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Martino
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I'm looking to put together a repertoire of "visual" mentalism effects, envelopes and billets not really being my thing. Apart from the obvious spoon bending, watch stopping kinds of things and moving cutlery without touching it, can anyone come up with some ideas that I can look into. Stuff that's suitable for strolling or close-up work would be best.
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
Drewmcadam
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The pulse stop is good, if you have the participant who is reading your pulse bashing out the beat on a table... and then... it stops. There's loads of potential for really hamming it up, too.

I would also recommend the exploding light bulb.
Ian Rowland
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It may not be your cup of tea, but you may want to CONSIDER looking into some of the swami/fakir stunts such as skewers thru skin, eating glass, hammering a nail into your head and so on. Sorry if that's just too far out or gross for you (or your audiences), but these things ARE very visual and get a reaction like you wouldn't believe. Kaufman and Company have produced an excellent compilation available of Sam Dalal's 'Swami' and 'Mantra' magazines which provide details of these and related effects. I think the book is a worthwhile investment for ANY mentalist - even if the 'gross' fx don't appeal. There's a lot of other great material in there.

Otherwise... fire is always a good visual lure. Try any of the effects in which things spontaneously combust - can be dressed up and presented any number of different ways - Superman's 'heat vision'? The power of thought? A symbol of the mind's positive energy? Etc.

Otherwise... consider taking some standard fx, even effects normally done with cards or ESP cards, and re-dressing them with photos or reproductions of paintings or any other strikingly visual elements. For years I've done a version of the 'Fred' card trick (known by countless names, including what I believe is it's correct name of Fred Braue's Christened Reverse) which starts with the unveiling of a lovely portrait of Marilyn Monroe illuminated by candlelight. Pretty, visual, and a good prelude to the effect since it makes people intrigued as to where I'm going with this. It's easily adapted for close-up or strolling work.

Perhaps you have a favourite routine that would typically invlve a choice from 5 ESP symbols or similar... well, why not ditch the symbols and use 5 of something more visually arresting. Celebs? Colour photos of famous landmarks? Another favourite effect of mine for strolling / close-up is Paul Curry's 'Matchmaker'. Instead of two sets of five playing cards I used two sets of laminated cards which I made up myself quite inexpensively. These featured five famous married couples who I knew my typical audiences would recognise (e.g. Basil and Sybil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers).

There are many ways of increasing the visual apeal of many 'standard' fx, and I wish you luck in this very worthwhile pursuit!
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
Julien
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A quick note on the fakir stunts. As many side show performers such as Todd ROBBINS etc. have pointed out in the past, Swami and mantra is way to unprecise in many of its fakir stunts descriptions.

Trying the stunts as described would be dangerous. If you want to go into that, ask to someone who already does it, do not stick with the raw descriptions...

As for visual mentalism, even so-called billets can be visual... If you use flash paper (more on this in Nu's or Bernstein's works for instance).

Then again it depends on what you call "visual': use of visual items that serve as evidence of what has just happened? Or should the visual thing be the actual mystery?
Mr Amazing
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Since no one has commented on it yet:
The "problem" is that mentalism is inherently trying to avoid (visual) props. This is after all one of the aspects that separate the appearence of mentalism from regular magic.

Instead, I would therefore recommend using "presentational visuals" such as e.g spectators on stage, wider gestures etc. Perhaps also adding effects (rather than props) such as smoke (while bending the metal or whatever).

Other than that, I think mental magic has a more visual slant to it than hard core mentalism (if one cares to separate the two). Additionally, perhaps you should look into some of Derren Browns works and thinking on mixing magic and mentalism (or perhaps 'turning magic into mentalism').

Sincerely,

Matias
Ian Rowland
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Quote:
On 2002-03-06 21:35, Julien wrote:
If you want to go into that, ask to someone who already does it, do not stick with the raw descriptions...

An excellent point. I'm ashamed I forget to mention this. Quite right! For all of these kinds of stunts, you really need to be shown what to do by someone who already does it (and does it safely). Don't just go by written instructions.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
brainman
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I completely agree with Ian - aaand do not forget that human beeings DO differ in shape and size and pain-limits, and, and and...sooo experimenting will do the rest to get the right stunt "in the right place"...

Imagine biting a light-bulb..I did it very often..but I also saw others who lost their teeth or parts of it...theirs simply were to weak for this stunt!!!

