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Jay Are
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Hey everyone, I came up with the below presentation for Backdate this morning, I will be using it as an opener. What do you think?

I’m going to start tonight with a very simple experiment. We’ve experienced déjà vu before. The phenomena where one seems to remember entire sequences of events as they happen. I have a foam rubber ball, which I am going to toss into the audience to select some one from amongst you at random. If you catch the ball – please stand. (I toss the ball and a young lady in a red sweater catches it). Please – share your name with us. Mary – Mary, I need you to close your eyes, and visualize something for me – use your imagination. Picture in your mind a solid white screen, sort of like a movie screen – the screen is blank right now, but when I clap my hands, a number a 3-digit number is going to appear on that screen. Ready? (I clap). What number has appeared on your screen? “376”? (I begin to write the numbers on a large chalkboard). I am going to record the numbers here on the board, and I am going to ask Mary to join me onstage. Mary have we met before? We haven’t. Could you have selected any 3 digit number? You could have. Mary – before I came out onstage I had a premonition – a bout of déjà vu if you will. I wrote what I saw down on a card and I attached the card to the back of my jacket – safety pinned to the middle. (I turn around). Mary – is the card attached? It is. Please remove it, and read it out loud. (The card is removed, and read…)

“Tonight prior to taking the stage I had the following vision. A young woman in a red sweater standing on stage next to me. She is holding a sign with the number 376 written on it. Her name is Mary…


Too much?

Too killer for the beginning of the program?
xxx
jimtron
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Sounds good to me, but I would say "phenomenon" (singular) instead of the plural.

For those that aren't familiar with this, it's from Mind, Myth, and Magick by T.A. Waters (if memory serves).
chichi711
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I can't decide if for me I would do this as an opener, but at the same time I don't know when else you would do it in a show?
Tom Jorgenson
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If you do this as an opener, then nothing else that you do that exhibits a lesser similar power will be convincingly difficult. At Mindvention, one very good performer had his effects in the wrong order. He proved he could do easily, early, what he struggled to do later.

Just something to be aware of. I wasnt really aware of "the Order of Powers' until I saw it blatently mishandled.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
entity
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The deja vu would occur AFTER the woman named her number, NOT before you came onstage.

Also, if you could really do this, why pin it to your back? why not just hand her an envelope with a printed card inside, ask her to name her number, and then have her open the envelope and read what you wrote earlier? The pinned card on the back is more of a magic trick.

- entity
Corona Smith
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Airstrip One
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I agree that deja vu would not make a good premise for this effect.

I would probably use a story of an unusual occurence from my day to day life and then embelish it with the apropriate details.

For instance my missus did a performance art piece, the details of which she was finalising as she walked down the street on the eve of the event.

She knew she would do some writing on a blackboard, and then invite people to cut her hair (make of it what you will).

A wild eyed crazy man approached her in the street. He had bright red dreadlocks and danced about erratically.

He gestured toward a shop window and mimed writing upon it.

He then whispered, with alchohol soaked breath, that she should "Get 'er 'air cut!" and danced off....

Needless to say she was stunned and a little disturbed.
This may not fit with your style of presentation, However it would make a good background for a prediction along the line of the inexplicable pre-cognitive type.

Point being (I knew there was one here somewhere) Why not use stories from your real life and embellish them to fit the scenario?

All the best

Corona
Mesaboogie
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Think about the "stage direction" of this effect also...have you walked it through as you would do it? If so, how do you manage to hide the factyou have an envelope on your back when writing the numbers on the blackboard??

As far as an opener goes, it's fine. I have used a similar opener for the last 2 years except I use three people instead of one and there is a lot of byplay and humour - remember, we are entertaining people.
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Everyday, in everyway, I am becoming better and better
Corona Smith
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Airstrip One
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I was reading Prism last night and was struck by how much Max Maven emphasises the storytelling aspect of mentalism. This tally's very much with my own views. My performances tend to be short (10 or 20 minutes for a routine) and maybe only use one effect.

'The rest is theatre'.

I am slowly building up to the point where I would do a longer show. I have the utmost admiration for those who can entertain an audience, with mentalism, for an hour or more, it is no easy feat.


All the best,

Corona.
Necromancer
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Hi Icy Rabbit,

Let's reexamine the premise: WHY do you have something pinned to your back?

Maybe your dry cleaner is a psychic (I think this was Water's original suggestion).

Maybe your mom put it there because she was afraid you'd lose it. (She still clips your mittens to your sleeves, too. At least, you think that's who's been breaking into your apartment and doing that to your coat in the middle of the night).

Maybe you're the forgetful sort, and you need notes pinned to various parts of your body to remind you to do certain things in the act. (Chicagoans may get a reference to Ray Rayner's morning kiddie show of the '70s).

Come up with your own reason, script it, practice it, and you'll have an original piece of material that makes theatrical sense and entertains.

To ChiChi: from a practical standpoint, it's got to be an opener. Otherwise, your audience has too great an opportunity to see your back earlier in the show.

To Tom's question: How do you follow it? By doing things that are ostensibly more difficult. Fogel used a snappy "call out any number/here it is on my business card" bit as an opener for years, according to Corinda, so it can definitely be done.

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
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