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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Are you satisfied with your mentalism purchases most of the time? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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CaMagic51
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I am interested in learning whether Café members are satisfied with their mentalism purchases most of the time. I invite anyone interested in participating to respond with a message addressing two things: First, a simple "yes" or "no" answer to the question I pose. Second, a rating on a 5 point scale as to how satisfied or dissatisfied they are, where 1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied. 3 would mean that they are about equally satisfied and dissatisfied. If anyone does not want to stick their neck out publicly, they can PM me and I will tally their input along with the input of others and not disclose their identity. At some point I will report the results. This is intended to be very subjective. I debated whether to include or exclude books and DVDs and decided to include them along with individual tricks. Thank you.
dmoses
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Yes.
But I am very discerning.
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
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Anthony Black
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This may be of use to you CaMagic51 for your questions:

SurveyMonkey is the world's most popular online survey tool. It's easier than ever to send free surveys, polls, questionnaires, customer feedback and market research. Plus get access to survey questions and professional templates.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/

Anonymous too...

- Anthony
Mindpro
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No, and 2.

Over the past few years I've been more disappointed than all the previous years combined. I believe this is due to the amount of new, unestablished guys releasing things in a hurry for some notoriety and recognition. They seem to have mastered the concept of promotional hype, getting a gang of friends to offer testimonials and brag about how great this is only to find out either it's not at all as represented, doesn't live up to the hype, or is previously released material that while it may be new to them and buddies, is not to the community.

To be honest this has resulted in me not buying anything from someone I'm not familiar with or from testimonials or recommendations from those I do not know and trust.

Also today's releases seem to sidestep the longstanding practice of sending review copies to several reputable people here to make an honest pre-release review. Review copies seem to all but have disappeared in favor of this testimonials through constant noise here on posting threads.

It's a shame because I used to get really excited and looked forward to new releases, but not much any more. I'm looking forward to Rick Maue's two dvd projects, but like him, I guess I prefer to stick with those I know and trust.

Btw, isn't it time for something new from John Archer, Mel Mellers and Banachek?
JohnWells
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No.

2

Most of it, even the "real work" is over-rated, hideously overpriced, and poorly written. I am always distressed to discover upon reading that I am looking into the mind of an idiot, though that is more common in magic ebooks. Mentalism ebooks tend to p!ss me off when they are derivative or, worse, cut and paste jobs from the new age section at BAM with a $50 price tag. Even the more recent anthology works so lauded and hailed are like gold nuggests packed in sawdust.
Mark_Chandaue
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Yes but I am quite discerning too.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available to Pre-order
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=pre-order-totally-free-will
ElliottB
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Lately, yes 4

Overall 3
jonnyboy
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Yes, 5. I usually only purchase items from well respected producers, like Promystic, Labco, Paralabs, books and DVDs from top mentalists after reading reviews here and everywhere else I can. Cuts down on the dross. I admit to being less vigilant on my magic purchases, but that stuff is just for fun with family and friends, rather than for serious work. However, even with taking a lot of care, I did buy a heavily hyped mentalism effect this year, based on recommendations from other mentalists and a very misleading product description. That was a 1, quickly sold again.
CaMagic51
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Really interesting thoughts, everybody. Please keep them coming.

Anthony B: Thanks for the suggestion of SurveyMonkey. I had never heard of it, so I appreciate the education. I will keep it in mind if I'm doing a totally anonymous strict survey, but I am assuming it would not produce a result with the great personal commentary that people are contributing here.
Davit Sicseek
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No.

I'd say "2".

Every year I buy a few things that I think really kill it but only a few. Some stuff is ok, there might be an interesting method or combination of methods but 9 times out of 10 the author doesn't perform (or even understand) what qualifies to me as good mentalism and so the presentations of the effect would have to be totally reworked in order for it to be a killer.

Then there are the lies, the dross, the re-hashes and what I can only describe as "the bland" - not especially bad or unoriginal. Typically "the bland" effects (or normally short compilation ebooks) have the odd new (but weak) method, maybe an uncommon (but weak) combination of old ideas, a vaguely original (but weak) presentation. All a bit uninspiring really - and if the author is blabbing on about how life-changing and deeply affecting their bland dross is, then it just makes my irritation worse. I should be more discerning.

I gave my rating of a "2" - which indicates I'm not very satisfied - but it is what I expect. Maybe I'm just a glutten for punishment.
Send me the truth: davitsicseek@gmail.com
Davit Sicseek
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Quote:
However, even with taking a lot of care, I did buy a heavily hyped mentalism effect this year, based on recommendations from other mentalists and a very misleading product description. That was a 1, quickly sold again.


What was it?
Send me the truth: davitsicseek@gmail.com
jonnyboy
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Sorry, Davit, I am not going to say. I like the performer/creator, and there has already been enough written about the effect on the Café, pro and con. I don't want to derail this thread.
John
parmenion
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Kennedy or Paul Brook.
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scalito
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I'm probably at a 2, like Davit. I think the saddest part of current DVD releases is the amount of 'filler' material and how we all just expect it. How happy would we be if we bought a dozen eggs and all but 2 or 3 were cracked or rotten? I'd take them back, but we magicians/mentalists just resell our DVDs or put them in the drawer.

Reminds me of myself as a 10 year old in the very early 60s, when someone at Tannens had the lack of judgment (being kind here) to sell me an Aladdin's lamp made out of flat wood for $10 (lots of $ for a kid back then). It had a ball that you set on fire and float and I still, after all these years, remember how ripped off I felt when he told me the 'method'.

Anyway, 52 years later if something is unacceptable I ask for my money back, and get it. If you're a good enough customer and don't have a history of sending everything back, it's just good business for the seller. I think more of us should do this and maybe DVDs and tricks in general will improve. Kind of how the rest of our capitalism system works.

Thanks for reading........Scalito
dmkraig
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I'm at a 2, too.

Often, the best part of an effect is the description. Videos of effects are so MTVed up with jump cuts and reaction shots I often have no idea of what the effect actually is. And when I get it, I'm disappointed by what WASN'T in the video.

Frequently, upon reading and trying something out, the overall audience response to the effect is a collective "meh," which is NOT the response I get from other effects that I do include in shows.

I would go one step further, though, and ask, "What do you think of the descriptions of effects you don't get?" IMO most of the convoluted, illogical, and boring concepts are created by amateurs who rarely perform and know nothing about staging, timing, etc. I mean, if you can read my mind, why do I have to pick a word from a book? Why can't you just, well, read my mind? Why are you making me take some weird-looking container out of a black bag?

IMO most mentalism effect have been created by idiots thinking "this would be kewl, dude!" instead of by performers who present effects that challenge the normal way we think, shock the person, and leave them remembering you and this show for the rest of their lives.

Last year I had some people get into a fight outside of my show, arguing over how they think I did something. That's the type of affect on an audience I think is good.
seadog93
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I am mostly satisfied with my purchases. I chalk this up to either:

1) discernment
2) the financial justification paradigm (aka Effort justification paradigm) and the resolution of cognitive dissonance

I like to think it's a little of both!
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Claudio
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No, 2
Mostly overpriced, overrated *material* - though my very last purchase was cheap and excellent.
david12345
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3

Over the years I am much more careful not to buy impulsively. Rather, knowing what I want for a specific purpose and having read enough reviews around here to discern the difference between hype and real workers.
george1953
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No
2
I used to buy a lot of material after reading the reviews, but even this cant be relied on anymore. I am sick and tired of waiting for things to arrive only to realise it is nothing like the ad copy. I now never buy anything unless I have seen it first hand or a trusted friend reccomends it. So many DVDs these days take about 3 minutes to explain the effect, and an hour of "the history of the effect " etc just to validate the price you are being charged.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
David Thiel
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I'd say I'm about a 7.5, but I've been buying props for a long time. I no longer buy them to find out how they work. I can see something now that looks interesting -- but if it doesn't fit me, I'm okay with shrugging and saying "it's a trick."

I don't trust reviews unless they come from people I respect.

I ignore all that crap at the beginning of trailers (the grainy jerky "you're about to see something amazing" stuff) and wait for the three or four seconds that show me the actual effect. I ALWAYS look for telltale camera tricks. From the sales material you can usually tell if it's coming to you from a worker or some kid sitting in his basement.

If I still like it -- I ask myself if I can see myself performing it. I'm not that concerned about the price point because the only prop that was too expensive is one you purchase and never use. (And learning a prop that you're never going to use is a terrible waste of time...which is the really valuable commodity.)

If the answer is "yes" to all of the above -- I buy it. This greatly reduces the CQ ("Crap Quotient"). If I get it and realize it's not for me? I either put it into a drawer on the off chance it WILL fit into something somewhere down the road (I have a prop that is a mainstay in my act that sat in a drawer for FIVE YEARS) or I sell it.

The key for me is to be organized. I track my props in a simple database to remind myself of what you have and what it does. I don't let myself work (okay "play") with a prop until I've input everything: what it is, what it does and where I put it and who I got it from...which takes under a minute.

I love new toys.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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