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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Not psychic, but... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tom DV
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A question I have for those of you who perform metal bending of some sort, but who otherwise do not claim 'psychic powers' (etc.), is how do you explain how you accomplish such things?

I am aware of Banachek's explanation in Psy.Sub. - what are your thoughts? I'd be very intereted to know.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! Tom.
Greg Arce
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I don't explain it... I just do it. So far no regular person has questioned me about it.
Once again, only magicians think that way... regular people see everything we do as weird.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Tom DV
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Thanks Greg , I totally agree - No one has ever asked me either, it's just something that interests me.

Cheers, Tom.
Drewmcadam
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I first of all tell them that, “...for over thirty years, scientists and metallurgists have been trying to work out why it happens, and they don’t know. And I don’t suggest that I’m smarter than they are! If it were a trick, then they would surely have discovered that by now. Don’t you agree?

“The truth of the matter is that they just do not know. However, I make no claims that it is psychic. Rather, (I explain) I have a great deal of static electricity in my body. Every time I get out of my car I get a belt, and there is a flash like a camera going off. Also, I cannot wear a watch that has a second hand, because the static drives it crazy. So (I go on) I think it may be something to do with that.

“Simply put, all the little microscopic flaws and fractures in the steel are simply coming to a single point, so the spoon appears to melt and bend.

“It’s like metal fatigue, but it happens very, very quickly, yet without creating heat.

“But who cares HOW or WHY it happens – it’s fun, isn’t it?”
Father Photius
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I always tell them the truth, it is an illusion.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Drewmcadam
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Photius,

I said: “Simply put, all the little microscopic flaws and fractures in the steel are simply coming to a single point, so the spoon appears to melt and bend.

“It’s like metal fatigue, but it happens very, very quickly, yet without creating heat.

“But who cares HOW or WHY it happens – it’s fun, isn’t it?”

(I sometimes also throw in the words "perceptual manipulation", which is anothere way of saying what you think you’re seeing and what you’re REALLY saying are two different things.)

NB all the above IS true!

(The thing about the static electricity is also true. I really do suffer from constant static shocks - I think it's something to do with wearing nylon underwear! I positively dread getting out my vehicle.) I just let them draw their own conclusion.

When a magician says (and they do): "I have here an ordinary deck of cards..." when it's not; I would challenge anybody to get the same audience reaction if they said: "I have here a pack of cards which are not only marked, but have this stuff we call r******* fluid, and some of them are not the same size as others, and one card is repeated several times throughout the pack."

But THAT is the truth.

The only difference is that instead of using cards, I'm using spoons!

Best wishes,

Drew
Waters
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Why explain at all??? You didn't claim any psychic abilities and many people do not even associate spoon bending with any "psychic" abilities. Metal bending should render your spec. speachless anyway. Let them stand in awe (if they think it's psychic then give them the "perceptual" explanation). I do not support claiming any supernatural abilities (in my opinion, we all have one: it's wrong), but if they are just amazed, why diffuse the moment.
Tom DV
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I agree. As I said , I have never been asked - but am only interested in what others attribute their ability to.

Good point though, I would certainly not wish to try and explain anything they have not asked.

Tom
Jerry
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This is a topic that has been covered before, and not resolved. Some have disclaimers others do not. What I find really interesting are the performers like Banacheck or Osterling who say that they don't have physic powers, and then do a whole show demonstrating they physic powers!? What, they do this so they sleep better at night? Come on be real. This is a CIA tactic, its call pualsible denial, "What? I NEVER said I was physic".

Jerry
czero
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Magicians perform their levitations, vanishes, transpositions, etc., and call them what they are: illusions. They don't claim to have real magical powers.

Comparing Banachek and Richard Osterlind to CIA agents is just silly.

--Mike
ThomasBerger
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"I have here a pack of cards which are not only marked, but have this stuff we call r******* fluid, and some of them are not the same size as others, and one card is repeated several times throughout the pack.

But THAT is the truth."



Drew
You pretty much hit the hammer on the nail.
That is exactly right, lying is part of the business no matter how you look at it.
Some people have no problem with cards or coins gaffed to the hilt, but have a problem with spoons because it looks paranormal.

By the way, the June issue of Scientific American has a nice article about telling lies, and says we all do it because it works!

Interesting article, some of which can be used for background on presentations
with Sneak Thief type routines..

Cheers.
Tom
chichi711
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Quote:
On 2005-06-19 13:15, Greg Arce wrote:
I don't explain it... I just do it. So far no regular person has questioned me about it.
Once again, only magicians think that way... regular people see everything we do as weird.

Greg


That is because everything that we do is weird.
Richard Osterlind
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Quote:
On 2005-06-24 19:57, Jerry wrote:
This is a topic that has been covered before, and not resolved. Some have disclaimers others do not. What I find really interesting are the performers like Banacheck or Osterling who say that they don't have physic powers, and then do a whole show demonstrating they physic powers!? What, they do this so they sleep better at night? Come on be real. This is a CIA tactic, its call pualsible denial, "What? I NEVER said I was physic".

Jerry



Why does "new user" not surprise me?

Jerry, don't presume to tell me what I do in my performances or what I need to say in order to appease my moral standards.

This is another instance of someone who thinks they are a "clear thinker" about matters they don't begin to understand.

Richard Osterlind

PS. Your logic is as good as your spelling.
jo
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I just do it too. Nothing explained. If anyone does ask (which hardly ever happens) I just answer with something like: "strange things sometimes happens..." and return my attention to the bent spoon or fork.
I don't think its necessary to always explain what you're doing, or have a reason for how you can do it. For me the (inner) explanation is always ENTERTAINMENT.
Just do it and don't step on the moment.
Tom DV
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Jo, I think you're absoloutly right - cheers, Tom.
bobser
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I think when we talk of fake fortune tellers out to get some poor souls money by blatantly lying to them that's one thing. Also I'm personally comfortable (as I'm sure many others in here have done) in answering someone, who may be hurting at the loss of a loved one, and has approached me privately after a gig to enquire whether or not I did actually make contact that: "I'm afraid the answer is no, I didn't". Followed by a short discussion on the fact that however, that's NOT to say that 'these things ' don't exist.

But to be honest I have no problems in any way shape or form with a magical entertainer blatantly 'lying' to their audience. (I use this phrase cos' it saves time!). As far as I'm concerned if I was to be so desperate as to feel the need to 'tell them the truth' then there would either be some anal retentative obsessive disorder lying somewhere within my psyche or I would feel that I'd definitely be insulting 'their' intelligence by 'letting them know it's actually not real', as if they couldn't work it out for themselves. Hence with the experience of an Osterlind, Banacheck or Drew McAdam, these guys (I feel) will have the experience to 'know' what answer is expected and dare I say desired from them. And also have the ability to realise that life (certainly in this case) truly is a cabaret.

Bobser.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
mormonyoyoman
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As I recall, I've never seen a performance by anyone named Osterling. Now, I've seen Osterlind (who may or may not osterling in his spare time....I like to go kipling, myself) and he and Banachek do make claim that what they do is not supernatural, but something that one can learn with a lot of training. That's enough for any audience - it might or might not be psychic. It's certainly not what Jerry claims they say or do, so I'd have to say Jerry's entire post is a falsehood.

Which is ironic, since we're discussing patterns of honesty with our audiences.

*jeep!
--Chet
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Hexagon
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There is a difference between explaining the process and describing the process of metal bending. There is no reason you should know the explanation at to why this fork is bending in your hand, but it is possible to describe what you are doing to cause it to bend, omitting a few details, of course. Just a random thought.
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