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brehaut
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On 2013-09-25 02:07, Greg Arce wrote:
Bill, while I do agree with you on some level, I think it is our own knowledge of this field that allows us to see the trees instead of the forest. The regular audience doesn't read 13 Steps or thinks about this stuff on a daily basis. They see it once and awhile and that's probably all the thought they put into it.

I once said this, if a plumber came on and went on and on about various pipes and fittings and such, we would just see it as all the same thing. But at the same time another plumber watching would see the tiny little differences in every pipe shown. They would find inconsistencies when someone talked about one type of fitting when they knew that your really use a certain other type. We, the non-plumbers, would see it all as the same thing. We don't know the subtle differences.

Trust me, I've asked my friends who are not into magic or mentalism about things they've watched and they rarely notice the stuff I noticed. I remember when I started studying theater. Suddenly when I went to see a play I noticed bad lighting, weird blocking, etc. Stuff I had never noticed before I was a theater major. I was now looking at the trees and the forest.

It might be your pet peeve, but I would bet most of the public watching never had that thought cross their mind.

Just my opinion.

Greg


Wonderful to see you post your thoughts Greg---Always appreciate your wisdom!
Synesthesia
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Quote:
On 2013-09-25 02:07, Greg Arce wrote:
Bill, while I do agree with you on some level, I think it is our own knowledge of this field that allows us to see the trees instead of the forest. The regular audience doesn't read 13 Steps or thinks about this stuff on a daily basis. They see it once and awhile and that's probably all the thought they put into it.

I once said this, if a plumber came on and went on and on about various pipes and fittings and such, we would just see it as all the same thing. But at the same time another plumber watching would see the tiny little differences in every pipe shown. They would find inconsistencies when someone talked about one type of fitting when they knew that your really use a certain other type. We, the non-plumbers, would see it all as the same thing. We don't know the subtle differences.

Trust me, I've asked my friends who are not into magic or mentalism about things they've watched and they rarely notice the stuff I noticed. I remember when I started studying theater. Suddenly when I went to see a play I noticed bad lighting, weird blocking, etc. Stuff I had never noticed before I was a theater major. I was now looking at the trees and the forest.

It might be your pet peeve, but I would bet most of the public watching never had that thought cross their mind.

Just my opinion.

Greg


I think you make an excellent point Greg -- however, it has to be noted that the trees still make up the forest, even for those that don't notice them. E.g. before you studied theatre, you probably still found plays to be more or less enjoyable because of those same factors, but just didn't know it until later. When I first started studying typography I began to notice a million things in how type is set that I never had before -- but those things tended to track pretty closely with what I instinctively would have called an "ugly" or "attractive" piece of text before.

So while the majority of the audience isn't going to specifically think "the mindreading and the prediction contradict each other!" they are, potentially, going to walk away less satisfied and entertained than they could have been. As Bob Cassidy has been pointing out on another thread, back-story and logical consistency of ability/character isn't something that has to be explained to the audience, it's something that exists for you as the performer, in order to make your performance cohesive.
Greg Arce
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Actually, Synesthesia, as I've said, over the years I've made it a point to ask "regular" people what they think of various effects and shows and presentations. You would be surprised at how little they are aware of what actually happened. And, as we all know, with time their memories make it even more of a miracle when they talk about it.

I'm sure you feel your way is what is happening, but I tend to believe that most people just view the show or presentation and are either entertained or not. They seldom sit down and break apart the performance bit by bit... unless someone gives them more information on it or the performer was actually a bit off when doing stuff.

I've probably seen hundreds of confabulations over the years and never once heard a regular audience member comment on what I feel is an inconsistency: The performer asks for various things to be called out and at times is taken aback by funny things called out. Well, if he already predicted these things why is he finding something funny when it's called out? Or why is he confused by the spelling or the meaning of something. If you had predicted everything beforehand then nothing should confuse you.

Yet it happens all the time and I've never heard anyone mention that afterwards. Oh, and I tend to hang with the regular crowd after a lot of shows to hear what they think. I've yet to hear someone say, "Wait a minute... why did he ask for the spelling of Ostrich if he already had it written down on that large banner?" They see the forest, we see the trees.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. Although whenever I've done such things I do use my acting skills to pretend I knew things all along. So if I find something funny about a suggestion I say, "Wow, I didn't believe it last night, but now it all makes sense." or something to that effect.

