“I have never seen a mentalist to compare with him.” –Dai Vernon
“The most creative mind in magic.” –Orson Welles
“This man is dangerous.” –Muhammad Ali
What will he teach?
Orson Welles wrote that Max Maven has “the most creative mind in magic.” Here’s your chance to find out why.
Max Maven has performed around the world, with hundreds of television credits and over two thousand tricks, essays and articles in print. He’ll bring that knowledge and experience to Penguin Live, for a teaching session you won’t soon forget.
As you would expect, the emphasis will be on mentalism, but with ideas that can be applied to every type of magic. You’ll learn commercial, practical effects that will fool you first, and delight your audiences later. Be prepared for offbeat plots and intriguing methods, with a special emphasis on aspects of psychology and audience management.
The lecture will include material that Max has never taught before, including a cunning book test, intimate mindreading using business cards, baffling hands-off card work, and a curious use of the Internet.
Your host for this event will be the canny and insightful Michael Weber, who will discuss details with Max that address your questions, in real time.
Who is he?
This is weird stuff--and audiences love it. Max Maven's mysteries transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries: He's performed in over two dozen countries.
His full-evening one-man show, Thinking in Person, had a critically acclaimed two-month run at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, and he has headlined nightclubs across the U.S., setting house records in over half of those venues.
Max has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs, top talkshows and variety specials, as well as acting on comedy and dramatic shows including the starring role on Count DeClues' Mystery Castle for the Fox network, and guest-starring on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and General Hospital. In 1998, Max developed and starred in a new Canadian series, The MAXimum Dimension, an offbeat educational show aimed at younger viewers, involving recreational mathematics. The 26 episodes were a popular success, placing among the top six shows on the TVO network.
Other TV credits include hosting eight network specials in Japan (performing in Japanese), and creating a pair of his own specials in Thailand. In 1994 he hosted a 12-part series for HTV in England, Something Strange with Max Maven, a talk-show exploring all aspects of the paranormal. The show set a ratings record, and led to a second series the following year. Max Mystery Show, a 13-part series, was a hit for the CTS network in Taiwan in 1995. He was the only regular on the ten-part Magiskt series for TV4 in Sweden; that show scored great ratings, and two more series followed, one for Norwegian television in early 1996, plus another for Sweden later that year. He has also appeared on shows in Finland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile, and many other countries. Max is prominently featured on the 1998 PBS documentary The Art of Magic, as well as The Secret World on The Learning Channel. His television work in the year 2000 includes an appearance on Heroes of Magic on Channel 4 in Great Britain, and being the only regular guest on the Masters of Illusion series for the PAX network.
Max is particularly well known for his pioneering work in interactive broadcasting. He created the ground-breaking video Max Maven's Mindgames for MCA. His games were a regular feature on the popular Best of Magic series for the ITV network in England. His interactive work was included on The World's Greatest Magic, NBC's highest rated special of 1994, and he was the first artist booked for the 1995 edition, and brought back yet again in 1997. When Landmark Entertainment developed Caesars Magical Empire for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, they asked Max to devise a set of interactive mysteries that take place between customers and an impish wizard, eight inches tall, who appears "holographically" behind the central bar. The wizard is named "Maximus Maven," and he bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain modern performer. Max has also devised material for the world of computer technology, creating an interactive game disk entitled Max Magic for the Philips CD-i system; in its first few months of release, it won six industry awards.
In 1999, Max was acknowledged in a special "Interactive Magic" category of the World Magic Awards, broadcast on the FoxFamily network. In 2000, he was brought back to receive the "Best Mentalist" prize. He has also received multiple awards from the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. In 1988 he was presented with the Tenkai Prize, the highest award in Japanese magic; this was the first time this honor was ever given to a foreign artist. Some years back, Max was named Lecturer of the Year by the Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle) in Hollywood, and in 1998 he was the recipient of a Creative Fellowship from that organization.
The late Orson Welles wrote that Max Maven has "the most original mind in magic." He's published over 1700 creations in the conjuring literature, and been an advisor to over a hundred television shows. As a consultant he has worked with David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Doug Henning, Penn & Teller, Lance Burton, and many others. He has also directed revue shows for several major American gambling casinos.
Recently, Magic magazine, the leading intraprofessional conjuring journal, published a list of the 100 most influential people in the field of theatrical magic during the 20th century. Included on the list is Max Maven, cited for "entertaining and astonishing audiences with his bizarre brand of mental magic.... [M]ost of Maven's mind-boggling feats are accomplished through psychological subterfuge that he himself has cunningly created... If mystery does indeed give magic its meaning, then the enigmatic persona of Max Maven makes us ever mindful of the art that is hidden in the mystery of magic."
This ongoing exploration of the mysterious side of human nature led to Max Maven's Book of Fortunetelling, published by Prentice Hall in late 1992. He is a Senior Research Consultant to the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research in Michigan, and on the Board of Advisors of the California ScienCenter in Los Angeles, where his interactive material is featured in a new exhibit, Magic: The Science of Illusion, that will tour museums across North America through 2007. Currently in bookstores you can find The Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic by Tom Ogden, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Improving Your Memory by Michael Kurland and Richard Lupoff. Max Maven was the technical advisor for both. He has also created customized "Maximize" seminars on mental efficiency and non-verbal communication for executives and salespeople from top corporations.
Max Maven has a fascinating history. He has been a successful radio announcer, graphic designer, author, pianist, teacher, singer, actor, lecturer, screenwriter, composer, advertising consultant, and chef. He reads over 150 books and magazines each month, and this constant flow of information provides a continual stimulation of new ideas for presenting his uncanny abilities.
And now, he's coming here, to Penguin Live to share, with you, a diverse selection of delightful deceptions.