The turnout for Rick Maue's 11 pm talk on "Theatrical Seances" was fairly impressive. Not the least impressive was the appearance of several of the well-known magicians attending or performing at the conference. Penn Jillette, Teller, Banachek, Jerry Andrus, Jamy Ian Swiss, and Ian Rowland were among the ones that I saw there.
|Rick Maue Describes His Early Sťance|
I came in about 8-10 minutes after Rick Maue had started, but he was describing how performing a theatrical seance early in his life affected him. He provoked an intense emotional response in his audience with a simple magic trick, presented in a way that connected with people's fear and awe. He refers to this as no longer a trick, but as a "moment of theater". The audience gets so wrapped up in the presentation, that the theatrical suspension of belief carries them forward to respond to the apparent miracle.
|The Audience Is Filled With Magicians|
Maue attempts to use this effect to reach people on an emotional level for skepticism. He emphasizes targeting the reasonable people occupying the middle ground, not the true believers. (This was a recurring theme at this conference.) He noted that people tend to decide things emotionally, and often form an emotional bond with the first thing they hear on a subject from what they consider to be a friendly or reliable source.
For Rick Maue, "It's not what you do or how you do it, but what you plant in their mind."