Jim Bevan

Mentalism Performance – 6/3/22

June 9, 2022 in Blogs


To mark the start of Pride Month, I wanted to perform a routine honoring one of the great magicians of the LGBTQ+ community – the late James Randi. While I didn’t agree with all of Randi’s views, I always admired his commitment to exposing frauds and con artists and encouraging rational thinking. While he is no longer with us, his legacy remains strong. I don’t know the exact name of this piece he did, and admittedly I didn’t perform it as elegantly as him (couldn’t get the props exactly the same), but I hope the performance was one Randi would be proud of.

Mentalism Performance – 5/28/22

June 1, 2022 in Blogs


As I mention in the video, the Magic Square is a routine I’ve wavered on doing. I finally got the inspiration to give it a shot after seeing Piff the Magic Dragon do a stellar rendition at a recent show on his tour, but still needed to find a good angle. I could never pull it off as well as him, and I didn’t want the piece to just come off as me going “look at how good I am at math” (which, spoilers, I am not.) The answer came in Max Maven’s “Rainbow Matrix”, which cuts out a lot of dead time and gives the participant more to do, making them more active in the final reveal. I was surprised it played out as well as it did.


As for the failed prediction at the end… yeah, that was my own dumb fault. I had two possible methods for that reveal, and I chose the one that’s harder to pull off under dim lighting. I think in the future I’ll just skip the kicker.

Bald and Badass Azula

May 22, 2022 in Blogs


Fire Princess Azula is sporting a new look. Hope you all like it.


Art by Wil (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/_wilsur/)


Voice by Zelda Diana Black (Twitter https://twitter.com/LegendofZee)


Editing by Filip Kanzurovski (https://twitter.com/Real_FilipKanz)

Mentalism Performance – 4/15/22

April 17, 2022 in Blogs


I perform the original routine “Easter Eggs.”
For a while I’ve wanted to do a colored Easter egg prediction, but had difficulty thinking of how to properly achieve it. Fortunately I was able to find a gimmick from Marc Oberon that helped solve the prediction issue without the need for any elaborate props. Unfortunately, new problems soon emerged. The only plastic eggs I could find from holiday storage weren’t big enough to fit the gimmick, and no stores carried any of the larger eggs either. As a result I had to rework both the presentation and the planned kicker, which ultimately I think worked better in the end. My planned finale was a fakeout gag (similar to Tommy Wonder, I don’t like the term “sucker gag” because that comes off as offending the audience’s intelligence) which in hindsight didn’t accomplish much other than coming across as “oh look at how clever I am,” and I don’t want to cultivate that type of image. For the new kicker, the participant gets to walk away with a reward for making the right decision, leaving them with a more positive experience. So I guess the old saying about limitations leading to better art is true.


Mentalism Performance – 3/11/22

March 23, 2022 in Blogs


I perform a variation of “Ever In Your Favor” by Andy of The Jerx (https://www.thejerx.com/).


If you have any interest in magic, you really need to check out Andy’s blog. He offers incredibly unique insight on how to make your performance stand out more, as well as clever reinterpretations of routines to make them more impressive and less hackneyed. Fair warning in advance – he does use some harsh language and doesn’t hold back on his opinions when he thinks something is bad or flawed, but if you remember how Penn and Teller were during the 80s and 90s, it’s nothing new. Andy also has several great tricks available for free on his website, along with others exclusively published in several limited-run books, which is where I got this routine from. The books can be hard to find and pricey, but I’d say the amazement factor justifies the cost.

Mentalism Performance – 3/4/22

March 6, 2022 in Blogs


I perform “Punchline Prediction”


For a while I’ve wanted to do a take on a newspaper prediction effect, but standard headline predictions really don’t fit well in a time when every headline is depressing. So I reworked the idea with some inspiration from Penn and Teller’s “Psychic Comedian” bit, which admittedly I have never seen but have heard a description of. Given my love of comic strips it seemed like a natural fit, and it played well.


(Side note – I want to apologize for my absence as of recent. Been very busy with work, but things are easing up now so I’ll hopefully be able to contribute more frequently again)

Mentalism Performance – 2/4/22

February 6, 2022 in Blogs

I perform my book test “Book-smart.”


This is the second time I’ve repeated an effect at an open mic. I wanted to take another crack at a book test because the first time it wasn’t completely successful. Thankfully it went much better with the second attempt. I thought changing the books available from standard classics to lesser known works I enjoy would give the routine a more personal feel. Still I kept in one of the classics I’m a fan of, which worked out great since it let me add in a kicker at the end.


As for the pen trick I do at the start – that’s a fun way to mess with your friends. Try it out.

Mentalism Performance – 1/14/22

January 18, 2022 in Blogs


Friday was my brother Eric’s birthday and he got to host the open mic that night. So I felt a little extra pressure to deliver a killer routine that would be deserving of his set list. I decided to do an effect with a balloon (they are festive, after all), and after some reading, felt Eric Samuels’ “Inflated Words” prediction would be a good fit. I’m actually surprised it went off as well as it did. I had some issues when rehearsing, but was able to find a change that made it flow much better. Hope you enjoyed the birthday magic, Eric.


I also really need to thank Joe the bartender for providing Jackson with the necessary lighting. Need to make sure I’m better prepared with future routines that require books in a dim setting. Was also pleasantly surprised that my balloon color prediction ended up being a match. I honestly forgot what Eric’s favorite color was and expected him to say something different. So my attempted joke there failed, but it was no big loss.

Mentalism Performance – 1/7/22

January 13, 2022 in Blogs


For my first performance of the year I decided to stray a bit out of my comfort zone. Didn’t really have time to prep anything major, but I figured as I hadn’t done any card tricks yet, it would provide for a fun little subversion of expectations. I don’t have anything against card tricks necessarily, though they do seem lackluster compared to the other mental feats that can be performed. Thankfully, with some advice from The Jerx blog, I found a great way to make a standard invisible deck/brainwave deck routine really shine.

Mentalism Performance – 12/31/21 (New Year’s Eve Show)

January 2, 2022 in Blogs


To close out the year, I put a spin on the classic Q&A routine by divining peoples’ new year’s resolutions.


I’m incredibly happy I got so many opportunities to perform in 2021. The support, feedback, and critiques I’ve gotten from the other open mic regulars has helped me improve considerably, and I intend to continue this growth into 2022.

Mentalism Performance – 12/17/21 (Christmas Show)

December 17, 2021 in Blogs


I do a Christmas-themed variation on one of Barrie Richardson’s classic routines.
After my last two performances didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, I took a few weeks off to try and get a better focus, put more effort into delivering something that would work even if it was overly ambitious. Very happy to say that it went great, and all the participants were happy with their gifts.

Mentalism Performance – 11/26/21

December 5, 2021 in Blogs


I perform Ken Dyne’s “Sensible Influence.”


This video is coming a week late. I initially didn’t want to post it as the effect was only partially successful. However, I’ve said before that I need to be honest and keep my ego in check, and that means sharing my failures along with my successes. This will serve as a reminder to more thoroughly practice the more elaborate routines before trying them in front of an audience, and as one other performer from that night suggested, maybe save advanced routines for a sober audience.