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  • Nicholas J Johnson

The magic of manipulation at the Melbourne Magic Festival

I have hired a business coach. Her name is Jo Gilbert and she provides me with fantastic advice on how to connect with the business people, teachers and educators who need my services in exploring the art and science of deception.

As a creative type, it is difficult to switch your brain from artistic pursuits to the cold realities of running a small business. That’s why I find talking to some like Jo so valuable.

Six months ago, we had a conversation that went like this.

“Why don’t you do a show about persuasive writing?”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that. I’m not qualified.”

“Aren’t magicians masters of manipulation and persuasion?”

“Totally. And I’m damn good at it.”

“And didn’t you write a book?”

“Two actually. Chasing The Ace and Fast & Loose.”

“And don’t you have a degree in English from ANU?”

“…and sociology.”

“How can you say you’re not qualified?”

“Hey! You’re right! I should totally do a show about the power of words to persuade!”

Leaving aside the irony that Jo busted out some textbook persuasive writing techniques (alliteration, rhetorical questions, appeals to authority) to convince me to create a new show, she had a point

I am proud to say that SWAY is premiering at Melbourne Magic Festival on 3 July at Melba Spiegeltent in the heart of Collingwood. SWAY explores the power of language and words to persuade and manipulate.

What is the best way to win an argument: using logic or using emotion? Why would we rather give money to single starving African girl than every other starving person? How many flowcharts does an 11 year old magician do you need to convince a girl to go out with him?

If you love magic and manipulation, you’re going to love SWAY.

However, I’m only doing 5 shows and tickets are strictly limited so book today to avoid missing out.

(That’s an appeal to scarcity. I think I am getting the hang of this.)

Nicholas J. Johnson is a Melbourne magician, author and expert on the art and science of deception


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