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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Be honest what is it / two card monte - presentational ideas (47 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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spectrahue
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I use a blank deck with 4 cards showing a sharpie sketch of Fishing Rods on 2 and a crate of beer on the other 2.
I perform this for couples and explain how to keep an eye on their man when he says he is going night fishing.
The rest of the deck becomes the fishing basket and it is the job of the lady to check out his tackle!

You can see where this is going...

Its fully scripted and a great way to show the how much trouble a married man will go to to have a few beers with his mates.

If you're interested in a full script pm me.

By the way I have always thought that the two card Monte could lend itself to many themes that lay people can connect with snd as such with a blank deck you can switch out the cards accordingly and perform the same method differently all night while table hopping.

Themes could include ..
Holidays abroad at the market... Dodgy traders..
Beer Goggles... Ugly.. Nice
Timetravel
Teleportation
This n that... Or my take.. As it is or As it was..


Best Nic
http://www.magentalist.droppages.com/

A.N.T , Bookworm , 50 Shades Blue, Heads I Win Positvely
martyjacobs
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I prefer presenting this as a pseudo memory test, as David Williamson does. This justifies why you turn the cards face down. You're testing the person's short-term memory.

Done in a "tongue-in-cheek" manner, you can avoid insulting the intelligence of your audience. There is a big difference between being playful and being condescending. I find that most audience members like to play along with the ruse. They know it isn't a scientific test of their memory. You're a magician, they're expecting you to cheat. This playfulness is clear in Pop's wonderful performances; thanks for sharing.

As far as the method goes, I agree with Pop. The original is the best. This is especially so if you're performing in front of a table. However, I do think the way Williamson handles the routine is probably better if you're standing without the use of a table (or other flat surface). The misdirection is weaker, but David covers this with natural gestures. I've seen Mike Vincent do something similar. He gets great reactions, too.

Marty
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2018, martyjacobs wrote:
I prefer presenting this as a pseudo memory test, as David Williamson does. This justifies why you turn the cards face down. You're testing the person's short-term memory.

Done in a "tongue-in-cheek" manner, you can avoid insulting the intelligence of your audience. There is a big difference between being playful and being condescending. I find that most audience members like to play along with the ruse. They know it isn't a scientific test of their memory. You're a magician, they're expecting you to cheat. This playfulness is clear in Pop's wonderful performances; thanks for sharing.

As far as the method goes, I agree with Pop. The original is the best. This is especially so if you're performing in front of a table. However, I do think the way Williamson handles the routine is probably better if you're standing without the use of a table (or other flat surface). The misdirection is weaker, but David covers this with natural gestures. I've seen Mike Vincent do something similar. He gets great reactions, too.

Marty



I very rarely ever do anything at a table. Almost all of my routines are done standing in walk around, and for standing people. and the routine is originally described in Magician Nitely working without a table. However, almost all of the video of my work is taken in the Magic Castle, where the performing situations are different than most other venues.

I don't think the jerky motions back and forth in Williamson's routine are "natural." They look dodgy, unmotivated and movey to me. I feel that a layman watching the video more than once would notice and question it, "I think he must have done something there." I prefer that the misdirection not call attention to anything "funny."

I find that the "Be honest" patter is more interesting and less pedestrian than another "memory test" trick. "For the first time in your life, I want you to be honest with me..." is a much more interesting request than "I want you to remember this card..." My line was given to me by English magician John Star. It fit perfectly in with Eddie's off beat take, "Be honest, what is this card...?" This is a more interesting and engaging proposition than "Let's take a test."
martyjacobs
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Fair enough. But most people I perform for have never seen a card trick presented as a memory test. This makes the presentation novel, not pedestrian.

I can tell the line works well for you. I'm still not keen on it myself, though. If I've just met someone for the first time, it makes no sense. Unless I've just performed a lie detector trick for them, and they chose to lie when answering some of the questions.

