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insight
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Key point: Getting things dead right is not a problem, so as long as there is a compelling presentation that goes along with it.

Regards,
Mike
quicknotist
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Just a few weeks ago at a lunch party I was working, I was challenged directly by a sceptical man on one table to do a drawing dupe under HIS conditions.
Earlier on I had noticed one of the women on the same table had "secretly" written a message of a few words on her paper napkin and passed it to her neighbour.
Having no idea about the man's drawing, I proceeded to do a Banachek style U******* D******* but also scribbled down a few letters of each word from the woman's "secret" message.
The drawing dupe was a complete miss, but before I left the table I said "OK. I wasn't clear on the drawing but I'm sure these letters MUST mean something to you or someone here."
Five minutes later, he came to find me and astounded, showed me the woman's napkin alongside my impressions. He also told his story to just about everyone else at the party.
Now I just need to work out how I can work this "one wrong, one impossibly right" principle into something else!
Reg
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-07-13 14:56, Jay Jennings wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-13 14:10, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
Mike wrote:

I have a question for this group: IF a REAL MENTALIST did exist, and he wanted to prove to you that he was for real, should he:
A) Predict your 6 digit number exactly correct (which he is capable of doing) OR
B) PURPOSEFULLY, miss a digit to enhance believability


Respectfully, this misses the entire point. What we're saying is that a "real" psychic would NOT necessarily be capable of doing it every time.


Ah-ha! That may be it -- in my mind a "real" psychic WOULD be able to do it every time, which is why the idea of miss didn't make any sense to me. Perhaps my idea of a mentalist is too narrow.

Jay Jennings


Even if a real psychic existed, what we're talking about is somebody with a power. Assuming that power has limits, we can use failures to define those limits.

That's why it's not enough to just throw out an arbitrary hit/miss ratio. Both hits and misses are capable of defining the power that the performer apparently has.

Consider the following scenario: You've got two people who are helping you. One person believes in psychic powers and thinks it's possible. You get consistently good hits off this person because you're able to make the necessary mental bridge. The other is a skeptic who thinks you're full of it. Each time you lock eyes with the person, it's a struggle -- you get close (close enough that there's more than random chance going on), but not quite there, each and every time.

Played right, that can be some compelling stuff right there.

Alternately, imagine this -- you go to the skeptic and say that you're going to give it your best shot. You've got a deck of cards in your pocket. You say that you're sending them the card. First, to see if it works, start with the colour. Ask them what they see. They say "Red". You sigh, relieved. You ask them if they can see the suit. They say "Hearts." Your eyes light up. You think it's working. You ask them if they see numbers or pictures. They say numbers. You clap your hands excitedly. You ask them to just name the number. They say "five", and you slump. "I must have rushed you in that last bit. I'll take full blame for it." You go through the deck and show that the only face-down card is the four of hearts, and you lead the applause for them getting really close.

Of course, you could always follow this up with something that hits 100% but has more than a 1 in 52 chance.

Just my two cents.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
insight
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Yes, it's so important to be observant, as any details you pick up can and will be used against the spectator in the court of mentalism! Smile

Regards,
Mike
entity
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Hmm...

If you paid a psychic to tell you which horse would win The Kentucky Derby, would you want them to be "almost" right?

The above is meant as a joke -- sort of.

- entity
IAIN
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Depends on how you frame/explain what psychic means to you, too...i mean, if you bend metal - why only spoons/forks/coins? why not bar railing, cars and lamposts?

I think the context is always the important thing...the near miss will suit some, not others...
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insight
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The near miss may not work in some contexts, but a perfect match may work in all contexts (with a compelling presentation).

Regards,
Mike
quicknotist
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Exactly!
Off topic here slightly, but if I overhear someone's name, I ask them to tell me their first name, but to lie. In other words, tell me a made-up first name.
Then I "divine" their real name (sometimes last name too) from that. It always goes down really well.
This came about by accident when I overheard one spectator being called by a different name to the one he had told me earlier. So I used it.
That night, I made a note: Find, Lie, Reveal
Secretly FIND something out about someone, tell them to LIE about it, then REVEAL the truth.
It almost deserves it's own thread "Things to observe"
Reg

Quote:
On 2010-07-13 17:28, insight wrote:
Yes, it's so important to be observant, as any details you pick up can and will be used against the spectator in the court of mentalism! Smile

Regards,
Mike
entity
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Quote:
On 2010-07-13 17:36, IAIN wrote:
Depends on how you frame/explain what psychic means to you, too...i mean, if you bend metal - why only spoons/forks/coins? why not bar railing, cars and lamposts?


...or what the psychic claims to be able to do, I suppose.

A bit off-topic, but re: bending things, Geller claimed to have done all of the above.

- entity
IAIN
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Yeah, that's why I mentioned them - MindReach is a fascinating book on the whole Uri thing...

it was interesting that he never attempted to bend a lampost on tv - "live in the street"...or did he? that would have been interesting...why display a weaker talent when you can do other things?

so as an example, there's a dictionary definition of psychic - yet, scientifically, psychic does not exist...so we've attached a meaning to a thing that is yet "proveable"...so can we then steer away from that hollywood type definition of a thing that does not exist?!

I think you can...if you give a clear alternative definition/look at the word, and explore what it 'could' mean....
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entity
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Would you provide the "Hollywood" definition and then give a more commonly accepted definition that is used by people who claim to be psychic?

