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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How do you justify that your spectators must write their thought ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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CENDRE
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We all agree that peeking is a very useful tool.

I don't want to talk about peek in book tests, and I don't want to talk about the methods for peeking.

But I want to focus on peeking when you ask a spectator to write his thought on a piece of paper.

This is a question to all of you who really practise peek technics :

How do you justify they write their though (a word, a drawing, etc...) on a piece of paper or a business card ?

Thank you for your answers !

See you soon,
Il était une fois...

CENDRE
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TheInvisibleMan
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Well I am no expert on peeking or peek devices, but one way I would justify them writing things down is I would tell them that writing things down leaves a stronger impression in their mind.

Writing what they're thinking down also stops them from changing their minds and is proof that you've read their minds when the trick is over.

If you are performing to more than one person, you could get all the other spectators other than the one with the "thought" to look away whilst he/she writes it down. You could say that this means that they wouldn't be able to secretly signal what the spectator has written down.

I'm sure there was a thread on this a while back...I'll try and find it for you. Smile

TIM

Can't find the thread about this... maybe I was mistaken.

Perhaps someone else knows if there is a thread on this somewhere, or maybe they have more suggestions.

TIM
CENDRE
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Quote:
On 2002-11-15 05:36, TheInvisibleMan wrote:

Writing what they're thinking down also stops them from changing their minds and is proof that you've read their minds when the trick is over.



Thank you TIM.

This idea is commonly used in mentalism when you ask someone to write his thought but I must admit it doesn't really satisfied me.

Maybe I'm wrong but I can't sell the "It will increase your thought" and the "proof" seems to say that your spectator has a devious mind or that your spectator is a dumb...

That's why I hope that this thread will hightlight good ideas you may have to avoid this "proof" option or "increasing thought" option.

Thank you and see you soon,
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PK
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If doing a drawing dupe it is perfectly logical for the spectator to draw it becasue you need to compare them afterwards.

You could also use a remote veiwing theme. ie you are not reading minds but sensing hidden information. Clearly if a question is written the remote viewing angle is not suitable. Works fine for drawings though.

In a 1 on 1 reading scenario there is no need for the thoughts to be written. You'll find out what the 'mark' is thinking by using your reading skills.

In fact for readings you can ask what questions the person would like answered. It's the answer they are interested in.

In those situation where things need to be revealed 'fast' then I think the 'strengthening the impression' excuse is good.

Kevin
CENDRE
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Quote:
On 2002-11-15 08:16, PK wrote:

You could also use a remote veiwing theme. ie you are not reading minds but sensing hidden information.

Kevin


You are right PK !

The "sensing hidden information" option is a very good one, because it justifies the drawing as the emitteur. You don't read a spectator's thought : you read the aura (or whatever you want) resulting from the written papper.

It's much more logical.

Thank you PK,

Another ideas ?


See you soon,
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David Fletcher
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In acting we have to justify our actions and words.

Make something up taht sounds good (real). Remember, people don't know.

Get Peek Performances by Richard Busch.
You have to give it away to keep it.
eric2104
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Hi Cendre

Here are 2 ideas that I've used for years that may satisfy you. But they are not universal, meaning that you can't apply them in all contexts, as you will see.

1. The writing is needed to symbolize a physical object. I use that ruse in the CT context. I draw a simple digital watch on paper, and subject writes a time in hour display. The paper is then his watch, a physical object. When I tear the paper, I destroy the object, but the thought is still in his mind. I then proceed to read his mind (?). My whole presentation evolves around the difference between an OBJECT (which can be destroyed) and a THOUGHT (which cannot be destroyed by eliminating the object).

2. The written information was necessary for another experience, and kept unseen by you. Example: I do a variation of Dead/Alive where subject writes down on business cards food he dislikes/likes. Without looking at the written side of the business cards, I proceed to separate the likes from dislikes. In that context, the writing is of course necessary. When this is done, you can take any one of the business cards, peek using your favorite method, and read the subject's mind regarding that particular like or dislike.

Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Eric.
Smile
"All magic is mental"
Tony Shiels.
CENDRE
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I perfectly agree David Fletcher !
And that's exactly why I posted this topic.

I don't want to debate on the method but simply on YOUR way to justify the preparation for a peek. It's only a little discussion on the way you present this method, your personnal way.

It's always interesting to see the personnality of magician trough is presentation (IMO much more interesting than the method).

See you soon,
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Bambaladam
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Cendre, I have mentioned things about my approach in the Bah! on tearing paper thread in the Secret Sessions.