Williamson's motions look natural to me. I say this from the perspective of a trained animator. Those kind of incidental movements are added to motion to make a character feel more believable, more human. His handling is "fussy" throughout, which makes it difficult for a laymen to pinpoint the sleights. I actually prefer your, more streamlined, approach. But I do think Williamson's way works for him.

I agree that the questioning Williamson uses is not as interesting as yours, but that could easily be fixed with a better script.

Marty
Pop Haydn
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Well, it isn't the commonness of the approach that I was talking about, it was its interest level. The proposition of "letting someone take a test" is just weaker than other possibilities.

Inviting someone you've never met to be honest with you for the first time in their lives is interesting and causes thought. Similar lines, like "Did I tell you I was a psychological liar?" get the audience to react intellectually--What does he mean? If he had told me should I have believed him? In the same way, the line, "I want you to be honest with me" while creating a situation in which he can not lie is engaging and interesting from the get go. The proposition of a test just lies there--"Okay, show me what you want to show me." It doesn't take the imagination anywhere.

You propose a challenge, for the spectator to be honest--as if that would be hard for them, or for anyone. It seems easy. Sure, I can be honest, but I think you are up to something. The spectator assistant and the magician are already engaged with each other before any magic happens.

"I want to administer a test to you" seems less interesting and engaging on its face. I will give you a sobriety test (failure is assured). I will test your memory. I will test your attractiveness to the opposite sex... All of these propositions seem weaker and less stimulating than "I want to see if you could ever be honest with me..."
martyjacobs
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I still don't get the premise. It isn't logical and, to me, it sounds like your accusing your helper of being dishonest by default. The trick has nothing to do with lying or telling the truth. Even if you don't present it as such, you're asking your audience to exercise their memory. The challenge is to remember the two cards.

If this is the first time I've spoken to someone, then they've never had an opportunity to be dishonest with me in conversation. Therefore, I'd interpret this as playful nonsense on the part of the magician. Maybe this approach is more engaging than a test, but I'm not convinced.

The premise for my presentation is based around is the trend of brain training. I talk about how we can only hold four pieces of information in our short-term memory (two cards equal four pieces of data, suit and value times two). This surprising fact provides sufficient interest to engage people in the game. I don't see how this approach is inherently weaker.

Marty
Sealegs
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I have to say I don't get the, "be honest", approach at all. You're asking someone to be honest... but at this juncture in this trick what possible reason or motivation would they have not to be? Why wouldn't such a question be answered in a straight forward manner? (other than to ridicule the ridiculousness of being asked something that doesn't seem to need to be asked in the first place) From my point of view such an approach makes the performer, at best, look like they are just babbling words. It's like they are just saying something, anything, to fill the space.

If I was being generous I might conceded that asking the spectator to, 'be honest' slightly mitigates the asking of a question which, on it's face value, seems to imply a feeblemindedness on the part of either the magician or the spectator. (M: What card are you holding?... S: What you mean the card whose face is clearly on display?....) But replacing it with a request that is nonsensically bizarre (be honest) isn't, in my opinion, much of mitigation.

In contrast, "I'm going to give you an observation test..... but don't worry it's really easy as you only have one card to remember................. In fact maybe that's too easy.... I tell you what lets give you a 2nd card to remember...." This is direct, makes sense, actively engages the spectator's cognitive processes, sets them up to understand that they are watching intently and avoids treating the spectator like an imbecile.

This all helps with drawing the spectator into the plot while creating the conditions to make the end payoff stronger. I certainly don't see, as has been expressed elsewhere in this thread, that this approach is somehow less engaging and interesting than the 'be honest' approach. My opinion is that it must surely be more engaging and interesting than something that doesn't make sense, have any context and implies everyone's a bit simple.

