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Topic: Getting 3 gimmicks, is it redundant?
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 10, 2014 06:40AM)
After a few years of amateur card magic it's time for me to focus on the reason I started this hobby, Mentalism. I've read 13 steps, had some billet practise, used a N*** ***r and been taking acting classes to use the right amount of emotion and presentation.

There are 3 gimmicks I'm interested in as they seem to have close-up applications as well as small stage (20 people).
- Super Sharpie
- Psypher
- The Xpert

However, as I'm unable to understand how these gimmicks work I wanted to ask the people here if I'm buying redundant items? I have some questions about the items as well.
1. As I'm figuring the Super Sharpie is a N*** ****R sharpie tip, is this also a holder for the gimmick?
2. With these 3 items, does it mean I'm carrying 3 (or 4 if I have a normal one) Sharpies with me all this time? If so, is there a way to make it less?

I hope people here can help with this.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 10, 2014 06:55AM)
We don't reveal workings of gimmicks I'm afraid...up here, the forum is findable via google very easily...

though if you wait until you hit 50 posts (but please don't spam) - you can access the non-googleable area called 'inner thoughts' - we can go a little more indepth in there...

however, if you use the search function for the items you ask about, there's lots of reviews for you to read up on...
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 10, 2014 07:13AM)
I understand that and I thank you for the advise. I will mix myself with more discussions to gather these 50 posts.

However, do the answers of these question really reveal the working?
Well, maybe with the power of deduction one might, so only this single question then:
Will it be redundant to buy these 3 gimmicks or is it a good combination?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 10, 2014 07:19AM)
Don't buy any of them...honestly...
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 10, 2014 07:47AM)
That is a very interesting reply which I did not predict, I guess I have to practise my Mentalism a bit more.

Could you add to your reply with a counter suggestion to what I should learn? These 3 gimmicks seem to give a interesting transition from my experience as a cardworked. As I'm not confident enough for Psy-forcing (although have tried and succeeded multiple times) and think a Super Sharpie would create a nice 'out' in many situations I'm really interested in what you may present as a good other option.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 10, 2014 07:54AM)
I don't use any of the three items, but I have looked at the advertising material. Super Sharpie and Psypher look like good items if you want to use them, though there is absolutely no need. However Xpert seems to be something I wouldn't buy if there was a gun to my head. Sorry I can't be of more help.
Message: Posted by: JayFredericks (Nov 10, 2014 07:58AM)
PM incoming.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Nov 10, 2014 08:41AM)
I've used and lived Psypher since its introduction. B smith is a friend and I use it often although others prefer other items which they feel are better. Fine with me.

The question you asked though is like asking which of 3 types of hammers or which of 3 screwdrivers is best.

You said your a card guy that wants to get into this stuff. So the better question for you is why you are so focused on the tools when it might be better to learn something about performance. Getting inf@ is easy - you could do that with a billet and pencil. The art is how it is fed back and that's to be found not in hammers, screwdrivers or Sharpies but rather in books of which others here can provide their recommendations.

So my point is your focused on the wrong thing. Im sure I know what Jay F is pm'ing you but even that is just another excellent type of hammer. Without the knowledge to be found in books, it will likely become a pricey paperweight in your drawer.
Message: Posted by: JayFredericks (Nov 10, 2014 08:45AM)
My PM basically said - "these are great, but put them aside and read Bob Cassidy's top 39 for beginners". =D
Message: Posted by: Freddan (Nov 10, 2014 08:58AM)
Buying gimmicks, sometimes stuff that will end up in the drawer, is a part of discovering and learning about magic and mentalism. I have a bunch of stuff I don't use that have played an importerna role in my development as a magician and in learning and understanding basic principles. So read a review (Google) or buy and find out for your self.
Message: Posted by: JayFredericks (Nov 10, 2014 09:05AM)
My longer public reply:

I'm not a gimmicks guy. My IP is my wallet. It's just a wallet. No secret surprises. I carry 2 gimmicks - a device for writing that matches a pencil in my other pocket and a few grains of rice. I guess sometimes I use a small coin out of the loose change in my pocket as a gimmick too - does that count? I like to use THEIR cards, THEIR envelopes, THEIR watches, so why carry around a bunch of stuff. There are SO many good methods that require practically nothing that I just don't see the need for anything special - besides the writing device. And even that can be replaced with a really short pencil if I'm wearing loose pants or a jacket of some sort.
In my opinion, the best thing someone fresh to mentalism can do is forget about the gimmicks and learn the basic methods - either from tutorial dvds or books (preferably books because they usually will not influence performing style).
Message: Posted by: jstreiff (Nov 10, 2014 10:07AM)
Remember that magicians and mentalists approach mystery performance differently. For the magician it is all about accumulating effects and methods. For the mentalist, it is first about developing character and persona, from that determining claims and abilities and then and only then deciding what effects are consistent and sensible given that character, persona and those claims. Method is the last thing mentalists are concerned about, unlike magicians. So a change of approach is the first thing someone coming to mentalism from magic must deal with. Everything else then eventually falls into place. You will discover that most all the greats of mentalism concur on these points.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 10, 2014 10:48AM)
As I said, please search and read the old comments and reviews on the items...

