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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Learning Experience with 4th Dimensional Telepathy (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bushido
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Just last night I was performing this effect (probably for the 500th time now) to a new audience of course. Well, I ran into a little problem.

The second spectator decided to mark his envelope with a little dot on one of the corners – He did this without anyone knowing. I found this strange as he had no idea what to expect, I guess he was just trying to be clever before anything even began.

Of course, as I returned the envelopes to the owners he immediately made a big deal about me switching the envelopes as he noticed his marking was missing.

Here is how I recovered.

I explained to him that this was the first time that I ever actually used envelopes and I was only trying to make the experiment more difficult for myself – I did not switch the envelopes, it was a genuine mistake as all envelopes look identical.

I had the three volunteers open the envelopes and give each slip to the owner.

I said we would do it again without the envelopes since they were too hard to keep track of.

I used a playing card, a three digit number and a drawing.

I had the spectators choose the 2 items that they wanted me to reveal – they naturally chose the more difficult, the 3 digit number and the drawing.

Basically, I took this to slips and performed a name / place type routine I had time to set this up during all the trouble caused by the change of pace. And then I had to end with the least impressive of the three – The card revelation.

Now that I think about it, I could have probably handled the situation a little smoother, but this was the first time something like this happened to me and I was caught completely off guard.

What I Learned

Take away all pens before giving them the envelopes.

I hope this helps someone out there.

How would you have handled this mess???
mesmer
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Quote:
On 2007-08-11 20:59, Bushido wrote:
How would you have handled this mess???


How do I handle this mess or anyother mess that potentialy can be born out of a routine is by thinking ahead of time and doing my rehearsal many many times before the routine hit the premiere when I perform it for real living breathing Audience

What you should do is go back to your Note Book, electronic or manual (you do keep a note book don't you?)...........and write down all the worst case scenario that could possibly happen....and write your solutions to it, what you will do if that bad things happen....sometimes Bad Things happen to Good Performer...so by doing this, hope the Bad things don't bite you in front of your Audience...hope it helps
ALEXANDRE
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Man ... some people....
Bushido
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Thanks, yes that was helpful. I guess because I have had so many good performances with this effect I thought it was invincible. I am somewhat glad it happened as I did learn a lot.

It did turn out okay. Nothing great or amazing, but okay. It did lose some entertainment value and that is what really bothered me.

Some people seem threatened by this art.
Torkova
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I'm curious as to which version of 4DT you're using. I use one of Cassidy's variations where the envelopes are not handed back to the spectators but are opened by the performer who then crumples them up and put into your pocket. But taking the pens away from them is also a good precaution.

Bobby
mdspark
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The way I would have handled it is party they way you did... I would have acted "dumb" and say something to the effect..."Oh I am sorry, since the evelopes are identitical it IS hard to keep track of them...my apologies if you wanted the envelope!"....then I would have thanked them (all the volunteers) profusely for making the test successful (applause cue)...to shut him up..and quickly change the subject..new test.

I don't like flapping about with envelopes in this type of test so I do Annemann's version of Telepathy Plus.

But to sum up...my attitude would have been "oh well, the envelopes got mixed up, no biggie" My silent script.

Still sounds like your recovered well.

Mark
Roy
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Next time, just wait for the heckler after the show outside with a baseball club....

:)
Traveler
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Aaah, mesmer... Finally a performer who never makes a mistake, because he had figured everything out beforehand and wrote it down in his notebook (and yes, he has a notebook !)
You're obviously the only one who never got into trouble before a living, breathing audience. So you never had to go through a learning process, because you have a notebook.
Just remember that many of us are low creatures who sometimes learn stuff by doing. Afterwards we won't make the same mistake again. Treat us gently, because we aren't perfect.
But I will be...Once I have a notebook like yours.
Malchat
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Bushido, thanks for sharing your troubles - you have my respect for doing so.

I don't perform 4th Dimensional Telepathy or similar routines, but here are my 2 cents: I always carries two 'emergency routines' in my pockets that I use for situations where a volunteer messes something up badly (either deliberately or by accident.) I've also used them in situations where I just didn't have a good feeling about the volunteer who was helping me.

My routines are structured in such a way that the dirty work happens long before I start revealing. Because the audience doesn't know where I'm going with the instructions, I can always choose to abort and go into something else (in the above example, I might say something like 'Hang on to those envelopes, we'll come back to those later' and never mention them again.)

If the show was going well before the problem, and I have a strong follow-up, I might decide to just forsake the gimmicks and do everything by guesswork, taking the misses as I go (and milking the rare hits if they occur.)

Sure, it doesn't get points for elegance, but it keeps the act moving smoothly without any confrontations (which the host/client will appreciate.)
“You are what you pretend to be.”
r1z08
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Traveler,
The suggestion that Mesmer had made is a good one. While you may not be able to come up with ALL of the possible bad situations in an effect, it can keep you with a running list of things can and do happen. If a situation arises that you were not prepared for, then this is something that should be appended to your list. In this sense, you are learning from your mistakes and, hopefully, ensuring that the past does not repeat itself.

I think that saying "You're obviously the only one who never got into trouble before a living, breathing audience..." is quite a bold statement and is in no way constructive and your sarcastic remarks about having a notebook like Mesmer's will make you perfect is completely unnecessary.

