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Jonathan
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Hey, I understand completely now! That's great advice and I really appreciate it. I will keep that info with me and be sure it will make a difference.

Thanks again! Great advice, I've already got a few ideas.

Jonathan GRant
John Bowden
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Jonathon,
well done on your new and very interesting casette prediction idea. It sounds impossible but remember to most lay people ALL predictions are impossible. Other mentalist will marvel at your ingenuity but the paying public need to marvel at your apparent powers, so what will make your prediction so special must be your presentation.
If this is something to be put into your nightly act then it will become mundane but should you hold this back for television or special corporate events it will be a name maker.
Some other post mentioned that reporters often open these predictions and in order to avoid this happening never give yours to a reporter but to someone who has a sense of responsibilty. Reporters are snoops by their nature and training so one should not blame them for opening the envelopes. Always when giving your cassette to someone mention the fact that they could if they wished spoil everything by opening the envelope or box and that will ensure that they know that you are trusting them in a special way and make them feel more responsible.
Publicity........... the lifeblood of fame, sometimes we ourselves are not the best to promote what we are about to do. If you are doing a television show, their PR and tv times magazines will have much greater power than your own set-up so run with theirs and trust them as they need as many viewers as they can get, for ratings purposes. They will have all the right professional connections and by trusting them you will be relieved of all the stress of having to promoting yourselve. If the TV people trust you as a mentalist you can trust theit professionals.
I hope that my few words help in some way and I wish you all the best with the project. Incidently my prediction here is that it will be a great success and make you famous beyond your wildest dreams.
Cheers from the Emerald Isle
John the Irish_Magician
Smile Smile
Jonathan
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Interesting comment about the reporters. If the tape is chained and locked through the two reel holes and placed in a locked box do you think a reporter would go so far as to pick the lock or cut the lock off? Would this keep me safe?

I don't have any plans to go onto TV and I don't do nightly shows. Well, actually right now I'm putting together my stage show (I've been close-up almost exclusively) but it won't be nightly. I have to make a name for myself more as a "mass performer" as opposed to a close-up walk around performer. I love being on stage and the biggest gift I have is stage presence, to light up the stage when I go on it. I become a different person on stage and the stage presence thing is just what I hear from other people. So I think it would use my talents better. The problem is that I'm having to adjust to stage work. My presentation for close-up is killer but on stage it bombs pretty bad. So I'm having to change and it's getting a lot better. I did a QandA routine with a drawing duplication mixed in with a musical performance of a couple of songs I wrong (it more fit the event which I was performing for. I don't plan on singing/playing guitar for any other audiences. ha ha ha). I didn't have a QandA routine but I just put together my own using the millenium clipboard, two borrowed clipboards and a force bag. It killed, I think, but the reaction wasn't standing ovation because of the setting I was performing at. I got the best as could be expected.

My presentation for close-up has always been impromptu-style. I try to make it look like I have the power and I'm trying to find a way to show it to you. In my effects presentation is everything using any stupid method that comes along (although many of my methods are brilliant ones from down the ages like billet switches, forces, etc.). That just doesn't translate well onto stage.

Thanks for your advice, and I hope your prediction comes true!

Jonathan Grant
braunmagic
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Jonathan,
Sounds great, I think there is a fairly easy answer. Offer a $100,000 reward to anyone who can prove you've come in contact with or switched the tape. If you truely havent switched or touched it then of course your money is never at risk.
You may find people are eager to try and catch you switching it. I imagine someone sitiing there for 3 days staring at the locked box waiting for the switch so he can get rich! LOL
This is an old idea and one that I've used several times. Money really toys with peoples emotions. Hope that helps.
Brent Braun
http://www.braunmagic.com
Ray Haddad
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Quote:
On 2002-05-29 17:41, Jonathan wrote:
Interesting comment about the reporters. If the tape is chained and locked through the two reel holes and placed in a locked box do you think a reporter would go so far as to pick the lock or cut the lock off? Would this keep me safe?


Jonathan,

If you release possession to anyone else, you have a risk of peeking being done. Reverse the situation and imagine the temptation you might experience as a willing participant to such a thing done by a mentalist. Go a bit further and imagine what it would be like if you were not aware of the methods used and were in awe of the effect.

Would you be tempted to peek if you were certain you wouldn't be caught? Imagine further that your prediction, like Koran's from many years ago, predicts the numbers for a multimillion dollar national lottery. Does that change the equation any for you?

