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“These are perfect lessons for all magicians in how careful thinking really can improve our magic.”Eugene Burger

“Parr explores the outskirts of the human imagination: folklore and fairy tales, poltergeists and psychic powers. A celebration of the weird and wonderful in everyday life.” — Capital Times

“An expert in audience participation.” Milwaukee Journal

“See him or book him for an event. You’ll enjoy everything.” — Milwaukee Sentinel

“Parr has perfected the power of suggestion to a fine art.” Evanston Review

“What I appreciate most is David’s thinking about our art. His book Brain Food has the qualities of what we can label a gourmet meal: good food, good drink, good company, and good conversation. I am quite taken with his style. His creations illustrate his engagement with the people in his audiences. So also do his conversations in this book. It is thoughtful, to be sure.” — Robert Neale

What will he teach?


Proof Positive An impromptu mentalism effect with imaginary coins. 

Swindle A bill transposition from my book Brain Food. 

Fortune8 A prediction effect with the folded paper toy known as a “cootie catcher”.

Psilocation A card is selected, shuffled back into the deck, and I’m able to find it while blindfolded.

Oldest Trick in the Book An origami bird is torn and then restored.

Dinner with the Borgias Also from Brain Food, this is a twist on Bank Night. Three guests choose one of four goblets. They discover that their cups are “poisoned” while mine is the only safe one.

Who is he?

David Parr is an actor, author, and magician best known for his theatrical performing style and his writing and teaching skills. He is the creator and costar of Chicago’s longest-running weekly magic show, The Magic Cabaret, which is now in its tenth year and was selected by the Travel Channel as one of the top nine magic shows in the nation!

In the past decade or so, David has been a featured columnist, proofreader, and copy editor for MAGIC Magazine. His thought-provoking writings about the art of magic have also been featured in The Linking Ring, The Magic Menu, and Genii magazine, as well as publications in Germany, France, Australia, and Sweden. Jon Racherbaumer included David on his short-list of “notable theorists” in magic, alongside Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, and René Lavand. David’s first book for magicians, Brain Food, was a magical bestseller and continues to appear on lists of must-read magic books. A second book, The Magic Mirror, cowritten with Dr. Robert E. Neale, received great reviews and quickly established itself as a classic in the literature of magic theory.

David has provided guidance and instruction to magicians at lecture appearances across the US, including at The Magic Castle in Hollywood. He has also released a number of his inventions to the magic market, including Proof Positive, A Game of Life and Death, 7 Sins, and Slow-Motion Swindle. He recently released the ebook Paper Prophecies, in which he teaches three amazing prediction effects that can be performed with special props printed directly from the book! And he is about to release a new digital edition of his first book, Brain Food: Gourmet Edition, with revised and updated methods, scripts, and handlings for his classic menu of thoughtful magic!

Where can you see the greatest creators and performers share their magic in front of a live audience and then teach you to do it? Only Penguin LIVE!

Magicians flock to see workers give talks. Why? Because these guys see and learn things that you won't find in any book or video. Yes, you'll be learning some incredibly powerful A-material, but the INVALUABLE stuff will be the insight you learn along the way.



Want VIP access to EVERY FUTURE Penguin LIVE we film? Check out the new Penguin LIVE: All Access Pass!

LEARNING COULDN'T BE EASIER.

  1. Purchase this Penguin LIVE product. This is your ticket.
  2. On Sunday, February 5th, anytime after 12:00pm Eastern, click the MyPenguinMagic area at the top of the Penguin site. You'll see the "learn" button appear next to this lecture.
  3. Sit back and watch over 2 hours of amazing magic from the comfort of your own home.

This lecture is for everyone, from the beginner to the professional, and for magicians and mentalists alike. Don't miss it!

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Featured Magic Tricks

Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 16)
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Wonderful Lecture Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 9th, 2017
David’s lecture was a master class in creativity, structuring routines, and theater.

While teaching the routines, detailed below, David explained the “whys” of his choices and alternative performances by changing how he says a certain word or line.

The routines taught are within everyone’s skill level as far and mechanics, so all attention can be given to the audience and the performance of the pieces. The material ranges from intimate close-up to stage, but each piece can play in any venue.

