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Topic: Phrases mentalists use that make you cringe
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (Aug 30, 2013 04:02AM)
Just a light-hearted Friday posting, but there are some phrases that I hear being used in performances that are akin to fingernails on a chalk-board to me.

Here are my top 2

Would you be amazed if........
(this one is also used a lot by magicians)


Now there's no way I could know......
(to me this is the mentalism equivalent of saying "I have an ordinary deck of cards")
(or a boxer telegraphing a punch)

Feel free to add your own or ignore, as you see fit.

Steve
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 05:00AM)
Tacking on "...for me" at the end of nearly every sentence...

Stand there for me
Pick any book for me
Hold you hand out for me

And

"This is fair, right?" and "no way I could know..."
especially if you then prove that you did...
Message: Posted by: Peter_turner (Aug 30, 2013 05:10AM)
I agree with both of you :D

But I think context is also important for the "Now there is no way I could know what you are thinking" line.

It is frequently used in television mentalism to help paint a fair picture for the viewer at home. Often the reaction of the person when they say "no" is enough to convey fair play to the audience at home and help imply that this is someone who was randomly selected instead of someone who could have been researched OR someone the performer knows pieces of information about (I.E Knows them).

I use the word Pow to reveal things now, I hate that but cannot help it :(

Pete x
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Aug 30, 2013 05:17AM)
In a similar fashion...

I constantly read that one should never say the phrase "Please choose X for me..." when using equivoque. I disagree, I use it all the time, the reply you give to their decision is what means the most.

I use it all the time and it has flown by magicians & mentalists due to the boldness and directness of it.

BUT!

One thing I cannot stand to hear is:

"Lets take this one step further!"

and

"That was fair right?"

I cringe when I hear these, but two BIG names use them with great success so I guess its all about HOW you say it to your audience.

Cheers
Art
Message: Posted by: Peter_turner (Aug 30, 2013 05:27AM)
I use them lines all the time Art :) just the way I'm programmed

I use the others from time to time too. What can you do?

When I sold my soul I never asked for a nice accent or good vocabulary ;-)

Praising someone for nothing in a patronising sense is something I hate.

Lift your finger... you're doing amazingly

Pete x

What's your favourite colour. . Amazing fantastic
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Aug 30, 2013 05:29AM)
Didn't know you used the "that's fair right?" line but I know you use the "Lets take this one step further" one.

Looks like I got the nice accent and you got the talent! hahahaha

Cheers
Art
Message: Posted by: Peter_turner (Aug 30, 2013 05:31AM)
I have a stupid hair cut now too!

I went to an afro Barber in holland he cut a bald line in my head! !

Pete :)
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Aug 30, 2013 05:36AM)
Well you're from Bradford so at least you fit in now!

;)

Cheers
Art
Message: Posted by: Mark_Chandaue (Aug 30, 2013 05:36AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 06:27, Peter_turner wrote:
Praising someone for nothing in a patronising sense is something I hate.

Lift your finger... you're doing amazingly

Pete x

What's your favourite colour. . Amazing fantastic
[/quote]
I didn't think I had any pet hates until I read that, but that's one of mine. Another is using words that only mean something to mentalists like "write the name on this billet".

Oh and another, "let's put it in my wallet to isolate it".

Mark
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Aug 30, 2013 05:38AM)
I hate the magicians guilt when handing out items. "Go ahead and make sure that's a regular notepad" Why the hell wouldn't it be?
Message: Posted by: seamagu (Aug 30, 2013 05:40AM)
I'm learning some great lines here...this is a solid gold thread, that one line is worth the price alone......
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 05:41AM)
When picking an envelope "amazing" or "fantastic"

Really patronising! Aren't you clever picking up an envelope! Well done YOU!
Message: Posted by: seamagu (Aug 30, 2013 05:42AM)
In all seriousness I quite like the one step further line
Message: Posted by: Mark_Chandaue (Aug 30, 2013 05:46AM)
Yes that's another one of my pet hates over justifying "regular items" like over explaining where a magazine or book for a magazine or book test comes from.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Aug 30, 2013 05:46AM)
I love the line, "The walls, they're closing in! Quick, help me prop up Vegetable Man or we'll be done for!"

But that's from Toy Story 2......

Regarding mentalism, a lot of people hate "And you had a completely free choice correct?" Yet I find myself using it all the time

Cheers
Art
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Aug 30, 2013 05:47AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 06:31, Peter_turner wrote:
I have a stupid hair cut now too!

I went to an afro Barber in holland he cut a bald line in my head! !

Pete :)
[/quote]

:lol: Gutted.
Message: Posted by: Mark_Chandaue (Aug 30, 2013 05:49AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 06:42, seamagu wrote:
In all seriousness I quite like the one step further line
[/quote]
So do I to be honest, if used well it can give the appearance of spontenaity (haha the iPad auto corrected that to the appearence of spoon tenacity which might be true in a metal bending routine).

Mark
Message: Posted by: magicman29 (Aug 30, 2013 05:50AM)
I hate that "Let's take this one step further", it reminds me of that nob rich ferguson from the 'this is mentalism'dvd!

Kieran
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 30, 2013 05:53AM)
Nothing wrong with Pete's accent- in fact I think it makes him stand out from the crowd and adds a further layer of authenticity.

