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Topic: The Power of Framing
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Feb 26, 2014 03:13PM)
We sometimes maybe underestimate the power of framing.

My family is the ones I first test any of my material and some of them know a lot of the methods. Like the fact that I can force cards, control cards and etc.

Still..when you have a very good effect and you frame it as something believable, even people that should know better, that know that there is a trick to all of them tricks :D buy into your story.

For example, today I was with my sister to get a coffee and chat and I did a bunch of effects for her. I framed one of them as me reading the subtle differences in her voice and body language to know the card she was thinking of.

She knew that there was no way I could have forced the card because she took what card she wanted while my back was turned. She knew I could not have controled the card because she put it where she wanted. She knew I could have not used a key card because she put the card one one of the multiple packets in which the deck was divided and assembled them in an order she wanted and then she cut the deck multiple times ( I don't even know if she knows about key cards anyway...but ha ha :P )

So after I did it she was amazed and she was saying I should not say the method that I am using - I should not tell people that I am using body language and detect differences in their voices because then they will know how I do it and they will not wonder as much maybe.

After some time I told her that its actually another method there is no body language or reading of the voice differences. And she was like: No, you are lying it to me because there is no other way you could have done it. I am sure you used body language and differences of tonality in my voice.

So as long as you frame it good. Even people who know you do magic will sometime think you have skills that you really don't have.

Frame your effects. Don't just do them. Make them real.

Regards, Marian
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 28, 2014 11:12AM)
Marian, you shouldn't have told her the true workings were not the subtle reading you were doing. ;)

Derren Brown has become famous because he does this framing a lot.
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Feb 28, 2014 11:58AM)
Well shes my sister! But anyway she did not believe me that I wasn't using body language and I did not tell her the real method.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 28, 2014 12:34PM)
Ok then... ;)
Message: Posted by: edwardsausagefingers (Feb 28, 2014 01:56PM)
I agree with the gist of your post, Marian - and I also think your sister makes a good point. :) What if as she suggested, you did not explicitly state that you were using body language and voice tone but merely implied it through your actions? What's that quote about "the most convincing lie is the one they tell themselves".
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Feb 28, 2014 02:41PM)
Did she question if you can do this with cards,could you do it with other examples?
Message: Posted by: tricky360 (Feb 28, 2014 03:44PM)
Hi Marion,
Great story, I also use framing and time delay in my effects, and it definitely makes the effect stronger in the spectators mind. Also when they go on to tell somebody else the effect they also unwittingly embellish the effect, making it seem even stronger.

Also, telling a spectator how it's not done, they are more likely to believe that is the true method, if done correctly. :-)

Best, Michael.
Message: Posted by: Athos (Feb 28, 2014 03:47PM)
A step in the grand direction :)
Message: Posted by: MDantes (Feb 28, 2014 04:26PM)
I have seen framing make or break the effect.

Planning and confidence will get you where you want to be.

Nice topic. Thank you for sharing.
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Feb 28, 2014 04:33PM)
I think that this post is great. I've been studying mentalism for a year and this is such an important aspect.you need to know your abilities. The more believable and concrete you can make the abilities the better. I follow Bob Cassidy's advice. Choose only a few abilities. The more abilities you claim, the less believable. I also believe in a situation like this you should make each phase more incredible- read pulse, listen to the voice, then watch the eyes. This leads from contact to completely hands off and a quiet spectator.
Message: Posted by: Limitless (Mar 17, 2014 09:31AM)
On Feb 28, 2014, twistedace wrote:
You need to know your abilities. The more believable and concrete you can make the abilities the better. I follow Bob Cassidy's advice. Choose only a few abilities. The more abilities you claim, the less believable.

Great post and so interesting. I remember seeing a Lamborghini sales man framing the fact that the Lambo didn't have electronic seat adjustment was a good thing in a £200k car.

"I don't fear the man who has practised a thousand kicks once, I fear the man who has practised one kick a thousand times" Bruce Lee ;)
Message: Posted by: mattyboy4242 (Mar 17, 2014 06:15PM)
Peter Turner has some fantastic work on framing and reframing. I would highly recommended it.
Message: Posted by: Matt Chalk (Mar 17, 2014 10:21PM)
I think its so important to frame what you are doing with mentalism in your spectators mind

I don't like the idea of not having to justify why you are doing what you are doing purely because in my mind the spectator will begin to question why you did, exactly what you did.

