Kenton Knepper

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Kenton Knepper

Postby Lady of Mystery » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:00 pm



Its time to start collecting questions for our next 'Audience With', for this one I've managed to line up the bearded wonder wizard that is Kenton Knepper.

So if anyone's got anything that they'd like to ask Kenton then drop me a PM with your questions by Monday 7th May and I'll pass them on to him.

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby Lady of Mystery » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:29 am

Kenton Knepper Interview - Part 1

I know you've all been waiting for it so here it is, the first part of our interview with Kenton Knepper...

Some time ago, I read an article you wrote where you seriously considered cancelling all future publications of your work due to the prevalence of online piracy in magic and mentalism. Happily, and thankfully, you have continued to put out quality material. What made you change your mind?


First, I stopped letting dealers and wholesalers have my material. That lead to a lot of theft. Many people don't know that the only way they can get my best and latest work over the last four years is exclusively from my website at http://www.WonderWizards.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank You can't find it anywhere else. That stopped people from ripping things off for the most part.

Second, other people started really supporting my work once it was available only from my website directly.

Third, I have many rabid fans :)

Fourth, there is still a chance that I will distance myself if there isn't enough support, and as my music takes more and more of a front seat.

You have published a handful of playing card based routines. What are your thoughts on people who dont agree with mixing playing cards with mentalism?

I have a very stark and simple response: name famous mentalists who never used playing cards. Annemann, Corinda, Kreskin, Dunninger, David Hoy, Al Mann, Derren Brown, keep naming them and they all used and created effects with playing cards. It's a silly argument not based on history but on a bit of deception few people know about.

I was around a guy, I will not name who started a bunch of this "purist" and "no cards" talk. It was purely a marketing ploy. He had a crazy magician image. He knew that to break out of it he had to claim that magic was c*** (not the best) and that mentalism was the only real thing to perform. This helped him to sell his non-card tricks at lectures. That was the real motivation. If he was really the purist he claimed he wouldn't have taught people that mentalism was using the same card trick principle but applied to a restaurant menu and things like that. It was ALL MARKETING. I can say that much now as the guy is out of mentalism. But his influence, both good and not so wonderful, remains. HE is the one who started all the "cards means magic tricks to lay people" nonsense.

You can prove this is not the case through legitimate testing of suggestion. Get a bunch of people together who are not magicians and mentalists. Tell them you are going to play a game of association, for scientific reasons. Tell them this is a personality test, if you like. Then tell the participants to write down what comes to their mind when they think of cards, specifically playing cards. You know what you get on that list? I do, because I have done it! You get "Las Vegas", "poker", "blackjack", "21", "lost money", "luck", "gambling", "friends", "mix", "deal", "random", "two colors", "numbers" even "evil" before you get them to write out "card trick" if they do at all. People don't see a deck of cards and think "card trick" unless you are acting like a trickster.

Finally, let me say that one of the reasons people began labeling me "a mentalist" was due to my card tricks. I thought they were crazy. I was just doing card tricks, and throwing in a few readings as ways to stall while I got a peek, or as an out. I forced cards and revealed them. I used psychology and mixed that into card revelations. I was doing close-up. It took me years to accept the label of "mentalist" quite frankly. But my "card tricks" got me that label. What is "Kolossal Killer" for Goodness sake? What is "Dunninger's Delight", the "Hoy Deck" or the "Koran Deck"? If famous mentalists old and new have playing card decks with their name on it, it's rather apparent that cards are not anti-mentalism. It's a good con to buy into though as long as you don't think too deeply about it.

Most people reading this will know you for you contributions to mentalism but you also have another passion that they may no know about, your music. I wonder if you could tell us a little about this side of you?

Music existed in my life before performance magic. I began professionally performing magic by the time I was eight years old, but music was around even before that. My parents said I would sing my own songs in the back seat of the car on five hour car trips, singing and making up my own songs the whole time.

I have had the conversation about music versus magic and mentalism for decades now. Music moves people en masse in a couple of minutes, to the point that they are jumping around in glee or have tears running down their cheeks. How many mentalism effects do that? Examine the truth of that seriously. Music is vibration and has real power in it. It is more than just an intellectual connection with an audience. Music doesn't even have to say a word to move people deeply. It can tell stories, but it doesn't have to do so to speak to the deepest part of you. I teach many things to mentalists and magicians to help them get closer to the impact that music has on audiences, I think that is why what I give to the mystery arts is unique and valuable, often ground-breaking. Yet music still wins. If I need insight, or be moved, or motivated passionately, I am going to listen to music, not a mentalism trick.

