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Brandon Queen
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Imagine, back when You were a child at Christmas. Opening each gift, one by one. While unwrapping each one, you are opening all the gifts that even slightly resemble in shape the ONE thing you were hoping for most first. So far, a bag of socks, a book of life savers, and some over-sized t-shirts. As you go through, you just feel you're getting closer and closer to finding the ONE gift you want most. After everything is unwrapped and done, you come to realization, that Santa forgot. Just then, as you start to believe you've been denied, mom and dad tell you there is one more gift they forgot about. They pull it out of the closet, and set it in front of you. It has the exact shape of the thing you had been waiting for. It feels like the exact weight of the thing you had been waiting for. It must be the one thing you had been waiting for. But STILL.. there is a small bit of doubt. You won't be surprised if it's it.. you know what's coming, you feel it.. you want it. You slowly start to tear it open, just enough to get a peek. Once you see a logo or glimpse of familiarity, you rip it to shreds and jump for joy. It's exactly what you had been wanting.

That is the feeling I think most of us should create in our participants and spectators more often. Giving someone the feeling of anticipation. In an interview with Paul vigil on The magic newswire, Paul mentioned Anticipation Vs. Surprise. He said something to the affect that surprise only lasts for a brief moment, but anticipation lasts a long time. I think this is especially important in mentalism, considering that most of what we do, isn't much of a surprise in the sense, that we usually in most cases inform the participant of what we are going to be doing. Even so, It seems that the delivery is just thrown out there. I'm not talking about overacting with struggling to read someones thought or mind. That's not anticipation. That is constipation. I'm talking about having the thought or piece of information ready to be delivered, all wrapped up, but just not giving it to them, and letting them beg for it. I believe Alvo Stockmon also mentioned this idea in some way in one of his many online youtube video blogs. How he challenged viewers to do an effect, such as a thought of card divination, and just telling a spectator that you pulled the one card they were thinking of from the deck, but just not actually showing them to prove it. Let them sit there, in anticipation, and just wonder, and believe never revealing the card you claimed you pulled. That's a bit on the extreme end of things to my point, but it is a point none the less. What do you guys think about it? Holding back as long as you can until they practically beg you. Any thoughts?
It occured to me at once that love could be a great illusion, that makes fools of brilliant thinkers everyday
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I think this is very well said. I am glad to have stumbled across this so early in my foray into mentalism. I will aim to put something anticipatory into every show, because your opening illustration really hits home the "enjoyableness" of that emotional rollercoaster, and it makes sense to offer that happy sense of mystery to every spectator.

My thoughts go to one of Derren's older stage shows in which the first thing he did was introduce a large box suspended from the ceiling and ask the audience to keep a careful eye on it throughout the show. It was two hours before he showed the contents of the box for the show's climax.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
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Stephen Young
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Very very good posts.

I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said, " If you show the audience two guys at a restaurant table, then a bomb goes off, you get 10 seconds of excitement. Show the audience the bomb under the table unknown to the two guys, and you can get 15 minutes of tension"

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Can I just say that I'm seventeen, and I still get that feeling. Last Christmas I really wanted "Something Wicked This Way Comes" on DVD, and indeed it was the last present Smile

The bomb under the table example is a very good one. A good Mentalist can litterally drag out a trick that could take under 20 seconds, and turn it into a 15 minute routine. If you've ever watched a Inglorious B***ards (film), the most exciting parts of it is not the ending, where they shoot hitler and the nazi's, but the dialog between men; in the woods or in the Café.

Having referanced Derren Brown's use of the MPS box, I don't think this is a good example. A better example is his use of add-a-number for the finale of An Evening of Wonders.

The audiance thinks he has screwed up, and got the final trick of the show wrong... then they realise that he predicted the number... THEN they realise that its the date. Its a double revelation that really suprises and excites the audiance, leaving them wanting more.

I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
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