My way is difficult to discuss without getting into method. Feel free to PM me.

I think the symbolic idea eric has is good and use something very similar. But the most important thing, I think is to not make the writing to be peeked be the first thing they write down. For instance, I would perform eric's routines in this order: 2, then 1.

And tie them in with each other thematically.

/bamba

/bambaladam
CENDRE
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Quote:
On 2002-11-15 08:28, eric2104 wrote:
Hi Cendre

Here are 2 ideas that I've used for years that may satisfy you. But they are not universal, meaning that you can't apply them in all contexts, as you will see.

1. The writing is needed to symbolize a physical object. I use that ruse in the CT context. I draw a simple digital watch on paper, and subject writes a time in hour display. The paper is then his watch, a physical object. When I tear the paper, I destroy the object, but the thought is still in his mind. I then proceed to read his mind (?). My whole presentation evolves around the difference between an OBJECT (which can be destroyed) and a THOUGHT (which cannot be destroyed by eliminating the object).

2. The written information was necessary for another experience, and kept unseen by you. Example: I do a variation of Dead/Alive where subject writes down on business cards food he dislikes/likes. Without looking at the written side of the business cards, I proceed to separate the likes from dislikes. In that context, the writing is of course necessary. When this is done, you can take any one of the business cards, peek using your favorite method, and read the subject's mind regarding that particular like or dislike.

Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Eric.
Smile


You see David Fletcher, That's exactly what I was talking about : the personnal way.

eric2104 gives us something which is not universal but which fits very well in a particular presentation.

eric2104 : I really like your 1st idea, because it can be adapted to a good paranormal session Smile

Thank you,
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Julien
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1. see Busch's book for several presentations (same methodology, but completely different explanation / rationale as Eric's 1.)

2. lead in routines, as Eric mentioned

3. use several spectators (see Three little questions, etc.)

4. automatic writing

5. do not just give the info back, the presentation will make it credible... if you have no reason to tear the paper, switch it...

6. shhh, it's a secret Smile
PK
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Re: Writing of questions

If using a Tarot deck it is common to ask questions 'to the cards'. In other words you address questions to the deck and not the reader.

You explain that instead of sitter asking her question verbally, that she writes it down so you remain objective when reading the cards. ie - if you know the question in advance it can make the cards less 'reliable'because it is harder to read objectively if you know the question.

The sitter then writes a queation to ask the 'cards'.

Justified on the grounds that it will be a better reading that way.

You can stress that the cards need to be addressed directly - that is why they do not just think of the question.

Kevin
sjdavison
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A method I use is to tell them to think of the word, and then as an afterthought, tell them to write it so everyone else can know what they are thinking- this gives a justification, to hide the thought from you. I prefer this working, but the main idea is to place little emphasis on the billet, or whatever, as if it is irrelevant- you don't want to be doing a trick with paper.
Hope this helps,
Simon Davison
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David de Leon
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Here is an idea that just occurred to me:

Have the spectator write on a piece of paper as a means of finding/settling on a thought for you to discover. In other words the spectator has no set thought in mind at the onset, but is given some paper to write or doodle on to arrive at one. This is just like when you don’t know what you want to say, or how you want to say it, until you actually start talking.

Here is a presentational aside: What if the spectator’s thought remains vague and undecided. You might, for instance, have the spectator doodle ”aimlessly” and then YOU reveal and explain what they drew. I think this idea, by itself, is worth the price of the book ;-)

The importance of external representations for thinking is a very HOT topic in Cognitive Science at the moment. I remember reading a paper [Reisberg, D. (1987). External representations and the advantages of externalizing one's thoughts, "Program of the ninth annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society.”] that outlined some of the differences between external and internal representations. Some of these differences might be of use in your presentations, or not.

They were something like this:

• Memory has a limited capacity. You can forget and memories often change. External representations stay (more or less) the same.

• There is perceptual knowledge which exceeds our conscious knowledge. I can, for instance, see which of two spellings of a word is the correct alternative, even though this knowledge was inaccessible when just thinking about the alternatives. In other words, in writing or drawing something we get a representations to which we can bring other kinds of skills.

[Note for Cognitive Scientists: this idea is compatible with a modular view of cognition. By externalizing one's thoughts, one defeats modularity.]

• External representations are potentially ambiguous and therefore, lend themselves to reinterpretation. This is not possible, in for example imagery, where understanding is inherent in the mental representation. If you think of a dog you can’t mistake it for a cat. A drawing, however, is open to interpretation.