"Magicians helping Magicians" is quickly becoming "Magicians bashing Magicians".
Traveler
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Fact is, that I absolutely agree with what Mesmer said.
It's just that - after reading some posts in here - I got fed up with answers like
- do your homework
- get a notebook
- practice until you are perfect.
All common sense, really. But too often it's said in a patronising way.
I thought Bushido was brave for posting his problems and generous by offering a solution he found.
When I read Mesmer's response it sounded to me like "if you had prepared better, you wouldn't have been in trouble". THAT sounded patronising.
I overread his later statement that "sometimes bad things happen to good performers", which put his advice in another daylight. After I read it, it was too late to edit my post.
So, perhaps I was overly sarcastic. I didn't want to bash, but by thinking I stood up agains bashing, I bashed.
If this makes sense... anyhow.
DT3
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Quote:
On 2007-08-11 20:59, Bushido wrote:
Just last night I was performing this effect (probably for the 500th time now) to a new audience of course. Well, I ran into a little problem.

The second spectator decided to mark his envelope with a little dot on one of the corners – He did this without anyone knowing. I found this strange as he had no idea what to expect, I guess he was just trying to be clever before anything even began.

Of course, as I returned the envelopes to the owners he immediately made a big deal about me switching the envelopes as he noticed his marking was missing.

Here is how I recovered.

I explained to him that this was the first time that I ever actually used envelopes and I was only trying to make the experiment more difficult for myself – I did not switch the envelopes, it was a genuine mistake as all envelopes look identical.

I had the three volunteers open the envelopes and give each slip to the owner.

I said we would do it again without the envelopes since they were too hard to keep track of.

I used a playing card, a three digit number and a drawing.

I had the spectators choose the 2 items that they wanted me to reveal – they naturally chose the more difficult, the 3 digit number and the drawing.

Basically, I took this to slips and performed a name / place type routine I had time to set this up during all the trouble caused by the change of pace. And then I had to end with the least impressive of the three – The card revelation.

Now that I think about it, I could have probably handled the situation a little smoother, but this was the first time something like this happened to me and I was caught completely off guard.

What I Learned

Take away all pens before giving them the envelopes.

I hope this helps someone out there.

How would you have handled this mess???



Hi Bushido,

Thanks for posting this. I am sorry you had such a challenge, but like you said it's something you learned from. And because you posted it here, all of us who do this routine can learn from your experience as well. I really do appreciate you sharing with us, and I think you did a great job with handling the situation.

D.
Ken Dyne
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Wow! What a total boob of a spectator you had. The version I do is based on Cassidy's and afetr tinkering it a bit its little different, and I end up opening the envelopes not the volunteers. Still the thought of this makes me think a little more carefully about what I'm doing.

Thanks for sharing the story.

Ken
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rick727
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Bushido,
Thanks for sharing. I have not done 4DT, but was considering doing it.

Someone once said: A wise man learns from his mistakes. An even wiser man learns from other's mistakes.

Thanks for making me a little wiser Smile

-Rick
Practice what you present.

Present what you practice.
Greg Arce
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Quote:
On 2007-08-12 03:14, Roei wrote:
Next time, just wait for the heckler after the show outside with a baseball club....

:)


And then mark him with it so you can tell him apart from other spectators. Smile

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Decomposed
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I do different variations with this. Sometimes I use a f**** and other times a lighter s*****. I too after collecting the envelopes, never let them have them again (chimp rule).

I feel for you though. Although I have never had anyone pencil a dot, Ive had plenty of smart alecs with playing cards. I always hope my other material is strong enough to overshadow any mistakes that will eventually happen sooner or later.
Michael Bilkis
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Richard Osterlind addressed this in "The Very Modern Mind Reader." His version takes into account the possibility of a spectator marking the envelope and it returns the same envelope to each spectator.

In your situation, I might have just stated something like, "With so many thoughts jumbled in my mind, I must have mixed up the envelopes." Hopefuly enough time will pass so that the audience won't remember the sequence of the returning of the envelopes.

While I have never performed this effect, I like Bob Cassidy's version and also Max Maven's version in Prism.

just through the envelopes away.
Michael
TheGreatGalling
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I'm sorry you went through that, but it was a good experience.

Thank you Mesmer for the brilliant notebook idea.

I would def. take a look at Cassidy's version of the effect on his Mental Miracles DVD as mentioned.

Audience control is crucial and its never fun to get such a painful reminder!
magicmarc
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Every experience is another lesson to be learned with audience assistants...
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2008-07-09 12:03, magicmarc wrote:
Every experience is another lesson to be learned with audience assistants...



Put that in quotes and mark this post. No two audiences are alike, ever. Each is unique and some can be most surprising when you least expect it. I never try to dwell on any particular performance any more, even the great ones. I just move on and await the next gig. The same can be said for sports figures, actors, or any entertainer (although they do not depend on assistants).

Dealing with assistants I try to see it as taking the path of least resistance. When I happen to select a problem spectator, I adjust to them rather then forcing them to adjust to me. For me, comedy works best even though I am thinking what a jerk this guy is. If it gets real bad, I end it as quickly as I can but pretend this was part of the act as well.
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