I think the best idea is a clear box put into a storefront window or in a safe place in the lobby of the venue itself. It can be in the ticket window, on a pedestal in the lobby or anywhere that makes it largely unavailable to those who would peek.

If anyone from the venue peeks and finds it is not as it seems, they are unlikely to call you a fraud since they are deriving their income in part from your performance. For them it's a lose-lose circumstance so even if they peek, they'll be silent.

One suggestion that I have for quashing the comments or revelation from a venue peeker would be to put a prediction on the tape for a horse race if you are predicting a sporting event. Make it different from the real prediction and you can claim that you accidentally put the wrong tape in the box should they ever challenge you. It would be easy to say, "Oh, I had that tape from the last time and I mixed it up with this week's tape. Sorry."

Best,
Ray
jecar
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This is kinda a no-brainer, IMHO. The effect that you are after is that you have had NO physical contact with the prediction cassette, since it was created. So....lock it up in a manner that only *you* have the means of unlocking the box that contains the prediction tape. Then, at the performance, you make note that the tape was locked securely and that no one could gain access to it, except you and...along with the fact that you were far away and could not possibly touch the thing. Confirm this with the person who was left in charge of the locked tape. This shows that the person who was in charge of holding the box, couldn't have gained access to it and the mere fact that the person who was holding the box, confirms the apparant fact that the performer couldn't have gained entrance to the box, either. All you have to do after explaining this to the audience, is to produce the key or combination to open the box(the only means of accessing the tape). All means of guarding the cassette are covered and you are ready to reveal the prediction any way you want. The main thing here is to assure the audience that the box was not tampered with, or opened and that the prediction is the one that was made on "so and so" day.

Unless I am missing something, the switch normally comes after the show starts...right? It's up to you to provide that illusion. You just want to make it look like everything is on the up and up, up to now...right? ;-)

BTW, there is a method of doing this that is called 'The Perfect Prediction' IIRC. I think I have a method of doing the same thing and the cost would be less than $30. Anyone who wants to correspond on this, please PM me.

Jerry
..
Jonathan
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First of all, Brent, thanks for thinking I have 100,000 dollars. ha ha ha!!! That's a great idea and I will use it I'm sure! Since there is no switch I should be safe right?

I was thinking about for publicity predicting the exact order and content of the news show revealing it on the local news show. So, I would want them to have it in their possesion. Would I be safe if I did have the only access to it via a couple of locks etc. Would they actually break the lock you think? What about if I have them sign a contract saying that they will not open it and if they do they are to pay so much money to compensate or whatever? Just a thought.

What is the perfect prediction? I'm pretty sure it is not as clean as mine as I've found absolutely nothing like it! I'm aware of gimmicked cassette players that would do something similar. I don't use a gimmicked player, I use other people's players.

I'll PM you about your method. I'm curious.

BTW, It is possible for me to record on the tape a message unique to the person who broke into it. If they play it it could say something like, "I have a vision, someone will break into it and play the tape prematurely. They will not keep it to themselves and will get run over by a semi. However, I see that the future is uncertain and if they put the tape back and remain silent about it no-one will ever know they broke into it and they won't get run over by a semi."

Of course this wouldn't be played for the audience so would that be a problem?

Jonathan GRant
Andy Leviss
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I would do it without the semi part. When you think about it, it's just as strong. They opened it, and you knew they would. If you didn't really know they would, you wouldn't have recorded that, because if they hadn't, you'd open it later on and play it to reveal whatever you were predicting.

If you use the "put it back and avoid danger" thing, two things happen. First, that person and/or whomever they tell about it knows that the prediction has been changed/switched/whatever when you play it later. Second, it could potentially come across as you saying, "I know you opened this, and I'm going to hurt you if you don't put it back." Not great publicity.

That said, I think in general it's nothing to worry about, most folks will want to play along and not tamper with it. If you really got paranoid, there's all sorts of tamper-evident tape that makes the word "VOID" or something along those lines appear if it's tampered with.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Ray Haddad
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Quote:
On 2002-05-30 05:10, Andy Leviss wrote:
If you use the "put it back and avoid danger" thing, two things happen. First, that person and/or whomever they tell about it knows that the prediction has been changed/switched/whatever when you play it later. Second, it could potentially come across as you saying, "I know you opened this, and I'm going to hurt you if you don't put it back." Not great publicity.