As Edith Piaf said: Use your faults, use your defects, then you're going to be a star!

Not sure about using "Pow!" on a reveal, mind you. Those of us of a certain vintage may immediately think of Adam West's Batman. Not necessarily conducive to a serious tone. :)
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Aug 30, 2013 05:58AM)
I agree Martin, somehow "Kablammo!!!!" wouldnt work to well for me onstage either!

Cheers
Art
Message: Posted by: Peter_turner (Aug 30, 2013 06:03AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 06:53, Martin Pulman wrote:
Nothing wrong with Pete's accent- in fact I think it makes him stand out from the crowd and adds a further layer of authenticity.

As Edith Piaf said: Use your faults, use your defects, then you're going to be a star!

Not sure about using "Pow!" on a reveal, mind you. Those of us of a certain vintage may immediately think of Adam West's Batman. Not necessarily conducive to a serious tone. :)
[/quote]

Thanks Martin :D

The pow thing was put in originally as homage to a friend of mine that does it with a fist bump and then I got caught up in it!

haha

Pete x
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Aug 30, 2013 06:04AM)
"What I do is NLP/Body Language Reading/Etc."

Now, I don't mind those lines when they make sense. I use an NLP strategy for a thought of word revealation, but the process is there and the logic is there. What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.

I am not really bothered by phrases and lines as much as I am by premises that aren't thought out or logical. I'd rather say nothing than to give a halfway thought through reason.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 06:06AM)
A mate of mine who is a good magician, whenever he does a sponge-balls routine, he always says "gimme a gangsta style fist bump", they do it, and he opens his hand and the sponges have changed or dissapeared or whatever he has planned in his devious little mind...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 06:09AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:04, Chaz93 wrote:
"What I do is NLP/Body Language Reading/Etc."

Now, I don't mind those lines when they make sense. I use an NLP strategy for a thought of word revealation, but the process is there and the logic is there. What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.

I am not really bothered by phrases and lines as much as I am by premises that aren't thought out or logical. I'd rather say nothing than to give a halfway thought through reason.
[/quote]

I hate it when people claim its done via NLP and do something in absolute silence, when the basis of it all is entirely based on interaction and language...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 30, 2013 06:18AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:04, Chaz93 wrote:
"What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.

[/quote]

:lol:
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Aug 30, 2013 06:21AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:09, IAIN wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:04, Chaz93 wrote:
"What I do is NLP/Body Language Reading/Etc."

Now, I don't mind those lines when they make sense. I use an NLP strategy for a thought of word revealation, but the process is there and the logic is there. What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.

I am not really bothered by phrases and lines as much as I am by premises that aren't thought out or logical. I'd rather say nothing than to give a halfway thought through reason.
[/quote]

I hate it when people claim its done via NLP and do something in absolute silence, when the basis of it all is entirely based on interaction and language...
[/quote]

Precisely. It's the new silent milton model though. ;)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 30, 2013 06:37AM)
You know what I hate? What I really can't abide? What gets right on my thrupenny bits?

When a mentalist says, "Think of someone from your childhood". You think of your friend Richard from Primary school (over 30 years ago),you write nothing down, you say nothing, you hold your mouth rigid so they can't do any of that fancy l***ing business, and STILL they say: "You're thinking of Richard aren't you."

D*** you Turner!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Aug 30, 2013 06:48AM)
[quote]
Chaz93 wrote:

Now, I don't mind those lines when they make sense.
(...) I am not really bothered by phrases and lines as much as I am by premises that aren't thought out or logical. I'd rather say nothing than to give a halfway thought through reason.[/quote]

I think you have it there: it depends on the context, on how those lines are used.
They're awfull when thy're just said automatically, without any real puprpose. But the can be acceptable, or even useful in other circumstances. For instance, if you say the next experiment is to be done "[i]under test conditions[/i]", then it makes perfect sense to have everything scrutinized. One of my strongest routines (by the reaction it gets) is like that. I explain the "test conditions" and when I recap at the end, I can say there is no possible way I can know what she chose and who has it now, "[i]it's impossible, [u]impossible![/u][/i]", because then, the only possibility is for me to read minds.

[quote]
Chaz93 wrote: What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.
[/quote]
I believe this effect is stronger when you don't say how you do (NLP, aura, whatever). I just do it, giving away some hints, but no explanation at all! Then, the people try to find out, make up their own mind and I believe it's more powerful: "he looked at my eyes, you looked at my exeys, didn't you?" or "no, I think he sensed my pulse when he was holding my hand... But how can that tell him the value of my card???", etc.

Generally speaking, I'd rather not give any explanation (NLP, telepathy, whatever). How can I do that? I'm not sure... I just can .
People find themselves the explanation that will amaze them the most :)
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Aug 30, 2013 07:03AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:48, LCervier wrote:

Generally speaking, I'd rather not give any explanation (NLP, telepathy, whatever). How can I do that? I'm not sure... I just can .
People find themselves the explanation that will amaze them the most :)
[/quote]

That's the key right there. It's more fun for me to let the audience fill in the blanks as to the "hows". I'll drop some red herrings, sure, but I think it's disingenuous to claim to be using a system when I'm not. There's also less mystery when everything is explainable with hypnosis, nlp, etc etc. Like you, I prefer to let them fill in the blanks themselves.
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Aug 30, 2013 07:13AM)
My pet hate is when the performer gets someone on stage and the first thing he says is "Hi, what's your name?" The performer's supposed to be a mind reader for crying out loud :mad: Talk about missed opportunity - Geez!!!