Of course if one feels the 'be honest' works then that's all well and good.... there are plenty of different ways of presenting material and each to their own..... but everything one says can affect a presentation so it's important to know why one is choosing to use the words one uses and the affect they have on the spectator and the presentation.
Neal Austin

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Claudio
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I think guys you're missing the absurdity mixed with irony of the question, which is phrased to slightly throw off balance the interlocutor. It has a koan-like ring to it that I find interesting. I believe most people would laugh hearing it.

Anyway, it obviously works for Pop. If it does not work for you, stick with what does.
Sealegs
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My post was already getting a bit on the long side... and it was that that stopped me adding that the only way I could understand how the, 'be honest' lines might work would be If it was said in an over the top way, as might be heard if being spoken between two long term partners having a bit of a heated row.".... for goodness sake can you just be honest to me for once in your life?" Then the non-sequiter and surreal nature of the comment combined with the histrionics could make it more obviously deliberately absurdist. But, to me at least, this isn't how I've ever seen this approach come across.

Of course anyone can do do whatever they feel works for them... but surely the point of discussions like the one taking place in this thread is to get us all to think about what we are doing and why. I'm sure there are many who use lines of script simply because we've heard them said with a particular trick or read them with a trick's instructions. It never hurts though to ask why one is using this script rather than that one.... and to also ask if the script being used is actually delivering what the performer hopes it does... or whether the goals of the scripting would be better severed using other words.

But there's certainly no right way or wrong way.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
martyjacobs
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Quote:
Anyway, it obviously works for Pop. If it does not work for you, stick with what does.


Agreed, and it works beautifully for Whit, who has a very strong performance persona. He get's away with the illogical nature of the line because it matches his character. The line wouldn't work for me, though.

Marty
Claudio
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Quote:
On Sep 1, 2018, martyjacobs wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, it obviously works for Pop. If it does not work for you, stick with what does.


Agreed, and it works beautifully for Whit, who has a very strong performance persona. He get's away with the illogical nature of the line because it matches his character. The line wouldn't work for me, though.

Marty

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Markus_M
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This is a very interesting thread. I like the bit itself very much but always had a problem with the "sucker nature" of it. Especially when presented as a memory test I think it's hard to take the heat out. Somewhat interesting I found was the way Greg Wilson did it regarding the Weight of the ink and cards changing place based on that. I liked the silliness of the premise but again there is this strong sucker effect.
Now we concentrated much on the premise for now. But let's take a look at the ending.
I love the absurdity of Pop's approach anyway. But that it ends with:"Somebody's lying - probably me!" In my opinion a perfect way to take the heat out.
But I'd love to hear, how others handle this in their -memory based" presentations.
I also like spectrahue's idea with the fishing thing as it is a story based approach - at least I understand it that way - and takes the heat completely of the spectator.
@spectrahue: PM'd you about that.
martyjacobs
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When presenting this as a memory test, I make it clear that the whole premise is playful nonsense, much in the same way that Pop does. I don't expect people to believe it's a legitimate, scientific test.

I tell my participant that I'm going to implant a false memory into their brain. This takes the sting out of the ending. This theme is also a little unsettling because it suggests our memories are vulnerable to outside influence. I've found that this angle works well, especially since the release of the film "Inception" in 2010. This science fiction film, staring Leonardo DiCaprio, involves the use of dream-sharing technology to create false memories in a person's mind.

I've also used blank-faced cards with this routine. This allows me to talk about how memories fade and disappear over time. This provides a shocking ending to the trick.

Greg Wilson's routine, called "Weighted Aces", is similar in plot to "Be Honest What Is It?". However, it's a variation of "The Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley". You can use similar presentations for these two different plots.

Marty
Markus_M
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Hey Marty,
I am aware of the origins but thanks for mentioning anyway. Might help others and makes things complete.

Good point with this false memory implantation. Draws everything much more on the lighter side.
I really want to perform something based on Daley's Last Trick but haven't decided on any direction. Certainly I don't want to do a plain copy of another routine. Therefore I'm thankful for all those details and thoughts on your own presentations.
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