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Mike Ince
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I don't claim to know others' futures. I just don't know and I'm not willing to pretend I do - I feel that's where mentalism ceases to be entertainment and starts being harmful. Having stated that, two answers come to mind. The first is, "I don't know." This is the answer I'd feel comfortable giving. The other answer, just for fun, is "Today isn't looking so good for you."
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
mastermindreader
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That's a good response, Mike. Sometimes I use a variant of the old joke as a fake question:

This gentleman want to know if they have baseball in heaven. Well the good news is yes, they do. The bad news is that you're tomorrow's starting pitcher.
Josho
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Thank you, all, for the thoughtful and interesting suggestions. This conversation took a left turn for me with Bob's observation about where Q&A routines have gone.

Clearly, I obviously need to refamiliarize myself with some of Bob's works. My reading of AoM and other works of his was quite awhile ago, before I ever seriously considered putting what I was reading into practice. Now that I'm in a position to actually apply the lessons they contain, I need to go back and reread. I'm very interested to see why actual questions in Q&A routines have fallen out of favor, and why they should presumably stay that way.

Many thanks to Bob, and to everyone else who replied, too.

Josh
mastermindreader
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My thinking and work on Q&A has evolved considerably since I wrote The Art of Mentalism over thirty years ago. The most complete exposition available (which includes traditional question answering) can be found in the three-part teleseminar, Mastering Q&A, that I did with Michael Weber.

I believe it is the most complete exposition of the subject to date.

Full details on all three parts can be found here:

http://www.marketplaceofthemind.com/mastqajm.html

Good thoughts,

Bob
Mike Ince
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Quote:
On 2013-08-23 15:00, mastermindreader wrote:
That's a good response, Mike. Sometimes I use a variant of the old joke as a fake question:

This gentleman want to know if they have baseball in heaven. Well the good news is yes, they do. The bad news is that you're tomorrow's starting pitcher.


I love that kind of moment as it keeps the show playful. Good stuff.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Grippo's Wish
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"You are going to live a very long and succesful life"
Mike Ince
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I gave what I thought to be a heavy disclaimer once before a closing Q&A segment. When the show was over, a lady approached and asked me, "How long have you had your gift?"

"You are going to live a very long and successful life." If you say something like this it feels nice to the listener, but how do you know? What if they trust your response but then die a month later? Would you feel at all responsible if the dead had postponed creating a will or buying life insurance to protect his family because he was fool enough to believe what you said in a Q&A act? We have no idea how seriously people might take our answers. We don't know the future. We don't even know whether we'll die in our sleep tonight. I don't know, gents. A serious answer is the last thing I'd want to give to this question.

Live every day as if it could be your last, because one day it will be.
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Pakar Ilusi
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I would have no problem really, but if you do, I would suggest to you to just add...

'But do write a will and have insurance.' With a wink and a smile.

Playful and realistic still...

People believe whatever nonsenses they wish if they so wish to believe, just like the baseball thing Bob said could be taken seriously as they're going to die soon. Would you feel guilty if he then quits his job because he believes he will die soon? The spec, not Bob. Smile

I hope not.

People who start believing life and death signs from a Mentalist during a show, are a little in need of help, seriously.

It's on them, not you, if positive messages are given and taken to extremes. Especially after a heavy disclaimer. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
mastermindreader
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Pakar-

Reread my post. I suggested that the baseball story makes a funny answer for a FAKE question. "This is from a gentleman who wants to know if they have baseball in heaven."
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2013-08-26 03:13, mastermindreader wrote:
Pakar-

Reread my post. I suggested that the baseball story makes a funny answer for a FAKE question. "This is from a gentleman who wants to know if they have baseball in heaven."


Understood.

My bad. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
mota
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On stage I think Mr. Cassidy's approach might be best. I haven't seen his stuff but it makes sense. If they write interesting things about themselves you can decide what the questions will be. If you get this question anyway I wouldn't deal with it on stage. It is weak to dodge it but it is worse to answer it, especially in a show that is supposed to be entertaining.

In a palm reading things are different. For starters if you know your stuff there would be many indications of immediate poor health. If I were asked "how long will I live" and saw things in the palm I would just directly tell them what I see and turn it into a conversation. I might comment on the ridges on their fingernails, then explain they take about six months to grow from cuticle to tip. I would go on to mention that during times of stress the growth slows down, creating the horizontal ridges you sometimes see. This can be somewhat timed. A ridge halfway up the nail formed about three months ago. With any rapport at all you should be both talking at this point.

A reading is a conversation, not a trick. Tell them what you see, why you think it means something and let things flow from there.

There is a method that allows you to predict length of life in even casual palm readings. Do I have your attention?

It is a combination of two methods. One I read in a book. The other, using the rascettes on the wrist I developed on my own. You start by explaining there are two factors in length of life. These are regular years and bonus years. You also explain that none of this counts if they do stupid things like drink and drive. You can be too stupid to live a long life and that is under their control.

The regular years are how long you could live if you take normal care of yourself. The bonus years are extra years you can get through health habits...exercise, meditation/prayer, diet and such.

To calculate regular years you look not to the life line, but to the heart line. Explain that it is the quality of their heart and emotions that is the major factor in basic length of life. You look at how far across the palm the heart line goes. The type of heart line does not matter. Instead look at the fingers and the spaces between the fingers.

Each finger that the heart line crosses under is twenty years. Each space is ten. You add them up. There is some play in interpretation here. Now if you have someone in front of you that you know takes care of herself you can go a bit high on this. If you have someone who clearly has, or will have health problems in the future you would go lower. If you have a life-long obese alcoholic smoker there is a good chance they won't make it much past fifty. You need to work with this. Here is how you do it.

After explaining that their natural length of life is a bit low due to how they were born (it is not their fault) there are things they know they can do. You will get the nod. Now explain that the rascettes on the wrist are how many bonus years they can get if they take extra good care of themselves.

A full rascette is twenty years, for partial rascettes adapt appropriately. Again, there is room for interpretation. When all is said and done by combining regular years and bonus years you can give most people a positive prediction of a long life.

If you end up with predictions much past 90 you can mention that though the potential is for a very, very long life around the ages of 85 or 90 they may decide that is enough and they really don't care about the drooling years. There is something about calling them the drooling years that people really like. You will always get enthusiastic agreement on this.

I am sure there are other methods for answering the question about length of life within a reading but this method has served me well for a very long time.
bdekolta
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Mota - excellent post. Thank you for sharing. Wanted to repost this so it doesn't get lost:

"A reading is a conversation, not a trick."

Thanks again for posting.

Dan
mastermindreader
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Mota-

I agree. That is possibly the best approach to use in one on one readings. But, as you've noted, that isn't really a trick, nor is it the same as a stage Q&A presentation in which the primary purpose is mystery entertainment.

Excellent post.

Best,

Bob
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