- I'm only joking :)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 30, 2013 07:23AM)
"Ok, now just give it (the business card they've just written a thought on) back to me, and I'll put it in here (wallet)."
Or
"Ok, now just slide it (the business card they've just written a thought on) in here (back into the stack of business cards it just came out of).
Or
"Ok, now let's just keep this between you and me" (said to alert any sentient spectators that, yes, they have indeed just witnessed the use of an i****** s*****!)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Aug 30, 2013 07:55AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 06:10, Peter_turner wrote:
I agree with both of you :D

But I think context is also important for the "Now there is no way I could know what you are thinking" line.

It is frequently used in television mentalism to help paint a fair picture for the viewer at home. Often the reaction of the person when they say "no" is enough to convey fair play to the audience at home and help imply that this is someone who was randomly selected instead of someone who could have been researched OR someone the performer knows pieces of information about (I.E Knows them).

I use the word Pow to reveal things now, I hate that but cannot help it :(

Pete x
[/quote]
Pete, you mean to say that after you reveal a correct prediction you say , "Pow"?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 08:43AM)
When a performer exclaims "Awesome!" or "Fantastic!" when I participant does something mundane- like standing up or saying his/her name.
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Aug 30, 2013 08:44AM)
Crikey, guilty as charged on a few of these!
That said: although it shouldn't be the verbal tic it has become for some, the overt praising can be part of reassuring assistants on stage that they aren't screwing it up. I've asked people up to pick an envelope (or do whatever) on stage and the look in their eyes indicates that they aren't sure if they are doing ok, or if something else is required of them, or maybe I'm about to use some smug line on them. The helpers are in an environment that is completely out of their control and at any second something could happen that could humiliate them in front of their friends AND hundreds of strangers. I think some performers use that constant very positive language to carry their helpers along and make them feel that the stage is a safe environment and that they themselves aren't a threat.

Good job writing all those super comments though guys, AMAZING, you're doing great, you must have done this before! OK, let's give them a round of applause as they go and sit down.
;)

Phill
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 09:14AM)
Just noticed that I complained about the same thing as Pete. Amazing!
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Aug 30, 2013 11:17AM)
When a Mentalist says..."Hello,I'm a Mentalist"


:)
Message: Posted by: Peter_turner (Aug 30, 2013 11:26AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:37, Martin Pulman wrote:
You know what I hate? What I really can't abide? What gets right on my thrupenny bits?

When a mentalist says, "Think of someone from your childhood". You think of your friend Richard from Primary school (over 30 years ago),you write nothing down, you say nothing, you hold your mouth rigid so they can't do any of that fancy l***ing business, and STILL they say: "You're thinking of Richard aren't you."

D*** you Turner!!!!!!!!
[/quote]

Ha ha :)

I was just feeling it!

Pete x
Message: Posted by: Alwow (Aug 30, 2013 11:36AM)
I know this is essential the opposite of the purpose of the thread but, I'd love to hear alternatives to the stock lines quoted here.

My pet peeve however would also be the over justification of items. I honestly don't think I've ever attempted to justify anything. Never saw a reason to.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Aug 30, 2013 11:55AM)
I hate when Mentalists (or magicians for that matter) say, "Do me a favour..." followed by instructions to either select a card or write something down, etc..

That, and socks with sandals! ;)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 11:56AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 12:36, Alwow wrote:
I know this is essential the opposite of the purpose of the thread but, I'd love to hear alternatives to the stock lines quoted here.

My pet peeve however would also be the over justification of items. I honestly don't think I've ever attempted to justify anything. Never saw a reason to.
[/quote]

yeah, but if you do that - you just create more stock lines don'tcha!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 30, 2013 12:08PM)
Would you like to change your mind? No, you're happy with the one you have.
Message: Posted by: Michael Zarek (Aug 30, 2013 12:29PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 13:08, Mindpro wrote:
Would you like to change your mind? No, you're happy with the one you have.
[/quote]

while on the subject on hack lines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c2GH1Ot8SQ
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 12:58PM)
I also cringe when I hear performer's stealing other mentalist's lines verbatim. I've actually had guys show up at my public performances with note books.
Message: Posted by: Olympic Adam (Aug 30, 2013 02:32PM)
The line I hate in all of life (which is heavily used by American magicians and mentalists) is...


Go ahead


Go ahead and pick a card
Go ahead and wipe my bum
Go ahead and write that down
Go ahead and durp durp durp

I can't stand it
I get physically sick when I hear it
(writing this post has caused much distress to my body)

Seriously, listen out for it, it's on just about every DVD and video of a mentalist/magician/anyone talking to anyone ever (especially American ones)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 02:38PM)
I do find language fascinating, we say things like "to be honest with you...", which kinda says that you haven't been honest up until that point...
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 30, 2013 02:39PM)
Kinesis:

"Hi, what's your name?"

Well, I recently watched Derren Brown's "Evening of Wonders".

He asked the participant on stage a question and she doesn't answer.

Derren says, "Come on, say it out loud. I'm not a mind reader, you know."

