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IAIN
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The problem with metal bending is, because its "out there", as in made very famous by one person...people WILL want to know how you do it...

if there is no explanation - they will come up with their own, and that will be by physical means...sorry to burst bubbles, but it will...unless you give them another explanation...so, even if its vague - it has to be definite...as well as acting as though you are not handling things for too long, nor too lightly...

by that I mean "i don't quite know, I'm my mind I'm imagining my fingers are molten hot, my entire body feels on fire, I am putting myself through this huge thought process where I feel as though I'm focussing all my mental faculties into this one tiny point on this piece of metal..."

which would then lead you into other thoughts and ideas for presentations - I've said before that if I cause a coin to bend, I will manifest a blister because of that...and so on and so on and so on...
Eshla
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I have had some (rarely) of my spectators google things on spoon bending, and actually mention it to me afterwards. One of them dismissed the whole thing he found in google as "it's all trick spoons and things, but dunno how you do it".

I tell people that there are in fact multiple ways to do it, if a magician is on stage and has complete control over the situation then he can use trick spoons or swap the spoons or something else. But I say that there is a more "real" way of doing it, a much more ancient art, where people bent nails and spikes in the Victorian times. I say most people don't do this because it requires a lot more mental practise and effort.

I say directly to my audience that I always try and make things very fair and as under "test conditions" as I can. The more impossible an effect seems the bigger the reaction. Ive never understood why people are afraid to sign coins, thinking it might cause suspicion; I prefer to be more direct and open.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
Tom Cutts
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Improving comes from doing, reflecting, and adjusting. Do...Reflect...Adjust

Failure at any of the above is a weakness in a performer.
Simon (Ted) Edwards
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I would suggest that anyone who wants to bend metal these days, and wishes to seem special doing so, avoids cutlery. These items are so closely associated with Uri that one is bound to draw comparisons. And there are a lot of metal things in existence - why settle for knives, forks and spoons unless you lack imagination?

I mention this for other viewers of this thread. I know that Tom (Eshla/y) will not agree. This is not an insult. It is a given.

T.
Eshla
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No Ted, I think you have a good point actually. Keys and Coins may be better as a main focus. I am considering ordering gimmicked keys that bend visible (PSI-Key anyone?)


-Coins-
Pro:
Impossible to bend by hand
Everyone had one
Signed, kept as souviner
Con:
Requires QB
Reptative

-Keys-
Pro:
Good excuse for using own keys
Easily bent
Impossible to bend by hand
Con:
Less visual
Easily googlible

-Silverwear-
Pro:
Classic
Very varied
More visual (Osterlind bend anyone?)
Everyones heard of it, but never seen it
Con:
Uri did it first



P.S
Where can I find early Uri Geller material? There is very little good stuff on Youtube? And his website doesn't actually have any performances.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
bofx
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Quote:
Con:
Uri did it first

I don't consider this as a problem ... quite the opposite !
Geller has democratized torsions, drawing duplication, ... and mentalism in general to the world. I really do not see why it's a problem, instead we should all thank him for that !!
IMO, the real problem with metal bending is because we see too much of it, and in 95% it's in the wrong hands (they are too often presented as magic trickery or associated to psychic debunking).
Randi is the problem. Magicians who wants to insert metal bending between ambitious card and sponge balls routines are the problem. YouTube is the problem. Uri is NOT the problem !
My mentalism books: Mental Sweets 1 - Mental Sweets 2
Eshla
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Quote:
On 2010-11-25 05:13, bofx wrote:
Quote:
Con:
Uri did it first

I don't consider this as a problem ... quite the opposite !
Geller has democratized torsions, drawing duplication, ... and mentalism in general to the world. I really do not see why it's a problem, instead we should all thank him for that !!
IMO, the real problem with metal bending is because we see too much of it, and in 95% it's in the wrong hands (they are too often presented as magic trickery or associated to psychic debunking).
Randi is the problem. Magicians who wants to insert metal bending between ambitious card and sponge balls routines are the problem. YouTube is the problem. Uri is NOT the problem !


Ohh I agree, those are the problems, not Uri; but as long as we perform spoon bending there always will be an assosiation to Uri Geller, and that's not one I particularly like. Though it can come in handy.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
mike herbert
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Eshla

First Uri didn’t just bend spoons, he bent anything that was metal, that was what his powers allowed him to do. If you are shying away from cutlery because Uri did it first then you may as well stay away from metal bending as the game belongs to him.

If you watch footage of him in action you will see that less is more. Ie. he could slightly bend a key and his audience were flabbergasted, yet you can see many magicians today who will bend, break and twist metal all in one session and mildly impress an audience, who are then likely to spend the next half an hour explaining it away amongst themselves.

You have to remember that in the seventies the world was ready for a super psychic and Uri filled the position nicely, he was “scientifically” validated and a master of the media. When He did a performance people were already hungrily anticipating what was about to happen, and as he was “genuine” it didn’t always work so if anything happened then they were privileged to see it and they would remember it for years. Remember this was the context of the 70s you have to flip things around a bit and put a 00s slant on it.

