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Topic: Ran Gafner on Penn&Teller Fool Us
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 29, 2017 09:00AM)
Hi guys check out my act on Fool Us :)
https://youtu.be/_FOoZ7l6E48
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Sep 29, 2017 09:11AM)
Very nice performance, Ran! Very creative, entertaining and completely deceptive to laymen. Loved it!
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 29, 2017 09:27AM)
Thank you so much Stunninger!
Message: Posted by: MontrealMagic (Sep 29, 2017 10:58AM)
LOVED it!
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Sep 29, 2017 11:03AM)
Wonderful routine, Ran! Sad to see P&T felt the need to give such detailed Google bombs to your engaging performance.
Message: Posted by: Sven Rygh (Sep 29, 2017 01:05PM)
I have just two questions;

Why did you take this on P&T?
Why did you post it here?
Message: Posted by: Samuel Catoe (Sep 29, 2017 07:49PM)
When I first saw the routine, I thought it was ok, but not terribly entertaining. It seemed overly long and tedious. There were several good lines that helped break the tedium to me. It was interesting but not compelling. As for methods, I saw several possibilities and methodologies at work. Do I think it would fool an audience? Certainly. Do I think it would entertain an audience? Not necessarily. I wouldn't use the routine, as it was performed, as a closer, but more of a filler routine in the middle. I feel that's a shame as that routine could definitely be a closer with some tweaking.
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 29, 2017 09:48PM)
Well, thank you Samuel! after doing this routine for 5 years now as a closer to every show of mine and BTW winning with it in the euro FISM, I Can certainly say that its really entertaining for my audience, the reaction is wonderful and it kills them..this is what I know people talk about the most after my show..and its very original.
Message: Posted by: Samuel Catoe (Sep 30, 2017 05:14AM)
Ran, I can honestly say that I am very happy for you that you get great mileage out of the routine. Perhaps it is simply that the routine doesn't mesh well with my style, who can say. When I say I saw several methodologies in it, I say I saw them, that does not say they actually exist. I'm not here trying to pick your routine apart, just saying what I thought I saw. Truthfully, I am one who sticks to the idea that method does not matter, all that matters is the audience is entertained. That entertainment need not be humor. It can be terror, bewilderment, or whatever your goal is for said routine, but it MUST entertain them to the point that they want more.

As for originality, you have that in spades. It is one of the most original routines I've come across in the mentalism or magic world. I've seen only one routine that comes even close to this one, and that is Larry Becker's Virtuosity where the performer is playing a small violin to the tune of a mentally selected piece of music. It doesn't have the layers that your routine does.

I wish you continued success in your career. Please know that my opinions are nothing more than that, and they reflect my own style of performing. What works for you may well not work for me.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Sep 30, 2017 08:00AM)
It is easy to criticize; it is hard to create something original.

But rest assured, whenever you offer something original to the public, there will always be those who immediately attempt to tear it apart.

I remember seeing the FISM performance first, and I think the routine went a little more smoothly then. Alyson's choices were not ideal, but we got a chance to see your outs for those instances.

As always, I await the time when those armchair critics present their routines on P&T.
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Sep 30, 2017 08:30AM)
Well said Philemon.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Sep 30, 2017 11:21AM)
This was AWESOME!!! Perfect for the show and your persona!!!!
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Sep 30, 2017 12:35PM)
[quote]On Sep 30, 2017, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
It is easy to criticize; it is hard to create something original.

But rest assured, whenever you offer something original to the public, there will always be those who immediately attempt to tear it apart.

[/quote]
If you don't want honest feedback I don't see much point posting a video on here. Unless people are just looking to be told how wonderful they are -which I would say is your mother's job.

Personally I enjoyed seeing a routine with a different spin, engagingly delivered. Just a shame P&T feel the need to use such specific terminology in their feedback.

Ran looks like a mean jazz guitarist, too!
Message: Posted by: Lior (Sep 30, 2017 01:55PM)
I saw the full routine that has much more then what was
shown on the PT and it is Incredible.
Incredible.
The routine is original and have many liars that
make it a very strong pice of visual mentalism.
(And aoudio as well)
I think that Ran fooled them and they didn't get
the right solution.

