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Topic: New Mental Epic Board - Epic Wonder!
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Nov 15, 2011 01:35AM)
I just released Epic Wonder and would love some impressions from the Café' users based on the video. I spent a lot of time developing it, and as far as I can tell, it's one of the most unique and clean boards ever devised. This is basically a white board upon which you draw the quadrants or sections and the audience can write the answers... anywhere. Please take a look at it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmR41iy888Y
I know it's not the first no force board, but I'm confident it's the cleanest. As Genii said it's "sneaky, sneaky, sneaky..."
Message: Posted by: SamNJ (Nov 15, 2011 08:22AM)
I found the background music distracting; it would be much easier to evaluate the prop and its use if you were to remove the music.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Nov 15, 2011 09:45AM)
Evaluate what? The prop? The routine as you performed it? The claims in your blurb?
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Nov 15, 2011 09:49AM)
Good one, Chad! Very clever!
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (Nov 15, 2011 09:55AM)
Chad, I don't know you and haven't seen you around this particular forum but you've been here long enough to know what to expect from the Café. It's gutsy to post a video demo of a product here and then ask to be praised or criticized over it. I hope you weren't expecting all smiles. Don't worry; this post isn't gonna be all bad.

I don't know how the board works and I'm sure Genii was right about the sneakiness of it all. The reason I don't need one personally is you're dealing with 1 in 5 odds each time you match a thought-of symbol. Those odds are fine when performing an ESP matching routine with cards but I wouldn't get three people up from the audience to read their minds and then only reveal the simplest, most impersonal information. It doesn't seem worth the trip up from the audience. Maybe it's just me. I'd have to follow the effect with something stronger. It couldn't stand on its own in my opinion.

The original Mental Epic boards were fine, they allowed wide pools of decision, but the final choice had to be forced from a limited bank of options. Then the no-force boards came with the extra panel (that's all I'll say since we're in "Penny"), allowing limitless choices for each question. Epic Wonder may be different in function, I don't know, but how is it better than the previous no-force boards? Does it allow limitless choices or only 1:5 choices?

The "corn dog" references sounded interesting. If all three people thought of their favorite carnival foods and you'd somehow known that, I'd personally find that way more engaging because it would tell us something about them. People are interested in people. Even if you were to change the script a bit and say, "You chose the squiggly lines. People who choose the lines tend to defy authority and those shoes you're wearing definitely defy convention, so in your case I predicted... the squiggly lines!" Now you're revealing something more interesting than a thought-of shape.

I hope that's helpful as it's intended to be. If people buy your board like crazy as is, ignore me.

Mike
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Nov 15, 2011 10:32AM)
Chad,

For a no-force board, Richard Osterlind's Ultra Board and Epitome Board are much cleaner. What makes them cleaner in my mind is how the board is held compared to Epic Wonder. You looked uncomfortable and unnatural since the time you picked up the board.

I think what might be happening here, at least from my perspective, is that you have this incredible method that is too limiting, though I could be wrong.

I applaud your creativity, but for a no-force Mental Epic-type effect, I perform Bob Cassidy's Three Envelope Test. It creates connections with audience members and includes three revelations that wraps up with a design duplication.

I also appreciate your money-back guarantee.

I wish you well,

Bobby
Message: Posted by: RNK (Nov 15, 2011 11:25AM)
The board looks nice, but as someone else stated- the way the board is held during the writing process is very unnatural. Looks like Chad is clinging onto the board on holding it very tightly and close to the body. Seems like the hand in the back is doing something suspicious. Just a little constructive critism. But I applaud the creativity, if the holdiing of the board could be corrected, I think this would be a nice effect.

Best of Luck,
RNK
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Nov 15, 2011 01:05PM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-15 11:32, robwar0100 wrote:
For a no-force board, Richard Osterlind's Ultra Board and Epitome Board are much cleaner. What makes them cleaner in my mind is how the board is held compared to Epic Wonder. You looked uncomfortable and unnatural since the time you picked up the board.
[/quote]

To be honest, I was thinking exactly the same when I saw it the very first time. Jan
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 15, 2011 01:06PM)
Well, Chad, welcome to the baptism of fire.

Looks like a cool method (I have no idea) so the device looks sound.

I have Osterlind's Ultra/Epitome Board. How does yours compare? Not in method, but in choices, ease of use, etc. is the performer limited to the ESP symbols or can ANY choices be used?

Now as to the presentation...I am sorry, but I really didn't like it.

I AM very interested in the board, though. If the choices are, or at least seem, unlimited, then I think you may really have something there.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Nov 15, 2011 02:32PM)
I love baptism by fire and I am open to criticism. I was a lurker for year before I finally took the time to get involved. I've been doing magic for 30 years, I make my living doing it, and I love it. I have five more tricks coming next year and I'll do the same thing with them ;)

So some answers:

I am primarily a kids performer. I do about 400 shows a year with 180 of them at a theme park. I wanted to do mental epic but I thought it sucked with me just standing on stage with a board. I built Epic Wonder to solve that problem. It was a prop I could interact with the kids on and still do an amazing prediction. My routine uses psychic symbols to connect the concept of mind reading with the board, anything could be used. It's a choice, not a requirement. ANYTHING could be written in your hand.