The lecture was full of insights based on actual performance stories and Joe Diamond, David’s performance partner, was there to give some insight on some of the stories and how impactful the routines are.

This is a wonderful lecture, the material is fantastic and there is something here for most everyone. And David was a delightful and gracious teacher. This is on my list of top Penguin lectures.

Below are the routines taught with the ad copy descriptions in "", my comments follow.

Proof Positive "An impromptu mentalism effect with imaginary coins."
This is a wonderful effect, and impromptu. David created a wonderful version that combines Imagination Coins and Positive Negative. He teaches every nuance and goes through any possible issue that I could think of.

Swindle "A bill transposition from my book Brain Food."
This has been updated and the gaff has gone through evolution due to the changes in US currency.
This new version will work with any bill (US currency) regardless of color or foreseeable changes. The effect is logical, and easily fits in your wallet for anytime performance, and is suitable for close-up, parlor, platform, and even stage.

Fortune8 "A prediction effect with the folded paper toy known as a “cootie catcher”."
This is a perfect effect and item for psychic home parties and I am adding this into my repertoire. Note: This effect is explained and taught, it uses a paper item many of us made in grade school. But if you want the PDF to print it out, you will have to purchase David’s book Paper Prophecies. You don’t need this book, you can hand make the item, but the PDF in the book makes it so much easier. Also taught/explained was Thaumatrope: Described as “A fascinating toy from the 19th century visibly transforms to reveal the face of a selected card.” Which makes a great give-away. I suggest purchasing Paper Prophecies anyway, not only do you get the routines and printouts for Fortune8 and Thaumatrope, you also get a nice 7 Sins routine, and it is only $15.

Psilocation "A card is selected, shuffled back into the deck, and I’m able to find it while blindfolded."
Another packs small plays huge routine that can be done close-up, at the dinner table, parlor, or stage. David uses a guest to blindfold him and finds a selected card under what appears to be impossible conditions.

Oldest Trick in the Book "An origami bird is torn and then restored."
Gorgeous theater, you have to watch this one, which is all I will say, other than the audience gets another take-home piece. PDF is included with the lecture for this.

Dinner with the Borgias "Also from Brain Food, this is a twist on Bank Night. Three guests choose one of four goblets. They discover that their cups are “poisoned” while mine is the only safe one."
David’s signature piece and the most popular piece from his book Brainfood (although my favorite is Werewolf). This is beautiful theater, and like everything David presented, technically within the reach of any performer.
8 of 8 magicians found this helpful.
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Outstanding Lecture by David Parr Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 4th, 2017
This lecture ranks up there with the best I've seen at Penguin - and I've seen some good ones. David Parr is a thinking mans' magician and shared really well crafted routines honed over years of performance.

His Swindled routine was one of the highlights of his lecture and perfectly illustrates how a routine evolves over time in a working performer's hands.

The origami bird and Dinner with the Borgias are brilliant stand-up routines that look very commercial - and I could imagine them playing extremely well for real audiences.

Parr's lecture delivered complete routines with fully fleshed-out presentations. You can certainly tell the difference between prepared performers,experienced lecturers and performers with less "stage time".

Awesome lecture: a pleasure to watch ... entertaining and enlightening.
6 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
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Best Penguin Lecture EVER! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 6th, 2017
This is the Best Penguin Lecture Ever. Period. Every effect is usable, and has a valuable lesson in it. Other "Mystery Schoolers" don't have the talent, sincerity, or performance experience that comes with this lecture. David covers stellar material from impromptu situations with proof positive, to close up/strolling with his cootie catcher and mental card effect, to parlor, to SEVERAL full formal stage piecees with Swindle, paper bird, and Dinner with the Borgias. I actually saw David's theater show in Chicago and can verify he USES this material in front of ticket buyers. Beginner or advanced, there's something for everyone. Get this, and get educated! I'm excited to use this material!
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
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Best lecture experience. Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 7th, 2017
This really is one of the best lectures I've experienced in a long time. All of this material is within the technical skill level of most magicians, as well as being practical, and performance tested. It's David's little twists on old methods that makes this stuff accessible to most beginners, and yet strong enough to fool professionals. Each piece makes me say, "Dang! I want to add that to my show. No, I want to add *that one* to my show. Wait, I want to add *that one too*!

