about issues like
copyist performers or people using my name when they shouldn't on ebay. Things
get put in perspective.
Equally, as delighted as I am to have a dedicated fan base, there are times when
the level of personal interest and desperation to find out any tiny personal details
are hugely claustrophobic. I'm pleased I only have it in such a small measure.
For people who court fame for its own sake and get it, or who no fault of their
own end up with it in spades, it must be mostly vile. For example, when I moved
to London, I read some 14 pages of discussion from people trying to piece together
my new address so they could come and wait around for me. That's horrible.
Because only 3 million or so watch the shows, it's all manageable and generally
all good. It's normally very nice to be stopped in the street or said hello to
by those 1 in 20 people, and delightful to get special treatment sometimes. The
hard part is learning to detach yourself from the nutters or the really unfortunate
cases. But Jerry Sadowitz refers to it as a tax you pay for being known, and I
guess he's right. And as long as you're concentrating on trying to do well, the
fame part stays in perspective.
Let me start by saying I have been a big fan of your for quite
a while. I have really enjoyed all
the TV shows, and was fortunate enough to see your live show
up in Edinburgh. I was just sad that
you didn't manage to guess my telephone number!
I wanted to ask you, before the TV show, where did you
think your career would go? What goals
and plans did you have? Did
you would get this big?
Also, I loved watching The Devil's
Picturebook! You have inspired my to
get back into
magic. I have been
card magic for
a few years now, and I am beginning
to do some mentalism. Fascinating stuff.
Keep up the amazing work!
Hi there Tommy.
No, never thought it would be particularly successful. Aside from getting it
underway in the US, I've got no particular goals for now. My only ambitions centre,
rather egotistically, around my lifestyle. The rest is a very enjoyable game to
Cheers for coming to the show. Hope you enjoyed it.
Time limitations Hi Derren,
I really enjoyed the TOTM sries and the specials.
The live show was fantastic.
I wonder how you feel about the time limitations set upon you with
a tv series, as presumably, the filming
is on a firly tight schedule as opposed to a live show
where there is plenty of rehersal time.
Do you find it difficult to perfect
and perform new effects as well as
All the best
Thank you. Yes, it's a frighteningly rapid and unforgiving process, but you learn
to move at the necessary speed. It's a shame that you only get one go at it on
TV: in the live show, I can tweak it every night and slowly let it all come together.
Of course more time would always be a tremendous bonus, and there have been routines
fromt he shows (not saying which ones...) which I feel would be better had I had
more time to play with them and try them out. But where the performance may not
be as polished as a stage piece, you have the luxury of music and close-ups to
aid the drama.
Incidentally, to make a series and 2 specials takes 8 months. Touring takes 4,
with a month to write and rehearse the show from scratch. That's my entire year,
with no breaks. I've been working to that schedule since February 2003, and know
that it won't change until at least May 2006. It is hard work.
Is it still mentalism?
I was just wondering what with having such a large crew of magicians
working behind the scenes and the freedom
that prerecorded shows offers, do you consider
your work to still be your own and
does it still adhere to your values?
Also I always wonder how much of what we see on the screen
is actual mentalism and how much is
clever editing, the later being something
I suppose (more like special effects)
Clearly I am not asking for any idea
of how things are done I'm just curious
to be fair
Also I like the avatar picure certainly
captures the feel of this place. Given
the unpredictability of the general
public, I initially
a lot of creative
was involved in the TV shows. However,
having seen Derren's
live show, I'm happy to report that
I'm now convinced that's not nearly
I thought. He really
is that good.
Thank you - a rich question, I think.
We all know that non-magicians, when they don't understand a trick, like to fall
back on phrases like 'It's all sleight-of-hand'. We also hear a lot that people
tend not to trust magic on TV - which is why they like our close-up so much. Many
magicians, because we are also lay-people when we something fools us, tend to
do the same thing. I hear a lot that I rely on clever editing or stooges, which
is really not the case.
It's absolutely vital that the spectator you see in the show has the same experience
of the effect as when they watch it on TV. I can't go chopping bits around, or
they'd have a good reason to complain. Equally, aside from how artistically replulsive
it is, I can't go employing stooges. Whatever we could pay them would be nothing
compared to what a paper would pay for their story. And also, we can't go filming
a street routine a hundred times and then just show the few that work. We'd have
95 sets of people (in front of whom I had repeatedly humiliated myself)complaining
that their bit wasn't shown because it didn't work; and financially and logistically
it's not possible. It takes ages to set up and shoot these things.