The more I think about that the better I like it. If they DO open it and listen, you should have a message saying all that you cited but, like Andy, I'd recommend leaving out any threats of danger. Just make the comments as if you knew they would open it. You do need a way of knowing that they did open it so you can do a really cool middle part to the effect. Read on.

When you record your prediction, do it at the middle of the tape side A. On side B, starting at the same point is your actual prediction preceded by the exact message you left on the dummy tape indicating that you know they listened to the tape. If they didn't, play side A with only the prediction. Side A or side B will be your choices depending on the situation.

If they listened, they will not be able to deny it. If they say, "Hey, that last part wasn't on the tape I heard," you have a confession. You can reply, "You must have rewound it after hearing that I knew you'd listen." If they say nothing, it doesn't matter because you will have some way of knowing they did listen. They'll be squirming from guilt.

Perhaps a bit of rice paper glued on to hold the cassette in place would be enough of an indicator. If torn, they either listened or at least tampered with the tape. In fact, saying tampered instead of listened is probably better.

Best,
Ray
Jonathan
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Yes, a rice-paper seal on the box! If it was glued and signed with something they couldn't replicate it would prove it was tampered with. If the contract was made this would be proof. What do you think of the contract, is that workable. I'm not a legality genius so I don't know.

Of course the injury thing was a joke, but having you said that they might interpret it as me running them over with a semi would you be okay with some natural disaster or something I couldn't have any control over? Just curious.

What about the void paper? COuld this be better than the rice paper seal? And the chain going through the reel holes of the tape would show if someone broke the chain or the lock. And the rice paper would prove access into the box. Of course the box would be locked with a padlock as well.

As far as the recording on the tape. I could make sure it was on the beginning of the tape right before the prediction so when they take it home or listen to it again later it will be the first thing on the tape. At the end of the routine on the tape could be recorded the prediction that someone would open it or just to explain the first part of the tape. Of course it wouldn't be on the tape at all if there was no sign of someone tampering with it.

JOnathan Grant

Jonathan Grant
Ray Haddad
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Quote:
On 2002-05-30 15:05, Jonathan wrote:
As far as the recording on the tape. I could make sure it was on the beginning of the tape right before the prediction so when they take it home or listen to it again later it will be the first thing on the tape. At the end of the routine on the tape could be recorded the prediction that someone would open it or just to explain the first part of the tape. Of course it wouldn't be on the tape at all if there was no sign of someone tampering with it.


Jonathan,

A contract sounds ok but don't forget that it's only as good and sound as the honesty of your assistant holding the box or tape. If they're honest, no contract would be needed. If they're not, a contract is another formality that will mean nothing to them.

Yesterday, I was in the beauty section of a shop looking for those large elastic and cotton bands that girls use for pony tails. They call them scrunchies. Anyway, I saw a small plastic box made from clear plexiglass that was just perfect for displaying a cassette tape inside. Replacing the two closures with hasps would make it just perfect and securable. The hinge pins would be easy to pop but it would leave evidence if they did so. Just put paper seals signed by both parties on the front and back of the lid and that should solve that problem.

Even though the recording of a message saying, in effect, "Gotcha!" would be good, it's obviously not the ideal circumstance. To make it as dramatic as possible, you could hire a security company to deliver it from where you have it displayed.

Here's what I would do, myself. Build or have built an obelisk about waist high with a clear glass dome over the top that can be locked with a high security lock set. Place the cassette into a smaller, clear plastic box with padlock and paper tape seals. Then, with security guards and press present, lock the entire box into the obelisk having the security company use their own locks and seals and keep the keys.

The location of the box would be ideally in a public place. Under the dome could actually be a placard that gives information about the attempt to predict the future during your show. Great pubicity!

During the performance, have the security company deliver the box to you and your committee of witnesses on stage for a flourish filled and dramatic opening of the box after the security company certifies the integrity of the box, seals and locks.

Make the prediction true and take your thunderous applause.

This method takes away any concern of a single individual being trusted to keep the box safe without listening to the tape. It also adds an element of suspense much like the Oscar awards using Price Waterhouse to keep the envelopes until the announcements are made live.

Best Always,
Ray
Jonathan
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I see, good points as well, Ray.

COuld you not make the contract legally binding?

Jonathan GRant
Ray Haddad
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Quote:
On 2002-05-30 15:50, Jonathan wrote:
Could you not make the contract legally binding?


