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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Is this an opener? Is this Mentalism? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lee Marelli
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I started this topic in the Secret Sessions but did not get the expected response, so I am trying to see what will happen in the open forum on Mentalism.Your opinions, comments and recommendations would be sincerely
appreciated concerning the routine shown below. Also the answers to the
important questions: Is it an opener?; Will it be percieved as just
another magicians card trick, that should be left to magicians to do?; Is it
Mentalism?

It is done as a two person routine, since I and Professor Krill do a two man act called Mental Wizardry.

Mentalist 1(M1) comes on stage with a Jumbo Deck of cards, consisting of
52 different playing cards. M1 notes to the audience that a deck of such
a size can only be mixed by cutting the deck. M1 demonstratesthis to the
audience

Mentalist 2(M2) notes that they would like to do a couple of warm-up
experiments in ESP using the Giant Deck, before proceeding with the rest
of the show. M2 is given the deck by M1 and proceeds into the audience
asking an audience member to point to another audience member(AM1), to
whom M2 gives the deck. M2 returns to join MI on stage.

M2 requests that AM1 cut the cards, as demonstrated by M1, then take the
top card and, without showing it to anyone, put it in their lap. The
next card is to be given to another audience member(AM2)who is also not
to show the card to anyone.. The remainder of the deck is to be placed
at the feet of AM1. Further, while this is done, the Mentalists turn
their backs so they cannot be accused of somehow glimpsing the back or
face of the cards. (Note: No stooges are used)

When AM1 completes their task, the Mentalists face the audience. M2
notes that the first experiment will be done by the audience. M2 states
that everyone has some degree of the powers of ESP, but do not always
know it. The example of a person hearing a phone ring and knowing who is
calling, is an example of this.

M2 asks AM1 to look at their card and try to project the color to the
other members of the audience. After a moment, AM1 is asked to announce
the color. M2 then asks how many in the audience got the color? Those
that did should keep their hands up. This is repeated for the suit,
whether it is a picture or a number card(If it is a number card, is it
high, six or above, or low, five and below) and finally the entire card.
The audience members who have their hands up, after each announcement,
are congratulated by M2.

M2 then asks M1 if they would like to try. M1 agrees but says it should
be done differently. M1 will ask the same questions, but AM2 is to try
to project the answers to M1, but to say nothing. AM1 proceeds to ask
the same questions. After the final question AM1 reveals the card and
has it shown to the audience. AM1 and AM2 are congratulated on a great
job. Asks if anyone in the audience also got the card? and congratulates
them. The show then proceeds with the rest of the show's routines.

That's it. Let's here your opinions on the questions posed in the
beginning of this topic, as well as, your thoughts and comments on the
routine. Best Regards, Marelli
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
cloud
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IMHO I think it would be a great opener, because you are demonstrating a ligitimate 'curiosity'. As the show progressed I would assume the results and premise would be increasing in their impossibility.

What is mentalism ?
Stephan Therien
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Mentalism yes, opener? hummm to long to be an operner to much action to much traveling 2 mentalist 2 volonter 2 chair blabla 2 complicated lol for an opener to my opinion, great routine maybe in second place but openers should be straith to the point fast pace and easy to follow.
Maddened
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Reads a little complicated but I can picture how it goes. I think as someone in the audience, it'll be a little too draggy. Why not just eliminate the bit with AM1 and just straight away divine AM2's card? You could stand with your back to the audience, have AM2 stand and raise his card up, letting everyone see the card, and you just proceed as you've outlined in your post.
Stephen Long
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Personally, I put any card based effects later in my act. Although I have no argument against them, I do think that they are stronger once you've already established your "powers". Also, you'll lose an audience early on if you bombard them with too many instructions, I think.
Hello.
ChuckHickok
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I don't know what your goal is as a mentalist. My goal as a mentalist is to get my audience to believe that what I do in my show are real demonstrations by a person with special mental abilities.

Creating and maintaining "believabilty" is a core principle of my approach to mentalism.

Using playing cards "communicates" magic trick to most people regardless of what you may say. Many people automatically think "magician" before you open your mouth.

There are much better props for serious mentalists than playing cards ... if your goal is to convince people your special mental abilities are real.

I have a free ESSAY on "Props for Mentalists". E-mail if you want a free copy. (ChuckHickok@aol.com)

Can you be a successful entertainer today using playing cards? Absolutely.

Can you be a successful mentalist today using playing card? Not if you goal is to convince people your abilities are real. What mentalists did 10, 20, 30 years ago
won't work with today's audiences.

Yes ... there are a very few exceptions.

