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jeffdell
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Hello;

So I'm somewhat of a magic newbie and I'm putting together my first ever mentalism routine. I'm going through 13-Steps (Corinda) trying to put together a 10-15 minute mentalism routine involving two or three effects. One of the effects I'm putting into my routine is the Center Tear and I wanted some feedback on my presentation idea.

The big idea I had was after tearing up the paper put the ripped up pieces of paper into an envelope, hand the envelope to a spectator, and have them place it into a paper shredder.

Has anyone tried this? How did it go over?

My one chief concern is that by using a shredder and making a big presentation of shredding the paper, the process will seem less casual to the audience and look more suspicious than I want it to. Any comments are much appreciated!

Thanks!

Jeff
David Numen
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Personally I think it's slightly overegging the pudding and emphasing too much the process of something that should be casual.

Also, it's not particularly logical - why not put the slip straight in the envelope and then shred it? Why would you tear it up before shredding it?

Nothing wrong with the shredding idea itself though but you'd be better off using something other than a CT with it. Smile
Christopher Taylor
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Jeff: You have bitten off quite a mouth full trying to justify all those actions: having something written down in the first place; tearing up the paper; putting the pieces into an envelope; then shredding the whole thing. That's tough. Perhaps all those actions COULD seem like the most natural and logical thing to do, IF the premiss and structure of the routine dictated those actions in the minds of the audience. Study the JUSTIFICATION of actions provided in successful effects that you like, find the common threads and follow them.

All the best,

Christopher
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MAKING MENTALISM MORE IMPOSSIBLE
Chris K
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ARGH...

CT is NOT an effect, it's a method.

The confusion of the two is a sure-fire method of knowing your actual effect is terrible.
Richard Osterlind
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Jeff,

I can only assume one of the reasons you are thinking along these lines is the burning problem as in the original Corinda routine.

I did the routine (again) on the new DVD's and used the same idea I tipped once before on a different set of videos. Do the tear then hand the spectator the pieces to stuff into an empty wine, root bear, or some other dark bottle.

Handing them the pieces seems very fair and the bottle looks natural and takes the pieces out of play.

Richard
jeffdell
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Thanks for the feedback thus far!

So the goal of the effect is as follows:

I pose to the spectator an experiment in ESP where they will write down a word or phrase on a piece of paper inside of a "magic circle." The spectator then folds the paper and hands it to me where I begin to tear it. After tearing it a couple of times I get the brilliant idea of using my brand new shredder to really destroy the evidence. Sticking the already torn paper into an envelope it gets passed to the spectator to through the shredder. The spectator then is asked to think of their word that was written on the piece of paper and read their mind!


Thanks!

Jeff
Paul R
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I have to agree somewhat with those above; don't over complicate it!

The more you do the more you have to justify!

Richard, not suprisingly, offers a great solution.

You're justification for having them write it down could be to concentrate their thoughts, or prove that they wrote what they did and didn't just agree with you to make you look good. You can then give the pieces back to them saying that you trust them, or that they seem to be focussed enough without it.

Simple and direct is often the best route.
Richard Osterlind
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All this talk about what to do with the pieces reminds me of what I used to do years ago.

I would simply take the paper, tear it up and stuff the pieces into my pocket.

that's it.

Richard
Oscar999
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Tearing the pieces should come off as an after thought ... with you paying no attention to the action ...

Doing something like placing the pieces in an envelope and then feeding the envelope though a shredder may set up a different expectation ... like, you're going to restore the paper ...

It's an invisible action that registers subliminally that the paper with the information no longer exists ... and I like the idea of just stuffing the pieces in your pants pocket ... I've done it - it's natural and no one will ask to see them later.

Oscar
ElliottB
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A cute invention might be a mini hand-held shredder that either retains the original document and spits out a shredded dummy, or somehow scans or copies the original document prior to shredding. Just a thought for the Christopher Taylors of the world…
Paul Carnazzo
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It is probably best to minimize attention to the paper/writing.

you are reading the spectators mind...the paper should seem incidental and unimportant, too much emphasis on it would be a bad thing. taking 3 steps (tearing, putting in envelope, and shredding) would put much too much emphasis on it and would become suspect.

just my opinion.

good luck with your routine!
remember....always use your powers for good!