I think these are good rules to work within. It also makes sense to use the medium
and what it offers, of course, but you can't just create a fiction in the edit
room. My career would be over the moment people from the show started telling
I don't have a large crew of magicians working behind the scenes: not sure what
you're visualising there. Sometimes we'll get some people together to brainstorm
ideas or half-ideas for effects to get the ball rolling. That's a lovely thing,
as is the ability to discuss and throw ideas around. But after that the onus is
on me. I work very closely with Andy Nyman here, as you probably know, as two
heads are always better than one and we think very similarly.
So yes - the logistics of making a TV show, working with a director and so on
are very different from performing close-up, and are very hard to compare. Unfortunately
one difference is that people trust TV less. Ultimately this is why I prefer to
perform live, so none of these issues arise.
Great question though, thank you. And thank YOU, 'contains mild peril'.
You've spent years developing yourself
and your craft. What is it that keeps
develop new effects,
stage shows and TV programs?
Thanks for your answer, and your skills...
That and the fact that I adore touring, love the people I work with and still
find the challenge of coming up with routines and methods utterly delightful.
But right now, mainly my massive and terrifying mortgage.
What are magicians
like as fans? Do you prefer the flattery
of the general
better gauge of your success?
We're a peculiar mix (not in itself
a bad thing) and terribly geeky, even
it. Is it a
bit wearing, or are
by the enthusiasm?
I always hope that when Brad Pitt wakes
up in the morning and realises that
he is, infact,
so as not to wake Jennifer) - if living
isn't as good as it seems, what's the
point in dreaming. So I guess
it good to be
Magicians as fans? Enormously supportive and generally very nice. There's a tendency
amongst some magicians to dismiss something when they recognise a method, and
miss the joy of a perhaps new or startling effect: this can be very wearying.
I hope it's ok to say that. I'm the opposite: I love being fooled and will revel
in not knowing how it was done, even if in the back of my mind I do know. So I
can't get excited by magic reviews in circulars which just list the tricks performed,
or magicians who seem determined to be as joyless towards magic as possible.
But personally, I've always been immensely grateful towards the magic community
for being so supportive. Especially in this country, where success tends to be
sneered at. I'm guessing there's such an alarming over-saturation of Derren Brown
topics in magic discussion groups on the Internet that it's only the vomiting
fits that have kept you from murdering me.
And I think it's as good and bad as ever to be me: I just have nicer stuff now.
Did this happen?
I heard a rumour that you made a woman cry on stage during your
'Second half'. Well maybe you didn't
make her, but is it true that a woman started crying during
one of your shows?
I hope you don't mind me asking but
what did you do to handle the situation?
I had many nights when the spectator would cry at a particular point as they
read out a letter. I wanted to achieve a lot of different emotions with the show.
I handled it sensitively and appropriately, I hope, and would read the letter
for them if they didn't want to continue.
Curious as to what your thoughts are regarding
taking chances during performances
of Mentalism. I've not seen your live show, as I don't live in
U.K., but from
your books it seems that there are
lots of chance-riddled effects in your repertoire.
I suppose my main question would be, if you have a method
or methods that are surefire in a routine,
would you sometimes
ignore a proven
method and try a chancier
(is that a word?)one just for your
own amusement, or to throw people off of your usual methods?
I guess I punctuate a performance with pretty sure-fire methods to guarantee
the correct grammar for a successful and entertaining show, and them mix in risks
and chancier routines to keep it edgy and unpredictable. Absolutely.
To Derren brown,
My name is Stephen Williams, and I come from Liverpool, England.
I am 10 years old. I saw your show in the empire, it was the best
thing I have ever seen in my life.
When I am older I want to be a magician, but I am interested
in hypnosis and mind manipulating,
have you got any advice you could give to me please?
Hi Stephen, thanks ever so much for writing. And thanks for coming to the show.
I'm guessing you sneaked in, as no under 12's were supposed to be there. In fact
I saw you, I'm sure - because I remember thinking, 'I must report that tiny boy
to the police after the show'.
I'm pleased you liked it so much: I love performing the show. They're beautiful
theatres and it's very cool coming out on stage and seeing you all sat there.
As for hypnotising -it's very difficult to hypnotise someone if you're quite
a bit younger than them, as they don't take it very seriously. You could try a)
just hypnotising very young children or kittens, or b)drawing a fake beard on
with permanent marker first: that might make you look older. It worked for me
in the first couple of TV shows. Or c) do what I did: learn magic first, and get
really good at it, and then see if it leads you into the mind-reading sort of
thing that I do. It took me ten years to really learn it properly, and I'm ninety-three
You spell better than any other person on this forum, so you're obviously bright
enough to be very good at magic. And bright enough to know that you can do much
more clever magic that you make up yourself instead of just what everyone else
does, which is normally silly. I also imagine you're very creative and good at
painting or writing or fixing stuff or making people laugh... all sorts of skills
you'll find you can bring to the magic you do.
If you send an email to my assistant, and tell him your address, I'll find and send you a magic book suitable for
an intelligent and creative ten-year old to get you started. I'll even sign it
from me and David Blaine. That's how I got started: I got a book and tried all
the stuff in it. It built from there.
Best of luck with it. I'll tell Coops to expect an email from you. And I'll alert
the police again.
A performing personality
It seems to me that the irony of magic
is that it apparently lends itself
to a more introverted personality. Sitting quietly reading and
working up new methods requires a certain
kind of person with a great deal of commitment and staying
However the end result is something more suited to an extroverted
personality (performing for an audience.)
I'm aware that everybody is a mixture
of both introvert and extrovert but
wondering how you first
took the step to
material that you had
spent your time practicing and rehearsing;
and how did you deal with the nervousness
For me, it was about being a frustrated performer and wanting to do something.
Because of that, there was never any nervousness to speak of. It took care of
all my need for attention, which allowed the rest of me to become, hopefully,
a lot more pleasant and less self-aggrandizing.
Having said that I used to hate approaching tables for years, and I don't think
it ever became entirely second-nature. But I think that's a good thing. It's hard
because it's unnatural and rude, so you have to take that on board and change
your approach accordingly.
It's because of this introvert/extrovert tension you interestingly point out
that much magic isn't terribly interesting: because the magician is still performing
for himself. I guess to get it right you need to be both pathologically obsessive
AND desperate for attention: a winning combination in anyone's book.
is what I'm
Wrote about Invisible Compromise elsewhere here. Might be worth referring to
that. Don't think the Too Perfect Theory is quiet right, anyway. There's plenty
of presentational frames in magic that can make a feature of impossible cleanliness.
In mentalism it's a little different, as you are purposefully creating a sense
of a method, so I don't think it applies to a well-thought out performance.
Getting too late - can't keep my eyes open. Ner-night.
for magicians the
in the selection
of material when it
comes to choosing effects that suit
your style. I wondered if you could
that maybee you had a soft spot for, but
make the descision to cut because
didn't suit your performance character.
a secret and cherished Derren Brown cups
that you queitly perfom when no one
As a spectator are there magical genres
and playing card work (both of
which still delight you?
Hmm. I still love pickpocketing, but it's not an easy one to drop into mentlaism
routines. It can stand on its own as part of a set, given the proper framing,
but I had to lose a watch steal I was using in the stage show because it seemed
out of place. I've lost my affection, I have to say, for most conjuring card tricks,
unless they happen to be really engagingly performed.
I still love magic, so if something is performed well, of course I'll really
enjoy it. It's always a delight to see the greats work, and I'm lucky enough to
know a few. I was sat, unworthy, in the company of Lennart Green and Guy H the
other week in a hotel bar, doing my best to contribute to a little card session.
It was such a delight, and such things will, I hope, never cease to be hugely
enjoyable and exciting.
How did you
get to be so good at mind reading and
I can usually
tell if someone's
but you seem to be able to pick up
on minor signals to be able to tell
going on in their
mind. Did that take a long time to
Also, what age were you when you started
learning magic? I started when I was
P.S. I got into your show and I'm only
10. It was fantastic. Your seance on
TV was brilliant
Thanks Mikelo. Very nice of you to post. And great picture.
Pleased you liked the seance - I did too. Had no idea they were going to be quite
that scared, and I kept going off to giggle and jump up and down with the film
crew in the ad breaks.
It did take me a long time to learn, but as you know, it's not all quite what
I say it is. I started off as a hypnotist and then got into magic when I realised
I didn't want to work as a hypnotist full-time. But magic teaches you a way of
thinking and a love of giving people a feeling of amazement, and these things
stuck with me. So I tried mixing some of the magic things I had learnt with the
psychological things I had learnt to come up with what I'm doing now. It's not
real mind-reading: it's normally more about creating the hopefully amazing and
enjoyable feeling that mind-reading has just happened.