My music these days has to do with vibrations from years of working with Tibetan and Crystal Bowls. This combines very ancient mystery techniques with modern methods. These vibrations shake people into new dimensions and shift their consciousness radically. It puts people beyond time and space in a few minutes. It's the quickest way I know to get people to themselves, and still share in my atmosphere. It's very powerful work. I have always loved experimenting with sound, and although I did grow up being trained in piano as well as a Hammond organ, and wrote songs using a guitar, to me it's work that comes from the inside out, rather than the other way around.

I know many strange things about music secrets and from time to time I drop hints or pieces of that into my mentalism writing.

For those who are open-minded and want to see my public website for my music it is: http://www.BowlSounds.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank Yes, I have already heard the misspelling joke before. It's worse than the old magic jokes. Be prepared to listen and think of me very differently however than some performer's usual view of me. You can also find some albums, such as "The New Life by Kenton Knepper" on Amazon.com [Do have a listen to Kenton's music, he's produced some really beautiful work - Lady of Mystery]

If you want to hear some of my work with music as trance, suggestion and relaxation, check out "The Guide" at http://www.wonderwizards.com" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank You will not only hear my work in this area, but have some of it explained to you.

I am currently working on a new album, talking to a new band, working on a soundtrack for a movie and possible stage play, and performing with my Bowls weekly. I can also be found on youtube with bowlsounds among other places. Oh yes, and a radio interview in L.A. again about my music work with the Bowls, as well as performances at the W hotel here. I have worked with the Bowls on some well known Vegas performers to help them with a wide variety of issues, so there really is no end to what I do with my music work.

Recently there has been an issue where a high profile publication has been published and contains a large amount of plagerised material from magicians and mentalists, without their permission. What are your thoughts on this and what can be done in the future to prevent this sort of thing?

I'm not going to give that much time. It might make me want to leave mentalism and magic for real, but other than that, there is not much to say. Talking about it sells books which is what such pathetic people hope will happen. I'm not going to play along. They're unhappy and not creative, and that's sad. A bunch of us had work pulled by the publisher because we went straight to the publisher with our copyright notices and lawyers. The first copies had some things in it, but now they are no longer in the new prints.

More important however is this fact: You can't properly expose PRINCIPLES which is mainly what I teach. You can always expose mere tricks, be they mentalism or magic. Exposing principles takes too much time to put in an expose show or in an expose book. The public doesn't have enough care about magic or mentalism to really learn principles. They just want to know how tricks work. The rest they care little about, if at all. So while you can tell people what my "dual reality" is for instance, it is meaningless out of context, and it takes a whole lot of context to learn to use the principle well. The same is true for most of what I teach. So all that can be exposed are half-exposures of principles which won't help the public know much and will still go right by them in real performance, or full exposures of tricks. That's why I write, record and teach principles and nuanced work usually, not obvious tricks.

Tricks are for exposure. Principles are for passionate people who care about what they do, or want to be beyond what most people can grasp or expose.

Thank you so much to Kenton for anwering some of our questions and people, please keep an eye on here for the next part the interview which will be posted shortly...

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby MatCult » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:37 am

:D
That's an excellent read, thank you!

I look forward to Part 2.

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby Antera » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:23 pm

Not sure im in on the beyond time and space thing... i assume he doesnt mean that literally

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby Palmo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:51 pm

Excellent read, thank you very much. I've been listening to Wonder Words from Kenton religeously, 1 hour a day, for around 3 months now and I'd recommend it to EVERYONE. It's transformed my outlook on performance, and also life in general. Many many great tools to be learned, if you havn't done so, listen to it.
Can't wait for part 2
Ky :)

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby Iceman » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:24 pm

After reading this interview I was interested and searched on Youtube. See how he is making music, just with a number of bowls! :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Ajy1rQohA

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby Lady of Mystery » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:23 pm

I've not spoken to Kenton for a while, I know he's been quite busy with a few non-magic projects that he's got on the go but I'll drop him a line and see if I can get part two of the interview.

Kenton's bowl music is amazing. I used to play some of his tunes to the girls when they were first born, I found them great for calming them down if they'd got themselves worked up.

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Re: Kenton Knepper

Postby m0lsx » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:44 pm

Brilliant read. I worked as a hypnotist for a while & when I found Kentons book Ultimately under, it felt like a real breath of fresh air.

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