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Topic: 38 Blocks
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (May 21, 2020 04:45PM)
Greetings one and all
I trust this finds you well, just wanted put out there a heads up about a BT that touches on a subject not really dealt with New Orleans prostitution in 1915 (think of the storytelling possibilities ;)
The book has been created by Paul Noffsinger and is available from Gemini Artifacts (creators of way too many cool items)
here is a blurb
"Gemini Artifacts is proud to present Paul Noffsingerís 38 BLOCKS book test. This incredible pocket sized book is based on an actual book from 1915.

38 BLOCKS recreates one of New Orleans famous BLUE BOOKS. A Blue Book was in its simplest form a listing of prostitutes and local brothels located in the 38 block area in New Orleans called STORYVILLE.

Throughout its pages, you will find real names and places in history."
it does contain nudity (so not for the kiddies)

I myself ordered one so if you want something unique, join us under the red light.

https://www.geminiartifacts.com/products/38-blocks
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (May 23, 2020 01:59AM)
I ordered this cause it'll be a good prop for a hauntique I'm building. I'm not sure I can memorize the table needed to actually divine the thought of person's attributes.
Message: Posted by: gothicmagic (May 23, 2020 11:01AM)
Indeed
these guys made a prop that would cost a huge chunk of change if one where to buy an original (and Vics stuff really could pass for one)
but maybe use the crib sheet somehow? (maybe on the back of a frame of a picture of a bldg ,one of the girls or a map of Storyville)
Message: Posted by: roblane (May 23, 2020 06:15PM)
I ordered this the instant the email from Gemini landed. Love the storytelling possibilities and it's by Paul and Vic so we know it'll look amazing. Hope it doesn't take too long to reach Blighty...Ö.
Message: Posted by: Joe Roberts (May 24, 2020 02:20AM)
This looks great but I'm a little confused by the description of the routine. It says:

"The spectator reads the profile to themselves and learns much about the specific girl. They can learn her nationality or favorite flower. They can learn about her hair color or personality. After the spectator chooses and reads the profile silently, they turn to the next page and begin reading a list of names aloud. The names can be read in any order.

The work has been done and the performer now knows not only the name of the profile the spectator is looking at, but also her nationality, personality trait, hair type and a personal item."

Is there anything to stop them from assuming you just memorized the women listed on the opposite page and that's how you know which one they looked at?
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (May 24, 2020 02:53AM)
[quote]On May 24, 2020, Joe Roberts wrote:
This looks great but I'm a little confused by the description of the routine. It says:

"The spectator reads the profile to themselves and learns much about the specific girl. They can learn her nationality or favorite flower. They can learn about her hair color or personality. After the spectator chooses and reads the profile silently, they turn to the next page and begin reading a list of names aloud. The names can be read in any order.

The work has been done and the performer now knows not only the name of the profile the spectator is looking at, but also her nationality, personality trait, hair type and a personal item."

Is there anything to stop them from assuming you just memorized the women listed on the opposite page and that's how you know which one they looked at? [/quote]If I follow your question they would have to assume you not only memorized every profile in the book but also every accompanying list of girls.
Message: Posted by: Sparrowhwk (May 26, 2020 01:26AM)
I like the premise and story of this, and we know the quality will be great - but I just can't justify the weird procedure. I can't figure out how to make the reading aloud part make sense, it just jars and makes no sense to me.
Message: Posted by: sgiandubh (May 29, 2020 02:18PM)
Ordered. you know the quality of the book will be superb,then it's down to you as the performer... Not everything works for everyone but you can make your own adaptions to the presentation.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 1, 2020 02:08AM)
I'd love to read a review of this. Anything having to do with New Orleans holds my interest.
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (Jun 3, 2020 06:47PM)
Got mine today and it looks decent, and while I don't know about performing it outright I think it'll be a nice addition to the thing I'm working on. I've had the instructions for like two weeks so I've had plenty of time to familiarize myself with the workings. The instructions was 18 pages with two simple sample routines. The routines and the how to were 6 of the 18 pages most of the rest was like background info. It really is a prop that you're expected to find a use for rather than fuller fledged work. Though the web page and the instructions vaguely suggest that it will be part of fuller work yet to be released. The second effect listed on the website is not in the instructions and I can't say I'm happy with the relevant parts of the book.

As for the actual method I had my partner pick girl after girl and couldn't figure out how I knew which one so I feel confident it would fly over someone who never really gets to pick more than one. She did kind of catch onto how I knew things about each girl but that's probably to be expected.

