Donna Sue Robson specialises in the communication- and healing-arts. Check out Jamie Natural Health and Healing, her energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Mystery, music & make-believe at Melbourne's Magic Festival
Daz Buckley is a likable and laid-back performer who gives his audiences plenty of time to fully engage in the 'set-up'. His musical choices are particularly alluring, using instrumental beauty as the point of 'distraction' upon which illusion relies.
Last week's audience was unanimous: Brisbane-based magician Daz Buckley was 'bedazzling'. This show, which ran for three nights from July 6- 8 at The Northcote Town Hall, was beautifully pitched to families, appealing to both young children and the young at heart.
Compared to other shows, Bedazzled is not characterised by 'huge tricks' or 'super-slick classiness' but Daz's sleight- of-hand work, declared with his coin 'now-you-see-it-now-you-don't' sequence was expert and compelling. It was such a great opening that the little boy sitting near me forgot that he needed to go to the bathroom and didn't budge for the next hour. Daz has great audience connection and his style perfectly suited Northcote Town Hall family patrons.
Magicians like Daz are not just entertaining: they are educating Melbourne audiences about the world of magic, mystery and make-believe.
There are layers to Daz Buckley's style which makes Bedazzled a great magic show. To totally engage the audience in the actual 'set-up' meant that we were truly invested in his success and the trick outcome. In fact, Daz was altogether 'tricky': at times, he was quite self-effacing- a banter which gradually became clear to be part of the illusion. His likeable appeal as 'everyday man' or even 'a big kid' created its own drama, theatre and tension. Every trick was pulled off, which was particularly impressive, with the amount of child-participation that was included as 'working with children' always comes with risks and hazards.
Bedazzled included magic tricks such as: 'rope, cut and restore', 'paper tearing and restore', 'key-note locks and unlocks', 'physic connection' and the 'floating magic ball'. The one-man narrative was chatty and Daz has plenty of swag. He has also built this show around 'generosity': when he invited children on stage, the decision was made to 'teach' them magic' rather than just to use them as assistants. He gave the kids the limelight and they stole the show. Daz's improvisatory craft further engaged the onboard, kid-friendly audience. Daz included an educative component to his participatory interludes: by teaching all of us 'a few things to look for' he created even more audience intrigue as we became even more invested in working out 'the how', and with a little bit of knowledge, were under the illusion thought that we could. Therefore, through 'revelation', the magic became bigger. Daz Buckley invited us into his world by making magic truly accessible. If chatting to the boys after the show was any indication, Bedazzled inspired many to become magicians.
Daz Buckley is a Brisbane-based magician who inspires young children and the young at heart.
Tiny 'Lucy', who voiced a collective thought of 'Wow!' during the floating magic ball sequence, went one step further in her appraisal. Her favourite part of the show? 'The music!' she exclaimed. She was right-on-the-money: Daz's musical taste was an exquisite and integral part of his story-telling. It makes you ponder about music, sound and other sensory tools that magicians use to create the distraction upon which magic relies. Sensory 'magic', speaks all languages.
Aligning with The Australian Curriculum 2017 of 'friendship' as a whole school value, Daz painted an auditory magic with the floating, metallic ball which he introduced as 'a friend whom he has known for 30 years'. We totally believed him, expressing their 'friendship' through movement, lighting, stagecraft and the most hauntingly beautiful instrumental soundtrack. When I asked 'Cohen' why he loved the floating ball so much, he was quick to reply: 'because it was his friend'. When a magician has you in the palm of his hand with such great story-telling, anything can happen …
The Melbourne Magic Festival is Pure Joy
The Melbourne Magic Festival is host to a variety of magic shows all of which display different strengths, styles and focus. It is a festival that is 100% family-inclusive, adding new dimensions to performance-art, physical theatre, storytelling and improvisatory craftsmanship. The festival runs throughout the school holidays and includes shows, workshops and competitions; and offers children a chance to meet magicians, dress-up and play-act the craft. Adults will be surprised: these shows appeal to the child within us all and will captivate anyone who is fascinated by human behaviour, the art of illusion and the ninja-like skills behind 'the-sleight-of-hand'.
The Melbourne Magic Festival runs through the school holidays with a day-time variety of 15-minute to hour-long shows, starting at $1. Families will also enjoy the set-up in Northcote Town Hall – there are tables to 'practise' card tricks, a stage with costumes for selfie-fun and a giant chess set to tease and test the best of game-players and tricksters.
Check out the festival guide and make some magic this July.