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jeffdell
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Thanks again for all the great feedback! I think for now I'll take out the shredder and resort to a more simplistic approach as suggested by Richard and others.

The ultimate goal of the shredder is in part functional as well as well as comedic. The shredder would serve as functional to eliminate the evidence of the center tear but also as comedic for putting other objects into the shredder to "make sure it works" and developing some comedy around that. I'll keep that on the back burner for now Smile and work on the key effect before going overboard with the presentation!

Thanks!

Jeff
Mike Ince
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After using a different, no-tears method (my favorite), if I'm working in the vicinity of a skeptic who somehow thinks I looked at the written word, it makes sense to follow using a CT, destroying the paper to prove I can't somehow get a glimpse.

The less emphasis placed on the paper, the better. After all, the writing doesn't matter... that has nothing to do with mindreading. Having the participant write their thoughts down helps them to focus their thoughts, and keeps them from being dishonest when you reveal their thoughts. That's all. The real mindreading happens when you show onlookers your process of mindreading, whether it be genuine telepathy or body-language reading, talking to the spirits (like a d-bag on TV) or whatever. Find Derren Brown's essay about the subject sometime in "Pure Effect." After ditching the paper, if the process takes long enough (but not too long), and is intense enough, people should forget the thought was ever written down. That's the goal. I'm afraid making a big demonstration over shredding the message would definitely stress the importance of something that's really not important.

Ted Lesley told me at a lecture he'd tear up the message and throw it into the air like confetti.

When I DO use a CT, I use Richard O.'s suggested handling from his post above, which I gratefully learned from his DVDs. I killed last night with an Al Mann/Osterlind effect I learned from Mr. Osterlind's products. KILLED. Little to no emphasis placed on paper. The audience sees the revelation of an unwritten thought. Once you've tracked it down, you may decide to use this idea instead of a CT.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Paul R
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Quote:
On 2009-10-01 13:43, ElliottB wrote:
A cute invention might be a mini hand-held shredder that either retains the original document and spits out a shredded dummy, or somehow scans or copies the original document prior to shredding.


I seem to remember a "money printer" that could do this. In that effect, you put blank paper into what looked like a mangel, and as you rolled it out the other side, it became currency. Wouldn't take much adapting to trun this into a schredder, although, you'd struggle to get it our again... subtley at least!
Moonlightshadow
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The question I have is this : during the classic tear you could do some dirty work WHILE the pieces were burning. The burning provided an excuse to turn your back.
How do you get the same misdirection in these non-burning days ?
Tom Jorgenson
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You could use a clipboard to ruminate and scribble on.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Moonlightshadow
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Thanks, Tom.
Although this would clearly work, I do think that the atmosphere would be less "magical" if I can use this word Smile
The classic tear, as it was, is nearly perfect to me. Too bad that the government doesn't agree and decided to ban the ashtrays.
Tom Jorgenson
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You are right, but anything would probably be a compromise, unless the reason you turn is justified, and seems to be to the audience's benefit.

You'll need to think up a really good reason to turn your back, or think up another way to get the read in front of them.

If you had them write a word that would be easy to imagine, you could turn it into into a drawing dupe and stand back to back with them, first with you facing the audience while you do the dirty work, then, thinking better of it, have both of you turn sideways to the audience. By then you'd be clean.

OR you could learn a peek-tear such as Richard's or Think Pink or the Barfly Billet
and be done with it. Problem solved.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
ElliottB
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That's a great idea, Tom!!

Moonlightshadow, many alternative approaches are included in J.G Thompson's "Centermental." I got my copy on ebay a long while back.

Elliott
fib
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Chew some gum from a pack. Use a gum wrapper -- the white piece -- for the center tear. Tear it up. Put it in your mouth and chew it all up. Eyes to the ceiling, pretend to "sense the thought." Get another gum wrapper to put the gum from your mouth in. Ask spec where to throw away. You've got a lot of misdirection and time to read the tear. Bottom line, you don't have to burn it. But there's a casualness to it, as well.

fib
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