To me the biggest con is that some of the pictures of the girls are obviously digital. Some have noise and others have extreme pixelation. It could probably fly under the radar with person management and maybe lighting. But I feel that under most focused scrutiny would not pass as genuine article. I only refereed to it as a reproduction and before I admitted shenanigans my partner believed it to be a period accurate reproduction.
Message: Posted by: 252life (Jun 3, 2020 10:23PM)
Just received mine as well and agree with Madohatter.
I think the book is very well done and it's priced fairly.
It's portable and direct. Could be a mini seance in your pocket for the right moment :)
Typical Gemini high quality. No complaints, I'll be using it.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 4, 2020 12:03AM)
Hey MadHat... I appreciate the honest review. 10 Q.
Message: Posted by: Joe Roberts (Jun 8, 2020 06:29PM)
[quote]On May 24, 2020, Mad0hatter wrote:
[quote]On May 24, 2020, Joe Roberts wrote:
This looks great but I'm a little confused by the description of the routine. It says:

"The spectator reads the profile to themselves and learns much about the specific girl. They can learn her nationality or favorite flower. They can learn about her hair color or personality. After the spectator chooses and reads the profile silently, they turn to the next page and begin reading a list of names aloud. The names can be read in any order.

The work has been done and the performer now knows not only the name of the profile the spectator is looking at, but also her nationality, personality trait, hair type and a personal item."

Is there anything to stop them from assuming you just memorized the women listed on the opposite page and that's how you know which one they looked at? [/quote]If I follow your question they would have to assume you not only memorized every profile in the book but also every accompanying list of girls. [/quote]

Not as I understand it. You would just have to memorize the girls and ONE girl who appears on the opposite page. (If you read out a list of everyone on a page of the phone book and I told you what page you were on, I don't need to memorize the full book, just one person on each page.)

I realize that's NOT the method but I'm not sure how you'd go about convincing a spectator it wasn't the method.
Message: Posted by: reese (Jun 8, 2020 08:57PM)
My own stupid opinion: don't speculate about methods in a public forum.
Message: Posted by: 252life (Jun 9, 2020 12:19AM)
[quote]On Jun 8, 2020, reese wrote:
My own stupid opinion: don't speculate about methods in a public forum. [/quote]

Amen
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 9, 2020 10:13AM)
Pardon me if this sounds inappropriate,but I'm new here and want to make sure I understand the ground rules properly.

I was aware that methods aren't supposed to be discussed plainly in an open thread. Am I to understand that even speculation or concerns with the audiences' possible perception of the method (even if it's completely off base) is also taboo?
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Jun 9, 2020 10:44AM)
Hi GReed3649,
Method discussions - real or perceived - are generally frowned upon in this portion of The Cafť. Once you have 50 legitimate posts, you'll have access to "The Banquet Room," an area on the forum where method is more freely discussed. Even there however, overtly revealing the workings of a prop or effect are discouraged if it can harm a creator's right to ownership of said method. It can be a slippery slope.

In general, discussions regarding method are best avoided, kept vague, or handled via private messaging. It's confusing for sure, but once you've been here a while you'll see how folks dance around details to have their questions or concerns recognized.
Message: Posted by: Joe Roberts (Jun 9, 2020 11:23AM)
[quote]On Jun 8, 2020, reese wrote:
My own stupid opinion: don't speculate about methods in a public forum. [/quote]

It's not a stupid opinion, it just has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

I didn't speculate about a method. I just asked if the method used is enough to prevent the spectator from assuming this isn't just a memory stunt. If you ask a normal person how someone might know the information on one page of a book based on them reading the information on the next page, most people would say, "I guess he has it memorized." With a small book like this it's even more likely to be seen as the answer. I just didn't know if there was something missing from the description of the effect that would preclude that assumption.
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (Jun 9, 2020 12:51PM)
[quote]On Jun 8, 2020, Joe Roberts wrote:

Not as I understand it. You would just have to memorize the girls and ONE girl who appears on the opposite page. (If you read out a list of everyone on a page of the phone book and I told you what page you were on, I don't need to memorize the full book, just one person on each page.)

I realize that's NOT the method but I'm not sure how you'd go about convincing a spectator it wasn't the method. [/quote]
While I didn't check every list; it appears that the girls names do not appear in multiple lists, and the girls that make the lists do not repeat either. So your participant could think you memorized the profiles of all 20+ girls recognized their name from the list, but that feels to me like a big assumption. Thinking of the book tests I know the methods to you could argue memorization for them as well. I think the method that prevents memorization as a guess is supposed to be you and your presentation. Presentation is the big method for bizarre magic.
Message: Posted by: Joe Roberts (Jun 9, 2020 03:22PM)
[quote]On Jun 9, 2020, Mad0hatter wrote:
[quote]On Jun 8, 2020, Joe Roberts wrote:

Not as I understand it. You would just have to memorize the girls and ONE girl who appears on the opposite page. (If you read out a list of everyone on a page of the phone book and I told you what page you were on, I don't need to memorize the full book, just one person on each page.)

