Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Quantum Eye - April 27, 2007

Leave your secrets at the door - the Quantum eye is watching.

Sam Eaton is a warm, friendly, boyishly sweet guy with an easy laugh... and he's also your typical, every day mindreader. Of course, we pooh-pooh at the idea of genuine ESP - we're all too jaded and sophisticated for that nonsense... aren't we? But deep down, admit it: you WANT to believe in magic. For approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, 2 shows every Friday night until December 28th at the Jewel Box Theater, Sam Eaton allows us to believe. And you know what? It's fun!

The atmosphere in the lobby before the show is a mingling of skepticism and a desire to be amazed - and a sense of community. We're all in this together. You are seated after everyone has arrived, and the seating is done with a purpose. So no switching seats! If you're afraid of 'the front row' and you are seated in the front row: get over your fears. Nothing bad will happen to you. Audience participation is a necessity in this performance and volunteers are welcomed... although sometimes not always chosen.

While waiting for our seat assignments I was butting into a conversation with a very nice older couple who were trying to remember the names of recent 'magician movies' (c'mon it was the theme of the evening). I had to open my big mouth and help them out with The Prestige and The Illusionist. During our chat a very friendly fellow with round, dark rimmed glasses came by and asked if we had filled out the brief questionnaire that is included in the program. There are four questions you are asked to answer which play out later during the performance. We assured him we had and then he looked at me and said: "come with me for a minute."

Since I'd scoped out the Quantum Eye website beforehand I knew this was Sam Eaton, our mentalist, so of course, I went along. I had visions of being let in on the big secret. Alas, this was not the case.

He told me he could not see my answers. He wasn't "getting anything from me''. Actually I've been to this sort of show before and I was in fact purposefully NOT thinking of the answers I'd written down... in an attempt to foil the mentalist. Maybe I was blocking him with my astounding ESP. Or something like that.

He asked me to give him the paper I'd written my answers on and start again. For the 'two digit number' question he asked me to visualize a person's age. He asked me to pick someone I had a good relationship with, use their age, and focus on that number. I randomly chose a friend I'd just gotten an email from before going to the show. And focused.

I was seated in the front row - and very happy to be there. The first 'trick' of the evening concerned the very number I had been asked to focus on. Another person in the audience had pulled my seat number from a bag containing all the ticket stubs and so it was my number that would be the focus for the illusion. It's a trick I've seen done before, where a series of numbers are laid out in a grid and no matter which way you you add them up, all columns add up to the same number. In this case MY number. Yes. I admit it: I was very pleasantly surprised.

I very much wanted to volunteer for every illusion after that, but for some reason I was not 'right'. I think it's a matter of some people being less guarded than others, easier to read. I'm friendly, but I'm very guarded and I think someone who is attuned to the subtleties of body language and involuntary reactions can spot that. So I'm not a great volunteer candidate for a mentalist show. This does not in any way ruin my sense of amazement or enjoyment. I want to suspend my disbelief. I want to be astounded. And I was.

Everyone espouses a desire to know "How it's done" - and I would suggest that you can find out how to do any of the illusions you see at any mentalist show by simply doing a bit of research on the Internet, in the library, at a magic shop. But the truth about magic is that no matter how much we say we want to know the secret: we really don't. Those who really want to know become magicians. The rest of us want to believe.

Go see this charming, intimate and astounding show. You will want to know how he does it: but I can tell you right now. If you promise to keep it a secret. Ready? It's magic.

The Quantum Eye

The Jewel Box Theatre
130 W. 29th St., 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Updated Location information as of February, 2009
Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street
45 Bleecker St.(Between Lafayette and Mott Sts.)
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 541-8457

Ticket Price: $47
Ticket Information: Telecharge: 1-800-432-7250 or 212-239-6200,
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1 comment:

Kaitlyn said...

He blew me away! I also volunteered for a trick. I've been told that I have a great poker face. So, I figured he would never figure out what I was thinking. Well, I was wrong. I just can't figure out how he did it. This show is definitely worth seeing. I'm going to go back with some of my friends in a few weeks when he moves to the SoHo Playhouse.