The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » More Advice For The Billet Student (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
The basic idea behind the billet routine and billets in general, is to entertain your group of audience sitters by impressing the idea on them that you can read their written thoughts some way, some how, without seeing the contents of there written on slip.

Got it?

Now, how you use that information and present it is entirely up to you. A billet peek is used for many, many things...in book tests, design duplications, etc.

What I'm going to talk about here is the basic billet routine, wherein you pass out a dozen slips and only read 3 or 4 of them. It's what I call "one on one, audience thought reading."

Over the past week, I've answered half a dozen e-mails from readers of my stuff here at the Café concerning billet work. I was asked some interesting questions and I saw that most of the questions were the same. So Lets talk about them here and now. By the way, if I repeat myself here from past postings, please forgive me, I'm trying to cover the most asked questions posed to me.

The billet itself: I use 2.5 x 3 inch size billets cut form regular bond stock such as photo copy paper. One fellow asked what size was good for the audience, I told him it's not the audience that matters...it's whats good for him and fits nice in a finger palm.

It looks very professional to have your name and any other info printed on the billet. I got this idea from Dunninger's billets. I quickly threw together two examples of how you can do this and posted them on a little website. Click the link right there to have a look-see.

http://www.thebillet.50megs.com

For you guys who are really interested, e-mail me with your details(stage name, website addy, phone number, catch phrase, etc.) and I'll whip up a couple of billet designs for you in photoshop and e-mail it back to you...free of charge. I have some killer fonts as well.

Pre Folding: There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't pre-fold your slips before handing them out. It simply shows the audience how you'd like them folded. If they are all uniform then you'll not be able to tell one from the other, and you can use that bit in your patter as well. In the past, I've had people hand in their billet all rolled up into a ball or others have looked like origami animals, so pre-folding is good.

Collecting the slips: You want to try at all costs, to make your billet presentation look as legitimate as possible. I always, always, get an audience member to collect the slips in a large wine glass and the wine glass sits by itself on a plant stand. You can pick up some really nice wooden plant stand tables at Wal*Mart for 8 or 10 dollars, it looks nice on stage.

Who collects them: When choosing a "collector" always choose a female. The reason being is that when they bring the wine glass filled with slips back up to the stage, I invite them to sit between me and the billet table and act as a judge as well as to hand me the slips one after the other as I go along with the routine.At different times during my billet routine I ask the person on stage..."well, judge, have you been watching me as close as you can"? "Have you seen me doing anything funny" ? The answer is always -no-. Trust me, having that person up there really adds to the legitamesy of your presentation. If you know what you are doing and cover your angles, she'll never see you doing the nasty with the billets.

BEWARE: The reason I say to always choose a female is that 5 times out of 10 , if you get a male, he'll try to be a wise guy and do his comedy bit at the expence of your show.

By some chance, if the "judge" hands you your dummy billet that is marked, don't be afraid to take it from her, concentrate on it and toss it away and say..."naaaa, not tonight". The audience gets a scream out of that bit and you aren't stuck with your dummy slip!

The billet routine is now the only thing I do on stage, I rarely book my Hyp show...it's always the billet routine. Don't be afraid to think about that idea for yourself.

That's it for this one, kids,...next time, I'll tell you about a really cool billet routine that requires no billets to be on stage with you (no bite your tongue, not impression board crap). I may even tell you how to read a billet that has been stapled closed.

~Rick~
ElliottB
View Profile
Inner circle
3200 Posts

Profile of ElliottB
Thanks Rick!
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
My pleasure...

~Rick~
Natural Mystic
View Profile
Special user
Atlanta, GA
502 Posts

Profile of Natural Mystic
Rick,

What methods do yo use to ring in a dummy billet?

NM

Correction,

Rick,

What methods do you use to ring in a dummy billet?

NM
"You never change the existing reality by
fighting it. Instead, create a new model that
makes the old one obsolete."
-- R. Buckminster Fuller
BonzoTheClown
View Profile
Regular user
176 Posts

Profile of BonzoTheClown
Quote:
by impressing the idea on them that you can read their written thoughts some way

This can be taken to mean two things. For those who are new to their use the writing should be incidental, it is not the writing you should be reading but the person. Ideally the fact that the thought was written down should fade and cease to be part of the event in people's memories leaving only your revelation.

It sounds obvious but I have heard comments such as:

"I have no idea how he read what I wrote"

The moment someone thinks or says that, your whole routine has essentially become a magic trick rather than mind reading (etc)

Marc Climens
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
Sorry, Bonzo, your wrong. This is not cold reading, it's "billet" reading. In billet reading you read the info...written info from a folded slip and then relay it in whichever fashion suits your stage personality.

How do you make the audience forget that they wrote something down, not 10 minutes before ? In billet reading...you take a billet out of the envelope, box, wine glass, etc. hold it up, and call out the persons initals and then reveal their written thought...thats called billet reading not "cold reading" or "psychospazism make the audience forget about the billet" reading.
~Rick~

Hi Natural Mystic...

To answer your question properly, please define "ring in". I've never heard that term before.

Thanks.

~Rick~
Natural Mystic
View Profile
Special user
Atlanta, GA
502 Posts

Profile of Natural Mystic
Rick,

In others words, how do you bring the dummy billet into play in the routine?