Lior
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 30, 2017 02:24PM)
Thank you Lior! it is heart warming :)
Message: Posted by: sharonyyy (Sep 30, 2017 02:42PM)
Wow!!
i saw that live several times, and yet, this act on fool us was the best performing I ever saw, and brilliant idea!!
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 30, 2017 02:43PM)
Thanks sharon! :)
Message: Posted by: bowers (Sep 30, 2017 07:51PM)
I really enjoyed this Ran.
Message: Posted by: Ray Bertrand (Sep 30, 2017 10:31PM)
Great performance Ran. Really liked the presentation. It was clean, precise, and you made Allyson's bad choices totally entertaining.

Ray
Message: Posted by: david12345 (Sep 30, 2017 11:02PM)
I enjoyed it very much, always nice to see creativity.
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Sep 30, 2017 11:39PM)
Thank you very much guys ;)
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Oct 1, 2017 08:56AM)
[quote]On Sep 30, 2017, Martin Pulman wrote:
If you don't want honest feedback I don't see much point posting a video on here. Unless people are just looking to be told how wonderful they are -which I would say is your mother's job.
[/quote]

But has "honest feedback" actually been given?

And perhaps the point of posting is to share a routine with the fraternity (who may not be watching P&TFU) and to inspire them by showing how a classic idea can be adapted with a new twist.

It certainly beats the times I've seen acts presented the same way that every other magician has presented them.
Message: Posted by: Amirá (Oct 1, 2017 10:22AM)
Wonderful performance Ran, congratulations!

Relaxed, casual attitude but with a strong sense of charismatic control.

Keep doing your good work :)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 1, 2017 10:30AM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
[quote]On Sep 30, 2017, Martin Pulman wrote:
If you don't want honest feedback I don't see much point posting a video on here. Unless people are just looking to be told how wonderful they are -which I would say is your mother's job.
[/quote]

But has "honest feedback" actually been given?

[/quote]
Are you saying the people praising Ran's performance, including me, are not being honest? Or is it only those who don't like it that you are accusing of dishonesty?
Message: Posted by: Samuel Catoe (Oct 1, 2017 10:40AM)
It was my honest opinion of the routine Philemon. Whether you would call that feedback or not, I can't say as I didn't give the opinion with any expectation or intent of anyone taking it as advice. I posted my feelings on the routine. That has nothing to do with Ran's creativity in creating the routine itself, only my opinion regarding the performance of it. I think the premise is a brilliant one and that the methodologies that I saw were beautifully done, and I applaud his creating a routine unlike most of what is out there. If he gets great responses from his clients and they love him, then truthfully, does my opinion REALLY matter for anything? I don't think so. I get that my opinion really wasn't asked for, nor wanted, but it's there and I can't delete it. Nor am I taking anymore space here trying to defend it.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 1, 2017 10:44AM)
Keep giving your honest opinion Samuel. Many of us appreciate honesty -even if it is negative criticism.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Oct 1, 2017 12:12PM)
[quote]On Sep 30, 2017, Lior wrote:
I saw the full routine that has much more then what was
shown on the PT and it is Incredible.
Incredible.
The routine is original and have many liars that
make it a very strong pice of visual mentalism.
(And aoudio as well)
I think that Ran fooled them and they didn't get
the right solution.

Lior [/quote]
I agree. I seriously doubt they could duplicate this so easily.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Oct 1, 2017 12:24PM)
[quote]On Sep 29, 2017, Samuel Catoe wrote:
When I first saw the routine, I thought it was ok, but not terribly entertaining. It seemed overly long and tedious. There were several good lines that helped break the tedium to me. It was interesting but not compelling. As for methods, I saw several possibilities and methodologies at work. Do I think it would fool an audience? Certainly. Do I think it would entertain an audience? Not necessarily. I wouldn't use the routine, as it was performed, as a closer, but more of a filler routine in the middle. I feel that's a shame as that routine could definitely be a closer with some tweaking. [/quote]

While Samuel was definitely being honest with his opinion, does this really constitute honest feedback? Certainly Samuel has the right to express his opinion that he was not entertained and that he felt the routine was "overly long and tedious." It is when he states that he does not think it would entertain an audience that he crosses the line from just expressing his personal opinion into venturing into territory that he has inadequate experience in.

As we can clearly hear and see from the P&TFU audience, they WERE entertained. Ran also states that the routine consistently entertains, and he would know from direct experience. If it didn't, I doubt that he would keep performing it. The fact that it won an award at FISM demonstrates that even his peers thought it bore merit.

