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domclarke
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Have to say I was quite surprised when I saw this on Friday night (UK Channel 5).

Revealing how ghostlike 'orbs' appear on photographs taken in a haunted house is fair enough.

However, to reveal the method of a billet switch to reveal a spectators date of birth, I felt was too close the bone.

Even if people may not generally do this specific effect, it still gets out to the lay public the principle of billet switching.

Similarly, showing how to germinate seeds in ones hand using a thumb palm technique.

Anyone else have similar thoughts? Or if anyone involved in the program could give a rationale. Personally I thought it was unnecessary and not really central to what most of the public think of as a psychic.

Kind Rgds.
dyddanwy
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I thought the 'black coffee' shiner and billet switch behind writing pad were clever(!) 'give-aways' (non-secrets) that lay-people (I hate that term) can 'do' (fairly badly) at 'parties' as entertainment (sic).

However, hardly 'real' exposure. Since 'we' (most of us anyhow) can easily convince 'our' audiences that we don't use those methods(!)

Jack - being a devil Smile

Smile
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domclarke
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Very fair point.

However, the actual effect (i.e. revealing personal information about someone) is a common one. So although the method most of use is very different, to some extent it highlights attention to the action of the writing down of information.

So although not a highly serious expose, it could potentially create some additional obstacles. Plus, the level of Channel 5's viewing figures also mitigates the risk somewhat!
Gianni
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ALL exposure is harmful. I find many among us take the "it's really no big deal" approach. I don't. I think it is harmful, and to say otherwise is "whistling past the graveyard." We find comfort in this because the fact is - we can't do anything about it.

Gianni
Anabelle
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I'm never sure where to go with this, because I perform routines with very simple methods and have never been questioned on them.

I think presentation is so important to keep people from finding out how you did it based on what they saw on a TV show.

Sometimes they might guess, but they'll almost never really know for sure, at least not with the kind of stuff I like to do.


Anabelle Smile
shrink
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Exposure is harmful. I've even noticed a shift in perception with lay people on Derren Brown.

Of course you might still be able to fool people by disuising how you did it. However to deliver powerful mentalism will become more and more difficult as more people realize that these are just "tricks" rather than effects.

The program above had six weekly episodes and exposed a lot of good principles. It is harming mentalism in a big way.
Jim Tighe
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I think the harm is way over-rated. There was a similar program televised in America about six months ago which had the title "Secrets of Psychics Revealed" or "Secrets of Mentalists Revealed". Even included things like Needle thru Arm.

I told some people I work with at the hospital (just the ones who are constantly asking me to do tricks and how they are done) to watch it if they really wanted to learn some methods. I must have told ten people or more. Guess how many watched? Zero. None. Not one doctor, nurse, pharmacist or tech.

I've also found that actual retention of methods from these show is very small. Basically you can fool these same people with the same methods a few months later.
dyddanwy
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Thank you, Jim.
More sense, less paranoia.

p.s. Thanks also for dealing with the issue of retention - I forgot to mention it in my earlier post! Smile

Quote:
...to reveal the method of a billet switch to reveal a spectators date of birth, I felt was too close the bone.

Even if people may not generally do this specific effect, it still gets out to the lay public the principle of billet switching.

...I thought it was unnecessary and not really central to what most of the public think of as a psychic...
domclarke


Further to my earlier comment: On your specific point of 'relevance' I must agree. And I think this has been said elsewhere (in another thread, perhaps). The program makers are -obviously- spreading their net wider than fraudulent psychics to try to appeal to a larger audience. Which is a shame, since their is a potential to do a great deal of good here - if they could focus their 'debunking' with a little more expertise.

Quite frankly I cannot recall hearing of our local 'psychic Tarot reader' producing germinated seeds in her hand just prior to separating her latest clients from their £20 notes.

However, the program makers seemed to imply that the billet switch - date of birth predictiion - was a con currently operated in China(I think) on unsuspecting tourists. Maybe they 'honestly' thought they were doing the public a service warning them of this crime.!?

-On a related note: considering his obvious expertise in this area, I wondered why the program makers didn't invite Ian Rowland to take part, or to advice. perhaps we would have been offered a more selective 'investigation'.

Jack Smile
~ ~
shrink
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Well, maybe it's different in the states. That's not been my experience. I don't do spoon bending but I do know at least six people who watched the episode on that subject and will never be impressed with it again.
Imhotep
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Every Mentalist has faced exposure; Dunninger, Kreskin, Geller, etc. If you keep this in a larger perspectve, the number of people who are remotely aware of these exposures are comparatively small.

