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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Inaccurate advertising of Cellular Mitosis (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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fib
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The ad for "Cellular Mitosis" on Hank Lee's and other sites reads:
"The features claimed here and by the performer are absolutely true!
Here is what the audiences SEES [CAPS MY OWN]:
A spectator is asked to think of any thought. [true] It can be a name, a place, a date, a number, a color, any thought at all. [true] A phone number is randomly selected from any phonebook.[true] There is no force of the name or number from the book! [true] The person is called and asked to guess what the spectator is thinking. [true] The person on the phone names the thought!..." HUH?

Remember that the advertising claims "Here is what the audience SEES." Well, in this trick -- that I bought recently -- the audience can't see the other person on the phone. The audience certainly can not see the other person on the phone name a thought.

Let's be clear: I am not parsing the advertisement for fun. Quite bluntly, the ad is misleading. When you call or write to order this effect, I suggest asking dealers, "Is the advertisement completely accurate? Does the advertisement portray what REALLY occurs in this effect?" Please do this for the sake of the integrity of the business of marketing and performing magic and mentalism.

fib
rumburak
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Quote:
A spectator is asked to think of any thought. [true] It can be a name, a place, a date, a number, a color, any thought at all. [true] A phone number is randomly selected from any phonebook.[true] There is no force of the name or number from the book! [true] The person is called and asked to guess what the spectator is thinking. [true] The person on the phone names the thought!..." HUH?


I don't get the point. The spectator thinks of a thought, but doesn't tell what it is (just literally parsing your quote). A couple of selections is made and somebody on the phone names the (yet unnamed) thought. Which - according to the description - has nothing to do with the wide array of selections.

This description doesn't make any sense to me.

Actually, I would not buy such an effect since I know a crucial piece of information is missing. If the method is that obvious/widely known that any clean description would tip it off, it surely can't be worth getting it ...
ElliottB
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I don’t own this trick, but I imagine that “see” is figurative. For instance people sometimes say “I hear you” and sometimes say “I see”. I guess it would translate to “understand”. Are you saying that the spectator does not actually hear the person on the phone name the thought? If that’s the case, you may be right about the advertisement being a little misleading. Otherwise, it seems OK to me.

Rumburak – it looks like I was typing my post just when you posted. I don’t own the trick, so I’m not sure what you mean (I’m not asking you to provide more information.) It sounds like you are saying that something important was left out of the description. That’s good to know for future reference.
rumburak
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Quote:
Rumburak – it looks like I was typing my post just when you posted. I don’t own the trick, so I’m not sure what you mean (I’m not asking you to provide more information.) It sounds like you are saying that something important was left out of the description. That’s good to know for future reference.


I do not own the trick, either. My point was that the description was apparently incomplete. At least in the way it is quoted the description does not make much sense - even if it was complete.

But unless the person on the phone is truely psychic, there must be a crucial piece of information missing. I do not know what that is (and, honestly, I also do not care) but the advertisement seems to make the claim that this is imperceptible to the audience.

But whether the audience will notice it or not will depend on the performer and not the actual working of the trick. So do you believe that anybody will be able to misdirect from an arbitrary, unnamed mechanism of learning and transmitting the information? Since that is what the advertisement ultimately suggests. It just sounds like a fraud to me.

An advertisement like "A c*nt*r t**r", "P**k c*s*", "*mpr*ss**n d*v*c*", or "V*rb*l f*rc*" is meaningful and can help me judge whether or not the method may be up to my skill level and/or working style. A meaningless and pointless description of an unnamed method can not.

So my conclusion just from the quote of the original poster is to keep my hands of it - it is very likely a rip off.
david_a_whitehead
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Fib, do you think these pointless posts of yours advance the art of mentalism? I know Docc Hilford's releases and ideas advance the art. Just what is your point? The effect does what it states. It is excellent. If you don't think so give some valid reasons not some stupid attempt at a word that is somewhat misleading in the ad copy. Good grief.
fib
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"Somewhat misleading?" Mr. Whitehead, who do you admire most -- a performer of mentalism or a carnival barker?
fib
Mental_Mike
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I don't have this yet but I am going to get this...Anything by Docc is good...I love his thinking...but that's just me. Even if it doesn't sound good, just try it out....you might get a good reaction and want to keep doing it.
Waters
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DUAL REALITY. It is bold, but you have to have some imagination. I do own it, and I have performed it. I love it. NOTHING IS REAL MAGIC TO US. But it will be to your audience (where it counts), don't get so hung up on the "method". I own it, I bought it, and I am not disappointed. I am not saying that everyone will like it, but I do. I think Docc deserved some credit for this one.

Sean
ElliottB
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Dual Reality? I tend to avoid dual reality effects because I often perform for just one person or very small groups. Are you saying that I won't be able to perforn this for a friend in a restaurant (or similar situation)?

