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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Difference in theories? (Dunninger and Derren Brown) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Smoking Camel
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I was just thinking the other day about the old Dunninger quote we so often throw about:

"For those that believe, no explanation is necessary. For those that don't, non will suffice."

Then I thought about a paragraph in Derren Brown's Pure Effect which, roughly paraphrased, says that it is important to have a process that an audience can latch onto as to how you accomplish your routines.

Derren makes, or made, a point of using psychology as the explanation as to how he accomplishes his routines. My question is, on the one hand you have Dunninger who says that an explanation is more or less made redundant due to audience beliefs then you have Derren who says that you do need one.

What are your thoughts on this?
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swiss_magician
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Hey, smoking Camel Smile

when you quote:
"For those that believe, no explanation is necessary. For those that don't, non will suffice."

For those that believe...what ? the process you offered during the performance? The fact that you are psychic? That you have super powers?

If you can interpret the quote as

"For those that believe the mind reading process I have demonstrated during the performance, no explanation is necessary. For those that don't, non will suffice."

Then everything is fine Smile

Cheers,

M.
MentalAlex
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It's art yo... there is no right answer. Picaso, Manet, DaVinci, all COMPLETELY different, but all revered as great masters of their art.

And an important point... Derren doesn't EXPLAIN his effects are psychology, he lets his audience FIGURE OUT that they are "psychological" tricks. Big difference. People can disbelieve what they hear, but almost always believe what they come up with themselves.

In Dunninger's act, a similar implication existed, but it was at psy power and not psychological trickery. At the time, psy power was something people were just learning about, and I would argue, is VERY similar to Derren's choice of psychology as his "method", just tailored to a crowd from a different time period and level of understanding.

Neither ever "explains" their tricks, and yet both do, through suggestion and implication.
TonyB2009
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The two statements are not contradictory. Dunninger says they need to believe. Brown gives them something to believe in (psychology) while Dunninger relies on the beliefs of an earlier age, psychic ability.
Sensio
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Nice topic,

Derren IMHO suggests very vividly that he performs psychological stuff. Some times he straight-forwardly does so.
It seems that you must give some sort of explanation to the audience. Otherwise, the audience subconsiously may dislike you... Journalists may get passioned to reveal you...

So, a somewhat believable and reasonable preudo-explanation (best if done indirectly) makes them feel their mind is in order (since they "know" how you did it!). This defeinetely applies ONLY to apparently clean, flawless and extremely mental effects!

rgds
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Machina
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A great topic indeed. Implying what you do thru your actions helps the audience come to their own conclusion. Tits making it more plausible. In sales: if I say it, it can't be true. If the client says it it must be true.
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Machina
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Sorry it's not supposed to say t its above Smile
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Nathan Pain
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Freudian slip?

Nathan
...
lostpoet
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I got a big picture of what you were saying Machina. Smile
Dick Christian
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IMO Dunniger and Brown are saying essentially the same thing but in slightly different ways. Neither is actually EXPLAINING anything. Derren is "suggesting" a peg on which the audience can hang their collective hat should they feel they need one, Dunninger is saying that none is necessary. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd go with Dunninger. There is no need to explain anything -- nor any point in doing so -- the fact that you are engaged as an "entertainer" speaks for itself. As soon as you attempt to offer ANY "explanation" (other than telling the audience exactly how your demonstrations are accomplished) there is the POTENTIAL (albeit perhaps, unlikely) that you will be exposed as a fraud if your explanation can be proven to be false. By making no claims and offering no disclaimers -- which is precisely what Dunninger's classic statement does -- you let the audience come to their own conclusion.

If you carefully analyze Dunninger's statement you realize that it is a carefully crafted example of "double-speak" -- it sounds great, but reveals absolutely nothing. A similar statement, normally attributed to the late Ned Rutledge (and which he gave several of his friends permission to use), but which actually gives away more than Dunninger's and which I therefor prefer not to use, is "I use psychology and my own five senses to create the illusion of a sixth."

BTW, Kreskin regularly uses Dunninger's line to close his mindreading act. Although I personally never saw Dunninger (I have only a vague recollection of having heard him on the radio once or twice when I was very young), those who have will tell you that Kreskin's act is essentially the same as Dunninger's.
Dick Christian
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