None of them are terrible, its just that if you read some more books 📚 you'll find other ways and means that you can play with...one gimmick pays for two or three books which will give you a broader knowledge and techniques to play with...

You'll have more fun too...

don't buy super sharpie...squuueeeeeeeeeeek!
Psypher - better options available which you'll see if you search

Teach a man to fish and all that...

None of the above is meant in a snooty way, genuinely trying to help out...
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Nov 10, 2014 11:00AM)
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, jstreiff wrote:
Remember that magicians and mentalists approach mystery performance differently. For the magician it is all about accumulating effects and methods. For the mentalist, it is first about developing character and persona, from that determining claims and abilities and then and only then deciding what effects are consistent and sensible given that character, persona and those claims. Method is the last thing mentalists are concerned about, unlike magicians. So a change of approach is the first thing someone coming to mentalism from magic must deal with. Everything else then eventually falls into place. You will discover that most all the greats of mentalism concur on these points. [/quote]

Exactly.
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Nov 10, 2014 11:24AM)
I'd recommend a Lincoln's Best B**n Listo Style instead of the Super Sharpie, or a Black Beauty if you're looking for something more affordable. It's easy enough to prepare your notepad itself as a hold out (cut a hole to fit the item in several pages near the back of the pad and trim those pages short a bit for easy access, also gluing them together). There's no squeaking with a listo style b**n, it writes easier than a Super Sharpie, looks like sharpie, you don't need to worry about ink running out, and you don't get marker all over you.

I'd also recommend a ParaLabs ParaPad instead of Psypher, and pick up the ParaPen Construction Kit, too.

I have no clue what the third item you mentioned is.

I wouldn't personally buy gimmicked items just to get them. I always script the routine I intend to use them for before purchase, so I know they won't just be a cool toy I throw in the drawer.
Message: Posted by: Galileo (Nov 10, 2014 05:14PM)
Paralabs. Your Welcome.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Nov 10, 2014 06:12PM)
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, IAIN wrote:
Don't buy any of them...honestly... [/quote]

Second that! Why? Because you can blow people away with the classics (basics).

Mentalism and magic may have some common roots, but they are as different as night and day.

Best wishes and good luck,


Scott
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 10, 2014 06:15PM)
You guys are cruel to Xpert - one of the unsung items.... when I got it I made a cool effect called Mona Lisa Scream (yes, it was in the Oracle).... got me thinking - now years later it might seem like "wha eva" but with the right presentation etc. it is a good thing... like any tool - it just needs the right job...

(well, except for crap ripoff tools)

SS - well, I am too clumsy for it so built my own version/method..with SS I got messy

Psypher - never found it as good as Riggs devices - and if you want Psyher style done write/right - Paralabs all the way

IMHO
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 10, 2014 06:24PM)
From memory, it was first mentioned/discussed by kenton...Xpert that is..
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 10, 2014 06:42PM)
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, IAIN wrote:
From memory, it was first mentioned/discussed by kenton...Xpert that is.. [/quote]
Enough for me to pass on it.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Nov 10, 2014 07:00PM)
Phren, get some posts under your belt and make your way downstairs to show people you are serious. There will be lots of help down there.

Remember, like anything new in life, it's a process. Everything you buy, study, learn, whether you think it's good or bad, gets you more experience. It's a process and the process takes time. Enjoy the process!
Message: Posted by: MVoss (Nov 10, 2014 08:22PM)
Bob Cassidy shows how to make a really great and cheap NW in one of his books, I think in one of the Doctor Crow book? He teaches it in his Penguin lecture, that's where I saw it.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 10, 2014 09:09PM)
Yes- It's in The Resurrection of Doctor Crow. IMO its the cheapest, best, and most practical writer I've ever used.
Message: Posted by: dannywu (Nov 11, 2014 01:44AM)
Super Sharpie is pretty good but definitely has its flaws such as the b**n drying out easily. As for the pad, I'd recommend the parapad over psypher.
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 11, 2014 04:00AM)
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, saysold1 wrote:
The question you asked though is like asking which of 3 types of hammers or which of 3 screwdrivers is best.

You said your a card guy that wants to get into this stuff. So the better question for you is why you are so focused on the tools when it might be better to learn something about performance. Getting inf@ is easy - you could do that with a billet and pencil. The art is how it is fed back and that's to be found not in hammers, screwdrivers or Sharpies but rather in books of which others here can provide their recommendations.