But good luck with it all - it's lots of fun.
I'm not sure if we're really supposed
to ask you questions like this, but
I noticed you already know salsa dancer
Truthteller. Do you often visit internet
Tempting me by using that word. A few years back I used to read lot of discussion
boards, mainly to see if anyone was saying anything about me. I remember liking
these guys' posts. Nowadays, apart from looking though my own forum from time-to-time
(it's unhealthy to do it more than occasionally) and sometimes reading a thread
here or there which someone says I should look at, I don't really, no. I wish
I had the time, it might be fun.
New effects Hi Derren,
I'll be brief: When you're 'composing' new effects, what comes
first - you or the audience? Do you
start with what you'd like to try and then play with it so
it will suit an audience - or do you
begin with a more audience-specific perspective? Have you ever
because it's too
much one or the other (i.e. too
much 'just for you' or too much 'only
for the audience')?
Thank you for your time. Best of luck with
your new show/series ...
It's difficult to say, as there's a lot of reasons why an effect might come into
being. But it's certainly something that from the start I will see from the audience's
persepctive, as that's where it all happens. Much of the time I may start with
a new technique I'm trying out, but it's always the impact and perception of the
event which is paramount in my mind.
You've made your current thoughts on
mind-reading and mentalism well known,
but how do you
view the future
of the field? You've
obviously helped to raise the
profile of an already active area of
performance and entertainment, but
do you feel there
is a chance that
mentalism could eventually
gain the slightly dubious
reputation of more traditional magic?
With the advent of a whole host of
shops and dealers,
with more individuals
becoming interested, I somehow think
that the possibility for genuine and
believable mentalist performance is
ever-decreasing. I know you've said
on here that you have
preference for original material that
hopefully magicians can't deconstruct,
so am I being overly pessimistic?
Answers in a sealed unmarked envelope
Thanks for your time,
I think high-profile mentalists have always been few and far between, and I imagine
it will stay that way. I'm aware there are a lot of young performers getting into
it now, which is great, but that will calm down a bit: it was similar when Blaine
first came along.
I don't think it will ever become trad. Magicians are easier to bunch together
in the public's perception; whereas mentalists tend to be more distinct, often
make very different claims, and are seen less in the media.
I hope, but am pretty sure, it will take care of itself.
Being interested in mentalism, I feel
slightly star struck by great names
such as your
to me and I loved
it. When you were starting
out, were there any magicians that
you felt particularly in awe of? Is
anybodies work that you feel
may be of interest
someone such as myself?
I came into magic fairly late. I didn't join any magic clubs and didn't know
any magicians. There's an old tape of me in a close-up magic competition: that
was the first time I's really come across the 'scene', and I remember having no
idea who was known and who wasn't.
I suppose after a while, I really started to hugely admire a few names: Canasta,
Sadowitz, Teller, Hollingworth, Berglas, Tommy Wonder. I still do. I'd recommend
the work of all of them.
Some fav magicians....
wondering who are you favorite magicians
Who are some of your favs that you
met and why?
Any stories would be great no matter
how long or short!
Oops -just answered this elsewhere. Briefly - Guy Hollingworth, Canasta, Teller,
Sadowitz, Tommy Wonder, Berglas.
Hey Have some TEA and stay awake
I remember in absolute magic you touched
apon conrolling your ego. Do you have
a healthy balanced
From experience I find that ego trap
very easy to fall into, thus thinking
hence you stop
or developing them and your
performance further. As you have said
that performin a miricle will always
Don't fully understand what you're asking, but in terms of live performance,
I've realised the massive benefits of working with a director. There's a real
ego issue for magicians to get over - let alone mentalists! I don't personally
know of any magicians (though I'm sure there are a tiny handful) who are prepared
to use a director, and it's all about ego. And I think it shows.
I came into the TV off the back of writing the two books for the magic fraternity,
enjoying some success there and thinking I was hot stuff. Of course I knew nothing
about TV, and soon realised that my real perfomance skills were very poor compared
to what I would have to learn. The only way to embark on that journey is to have
your ego beaten and bruised at every turn. Now I kind of like it - it's a healthy
balance to the exaggerated credit and unwarranted adulation that I sometimes (enjoyably)
But yes, self-delusion and exaggerated sense of impact is the common curse our
profession, and it exists at every level, making the material suffer. Arranging
for honest, professional feedback and having a willingness to trust it is the
(I'm not saying for a moment that I've got it right or anything like that. And
it's a separate issue from the ego of performers in everyday life. I'm sure mine
is massive and unbearable.)
