"The Gentleman Thief"
Apollo Robbins is a speaker, consultant, performer, and a pioneer in the application of deception to real world environments.
Formerly known as “The Gentleman Thief,” Robbins first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Forbes called him “an artful manipulator of awareness,” and Wired Magazine reported that “he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked.”
For those who know Robbins only from the mischief of his signature pickpocketing & sleight-of-hand abilities, his thought-provoking presentations – which take the audience on an immersive journey where their attention is hijacked and their foundation of reality is called into question - can be a pleasant surprise. Robbins expands the roles of misdirection and magic beyond entertainment, using their underpinning in deception design and attention management as an effective tool to covertly teach critical thinking and perception.
Frequently sought after as a thought leader, Robbins has lectured at a diverse range of institutions, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and the Society of Neuroscience. He has been profiled by The New Yorker and featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal . Robbins’ entertainment credits include the long-running TNT series Leverage and the Warner Brothers blockbuster Focus with Will Smith. He produced and co-hosted the National Geographic program Brain Games , which was nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series. His popular appearance on The Today Show is a YouTube favorite at more than 8 million views. The TED editors described Robbins’ presentation at TED Global 2013 (among its 20 most-viewed talks) as a revelation in the flaws of human perception.
“The enemy of Knowledge is not Ignorance. It is the Illusion of Knowledge.” - Daniel J. Boorstin
This high energy keynote explores the gap between what we know and what we think we know. Using theatrical cons and magic, the Audience is introduced to their own cognitive blind spots.
The talk is broken into 3 parts:
1) What if "what is" isn't?
Why expertise can expire and how we must re-learn how to learn.
2) Why do we miss things
An introduction to the 4 types of misdirection.
3) Tactical curiosity
An exploration of why we need to ask new questions, and question old answers.
Apollo’s unique hybrid brand of sleight of hand, pickpocketing and Brain Games. This is a jazzy walk around, meet-and-greet style entertainment that is flexible for a wide variety of venues.
Are some people more perceptive than others? What opportunities are you missing simply because you didn’t SEE them? The Perception Show is a unique, interactive experience that involves the whole audience. Building on the Emmy-nominated format of National Geographic’s Brain Games, this 45 minute experience utilizes interactive videos, illusions, and hands-on immersive demonstrations.
This competitive workshop promotes critical thinking by teaching attendees how to design a CON. Not only must they attempt to pull off the Con, they must do so while actively avoiding being deceived themselves. By merging the problem-solving needs of their own mission with the situational awareness necessary to avoid being deceived, this session will force participants
to constantly challenge their own assumptions.
Robbins’ will entertain and inform you in a memorable way. There is no one better or more knowledgeable then Apollo in what he does and the way he does it. I recommend him enthusiastically.