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ignoramus
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Dear all,

In my last post, I asked you to offer a reading list for a beginning mentalist. Thank you very much for your responses. Your guidance was most helpful.

Since then, I have been devouring a wide range of books on the subject. Most recently (last night), I finished reading Pure Effect. I know this was not suggested – but hey, you can’t blame me.

I have to say that I agree totally with Derren on the subject of invisible compromise. The first time I saw his effect, Reminiscence, I must admit that I was so blown away I did not even begin to think of a solution.

After discovering the working yesterday, I found it hard to sleep. This is absolute perfection. The reason it is so impressive is the complete invisibility of the method. It is by far the most intelligent effect I have come across.

Corinda’s 13 Steps (similarly, Annemann’s PMM) was a fascinating read but the majority of the effects involve a very visible compromise. My favorite effect is the Three Little Questions. Three questions are written down secretly by the spectator and then answered by the performer. Although impressive, the spectator will often comment, “I know you must have looked at what I wrote, I just don’t know how!”. This is not the response I am looking for. I want them to think, “I can’t see how he could have done that!”.

My question is this: Could you please suggest books that deal primarily with ‘invisible compromise effects’? This might be pre-show work or electronic transmitters. However, I most interested in linguistic methods such as double speak. I have not yet listened to the Wonder Words tapes. These will probably be my first stop.

My ambition is to create an effect which approaches Derren’s level of disguise.

Again, thank you for your time.
Ramsay
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I think it is often missed that Invisible compromise can often be met with clever presentation and the correct blocking and staging. The effects in 13 Steps and so fourth can easily be brought up to the level of invisible compromise with some thought.

The real secret to creating effects that reach the level you are aiming for is in the presentation, blocking and application of methods in a natural manner.

L>
Slim King
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Wow!!! How did you get a copy of Pure Effect and read it so quickly?
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parmenion
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And the more impressive, he read the first edition ! Smile
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Jon_Thompson
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How come it had "Reminiscence" in it?
tentoki
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The first edition had it.
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SM41
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There was one on eBay, I think he bought it
kriskraze
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Amazing how many people know the workings of Reminiscence really, although the OP never said that it discovered how in Pure Effect.

Luke, what do you mean by "blocking"?

Do you mean anything that blocks the comprmise e.g.:
- Preshow
- Depriving audiance/participant of vision/hearing
- Camera cuts

Or simply blocking thoughts that the audience has as to the true compromise - for example stating that you've placed the pen on the table when carrying out a swami effect.
xersekis
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I think he is refering to theatrical blocking
IAIN
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Yeah - blocking off views by physical and verbal misdirection...
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obijuan
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Making it psychologically invisible by removing it from the audiences mind. Read reminiscence in the first copy of 13 steps (joke) and you will see lots of psychological illusions and blocking.
kriskraze
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Abaraxus/Obijuan, we agree, but that's not theatrical blocking.
IAIN
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Any kind of physical blocking off methodology is surely just that? well, it is in the jon riggs lecture on PW'ing...
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kriskraze
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Now your leaving 'verbal' out of the description Smile

Obijuan's was completely incorrect.

Still, this is all a bit moot if Luke was referring to something else.
Jim Reynolds
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Blocking is a theatre term - the planned movement of the spectators/performer.

Quote:
Although impressive, the spectator will often comment, “I know you must have looked at what I wrote, I just don’t know how!”. This is not the response I am looking for. I want them to think, “I can’t see how he could have done that!”.


You just defined the basic difference between magician and mentalist. But searching for the perfect effect(s) is still magician think. As Luke pointed out, it's all in the presentation. Not the method, or even the effect itself.

In other words, you could get the response you are looking for doing the Invisible Deck. You just have to work on presenting it in a non-traditional way that aligns with your persona.

Not easy.
Ramsay
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Indeed I was talking more about the theatrical notion of blocking. Using movement and placement to properly hide moments within a routine.

L.
obijuan
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Or hiding the dirty work in plain sight and you could always think like Derren.
ignoramus
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Thank you all for your input!

I feel privileged that professionals such as Luke take the time to help out beginners such as myself.

Your comments are intriguing. Presentation is something I definitely need to work on. I still feel that my performances (for lack of a better word) are largely seen as “magic tricks”. I need to investigate blocking etc. to prevent this from happening.

Are there any good books on the subject of this type of presentation?

Perhaps I am misunderstanding the concept of invisible compromise. To me it seems that the use of billets or a deck of cards would be a visible compromise. As I mention earlier, writing a thought down on a piece of paper will lead the spectators to believe that the information was read by the performer prior to the “mindreading”. Once a deck of cards is shown (e.g. for the Invisible Deck routine) the spectator will suspect a gaffed deck.

Would you agree that the use of billets, decks, prediction envelopes and the like are inherently visible compromises?
Alan Wheeler
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If the use of a prop is "inherently" a visible compromise, then the cards with "category headings" in the Reminiscence effect would be be a visible compromise.

But I think the Reminiscence effect is in the spirit of invisible compromise, surely.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Alan Wheeler
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If the use of a prop is "inherently" a visible compromise, then the cards with "category headings" in the Reminiscence effect would be be a visible compromise.

But I think the Reminiscence effect is in the spirit of invisible compromise, surely.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
A BLENDED PATH
Christian Reflections on Tarot
Word Crimes
Technology and Faith........Bad Religion
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