Brett Barry - The Phoenix Mentalist.http://www.phoenixmentalist...
As an 8 year kid it was actually magic which captured my mind (and all my allowances) all the way back around 1973. My parents had split up at that time, and every week my dad Alan took my brother and I to a local destination far more exciting than any Willy Wonka Candy factory; I was mesmerized by a brightly lit crimson colored Magic store at the original Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles.
The ritual went something like this: We would usually stop for some fresh squeezed juice at one of the market kiosks (dad’s favorite was strawberry-coconut, by the gallon), and maybe we would all grab a slice of pizza at Patsy’s. Inevitably we would end up walking over to that Farmers Market Magic Store – hidden away at the far rear of the market.
At the Farmers Market magic store I got wide eyed looking at all the prank peanut brittle cans filled with spring “snakes,” fake ice cubes with a dead fly inside, and who can forget the whoopee cushions? But what really pulled my heartstrings were the gorgeous brightly lacquered wood magic tricks, intricate boxes and gleaming metal illusions that lined the crushed velvet shelves of the store.
Wow, that was just heaven for me. So I would stand there in glassy-eyed utter silence, staring at these stunning works of magical art, with mysterious Chinese lettering and amazing secrets hidden within each seemingly innocent object.
Other favorite magic “haunts” at the time included the famous “Hollywood Magic Shop” and of course the magic store on Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Even the magic advertised in the backs of comic books was (for me) even way better than the stories in the comic books.
It was the early 1970’s and Magicians were suddenly appearing on TV including the colorful Doug Henning and Mark Wilson, who were drawing millions of amazed viewers – and believe me, I was one of them! It didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted to learn a few of their secrets and perform too. Over time I learned many tricks and magical effects from the “men behind the counter” at the local magic shops, building my knowledge and confidence – and even often performing magic for my classmates in Elementary School.
After just a few years I joined up with my brother Jason, my cousin Damon and my best friend Matt to form “The Hocus Pocus Brothers,” entertaining at kid’s birthday parties in Los Angeles. Actually we were kids performing for kids – making some pretty solid extra money and having a great time.
My interest in magic continued throughout into adulthood, and my knowledge and study of the art grew. I became a Magician member of the famous “Magic Castle” in the late 1990’s. Like many Magicians, I began to take a strong interest in mind reading as a result of seeing Uri Geller bend spoons & the Amazing Kreskin read minds on the Johnny Carson Show .
I actually descend from a show biz family that was deeply steeped in the entertainment business. My Grandfather DAVE BARRY (not the well known writer – the original Dave Barry) started out as a “Borscht Belt” comic in the Catskills and doing USO tours with Bob Hope and many celebrities during the early 1940’s. He performed with top names such as Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra, Shecky Greene and Don Rickles.
He appeared on the old Ed Sullivan show, and in Las Vegas he was the opening act for “Mr Las Vegas,” Wayne Newton, for more than a decade. Papa Dave also provided his voice in hundreds of cartoons as the voice of Bluto and many animals. His body of work also included many Warner Brothers “Looney Toons” (typically impersonating the voice of Humphrey Bogart or Elmer Fudd).
In one his most famous roles, Papa Dave also appeared as the character Bienstock in the Billy Wilder/Marilyn Monroe classic “Some Like It Hot,” with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. He was also a long time member of the Friars Club since the 1950’s, roasting and making fun of many of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
I am proud to continue the performing tradition – and I continue to spend a good deal of time studying my craft and collaborating with other Mentalists and Magicians from all over the world.
So that is my story – I have been performing continuously for all these years. My energy and creativity comes directly from you, my audience. An idea is a powerful thing, and in the hands of a skilled Mentalist and mind bending performer those ideas can be transformed into unforgettable memories.
Our art is about giving and connecting with people – offering spectators a genuine sense of wonder and astonishment. This is what I do, and I promise that I will make your event memorable and amazing. #ProfessionalSpeaker #GNAVTV