Also, the real pros, like the ones mentioned above, keep on working. In fact, each of them at one time or another, did a pseudo-exposure of some gimmick or sleight, saying that they would never use something of that sort, because they did not need to.

In fact, they proceeded to use the very technique they had previously exposed.

None of them were, or are, less popular for the challenge. If anything, it is most often great for business, by bringing more attention to the Mentalist.

If you are a professional, you will not worry about this. If you are not quite there yet, keep going!

Psychics and the like have been popular for centuries; that will never change!

Imhotep
shrink
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Geller never does any effects on tv now and is much less respected or popular than he was before. He has just about zero credibilty these days at least in the UK. No one that I know of takes him seriously.
J.Warrens
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Greetings!

I don't understand this eternal debate. As one who works professionally as a mentalist, none of these exposures have done any harm to my work.

I focus on getting the audience to like me and what I do. Surely, as magicians we don't like exposures, BUT, the key is to keep moving on. There is PLENTY of magic to go around, and a pro knows this.

Many of the other pro's I know also feel the same way. You should read some of Eugene Burger's writings on this subject, as I tend to feel he hits the nail on the head. Besides, there is more "exposure" done by people who don't learn how to perform an effect properly, than in any of these TV specials.

If we all learn how to do a few routines superbly, it is a lot better than doing hundreds of effects poorly.

Cheers,
J.Warrens
domclarke
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Some good points. In the long run such exposure may not, as a number of people have pointed out, affect individual performers.

A couple of observations though:

1. there is an increasing trend, and far more media hype around performances (Derren Brown case in point).

2. If you take exposure further, you can expose a mentalism effect with a feeble method now, however the underlying effect is to keep generating among the public a future expectation and demand for exposure for anything in the media (Derren Brown case in point).

However, for me this isn't necessarily the crux of the issue. My question is more around if respected magicians/mentalists contribute to a program, where is the added value and motivation from their point of view in any kind of exposure?

So irrespective of any detrimental effect, is there any positive effect? I can't really see one. This is not a criticism - just an observation.
bobser
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Is exposure okay or not? I don't really feel it's a fitting question. I look at it from an entirely different angle.

When I first arrived in magic I had all these wonderful guys, some who seemed practically ancient, revealing to me their innermost secrets. Actually delivering to me some incredible effects that they had spent years on.

The price of this knowledge?
It came entirely free!

These wonderful sages asked for nothing in return, other than of course my 'word'. my 'word' that I would not not betray them. That I would not give away 'their' secrets to any other than fellow magicians.
And it's still that way today.

If I want to give away one of 'my' effects to another magish then that's cool, and up to me. But I might feel slightly let down to discover he's only gone and done a TV show (for money of course)and revealed (or in real terms 'sold')all those secrets which I entrusted him with.

So, I ask myself 'How do these exposers feel?' Happy? Proud at selling someone else's art?

Like I said, I don't even see it as a fitting question.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
Count Zapik
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The true test is working a real audience armed with your 'honed' ability.
Real people[ are there any other sort], are usually disarmed completely by an effect that happens in their own space, whether they have encountered the 'sound bite' of 'TV exposure' or not.
It's that moment of excitment and entertainment that has to work.
Having said that I must admit to making a point of generally using material that is unlikely to appear on tv. If you think about it there are effects which Tv producers will shy away from showing because they wouldn't present well or look interesting enough on their medium. [No pun intended. HA ha]

Count Zapik Smile
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Ian Rowland
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On 2003-10-13 16:43, dyddanwy wrote:
Quote:
-On a related note: considering his obvious expertise in this area, I wondered why the program makers didn't invite Ian Rowland to take part, or to advice. perhaps we would have been offered a more selective 'investigation'.

Well, I think that's a sort of compliment, so thank you. Actually, I was involved with the series in a very minor way. I helped them set up the firewalk and went over the coals (as opposed to being 'hauled' over them by a small but vocal minority within the PEA, ho ho ho) to show Ali Cook that it was OK. I'm delighted and amused to say that I was actually listed in the credits as a 'firewalking consultant'. First and last time I've ever been called that! By the way, I'd just like to report that Ali was a very likeable guy to work with.

As for why no-one at Objective Prods sought my input on anything else, why on earth should they? They've got some of the finest magical brains in the world on the team (Owen, Brown, Britland, Nyman etc.) and I can't see they'd need any involvement from the likes of me.