So my point is your focused on the wrong thing. Im sure I know what Jay F is pm'ing you but even that is just another excellent type of hammer. Without the knowledge to be found in books, it will likely become a pricey paperweight in your drawer. [/quote]
I'm sorry if I didn't communicate correctly. My question is based on the lack of knowledge what these gimmicks do. If they are 3 hammers, then just telling me so and say I just need 1 of those hammers would suffice. I understand that people need to know the basics and the focus would be on presentation. As my first post tried to communicate was that I do focus on those things and spend quite some time practising till perfection. However, I've found that a N*** ****r is a nice and valuable tool for a mentalist and I merely was looking for a replacement from pencil to sharpie so I'm able to present to a larger audience.
About the Psypher, I thought a pad would be a nice addition. It seems people here are more enthousiastic about this parapad which I haven't heard of yet till now
The Xpert is a completly unknown gimmick to me. As I pay about 30 dollars shipping cost when I buy something, I thought I would give it a shot.

I understand that from a more experienced point of view, as yours seem to be, these gimmicks might seem useless. However, Experience need to be gained and gimmicks do make that easier.
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, jstreiff wrote:
Remember that magicians and mentalists approach mystery performance differently. For the magician it is all about accumulating effects and methods. For the mentalist, it is first about developing character and persona, from that determining claims and abilities and then and only then deciding what effects are consistent and sensible given that character, persona and those claims. Method is the last thing mentalists are concerned about, unlike magicians. So a change of approach is the first thing someone coming to mentalism from magic must deal with. Everything else then eventually falls into place. You will discover that most all the greats of mentalism concur on these points. [/quote]
Indeed, Method is probably the last thing a Mentalist is concerned about, but why do you assume my character development needs work? Just because I ask questions about gimmicks? If you'd like I can give you a whole desciption of my persona and presentation of abilities.
[quote]On Nov 10, 2014, Freddan wrote:
Buying gimmicks, sometimes stuff that will end up in the drawer, is a part of discovering and learning about magic and mentalism. I have a bunch of stuff I don't use that have played an importerna role in my development as a magician and in learning and understanding basic principles. So read a review (Google) or buy and find out for your self. [/quote]
Thank you for this as I fully agree. I'm almost looking forward to add the gimmicks to the 'never use again'-drawer. It will mean I've gained more experience by performance and not through theory.

I'm sleightly surprised (which I shouldn't be) about the assumption that people make about me not focussing on the right thing. My presentational work is fine and just because someone has interest in the expansion of his props doesn't mean he's walking the wrong path.

With that said, Thank you to the people who are answering my questions. I did not know of this 'ParaPad' people are talking about, I'll look into that. The Xpert was first a strong candidate (after my research with google) but doesn't seem to win that much in this conversation. I will leave it for now.

I Understand most people here are just trying to help and I greaty appreciate that, so thank you.
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Nov 11, 2014 04:14AM)
I'd like to point out that neither I, nor any other professional mentalist, would ever use a "writer" (such as the ones you can find [url=https://www.google.com/search?q=listo+writer]HERE[/url] by simply Googling the terms from this thread). Only amateur magicians use such things.

Also note that mentalists don't use "gimmicks".

Wink face ;)
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 11, 2014 04:42AM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2014, MatCult wrote:
I'd like to point out that neither I, nor any other professional mentalist, would ever use a "writer" (such as the ones you can find [url=https://www.google.com/search?q=listo+writer]HERE[/url] by simply Googling the terms from this thread). Only amateur magicians use such things.

Also note that mentalists don't use "gimmicks".

Wink face ;) [/quote] I don't really mind being defined an amateur magician if that means I'm able to grow towards something I'd like to become.
I Have to admit I did not know of the term 'listo writer', which probably is caused by the fact that English is not my native language and 'Listo' is not a known word to me.

Also:
- "I'd like to point out that neither I, nor any other professional mentalist, would ever use a "writer"
- "Only amateur magicians use such things."
- "Also note that mentalists don't use "gimmicks"."

I believe that not using gimmicks doesn't make anyone professional. I've seen Luke Jermay use marked decks(one of his workshops), Seen Derren Brown use a Swami gimmick and single face decks (on DVD) and I've read that David berglas has used stooges.

Why try to do things without gimmicks if it's not the method that counts but the effect you have on your public? If a gimmick helps me do a better job, why shouldn't I use it? just because it's not cool? or professional?

