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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » "Conventional magic tricks, such as spoon bending..." (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Brian Turntime
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Hmm...
Quote:
Karges proceeded to pick out people from the audience and read very specific things from their minds. After stumbling when nobody responded to the request "does anyone out there have the initials R. G.?" he guessed the names and birthdays of a couple different students. The skeptics out there could point out that anyone with a list of students could do that. However, he then guessed their phone numbers (slightly trickier) and what they were thinking (probably impossible). First-year Pasha Gill was thinking about popcorn, first-year Katie Griswold was concentrating on the name of her favorite Guster song, and CFA/MCS first-year Jason Gates was memorizing the improbable nonsense phrase "unraveled pipes." They all insisted that they did not talk to Karges ahead of time but only wrote the phrase on a piece of paper that they kept. They were as stunned as the rest of the audience, especially Gates: "… after that I was in a haze … due to how numbed I was from my experience."

The remainder of the show featured some more conventional magic tricks, such as spoon bending, ring linking, and Karges's signature "table lifting" trick. After his mind-blowing mentalist skills, these tricks seemed almost a bit of a let down.

He returned to his strengths, however, to finish with two more seemingly impossible mind-reading tricks. He let audience members specify an imaginary car (color, make, license plate, and price) and then revealed a sealed envelope containing the exact description of the car. Finally, he prepared three envelopes and let an audience member choose two of them, which were shredded. What's the big deal? The third one contained the check for his performance fee!

http://www.tcpulse.com/2007/09/10/ac/orientationCK07/

Well, good on Mr. Karges for a strong performance. But when did PK become "conventional"? Ah... forget it.

Food for thought though.
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Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
Doughlas
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Thanks for sharing that story Brian. Good reading.
Brian Turntime
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It speaks to the perceptions of audiences, doesn't it?
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Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
Bill Palmer
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Well, good on Mr. Karges for a strong performance. But when did PK become "conventional"? Ah... forget it.


About the same time that move monkeys started saying, "Now, I'm going to do some mentalism. Choose a card...."
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
NJJ
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I've always found that the best working definition for mentalism is-

"magical effects which are potentially believable to a significant portion of the audience."

For example, reading a person's thoughts via telepathy can be believable if presented correctly. Sawing a lady in half and putting her back together again is rarely believable.

With this as a definition, the presentation of an effect becomes vitally important. A zombie ball is not believable. However, with the proper presentation, the levitation of a small object could be believable. I think here of Chris Angel's levitations in the first series of Mind freak. Dozens have people have asked me if it is 'real'!

The reverse is also true. A mentalism effect can be stripped of it's believability by a performer relying on magical looking props or overly theatrical conceits. I've always felt that introducing a Mental Epic board like this stripes the effect of it's credibility.

https://midwestmagic.net/images/TR-1824.jpg

Where as a board like the one below, by Richard Osterlind, allows the effect to exist in reality:

http://osterlindstore.com/catalog/images/ub1.jpg

To the author of this quote, spoon bending is a magic trick. This is not because of anything intrinsic about spoon bending but because either their previous experiences or the presentation of the performer. The performer has a created a "real" effect in his telepathy. However, he has failed to maintain this believability in his other routines. (at least in the eyes of the writer)

Consider this, in my stand up act (which is sold as a "con man" show rather than a magic or mentalism show) I performer escapology, human block head, lie detector, telepathy explained as body language, bill in lime and a stand up three card monte. This mess of effects, out of context, range from the believable to the unbelievable to the real. However, it is the presentation that gives them their strength or weakness and not the effects themselves.
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