(Another note for Cognitive Scientists: Oscillating between the two interpretations of a Necker cube is also a good example, or Wittgenstein’s duck-rabbit.)

A drawing on a piece of paper can also be physically manipulated. You can turn it with your hands. The upside down image, for instance, being open to further interpretation. Think of the way we turn children’s drawing in order to make sense of them.

[In Cog, Sci. terms: external representations are non-intensional].

• Even though the detail of an argument or picture in your mind may be uneven, we tend to pay attention to what is included, and not to the gaps. By externalizing something on paper we can discover omissions that we would otherwise miss.

Want to read more on external representations and cognition? I thought not! If you change your mind, check out the following reading list:

http://acad88.sahs.uth.tmc.edu/lab/ExtRep_Bib.html
Wil Castor
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ok, heres my 2 cent....
I hope this doesnt get to muddeled in trying to explain it...

when doing ct or similar effects I start out with a little history of voodoo and how a priest or priestess did magic for those in their community. The person requesting the spell was usually not the person the spell effected (ie: a sitter requesting a spell for person x to love them) Since the priestess did not know the person they had to use voodoo to focus in on that individual then do the spell on them... *I then begin going into the ct* explaining that I want them to think of someone they know and record their name on paper explaining we will use the same seeking technique to locate their friends spirit in the ether. After the trick or during depending on the situation I joke about not doing a spell on their friend once weve located them, or ask them if they would like to just for fun. This approach adds a little more mystery to the effect and takes it almost to the bizzare side of things.

This is somthing I came up with on the fly one night at a bar and it went over smashing so Ive used it since. Please let me know what you think of the approach or if anyone else is using somthing similar.
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CENDRE
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Julien, PK, sjdavison, David de Leon, Wil Profitt :

Thank you very much for your contributions.
You clearly have different kind of presentations but all of them can justifiate the writting in a specific situation.

David de Leon : Thank you for the great amount of your « cognitive knowledge » (a very valuable contribution).

PK : I like the idea of writting the though on the paper because you don’t want to know this thought. Very devious Smile

Sjdavison : You want the spectator to write his thought so that every other spects know his thought. Maybe can we add a little tip to your idea : Why don’t we claim that we are not so good at « thought reading » ? And that’s why we need that a lot of people think at the same thing to build a stronger « aura » easier for you to read.

Wil Profitt : Good approach. If we justify the secret writting as a part of the spell and we have a good amount of time between the CT (or the peek) and the result of the spell on the target … It will be a funny demo of a curse in real life.

Thak you again,

And don’t hesitate to add your contributions.


See you soon,
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sjdavison
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I like the idea Cendre, but the wey I present it is similar to the idea in card magic- as in you want the spectator to show the card to others so they cannot lie/forget about the card you reveal. I use this also so people know what thought processes I'm allegedly picking up, and also so people can instantly 'forget' the paper, while knowing the thought, and I can concentrate on the presentation. I want the writing to be in an offhand way, similar to when people see a selected card. This also gets them more involved, and I find taked the heat off the billet as the centre of the effect, which is not what mindreading should be about.
Don't know if this clarifies my point, but I hope so,
Simon
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Bambaladam
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I think there are ways of letting the "billet" take centre-stage and get away with it, although it has implications regarding the ability being displayed. A "mind-reader" should perhaps stay away from billets or at least appear to do so.

I don't mind heat on pieces of paper as long as that heat or attention does not diminish the sense of my having performed a miracle.

/bamba
CENDRE
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Yes, in fact the more we develope this topic the more we focus on this point:

The billet can be the center of a great piece of magic but, it is often the case when we don't present the effect as "thought reading".

Personally, when I want to present thought reading, I really prefer forces like the
"rose force" or things like this...

But maybe some of you don't agree with that! So, give your opinion! Smile

In fact we can change, a little bit, the approach on this topic, because now, we clearly don't talk only about "thought reading".

What we are talking about is:
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Any information written secretly by a spectator. Any information you can't know.

How to dress the writting and why we make a spectator write this information?

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

It clearly touch much more themes than the simple "thought reading"!
You may have an idea... So don't hesitate to participate!!!
:) Smile Smile Smile

See you soon,
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sjdavison
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Derren Brown confronts this point in Pure Effect. He wants mindreading to be a process, wheras much of mentalism is knowing information that we couldn't possibly know- as he says, sounds similar, but hugely different in practise.
I urge you all to find the presentations that have a 'method'; ie, some sort of mindreading occurs, at least in the audience's perception.
Simon
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