Elliott
Sir T
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FIB, you always make me think and give me a good laugh! <bravo>
Patrick Redford
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The effect works! did you try it? In fact I performed it last night and got a killer response and booking right there on the spot.

but if one less person is performing it, better for the rest of us.


-Patrick
Slim King
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Hang in there FIB!
I enjoy reading your opinions. You've saved me from becoming a disgrunteled(sp) owner of a few things that I don't need.
Thanks
Dave
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
NJJ
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Why would you assume you could SEE someone on the end of the phone? Isn't that the point of phone mentalism? That the person is NOT present in the room? If they WERE then it would be far less impressive!

Below is full add as seen on Hank Lee

Quote:
This is the trick that's so strong, Docc Hilford has used it to close his 30 minute mentalism show.
The features claimed here and by the performer are absolutely true!
Here is what the audiences sees:
A spectator is asked to think of any thought. It can be a name, a place, a date, a number, a color, any thought at all. A phone number is randomly selected from any phonebook. There is no force of the name or number from the book! The person is called and asked to guess what the spectator is thinking. The person on the phone names the thought! The spectator speaks to the randomly selected person and he tells the spectator exactly what she's thinking!
This is an incredible effect. Check the important features listed below.
Also included are two bonus effects:
Nudie Call: An original effect using a spectator's cell phone and a mini nudie deck. It's all done in perfectly good taste and has some fun built-in comedy.
Call Me Up Sometime: Ted Annemann's phone test. The pages of annotations by Docc Hilford analyze the psychology of mentalism as seen through a different window.
If you could do only one mental effect for press or audience, Cellular Mitosis would have to be it!
Don't be left behind!
Key Features:
* Any thought can be projected
* Anyone can be phoned
* Any phone book can be used to choose a person
* The spectator always has a free choice in thought and person phoned
* The person phoned can be completely unknown to you or anyone else in the audience
* No code is used
* No stage whispers to spectator or person phoned
* The spectator is never "in on it"
* The spectator can talk to the person
* Can be performed impromptu, up close or on stage

Any performer with some intelligence would know that the routine almost certainly...

1) Has the thought that written down or recorded somewhere.
2) Has the spectator ring up the random person and hear them say the thought.
3) Does not have the person on the other end of the phone appear in the room.
4) Does not have the person on the other end on speaker phone (otherwise they'd mention it in the ad)

Click here http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=see and decide which definition of see would apply to this effect.
fib
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The answer to this riddle, my friends, is not in the definition of the word, "see." The answer is how dealers [or Mr. Hilford] wrote the ad copy for "Cellular Mitosis" using the tried and true method of The List. The list is semantic deception: The long list -- of old methods you don't use -- numbs you and implies this has to be new and cool!! long list appears fair and comprehensive, offering some incredible mentalism technique that could apparently ONLY COME from the clever mind of the inventor. But ths list is the trick -- on us.

Many of us are wise to this trick. Fine. But aren't you at least put off by it? And consider a new generation of performers spending considerable sums of money --taken in by something as old as the traveling medicine show.
fib
Josho
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Quote:
On 2005-07-05 05:12, fib wrote:
Here is what the audiences SEES [CAPS MY OWN]:
A spectator is asked to think of any thought. [true] It can be a name, a place, a date, a number, a color, any thought at all. [true] A phone number is randomly selected from any phonebook.[true] There is no force of the name or number from the book! [true] The person is called and asked to guess what the spectator is thinking. [true] The person on the phone names the thought!..." HUH?

Remember that the advertising claims "Here is what the audience SEES." Well, in this trick -- that I bought recently -- the audience can't see the other person on the phone. The audience certainly can not see the other person on the phone name a thought.

Quote:
On 2005-07-06 06:44, fib wrote:
The answer to this riddle, my friends, is not in the definition of the word, "see." The answer is how dealers [or Mr. Hilford] wrote the ad copy for "Cellular Mitosis" using the tried and true method of THE LIST. The list is semantic deception: The long list -- of old methods you don't use -- numbs you and implies this HAS TO BE NEW AND COOL!!


I don't understand. From your first post, one would logically assume that your problem with this advertisement is in the use of the word "see." Now you seem to be saying that the problem isn't with the word "see," it's with an implication that the trick is new and cool.

I readily appreciate distrust of advertisements (magic and otherwise), but your problem with this particular ad seems to shift from message to message.

Respectfully,
Josh
Patrick Redford
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Quote:
On 2005-07-06 06:44, fib wrote:
The answer to this riddle, my friends, is not in the definition of the word, "see." The answer is how dealers [or Mr. Hilford] wrote the ad copy for "Cellular Mitosis" using the tried and true method of THE LIST. The list is semantic deception: The long list -- of old methods you don't use -- numbs you and implies this HAS TO BE NEW AND COOL!! The long list appears fair and comprehensive, offering some incredible mentalism technique that could apparently ONLY COME from the clever mind of the inventor. But THE LIST IS the trick -- on us.

