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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Phrases mentalists use that make you cringe (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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saysold1
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My fave line...

"But it gets even crazier than that..."
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DekEl
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"Wouldn't it be amazing if..."

"Wouldn't you be impressed if..."

"No way I could have possibly known that you would..."

"How did YOU do that? That was ALL you!"

"I'm sensing that you're a passionate person, you probably chose..."
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mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2013-08-30 17:30, John Raff M wrote:
".................make your mind blank. Woah! That was quick!"

Not funny. Just rude. I know a lot of people use this line but it had to be said.


I both agree and disagree. This is the kind of line that depends a LOT on the persona of the performer, the manner in which it is delivered and to whom it is directed. Unfortunately, too many performers are indiscriminate about it.

Example- late show in a night club. Guy at a front table is drunk and acting inappropriately. The audience gets annoyed. I address the entire audience to set up a thought projection and say, "Make your minds a complete blank." I look at the guy whose been the problem and say, as an aside, "No problem there, hey?"

There are no strict rules as to lines that are appropriate or not. It all depends on what is appropriate at that moment.

Good thoughts,

Bob
ablanathanalba
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"I'm trying to be patient but you're making it hard to think!"
innercirclewannabe
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Quote:
On 2013-08-30 17:30, John Raff M wrote:
".................make your mind blank. Woah! That was quick!"

Not funny. Just rude. I know a lot of people use this line but it had to be said.


I have used this line, or something similar at both my live shows and some media work that I've done. I have never had anyone say or insinuate to me afterwards that it was rude? In many respects, it set the tone for what was to follow.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
cpbartak
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"Priced to keep it out of the hands of the merely curious."
Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
Godzilla
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Quote:
On 2013-08-30 20:07, cpbartak wrote:
"Priced to keep it out of the hands of the merely curious."



LOL
Best post on this thread !!!
"If you watch Godzilla backwards, it's about a big ass lizard who helps rebuild a half burnt-down city, then moonwalks back into the ocean"
cpbartak
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Actually, in honesty--disclaimers make me cringe, and not because I think everyone should necessarily be playing it as real (although it is kind of silly to come out and first thing say, hey, I don't really play the piano, I just pretend, there's a recording where the sounds really coming from). You've just been introduced, you come out, you should be trying to make a good first impression--building rapport/capturing attention, but instead you waste two minutes at this critical juncture doing one of the least entertaining things you could possibly do. Disclaimers just seems like poor theater to me...you're being paid to entertain and this is the first impression you choose to make?
Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
Seth speaks
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"Okay, what I want you to do is point to a book. Okay, I want you to take it, and I want you to flip through it. I just want you to flip through the book and stop on a page, then I want you to take the book that you did not pick, and I want you to flip to that page. So go ahead and flip through the book. Do you have a page? Great, now I want you to shut the book, then I want you to turn to that page in the other book. Have you done that? Great, and now that is totally random, correct? There's no way I could have known what page you would randomly select? Great, now I want you to concentrate on that word, just really concentrate. Great, was your word 'hemispheric?'"

"No, it was 'want.'"

"Wow, that was out of nowhere.."
Seth speaks
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My most hated phrase -- I see this clumsy thing done all the time in various forms -- goes something like this:

PERFORMER: Okay now please choose a word. Lock it in your mind. Really visualize it. Okay, now... what was the word?

SPECTATOR: (confused and hesitant)

PERF: What was the word you chose?

SPEC: Do -- um... do you just...want me to tell you?

PERF: Yes, it's okay; just say what it was.

SPEC: Okay, it was "hemispheric."

PERF: (reveals that he had written the exact word down and locked it in a safe decades ago.)

Please, please stop telling people to think hard of something -- and then ask them to tell you what it is. Really deadens the impact. Instead say something like, "and when you get a word that seems to grab you, just say it out loud without censoring it--just blurt it out."

My two cents.

Seth
mastermindreader
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That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.

Another thing that is just as bad, of even worse, is the all too common misuse of the word "predict." A prediction is made before a selection or action is taken. And yet I often see would-be mentalists have someone think of a word and then say, "I'll now predict what you are thinking." For it to be a prediction, you have to write it down BEFORE they make their selection or think of their word. If you are reading their mind, it is an example of thought reading, NOT a prediction.

Those who misuse words like this should be aware that they will appear illiterate to intelligent audience members.
Stephen Young
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What started out as a bit of a laugh, has turned into quite a useful thread.
Thanks guys.

Steve
Trickstar
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Quote:
On 2013-08-31 03:17, mastermindreader wrote:
That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.



Hi Bob

I have read similar thoughts elsewhere, but have been playing around with a routine where I do exactly that - I would love to hear your thoughts on my cover for this, basically immediately after revealing the thought of word I would be attempting to convey visible relief through body language reinforced by verbals... something like "Wow, I'm so happy that you did in fact choose that word... otherwise I would have looked very foolish when I ask you to read out the message that I placed in that envelope last night"
Am I being overly naive in thinking that this will work? I have gone back and forth over this a lot, I do have other options for the routine but with this discussion going on I thought it could be a good opportunity to hear some thoughts.
DekEl
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Quote:
On 2013-08-31 03:17, mastermindreader wrote:
That is similar to a common flaw in many presentations. The mentalist has a card, a word, or whatever, selected and then asks the participant to concentrate on it. He then slowly reveals the selection as if he is reading the participant's mind.

So far, so good. But then comes the "kicker" that makes the entire presentation illogical. The mentalist removes a card from an envelope that has been in plain view the entire time. On the card is a prediction of the very thing the participant thought of. This is supposed to strengthen the effect. In fact is weakens it considerably. What was the point of the feigned mind-reading if the mentalist apparently knew all along what the selected word/card, etc. was? Obviously, the mind-reading part must have been fake. And it that was fake, the prediction is equally suspect. A good mind-reading effect is thereby reduced to a magic trick or puzzle.


This always cracks me up.
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mastermindreader
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Trickstar-

The only way that would work is if you just feigned concentration for the first letter or two- seemingly just enough to confirm to yourself that the word you had predicted was indeed correct. But another problem is now presented- you'd be demonstrating two completely unrelated abilities- the ability to read thoughts AND to predict the future.

The more you claim, explicitly or implicitly, the less believable you become.
I believe it is important to have a "back story" - a clear idea in your own mind of the ability you are demonstrating, how you got it, and the procedure you must follow to make it work.
Trickstar
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Hi Bob

Thank you very much for that. Regarding 'backstory', recently I have been toying with the idea of creating a myth of origin for my 'abilities', some kind of traumatic event (possibly an accident with mild head injury?) after which my 'abilities' began to manifest. I was thinking that it may allow for a situation where I don't have to explain much as it would be as if I don't really understand it myself, it just happens. Do you think there is any substance to this idea or is it just silly?
mastermindreader
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No, I think it's a good idea. Many successful performers have used a similar approach to create consistency. Just remember that my caution about claiming too many abilities still applies. Don't fool yourself by creating a back story about falling off a ladder and suddenly being able to read thoughts, predict the future, bend mental, see without your eyes and do remote viewing. Again, the more you claim, the less plausible you will be.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Trickstar
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Thanks a lot for that Bob, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Take care
mastermindreader
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And remember, the backstory is mainly for you as it is a tool to give consistency and believability to your presentations. You don't really have to explain it to the audience.
Martin Pulman
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I think Uri Geller lost a lot of credibility when he introduced the whole "Planet Hoova" backstory to the mix. I think some things are far more powerful for being left unexplained.
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