The explanations are clear for he is a natural teacher. And, it's well worth listening to David's take on creativity, as well as his approach to magic.

But, if you get this lecture, that means more people will do this material, then I can't have it all to myself. So just don't. Let me keep it all!
4 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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Awesome material! 100% Recommended!!! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 26th, 2017
David Parr is a fantastic thinker and creator of magical mysteries! His routines are "workers" and his routining is streamlined so there is no "fluff." His scripts are works of art in their own right.

David's explanations of the mechanics of his effects are clear and concise. He covers everything!

100% recommended!

I immediately put one of the routines in my act as my new opener!
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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David Parr Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 13th, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed David's penguin live lecture. What an asset he shares with his background in acting and theater. This is where the real magic is created and shared with your audience. His explanations are meticulous and show so much passion and care.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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a true original Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 9th, 2017
I was passingly familiar with David Parr. I have a copy of his book Paper Prophecies, had seen him on an old Eugene Burger video, and had read the occasional forum posting. I started the lecture expecting a pleasant diversion with a few gems. Not only did it exceed my expectations, but I finished the lecture energized & excited about the possibilities of my own magic practice. Not only are there great effects I plan on getting started with today and ideas I plan to adopt in the future, but David's discourse on theory is incredibly clear and practical.

This lecture isn't filled with new ways of divining pin codes, variations on centre tears, or re-hashings of Annemann, but is instead filled with something much rarer... uniqueness and originality. The effects are idiosyncratic in their inception and elegant in their execution, while at the same time being commercially performable in almost any situation from the stage to the living-room.

Many of the effects involve compelling objects that you can leave with the participant. The thaumatrope routine is going to be performed as is, and the paper fortune-teller will be made up with a more “esoteric” angle (David: thinking of quaternaries, the 4 elements will work. Earth, Air, Water, Flame/Fires). There is also a mental card trick that fooled me badly, a beautiful & classical effect with an origami bird, and and extremely engaging & dramatic interpretation of classic “acid test” called Dinner with the Borgias.

David's theoretical discourse was worth the price of admission. Instead of invoking vagueries like wonder and enchantment, he offers clear and cogent advice on structure, drawn from a lifetime on the stage as a dramatist. You will walk away with concrete advice on how to conceptualize and contextualize what you do. Whether you are interested in narrative on stage, or just like to do a series of tricks, you will have some tools to instantly improve your scripting, delivery or patter.

I am a long time fan of the Penguin lecture series, but am not often compelled to write a review. There will be something of substance for everyone on this video. Recommended.
3 of 3 magicians found this helpful.
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WOW the best Penguin Live Lecture to Date!!!! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 12th, 2017
Well Where do I start, firstly agreeing with the other reviews, David Parr's lecture was stunning, the only lecture that kept me captivated from start to finish to the point where I sat through the whole 3 Hours 42 minutes, usually I view the lectures over a few days.

All of the routines were performed with David's wonderful relaxed delivery and the explanations were meticulously explained which is a rarity in most lectures.

All of the routines will go straight into my repertoire, all were favourites although Dinner with the Borgias really stood out for me, great diabolical method.

If only all lectures lived up to this standard.

Well done David Parr!!!!
3 of 4 magicians found this helpful.
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A Terrific Lecture! Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 17th, 2017
Just finished watching it and it was an excellent lecture!

I really enjoyed "The Oldest Trick in the Book". I am always fond of origami type effects. I know what is mean about people keeping the item for long periods of time - I have done napkin roses for people and have seen it at their homes years later. The "made right in front of me" turns it into something really special...

Also enjoyed the theoretical discussion on structure.

If I am in Chicago, I will have to see the Magic Cabaret.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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The best lecture of the year Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 15th, 2017
David’s lecture was interesting and entertaining. I remember watching him for the first time on a (Eugene Burger’s Gourmet Close-up Magic) tape. I really don’t write reviews very often but David did such good job of explaining the effects plus seeing him perform them in front of an audience was insightful. I keep coming back to his lecture to watch it again. His teaching inspired me to look deeper into impromptu magic. His lecture was one of the best that I have watched at Penguin Magic. I am planning to purchase David’s Brain Food and Paper Prophecies. His story telling is excellent and this keeps me engaged in his performance and teachings.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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