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Topic: Reading Minds: Affect vs Effect...
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Aug 20, 2013 11:43AM)
"Affect" and "Effect."

Hmmm.

We use the term "Effect" in this business to describe a routine or a demonstration, as in "It's a great effect..."

What about AFFECT? How did the effect AFFECT the volunteer who let you into their mind? How did what was performed AFFECT the audience?

I was doing close-up at an outdoor event this past weekend and one of the staffers stood on the fringe of the crowd and watched me for a long time. "You're the one I saw downtown," says he. "You were reading minds there too. Can you read mine now?"

I was at the end of my show time -- over actually -- but I did a routine with him...and forgot about the whole thing until later. I was thinking about something else...and then it hit me.

The show he was talking about was weeks ago. It was very tough to do: an outdoor stage, lots of drinking, many distractions...VERY hot. It wasn't a show I felt was a "10" to be honest -- and yet something performed there strongly resonated with this guy. And he was one of many people in the audience. I didn't see him. I had no memory of him, obviously. But he remembered what he'd seen and the AFFECT it had on him all this time.

Think about it. Completely set aside any of the props/routines/methods we use to pry a thought out of the mind of a volunteer. What are we doing out there?

We really are reading minds.

Here's what they see: "I was just thinking of something and this guy knew what it was!" Or "I was remembering that night and he told me all about it!" Or "I picked a word out of a book and he told me what it was!" Or...?

He didn't say "that PCT blew me away" or "That mental epic routine was amazing." He didn't see props. He didn't talk about routines. He didn't think he was looking at a magic show. He thought he was seeing a mindreader.

Think about THAT from THEIR perspective: Mentalism is about READING MINDS.

And you know something? I WAS reading minds in that stage show. For all intents and purposes, their thoughts were unveiled without them ever saying a word except "yes...that's what I was thinking of."

It blows me away.

Richard Osterlind has said that (and yes...I'm paraphrasing here) you go into an event -- on stage or close-up -- KNOWING that you are able to do something very special, something many people in the audience would love to know how to do. You carry yourself that way. You believe it. He's right.

So how come I don't remember that before EVERY SINGLE SHOW???

Hmmm...

Because sometimes when there are lots of shows and many different places to be over the week. I forget that mentalism allows people to glimpse something that is truly amazing thing. I forget that every single time I take the stage or start moving through the audience, I'm performing what will very likely be the only mentalism they'll ever see.

I forget that mentalism allows me to do something that has the potential to really AFFECT an audience. Sometimes I even forget what an honor it is to perform these things.

How many people will remember on a personal level what they saw or participated in over the years?

What AFFECT will the EFFECT have on them?

Hmmm...

David
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Aug 20, 2013 12:03PM)
David:

Thanks for your thoughtful reflection.

Many of us laboring to "get over" the European Enlightenment--which taught that we are basically rational creatures who, unfortunately, are still saddled with some of the emotional baggage of our primal forbears. The longer I live, the more I become convinced that Enlightenment ideology was wrong by about 180 degrees: we are basically emotional creatures who are sometimes capable of thinking.

You are pioneering in the discovery that audiences are best understood and engaged through such post-modern realism.

George
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Aug 20, 2013 12:07PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-20 12:43, David Thiel wrote:
So how come I don't remember that before EVERY SINGLE SHOW???
[/quote]

Great post. What you wrote about how we affect spectators (or try to affect them) is of course already in many books, articles or posts. I did a bit of writig on that subject myself. But... The sentence I quoted above struck me, it made me realize I think about that only AFTER shows!
Before, il think about how I will (hopefully) entertain them, maybe amaze them. But that deep feeling of astonishment or belief we may create, I only think about afterwards.

"So how come I don't remember that before EVERY SINGLE SHOW???"

Thank You :)
Message: Posted by: John Raff M (Aug 20, 2013 12:07PM)
This is a very insightful and thought provocking post David. Well done.

Best,
John. :)
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Aug 20, 2013 12:08PM)
All depends on the personal goals that each one of us have with Mentalism. Personally I prefer to affect them positively than effect them positively :)

Creating memorable experiences and memories for their futures and not just a present fun dynamic.

The effect is important, yes, but in a deeper value (one that Mentalism can reach) the long lasting affect is more important in my opinion.


Best
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 20, 2013 12:40PM)
Transcient positivity should never be confused with true therapy...

