November 7th 1999 - Reviewed by Andy Fisher

Guests: David Berglas, Danny Buckler, Derren Brown, Andy Nyman, Marc Paul, Richard Pinner and Ian Rowland. Hosted by Duncan Trillo.


The Park Court Hotel

On November 7th at the Park Court Hotel, Lancaster Gate, London, Duncan Trillo hosted the MindMagic'99 convention: a gathering of energetic and forward thinking mentalists coming together to share their ideas on the cutting edge of psychic entertainment.

The packed day began with one of Britain's most impressive magical talents, Andy Nyman, who set the tone of his performance with a soothing piece of Bach: the perfect compliment to his own inner stillness which makes Andy such an engaging personality. He is charm and empathy personified! The routines were both dynamic and baffling.


Marc Paul

Marc Paul generously shared a series of clips from his satellite TV series, Mind Games, talking us through the challenges of working to the camera. His slick, puckish persona works well on screen and it was quite apparent why his mobile phone is ever busy with commercial enquiries!

Next, Danny Buckler treated us to a mini lecture on measures to combat stage fright. Drawing upon hilarious personal anecdotes and with the writings of Coventry bouncer Geoff Thompson (a man all too familiar with the effects of fear!), Danny identified how we might channel our adrenaline in order to enhance our performance; a practical and valuable skill to learn.


Ian Rowland

Ian Rowland offered an excellent talk on the steps we can take to obtain a high media profile in the press and television. His modesty belied the wealth of national and international coverage he has had in recent years and he was keen to point out that "anyone can do this". He went on to emphasize the importance of attaining a strong web presence if one wishes to survive as a paid performer in the 21st century.

After lunch, in the 'Mind Zone' Spyros Melaris shared his thinking on 'the ultimate coincidence' and demonstrated a book test he is developing using everyday best-sellers which showed considerable promise. I was also offered the opportunity to talk on the showmanship of Uri Geller and was warmly received by the audience. Their generosity was much appreciated, particularly when bearing in mind that they were waiting patiently for the day's star guest, David Berglas, to begin his lecture.


David Berglas

As always, David brought a wealth of experience to the stage as he reflected upon the routines and presentation of a television celebrity Christmas special. A plethora of hard-hitting routines were discussed including his mystifying multiple chair 'coincidence.' David told us that his guiding premise has always been to 'dream big' for then 'nothing is impossible.' He certainly walks his talk; when seeing several audience members suspended at impossible angles while tipped back, resting on two legs of their chairs, arms and legs extended while in deep trance, one can only look on with profound respect and admiration. David Berglas is a true ambassador of our craft.


Derren Brown

For me, the highlight of the day came in Derren Brown's performance. By using his principle of 'invisible compromise,' an extraordinary chain of direct mind reading and trance-inducing suggestions were presented to a dumb-founded audience. While his style is a little aggressive at times, Derren is doing things that most of us have held to be little more than pipe dreams. His thinking on mentalism and magic in general is ground-breaking and I would urge you to seek him out if he is lecturing in a country near you!

Finally, we were treated to a mini gala show. Marc Paul stopped watches in a spectator's hand and polished one or two auras. Danny Buckler continued the theme by receiving a Chakra message; a hilarious book test routine which placed the emphasis on entertainment, and Richard Pinner performed a Russian Roulette sequence using 357 Magnum revolvers. Perhaps with so much spoon bending and PK ability in the room, it was inevitable that the trigger mechanism of the test firearm should choose that moment to break, but Richard's professionalism in declining to continue the effect, and the respect and support offered to him by the other delegates really highlighted the difference between Duncan Trillo's convention and so many others. We were there to learn, to question, to stretch ourselves and out Art - and we all went away with plenty to talk about. An excellent day, filled to the brim with talent. Roll on MindMagic 2000!

Reviewed by Andy Fisher 1999