Got a big laugh...

Steve:

The one that irks me is: "I don't know if this is going to work?"

I've heard very well known mentalists use this line.

And you know what? The truth is that as nonsensical as these lines are, it doesn't matter.

I enjoy watching the Jack Benny Program late at night. Most of the time, the delivery of his lines are miserable.

But, for quite a long time, his show was the most popular on television.

Another example: I couldn't stand Kreskin's delivery. Thought he had the worse personality in the world.

Didn't care much for Uri Gellar's either.

So what?

You can be pitch perfect working little dinky venues or you can be tremendously flawed and successful in the big time.

It's hard to knock success.

Best wishes,

Scott
Message: Posted by: ELima (Aug 30, 2013 02:47PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 13:58, mastermindreader wrote:
I also cringe when I hear performer's stealing other mentalist's lines verbatim. I've actually had guys show up at my public performances with note books.
[/quote]
"I asked you to stand up, not to attack me!" :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Aug 30, 2013 02:48PM)
I cringe when I hear generally well spoken performers mangle the English language and/or suddenly slip from casual but correct usage to droppin' ( : ) ) "gs" and similar less than professional sounding speech. I am not a card carrying member of the grammar police but I think certain basic standards are best maintained.

One of my favorite mentalists sounds great 98% of the time but seems to always do some version of the above, at least a couple of times during the performance segments on his DVDs. I know he has an excellent command of the language yet there some "verbal ticks" that inevitably occur.

My sense is that he is unaware when this happens and is not intentionally being "down to Earth." Not wanting to risk insulting him, I have thus far refrained from saying anything. What do people think? Would you want to have such things pointed out to you?
Message: Posted by: Olympic Adam (Aug 30, 2013 02:51PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 15:48, Bill Cushman wrote:
What do people think? Would you want to have such things pointed out to you?
[/quote]

Depends how it is explained to us,

an old creativity rule is that the skills needed to know you have done something badly are also the skills needed to improve, if they haven't noticed (or taken the time to notice while watching a recording of themselves) they might not enjoy being told they aren't great at speaking or similar
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 30, 2013 03:05PM)
"Hi, welcome...I'm Bob Cassidy!" I don't use it much anymore.
Message: Posted by: DonEduardo (Aug 30, 2013 03:06PM)
I think I heard Peter Turner make all of these statements on his Penguin Live Lecture and I didn't cringe once. It was amazing to watch. All this nit-picking is going to cause performers to be too self conscious. It is hard enough to not be self-conscious standing in front of a group without analyzing every word out of your mouth.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (Aug 30, 2013 03:19PM)
I wasn't intending this thread to be nit picking.
Just a bit of light hearted discussion to get the weekend off to a thoughtful start.

Yes I have heard many top mentalist use some of the lines mentioned up to now.
I think maybe it's the much repeated use of them that can be a little grating.

steve
Message: Posted by: Olympic Adam (Aug 30, 2013 03:22PM)
It's not nit picking, what we say is as important as any aspect (maybe how we look is more important?)
this will improve people more than a thread complaining about a gimmick not being a gimmick or something

yes, standing up in front of people is a big step, but once you've done that you can still be improving, it's stuff like this that makes a difference in my view

I find it hard to script stuff until I've tried it out a few times to see what I naturally say, then I listen to what I've said and cry - next time it's better
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 30, 2013 03:32PM)
My accent is more london than essex, even though that's where I'm from...so I drop my g's, but I *think* my saving grace is that people sometimes comment that they think my voice is either 'lovely' if they're female, or a mate of mine reckons I have a somewhat commanding voice when I want to switch it on...so I get away with it...

it would come across as false for me to enunciate very clearly - so for me, its about coming to terms with how you speak, and being comfortable with it... with the exception of using slang, unless its for a certain type of audience...clarity of instruction is obviously very important, and it helps me bullet point those bits in any script I write, as it helps me make sure I don't miss out any vital steps...
Message: Posted by: DonEduardo (Aug 30, 2013 03:45PM)
No problem, I know it was meant as light humor, and I didn't mean to go all the way to the other side. I just don't want anyone to read this and this weekend when performing they start stuttering like an idiot because they are checking their grammar and pronunciation on everything. How do I know? Cause I do that all the time. It holds me back. I'm learning to just do it the best I can, right now. Later on I can evaluate and make improvements. But once the show starts, just roll with it.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 03:56PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 15:47, ELima wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 13:58, mastermindreader wrote:
I also cringe when I hear performer's stealing other mentalist's lines verbatim. I've actually had guys show up at my public performances with note books.
[/quote]
"I asked you to stand up, not to attack me!" :)
[/quote]

Yep- I've used that when an overly enthusiastic volunteer rushes the stage.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 04:00PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 15:48, Bill Cushman wrote:
I cringe when I hear generally well spoken performers mangle the English language and/or suddenly slip from casual but correct usage to droppin' ( : ) ) "gs" and similar less than professional sounding speech. I am not a card carrying member of the grammar police but I think certain basic standards are best maintained.

One of my favorite mentalists sounds great 98% of the time but seems to always do some version of the above, at least a couple of times during the performance segments on his DVDs. I know he has an excellent command of the language yet there some "verbal ticks" that inevitably occur.