Jonathan,

Any contract is already legally binding. That's the definition of a contract. It's a legally binding agreement.

If you're talking about enforcement, yes. You can go through the legal process and sue someone for opening the box but what's the point? Avoid all the drama of a lawsuit and just make it so no one person has the control. Make it so a whole shopping mall full of people become your witness. They don't all have to testify on stage but if you use a single person to set all this up, that person can certainly give testimony as to the fairness.

No matter what, you're not going to be playing that tape, anyway. If you want to get technical, your verbal agreement and any written contracts are voided by you stating that you made a prediction on that tape and will later play it on stage to prove it. By making a switch or using any other means to simulate the fact that your prediction is really on the original tape you are violating your own verbal contract. If you take legal action against someone for listening to the tape, your own subterfuge will be exposed. The courts look at that quite dimly.

Best Always,
Ray
Jonathan
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Actually, the tape really will be played. But that's not what I was thinking. Someone looking in prematurely could potentially ruin the trick. It's the threat I'm looking for, like if the consequence for opening it as stated in the contract is severe enough they won't open it. The contract being legally binding would steer them away. Are you under the impression that this wouldn't keep them from opening it?

Jonathan Grant
Jonathan
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Actually, the tape really will be played. But that's not what I was thinking. Someone looking in prematurely could potentially ruin the trick. It's the threat I'm looking for, like if the consequence for opening it as stated in the contract is severe enough they won't open it. The contract being legally binding would steer them away. Are you under the impression that this wouldn't keep them from opening it?

Jonathan Grant
Ray Haddad
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Quote:
On 2002-05-30 16:51, Jonathan wrote:
Actually, the tape really will be played. But that's not what I was thinking. Someone looking in prematurely could potentially ruin the trick. It's the threat I'm looking for, like if the consequence for opening it as stated in the contract is severe enough they won't open it. The contract being legally binding would steer them away. Are you under the impression that this wouldn't keep them from opening it?


It's been my experience in life and in performing that people are of at least two minds regarding magicians and mentalists. They either enjoy what we do or try to make us look bad. A contract will not help in either case.

An honest person who wants you to succeed will not open the box, contract or not. The person who wants to somehow "out" you as a fraud will open the box, contract or not.

Legally protecting yourself in this case is up to you. If a person does open the box and ruin your show, the police aren't going to come and arrest them. You have to hire an attorney, sue them, win and the try and collect. Collect what? Why, damages, naturally. You have to prove how the person damaged you. It may cost you more to sue than it's worth so a contract is nothing more than a piece of paper.

I'd suggest that you contact a lawyer and see exactly how much power your contract has. You may be under an incorrect impression that it has some force of law, which it doesn't.

Regarding your assertion that the tape in seclusion is the one actually being played. Unless you have some true ability to see into the future, either the tape is switched or additional information is added before the show presentation by another means. In any case, as I said earlier, your claim to a prediction being on the tape all along is not true unless this is a gag or joke bit of some kind. If you decide to sue someone for breaching your contract with them, you may have to reveal your method in court. This damages you far greater than the fellow who made a fool of himself. It's better to just skip the effect and have a backup waiting.

Best Always,
Ray
Jonathan
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I see what you are saying. Interesting about proving damages. I was thinking more along the lines of they signed in writing that they would not open it or allow it to be opened and agree to whatever consequences you place on the contract. I was under the impression that the method and/or the contents of the box would be irrelevent as they signed a contract saying that would not open it and they did.

Would there have to be some kind of legal seal or official paper or whatever to make it a legal agreement? You are right it would be easier to leave it into someone who wants me to succeed. But I'm curious as to what the contract would mean. I have a relative that is a lawyer by profession. If I get the chance I will try and contact him. He is a busy man and it is hard to get in contact with him usually.

Thanks for you help again, Ray, I really appreciate your advice.

Jonathan Grant
Andy Leviss
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Would you really have the money to file a lawsuit against somebody who opened the box? Would you really want to spend that much on said suit? Would you really want the horrible publicity that you'd get for it (including the fact that many people would likely question why you were so upset that they checked it early, because getting so upset over it implies that you're hiding something)?

Mentalists have done stuff like this for decades, and never had a significant problem. I really think you'd cause more trouble for yourself and just waste your time to do more than stress to them not to open it and leave it marked so that it's obvious if it's tampered with.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
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