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NelsonMon
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What are your favorite responses to the inevitable "How did you do that?" or "How can I learn to read minds?" questions after you do your mentalist routines? I remember this awesome mentalist about 7 years ago after I saw his act give me this huge story of how he had a pHD at Stanford in psychological studies, and part of this experience allowed him to study with Shaman and psychics around the world, learning their craft. It was completely unbelievable but I totally bought into it anyway (what else was the explantion?). Of course, now that I know different, it always makes me laugh, but realize how much it helped add that extra quality to his act.

This is what I say:
Certain people are more sensitive to picking up emotions and seeing auras. It's similar to when you (the spectator) are having an in-depth conversation with your sister or best friend (pause as if seeing something in their aura)...and are able to finish each other's sentences. I've always been gifted with this ability to read people and I've trained myself to pick things up under certain circumstances.

This response seems to always satisfy, but I was wondering if anybody has any great responses they'd like to share past my "typical" explanation?
Alan Jackson
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A possible reply to "How did you do that?", is "very well". Although you'd have to be careful not to antagonise people with it. Only for occasional use.
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
AllThumbs
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David Berglas used to have a questions and answers part to his show (not Q&A) where the audience could ask him about any part of his show...Brave man.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
E-Leoni
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Chan Canasta also did similar.

He actually explained to them "I'm forcing you to pick a card"
I suppose you can tell them I'm forcing to think of that thought.

E-Leoni.
eric2104
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Hi

One suggestion for an answer to the question: "how do you do that?" would be as follows:

"Well, in fact I didn't do much... You (spectator) on the other hand, have been particularly efficient in projecting your thought (or whatever fits the demonstration). Maybe your intuitive powers are stronger than you thought, and could be even more developed with the proper training..."

In my experience, taking the heat off the performer and making the assistant the hero of the night is almost always a winner.

Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Eric.
Smile
"All magic is mental"
Tony Shiels.
Ben Blau
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I like to use the question as an opportunity to segue into another trick. For example, if the spectator says "How did you do that?" I like to say, "It's all a matter of intuition..." and proceed to do a trick in which the spectator apparently gets to use his intuition as part of the means to the magical effect.

Ben
sandman690
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I seldom get ask how I did something. I give an explanation of sorts (true or false) as I am going. However, I often get asked how I developed my abilities or how psychic power can be enhanced. To that I answer:

" I first became interested in psychic ability when I was around 9 years old and started reading everything I could on the topic. Edgar Casey, Harold Sherman... all the books I could find. Along the way I learned a ton of great stuff, but also much crap. I recommend learning a good meditation technique, reading, and practicing in a playfull manner. Guess the color of the next car you will pass! Of course, this is much like playing piano. Most anyone can learn to play piano well enough to enhance their own life, but that does not mean everyone will be a concert pianist. Play and learn, and you will be amazed at the hidden potential with in."

What makes this work for me is that it is all true... even the Edgar Casey at 9 part! As a result I can stay congruent and leave the person feeling that they were given a real answer.

Stan Smile
Mikael Eriksson
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How about not explain it at all? Just say: "Well, that's the secret!"

Mikael
Ben Blau
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Mikael:

Even though your question may have been rhetorical, I can say that one answer is that it isn't very entertaining to do that, and it tends to create an adversarial relationship with the audience member in question. If they ask you "How did you do that?" it means that they were probably fooled and entertained. If the converstaion is allowed to degenerate into the "battle of getting the secret out of the magician," you've squandered an opportunity to leave the person with a special memory of what you've shown him/her.

Don't you agree that this is perhaps the worst way to end a magical performance?

Ben
Philemon Vanderbeck
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If you've crafted your introductory patter sufficiently, they won't be asking "How you did that?" afterwards, because they already know, and all you've done is demonstrated your explanation.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
NelsonMon
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I agree with you Ben, which is why I posted this question in the first place. I think it's a compliment to be asked that, and the response can actually work wonders and carries the act to a closer level, giving them something they can relate to. But I can see the humor of a brisk, funny response to.
Brash
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I prefer not to have a simple answer, sometimes I just say "I don't know".

Whatever the explanation, if you are going to make references, make sure you have done your research. If you are going to present yourself as being an expert and then mispronounce a term or name, you will be embarrassed to say the least.
Stef
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Mikael:

I agree with Ben on the subject of "not getting into a battle of wits".

I think what the audience is asking is not "How you duped me." I think the question is more along the lines of "How were you able to develop your mental ability?" You can tell them it takes years of practice, alot of research and an understanding of human nature and... dedication. It works for me.

Stef Magus
Life is a throw of the die.
Mentally yours.
Alan Jackson
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A lot of what Derren Brown does hinges on him giving clues to the modus operandi. That these are frequently completely misleading is a different issue ...
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
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