Congratulations on regularly being
voted one of Britain's most strangely
Saw your live show earlier this year
and was particularly impressed with
an audience member
became a medium and
revealed various facts about
your dead friend. It was very cheeky.
Were there occasions when the medium
tried to show you up by announcing
incorrect things? If
Nope, they hopefully had no cause to. It was never set up as a challenge, and
the tone was too serious for people to start messing about. Often they got things
wrong, of course, which was fine. That part was only meant to be a soft, preparatory
I prefer 'unusually attractive'.
Please help me with my disbelieve
I watch your specials, I always get
get a feeling of impossibility because
it's so magical. Here, that's not the
a cap driver forgets where the
London Eye is, or a man falls asleep
at the phone (sure) it just screams "stooges" to
me. And it annoys me, because many
magicians love you and your style and
are the real deal.
I NOT to
Can you, or anyone, advise me with
some literature to just give me the
things in your
and are not always faked.
I hope you all can understand this,
never have I felt so much difficulty
I've answered this at length elsewhere, if you can be bothered to find it. But
no, no stooges. Routines like those are working with suggestibility (I started
my career as a hypnotist), which is different from classic magic methods, of course.
Sorry if they're not proving much fun for you. I don't think you'll find much
literature on it.
Difference between hypnosis and suggestion
just a stronger form of suggestion,
or is it something
there is little
I thought that you may have more of
an insight than most as to this topic.
Care to share your thoughts?
Thanks, Phil. I see 'hypnosis' as a shorthand term for a micture of such elements
as suggestion, response expectancy, hype, charisma, role playing, social pressure
etc. In the same way 'magic' is a shorthand term for all the theatrical and technical
elements of which it comprises. Neither is 'real' as such, unless you take it
to mean an experience, or a description of a type of event. But both break down
into many different components when you take a closer look.
Stage door Louise Hi Derren,
you may have long since left this board but I will throw in a quickie,
just in case you're still around???
I saw, and heartily enjoyed, the show
at The Palace. At the end of the show
the stage door for
( which you very pleasantly
gave me, ta. ) While I was waiting
in the line I was amazed (although
to see the stage
- Louise. Being an actor,
I have met and signed and posed and
kissed and hugged and avoided and run
on a number
On that night (I noticed Mr. Schwimmer
in the audience seated next to Mr.
Nyman - If
was proudly displaying
pics of the two of you and
doing a dutiful job organising the
queue, giving strict instruction on
like the fans
to behave. She
did very well and everyone
I would just like to pass on my heart
felt thanks for your obvious time and
with her. Unfortunately
I have witnessed
amount of unpleasantness surrounding
her in the past as you can imagine.
The fact that she
chose your stage door to help with
says a lot. Particularly when
she has the whole of the
west end at her disposal.
To briefly wrap up - good on ya! Twas
cockle warming indeed.
Anyway - I loved the show. I read that
you're a lover of good theatre so I'd
like to say
proud of the fact
that you set
the west end on fire!!
Thanks very much.
All the best...
Ah... and I must add she got a bunch of flowers from me on the last night, and
the phonebook I'd been using for the routine. I'd wangled her in to see the show
and she had asked for a spare prop as a souvenir. In return she'd given me a huge
teddy bear from her bedroom.
Bless us both...
!! SHALL STOP BY TOMORROW MORNING
Had a gig tonight and didn't get much of a chance to stop by here in the evening.
So I'll come by tomorrow (Friday) am and try and answer what I can to finish off.
Must go to bed now. Sorry.
Suspending the belief
Nice to talk with you here.
When you perform mentalism, sometimes you will get too strong response
from audience, who think you are really
a pychic. In these situations, how could you handle the
audience's emotion to attain the maximum
'after-effect'? In other words, how to suspend audience belief
destroying the illusion
For me, the maximum impact is not a belief that I have psychic powers. That's
not difficult to achieve, and neither is amazement. It's inherently amazing, and
the conclusion that one must be in some way psychic is the obvious first route
for a spectator to take.