Because of the build up and context, the audience perception would also play tricks on them and enhance the illusion, even their own cutlery would bend, all adding to the phenomenon that was Uri Geller. In other words a lot of backstage work was happening to make them care.

Also he knew what he was, that is to say that he was a man who had these special powers, and his whole persona stemmed from this, everything came back to this premise. Even Randi who persistently exposed him had a premise – ie that of debunker of irrational beliefs etc. up until he started on his crusade he was just another magician.

If you look back with a critical eye, you will see that Uri's powers weren’t always that consistent, but the behind the scenes work kind of glossed over this fact, and therefore most people didn’t look at it too critically, they were caught on the wave.

This next bit is very important -

you NEED to have a premise and EVERYTHING needs to relate to it, for the sake of consistency.

WHAT IS YOUR UNDERLYING PREMISE?

If you don’t have one then don’t expect people to care for your metal bending or for your magic/mentalism you will be seen as another cheery trickster – a novelty act. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, probably the majority of magicians are like this, but it sure wont advance the so called “art” of magic. Look at performers that you admire and try to establish what they are really trying to say about themselves and what they do, what is their agenda and how they are moving magic/mentalism etc. forward a notch.

I haven’t performed any magic in the last 13 years, except for a few gambling demonstrations, because I cannot find a suitable premise for myself. At this time I am just starting to feel my way down a particular path, and the presentations that I am thinking about WILL leave an audience believing what I claim – even though it is all smoke and mirrors and I am also not claiming much. Even so I have a very long way to go.

I wish you luck in this endeavour as it is a hard road to take, I sincerely believe that if you take the above advice on board it will make you a better performer and will be for the greater good of magic.

Mike
mastermindreader
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Excellent post Mike! Welcome to the Café.

Good thoughts,

Bob Cassidy
Eshla
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Agreed Bob, excellent post there. Thank you Mike Smile

The problem I have is that it does go against my moral charecter to claim to be supernatural; so I so not wish to do that. The only alternative explanation for these "powers" is to explain metal bending is an art form going back hundreds of years, and rarely practised today.

I like this story, it makes me seem (and feel) like an artist, but it does have the disadvantage of making the whole thing a lot more likely to be taken as a puzzle - which obviously I wish to avoid.

My currant stratergy is to claim that it does indeed take some mental effort, and that it is possible (if your good enough) to convince yourself you are real. This seems to take away from the puzzle hopefully.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
TheGingerWizard
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Quote:
On 2010-11-25 09:09, Eshla wrote:
Agreed Bob, excellent post there. Thank you Mike Smile

The problem I have is that it does go against my moral charecter to claim to be supernatural; so I so not wish to do that. The only alternative explanation for these "powers" is to explain metal bending is an art form going back hundreds of years, and rarely practised today.

I like this story, it makes me seem (and feel) like an artist, but it does have the disadvantage of making the whole thing a lot more likely to be taken as a puzzle - which obviously I wish to avoid.

My currant stratergy is to claim that it does indeed take some mental effort, and that it is possible (if your good enough) to convince yourself you are real. This seems to take away from the puzzle hopefully.


You say you think Mike made a great post (which he did) and then carry on as if you haven't quite grasped what he is saying.

There is another alternative. Don't bend metal. I love coin bends, they are one of my favourite effects but I don't perform them. Why? Like you I can't claim to be supernatural so it just doesn't fit........end of!

From what I can put together from your posts your metal bending will always come across as exactly the opposite of how you want, a trick and a puzzle!

Off the top of my head and if I absolutely had to do a coin bend with a gun to my head I would put the paticipant in a fake trance perform the bend and then switch again to the unbent coin and blame it on a kinesthetic and visual hallucination. That is the only explanation I would be happy with.
Jon Hackett
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I do not know what TheGingerWizard is prattling on about, I thought Eshla directly replied to Mike.

Ok, so, how about something a little like this...

"As human beings we are capable of the most incredible things. Creating unbelievable structures so strong and powerful they amaze; even ourselves.

(Keep on this line, subtly suggesting how STRONG metal is, but reinforcing the powerful nature of human beings.)

Just the other day I read about a young boy, actually, as I tell you this, would you hold this coin, and squeeze it whenever you feel you want to, yes, the young boy. He was on his farm with his father, they were having a wonderful time singing to the radio as they drove back to their farm house in the tractor. On their way his father noticed that a sheep had escaped from the nearby field, and being all alone and frozen in fear, unfortunately in a bog, which was in a ditch at the side of the track. Slowly but surely this disparate little animal was sinking to its demise. So the father pulled the tractor over and jumped out with his son whom he told to stay over there. The father went to the sheep and tied a rope around him, he walked back to firmer ground and began heaving him to safety. Further and further back he pulled the animal until it was safe and just as the sheep pounced to freedom with a whelp of delight, disaster struck.