I also found it curious that Samuel needed to state how he would and wouldn't use the routine. Um, it's not for anyone else but Ran to perform (until such time he decides to publish it or sell it). It is HIS routine, truly original, and no one should even think of performing it. As for whether it is better suited as a "filler" or a closer is likewise a ludicrous argument. As has been expressed by countless professionals in the past, no routine should be a "filler;" every routine should be viewed as a potential closer, otherwise it should be removed from the act. If it is so weak as to be thought of as a filler, then it has no place in a full act.

There's a fine distinction between "negative criticism" and simply tearing down another person's act. Criticism does have its place, but it should always be constructive, and should come from a place of well-informed opinion. And personally, I believe that criticism should only be given when it has been asked for by the creator. Ran shared his video so that we could watch and enjoy it. It's fine to not to like his routine, but then one should just move on. Ran should only be concerned about how his audiences react, not what a bunch of amateurs think. Not many of us are of the caliber to win an award at FISM or even be invited to perform on P&TFU. Until we have, then our opinions remain merely personal, and often are not well-informed.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 1, 2017 02:04PM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
As for whether it is better suited as a "filler" or a closer is likewise a ludicrous argument. As has been expressed by countless professionals in the past, no routine should be a "filler;" every routine should be viewed as a potential closer, otherwise it should be removed from the act. If it is so weak as to be thought of as a filler, then it has no place in a full act.
[/quote]

I couldn't disagree more. A performance has to have dynamics. If everything is a closer then nothing is a closer. A performance should ebb and flow and hit climaxes at certain points. It is a well-known rule of creating film and theatre that there are certain beats within the piece that have to be built to, and then followed by moments of release to allow the audience to prepare for the next climax. "Filler" is a poor choice of words, but there should certainly be moments within a routine that steady the ship, that lower the tension and weight for a moment. They might be comedic or simply fun, but they should certainly be there. And your climax should definitely be the highpoint of your film/play/mentalism act (unless you follow it with a coda which is a sadly unexplored idea in mentalism performances).If your closing routine isn't operating at a higher level of wonder, mystery and entertainment than the rest of your performance you better get to work on pumping it up to a higher level.
[quote]
There's a fine distinction between "negative criticism" and simply tearing down another person's act. Criticism does have its place, but it should always be constructive, and should come from a place of well-informed opinion. And personally, I believe that criticism should only be given when it has been asked for by the creator. Ran shared his video so that we could watch and enjoy it. It's fine to not to like his routine, but then one should just move on. Ran should only be concerned about how his audiences react, not what a bunch of amateurs think. Not many of us are of the caliber to win an award at FISM or even be invited to perform on P&TFU. Until we have, then our opinions remain merely personal, and often are not well-informed. [/quote]

I didn't see Ran making any complaints about the Café members who praised his routine? Nor do I see you dismissing them as "amateurs". I disagree with Samuel but found his comments interesting to ponder. You can always learn something from all criticism -regardless of its origins. Even if it is to learn that you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Never let praise go to your head, and never let criticism get to your heart -as they say on those annoying cards they sell in every tacky gift shop.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Oct 1, 2017 02:42PM)
I said "every routine should be viewed as a potential closer," not that "everything is a closer." Obviously a performer should choose their strongest routine as their actual closer, but every routine along the way should be strong enough to be performed alone, if necessary. Ever watch a film that had a scene that "went nowhere?" That's what a "filler" piece of magic is like; it doesn't go anywhere and doesn't contribute to the overall act. You can certainly include elements that foreshadow a moment later on in the act, but they still need to be part of a strong piece of magic.

When we praise a routine, we function as audience members. When we dare to criticize, we are elevating ourselves to the status of well-informed peers, which not all of us truly are. If you don't like something, say so (if you wish), then move on, but do not dare to presume that everyone feels the same. To speak as if you know the collective mind of a performer's audience is simply presumptive hubris.

As performers, we should cherish any praise we receive, as it is rare nowadays. Likewise, we should ignore most criticism, as any idiot can tweet out 140 characters.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 1, 2017 03:38PM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
I said "every routine should be viewed as a potential closer," not that "everything is a closer." [/quote]
Much as I enjoyed Ran's routine, it is never a potential closer in a million years. So it is actually failing the strange test you are setting.