@all: I'm feeling a good amount of judgement in this thread which I was unprepared for. Luckily there are plenty of good people helping me in my development and I thank thee. However, the 'warmth' that was promised in the welcome topics is far to be found. I have a feeling I need to defend myself for a simple question which can only be asked on forums like these. I hope I'm misinterpeting many comments and it's the weather that has clouded my judgement.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Nov 11, 2014 09:16AM)
Phren-

You've gotten some very helpful and friendly responses. Sadly you seem a bit insecure and overly sensitive with the answers generously provided to you. You are certainly misinterpreting things and starting off on the wrong foot here.

The type of question you asked - which of 3 gimmicks etc is best? Is a question we see here on this section often. It's certainly not a bad question but we see this asked a lot especially from Magicians (of which I and many of us were at one time). If you want us to know more about your background please feel free to share with us - but it us natural to make assumptions based on your initial questions.

Thicken your skin a little Phren - people here are generously trying to help you including me. No one has insulted you. You are new here and it takes time to create a relationship. If you dip your toes in the water and ask a question then be prepared for a variety of answers. Some may be helpful and others might not be applicable to you - but if you can't handle the fire stay out of the kitchen.

On these forums done of the top performers in the world offer their wisdom along with everything from part time hobbiests and in between. That's a great resource and we are here to help. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 11, 2014 09:57AM)
Phren,


Your list of gimmicks and the mentalists you claim use them seems incomplete. Any chance you could expose some more of them on a public forum?

Thanks.

Regards,
Martin
Message: Posted by: Galileo (Nov 11, 2014 10:50AM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Phren,


Your list of gimmicks and the mentalists you claim use them seems incomplete. Any chance you could expose some more of them on a public forum?

Thanks.

Regards,
Martin [/quote]

Yeah really it feels lacking to me.Jokes aside phren don't talk so in depth like this in penny please, get 50 posts and go downstairs.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 11, 2014 12:01PM)
Phren-

The post suggesting that no mentalists use such gimmicks was a subtle hint that we don't openly talk about these things in the public areas of the Café.
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 11, 2014 12:25PM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2014, saysold1 wrote:
Phren-

You've gotten some very helpful and friendly responses. Sadly you seem a bit insecure and overly sensitive with the answers generously provided to you. You are certainly misinterpreting things and starting off on the wrong foot here.

The type of question you asked - which of 3 gimmicks etc is best? Is a question we see here on this section often. It's certainly not a bad question but we see this asked a lot especially from Magicians (of which I and many of us were at one time). If you want us to know more about your background please feel free to share with us - but it us natural to make assumptions based on your initial questions.

Thicken your skin a little Phren - people here are generously trying to help you including me. No one has insulted you. You are new here and it takes time to create a relationship. If you dip your toes in the water and ask a question then be prepared for a variety of answers. Some may be helpful and others might not be applicable to you - but if you can't handle the fire stay out of the kitchen.

On these forums done of the top performers in the world offer their wisdom along with everything from part time hobbiests and in between. That's a great resource and we are here to help. Good luck. [/quote]

It seems this is a matter of miscommunication. The question 'which is best' is something I would prefer to research for myself. You might wish to re-read the first post as my questions was about redundance.
I thank the people for their help and the felt judgement was probably because of the miscommunication.

I apologise about the openness of my talking.. I wanted to edit it but are unable to at the moment. I've reported it and hope a moderator will make the adjustments needed.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 11, 2014 12:35PM)
Don't worry about it..it happens..we all have had the odd argument and strange miscommunications happen...no one got shot did they...

we used to have a sticky thread that some of us put together to try and help out new people, but it got removed...shame - but there you go...most people don't realise that the forum is googleable, and if we talk too openly up here, we can give away a bit too much...

i'm sure you'll wrack up 50 posts in no time - and hey, if you wanna spend your money on stuff you might not use, go for it...there's loads of stuff reviewed in Mentally Speaking and Latest and Greatest...go for it...
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Nov 11, 2014 01:32PM)
Read lots of books. Start with Bob's list. The most you'll probably do is spend a few afternoons in Staples, although you may find yourself buying a special wallet of some sort (some are actually worth having). I'd also recommend Osterlind's videos (and Bob's of course).

One of the main problems probably is that you haven't seen enough mentalism performed in the first place. Once you've seen a load, you'll realise just how few props there really are.

You know you're a mentalist when: you can entertain everyone for an hour with nothing more than a few scraps of paper and a pen, if that.

:)
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Nov 11, 2014 01:34PM)
Oh yeah, I forgot. READ LOTS OF BOOKS. Well I did say that, but I'm saying it again. Books retain their value, look nice on your shelf, show you how people actually THINK.

If you want to leap straight in to thinking like a mentalist, buy PS1.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Nov 11, 2014 02:35PM)
[quote]On Nov 11, 2014, bevbevvybev wrote:

You know you're a mentalist when: you can entertain everyone for an hour with nothing more than a few scraps of paper and a pen, if that.

:) [/quote]

Well said!

Best,


Scott