Allergies can also be bad companions in this field of psychocatharsis (balloon in nose - out of mouth - with a latex allergy will make an interesting part of the show!

just a thought...

phanthomas
Jonathan
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Interesting. I believe I could add the nail into head effect very well into my act. Any info where I can get this? I'd appreciate whatever info I need to get started.

Jonathan Grant
Drewmcadam
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<<I believe I could add the nail into head effect very well into my act. Any info where I can get this? I'd appreciate whatever info I need to get started. >>

Jonathan...
(1)First get a six inch nail - one with as sharp a point as possible.
(2)Obtain a good, heavy hammer.
(3)Place the point of the nail to your skull (it's important that it's the SHARP end)
(4) Give the blunt end a really hard dunt with the hammer.
(5) Don't forget to bow as they cart you off to the ambulance.
Mr Amazing
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Drew - you forgot to point out that your very picture illustrates this. (Please note that, as you can see, Drew originally got it all wrong and placed a very dull nail to his skull).


/Matias
(...who should be in bed at this hour instead of writing silly responses to silly responses)
Jonathan
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ha ha, so where can I REALLY find it?

Jonathan Grant

P.S. I tried your advice and I'm in the hospital getting ready to sue you. Smile
jecar
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Quote:
On 2002-05-13 18:57, Drewmcadam wrote:
<<I believe I could add the nail into head effect very well into my act. Any info where I can get this? I'd appreciate whatever info I need to get started. >>

Jonathan...
(1)First get a six inch nail - one with as sharp a point as possible.
(2)Obtain a good, heavy hammer.
(3)Place the point of the nail to your skull (it's important that it's the SHARP end)
(4) Give the blunt end a really hard dunt with the hammer.
(5) Don't forget to bow as they cart you off to the ambulance.


And when you come out of the coma, six months later, throw your left leg forward and your right leg back, throw your arms arms forward with your palms up, in a gesture and yell, "TA-DA". Smile
Lesault
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Try "Shock Magic" by Andrew Mayne.
Missing_Link
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I've not read "shock magic" so can't comment on it...

But, I do a nail in nose routine, aka Human Blockhead. There is a knack to learning this, and when done properly it can be fairly safe. Ask around local performers for advice. Much safer and quicker to learn that way. And it is worth the effort because it is a fantastic looking stunt.

There was a discussion on the forum at wwww.performers.net about this which you might find useful.

Slainte!

ML
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2002-03-07 07:57, matias wrote:
A blind fold routine is not only visual...


I don't know how I missed this post Matias.
That is a very funny line!!!

Bob
Jonathan
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"Shock Magic" by Andrew Mayne.

Does this have the nail into head effect? If not, where could I get it? Ian? Do you know of somewhere I could get it?

Jonathan Grant
kuffs
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Yes, if I am not blonde, "shock magic " has the human block head....

Also "H&R magic books " has a book by Jim Rose, it also has the routine...

It's a great stunt, but it's weird to say that whetever you do in your show, if you do the human block head...most of the people will talk only of that effect after the show, it's like you have done nothing else in your show...lol

This routine gives me alot of work...and will give me more in the future..

Be careful, one night on the bar circuit I got a " scratch" a little bit on the inside of my nasal cavity with the nail, and when I took out the nail ( I do it with pliers ) some blood was on the nail...and 2 girls from the audience PASSED OUT ....LOL

Let me tell you after that you need to have a very good joke...to follow and continue the show....

Humbly, I hope it's interesting to read at least...


kuffs
Bambaladam
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I'm not questioning anyone's judgement here, but how does hammering a nail into your head fit into a "believable" mindreading act?

How does it fit in conceptually?

Or is it just such a good effect it goes anywhere?

Regarding the original question, I would like to mention things like hypnotic sticking people's arms to walls and Great Rigidity and things like that.

And maybe torturing yourself proves your mind is master over your body or something I guess.

Just throwing stuff out here.

/bamba
Andy Leviss
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Personally I think it has nothing to do with a mentalism act, and doesn't have a place in one. Somebody might be able to make it work, but it sure as heck isn't mentalism, by any stretch.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
kuffs
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It's only a matter of presentation. It's not like most of the people thinks it is.... not only a freak show stunt.

Maybe it's not for everyone, anyway some people thinks they know the truth on mentalism and they perform " mental magic ". So why can't controlling your body be part of a good mentalism show...???

It's my opinion and I respect it...lol

Take care,

kuffs
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