A self-described “renaissance hack, raconteur, and all-around tricky person,” Ron Giesecke knows his way around a deck of cards.
His one-man show, A Brief History of Deception, bridges the gaps that divide the sleight-of-hand artist from the crass and subversive card cheat.
“They still exist today,” he says. “But the techniques and ruses of yesteryear have had to be modified in the technological age. One can’t just baldly walk up to a Blackjack table and touch the deck. The tactics of yore that would land the unseemly operator’s name in the Griffin Book will now have you arrested for barrier violations.”
Yet, he says, the issues have legitimate value. “the thinking, planning, and sometimes reptilian periods of waiting are still factors. And even the most secure houses of wagering are fooled. My job is to simply overtly illustrate at the entertainment level, what skill and subterfuge can do subsurface. Besides, a crooked gambler can never telegraph their skill. Which is why I prefer this performance vehicle instead.”
Giesecke’s show isn’t all scam posturing, however. His show is an eclectic mix of history, storytelling, and a scripted paraphrase of an exceedingly-wordy routine out of the 1902 book, The Expert at the Card Table.
“I’m not sure what’s more impressive,” he says, “the card trick, or the fact that I actually memorized my own, atrociously-dense narrative.”
He will recount the death of Wild Bill Hickock in 1876, as well as take the audience on a time-travel expedition, which conflates playing cards along with H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, written in 1895.
“Doctor Who might also get a nod here,” he says with a smile.
“This is why the word history is so prevalent in my show title,” he says. “because it covers brief glimpses into all of it; mine, magic, gambling, and world. Deception as a tool is like fire. In the wrong hands, it amounts to arson. In the right hands, it’s a warming agent with great illumination. My goal to represent the latter, and have the audience feel the journey was worth it.”
Tickets are available Here.