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Topic: Cross reference
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Nov 25, 2009 06:17AM)
Hi all, I was having a discussion at the weekend about using ideas from different facets of your life to help you build your routines and presentations. For example, I often use principles and concepts from the world of design to help me construct and arrange effects - as a professional designer ideas such as symmetry and chunking are meat and drink to me, but not necessarily to everyone else.

I was wondering what other examples people had, of how they have drawn influence and ideas from other parts of their lives and how these imports have affected their mentalism?
Message: Posted by: Looch (Nov 25, 2009 06:51AM)
Coming from a design background I can attest to the same influencing factors, I once wrote an essay asking us to consider our life experiences and backgrounds and how that can inspire us in mentalism. One such physical and somewhat "surface like" example was a pseudo strength effect I performed on a rugby player who was twice my size. He was to use his whole body in an arm wrestle to attempt to move my arm, I had apparently induced a state in him that made him think my arm was a steel rod.... The truth was I am naturally talented at arm wrestling and being able to remain relaxed whilst someone much bigger is pushing all their strength onto my arm was a life skill I implemented into a mentalism context.

Good thread phill
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Nov 25, 2009 06:54AM)
Really interesting example Looch, thanks for starting it off! And also thanks for the warning to never try and arm wrestle you...
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 25, 2009 02:27PM)
Yeah, I witnessed a similar arm-wrestling match once where the little guy won - who'd have bet on that? Well, I wish I had! I did idly muse about the concept of "beating a pro by trickery" at arm-wrestling once: not only a big guy, but also someone who knew their stuff and would be hard to fool. I was stumped, but it'd make a great pseudo-hypnotic effect and publicity stunt were someone to solve it!

As a musician I tend to apply the metaphors of dissonance, resolution and consonance to presentations and scripting of effects.

Many people are scared of mathematics. As an IT professional I do find that if I perform mental stunts like lightning calc, magic square, or a Knight's Tour, many friends and acquaintances seem nonplussed, as if it is simply something that a "computer guy" could do! Ironically, people with a computing or science background, and other highly numerate folk, are most likely to be impressed with such feats.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 25, 2009 03:47PM)
I've researched my own family tree, and used (fairly exstensively) some of the info that got dug up...and yes, I agree, using your other natural skill sets is very useful indeed...
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 26, 2009 10:36PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-25 15:27, The Futurist wrote:
Many people are scared of mathematics. As an IT professional I do find that if I perform mental stunts like lightning calc, magic square, or a Knight's Tour, many friends and acquaintances seem nonplussed, as if it is simply something that a "computer guy" could do! Ironically, people with a computing or science background, and other highly numerate folk, are most likely to be impressed with such feats.
[/quote]

Well, I was listening to some of the Magic Newswire podcasts, and on this one Richard Osterlind has an interesting take on the changing impact of mathematical tricks, given the march of technology:

http://mnw.squarespace.com/magicnewsfeed/2009/10/27/mnw-163-richard-osterlind.html

I find that there are quite a lot of people to whom mathematics is a "black box", so whether you're mentally adding 134 + 245 or mentally taking the cube root of 444,194,947, it's apparently all the same to them. Probably, as Mr. Osterlind says, technology has levelled the numerical playing field, so that all such calculations are just thought of as being on the end of a few button-pushes; there's no sense of difficulty because people don't do such calculations on paper anymore.

People with a scientific education are at least on the same page as the mathemagician/mentalist... and in my experience, they respond really well too, not just in a chin-stroking "hmm, clever algorithm..." kind of way, but in an "OMG witchcraft!" kind of way :)

Still, most people do like being given the day of the week on which they were born - that one always gets a good reaction from folk of all levels of numeracy.
Message: Posted by: stijnhommes (Nov 26, 2009 11:33PM)
I'm a hobbyist author as well as a magic performer, so I use that when I want to create a new presentation.