My sense is that he is unaware when this happens and is not intentionally being "down to Earth." Not wanting to risk insulting him, I have thus far refrained from saying anything. What do people think? Would you want to have such things pointed out to you?
[/quote]

Don't know if you're referring to me, Dr.Bill, but I do that often and intentionally. The idea is that the sudden contrast gets a response.

Often, after doing a very serious, grammatically perfect, presentation and getting an amazed reaction, I'll go out of character and off handedly say something like. "I'll bet you thought this was all gonna be bull****"

That completely relieves the tension and prompts applause.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: DonEduardo (Aug 30, 2013 04:01PM)
On Bill's question of pointing out verbal ticks. I'd say, yes, if done sparingly. I've had some pointed out to me in the past and I'm very grateful. It's tough to hear, like someone saying you have bad breath, but If the person really wants to improve, they want to know.
Message: Posted by: John Raff M (Aug 30, 2013 04:30PM)
".................make your mind blank. Woah! That was quick!"

Not funny. Just rude. I know a lot of people use this line but it had to be said.
Message: Posted by: ventman (Aug 30, 2013 04:36PM)
"Ummm"
"What we're going to do is..."
I especially dislike the phrase "Really?". This one really drives me nuts.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Aug 30, 2013 04:37PM)
My fave line...

"But it gets even crazier than that..."
Message: Posted by: DekEl (Aug 30, 2013 04:53PM)
"Wouldn't it be amazing if..."

"Wouldn't you be impressed if..."

"No way I could have possibly known that you would..."

"How did YOU do that? That was ALL you!"

"I'm sensing that you're a passionate person, you probably chose..."
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 30, 2013 04:53PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 17:30, John Raff M wrote:
".................make your mind blank. Woah! That was quick!"

Not funny. Just rude. I know a lot of people use this line but it had to be said.
[/quote]

I both agree and disagree. This is the kind of line that depends a LOT on the persona of the performer, the manner in which it is delivered and to whom it is directed. Unfortunately, too many performers are indiscriminate about it.

Example- late show in a night club. Guy at a front table is drunk and acting inappropriately. The audience gets annoyed. I address the entire audience to set up a thought projection and say, "Make your minds a complete blank." I look at the guy whose been the problem and say, as an aside, "No problem there, hey?"

There are no strict rules as to lines that are appropriate or not. It all depends on what is appropriate at that moment.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: ablanathanalba (Aug 30, 2013 05:33PM)
"I'm trying to be patient but you're making it hard to think!"
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Aug 30, 2013 05:39PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 17:30, John Raff M wrote:
".................make your mind blank. Woah! That was quick!"

Not funny. Just rude. I know a lot of people use this line but it had to be said.
[/quote]

I have used this line, or something similar at both my live shows and some media work that I've done. I have never had anyone say or insinuate to me afterwards that it was rude? In many respects, it set the tone for what was to follow.
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Aug 30, 2013 07:07PM)
"Priced to keep it out of the hands of the merely curious."
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Aug 30, 2013 09:28PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 20:07, cpbartak wrote:
"Priced to keep it out of the hands of the merely curious."
[/quote]


LOL
Best post on this thread !!!
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Aug 30, 2013 10:22PM)
Actually, in honesty--disclaimers make me cringe, and not because I think everyone should necessarily be playing it as real (although it is kind of silly to come out and first thing say, hey, I don't really play the piano, I just pretend, there's a recording where the sounds really coming from). You've just been introduced, you come out, you should be trying to make a good first impression--building rapport/capturing attention, but instead you waste two minutes at this critical juncture doing one of the least entertaining things you could possibly do. Disclaimers just seems like poor theater to me...you're being paid to entertain and this is the first impression you choose to make?
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Aug 31, 2013 01:08AM)
"Okay, what I want you to do is point to a book. Okay, I want you to take it, and I want you to flip through it. I just want you to flip through the book and stop on a page, then I want you to take the book that you did not pick, and I want you to flip to that page. So go ahead and flip through the book. Do you have a page? Great, now I want you to shut the book, then I want you to turn to that page in the other book. Have you done that? Great, and now that is totally random, correct? There's no way I could have known what page you would randomly select? Great, now I want you to concentrate on that word, just really concentrate. Great, was your word 'hemispheric?'"

"No, it was 'want.'"

"Wow, that was out of nowhere.."
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Aug 31, 2013 01:26AM)
My most hated phrase -- I see this clumsy thing done all the time in various forms -- goes something like this:

PERFORMER: Okay now please choose a word. Lock it in your mind. Really visualize it. Okay, now... what was the word?

SPECTATOR: (confused and hesitant)

PERF: What was the word you chose?

SPEC: Do -- um... do you just...want me to tell you?

PERF: Yes, it's okay; just say what it was.

SPEC: Okay, it was "hemispheric."

PERF: (reveals that he had written the exact word down and locked it in a safe decades ago.)

Please, please stop telling people to think hard of something -- and then ask them to tell you what it is. Really deadens the impact. Instead say something like, "and when you get a word that seems to grab you, just say it out loud without censoring it--just blurt it out."

My two cents.

Seth
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 31, 2013 02:17AM)
That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.