But do the extra thinking now and find a way to entertain people as a mentalist without playing cards. This effort will serve you well in the long run.

Respectfully,

Chuck Hickok
Pete Legend
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I don't use playing cards in my act but at the same time my experience is that when a person see's a pack of playing cards they think poker,casino,gambling rather than magic trick.This may be a cultural difference though as Im from Ireland who knows....
RicHeka
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I received and read Mr.Hickok's free essay(Thank-you).I like the way Mr.Hickok thinks.

I especially liked the final section regarding,question's one can ask oneself when brainstorming new routines..very prudent ideas.

When I clear my plate of things I am working on at this time,I am certainly going to delve further into his writings.

If you would like to move in the direction of 'less props',and more credibility in your Mentalism,I highly reccommend this essay.

Best.
Rich
Richie Dagger
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Although I see and actually agree with most people's opinions on not using playing cards in mentalism, I do use them. I work in some gambling subtext and it usually goes over well. Trying to avoid the usual debate, I will offer this advice. As per something I believe I got from Richard Osterlind, don't handle the cards like a magician. By that I mean no fancy flourishes or one handed cuts. With the jumbo cards this probably isn't a concern. Take them out of the box and handle them like your friends at poker night. Second, I would think twice about using them in an opener. In walk around situations, I've done it. Many times I've heard "Oh! A card trick!" or something to those lines. This is rarely the case at the end, but it's much more effective to start with something else then bring them out later. The perfect sitation, albeit rare, is when someone asks how you do in some sort of gambling situation (blackjack, poker, etc.).

-Dagger
Lee Marelli
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Thanks to you all, your comments are well thought out. Keep them coming. The goal of our show, Chuck, is the same as yours. Best Regards, Marelli
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Maddened
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While I avoid cards as much as possible, I do think they are useful for one kind of demonstration: Effects that hinge on your ability for super memorisation of the deck or a packet of the cards. That I think should suitably do away with the conception of you doing sleight of hand etc.
chrismatt
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To those who believe playing cards should not be used in a "strict" mentalism routine, I strongly disagree. Think of it this way: If a mentalist came out and simply asked you to think of any card and then, without rigmarole, named that very card, you would be spooked, entertained, etc. and would wonder if the mentalist had real psychic powers, even though you might have just seen a week's worth of cardicians flinging their fingers. Yet, as you undoubtedly know, there are ways to attain this very effect.

The method you use has a significant bearing on the effect you achieve, but you can achieve a pure mentalism effect with playing cards, just as you can with the myriad other objects commonly employed by artists in the field. Whatever the props utilized, it is the strength of presentation and method that will create the illusion of true psychic ability.

As for using cards as an opener, I believe it could be done successfully, but not likely with the effect (and implicit method) you've described. Something more along the lines of "The Tossed Out Deck" (an effect usually thought of more as a closer) or one of the many quick variations using John Kennedy's "Mind Power" deck might work as an effective opener.

Good luck!
Details make perfection, but perfection is no detail.
Stephan Therien
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If I have to use card in an effect in my intro I talk about the fotune teller's that use card to predict futur and explaine how its an usfull tool.
Lee Marelli
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Thanks for your input, it will be very helpful. Best Regards, Marelli
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Bill Palmer
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I have to agree that it's a good piece but a bit slow for an opener. Maybe a second or third item on the list. But I don't have a suggestion for a first number, either. Let me cogitate on this a bit and get back to you.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Bill Palmer
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I have to agree that it's a good piece but a bit slow for an opener. Maybe a second or third item on the list. But I don't have a suggestion for a first number, either. Let me cogitate on this a bit and get back to you.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
phil in KC
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Quote:
On 2006-07-28 16:24, PaleoMagi wrote:
I received and read Mr.Hickok's free essay(Thank-you).I like the way Mr.Hickok thinks.

I especially liked the final section regarding,question's one can ask oneself when brainstorming new routines..very prudent ideas.

When I clear my plate of things I am working on at this time,I am certainly going to delve further into his writings.

If you would like to move in the direction of 'less props',and more credibility in your Mentalism,I highly reccommend this essay.

Best.
Rich


I want to second Rich's recommendation. After receiving and reading Mr. Hickok's essay, I know I will examine the mentalism show I'm working on in a different way. His sense of "invisible props" rings true to me.

-Phil in KC
Lee Marelli
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Bill: I look forward to you further thoughts on this. Best Regards, Marelli

I sense this topic has run its course, but I again wish to thank all of you who contributed. Your thinking put to words, has given Professor Krill and I food for our own thoughts about what we might do with this routine. Again, thank you. Best Regards, Marelli
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
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