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article imageDerren Brown talks about 'Sacrifice' special on Netflix, success Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 9, 2018 in Entertainment
World-renowned magician and mentalist Derren Brown chatted with Digital Journal about "Sacrifice," his new special, which will be streaming on Netflix on October 19. He also gave advice for aspiring mentalists and he furnished his definition of success.
On his new Netflix special Sacrifice, Brown said, "I was walking around the New York pier area near the West side, when we were doing Secret, and we got this offer from Netflix, and I was thinking about things that had a strong, dramatic hook, and a good message to them. I was walking around with my fellow co-producer and we were talking about what would be appropriate. The last special on Netflix was quite dark, so it was important to do something more redeeming with a more uplifting quality to it and that's what led to Sacrifice."
Regarding his daily motivations, Brown said, "I don't have a single motivation from day to day." "I am trying to move more easily with the flow of things, and not try to control things that are out of my control. That stoic idea has always resonated with me," he said. "Also, acknowledging and embracing anxiety is important."
When asked to reflect on the last two decades, Brown said, "I have been doing U.K. TV for almost 20 years. When I started, I was working as a mind-reading magician and as a hypnotist. Those were my skill base at the start, and I wanted to impress people. Then, I tried to take magic and turn it into something that can communicate a message or occupy a space that is more worthwhile and more grown-up. Magic is often based on deception, so I tried to employ the deception very openly with things that people are going through. I tried to move something that is quite childish and fun into something more grown-up. That's because it is grown-up with me over the last decade."
Derren Brown in the Netflix special  Sacrifice
Derren Brown in the Netflix special 'Sacrifice'
Photo courtesy of Netflix
For aspiring mentalists and magicians, Brown said, "Magic has something very interesting to say because it taps into the stories that we tell ourselves about life all the time. We have this infinite data source that we have to reduce to make sense of it. Magic, of course, is a great analogy of that. A magician is making you edit a story in a certain way. At its heart, magic has something really interesting and valuable to say. It is up to every performer to find what that is for them since then you are tapping into something that is honest."
Digital transformation of the entertainment business
On the impact of technology on the entertainment industry, Brown said, "It's very different now with the streaming services. It is strange to me since it is new to me. It is very different now when you are on the receiving end, especially when your show sits there for good. It is sort of amazing. People can see it at any point on Netflix, and they can get in touch. In the past, if they hadn't seen it, that experience would be gone."
Brown continued, "The whole question about demographics is different these days. Netflix is amazing at tailoring products based on people's tastes. It uses fascinating algorithms and technology. It is a very different world for me, and it is really interesting to be a part of it and see how all that works."
His noteworthy theatrical performance in Secret in New York, earned Brown the "Chase Award for Unique Theatrical Experience" at the 2018 Drama Desk Awards. "I actually have the Drama Desk award in a bag in a box in my hotel room. I am looking at it now," he said. "It has passed through a number of hands to get to me. I was actually given it yesterday. It is a lovely thing to get, and it is lovely to be acknowledged in a new country, let alone America. I had a really great time doing the Off-Broadway show last year."
Brown defined the word success as "Finding a way of living, where you can keep your center of gravity within yourself while connecting freely and openly with the world around you. That's a good thing to aim for. Becoming famous, and all those things, easily interfere with that balance. Success is about maintaining a porous, free-flowing relationship to life as it moves around you."
For his fans, Brown concluded about Sacrifice, "I am very proud of it, and I hope it doesn't disappoint them. Sacrifice is quite a resonant show for our times. In the show, I take a right-wing guy with strong views against immigration, so it's the most resonant show that I have made. I am intrigued to see how it will go down in the United States because people don't know me here as well."
Derren Brown in  Sacrifice
Derren Brown in 'Sacrifice'
Photo Courtesy of Netflix
To learn more about acclaimed British magician and mentalist Derren Brown, check out his official website and Facebook page.
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