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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Celebrity smart ass (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

greerj
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East Tennessee
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I really like celebrity smart ass and think it's well done. However, I was wondering what category would it be in? Would you experienced artists consider it mental magic, pure mentalism, or a card effect? Regardless of category I have heard that it kills, but was curious if it would mix well with more serious effects.
Mindpro
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Definitely not pure mentalism, but rather mental magic.
Mike Ince
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Inner circle
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I don't see why it couldn't mix well with more serious effects but it would probably come early in the program if you're closing with Q&A or other telepathic effects involving more personal information.

Some performers begin with playful material to prime the audience to enjoy themselves, only later to jolt the crowd with the scary strong stuff. Others start heavier, lighten the mood a bit in the second act, and then descend into darkness for the third. It depends how you want the audience to feel.

I wonder what would happen if we all began scripting only the thoughts and feelings we wanted participants to have at each moment, then began plugging in effects and presentations to achieve those things in the minds and hearts of the audience?


“The audience is like a great organ that you and I are playing. At one moment we play this note on them and get this reaction, and then we play that chord and they react that way. And someday we won’t even have to make a movie — there’ll be electrodes implanted in their brains, and we’ll just press different buttons and they’ll go, ‘Ooooh’ and ‘Aaaah,’ and we’ll frighten them, and make them laugh. Won’t that be wonderful?” - Alfred Hitchcock's comments to screenwriter Ernest Lehman during the production of North by Northwest
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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I did CSA many times -- primarily when I was in the transition between magic and mentalism. It really is an effect that straddles both worlds, if you can get past the "playing card" aspect. It's a wonderful high-energy-very-commercial routine that gets the audience laughing and clapping. It is a great opener.

When I started doing mentalism -- I still did CSA right at the top of my show. Initially, I was performing it to show the difference between magic and mentalism -- how a magician might perform mentalism. I know that was a mistake now...but didn't then.

Finally I moved to "only mentalism" I just couldn't talk myself into that anymore. I last used it when I was doing a grandstand show where the client wanted 70% new material every night over four nights. (I have a lot of finished material...but not that much.) It still worked very well.

I think it could be framed in a way that would bring it more in line with a "holy crap...look what I just predicted you'd choose" mentalist theme -- but it's still too (...what's the word? "Pat?" "Cute?") to really fit the rest of the things I do. It just sticks out.

For now it's back on the shelf -- but there's no question it's a wonderful effect in the right setting. Dead easy to do and a real crowd pleaser. I'd do it again if circumstances demanded it. I just have enough other material to work with that is a better fit for my theme.

So the answer to your question: I can't see CSA fitting in with any "serious" themed show. It is fun because it is designed to be fun. It needs to be what it is in order to work.

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


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Michael Zarek
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Sweden
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Quote:

I wonder what would happen if we all began scripting only the thoughts and feelings we wanted participants to have at each moment, then began plugging in effects and presentations to achieve those things in the minds and hearts of the audience?



That's actually a pretty cool idea. I might try it for my next show.
Reader discretion is advised.
Mindpro
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Yes, isn't that what it's all about anyhow?
Pomyles
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Sometimes we decide effects are not mentalism only because they are fun to perform. I do not agree, mentalism is not serious by nature. It's a choice.
Sealegs
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I don't think mentalism is about, or defined by, the effects... it's about the attitude of the performer.... it's about way the effects are performed... and it's about and the perception of the audience towards what is presented to them.

So, any individual effect can be seen to be a piece of mentalism, or a piece of mental magic, or just a puzzle.

I like the irony of the notion that mentalism is in fact all in the mind. Viewing mentalism as a concept rather than as a thing might hopefully obviate all those dull discussions about whether this or that is or isn't mentalism and whether this performer or that performer is or isn't a mentalist. It allows for the overlap and divide between mentalists and magicians to exist without either having to give any ground and makes redundant questions like the one at the start of this thread.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Pomyles
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Yin-Yang concept is a good illustration to relativize so-called dichotomy between magic and mentalism. And there is a grey zone of subjective evaluation which feed eternal discussions.
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