Many of us are wise to this trick. Fine. But aren't you at least put off by it? And consider a new generation of performers spending considerable sums of money --taken in by something as old as the traveling medicine show.
fib


I must respectfully disagree. The method is new and very effective. There isn't anything misleading in the ad copy. All of the statements are true to the effect. This seems to be somewhat of a one sided debate where the light will not be seen, however it makes little difference at the end of the day. Either you like the effect and you'll use it or you've wasted your time and money and should move on.

-Patrick Redford
fib
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Oh, but I'll always have a nudie deck routine -- ready to go, on the spot, off the cuff. [Scene switches to Docc smoking a cigar: "The NUDIE routine'll keep 'em quiet....ha, ha, ha, ha!]

fib
Jheff
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FIB:
I didn't get a chance to respond to you regarding an earlier thread on the same topic in which you questioned the integrity of my opinions. So since you've raised the subject again in a different thread (which will probably also get nuked before long) let me respond to your frustrations.

First, you're right that Docc presents a list of features like a snake oil salesman. And I certainly agree that he is talking about two variations of the same effect so that some of the features seem to be misleading. Nonetheless, the list is correct. (And yes, the person phoned does tell the spec her/his thought. Read the book again if you missed it. It's a VERY important subtlety.)

But you seem to have forgotten one key point. It works. And it stuns audiences. Try it and you'll see.

So what does it really matter if the ad seemed misleading if you wound up purchasing a real miracle on your hands that's worth far more than you paid for it? This may seem like a rhetorical question but it isn't. It does indeed matter, but only if you can't do it. And I'm assuming this is the real problem, FIB.

In CM, Docc writes "IMPORTANT: It's your mindset that everything you state is true that sells the trick. If you falter and allow yourself to think that any part of the trick is bluff, the audience won't believe you and the entire effect can be lost. Convince yourself that everything you state is true, because it is!" If you can't convince yourself of what you're doing or you feel that you're one who can't bring it off, then this most definitely isn't for you. CM works and, as Docc writes in the booklet, "The impact on an audience is incredible."

You also mentioned in that earlier nuked thread that anybody watching a hack actor on TV knows what it's like to fake a phone conversation. Mentalists fake things all the time. For instance, in one ahead routines, a mentalist pretends to read one thing while stating it's another. Or in a blindfold routine, the mentalist pretends that he can't. . . hopefully, you get the idea. How is CM any different in terms of that? Even in magic, the audience does not really see what the magician sees or knows is really happening. Does this mean that every magic or mentalism effect ever created and marketed is guilty of innaccurate advertising?

As for CM, what the audience sees is exactly what the audience sees happen. Sean, I disagree that this is dual reality, because that implies that one or more participants witness a slightly different effect than the audience. This is not true, here. The participant actually here's the voice. The audience may be misled, FIB, but no more so than a magician who points to an empty box and says "An empty box." Look at the ads for those magic tricks. Do you think one actually has to ask a dealer if the box is truly empty and, if not, do you think it's inaccurate advertising? I certainly don't think so.

Lee Earle quoted a gentleman on one of the Best of Syzygy videos who said that mentalism basically consisted of four methods: "Fake it. Force it. Find it out. Fill it in." I strongly believe that if a performer disagrees with this or is unable to convincingly perform these four methods, then that person has absolutely no business performing or discussing mentalism.

Please, FIB, try it out. See for yourself. Or decide it's not for you and move on to other effects. But don't make assumptions that highlight your inexperience and make you look very foolish. Docc's routine is brilliant and I'm truly sorry if you fail to understand it. (You're more than welcome to PM me if you'd like help in 'getting it.')

Frankly, to anyone who has doubt about CM from reading this post, then let me satisfy you by saying that you shouldn't buy it. Save your money. You don't want it. You won't like it. It's far too expensive, too simple, too obvious, and too bold of an effect for you. You'll be happier with the latest Jay Sankey stuff.

Rumburak:
You're right. A crucial piece of information is missing. It's called the secret. Does the blurb not make sense to you because you couldn't figure it out? Regardless of why it didn't make sense to you, it's totally idiotic to think that a creator of a mentalism or magic effect must openly reveal the modus operandi in the advertising blurb.

-- Jheff
Marketplace of the Mind THE LAZY MENTALIST'S CARD TRICK is now available!!
Waters
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Jheff:
I stand corected. You're right. The spectators all see the same thing, the only "thing" they don't see is the secret (right you are). I too hope no one else buys or performs it (Sorry Docc).

Sean
fib
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Jheff, I appreciate your reply. But I believe in my heart of hearts that the effect is pretty transparent -- your advertisement notwithstanding -- and that if it were so good, you wouldn't throw in two BONUS routines to justify the expense. That's pretty transparent, too. And leave Jay Sankey alone. What was that all about?
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