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The Futurist
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I'd be interested in hearing what strategy mentalists use for the "reveal" stage of a book test. Whatever specific test it is doesn't really matter, but supposing you have the single word that the participant has chosen and are giving it some showmanship to reveal the word. Do you prefer:

a) A letter-by-letter reveal: "It's got an 'a' in it... yes, a 'b' too, in fact it begins with a 'b' doesn't it? Yes, I think I have it - your word is 'boat'. Thank you."
b) Homing in on the word semantically: "I'm getting a sense of water, of the sea in fact, um, there's a ship... in fact, sir, I think it's more... I'd call it a boat. Is your word 'boat'? Thank you."
c) A mixture?
d) None of the above?

Thanks in advance.
IAIN
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Depends on what skill set/power/ability you are displaying really...and that should shape and define everything you do...
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John C
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Quote:
On 2009-11-12 17:52, The Futurist wrote:
I'd be interested in hearing what strategy mentalists use for the "reveal" stage of a book test. Whatever specific test it is doesn't really matter, but supposing you have the single word that the participant has chosen and are giving it some showmanship to reveal the word. Do you prefer:

a) A letter-by-letter reveal: "It's got an 'a' in it... yes, a 'b' too, in fact it begins with a 'b' doesn't it? Yes, I think I have it - your word is 'boat'. Thank you."
b) Homing in on the word semantically: "I'm getting a sense of water, of the sea in fact, um, there's a ship... in fact, sir, I think it's more... I'd call it a boat. Is your word 'boat'? Thank you."
c) A mixture?
d) None of the above?

Thanks in advance.


All or any of the above.

j
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Dick Christian
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In my case (which may or may not be typical) the answer is mixture because I don't use a single book test, but a book test ROUTINE involving multiple books (as many as ten, no more than five of which are gimmicked and all of which will withstand close scrutiny), multiple methods and multiple reveals (as many as a dozen). The way I reveal the word(s) or phrase will vary from book to book, method to method and even depending on the word itself and which reveal is most appropriate for that word or phrase. Typically I do a couple of them letter by letter, at least one or two the entire word in one shot, others by whatever is best suited to the word; e.g., describe a scene, an emotion, a feeling, some can be expressed as an image or drawing, etc.

While few may want to present a routine as involved as mine (although I use a very rapid-fire presentation and even with a full ten books, the entire routine only lasts 5-6 minutes at most), I strongly recommend against presenting only a single test or even multiple tests using a single book because in either case it puts all the heat/attention on the book and emphasizes in the minds of the audience the inevitable, if unspoken, question "Can he do that with ANY book?" Using multiple books with multiple methods and multiple and varied reveals answers that question implicitly and gets the heat/attention away from the books (thereby diminishing the likelihood that the "secret" of any gimmicked books will be detected) and on the performer where it belongs.
Dick Christian
Amirá
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Depends in various factors as other people said

your character, the book test itself... but your ideas are very good
using brain game by banachek its a very good strategy (PS1)

just enjoy your creativity
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Taliesin
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Let me second what Iain said above. Marc Salem has a method that perfectly fits the skills he claims to possess. While it works for him, I don't know that it would work for anyone else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8FUQPDwjug
The Futurist
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Aye, it seems to me that the letter-by-letter approach, in particular a phonetic approach ("Say the word over and over in your mind... are you aware of the micro-movements of your mouth & adam's apple?"), might suit the "body language expert" performer. The semantic approach ("For some reason, I'm getting...") seems like a "psychic impression" type of manoevure that would suit the more mysterious "thought transference". But then, nothing's set in stone, and the consummate professional could use either or both approaches interchangeably.

Thanks, guys, for your input. Taliesin, it's always a pleasure to watch Marc Salem in action.
p_n_g
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My version is a mixture of the two :

Have you ever misheard something in a conversation?
Perhaps the music was too loud, or you just didn't pay attention. But you remember some of the letters, and some part of the previous conversation. This is similar.
I am almost sure that the first letter is 'b' or 'p'?
But it is a short word.
I have a flashing image in my mind. Feelin' peace, and seeing the color blue. I think its the sea.
I will try to use all of the information. short word.... begins with 'b' or 'p'... and related somehow to the 'sea'. Maybe buoy?
Hmmm...nothing happens in my mind...
No, its not buoy ...wait...it is boat. Yes! It must be boat. Could you confirm this?


I know that there are some language related issues with 'my version' but you can see that I tried to mix the letter-by-letter approach with the 'image method'.

Norbert
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The letters in a word ploy can't be beat IMHO one of banacheks greatest bits
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Mind Guerrilla
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Quote:
On 2009-11-12 18:15, IAIN wrote:
Depends on what skill set/power/ability you are displaying really...and that should shape and define everything you do...


With a book test, it's usually telepathy that's being demonstrated, yeah?

This may be corny but for a word that can be flipped and turned into numbers (the opposite of those calculator tricks where "07734" becomes "hELL0") you can do that and make it look like you initially failed, eg. "Are you sure you're thinking of a word, not an equation or a formula? I keep seeing these numbers in my head. I'll write them down. Maybe they make sense to somebody...etc." Maybe even admit failure and move on to another effect, leaving the paper/slate around for a spectator to "discover" the upside-down word on their own or else revisit later yourself if they don't pick up on it: "You know, I've been kicking myself for not getting your word right but I think I finally figured out what was happening...etc."