I realize that's NOT the method but I'm not sure how you'd go about convincing a spectator it wasn't the method. [/quote]
While I didn't check every list; it appears that the girls names do not appear in multiple lists, and the girls that make the lists do not repeat either. So your participant could think you memorized the profiles of all 20+ girls recognized their name from the list, but that feels to me like a big assumption. Thinking of the book tests I know the methods to you could argue memorization for them as well. I think the method that prevents memorization as a guess is supposed to be you and your presentation. Presentation is the big method for bizarre magic. [/quote]

With book tests it's always been considered a weakness if you have to ask for a page number because the spectator could simply assume you memorized it. Countless book tests have been designed to avoid having to ask for a page number, even if the book has 100s of pages.

With only 20-something different women, the suspicion of memorization being the answer would be even more likely. That doesn't seem like such a "big assumption" to me. My concern is that it's about the most basic assumption the spectator could make. Presentation is the heart of bizarre magic but to really engross people in a bizarre presentation I feel like you need to eliminate all the prosaic explanations for what is happening.

I love the idea of the book but I just wanted to clarify what the process was because it sounded like they read the names on one page and you're able to tell them details of the woman on the other side of the page. And if that's what it is, I personally don't know how I would steer them away from what seems to be the obvious explanation, so it's not for me. But I'm sure others won't have that hang-up and I hope they enjoy the product.
Message: Posted by: 252life (Jun 9, 2020 03:58PM)
It may help to know they donít have to read the entire list. Iíve already performed it a few times and itís strong. I understand the concern, but think if presented correctly itís a non issue. Like everything we do.
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 9, 2020 04:18PM)
Having read through this thread, it seems the book itself has gotten some mixed reviews. I love the idea that this is a turn of the century reproduction from New Orleans' seedy past, BUT can it or can't it pass for the genuine article? That seems to be a bigger question than the possibly methodology.
Message: Posted by: 252life (Jun 9, 2020 05:29PM)
Maybe...close...you couldnít sell it to a museum :)
Itís close enough that you should have no problem believably justifying its existence and proceeding.
ďand had you walked into a saloon or barber shop during this period, you may have left with a little guide like this one..Ē
Your mileage may vary but I wouldnít let that hold you back. Itís a solid piece thatís a good deal at the price. My guess is anyone this deep into this thread is going to be happy with it. Personally Iíve liked it more each (mini) performance so far.
Message: Posted by: Mad0hatter (Jun 10, 2020 02:58PM)
[quote]On Jun 9, 2020, Joe Roberts wrote:

With book tests it's always been considered a weakness if you have to ask for a page number because the spectator could simply assume you memorized it. Countless book tests have been designed to avoid having to ask for a page number, even if the book has 100s of pages.

With only 20-something different women, the suspicion of memorization being the answer would be even more likely. That doesn't seem like such a "big assumption" to me. My concern is that it's about the most basic assumption the spectator could make. Presentation is the heart of bizarre magic but to really engross people in a bizarre presentation I feel like you need to eliminate all the prosaic explanations for what is happening.

I love the idea of the book but I just wanted to clarify what the process was because it sounded like they read the names on one page and you're able to tell them details of the woman on the other side of the page. And if that's what it is, I personally don't know how I would steer them away from what seems to be the obvious explanation, so it's not for me. But I'm sure others won't have that hang-up and I hope they enjoy the product. [/quote] I disagree with your opinions on books tests. But you are correct on the process provided, they read out a list until you know which lady is on the opposite page. Maybe after the reveal of the bigger seance it's supposed to be for we'll see if it becomes for you.


[quote]On Jun 9, 2020, GReed3649 wrote:
Having read through this thread, it seems the book itself has gotten some mixed reviews. I love the idea that this is a turn of the century reproduction from New Orleans' seedy past, BUT can it or can't it pass for the genuine article? That seems to be a bigger question than the possibly methodology. [/quote]I wouldn't say it's gotten mixed reviews based on this thread. But it's verisimilitude would depend on the parameters. Causally and in performance it probably will pass. To a collector or someone who really studies it no chance, there's spots where it's clear this is a digital project. The solutions to that problem though would increase the cost of the product out of most peoples willingness to buy.
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 12, 2020 06:16PM)
Thanks for the clarification, thatís exactly what I wanted to know.