I'm happiest when the reaction is more resonant: when the spectator feels a little
challenged by what's happened. That they KNOW it's not psychic, and don't have
an easy label to put on it. In the end, there's only your persona as a performer
that you have to concentrate on communicating. The routines are mere demonstrations
(although they have to be great ones): you are more than the sum of them. The
difference between the two is where the 'magic' lies. So whatever belief they
attach to what they've seen - whatever conclusions they draw - I'll consistently
challenge them, so they can't find a comfortable answer. The only thing I'll really
nail for them is that it's not a psychic event.
That's the maximum 'after-effect' for me, not just eliciting a quick scream or
I remember watching you present an award on the national TV awards
or something like that. The effect
you performed involved five people thinking of a word, without
getting into the hows and whys - one
of them changed their mind from what you were expecting.
You handled it extremely coolly but I was wondering if
on the inside you were ****ting yourself or if
it was all in a
Blaargh, wish I hadn't done that. They had asked me to do a minute or two, but
with the (may I say) enthusiastic and hyper-active audience it ended up taking
No, didn't bother me: thought it was quite funny. Makes things more interesting.
Thank you, kind Sir.
Yet another question!
or Psychic? (or something else)
What would you like on your gravestone?
Sorry to be morbid!!
On my tombstone? Maybe just the word 'Help' scratched badly near the bottom.
Not sure what I'd like to be remembered for. Don't feel it really matters. But
I'd be happy to be rememebered as pleasant, or failing that to die as part of
some elaborate practical joke.
When you deal with the presentation,
what's your creative process, how do
you develope your patter?
I don't think of it as patter. I don't really like the word. I just try to keep
everything simple and direct, and use what understanding of language and performance
ability I have to come up with a script (although not a written one) which does
the job as well as it can.
I've given answers elsewhere about how I come up with effects, if you want to
have a look around here. Sorry, it's impossible to refer people accurately to
previous answers. With TV stuff, when you have to come up with an inordinate amount
of material, it's different from working on your own live routines. With TV you
have the luxury of people paid to thrash ideas out with you. And more than one
person's input stops things becoming indulgent and complacent.
Do you think street mentalism is something that could
work. When I say this I don't mean,
mentalism done in the style of
Blaine. What I mean is if
it was to be performed in the way that
street magic was originaly performed. Possibly simialr to
you 10p to be
a mindreader piece.
Although done in a different way
maybe adding a table.
Of course it could work. Not really my style, and you'd have a lot of challenges
to get over. The temptation would be to squeeze one mould (Blaine) into another
(me/whoever). That would never work that well - or at least be, at best, a copy.
But if you approached it with a fresh slate, and an understanding of character
etc, it could be excellent and surprising. Could be great fun.
How do you cope with someone who feels
that your effects (being so strong),
confirm a belief which you know to be erroneous.? Are you bothered?
I performed a trick one someone who went absoloutley nuts
when she saw it ,which I loved. She then
went on about various new age beliefs
suddenly I wasn't
so happy with her reaction. Without
revealing any methods I told her I was
deception and had to tare my act down
as Andy Nyman describes in his DVD. I get the feeling that
to do this,
correct? Do you
new agers claiming you as their champion?
Hmm - I've given an answer to this elsewhere. But I think it's relatively easy
to control that sort of thing by the scripting of the effect.
Equally you can only be responsible for the central swerve of the bell-curve,
in terms of audience response. There will always be people at either extremes
who dismiss it entirely or fanatically over-respond. As long as most people get
it in a way you're happy with, I think that's all you can aim for.
Time to go. Busy celebrity lifestyle to lead. And stuff.
Very sorry I didn't get to answer all the questions. Some I left if I felt I'd
answered elsewhere, others I'm afraid I skipped if I was pushed for time and felt
I had nothing to say on the subject. Forgive me.
Equally I haven't been very good with PMs. Just way too many, I do apologise.
Thank you very much for having me, and thank you for not demanding to know about
methods and so on. One or two questions I have left unanswered for the same reason
- which is that many of my answers will get picked up here and posted around the
net, or even turn up in interviews that I do. It's a shame, but also gets me off
the hook, so ha ha.
I was expecting more criticism, so thanks ever so much for all being so pleasant.
It's a great forum, and thanks again to Steve Brooks for allowing me to do this
- and Stephen Long for suggesting it.
I hope some of it has been useful. I was very tired sometimes, so forgive me
if I was brusque or charmlessly brief with any of you.
Have a nice rest of your day. And thank you again.