Mind Games at the Edmonton Fringe Festival


Jeff Newman in Mind Games. Photo credit: Hannah Rud

Mind Games by Jeff Newman
August 12 – 15, 17 – 21 at Venue #20: The Billiard Club
More information: newmanmentalism.com

An interview with Jeff Newman

Describe your show in five words. 

Science, Suggestion, Good Old-Fashioned Trickery.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Jeff Newman is a trickster.

In MIND GAMES, mentalist Jeff Newman will influence your thoughts, make predictions, and even read your mind. In this fun and fantastic show, Newman will astound and amaze as he brings his audience into his world of science, suggestion, and good old-fashioned trickery with the skills of a master manipulator.

Audiences will gasp, laugh, and cheer as they play MIND GAMES with the one and only Jeff Newman!

You brought Mind Games to Edmonton for the 2014 Fringe – why did you want to bring the show back to Edmonton? Have there been changes in the show or the way you perform it in the past 2 years?

There are a few reasons why I decided to bring back Mind Games to the Edmonton Fringe. First of all, the show itself has evolved since 2014. Over the past two years of performing Mind Games we’ve added some new routines and refined old favorites. Looking back, I sometimes feel like Mind Games from two years ago was a completely different show. Also, I’ve grown and changed as a performer as well, so to those who’ve seen the show before, it’ll feel fresh and new, too. Plus, we’re back at The Billiard Club on Whyte Ave., which is a great venue and has a great atmosphere for the show.

How do you interweave the story of Mind Games with the magic you perform in the show?

A lot of the ideas and presentations in Mind Games come from my experiences in everyday life. Mind Games is relatable for the audience, giving the whole performance a sense of meaning and purpose. Magic has been incredibly influential in my life and I want to share that with my audience.

It sounds like Mind Games is quite engaging – can you talk about a favourite reaction from a past audience member?

I’ve had a lot of great reactions from audiences and volunteers in the past. There are the usual gasps, laughs, and cheers, but I’d say my favorite reactions are the ones where my volunteers are just left speechless. In the new version of Mind Games, I play a game of Clue with the audience, based on their input. The first time I performed this effect for a live audience, it was amazing. The volunteers onstage were looking at each other baffled, and the audience loved it. I’ll also never forget the reaction of Duncan Paterson of Up! 93.3 in 2014 when he found his keys, phone, and wallet exactly where I told him he would.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Mind Games 2016 is filled with new bits, old favourites, and interactions with the audience that will make you gasp, laugh, and cheer. With the fresh new effects and stories this year audiences will have an entirely new experience. I can’t wait to share Mind Games with the Edmonton Fringe-goers this year! You can gear up for the show by following the rest of my summer adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Tickets go on sale August 3 at noon and will be available at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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