Yes, the board is held really unnatural... I agree... but that's me still getting good at the trick and building up my confidence. Once I invented the method and after months of prototypes, I rushed this video so I could have it up in time for Magic in the Rockies. Same stance but holding looks natural and now.

Angles are not a huge issue but it certainly cannot be done surrounded.

Again, anything can be written on the board, by you or the spectator, not just symbols.

It can have ANY number of squares (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 is a stretch for space) and held both horizontal and vertical if you want to make a prediction list (think side by side items).

The best part, it looks like a whiteboard, nothing is glued to the board, just black lines YOU draw.

I make each prop by hand, they take four hours and I guarantee the craftsmanship for 5 years.

Ps. I love all the boards and methods posted here, I love "mental epic." I read Paul's book cover to cover and spent a long time making sure I wasn't copying anything commercially available.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 15, 2011 03:11PM)
Ok, you have my attention, Chad.
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Nov 15, 2011 09:47PM)
Chad,

Thanks for the additional information. I think in a children's show setting the prop will fit in well. I just love the freedom of the method I use.

Keep the creative juices flowing; we need good thinkers.

Bobby
Message: Posted by: C.J. (Nov 16, 2011 05:50AM)
I only considered the awkward handling because I am viewing it with the critical eye of an insider. It was a bit hard to hear what you were saying all the time because of the loud music track, but you seemed to have a very good rapport going with your audience, and the kids who came up enjoyed what you were doing. And if you can hold their attention that way, the awkwardness of holding a board is not much of problem. In some respects, getting "Chad" to uncap the pen was a good touch IMHO, because it gave the impression that "This board is a bit awkward to hold - can you help me out?" which plants a bit of forgiveness in the audience's mind when you're holding it at an odd angle. You have to take my opinion with a grain of salt since I am not yet a professional, but I can see this being a workable prop if it functions as you describe it.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Nov 16, 2011 08:27AM)
What the board potentially can do sounds very promising. I'd love to get my hands on one to see if it can do what I envision.

The video loads quickly, which is not always the case these days.

The pen issue directs more attention to the awkwardness of the handling. That is not a good thing and is not going to swing the general audience into empathy with the handling.

Your writing of your predictions screams fake. You are not engaged in the process mentally and the paper moves considerably more than the pen.

Folks who aren't just playing along will want a look at the back of the board because of the way it's handled. When they get that chance it looks very suspicious. Even a quick flash is enough to give the chance for people to decide there is something not legit about that board. It's both a prop issue and a routining issue which cause this.

Lastly, much has been written about the downfall of Whiteboard on a lighted stage. It is something professionals who work large audiences avoid.
Message: Posted by: RNK (Nov 16, 2011 08:49AM)
Chad- can you show another video of you holding the board more naturally now? I'm not trying to be nit-picky, but you stated that after some practice you now can hold the board naturally.

Thanks,
RNK
Message: Posted by: beguna (Jan 6, 2012 04:39PM)
I just got one of these on ebay. I cannot recommend it. The ad implies that the board can be examined. That is not true. It comes with a carry bag that doesn't fit it. It took me many minutes to wrestle it out of the bag and I gave up putting it back in the bag. It has certain adhesive problems. I got mine for around $100 and do not consider it a good purchase even at that price.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Jan 6, 2012 05:12PM)
Thanks for PM'ing me about your problems and dumping on the trick. Oh wait, you didn't PM me :(

The first 20 or so made had a major problem with adhesive, but everyone who has one get's a free upgrade to the new substrate in February, it's part of the purchase price and warranty. I was attempting to make them out of metal to make them last longer but ultimately determined a new material was better.

The initial bags were hand sewn by a lady I hired on disability. I only shipped three of those and I offered replacements for those owners. I now ship with bigger bags but...

The trick is NOT being sold at this point while make the new substrate.

This trick has a license attached to it, the instructions have the name of the person who bought it from me. If you want to PM me, we can "transfer the ownership" and work something out on an upgrade, assuming you like the idea of how it works.

As far as advertising it examinable, I can't speak for what the eBay ad said, but if you look at my website, I call it "examinable," but it's not like l**k**g coin examinable.

Sorry for your disappointment.
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Aug 2, 2014 12:31AM)
It was my first product and it was rushed to market. I learned a valuable lesson. Test, test then test some more...

After a couple years of trial and error fixing mechanical issues, a ton of performances and several changes in handling, Epic Wonder is available again on August 1, 2014.

The deceptive method remains the same. The board is great if you like having a spectator write on it. It's also great for lists, in fact I prefer using it horizontal for that reason.

Remember, I offer a no questions asked money back guarantee on the prop.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Aug 2, 2014 03:25AM)
The video on your Web site is still "private." Do you plan to make it public or give it a password to be able to view it?
Message: Posted by: idomagic (Aug 2, 2014 11:43AM)
The video was set to private while I intended to update it. This video is the second time I performed the trick, you'll immediately notice it's a bit stiff :) Oh hell, it's really stiff!