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Part 8 – Astonishment and an interactive experiment.

Art of astonishment part 8

Art of astonishment part 8

Indulge me to digress for a second. A simple experiment of clasping your hands together with your thumbs crossed over, will for 75% of people determine whether they are creative or logical people. The right-hand is linked to the right side of the brain and the left hand vice versa. Now, it is believed that the right hand side of the brain controls our creative powers and the left side, our logic and reasoning powers. If your thumb on top is the left hand – this would suggest you are more creative person than logical person and vice versa. Try it with your friends. It is certainly not a science in it’s itself but is always an intriguing anecdote to chuck into to discuss at a funeral to lighten the mood (ok so not a funeral – but a social setting) This ‘two hemispheres’ model of the brain is somewhat simplistic but nonetheless, as a baby, child or infant this right side of the brain works overtime. Absorbing all external stimuli like a sponge. As a result this right side of the brain tended to be dominant and active for long periods of time. As a result, child love to lose themselves into stories of fantasy and adventure and conjure up a world of imagination in their own heads. (Some go on to be compulsive liars). Children can transform as a white bed sheet into a ghost, Santa grotto over the back of the sofa (with added hole-punch paper bits as fake snow) or a world of other costumes and inventions. They do this, so effortlessly and buy into the reality of the situation they have made in their own heads. Their friends can do that too. Let’s be soldiers. It’s easy. They imaginations are frighteningly active and the reason they are come in covered in mud, leave the house in absurd outfits and at fancy dress parties act like they actually are ‘Superman’, ‘Spiderman’ or ‘Harry Potter’. If you have been to a children’s birthday party – you will know exactly know what I mean. If you can think back to your own childhood, you will too.

However, we have to think back to this time, because when we look at children we think “Aaaah bless – he’s having fun” or “God I wish he’d grow out of this” or “I’m going to step in if he still keeps pretending he is Darth Vader, for the 4th week in a row”.  It is now, that the right side of our brain because less active, less dominant and that creative dominance and activity of the right side of our brain diminishes and the left side full of reasoned logic takes the dominant seat. That bed sheet becomes ‘something that goes on the bed’ and the hole punch bits of paper become ‘”something that dad has to bloody hoover up!!”

Magic takes us back to this state where the right side of the mind is dominant. If you perform magic where everything is in sync and your participant’s mind is open, you may, just may, take them back to this infantile state of astonishment where magic is real. The more open they are too it, the way you have framed the effect as well as a number of other factors will extend this period of astonishment and elevate you above ‘the magic man’ to someone has taken 5 minutes from them but in that 5 minutes have given them something back which has been more special, more intimate, more astonishing, and more beautiful then they will experience, over any 5 minutes, in that week, year or rest of their life.

Part 7 – The world, astonishment, magic, and childhood.

Art of astonishment part 6

Art of astonishment part 6

Have you ever looked round to see people disseminating an effect after you have performed it?  That moment of astonishment has passed, their senses re-engage almost like a defribulator, rushing to make sense of the world in their adult world.

And so they rush to tell you that they have worked it out. They have missed the point. They have returned as an adult.

I perform a lot of kids magic. A lot. What all experienced and professional children’s entertainers will tell you is for children it is less about the magic but more about the entertainment ride on the way to that magical ending. For them the world is still unfurling before their eyes. For children every day is exciting because every day offers up it’s own new, fresh and exciting new slice of astonishment.

Have you ever seen performed magic whilst a child is sat on a mothers knee. Your amazing card effect or high end piece of magic you have just perfected no longer get the same whallop for the mum as it would do if she were surrounded by her adult friends. Instead you will get a “Wooooowww! And look back at her child’ She is of course watching this magic through her child’s eyes and consciously or not, want to feel what that child is feeling – that state of astonishment or wonder which we all love to have. Why do we travel to new countries (other than to relax)? Of course, to see something new, to continue our own human evolution. Things that will stop us in our tracks and again take us back to that infantile state of astonishment. Why do we eat new foods or try different combinations of food? Why do we pay for meals (sight unseen) 5 times what we would pay if we made it at home or ate in a cheaper restaurant? We want to be amazed. We want to evolve. We want to experience something new and incredible…….