NM
"You never change the existing reality by
fighting it. Instead, create a new model that
makes the old one obsolete."
-- R. Buckminster Fuller
Decomposed
View Profile
Eternal Order
High Desert
12020 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
Quote:
On 2005-05-15 03:35, RickSilmser wrote:
Hi ya, NM...

that's what I thought you meant. That's easy...I do it at the very begining of the routine. I reach into the glass take one out, switch it, drop the dummy back into the glass and then never touch the slips again until they are handed to me one at a time. Since it's marked, if it's handed to me as one of the slips to read, I'll either throw it away and ask for another.

~Rick~


This is sweet, thanks for sharing RIck! Been reading 13 Steps section on billets and was a bit interested in the "Window" envelope until I read this. Do you use the one ahead with this routine or let the "judge" hold the switched billet?

Emailed you.
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
One ahead...always...if you do it properly, they will never follow the pattern.

~Rick~
Decomposed
View Profile
Eternal Order
High Desert
12020 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
Thanks, you are up early also Smile
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
LOL...it's 5:35am here...I haven't been to bed yet !!!

~Rick~
Decomposed
View Profile
Eternal Order
High Desert
12020 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
Another night creature Smile

A few questions myself and others may be interested in Rick:

1) What are the instructions to the specs on the initials (where, how big etc)?
Reason I ask is of course these will be on there when the dummy is switched. I believe during switch it would be simple enough to have it turned around to do the switch.

2) Is this a one handed switch or two?

Thanks for starting this thread!

Candini
Tony Razzano
View Profile
Inner circle
South River, NJ
1601 Posts

Profile of Tony Razzano
Sorry, Rick, but Bonzo is correct. Your posts in this thread give away your lack of knowledge and your inexperience.

You talk a good game, but over time, the cracks in your story started showng up, especially your lack of knowledge of headline predictons as shown in the thread with Devin Knight's box.

Your response about the spectator and audience not remembering the billet and not remembering anything was written really gives you away. Any mentalist worth his salt knows how to get that accomplished and is a basic tennant of mentalism.

In your routine above, by going over board in showing there is nothing funny going on, you invite more suspicion. Yes, I kow Dunninger did that. But that wes 50 years ago and audiences are very different now.

Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
entity
View Profile
Inner circle
Canada
5060 Posts

Profile of entity
In fact, Dunninger did NOT do the billet reading as outlined earlier. His instructions were that the audience should write their thoughts down on the slips of paper "so as to focus and isolate" the thoughts. It was NOT about reading billets. According to Dunninger, it was not even about reading MINDS. It was about reading THOUGHTS.

- entity
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
Entity,

Dunninger was a billet reader, no matter what he said to the audience, no matter what explanations he gave. What do you think he was doing behind that sided writting board of his ? Come on man, get with it. He he used to wave his hand in the air saying he didn't touch the slips...meanwhile the other hand was in his pocket opening slips.

Now, let me make something clear. Opinions are like ***holes, we all have one. This thread is about how I do my billet routine, not what you think is right or wrong about it. I'm offering advice from over 23 years of experience and thousands of shows, to beginners who want to learn from an experienced billet worker.
So Ladies, why not ask some questions and learn something. If you don't like my stuff...move on.

~Rick~
Stephen Long
View Profile
Inner circle
1481 Posts

Profile of Stephen Long
Perhaps we should start a new thread: "Mentalist vs. Billet Reader"...
Hello.
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
In my experience, it's kind of hard to not draw attention to the billet, since in my routine I have them collected after the show begins, they are held by an audience member, she hands them to me...etc, etc. No matter what the others think of my routine, it works for me and has worked for me for a very long time. I make a point of keeping their written thoughts on the slips in the foreground...it's my way of doing it.

I'm not saying it's the end all of billet routines.

I have no time to listen to those who have no experience what so ever, repeat to me what they heard someone on a DVD say about billets. I know what I do and I do it very well and have been for a very long time.

"Mentalist VS Billet Reader" would be fine, Stephen...since I don't consider myself a Mentalist, I dislike the term and always have...check out my other postings for that fact.

Thanks.

~Rick~
Don McCleod
View Profile
Veteran user
Coulsdon
360 Posts

Profile of Don McCleod
Rick, having an opinion is fine but to dismiss the opinions of pro's like Chris and Tony is just plain disrespectful. Both are highly experienced and I think that their opinions count even if you disagree with them.
RickSilmser
View Profile
Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
Well, Don...they came across like an amateur.

I do my billet routine my way, it works and works well for me and it's not open for debate on why I do this and do that. I refuse to appologize for my hardcore purest attitude on hobby Mentalists...hence my posting "Mentalist vs Mental Magician".

The wanna be's read that thread, read what they wanted to into it, freaked out and ran with it. I said there was no shame in being a Mental Magician...but I guess I stirred a hornets nest, good.

This thread is for the people who are interested in my way of doing the billet routine, if these ladies don't like the way I've been doing it, then I suggest they develope a routine, do it for 23 years as I have with mine, then come back to the Café and tell their version. Until then, I will continue to answer questions put to me by people who are interested in my version of the billet act. Savvy ?

~Rick~
salsa_dancer
View Profile
Inner circle
1935 Posts

Profile of salsa_dancer
Rick,

This is a discussion forum. By putting up your post you have entered into a discussion about it.

I suggest that you start up a blog if you want to offer advice only, then you won't get people pulling apart your way of doing things because it doesn't fit with their ideals. I don't remember signing up for the Rick Silmser Café Smile

You do need to lighten up a little my friend. You know I speak the truth.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » More Advice For The Billet Student (1 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL