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Jaxon
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I'm sure this issue has been mentioned in many books but I feel it's such an important concept in magic that we should discuss it further.

To better explain this concept let me first share an example.

Let's say you run into someone who has seen you perform before. They introduce you to their friends and describe to them what they've seen you do. Let's say they are describing you performing the card on ceiling trick. Their description might go something like this.

He had me shuffle the cards and pick one. I signed the card, lost it in the deck and then shuffle them. Then he pointed up to the ceiling and my card was there.

Now compare that to what really happened.

He asked me to shuffle the cards. Then he took the deck from me and had me pick one. I signed the card then put it in the middle of the deck. He shuffled the cards some more then put a rubber band around the deck. Then he threw the deck up and when it hit the ceiling my card stayed on the ceiling. Then he caught the deck.

I hope you can see how different their recollection of the trick is from what really happened. In this example there are a couple of things that can cause them to mentally alter their memory of how the trick went. For example if the magician hadn't asked them to shuffle the cards prior to the trick then they wouldn't have remembered that they did. When they think back to that moment they'll remember that they shuffled the cards and because that was an actual physical action on their part there more likely to remember that they shuffled them but might not remember that the magician did too. There's a good chance that they will cancel that part out.

In the above example the person also forgot the part about the magician actually throwing the deck up. I'm not suggesting that everyone will forget that part but the memory of seeing their card (with their name written on it) on the ceiling is a very unexpected and powerful memory. For some people it might be powerful enough to cancel out other parts of what really happened. So their memory basically boils down to this. I picked a card. Signed it and lost it in the deck. It appeared on the ceiling and it's still there! The rest of the event isn't always important enough for them to remember.

This concept can be very powerful. It quite often happens when we aren't even trying to give them a false recollection. I'm sure many of you have experienced someone describing something they saw you do and you know that it wasn't quite like they describe. But it is something you can keep in mind and use in a subtle way. For example you can give a very open display of your hands. Such an exaggerated display that they'll remember it. Do this BEFORE YOU VANISH SOMETHING!. What will this do to make the effect better? Well, maybe nothing at that moment but their recollection of that moment might include that open display and their mind might register that as happening after the vanish instead of before like it really was.

Another example just came to mind. I've had someone describe my performance of Kevin James's floating rose as making a real rose appear in mid air from a ball of fire and the real rose is what I made float. If you know the trick you know that it's actually a flash paper rose that floats and turned into a real rose. The real one never floats.

So this is a very powerful concept and it's worth putting some thought into. In most cases your spectators won't even notice them until they think back. And I feel the memory of what they witness is just as important as the moment it actually happens. In some cases it's even more important. The better their memory of you the better your chances of being invited back.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Bobby Forbes
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Very interesting, thanks Jaxon
Mark Williams
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Michael Ammar discussed this on one of his DVD's that I own. He went further by suggesting that as a performer, we could aide in the creation of those false memories. For instance, Michael gave the example of performing a close-up coin routine. While talking with the spectators, tell them you will remove your coat (if wearing one), or roll your sleeves up on your shirt (If long sleeved) making it clear that you will be keeping everything honest. Ammar even suggests that you remove your wrist watch or other jewelry. While these are all subtle suggestive actions to your audience during the performance, they'll more than likely tell a different, more amazing recollection of the effect later on.
"Once is Magic!! Twice is an Education!!"
nucinud
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This concept has always made magicians look better.
But this concept does not stop here. It has also been involved in history. Many accounts of historic events have fallen prey to this. Witnesses to accidents or robberies have the same "problem".
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

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sjdavison
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Very interesting thread.

I agree that we should nurture the audience's memories towards the better, 'alter-effect' that we want to recreate.

It may be worth asking a spectator, a little while later, what they remembered you doing? If you could figure out their memory of the effect, you could push it any way that you wish - this could be good practice to do with new routines that you add to the performances.

The only problem with false memory is repeat effects - something may seem 'out of the ordinary', with what they recollect.

A very interesting thread though.

Si
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Jaxon
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Sjdavison's comment about repeat effects is a good one. Quite often their recollection of what happened is actually better then it really was. This can be confusing for us magicians when they want to see it again.

I sometimes wish I could do the things people have said I've done.. Smile

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
rikbrooks
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I've experienced that and my answer was simple, "...I'm glad you liked that, but have you seen this?

Then do something else.
John Long
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Interesting thought Jaxon. I'm a little disappointed that it hasn't generated more respondents.

A related idea that I've read, somewhere, is that we can add to this false impression not only by our actions(as you suggest), but by what we say. For example, in the 11 dollar bill trick, there is a point where the magi takes back the money, does a "move", then places the money on an open wallet, but then comments "I'm not even going to touch the money". The attempt is to implant the idea that the magi never did directly handle the dollars during this step. I've not done this trick enough to know if this aspect really has an effect. I would like to hear from others on this concept.

I also remember a thread on the Café about someone trying to implant a false image/impression, if anyone else remembers it, I would love to hear it.

More recently there was a thread involving Whit Haydn and a psychologist. It wasn't exactly this topic, but it seemed interesting. I will need to go back a give it a closer look - I think this can be valuable tools of the trade Smile

John
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DanielSteep
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This happens to me all the time ... ill see someone on the street and they will say to there friends .. this guy Pulled a rabbit out of an "empty box" .. they don't even tell what happend just that there was a rabbit in a box.
Samuel
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Jaxon: As allways, you are an excellent teacher and keep pointing out important points in magic. Thank you!

A point to emphasis the false recollections: If you, in your presentation, use much more time on the things you want them to remember, and less time on those things unimportant, it will aid to the false memories.

An example: They insert the card in the middle of the deck. You then square up the cards, give the cards to them and tell them to shuffle the cards as much as they like. When they are finished, you take the deck briefly, and give it back asking them to hold the deck.

Then you go through the actions: Ok, you inserted the card in the middle. You shuffled the deck, which you are still holding. You could have stopped everywhere you wished, but you stopped now... Please turn over the top card. Presto, it's their card.

Now, they will in most cases never remember the fact that you held the card for a brief moment - because it was such a brief thing, and it was not mentioned in the summations Smile So there you got a strong effect, which in time will be remembered even stronger Smile
Samuel

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John Long
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A similar topic is on Online Visions article by Kenton Knepper: Krystal Visions

http://www.online-visions.com/krystal/0602words.html
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Foucault
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That's a great article, John! It deals mainly in the verbal ways one can build false recollections, but I think that was your point.

Ron - that was a most thought-provoking essay. The essence of your point is illustrated in the following:

Quote:
For example if the magician hadn't asked them to shuffle the cards prior to the trick then they wouldn't have remembered that they did. When they think back to that moment they'll remember that they shuffled the cards and because that was an actual physical action on their part there more likely to remember that they shuffled them but might not remember that the magician did too. There's a good chance that they will cancel that part out.


This has given me a lot to think about - thanks.
jolyonjenkins
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OK, how do we build those false memories?
Take an example: coins across. We want spectators to remember that our hands never came close to each other, whereas in fact they did. For the sake of argument, imagine that we've done a pointing transfer, as in Sankey's "Mr Clean". What can we say or do that makes them think our hands never touched? Do we just tell them that afterwards as we acknowledge the applause?
Jolyon Jenkins
Brad Burt
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Hello,

This is a great thread. Probably the most powerful method of implanting what will become false 'rememberences' by the audience in verbal. Kenton Knepper's audio tapes on Wonder Words, his working of NLP into the magic and mentalism context has some brilliant examples of this. In one case he offers a routine that when executed correctly will cause what a spectator assitant to perceive as one thing, the audience in general another and the performer something else! In one sense all participants get a false reading of what is happening.

In my own teaching work when I want to show how this can be done I use the old X-ing the Cut Force with cards. For those of you who know the force consider the following two phrases and insert them at the correct moment: "Here let me mark the place you cut." Done just after they cut the deck. "O.K., take the card you cut to." Said as you remove the top half of the xed deck. Note that in both cases you are lying like a weasel! The second phrase is particularly powerful in implanting the idea, later remembered by the assistant, that they did indeed take the card that they cut to. In fact they took the original top card of the deck. Done smoothly the old force is extremely deceptive because it does not in fact look like you are doing anything! For all of that it illustrates how the right phrase at the right time adds power to out deceptions.

For those of you who are of a mind to try this, take a look at your five favorite routines and first...look for the places that you are already adding obvious (to you) deceptive verbal control. Now, look at the routines again and see if there is actually other places that in fact could be bolstered by the addition of a phrase, etc. You may be surprised at what you come up with and even if you don't the process of examination can be revelatory and frankly fun. All best,
Brad Burt
John Long
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Brad

Quote:
This is a great thread

I agree, and thanks for the application to the X force. I wish more would contribute from their experiences.


Quote:
For those of you who are of a mind to try this, take a look at your five favorite routines and first...look for the places that you are already adding obvious (to you) deceptive verbal control. Now, look at the routines again and see if there is actually other places that in fact could be bolstered by the addition of a phrase, etc


Agree. I would add to the first part of your comment, and say to learn to observe when other magicians are using words to create a false impression. After seeing more examples, I would hope to be better able to do the second part of your comment, and add some to my existing routines.

Now to do the work, and develop my routines. The tough part will be judging the effectiveness of the effort.


The article in Visions Online that I listed above also referred Kenton's Wonder Words. I should probably invest in something like that instead of the gizzmo that catches my attention Smile But does it only come in a audio tape?

Also, what is NLP?


John
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Jaxon
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Quote:
On 2006-01-17 16:58, rjenkins wrote:
OK, how do we build those false memories?
Take an example: coins across. We want spectators to remember that our hands never came close to each other, whereas in fact they did. For the sake of argument, imagine that we've done a pointing transfer, as in Sankey's "Mr Clean". What can we say or do that makes them think our hands never touched? Do we just tell them that afterwards as we acknowledge the applause?

That's a very hard question to answer because there are so many methods to accomplish it. I think all we can do here to help is to give some examples as others have already done. The "X-ing the cut force" BradBurt talked about is a good example. It kind of reminds me of another post I made here on the Café about a No gimmick no sleight vanish. You can read that here:
http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic......forum=41

As for a coins across routine. There are plenty of moments where you might be able to do something that'll give them a false memory of the event. For example let's say you've just performed a pass (meaning they think the coin is in your right hand but it's actually in your left). Now that the dirty work si done you can now point out the fact that your hands "will never come close to each other." This builds a false memory because your hands where just together a moment ago when you apparently placed the coin in the other hand. You can go a step further and give them a false display of the coin. What I mean by that is you act as if you are showing them the coin. The way you hold your hand and your actions look like you are showing it to them but there really isn't anything in that hand. In other words they don't really see the coin there but they think they do because of your actions and your words. Then you can have them hold your hand to make sure the coin can't go anywhere (It's already gone).

So far you've built the following memories. They'll remember that your hands never came close to each other. They'll also remember that you showed them the coin right before they grabbed your hand to make sure it can't escape. Then they'll remember that you where able to make it vanish while they where holding it in place.

As I hope you can see. There are many ways to do this and you'll never stop learning how. Experience will always give you more options. This is just one more thing to think about in your routines.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
R.T.
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This reminds me of an old poker tactic. When you want someone to go all-in against you cause you have a monster...just say "Are you going to raise or go all-in?" It makes it seem like a choice, and they won't fold, or just call, they'll actually put more chips in the pot....even though they are beat. Same if you have a bad hand....are you going to fold or just give up on this hand? Believe it or not this really works!
sjdavison
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In terms of false memory and recollections, in simple terms I feel it is about creating a 'moment', when the magic happens. This gives a focal point, and something they can focus on and actually remember.

People often only remember one or two things (really) that you do. I think we delude ourselves if we believe otherwise - take an act of around 7 effects - people will recall about 2 moments and effects, unless they think long and hard - people will often only remember their highlights, and the finale.

I would thus say that to work on the 'highlight' is to start creating false memories - this moment will reflect the rest of the performance in their mind.

In terms of a single effect, I think again a moment is needed - a click of the fingers, a wave of the hand, something to make a disctinct, obvious moment in the minds of the spectator. They will leave with the lasting impression that the cards vanished at that moment, the coins jumped at that second, rather than relaying the rocedure back in their minds.

Just my thoughts.

Simon
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John Long
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This is an old thread, but I recently came across an interesting book(non magical) that is related.
David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, was on a PBS special called The Brain (I think), and authored a book by the same name.

Amongst many other things he states:

- our memories are fallible
- "Our past is not a faithful record. Instead it's a reconstruction, and sometimes it can border on mythology"
- "A single event may be perceived somewhat differently by you at different stages in your life"
- A study by Elizabeth Loftus (of UOC) found that
> she could manipulate peoples perception of what happened by the words that she used when speaking to them.
> she then tried a study of planting false memories, by just telling her subjects about something that happened to them (but in fact did not happen). Over time (days), the subjects embraced the false comment (by Loftus) as true, AND embellished it


Amazing, where have I heard this before?

I've only read the first 26 pages of this book, and hasn't yet told me how to apply this to a magic performance(beyond what has already be presented in this thread), but, it is a fascinating read.

If there is another thread that has continued this topic, I would love to get the reference.


Best;
John
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Not Breath Taking
Dick Oslund
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Houdini never denied the "stories" that were told about his "exploits"! --and, thus...
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