Another thing that is just as bad, of even worse, is the all too common misuse of the word "predict." A prediction is made before a selection or action is taken. And yet I often see would-be mentalists have someone think of a word and then say, "I'll now predict what you are thinking." For it to be a prediction, you have to write it down BEFORE they make their selection or think of their word. If you are reading their mind, it is an example of thought reading, NOT a prediction.

Those who misuse words like this should be aware that they will appear illiterate to intelligent audience members.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (Aug 31, 2013 02:30AM)
What started out as a bit of a laugh, has turned into quite a useful thread.
Thanks guys.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Trickstar (Aug 31, 2013 05:57AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-31 03:17, mastermindreader wrote:
That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.

[/quote]

Hi Bob

I have read similar thoughts elsewhere, but have been playing around with a routine where I do exactly that - I would love to hear your thoughts on my cover for this, basically immediately after revealing the thought of word I would be attempting to convey visible relief through body language reinforced by verbals... something like "Wow, I'm so happy that you did in fact choose that word... otherwise I would have looked very foolish when I ask you to read out the message that I placed in that envelope last night"
Am I being overly naive in thinking that this will work? I have gone back and forth over this a lot, I do have other options for the routine but with this discussion going on I thought it could be a good opportunity to hear some thoughts.
Message: Posted by: DekEl (Aug 31, 2013 06:01AM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-31 03:17, mastermindreader wrote:
That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.
[/quote]

This always cracks me up.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 31, 2013 09:05AM)
Trickstar-

The only way that would work is if you just feigned concentration for the first letter or two- seemingly just enough to confirm to yourself that the word you had predicted was indeed correct. But another problem is now presented- you'd be demonstrating two completely unrelated abilities- the ability to read thoughts AND to predict the future.

The more you claim, explicitly or implicitly, the less believable you become.
I believe it is important to have a "back story" - a clear idea in your own mind of the ability you are demonstrating, how you got it, and the procedure you must follow to make it work.
Message: Posted by: Trickstar (Aug 31, 2013 03:02PM)
Hi Bob

Thank you very much for that. Regarding 'backstory', recently I have been toying with the idea of creating a myth of origin for my 'abilities', some kind of traumatic event (possibly an accident with mild head injury?) after which my 'abilities' began to manifest. I was thinking that it may allow for a situation where I don't have to explain much as it would be as if I don't really understand it myself, it just happens. Do you think there is any substance to this idea or is it just silly?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 31, 2013 03:09PM)
No, I think it's a good idea. Many successful performers have used a similar approach to create consistency. Just remember that my caution about claiming too many abilities still applies. Don't fool yourself by creating a back story about falling off a ladder and suddenly being able to read thoughts, predict the future, bend mental, see without your eyes and do remote viewing. Again, the more you claim, the less plausible you will be.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: Trickstar (Aug 31, 2013 03:40PM)
Thanks a lot for that Bob, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Take care
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 31, 2013 04:11PM)
And remember, the backstory is mainly for you as it is a tool to give consistency and believability to your presentations. You don't really have to explain it to the audience.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 31, 2013 06:27PM)
I think Uri Geller lost a lot of credibility when he introduced the whole "Planet Hoova" backstory to the mix. I think some things are far more powerful for being left unexplained.
Message: Posted by: TripleM (Aug 31, 2013 07:03PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:21, Chaz93 wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:09, IAIN wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-08-30 07:04, Chaz93 wrote:
"What I do is NLP/Body Language Reading/Etc."

Now, I don't mind those lines when they make sense. I use an NLP strategy for a thought of word revealation, but the process is there and the logic is there. What I can't stand is when you see someone who hands a deck of cards out, has someone select one, and then by looking at the way their eye twitches, how they are standing, and by apparently using NLP without actually using it they reveal the thought of card, and the name of the grandmother.

I am not really bothered by phrases and lines as much as I am by premises that aren't thought out or logical. I'd rather say nothing than to give a halfway thought through reason.
[/quote]

I hate it when people claim its done via NLP and do something in absolute silence, when the basis of it all is entirely based on interaction and language...
[/quote]

Precisely. It's the new silent milton model though. ;)
[/quote]

beautifully said my friend.

its like.... (-__-) just go home mate.
Message: Posted by: TripleM (Aug 31, 2013 07:05PM)
Ehaha! oh my. this thread was genius.
Message: Posted by: DekEl (Sep 1, 2013 11:06AM)
"This amazing [gizmo] hails from Ancient Egypt."
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Sep 1, 2013 12:13PM)
I think the confusion on “concentrate really hard” comes from our not thinking through the spectator’s eyes. I know I spend a lot of thought on what “superpower” it is I’m actually using. Sometimes you need to have them “focus on the object” and other times they should “say the first thing that pops into your mind”.

As Bob pointed out, YOU concentrating before revealing something already written down just doesn’t make sense. One of the first acting tricks I had to learn (since I already “know” the prediction) is to look happy, excited, relieved, as soon as they give their answer. It may be counter-intuitive and actually seems a little anti-climactic, but I think it helps pulls the audience over to my side.

And back on topic: “Now, you could have chosen anyone one of these” and “Would you like to change your mind?”
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Sep 1, 2013 01:25PM)
When creators,were trying to pop out releases every other week,with comments like this :
"I've been using with the method for some weeks"
Message: Posted by: Shrubsole (Sep 1, 2013 01:29PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-01 12:06, DekEl wrote:
"This amazing [gizmo] hails from Ancient Egypt."
[/quote]

Yes there must have been an awful lot of magic shops in ye olde Egypt. (And no Paypal!)
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Sep 1, 2013 01:43PM)
"[i]Concentrate on (e.g.) the word[/i]" without any further instruction.