Back to the mum with the child on her knees. No mother ever says to their child, run along and play, this man has some serious skills and abilities – I want to experience this for myself.  She desperately wants to relive that experience as a child or feel how it feels to be a/her child. She cannot lie in the pram as the child is pushed around each day soaking up so much information and ideas. This is a real treat to be in the same place at the same time as her child seeing something new (and which she knows) will too some degree will be something new, exciting and if the magician is any good wondrous.

This serialisation of a longer passage offers a few insights into magic, astonishment and the goal which professional magicians, mentalists and entertainers should be striving for. Next post – Part 8 gets a bit more interactive – with something you can do at home as I explore the art of astonishment even more.

Top 10 Celebrity Weddings Of 2016

Celebrity weddings are always exciting and intriguing, and 2016 has been no different. With this year drawing to a close, let’s look back on the top 10 celebrity weddings of 2016. The year of 2016 was no different to others as several celebrities from all around the world decided to take their vows and end their single status. In this list we have compiled some of the top celebrity weddings to have taken place in 2016.


Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes wedding 2016

Ryan Gosling & Eva Mendes 

  1. Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes are both known to be non-believers in marriage. Gosling, having previously dated Sandra Bullock and his ‘Notebook’ co-star Rachel McAdams, put those 2 high profile women behind him as he tied the knot to Eva Mendes.

Their wedding was a low-key affair with only less than 30 people in attendance. She has already one daughter from their first marriage.

Though there is a small age difference between them with Eva Mendes being 42 and Ryan Gosling, the younger, 35, only time will tell whether this age gap will help or hinder their marriage. Their entertainment was a mind reader and magician which inspired me to write this post and you can see my work here.



Danny Dyer and Jo Mas Wedding 2016

Danny Dyer & Jo Mas 

 2. Danny Dyer and Jo Mas

Danny Dyer, the EastEnders star decided enough was enough – after being together since they were 15 years old and it was time to tie the knot with his long term partner – Jo Mas in Chewton Glen Hotel in the New Forest.

In the middle of the 130 acre estate and wearing a flamingo inspired gown, and accompanied by Danny Dyer’s on screen EastEnders wife – Kellie Bright, their wedding was a conservative affair with their daughter taking on the role of maid-of-honor and their other daughter – a bridesmaid in front of 150 of their nearest a dearest.



Heidi Range & Alex Partakis wedding day photo

Heidi Range & Alex Partakis

3. Heidi Range and Alex Paertakis

Former Sugar Babe Heidi Range married her partner Alex Paertakis (whom she met in 2014 after being introduced by her personal trainer) is another lucky couple to join our list of celebrity weddings this year.

Arriving in Florence and then whisking their guests down to a secret location in Tuscany, Heidi looked gorgeous wearing a white Bardot neckline gown with a full skirt.

Not to be outdone, the bridegroom wore a classic black tuxedo.




Daniel EK & Sofia Levander wedding photo

Daniel EK & Sofia Levander married in 2016 in Tuscany, Italy

4. Spotify CEO Daniel EK marries Sofia Lavander 

In a ceremony officiated by Comedian Chris Rock and Bruno Mars as the couples’ wedding singers, Danie EK, CEO of Spotify married Sofia Lavander at a beautiful ceremony at Lake Como in Italy. Their wedding included guests such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and their two daughter.

Wearing a cream linen suit with blue shirt, 33 year old, Daniel married his fiancé who, herself was wearing a cream strapless gown covered in hand sewn floral embroidery with a pair of white satin peep hole shoes and simple pearl drop earrings. After the wedding they travelled to Rome, to meet the Pope.



Gregg Wallace & Anne-Marie Sterpini wedding photo

Gregg Wallace & Anne-Marie Sterpini

5. Gregg Wallace marries Anne-Marie Sterpini

MasterChef presenter, Gregg Wallace married for the fourth time to 30 year old Anne-Marie Sterpini, in a ceremony at Hever Castle in Kent. Gregg’s long time friend and celebrity chef co-host, John Torode played the role of master of ceremonies, whilst fellow TV stars, Lisa Faulkner, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti were also in attendance.