I've never fully gotten on board with naked techniques, they are great, fascinating and all things inbetween, but I don't (and never will) strive to do things purely like that - people genuinely forget those b*l**ts and pads, because you are enabling them to focus on the important part...the memory or name (or whatever) is involved...its why we all hopefully strive to deliver something interesting, unique, mysterious and whatever else...

the focus on the thread that connects their thought to your mind via whatever means you draw attention to, is part of the story they will remember and tell others about...as you say, they will say "i met this guy and I thought of a really strong memory of mine and he told me how I felt at the time, the name and the scene too - he knew this about me...".

of course there's some that don't, and won't and can't let themselves fully commit to the moment, that's for many reasons too - but that can all be dealt with one way or another...

but those that ask especially, the little journey they go on with you can affect them deeply for a while...

to go full circle, back to my opening remark - "transcient positivity should never be confused with true therapy..." (not aimed at anyone) in that I do think some people think they can make people truly better by performing something...and its a weird line to cross - I agree they can feel better about life in general, cos they're being entertained, maybe reminded to be more positive or how much they've over-come, but it cannot and should never be seen as a way of making a life-changing moment...

there will be exceptions, however that is because the person was ready for the life-changing moment regardless of your impact - and it could have been something else, a chat with a friend, a book, a film, the opportunity and urge to change has to come from within...you can never save someone from themselves...it just delays the innevitable...

you do though, get to create a very happy memory for someone, however long that lasts...which is a lovely, heart-warming thing...so its always worth making it a good 'un...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Aug 21, 2013 04:52AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-20 13:08, Amirá wrote:
All depends on the personal goals that each one of us have with Mentalism. Personally I prefer to affect them positively than effect them positively :)

Creating memorable experiences and memories for their futures and not just a present fun dynamic.

The effect is important, yes, but in a deeper value (one that Mentalism can reach) the long lasting affect is more important in my opinion.


Best
[/quote]

I certainly agree, and know that you do not have to see the evidence of the Affect to know that it is there.

Unfortunately, methinks too many performers of all ilk seek an affirmation of their ability -- or treat something like applause as an indication of Affect rather than just Effect.

It's the old "pebble in the lake" metaphor. You create a ripple with full knowledge and confidence that the ripple will reach a distant shore and have an Affect on someone. Any need or desire to observe the Affect might prevent it from occurring.

There seems to be a sentiment that performing as a Mentalist as opposed to other approaches to magic can potentially have a greater Affect -- or a more frequent occurrence of same.

I would be interested in views as to why this is true -- or thought to be true. If the greatest Affect is unseen -- how would you know?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Aug 21, 2013 07:16AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-20 13:40, IAIN wrote:
Transcient positivity should never be confused with true therapy...

I've never fully gotten on board with naked techniques, they are great, fascinating and all things inbetween, but I don't (and never will) strive to do things purely like that - people genuinely forget those b*l**ts and pads, because you are enabling them to focus on the important part...the memory or name (or whatever) is involved...its why we all hopefully strive to deliver something interesting, unique, mysterious and whatever else...

the focus on the thread that connects their thought to your mind via whatever means you draw attention to, is part of the story they will remember and tell others about...as you say, they will say "i met this guy and I thought of a really strong memory of mine and he told me how I felt at the time, the name and the scene too - he knew this about me...".

of course there's some that don't, and won't and can't let themselves fully commit to the moment, that's for many reasons too - but that can all be dealt with one way or another...

but those that ask especially, the little journey they go on with you can affect them deeply for a while...

to go full circle, back to my opening remark - "transcient positivity should never be confused with true therapy..." (not aimed at anyone) in that I do think some people think they can make people truly better by performing something...and its a weird line to cross - I agree they can feel better about life in general, cos they're being entertained, maybe reminded to be more positive or how much they've over-come, but it cannot and should never be seen as a way of making a life-changing moment...

there will be exceptions, however that is because the person was ready for the life-changing moment regardless of your impact - and it could have been something else, a chat with a friend, a book, a film, the opportunity and urge to change has to come from within...you can never save someone from themselves...it just delays the innevitable...

you do though, get to create a very happy memory for someone, however long that lasts...which is a lovely, heart-warming thing...so its always worth making it a good 'un...
[/quote]Excellent post.
Message: Posted by: TripleM (Aug 23, 2013 10:24AM)
Where did you all learn mind reading? iv been studying and preforming mentalism for 1 year and id love some guidance on mindreading!
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Aug 23, 2013 10:57AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-23 11:24, TripleM wrote:
Where did you all learn mind reading? iv been studying and preforming mentalism for 1 year and id love some guidance on mindreading!
[/quote]

Relax my friend - you keep asking (almost begging) for information.

There are many good sources... but in today's fast paced society many want that "instant gratification."

Now - not later.

Read some books (13 Steps and others) - watch some DVD's (you posted about the Osterlind DVD's) - read some info here at the Café.

Like magic - learn and practice one effect (not affect!) and learn it well... practice it... tune it up, make changes or enhancements to improve it.

Then continue learning and practicing.

Asking and begging for guidance won't get you much mileage - all the advice you need is right here at the Café - calm down, take your time, read/watch and learn.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=511608&forum=15&22

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=401280&forum=41