- entity
Dale A. Hildebrandt
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Quote:
On 2010-07-13 17:54, IAIN wrote:
Yeah, that's why I mentioned them - MindReach is a fascinating book on the whole Uri thing...

it was interesting that he never attempted to bend a lampost on tv - "live in the street"...or did he? that would have been interesting...why display a weaker talent when you can do other things?

so as an example, there's a dictionary definition of psychic - yet, scientifically, psychic does not exist...so we've attached a meaning to a thing that is yet "proveable"...so can we then steer away from that hollywood type definition of a thing that does not exist?!

I think you can...if you give a clear alternative definition/look at the word, and explore what it 'could' mean....


1) Psychics sometimes claim that they are sick, their energy levels aren't at the strongest, etc. etc. to give reasons on why they don't do "larger" things all the time.

2) Most people have spoons. Bending a spoon in someone's home is going to be easier then bending thousands of lamp posts.

3) Wouldn't it be cool to bend thousands of lamp posts across the country through a medium such as video?

4) Context is king. How a person frames Psychic and Powers are very important things for the individual's success. I think this is something Iain is getting at...it all depends on your own personal definitions.

Sincerely,
Dale A. Hildebrandt
IAIN
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Hollywood definition - all seeing, all knowing, predicting huge disasterous events, causing things to happen...across between rasputin and the film the Medusa Touch...

'alternative' psychic - (rather than psychic mediums) people who can see glimpses of things that may not altogether make sense to them, symbolic shapes/patterns/things...getting a sense of something most other people don't...

Posted: Jul 13, 2010 6:25pm
Anyway - back to the main topic...I can see how a psychological illusionist/Sherlock Holmes type could have a near miss, and then turn it around via a (mr. arce-esque) degrees of separation kinda thing...

For a more psychic entertainment thing, it may fit better to be more symbolic in the miss...so if the word written was 'bird', you may get the impression of flight and draw a plane...

They can cross-over too I suppose, but again - it's probably more to do with the delivery more than anything else...
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entity
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All down to each performer's artistic choices, it seems.

- entity
Frank Douglas
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Quote:
On 2010-07-13 14:56, Jay Jennings wrote:

Ah-ha! That may be it -- in my mind a "real" psychic WOULD be able to do it every time, which is why the idea of miss didn't make any sense to me. Perhaps my idea of a mentalist is too narrow.

Jay Jennings


Jay nothing nor no one is absolutely 100% perfect. Top athletes have off days. The leading physicians make bad diagnosis. What id your "real psychic" was ill, or preoccupied on loftier matters in their life? What if the "real psychic" is facing someone that can really block out the "reader"?

People... ALL people have off days.

As for a mentalist performance? As a magician what is running through your mind as you go on stage?... Ever have a prop problem just before show time?.... What if you were expecting a certain assistant to show up, but she sends a last minute stand in in her place?

Life is messy. It causes distractions.

I look at it like going before an audience and not being 100% on as the norm, not the exception. You get out there and need to get into your zone/happy place/center/etc. So you start out a little fuzzy, and as you focus, you get better... more in tune.

An early miss and/or near miss is logical. The more you focus the more in tune you become. Once you get into that zone you relax and it just flows.

JM2CW

Cheers
Frank
pete
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Quote:
On 2010-07-13 14:10, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
Mike wrote:

I have a question for this group: IF a REAL MENTALIST did exist, and he wanted to prove to you that he was for real, should he:
A) Predict your 6 digit number exactly correct (which he is capable of doing) OR
B) PURPOSEFULLY, miss a digit to enhance believability


Respectfully, this misses the entire point. What we're saying is that a "real" psychic would NOT necessarily be capable of doing it every time.

Good thoughts,

Bob Cassidy


Exactly. The point is far away. I don´t even understand how someone don´t understand examples that Bob gave us. Think about all great mentalist and watch their working. Maybe you find The Point.

If you have Max Maven Nothing DVD. Check out the last routine on the show. Check out how Max handle that situation. And yes, it was intentional.

PP
insight
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Find...lie...reveal...I like it!

Regards,
Mike
bevbevvybev
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I could put someone who was really good at acting psychic (or who even believed they were) talking total baloney off the cuff into a room of strangers alongside a mentalist who was doing stuff either 'hitting' or 'missing'.

The psychic acting dude would be the most believable and congruous whether or not he was accurate.

The moment you stop performing tricks the moment it stops mattering. Live the dream.
mastermindreader
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Quote:
I could put someone who was really good at acting psychic (or who even believed they were) talking total baloney off the cuff into a room of strangers alongside a mentalist who was doing stuff either 'hitting' or 'missing'.

The psychic acting dude would be the most believable and congruous whether or not he was accurate.


I would say that depends entirely upon WHO the mentalist is.

Good thoughts,

Bob
C.J.
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There is a lot of good stuff in this thread.

Those who advocate 100% hits are talking in a way that makes me believe they have forgotten the essence of showmanship. No actor or performer should be getting on stage for their own sake. We exist for our audiences - our demonstrations are for THEIR entertainment and benefit, and should be planned accordingly.

Sure, we can "Show off" by never being wrong, and give the audience a great show. Or we can be slightly off, or give "I know it's either X or Y" revelations, or talk out our impressions slowly and fuzzily, still giving a great show. Now, the first makes the audience say "Wow, he has powers", but the second creates a much deeper emotional response from your audience. You take them on a rollercoaster ride of feelings, and leave them feeling touched, warmed and inspired, not just impressed.

It's not all about us.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
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