In a ceremony which offered several quirks to the day included Gregg’s brother arriving at the venue in an RAC van, having had his car break down on him.

Having met his third wide on Twitter and now Anne-Marie on twitter too (after she tweeted him about Rhubarb) let’s hope that this ‘twitter inspired’ marriage does not follow suit of the 3 before.



Jerry Hall & Rupert Murdoch wedding photo 2016

Jerry Hall & Rupert Murdoch

6. Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch

Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch and their 10 children from separate partners were all in attendance at this star-studded affair at St Brides Church on Fleet Street in London.

Guests included actor Michael Caine, Bob Geldof, Richard E Grant, Andrew Lloyd Weber and News UK Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks as well as less known names such as William Shawcross who is Murdoch’s biographer.

Wearing a light blue silk dress and flat shoes, former supermodel, Jerry Hall and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch held their wedding breakfast on the balcony of Spencer house in London’s St James.



Kimi Raikkonen & Minttu Virtanen wedding photos 2016

Kimi Raikkonen & Minttu Virtanen

7. Kimi Raikkonen marries Minttu Virtanen

Ranked as one of the top 10 celebrity weddings of 2016, F1 superstar, Kimi Raikkonen married underwear model, Minttu Virtanen (and much like many of our other celebrity wedding listed here) – it was held in Italy. Held in the Cistercian monastery –The Abbey of San Galgano, in Tuscany.

Wearing a low backed ivory gown and lace embroidery, Minttu brought her 19 month old son to the star studded ceremony, who like his father, was wearing a navy blue suit and crisp white shirt.  This is the F1 world champion’s second marriage, and intends make adjustments to this second marriage by possibly retiring from racing at the end of the 2017 season to give more time to his new wife and son.

Again similar to other famous couples on our 2016 list there is a significant age gap between Kimi (36 years old) and Minttu ( 29 years old). A close up magician performed for guests throughout the day.



Ciara & Russell Wilson wedding photo

Ciara married long term partner Russell Wilson  2016

8. Ciara and Russell Wilson

Pop star, Ciara and NFL Star, Russell Wilson tied the knot in July at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England, after Russell popped the question to Ciara in the Seychelles.  This star studded event was attended by Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Hudson and other famous NFL stars.

Wearing a Cavalli Couture wedding dress, embroidered with floral motifs, Ciari looked stunning and she wed her new husband who was wearing a full black, Armani suit with white shirt. All of Ciara’s bridesmaids were wearing Michael Costello designed gowns. Ciari, who has a 2 year old son from her previous husband Future Zahir, is looking forward to creating a new family with her new beau.



Eva Longoria and Jose ‘Pepe’ Baston wedding photo

Eva Longoria and Jose ‘Pepe’ Baston

9. Eva Longoria and Jose ‘Pepe’ Baston

Eva Longoria, wed the Latin America media mogul – Jose ‘Pepe’ Baston in front of over 200 guests in the lakeside town of Valle De Bravo.

The altar featured a large white cross and the entrance to the venue was a rose covered archway and the main procession was covered in a canopy of fairy lights.

Wearing a sleeveless white gown and long white veil designed by her long-time friend – Victoria Beckham, the former Desperate Housewives star Eva, 41, and Pepe, 47, partied long into the night with the Beckhams, Ricky Martin.



Kevin Hart & Eniko Parrish wedding photos

Kevin Hart & Eniko Parrish

10. Kevin Hart marries Eniko Parrish

Set in the exclusive area of Montecito, California, actor and funny man, Kevin Hart, married his long term girlfriend Eniko Parrish in August 2016 with Kevin’s 8 year old son – Hendrix playing the role of best man.

Wearing a custom Vera Wang lace mermaid gown and hand-embroidered French Chantilly motifs, Eniko changed into another Vera Wang dress for the wedding reception, Kevin and Eniko, enjoyed their wedding with friends, family and lit-up ferris wheel and merry go round as well as many other forms of entertainment.