Greg

P.S. And just so you know, when I first started noticing things in plays I also asked friends that came with me if they noticed the same thing and they did not. They just enjoyed the play or not. As a matter of fact, I had some friends actually say to me, "Can't you just relax and enjoy it. Stop thinking about all that!" They were watching an entertaining forest, I was seeing a few bent trees.
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Synesthesia
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I think you may have slightly misunderstood my meaning. I'm not at all saying that spectators will eventually deconstruct these things and notice the specific issues -- I agree with you that almost none of them, if any, are going to do that. I'm suggesting that even if the spectators don't specifically notice these kinds of things, they are still the factors that effect how good the overall performance is, how much people enjoy it, and how memorable it is to them.

Just because most spectators don't specifically understand lighting and blocking in a play doesn't mean that directors and producers can stop worrying about lighting and blocking. It's true that knowledge can make you more sensitive to these things, sometimes overly so, and your point that performers need to keep some perspective is well made and well taken -- I'm just saying that the simple fact of spectators not specifically noticing things doesn't mean those things aren't important.
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Absolutely agree that small things are important. As I said, I cover my tracks when doing confab-type effects. But I also know that in the overall pictures some things that we see as important seem to be completely invisible to most people.

Here's another example which I once read on a mentalist website: A mentalist was in the audience of another mentalist. The guy on stage proceeded to do one of those weird book test where you pick a card then multiply by the number divide by your shoe size then add your birthdate to get to the page and word. He revealed the word. The guy in the audience had his wife with him. She turned to him and said, "Oh look, he did that same thing you do with the book" The audience mentalist proceeded to get steamed because he does the MOAB. He argued with his own wife on the differences yet she saw it as the same thing. It's an extreme example, but one that shows that even when a spectator knows a bit of inside information they still sometimes see the forest instead of the trees.

Listen, I'm not arguing with you. I too work out the details, but I know in the back of my mind if the effect works then most audiences see it as perfect and they don't bother with the details. That's kind of what made Blaine Blaine. He just showed audiences reacting to standard effects with no subtleties, nuances or extra details. Just did the trick, it worked, suddenly he was better than Copperfield in their eyes.

And everyone has their own views as to what is good. I can watch a film with horrendous acting and my friend sees it as the most brilliant performance ever. We are watching the same thing yet both have a different take on what's going on. Could it be that I studied acting or that my friend has a tremendous crush on the starlet? Just like we can see a simple performance on TV from some young kid and see it as nothing special yet his screaming fans see him as the next god of magic.

Anyway, it seems as if you have taken the appropriate path that works for you and I congratulate you on that. In this instance we'll just agree to disagree... but only slightly.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Waters
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Great points Greg. It leads back to the fact that if people like you (or want to like you), your performances will be perceived as more entertaining. Engaged people are a forgiving people.

Glad to see you posting!

Regards,

Sean
brehaut
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In support of what Greg is saying, how many times have we seen someone tell someone after a performance "wow, this guy did this and that, etc" and it is completely wrong ("he never touched the cards"--you touched the cards, etc). At the end of the day, I believe lay people just view the overall experience and don't pay attention to all the details (just because the spectator doesn't pay attention to details doesn't mean the performer shouldn't).
geraldbelton
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On 2013-09-25 14:24, Greg Arce wrote:
Actually, Synesthesia, as I've said, over the years I've made it a point to ask "regular" people what they think of various effects and shows and presentations. You would be surprised at how little they are aware of what actually happened. And, as we all know, with time their memories make it even more of a miracle when they talk about it.


I saw Woody Harrelson do a book test on the Letterman show, and I thought the method was incredibly obvious. So I got some non-magician friends to watch the youtube clip of it and tell me what they thought. They all loved it. So when I was visiting a relative last week and he said "I hear you've been learning to read minds. Show me something," I did that impromptu book test using books he selected from his own bookshelf. Everyone in the room loved it, including my wife who is very hard to impress.

The whole reason we can do what we do is because "regular" people don't see things the same way we do!
saysold1
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On 2013-09-23 14:09, Moxahalla wrote:
Why are most theatrical "psychics" from Israel?:

Uri
Guy Bavali
Lior

...is this a trend? Smile


Uri started it all...

The cool accent and strong & over the top personality doesn't hurt either...
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saysold1
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Personally I wasn't that blown by Lior's Leno performance.

This one was essentially a nod to Oz Pearlman's fantastic thinking - without a doubt. I think Oz does it better by far.

The reveal at the end didn't seem to blow the audience away eiether - it was cute but since the name was revealed already it felt a little bit so-so (kind of agree with Bill).

So far on Leno I rarely see anything truly unique or original with Lior - other than his cute/hyper performance style.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
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