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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Intentional Miss = Good (Are You Kidding Me?) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ben Blau
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Missing (skillfully, and in the context of "hitting" in other areas) can be a very strong device. In my case, I try to engineer my "misses" in the context of effects that are genuinely not surefire. If I "hit," it is miraculous. If I "miss," it doesn't matter, due to the numerous other "hits" within the context of the performance set.

But beyond that, there is an art to missing. Considering misses without context is useless.
insight
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The bottom line, I think, is that misses increase the entertainment element or theatric factor, but they do not necessarily increase believability, and in fact, may lessen believability. I agree that context is key.

For example, let us assume that a mentalist claims that he can mentally divine a random number in the mind of another (let's say this is 763). After claiming unique mental capabilities, the mentalist says out loud, "It is 763!" with authority. In this context, the spectator has been entertained (after all, who else can just know a random number inside the head of another), and also the mentalist has gained credibility with his exact hit.

On the other hand, let us assume that a mentalist, given the same example above, says out loud, "It is 736." Though the entertainment factor may still be the same (or maybe even more), I believe the mentalist has less credibility than in the first example.

Assuming all else equal, misses can increase theatric elements, but not necessarily increase the believability factor. I think that's the bottom line.

Of course, context is key. So again, everything has to be assessed individually and based on the specific example. Even if a mentalist has had 9 other hits, and misses on the 10th routine, the marginial negative impact on credibility will be smaller. Nonetheless, though, I would rather have a positive marginal impact and get that 10th hit...that's just me, though. Thanks for listening!

Regards,
Mike
Harry the magic man
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I believe missing can indeed increase the credibility of a mentalist if used in context. Peter Turner has some thoughts on this I think in his Penguin LIVE lecture. If the mentalist misses hugely on the final reveal it degenerates or lessens the performers credibility but if the performer were to mess up on purpose at the beginning it improves the effect. It shows the participant that you are not on some pedestal that is 1000s of feet high rather you reside on one of mere 100s. Also, if you can miss on something to lower expectations and then pull it off it is a much larger payoff. Like the hangman/book test "The Gallows" he is completely off and then at the last second guesses the correct word. It increases drama exponentially while only sacrificing a small amount of credibility and makes it more credible. Just some of what I have gathered over the years.
Best wishes,
Harry
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long- T.S. Eliot "The Hollow Men"
Dr Spektor
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Depends on your character and "powers" - if you always hit - its because you are actually implanting thoughts in their head... so of course you know - if you miss, well, guess their minds need some warm ups to be better receptors... the other way - it is about picking up tidbits of thoughts and getting impressions, or metaphors, or something that turns out to be right because the sender didn't realize you picked up a deeper level etc.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Athos
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Fail with meaning.
NADO
«How much of a gift it would be to really know what someone is thinking of?»
- Steeve Blanchet, news anchor, TVA
«Here is someone that truly uses his powers for good.»
- David Meclomesnil, weekend radio.
Rolyan
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I'm fencing in my land; so far there are
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Quote:
On Aug 22, 2010, Dick Christian wrote:
Assuming that we can all agree that Kreskin and Derren Brown are probably the two preeminent living mentalists............

Assume nothing my friend, it can make an Ass out of you and me.

It's not that long (in the grand scheme of things) since I knew Derren Brown as a standard table hopper doing magic tricks in a restaurant. Don't get me wrong, I like him (although I didn't like his last live tour). But is he greater than Bob freakin Cassidy and others of his ilk. Nah!

In the meantime, reading some of the comments in this thread, I can only assume that a lot don't perform or that there is complete misunderstanding over what a miss actually is.
Joe Atmore
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Joe Atmore
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Quote:
On May 31, 2014, Rolyan wrote:

Assume nothing my friend,


Kind of doubt Dick will be your friend...
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
Rolyan
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Quote:
On May 31, 2014, Joe Atmore wrote:
Quote:
On May 31, 2014, Rolyan wrote:

Assume nothing my friend,


Kind of doubt Dick will be your friend...

Because........????

What's more interesting is what Jay thinks. Has his opinion changed?
Dr Spektor
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Because dc passed away a while ago, rest his soul
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
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