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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Thoughts on Redesigning the Book Test (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Orvec
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I posted this in another forum as well, but wanted to post here as well, for those who don't have access to Inner Thoughts yet. Full details at the link below.

In a nutshell, I have my own booktest that I've been using for the past year. I've built a number of different features in it.

My question is, what features would you want in a booktest? And I'm not just talking the standard effects that are possible in a variety of tests on the market. I'm looking for outside of the box ideas, effects that haven't been done before in a book test. Not looking for methods, just possible EFFECTS and PRESENTATIONS.

Thanks,

Rick Orvec

Inner Thoughts Thread:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......82&2
Spellbinder
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Your topic interests me because I'm working on what I hope would be the Ultimate Book Test (I already have published my "Better Book Test" in The Wizards' Journal #6 on my site). See how this grabs you- You hand a spectator a sealed envelope. You ask the spectator to hold the envelope between her palms and think of a word - any word. You write down the word she says aloud, just for the record (pad or blackboard, just so the audience can see the word if they couldn't hear her say it). You then ask her to open the envelope. Inside she finds an index card with the name of a book, a page number and a line number. Going to a bookshelf, she finds the book, opens it to the page and counts down to the line number. Then she reads aloud the first word written on that line (or you could have a fourth prediction that tells her to count in three words, etc.). The word she reads aloud now is an exact match for the word she thought of and that you have written down for all to see. A sort of "reverse book test."

I'm stuck at starting with the card sealed in an envelope and in her hands before she says the word aloud. I can do it with the card out in the open and I write down the name of the book on one side of the card AFTER she says the word out loud. The other side of the card already has the internal information for the book (page number, line number, word number). So my problem is really an envelope problem, but I'll keep working on it.
Professor Spellbinder

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DT3
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I'm pretty sure the "ultimate" book test has already been made...I did the Hoy test in a bookstore yesterday and floored all around. For the 5 hundredth time...doesn't matter if it's a book test, a sweat test or a tattoo test...just matters if you can make it amazing performance-wise.
Orvec
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Don Theo III,

I do agree with you there - I'm not necessarily trying to make the "ultimate" book test - mainly, just trying to make a multipurpose gaffed book that has different routines built into it.

As with all mentalism, the performance is the biggest part of it. By designing the book for a book test, I'm simply trying to put things into place that will allow for deeper, more meaningful presentations.

Best,

Rick
DT3
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Rick,

I'm totally with you now...and I applaud your outreach...please keep me posted on your discoveries, as I think you might just be really onto something.

D.T.3
Sandstar
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For me a great book test has great storytellng possibilities built into it, not just the revealing of words. A good example are the Outlaw "book" tests. They reek of drama. So many of the gimmicked "books" currently for sale are the weirdest looking things.
Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2007-02-01 00:42, Sandstar wrote:
For me a great book test has great storytellng possibilities built into it, not just the revealing of words.


I agree. Still, one has to first have something that works, around which to weave the story. In the Book Test I am working on, for example, the bookshelf contains many old magic spell books, with some fake dust coating them for atmosphere. I always tell the young lady to blow the dust off the book she has chosen, which adds to the atmosphere and makes it seem as if the book has not been handled in quite a while. The purpose of doing the effect can be turned into a test of my prognostication skills, rather than a book test - to make sure the young lady is connected with the book in some way; she is seeking an answer to some question and the word she chooses is related to that question. She then locates the passage in the book that can be interpreted as having the answer she seeks. It can all be made very mystical, very mysterious. But first, I have to get the darn thing to work!
Professor Spellbinder

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DonMarco
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Sinister!
"Imagination is the Only Reality"-- Marquis de Sade
Dynamike
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I already ordered Sinister last week.
jakeg
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The ideal book test for me would be the one that I heard Dunninger do (on tape) for a studio audience. It sounded something like this:
open a phone book to any page
run your finger down the page to any name
the name that you are looking at is

No matter how he did it, it sounded great.
Sandstar
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Spellbinder, you are on an interesting track. Any idea when you will solve the problems and share the result with the community?
Spellbinder
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Describing the problems in writing above actually helped me come up with some solutions. I'll need to test them first, but sometimes just talking or writing about a problem squeezes some brain-juices and a solution presents itself.
Professor Spellbinder

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http://www.magicnook.com

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Bill Fienning
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I don't want to be the curmudgeon throwing cold water on book tests, but....

Books are suspicious; books the audience has never heard of are even more suspicious. Why is the mentalist carrying around an unknown book anyway?

Phone books (white or yellow pages) are not suspicious. Current copies of popular magazines like Time, Newsweek, etc. are not suspicious. Current best sellers, if they are widely known, are not quite as suspicious.

Dr. Hoy gave us the cheapest book test ever.
Bill Fienning

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merlin1979
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Bill,

I agree with your comments. Sometimes however, books well known to the audience are as innocent as the magazines/phone books etc. My own preference is to use magazines or trade journals appropriate to the setting.

Merlin
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Sandstar
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I'm interested in "books" that don't look like traditional "books" at all.
Carlos the Great
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I guess I do not understand you, Sandstar. Are you saying you want something that looks proppy or something like Sinister?
Cognite tute
John C
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Quote:
On 2007-02-01 17:48, Bill Fienning wrote:
I don't want to be the curmudgeon throwing cold water on book tests, but....

Books are suspicious; books the audience has never heard of are even more suspicious. Why is the mentalist carrying around an unknown book anyway?

Phone books (white or yellow pages) are not suspicious. Current copies of popular magazines like Time, Newsweek, etc. are not suspicious. Current best sellers, if they are widely known, are not quite as suspicious.

Dr. Hoy gave us the cheapest book test ever.


I saw Marc Salem last night. After the show I was one of the first ones out. I listened to what the folks were saying as they left. They were all talking about the books. And, they were asking one of the assistants (a retired school teacher) about her experience. She was amazed. Marc gave her a book and signed it by the author of the book. It wasn't Marc's book. So, the book test seemed to be the most popular routine.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount books in a mind reading effect. They will be around for a while.

I get a lot of mileage out of my middle/high school book-tests. I finish with Hoy 'cause kids ask me to do it with this book and that book, so, I do.

John
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entity
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Ideas for inclusion in a book test:

Read the participant's mind to find a word they've chosen in the book;

Predict a word the the participant will choose in a book;

Draw a picture of a scene the participant reads silently from a book;

Force a particular page, paragraph, word in a book;

Have a page torn out, a word chosen from that page, and the page re-appear attached inside of the book;

Have a book that, once opened by a participant, leaves a clue as to where they opened it;

Have a book that could be opened from either side. One side seems legit, the other side, every second page is the same;

Have a book where its pages will turn by themselves, at the performer's command;

Have a book with an imp device built into the cover;

Same as above, but electronic, so that it transmits writing to a receiver.

Just some thoughts.

- entity
John C
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Would it still be a ... book?

John
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Sandstar
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Quote:
On 2007-02-02 14:12, Carlos the Great wrote:
I guess I do not understand you, Sandstar. Are you saying you want something that looks proppy or something like Sinister?

Yeah, I was pretty unclear. I suppose what is "proppy" to one performer may not be to another. Years ago I learned how to antique parchment to make modern printed materials look quite old. Homicide, etc. are nicely aged, but I'm talking about much older looking. A book test using "old" semi or unbound documents might be very interesting.
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