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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Word In A Million Question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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billm55
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I own Word In A Million and have used it only once. When I presented it, the volunteer wrote rather illegibly and small. As a result, I could not read the word and ended up "crashing" the routine. I would love to pick it up again but having been made a fool of once, am fearful of messing it up again. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Bill Mogolov
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IAIN
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england
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Yeah - forget the bad performance, or rather; learn from it...

next time just ask them to write on a post-it note (or whatever) in nice clear capitals so that everyone can read it when you ask for verification later...
Tony Iacoviello
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Abraxus nailed it!

Key words, "big and bold so everyone can see it."
DT3
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Boy oh boy!

I LOVE this routine! Get back on the horse, mate!

It's all good. Now you can detatch the training wheels. I don't think you should ever do a routine professionally until you have ****** it up once or twice first.

You obviously see the strength in the routine, as instead of dropping it and moving on you have come here to get words (in a million) from colleagues.

What month are we in? Consider it a verb and go forth!

Good luck,

DT3

P.S. The advice given above this post is perfect. As said before, I love this! I would be happy to humbly answer any questions from my own silly perspective in private.
Destiny
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It's brilliant - can't go wrong as long as you follow the advice above.
I used to use Korans original Word in Thousands but was a little uncomfortable with the peek - Word in a Million solved that.

Destiny
Floyd Collins
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You PMed me asking my adivice on this effect, I have given you a reply and I am posting it here too.
Reply.
That is the chance you take with word in a million, here is what I have done to overcome it, I have not had this problem since I changed around my patter.
When I place the post it note on the book,

I tell them please write big and in block letters so that everyone can see it. I then write in block letters, their first name. Example: FLOYD I make the writing big and I point out that is how they should write the word from the book. As I am telling them to write big and bold, I point to their first name. Hope this helps, give it a shot and let me know.
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thecenterstage

http://www.collinscomedymagic.com
IAIN
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I said it in PM, but use a nice cheap bic biro pen, I personally use post-it notes that are the speech-bubble shape, just cos its a kinda fun visual aid - saying to them "write the word down, nice and clear, in caps please for others to see..."

put the post-it note onto the book for them too; I use the back cover personally...

then I ask them to just stare at the speech-bubble, and then take it off the book, fold it up and put it in an envelope or top pocket out of the way...i turn around (sorry forgot to say I face away) then hold the book between my hands very gently for a second or two, and ask them to visualise that speech bubble popping up between us...

then I hold the book towards them, riffling through the pages very quickly (doing what I have to do in the mean time) - I look into the distance a little, and if you wanted to, you can add some Jermay thinking of the thought/word leaving their head if you're that way inclined...

put the book down, maybe hold the hand they wrote with...

then start revealing the word either letter by letter, or if possible, reveal it by how it makes you feel...whatever suits and fits at the time...
billm55
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Thank you guys (and gals)...I'll retry the routine this weekend and let you all know how it goes. I think it will be fine.
Bill Mogolov
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Decomposed
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Great stuff here. Your problem has happened to me more times then I can remember. Not with WIAM but with Center Tears and Peeks. What is said is so true. Instruct them to write nice and big. I tell them to write nice and big so you see it big in your mind. The only time they didn't write big is some wiseguy but it has been years since I give them the instructions now.
Greg Arce
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I also do the thing about making them write it big so everyone can see it. I usually add: "Don't write so small that if I hold it up they have to squint and say 'what is that?'" Now when I say that I mimic the face and actions of someone trying to make out a sign in the distance. It's hard to explain while writing it, but just picture the kind of face you make when someone holds up something for you to read and it's either too small or too far away to read what it says.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Magnus Eisengrim
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Thanks to all. This is the most helpful thread I've seen in a long time.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Nathan Alexander
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Is this Barrie Richardson's effect in Theater of the Mind?

Never mind, answered my own question!
Bill Palmer
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Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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Corinda addresses this problem, as well.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Melies
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Iain's advice is absolutely spot-on here. (I only figured it out myself after numerous fails.) Even so, I have found that sometimes the spectator fails to follow directions, in which case I have one final "out," though it is not the most elegant solution by any means. I always carry a balled-up blank yellow stickie sheet in my front trouser pocket, just in case the spec has written illegibly or otherwise failed to follow directions. I ask for the spec to ball up his/her post-it, then to hand it to me, under the guise of having someone else in the audience "amplify" the thought-of word, which I'm having trouble receiving. After the s*****h, I reach into one of my boxes on stage, unwrap the ball, take my peek, then make the s*****h again, etc. To cover my delving into my box with both hands (those stickies are called "stickies" for a reason), I keep an Energy Stick toy in the box, which I retrieve with both hands. The patter, more or less: "I'm having a hard time reading your mind....So we will need to amplify your thoughts! Would you choose someone else from the audience to help you on stage?" Etc.

Again, this is not an elegant solution, and strong audience management will take care of everything 90% of the time. But I have learned from bitter experience that it is *always* best to have an out, even for that 1 in 100 possibility.

One final thought. I combine "Word" with a version of the tossed-out deck. So I have two spectators memorizing cards at the same time that the spec on stage is memorizing a word in a book he/she has chosen (out of several). When the spec on stage is done memorizing and writing the word, I have them crumple up the post-it and put it in their pocket, returning the BOOK to the table. Then I IGNORE the book and read the minds of the specs who've thought of cards in the tossed-out deck. Only after naming the thought-of cards do I then turn my attention to the book. The time misdirection, I feel, is very important and adds a lot of power to the effect. Finally, I pick up the book from the table (which I have not touched until now), and I point out that there are about 100,000 words in it. Then I walk over to a spectator, open the book to a random page, thrust the book in his/her face, and ask him/her to start reading aloud. I then close the book and point out that the spec has just read aloud "20 or 30" words, emphasizing that the thought-of word could be one of those, or any of thousands of others. It is of course while I have held the book up for the spec that I have taken my g******e! And if I didn't get a GOOD enough one, I repeat the exercise, striding over to another spec and asking them to read it aloud, etc. (In one extreme case where the writing was faint, I literally ended up tearing the jacket cover right off the book. Whatever it takes!
DrIlluminatus
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Works like a charm, audience control is key
charliemagic
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I Tell them to "Print" large & clear, I do not say write.

Charlie
TheGingerWizard
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Quote:
On Mar 4, 2008, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Abraxus nailed it!"


Well, that's a blast from the past!
IAIN
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england
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Best album title I've ever misspelled...
TheGingerWizard
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Who was the album by? Wasn’t it Sultana Smile
IAIN
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england
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Exactly...
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