A good example is the classic center tear.

Why would you have someone right down a piece of information on a piece of paper only to have it ripped up and destroyed moments later, to me that would immediately raise alarm bells in my spectators mind. However if you justify it by saying that someone "messed you up last week" and then moments later "I don't think you're the kind of person to mess me up are you", to me makes the effect much stronger.
Message: Posted by: MDantes (Mar 17, 2014 11:49PM)
PTurner is ah mazing at this!

Pete's work is inspiring period.
Message: Posted by: tricky360 (Mar 18, 2014 04:37AM)
Good first post Matt. ;-)

Nice justification. :)
Message: Posted by: mike herbert (Mar 18, 2014 07:03AM)
Personally I believe that framing and presentation is the real secret of magic and its allied arts. Not just the tricks but your act and personality, you have to know what you are, and importantly, what you are trying to say. I believe that this applies to pretty much everything in life.

I work as a non magical entertainer, and my experience is that if I visit groups after “the magician”, more often than not they are discussing how things were done. I would say that 50% of the time, they deduce the correct solution (and I am talking about the staple effects of magicians/mentalists) the rest of the time they arrive at a plausible solution to keep them satisfied. In my opinion this debases magic and puts it as mere tricks designed to fool you. I firmly believe that with the right presentation you could make “woofle dust” fly past them. Also why on earth would you want to leave an audience trying to figure out “how it was done”

The magician would be better to find an angle that runs through the act so that when he leaves the audience they are discussing him and what he wants them to be discussing rather than the solution to the trick. Eg if you were to say that you are an expert card cheat and manipulator of cards, and your presentation was right you would probably only need to learn a couple of flourishes and deck switch, to hold the audiences attention, better than the person who can do every sleight and can’t really present it.


Knowing your premise makes the whole process of choosing effects and presentation one hell of a lot easier, with the added bonus that there is some sense to what you are doing. When you leave your audience they will be talking about you and your amazing abilities. Should they try to establish how it was done then they will be assured by Mr know it all that it was down to whatever you said it was, as you will have ensured that you have also led him up the garden path as well.

To me, the presentation is the hardest aspect, which is why I don’t perform magic at the moment. I would really like to write a lot more about this sometime as it might inform me as to “what I want to say”.

Of course this is a mentalism page so I probably don’t need to tell you all this, you know, sucking eggs an all that. Unfortunately in the real world (at least in a close up setting) it is rare that I see it with any level of consistency.

You folks may disagree with me, and that is fine, but it is what I truly believe.

Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 18, 2014 07:21AM)
I was gonna say... shouldn't this be at the backbone of everything we do? correct and suitable framing of who you are and what you do helps build consistency and emotional buy into what you are sharing...
Message: Posted by: MDantes (Mar 18, 2014 08:02AM)
Yeah you're right Iain.

You're absolutely right.

It's nice watching people that are good at it.

You are another one with amazing frames.

Phill Smith too:)
Message: Posted by: Waters (Mar 18, 2014 08:17AM)
Marian, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Good words!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 18, 2014 08:36AM)
You like our glasses!!!��
Message: Posted by: geraldbelton (Mar 18, 2014 09:16AM)
On Mar 18, 2014, mike herbert wrote:
Also why on earth would you want to leave an audience trying to figure out “how it was done”


In Harry Anderson's Penguin lecture (which I highly recommend), he talks about our "conceit" vs. our "instantiation." Basically, the conceit is what we are trying to say, and the instantiation is how we say it. He points out that a typical magician does things backwards from every other artist: we start with the instantiation, the trick, and then figure out how to present it.

It's far better to start with the conceit, with what we want to say, and then develop the method for presenting it. Harry points out that if you don't know what your conceit is, the audience will supply one. And the one they supply will be, "I know something you don't know," which is the worst possible conceit for a magician to be working from. It reduces everything to a trick to be figured out.
Message: Posted by: LoveKey1988 (Mar 18, 2014 10:28AM)
I am glad this thread took of. I am tired of seeing some wanna be magicians doing a trick just because they can.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 10, 2014 06:04PM)
In a recent trick I did with framing and reframing I watched my friends reaction. He seemed to believe every word of it. He said I'm not even Gunna ask how it's done and that's scary all it was was equivoque. But, according to him it was real magic that superseded all other magic I had done for him in the past. I imagine that I should spend more time thinking up that deceit mentioned earlier.