(you could at this point pull out your own piece of metal to do a bit of visual bending in a momento)

The ground that the sheep had fled from must have done something to the earth below the track because it shifted an caused the tractor to topple over, disastrously it hit the father and crippled him to the ground, pinning him like a 4 tonne blanket. The only mobile phone the pair had was in the fathers pocket, unable to get to it the young boy didn't know what to do, they were 9 miles from he farm house and it was getting bitterly cold. His father was slipping in and out of consciousness. In a panic the boy decided to try and lift the 4 tonne machine of of his father, he tried and tried but of coarse it was no use. He began to cry and kneeled over his father and just as a tear left his eye rolled down his cheek and fell to his fathers face he saw his father open his eyes smile generously and say 'you can do it son' and in a state of rage and horror the boy stood and madly began to try and lift the 4 tonne machine of of his fathers crippled body. He was trying and trying screaming out in agony at the war of muscle against metal.

Suddenly the tractor began to raise! This of coarse was agony for the farmer and it awoke him, he noticed the tractor was just off of him and he dragged himself out from underneath it, even though he had two broken arms, and as he had just got out he suddenly realised what he has seeing. His young son dropped to his knees as the tractor came crashing down and fell unconscious.

Father and son awoke in parallel hospital beds. The son had ripped almost all of the muscle tendons in his upper body, the doctors said they had never seen injuries like it.

It is incredible what us human beings are capable of, I'm going to leave you now with that in mind, and do have a good night."

Let them discover the bend themselves or reveal it in a very understated manner, either way this story linked in with the bending will create a nice strong relation.

One way to explain metal bending when your a skeptic? Don't take credit for it, let them.

Your sub script here would be something like, you are the conduit for your participants to experience the real magic of what people can really do.

Good day Gentlemen!

Jon Hackett
It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities and progressive ideas. Doystoyevsky
Eshla
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I like this explanation, it's quite good. I've heard stories before of mothers lifting fallen tree's off their children. I think this can be used as an explanation for Uri's power, which I do enjoy referencing to a certain degree, that he was trained and practised in the art.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
TheGingerWizard
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I don't know what Im prattling on about myself half the time so fair enough.

If I want my toilet fixing I will use a plumber. If I want my lights fixing I will use an electrician. If I need both doing I will still use both, not a jack of all trades. I will get a better job that way.

Terrible analogy for what I'm trying to explain but please see the first line of my post!
mike herbert
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Thank you Bob

A comment like that coming from someone who is so revered in this community, I feel honoured. (I am more than likely to put my foot in it in my next post ha ha)

Eshla,

Gingerwizard is an excellent example of what I am talking about. Even though I don’t know him there is a clarity about his thinking, that indicates what he is trying to say as a performer. Let us assume that he CLAIMS that he uses “psychological techniques” to accomplish his miracles, then unless he can justify metal bending using psychology, (which would be pretty hard and he made a good stab at it) then he knows that he cant use it as it doesn’t fit his overall premise. He understands that if he was to demonstrate metal bending it would contradict what he is claiming, which could then destroy the illusion that he has managed to sustain with other carefully selected presentations, at least to the thinking person. If he claimed telepathic powers as another example then metal bending would also be out of place because he reads minds which has nothing to do with bending metal, is that clear?

The difference with Geller and Ginger is that Gellers powers were given to him by aliens from the Planet Hoovah, and as luck would have it those powers included, telepathy, metal bending, clairvoyance, divination etc. which allowed Uri to be able to come up with a myriad of different effects for his shows. I suspect that it would be a little difficult to make those claims today and be taken seriously, whether they were true or not.

Don’t forget that all magicians are liars they need to be to create the illusion of what they are. Tho I am often left wondering exactly what illusion many of them are trying to create, perhaps someone could kindly point me to a section of this forum that debates such matters as it would probably help me out of my own philosophical struggles with magic.

Thanks

Mike
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Mike has just explained exactly what I was trying to say a million times better than I could!

Sometimes it is really hard to accept that a certain routine will not fit your persona as you love the effect, but there is nothing to stop you knowing these effects and still enjoying them yourself (I would never play certain CDs in front of my mates!!!) There are so many routines that I wish I could pull off but know I never will........but I'll get over it! I think Paul Brook writes about this point in Alchemical Tools. He also can explain what he means a lot better than I can!
Eshla
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Banachek actually has debunked Psychics, and yet is one of the best (if not THE best) metal benders alive... I wish I could see one of his shows, see how he introduces and explains it.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
TheGingerWizard
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You don't have to be psychic to bend metal.

Disregarding routines and effects for a moment what abillities do you claim to have? as a person and as a performer?

Hi I'm an expert on the human mind and have a vast knowledge of psychology in all its forms! I can influence your decisions and predict your thought patterns. Oh and also Ive learnt the ancient art of bending metal with nothing but my brain.

Do you see how that just doesn't work? It is far more convincing to stick to one abillity and demonstrate it three times in different ways than doing three different things all mashed together! Peoples beliefs are built bit by bit not really quickly one after the other.
IAIN
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Sometimes you have to give up some excellent presentations because they just don't fit "us"...

there are so many subtleties and explanations possible with metal bending, its a shame some just do it to show off...
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2010-11-25 13:46, Eshla
I wish I could see one of his shows, see how he introduces and explains it.
Why don't you purchase his 3 DVD set and watch how he introduces metal bending?
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