[quote]As performers, we should cherish any praise we receive, as it is rare nowadays. Likewise, we should ignore most criticism, as any idiot can tweet out 140 characters. [/quote]
And any idiot can tweet out 140 characters of praise. Perhaps a little less praise and a little more honest criticism would stop terrible performers inflicting terrible mentalism on audiences, and stop terrible creators inflicting shoddy, half-thought out effects on buyers.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Oct 1, 2017 04:41PM)
Ran says he has been using it as his closer for five years now. What makes you think it's not a "potential closer?"

There will always be "terrible performers inflicting terrible mentalism on audiences" despite how much "honest criticism" is bestowed upon them thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect. And most critics themselves are subject to the D-K effect as well, believing that their criticism is well-informed, when it's not.

As for terrible creators, they thrive on gullible buyers, but that has nothing to do with Ran or his routine.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 1, 2017 04:48PM)
Maybe we could have a new part of the forum where users get to critique other users posts...
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Oct 1, 2017 05:26PM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, IAIN wrote:
Maybe we could have a new part of the forum where users get to critique other users posts... [/quote]

That's a terrible post.
:rotf: :goof: :lol: :bg:

Greg
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 1, 2017 05:28PM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Greg Arce wrote:
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, IAIN wrote:
Maybe we could have a new part of the forum where users get to critique other users posts... [/quote]

That's a terrible post.
:rotf: :goof: :lol: :bg:

Greg [/quote]

6/10 for you Greg...
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Oct 1, 2017 11:32PM)
Philemon thank you so much! I really appreciate it and you really expressed my thoughts..though I accept criticism with love, it should be constructive.

Martin thank you for saying that you enjoyed my act but I really don't get how you can say that it can't be a closer for a million years?.. I close my show with this routine ( which has another element that was missing from mt FU act) and it kills my audience, most time I get standing ovation for it
Message: Posted by: Yuan Moons (Oct 1, 2017 11:55PM)
[quote]On Sep 29, 2017, Sven Rygh wrote:
I have just two questions;

Why did you take this on P&T?
Why did you post it here? [/quote]

P&T is a magic show and this is a magic forum. Are you in the right place?
Message: Posted by: Last Laugh (Oct 2, 2017 12:04AM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, IAIN wrote:
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Greg Arce wrote:
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, IAIN wrote:
Maybe we could have a new part of the forum where users get to critique other users posts... [/quote]

That's a terrible post.
:rotf: :goof: :lol: :bg:

Greg [/quote]




6/10 for you Greg... [/quote]




[img]http://sannyasnews.org/now/wp-content/uploads/733831.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 2, 2017 06:48AM)
[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, mentalran wrote:
Philemon thank you so much! I really appreciate it and you really expressed my thoughts..though I accept criticism with love, it should be constructive.

Martin thank you for saying that you enjoyed my act but I really don't get how you can say that it can't be a closer for a million years?.. I close my show with this routine ( which has another element that was missing from mt FU act) and it kills my audience, most time I get standing ovation for it [/quote]

Then perhaps it is the missing element that turns it into a closer worthy of a standing ovation? I'm only judging the routine on the performance you posted. I thought it was a beautiful, engaging routine with a fascinating premise and -for a US audience- a pleasing pay-off. I also loved your humorous interaction with the host during the selections.
But -as presented here-I would find it too gentle and slow-paced to be used as a closer, with too few climaxes and an absence of theatrical tension or emotion.

But that's just my opinion. Other opinions are available. And I really did think it was beautifully performed.
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Oct 2, 2017 09:44AM)
Here is the ending of my FISM act with the added element.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwM1rH3_PxY
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Oct 2, 2017 05:39PM)
Very nice, Ran. Great to see a routine using music as a hook.
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Oct 3, 2017 04:10PM)
Exactly! It’s the difference between being hurtful and helpful.

[quote]On Oct 1, 2017, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
[quote]On Sep 29, 2017, Samuel Catoe wrote:
When I first saw the routine, I thought it was ok, but not terribly entertaining. It seemed overly long and tedious. There were several good lines that helped break the tedium to me. It was interesting but not compelling. As for methods, I saw several possibilities and methodologies at work. Do I think it would fool an audience? Certainly. Do I think it would entertain an audience? Not necessarily. I wouldn't use the routine, as it was performed, as a closer, but more of a filler routine in the middle. I feel that's a shame as that routine could definitely be a closer with some tweaking. [/quote]

While Samuel was definitely being honest with his opinion, does this really constitute honest feedback? Certainly Samuel has the right to express his opinion that he was not entertained and that he felt the routine was "overly long and tedious." It is when he states that he does not think it would entertain an audience that he crosses the line from just expressing his personal opinion into venturing into territory that he has inadequate experience in.

