Reviews for Beyond Deception, Volume 1 (with thanks to all who reviewed it!):
Excerpt from Amazon Review of Beyond Deception, Vol. 2
by Ben Delaney "Cyberedge"
This is a business book for magicians. And a damn good one...
I'm not a magician, but i do make frequent presentations. When you think about it, nearly everyone in business is called upon to make a presentation at some time. If that's you, as it is me, you'll be very pleasantly surprised at what Beckwith's book offers.
In this book, second in the series, Beckwith provides valuable tips on moving through life, making presentations, dealing with others, and a whole lot more. I don't think he would present this as a self-help volume, but in many ways it is just that. his advice on dealing honestly with others and self is right on. His tips for overcoming stage fright, booking travel, making deals, and many other aspects of business are based on real-life experience and always ring true.
Excerpt from M.U.M. review by Joshua Kane:
If you made a New Year’s Resolution to raise the bar and improve your performances, then Tobias Beckwith’s Beyond Deception – The Theory and Technique Of Creating Original Magic will provide you a breathing blueprint…
Tobias Beckwith has the experience and fluency to help us tap into our own personal artistry and, in finding a deeper connection with our unique self, a new relationship with the magic we perform. You will
learn the power of context and characterization, as well how most expertly to play and fill an action. In this well-produced hardback book, you will find inspiring anecdotes and sound theory. Theory in
this case means a proven roadmap not a possible one. Many of the exercises may at first glance appear basic, but do not dismiss them.
Instead, gift yourself the time to try them, preferably in front of witnesses and fellow participants.
Unlike several other books that came out in the past year professing to be about theatrical magic,
Beckwith’s Beyond Deception actually is a solid primer on linking theatrical techniques and approaches to the conjuring arts. When I take the time to revisit these exercises through Beckwith’s instruction, I know that my own act will improve. Buy this book a half-dozen copies at a time, share it with friends and build that brain trust. Keep it so much in use that it will rarely occupy the shelf space that it so richly deserves.
Excerpt from Oracle review by David Goodsell:
We have just finished reading Tobias Beckwith’s slim volume, BEYOND DECPTION, The Theory & Technique of Creating Original Magic, Volume 1 – which hints that there is more to come, we hope. This is a good book. We agree with Bob Fitch in his forward when he suggests it be read with pad and pencil in hand, for a quick read will provide you very little. This is material to think about, to ponder. A quick read will give you the misconception that the book is simplistic. Simple, yes, simplistic, no.
When we develop our act, the tricks and routines that go into the whole presentation, do we evaluate the character we assume, the story we tell, the props we use to see if they fit the theme of our show – or even if we have a theme? If not, should we? Do we consider these things in the context of the setting for the performance and the audience? Should these be considerations? If so, are there things we should change to enhance our performance? What is the tone and style of our performance? Beckwith’s message is that “If it’s a performance piece, it can ALWAYS be improved,” and he points to the work of Jeff McBride and Marco Tempest, with whom he has worked for almost 20 years as a validation of this premise.
Because performance pieces can always be improved, Beckwith suggests that we be always alert for that which can aid in improvement, from whatever source, and that information should be considered, noted, categorized and filed to be readily available when needed. Yes, simple advice – but, almost always overlooked or, more likely, not even considered. Today’s oddity might well be tomorrow’s performance treasure.
Why do we do the tricks we do? What is our motivation? What do we hope to accomplish? What does a trick do for us, the performer? What does it do for the audience – an audience of one or an audience of one thousand? Is there a story? Should there be? Is there conflict? Should there be? How do we come up with an original presentation? Too often we magicians simply learn the bare bones of a trick, practice it until we are comfortable with it, and present it. Often we do a good job, maybe even an excellent job with it. Maybe it really stuns our audiences. “Wow!” they say, “How did you do that?” But it that the response you want? Is there something even better than “Wow!” Maybe yes, maybe no. In any case, several pages of chapter 5 of this book, “Exercises in the Mind,” are devoted to a workshop exercise that Jeff McBride conducted at one of his Master Class sessions in Las Vegas in 2007. By including an almost verbatim description of the session, both what Jeff said and some of the responses from the workshop members we are led to explore the questions posed above. Do you ask yourselves such questions when deciding what magic to include in your presentations? What would happen if you tried? You don’t have to be at one of Jeff’s workshops to try it!
Eugene Burger (Cover Quote):
There are hundreds of books out there with thousands of tricks – but precious few on how to turn those tricks into meaningful and original entertainment. This book is one of the few, based in Tobias’ twenty years of experience directing and nurturing the careers of some of the most innovative acts in magic. If you’re serious about taking your magic to the next level, read it and start doing the exercises now!