In any case, the last thing I need is any involvement that will re-fuel the 'Ian is an exposer' credo promulgated by the very small but loud number of people who just don't want to let the facts get in the way of a good slagging off session! These days I think if I was invited to take part in a TV show on photography, I wouldn't do so just in case they mentioned 'exposure' at any point!

Ch 4 did ask me to take part in their recent 'Psychic Night', but I declined. I was pretty sure it would be the usual dog's breakfast of half-assed lazy TV non-journalism, and (BIG no surprise) it was. My friend Tony Youens DID get involved, and wasn't best pleased with how he was treated. Ditto Randi, but Randi's kinda used to it by now!

[quote]On 2003-10-18 09:30, BonzoTheClown wrote:
Quote:
I don't think it is just a minority of PEA members either.

Well, I think it IS, because that's what PEA members tell me. When I was in San Francisco, the very wonderful Joe Atmore hosted a reception for me at his home and also arranged for me to lecture in San Jose. There were quite a few PEA members there, and they treated me very warmly and made me feel very welcome indeed. Some of them also felt moved to apologise for the 'vocal minority' and also suggested that they'd like me to join the PEA! I also have many good friends who are PEA members, with whom I share very warm and productive correspondence and also sometimes get the chance to meet, which is a privilege and a pleasure for me. They're great guys, and I can learn a lot from them. I think the PEA in general is a fine organisation, which serves a very useful function and is, by all accounts, very well run.

I'm not sure you have a very good or clear idea what it is I actually DO, or what I believe, but then again there's no reason why you should. Just don't believe everything you hear. As for pointing out that I might be wrong in my views, you're absolutely 100% right. One can never be reminded of this often enough, and I hope it's something I never forget.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
teejay
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Hi All
There have been lots of posts since

Quote:
On 2003-10-13 19:48, shrink wrote:
Geller never does any effects on tv now and is much less respected or popular than he was before. He has just about zero credibilty these days at least in the UK. No one that I know of takes him seriously.


It is still the perfect answer to the soft line people.
Uri was a psychic entertainer (the greatest) and exposure closed him down
It is a well recorded fact that a large percentage of the public believe in
psychic power
These believers make up the majority of the audience who go to see the psychic and mentalism shows and these are the 'believers' that put money in the pockets of psychic entertainers
Imvho Even offering a disclaimer is an
insult to these people ie it's like saying:
You people have come tonight because you believe in this rubbish
Now let clever dick me show you what mugs
you are
Perhaps I'm wrong Perhaps it's the non believers who go to the shows?

Smile
ESP Guy
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Quote:
There were quite a few PEA members there, and they treated me very warmly and made me feel very welcome indeed. Some of them also felt moved to apologise for the 'vocal minority' and also suggested that they'd like me to join the PEA!


I would LOVE to see Ian apply for membership to the PEA! He may think that there's a small "vocal minority" who have problems with his Judas-approach to the secrets of working professionals, but he'd be very mistaken. He'd NEVER make it in.

Thom
John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2003-10-19 05:30, teejay wrote:
...

...These believers make up the majority of the audience who go to see the psychic and mentalism shows and these are the 'believers' that put money in the pockets of psychic entertainers
Imvho Even offering a disclaimer is an
insult to these people ie it's like saying:
You people have come tonight because you believe in this rubbish
Now let clever dick me show you what mugs
you are
Perhaps I'm wrong Perhaps it's the non believers who go to the shows?

Smile
Teejay, perhaps... but another view is that by pretending to demonstrate paranormal feats (without disclaimer) the performer is manipulating and disrespecting the sincere beliefs of his/her audience. The analogy that I have drawn in other threads (and which no proponent of the "no disclaimer" viewpoint has addressed) is this: would it be OK for me, a layman, to don a Roman collar, rent a hall, and simulate a Roman Catholic Mass, distributing unconsecrated communion hosts to the believers who have shown up thinking that they are taking the body of Christ? My guess is that most of us would find that very offensive. Should we, then, believe that taking someone's sincere belief in the paranormal, or in life after death, and manipulating it with peek devices and one-ahead systems is any less offensive?

Is it sufficient to say that we do it because it satisfies the audience or that it "puts money" in our pockets? Well, in my analogy, the devote Roman Catholics in attendance at the bogus Mass would probably be satisfied, too, as long as no one "exposed" me.

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
bibi
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I wonder what you Do ,Ian.
Please tell su why they don't like you in the PEA

Bibi
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