Never understood what was meant by that!?
"[i]Picture it on on big screen[/i]", "[i]say it in your head[/i]", all this is good.
But "[i]concentrate[/i]", to me sounds just like "[i]please frown[/i]"
Message: Posted by: Relick666 (Sep 21, 2013 10:52PM)
[quote]
The more you claim, explicitly or implicitly, the less believable you become.
[/quote]

I wouldn't say it's bad to claim powers implicitly.. but you have to be a hell of a good performer to get away with it succesfully ! :)

Explictly.. well.. it reminds me of Uri Geller.. an expert on that subject.

What do you guys think?


Cheers,

[b] Andreu [/b]

:firedevil:
Message: Posted by: Synesthesia (Sep 21, 2013 11:10PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-21 23:52, Relick666 wrote:
[quote]
The more you claim, explicitly or implicitly, the less believable you become.
[/quote]

I wouldn't say it's bad to claim powers implicitly.. but you have to be a hell of a good performer to get away with it succesfully ! :)

Explictly.. well.. it reminds me of Uri Geller.. an expert on that subject.

What do you guys think?


Cheers,

[b] Andreu [/b]

:firedevil:
[/quote]

I don't really think that's what Bob was referring too, though. This isn't about the (still valuable, but somewhat separate) debate about what genuine powers a performer claims to have or how much they disclaim that idea -- even setting that aside this still applies to all performers simply as a presentational question. It's about what abilities your effects are supposedly demonstrating (mind-reading? future-telling? genius brain/memory?) and how they are presented. The difference between explicit and implicit here can be as simple as saying "I sealed a note inside this envelope this morning" as you hand a spectator a prediction, or just leaving the envelope on the table throughout the effect and directing them to open it at the end without any explanation. Bob's point is that in either case, implicit or explicit, combining (for example) that with strenuous mind-reading and rapid calculation and perfect recall and PK all in the same effect (or even in the same show if it's not really well handled) has the potential to make everything seem more trick-ish and less impressive. This applies regardless of whether the mentalist's overall persona is one of genuine powers or admitted illusions.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Sep 22, 2013 04:00AM)
That's exactly what I meant. The more abilities you claim, or demonstrate, the less believable you become.
Message: Posted by: Remarkable Marco (Sep 22, 2013 04:18AM)
Very useful thread! It gives me very good ideas about presentation as I am still working to build my style.

Some things that bother me when I watch mentalism, and I don't think they have been mentioned yet:

I am kind of annoyed when the performer of a book test starts doing real or fake math to get an approximation of the number of words in the book and to point out that, hey, there really are a lot of words in a book! Wow, what a revelation! If one is buying time, isn't there any less obvious line to do so? If one is using a book test where asking the spectator to check the number of pages is necessary for the effect, well, that's different I guess.

Also: "Let's put it in here for safekeeping" when the performer places something written by the spectator in a book, a wallet, on a pad, etc, and then handles the item in various ways (opens the wallet, puts it in a pocket, etc). To me it is like saying "Let's put this juicy meatball in the cat's bowl for safekeeping". I know the putting away thing is structural to several effects, but it is very hard to make such a senseless line sound psychologically invisible. Some performers simply say "Let's put it here for a second" and move on fast enough that one may not even notice the strangeness of the action. I find that to be a much for effective handling.

This being said I agree with what several said before: context and performer's unique style are key factors, and some excellent performers can make the most awkward sentences work like a charm.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 22, 2013 05:08AM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-22 05:00, mastermindreader wrote:
The more abilities you claim, or demonstrate, the less believable you become.
[/quote]

My compliments on presenting multiple ideas on this thread of value to presenting mentalism and life in general (opinion). These also why you "hang in there" on the Café' despite a certain futility.

Dealing with my "thought from a different perspective" must also be vexing -- but I also will "hang in there" with a goal of having folk think rather than just accept any particular point of view.

so ...

when you offer to demonstrate any ability for the purpose of "entertaining someone" do you not already make yourself "less believable?"

Yes, a good back-story can justify why you limit the demonstration to something trivial, but why demonstrate some limited ability at all?

More and more people apparently lack the ability to entertain themselves and "go out" seeking "to be entertained." They could gather with a group of friends and explore innate "paranormal" abilities, or study up on how their own suspected unusual ability might be of value -- or, they can pay to see someone pretend at doing something ...

No disrespect -- there is room for a few performers who can offer this form of entertainment for those seeking that particular form of entertainment or mental challenge. You are one that I might pay to see.

The problem, for me, is the shift of many performers away from a previous performance skill (or lack of same) such as conjury, juggling, balloon-tying to mentalism in a belief that this is what a general audience desires or will enjoy.

If a person goes to an announce magic show, why is it presumed they will like to see mentalism?

Those classified as "magicians" by mentalists are put down for throwing in an occasional mentalism type effect during a show or doing what mentalist deem "mental magic."

but, from where comes the idea that a general audience seeking to be entertained is going to enjoy some limited demonstration of mental ability with a long back-story?

