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 OMG! Now He's Here Too...

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Craig Browning

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Age : 59

PostSubject: OMG! Now He's Here Too...    Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:37 pm

affraid

Yep, everyone's favorite curmudgeon (aside from maybe Ford Kross and Mark Lewis)...

... but where are my manners? Some of you may not know me ( Rolling Eyes )

SHORT VERSION: Got into magic back in 1963-64 the chief influence was some Saturday morning kiddie show on CBS hosted by a strange guy from Texas, his wife and a very peculiar clown. But then came Christmas and the one thing my mother swears to this day, was her biggest mistake ever... she got me a Magic Kit... 30 years later she'd visit me at the shop in Las Vegas only to realize how big a mistake it was and pondering if I would ever stop playing with "toys" albino

My earliest shows were at the age of 6+, doing tricks in the backyard for local kids; I was already designing my own effects as well, in that we were somewhat poor in those days and I was forced to get creative... seems that many from the early to latter baby boomer era fell into similar straights. Another factor that we all seem to share though... especially those of us that migrated out of traditional magic into the more macabre or mystical air of things, was a mid-1970s exposure to a South American Master Magician known as RICHIARDI & His Chamber of Horrors. Though I'd continue to chase the popular "Copperfield" trend of the day, augmenting my many adventures with a Blackstonesque family show, the whole idea of doing a macabre stage show was always a part of my world and over time, became a serious reality complete with crematoriums, impalements and rather large circular saws. Prior to that evolution however, I was doing blood & gore magic on Hollywood Blvd. and at the Pier in Santa Monica long before it came into vogue; a Punk Rocker bit that included such wonders as an Impaled Dove on a Dagger, Bit Playing Card in the Magician (I literally slashed my forearm opened... you could see the fingertips moving under the skin and voila! out came a bloody card with a bit-off corner matching someone's selection... I was such a sick f*^@&...)

In 83 I did my first official "all mentalism" show in Palm Springs... it scared me to death! A 22 year old kid simply hasn't the life experience required (in most cases) for dealing with the kind of reaction solid, old school mentalism can deliver. It's no wonder so many discouraged such things in those days, telling we young punks to wait until we are in our mid and late 30's (when there's some grey in the hair and crows feet around your eyes). Though I'd still experiment with Mentalism and do short bits of Mental Magic in the stage shows, I wouldn't return to Mentalism as a "focused" vehicle until the early 90's, just ahead of the tidal wave trend started by a couple of young(ish) guys that lucked into some high profile situations... but enough about them... Rolling Eyes

My segue back to Mentalism came by way of Bizarre Magick, and while much of my earliest thinking in this arena was my own, it wouldn't take long for me to start finding others that shared this "politically incorrect" view on things (in those days the Castle's hierarchy saw Macabre & Bizarre styled magic as a bit "No, No" and "tasteless"). My earliest endeavors being dinner shows with Vampiric as well as morose (Murderous even) themes. An unfortunate car accident in 97 however, put an end to all the "big production" type antics I was used to... kind of hard hefting around props that are large and exceptionally heavy when you have a broken neck and (shortly thereafter) seriously damaged lower back (an old injury that finally gave way). This episode however, was the start of a 10 year decline in health, which lead to my second breakdown in life (no, we didn't hit bottom, we fell right past that...) and the discovery of no fewer than 3 chronic health conditions that doctor's figured I'd been living with for well over 25 years at that point, if not longer; MS being on the front burner.

Though I still have limited mobility I spend a good 80% of my time in a wheelchair; something that has slowly become a very deliberate point of focus within my shows and the more Bizarre entity I'm evolving at present; one Mr. Phineas VanBirch, Esq. (a name given me by stage magician Kirby Vanbirch, no less)... just think SteamPunk and a wheelchair along the lines of Dr. Arliss Loveless in the Wild, Wild West movie but give him a more P.T. Barnum meets Vincent Price persona.

I have been a regular contributor to On-Line VISIONS eZine since its earliest of days as well as several other such publications, OORT Magazine & the Book, and of course my own array of material on Mentalism, Cold Reading and even traditional stage magic. Adding to this, are my ties to the now defunct Creative Illusions Company as a co-developer & effects conceptionalist and all such similar work/brain storming that I've done over the past 35+ years with some of the industry's top innovators and showman... that could even include you, should you have something that needs figur'n out...

Blessed Be!
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PostSubject: Re: OMG! Now He's Here Too...    Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:09 pm

Wow! An amazing intro and a real pleasure to have you here Craig!
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Vincent

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PostSubject: Re: OMG! Now He's Here Too...    Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:42 am

Welcome!
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PINHEAD

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PostSubject: Re: OMG! Now He's Here Too...    Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:02 pm

I like to tell lies... get something good from anything.

I once had a chainsaw passover my thumb whilst cutting wood, nothing much, but with a 18" bar Stihl a slight touch is all it takes, wiping away the blood and little chunks of skin, I was relieved to see my thumb still there, albeit cut to the bone.

Sometimes with that I tell the truth, as it's a good story as is, and I have some tiny bone shards from a sheep I keep in a little glass jar and tell people I had to pick them out of my chainsaw Smile

Sometimes I show the scar and tell the story of fishing in Bass Straight and catching a nice Red Snapper, just lifting it into the boat when a Great White came up and took it right from my hand, leaving me the scar where one of it's teeth brushed my thumb. I have a fossilized Great White tooth to go with that one.

Sometimes same script, but a nice Yellow Perch gets snatched from my hand by a motherf**er Salt Water Croc aka Saltie here in Australia, got some nice real Croc teeth obtained from the Northern Territories to go with that.

Sometimes with Australia having all these poisonous snakes I get bitten by which ever one takes my fancy on the day and I tell about how I had to slice my own finger down to the bone and suck out the poison.

I use the scar to pass a fake open razor over if a need a bit blood for a story, then immediately put some herbs from the garden on the wound, but tell the victims watching it's a concoction of secret herbs obtained from a secret wood in Scotland which heals cuts immediately, but still leaves a scar.

People will believe anything.

If I was you?

How's about an old lady came to you as you were waiting for the Ambulance? Everything had gone fantastically bright, and you struggled to see anything, but her face came thru the bright haze..Her face was friendly and she had the most wonderful glowing smile..She whispered something in your ear and your head began to spin and spin, you felt like you were caught in a whirlpool and then just sleep, lots of sleep.

Next thing you know when you woke up in hospital, you found you had the gift.. one door closes another door opens.. now you can communicate with the other side, wheelchair's no problem to host a great Seance, the lord took away, but boy did he give you something back! Use this rare opportunity.

Pleased to meet you, I'm a man of wealth and taste.
PH
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Vincent

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PostSubject: Re: OMG! Now He's Here Too...    Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:16 am

Very Happy
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