As we can clearly hear and see from the P&TFU audience, they WERE entertained. Ran also states that the routine consistently entertains, and he would know from direct experience. If it didn't, I doubt that he would keep performing it. The fact that it won an award at FISM demonstrates that even his peers thought it bore merit.

I also found it curious that Samuel needed to state how he would and wouldn't use the routine. Um, it's not for anyone else but Ran to perform (until such time he decides to publish it or sell it). It is HIS routine, truly original, and no one should even think of performing it. As for whether it is better suited as a "filler" or a closer is likewise a ludicrous argument. As has been expressed by countless professionals in the past, no routine should be a "filler;" every routine should be viewed as a potential closer, otherwise it should be removed from the act. If it is so weak as to be thought of as a filler, then it has no place in a full act.

There's a fine distinction between "negative criticism" and simply tearing down another person's act. Criticism does have its place, but it should always be constructive, and should come from a place of well-informed opinion. And personally, I believe that criticism should only be given when it has been asked for by the creator. Ran shared his video so that we could watch and enjoy it. It's fine to not to like his routine, but then one should just move on. Ran should only be concerned about how his audiences react, not what a bunch of amateurs think. Not many of us are of the caliber to win an award at FISM or even be invited to perform on P&TFU. Until we have, then our opinions remain merely personal, and often are not well-informed. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: philraso (Oct 3, 2017 11:24PM)
Very nice routine. Like a chair test with bells. I liked it. This would fool an audience for sure. But it is not really Equ******. So I think he fooled them. I wonder what Mike and Johnny thought. Of course it was a !@#$*. Penn mentions that too many times.

I also loved the way you let her switch notes 1/5 or 2/4. Very clever. Only a musician might catch that. But not the first time.

A+. Thanks for posting. I missed that episode.
Message: Posted by: _frankiefourfingers (Oct 4, 2017 04:43PM)
I believe the reason that Martin is expressing that the showcased version on Penn and Teller is not a potential closer (I probably shouldn’t speak for Martin and might be completely wrong) is simple and something not to be overlooked. In almost all cases to get a ‘standing O’ the performer must be on stage on his/her own with one extra kick as the closer to get people to their feet. If stage isn’t your thing, pick your favourite performer and just watch the last ten minutes of their act. This is one of the first things you learn when writing an act or a stage show.

If there are audience members on the stage and you close the show, the ending is left messy and doesn’t quite feel like a definitive conclusion. I think this also might be due to the audience being accustomed subconsciously to most shows ending like this and therefore it puts them into a state of confusion which can dampen the way they react at the back end.

The advice shared by Martin on purposefully creating an act that is dynamic and moves the tone/ feeling in the room is spot on and a great piece of advice for anyone wanting to build a stage act.

I like this act and like the choice of song and the fact it drives people to their feet - I’m intrigued to hear what the final kicker is once the participants leave the stage. Ran you were cool, composed and concise.

Thanks for sharing,

Frankie
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Oct 5, 2017 12:03PM)
Well in most cases I hand the bells to the first row, which means Im alone on the stage at the second climax
Message: Posted by: _frankiefourfingers (Oct 5, 2017 02:43PM)
[quote]On Oct 5, 2017, mentalran wrote:
Well in most cases I hand the bells to the first row, which means Im alone on the stage at the second climax [/quote]

But the props are still in the audience?

Frankie
Message: Posted by: mentalran (Oct 6, 2017 12:11AM)
Yes. Its the closer but I have an encore
Message: Posted by: Rachmaninov (Oct 8, 2017 05:38PM)
As a musician and ŕ mentalist too, I liked your routine. The little lines make the choices process interesting and not boring at all.
I agree with some here : I don’t believe P&T have grabbed everything. Just one of the tools.
There is nice things to do in this direction, I mean combining music and magic. Keep going !
Message: Posted by: loserdlj (Feb 28, 2019 10:18PM)
Wonderful routine
Message: Posted by: CGould (Mar 1, 2019 09:30AM)
Great routine!