This, of course, is similar to writing the word and letters backward and then revealing it in a mirror ("Hmm these are starting to look like heiroglyphics to me...etc.").
Mortelini
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I am working on a "do as I do" method which I will test quite soon.
It goes like this. The Spec has the "word".
I invite a person up on stage/out front to "learn" some mentalism. This is in effect an instant stooge effect. The "volunteer" needs to be known or show some interest and definitely "up for it". (Not pre-show)
The M.O is to have a post-it and sharpie each. Get the "volunteer" to stretch their hand towards the spec and look like they are concentrating. (Play this as you will)
You of course are doing one ahead (TT potentially). Hold your post-it out too in a mirror of your volunteer but flash the first letter (to the volunteer). Ask the "volunteer" to say a letter if they see it in their mind's eye. Once the spec agrees, get the volunteer to write down the letter on their post-it and you write the second letter on yours. This progresses letter by letter with hopefully a good reaction from the audience (and spec). At the end, show both post-its to demonstrate the "do as I do".
I realise it is probably better in some scenarios than others but I thought it might be fun.
Apologies if this is already known. I have a habit of re-inventing mentalist effects Smile
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Mortelini
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Some comment on the "Do as I do" idea would be nice.
Ta
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IAIN
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Quote:
On 2009-11-13 14:40, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-12 18:15, IAIN wrote:
Depends on what skill set/power/ability you are displaying really...and that should shape and define everything you do...


With a book test, it's usually telepathy that's being demonstrated, yeah?


not really, not always..thats why I said what I did...if you are a psychological illussionist, you wont be using telepathy at any point as you probably don't/shouldnt be believing in it...
I've asked to be banned
PsiDroid
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Quote:
On 2009-11-15 08:21, IAIN wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-13 14:40, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-12 18:15, IAIN wrote:
Depends on what skill set/power/ability you are displaying really...and that should shape and define everything you do...



With a book test, it's usually telepathy that's being demonstrated, yeah?


not really, not always..thats why I said what I did...if you are a psychological illussionist, you wont be using telepathy at any point as you probably don't/shouldnt be believing in it...


Yes. and sometimes magazine and book tests are played as predictions
Jamie D
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Like Jermays bubble burst suggestion works great, it's never let me down Smile

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phillsmiff
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The revelation in a booktest is the key point in the effect, and I have learnt from my own experience that it can be risky to hand the climax to the spectator:
"Is your word... noctilucent?" you ask.
"You tell me." They say.
"Great. Thanks alot. It is noctilucent, am I right?"
"Yeah." Minimal applause follows.

I've had one or two of these, and even when it works, you are dependent on them for the impact: the audience only has his reaction to go on. My method now has the climax with me:

Write something down, unseen, and hold the board to your front.
"OK, I'm pretty confident this is right and there's no way either of us can change our mind now." You cap the pen and hold the board in such a way that maybe a quarter of the audience (at most) can see it. Make eye contact with a couple of people who can see it and nod. This locks in the idea, for the rest of the audience, that there are people able to see it even before the reveal. "For the first time, what was your word?"
"Crepuscular." he says. Now the quarter of audience that can see the board react, and this reaction builds the expectation and the tension amongst the others. They really want to see what is on the board! Now, you control the climax as you turn the board fully around:
"Crepuscular! Thank you very much!"

You control the timing of the revelation, you have obvious control of the situation and the concrete text that you have written down makes it seem more definite and removes the air of transience and uncertainty that can go with verbal revelations.

This is a showbiz reveal, and maybe not the same touchy feely let's-work-it-out kind of reveal that a genuine psychic might do, but it is solid craft, and it really works well.
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Dick Christian
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IMO all of the various responses to the question are valid ones for INDVIDUAL tests with a single book -- depending the performer's style, context in which the test is presented, the nature/type of the test itself, and assorted other factors. Accordingly, WHICH reveal is "best" in any situation is dependent on all of those factors.

Having ceded that point, the fact remains that IMO presenting a single test, using a single book -- regardless of the "reveal" involved -- is (with rare exception -- there are ALWAYS exceptions) the weakest possible presentation of a book test for the simple reason that the heat is then always on the book. The fact that it may be a 100% legitimate ungimmicked book is of no consequence if the audience believes that it is a "trick book." Having featured book tests in my own performances for nearly 20 years has convinced me that the performance of any book test necessarily raises the inevitable, albeit rarely spoken question "Can he do that with ANY book?" in the minds of the audience. That question can ONLY be dispelled by performing a ROUTINE using multiple books, multiple methods and varied reveals. In addition to taking the heat off the books themselves, the use of multiple books with multiple methods and varied reveals makes it almost impossible for an audience member to "back engineer" and determine the "secret(s)."
Dick Christian
phillsmiff
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The particular revelation I described was developed with my password divination, where I use a (single) dictionary which is (apparently) of little importance in the effect. You are of course correct Dick that this wouldn't work so well with successive revelations, it is engineered to build the single moment and it works well for me. I would never say it is 'the' solution, but it is, in my opinion and experience a great solution for that particular effect.
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tiriri
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When I perform a book test I make the spectator repeat three or four times the word; louder and louder to create excitement in the audience. And then, I approach another spectator that has been holding the blackboard with the prediction.

I do use anyway the word-by-word but not with the book test but with a 20 dollar bill series number and it works dramatically well.

Giovanni.
ChuckHickok
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My latest booklet -THOUGHT-FULL TELEPATHY is all about making any telepathy routine more fun, interesting and exciting by focusing on a techinque call Post-Awareness Revelations.

While the idea may not be brand new ... it is clearly explained with several example. I'm getting lots of praise on this idea alone.

Chuck Hickok
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