Here is the believability? To claim to have such an ability for an audience expecting some other form of entertainment has no basis for believability at all.

Again -- if people purchase a ticket specifically to see a Mentalist in action, there is a basic set of beliefs and expectations that can be manipulated/caressed.

I might agree that all people harbor some belief or desire for a personal paranormal ability - validation more than fantasy. But how is this enhanced by a stranger claiming to have such an ability and to demonstrate it on a street corner for shekels? The very "claim" makes the whole presentation less than believable.

The problem might be that many are presenting Mentalism with neither the presence nor empathy to do it properly -- they failed at doing magic tricks so they will do mentalism tricks instead.

By example, I might be entertained by a person who cannot speak a coherent sentence or do sums in their head when they juggle or walk a tight wire. Why would I be entertained by this person claiming to have some special mental ability.

Most young people today cannot even finds their home town on a map. To "claim" to have some special mental ability is not believable at all.

First must come the ability to be believable at all -- to be a person worth listening to, a person with demonstrated values, intelligence, taste and discretion.

.........................................

it is not that there are too many Mentalist. It is that there are too few people who should be Mentalists. Being "believable" takes work -- something few today are will to invest.

Just a minority opinion ...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 22, 2013 07:31AM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-22 06:08, funsway wrote:
By example, I might be entertained by a person who cannot speak a coherent sentence
[/quote]

...that goes for forum posts too...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Sep 22, 2013 12:12PM)
Seems like my point about a back story has been missed. I think I clearly stated that the back story was for the performer, NOT the audience. I never explain my back story, which is actually a subscript, to an audience. Its purpose is simply to provide an inner consistency to my presentations.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Sep 22, 2013 01:24PM)
If you consider yourself an actual "mentalist" then you need to use the proper jargon to sell it. I use tried and true words that drive home that I have "the gift"

[b]"no the clean hand. Oh, that was the clean hand" [/b]

That tells them them my powers of observation are acute.

[b]"Do you want to change your mind? You're happy with the mind you have?"[/b]

That lets them know that their thoughts are mine to manipulate.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Sep 23, 2013 04:51PM)
Marco called up another issue that I don’t like about many book tests. Of course another thread already has my opinion about “math tricks”, but I also wonder, if the point is to name a word, and the excuse is that maybe a book will give you more choices than you could think of on your own, why do any math? Or pick two cards? Or choose one of these numbers? Why specify a page number at all? Why wouldn’t they just take the book, open it to any page at all, and select a word from that page? Banachek has a couple interesting solutions, and MOABT has great potential, but most of what I see, as the thread title suggests, “makes me cringe”.

Delaying is another tactic that doesn’t always have a distinct “line”, but can be a little obvious if you’re not careful. When I’m doing an “impromptu” mind control (with NW), I’ll “write” down my answer with a pencil, then ask them to name the first thing that comes to mind. My delay is “Now that wasn’t the first thing you thought of was it?” It gives me the time I need, but can become almost a cliché if I do it often.

And to echo Funsway, Bob you must never leave the Café!
Message: Posted by: Relick666 (Sep 24, 2013 07:46AM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-22 05:18, Remarkable Marco wrote:

Also: "Let's put it in here for safekeeping" when the performer places something written by the spectator in a book, a wallet, on a pad, etc, and then handles the item in various ways (opens the wallet, puts it in a pocket, etc). To me it is like saying "Let's put this juicy meatball in the cat's bowl for safekeeping".

[/quote]

Lol. Very true Marco. :lol:

Andreu.

:firedevil:
Message: Posted by: Bard (Sep 24, 2013 08:08AM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-22 13:12, mastermindreader wrote:
Seems like my point about a back story has been missed. I think I clearly stated that the back story was for the performer, NOT the audience. I never explain my back story, which is actually a subscript, to an audience. Its purpose is simply to provide an inner consistency to my presentations.
[/quote]

AMEN!

I have tid-bits that show up here and there in my press materials or any number of shut-eye books I've penned over the years that serve as building blocks around my persona that cover everything from family oddities to areas of personal study. I don't have to explain any of this to the audience in that the "rumor mill" does all of that work for me . . . people love to know more about the "star" of a show than others and because of this, trivia nuggets go a long way.

Similarly, I'm one of those that works within the shut-eye industry as a legitimate Reader & Lecturer on Metaphysics and Spirituality which gets superimposed onto my performance work and vice-versa e.g. people will credit me as being a far more potent "Psychic" because of what they've seen in a show and then, in an entirely different way, I get the same affect when people apply what they've learned from me by way of my day job. . . and by the way, this is a very old and established practice in Mentalism; working in the Psychic community as the real deal, in that it opens many doors for us when it comes to smaller venues and steadier work. . . not everyone wants to be a touring showman.

When it comes to lines I absolutely loathe, the biggest for me is "Readings for Entertainment's Sake"

Even when you are deliberately doing comical Readings (unless they are pure satire) people will apply them to things in their life and as such there is an obligation for us to understand that it's usually us, as the Reader/Mentalist that gets "entertained" by people's reactions to the Readings and not the other way around. We owe it to the public to be honest and state clearly that we are working with a given oracle and the Reading is based on that system, it's not something otherworldly, we aren't talking to angels or fairie folk, etc.

. . . at least that's how I see it.