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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Effectiveness of Mentalism ? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Scott Soloff
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On Jul 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I'll have to disagree with you, Scott, about doing a one-on-one effect first. The idea is to engage everyone as quickly as possible, which is the same reason many novelists will start a book "in medias res."

A minor effect as an opener makes the rest of the audience passive observers and then you have to bring them back (if you haven't already lost them).


I once lost an entire audience in the parking lot along with my keys. Still haven't turned up.

All kidding aside Bob, there is no one I respect more. Honest! I can't argue with you.


Warm regards,


Scott
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mastermindreader
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Of course you can ar gue with me, Scott. I've been known to be wrong before. I'm just not convinced that there's a good rationale for starting with a one-on-one effect.

I'm sure it can be done successfully, but I try to make it easy to get control over an audience as soon as possible.

(And, yes, just to stir the pot a bit more, I also consider effects like the Tossed Out Deck and Bank Nite to be minor effects that aren't good openers- again because the majority of the audience are just passive observers.)

A major effect involves,or potentially involves, everyone.
IAIN
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How do you feel about Fogel's opener, Bob?
Scott Soloff
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On Jul 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Of course you can ar gue with me, Scott. I've been known to be wrong before. I'm just not convinced that there's a good rationale for starting with a one-on-one effect.

I'm sure it can be done successfully, but I try to make it easy to get control over an audience as soon as possible.

(And, yes, just to stir the pot a bit more, I also consider effects like the Tossed Out Deck and Bank Nite to be minor effects that aren't good openers- again because the majority of the audience are just passive observers.)

A major effect involves,or potentially involves, everyone.


Smile
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sandsjr
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I'll stir the pot too...

I think coming on stage and instantly making yourself "one" with the crowd is it's own major effect. They're engaged in an instant, they're with you. For example, Bob, at the castle when you walk over to the door after the woman leaves that introduces you... for those that haven't been to the castle there is an introduction made that instructs people, "no pictures or video allowed!" Bob follows the introducer over to the door and as soon as it closes he strikes a pose and says, "Anybody want a picture?"

To me, at this point you got them. Thinking as an audience member I'm not sure how much more you need to do to captivate my attention and get me on your side before you start in. Assuming of course you have an engaging personality and strong material, they'll follow you from there.
Scott Soloff
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On Jul 9, 2014, sandsjr wrote:

For example, Bob, at the castle when you walk over to the door after the woman leaves that introduces you... for those that haven't been to the castle there is an introduction made that instructs people, "no pictures or video allowed!" Bob follows the introducer over to the door as they leave and as soon as it closes he strikes a pose and says, "Anybody want a picture?"


Thank you, Bobby. Enjoyed that!

Best,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
mastermindreader
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Good point, Bobby. I guess you could consider my pre-show antics to be a major effect of sorts. Occasionally I just say things from off-stage before I'm introduced.

It's all part of what I call the 30 Second Rule, which states that you've got to capture their interest in the first 30 seconds.
Scott Soloff
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On Jul 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:

It's all part of what I call the 30 Second Rule, which states that you've got to capture their interest in the first 30 seconds.


Bob,

Devil's advocate: Would a commanding presence accomplish this?

As always, best wishes,


Scott
p.s. I have to leave the playground and get back to work. Writing my show for September and October. BTW, I'm thinking of doing a seance show right before Halloween (120 seat theater). Any suggestions, Bob?
'Curiouser and curiouser."
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jul 9, 2014, Scott Soloff wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:

It's all part of what I call the 30 Second Rule, which states that you've got to capture their interest in the first 30 seconds.


Bob,

Devil's advocate: Would a commanding presence accomplish this?

As always, best wishes,


Scott
p.s. I have to leave the playground and get back to work. Writing my show for September and October. BTW, I'm thinking of doing a seance show right before Halloween (120 seat theater). Any suggestions, Bob?


Yes, a commanding presence would accomplish it, but the problem is that most beginners really don't understand what that means or entails. It's a lot more than just standing there and striking a finger-to-temple "commanding" pose.

It's easier and more specific, I think, to call it "engagement."

I'll have to think on the Seance thing, as there are many different ways of approaching it. Personally, I'd do it in my Rt. Rev. Dr. Bob persona and play it as an over the top quasi-religious service.
avik_d
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On Jul 9, 2014, ajb6864 wrote:
Avik,

I think it is interesting that you use the word "victim" for the participant.

Alan



Yeah Alan, "Subject" sometimes seem like too bland a description. Nevertheless, we mentalists are "hunters" anyway, isn't it? Smile
Best,



-Avik
avik_d
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A friend from Germany posted his thoughts in another forum.

"Apparently we Germans are the only ones who have audiences trying to dissect our magic on the spot. Or at least the only ones who admit it.
We get comments like "if they're trying to figure it out, you are a ****ty performer". Having witnessed the same phenomenon with Hans Klok, Gregory Wilson and David Copperfield and judging by the amount of re-runs of the masked magician on TV, I'm pretty sure it's more about the audience dying to know how it works rather than bad performers...

If we come up with a solution and write a book, nobody would buy it, because everybody seems to think that actually stooging a spectator on the spot is the best method for any trick right now, and everybody is telling themselves "the audience doesn't think the method is stooges" (how would they know?) "...because of this devious subtlety" (yeah right).


I realize that with any audience over a dozen, it's going to be tricky, but the most obvious solution would be to involve everybody, or at least one of every group, so they know they're not stooges.

Personally I made peace with the fact that the audience is trying to figure everything out. But I'm sure they're also entertained, if presented correctly. Saying "you're thinking of..." to a dozen people and having it confirmed is good mind reading, but very poor mentalism^^

This is why I despise Q&A. Blurting out useless trivia about strangers. How is it entertaining? The reactions are, when he tells her she bought a new dress or that "Jake" is thinking of her, but if I want mildly entertaining reactions to BS, I can just watch afternoon talkshows...

PS: even if you involve everybody in the audience, they might just think that some people were stooges anyway. And who can blame them. It's commonly known that mentalists and magicians use stooges. The masked magician exposed the truck vanish. Escape artists are known/rumored to have used stooges to restrain them or a fake or paid police man to verify the cuffs are real. And who seriously believes that the host of a TV show who just appeared out of nowhere at the snap of the magician's finger is not in on it and hid in a box? Please...

Unless you're super busy you can do a quick effect after the show for some people. Like a swami prediction or a stacked deck trick that you hand out. Other than that, keeping it entertaining is the only way to make a good show. IMO there's nothing you can do. They will always try to figure things out.

Good luck"
Best,



-Avik
mastermindreader
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You've obviously had a much different experience with your audiences than I have.

And Q&A is not limited to answering questions or revealing useless trivia. You can reveal specific facts about people, things they are merely thinking of, etc. It is the most powerful thing a mentalist can do and, done properly, will leave many wondering if what they are seeing might just be real.

Sounds to me that you are primarily a magician or mental magician and not a mentalist.
avik_d
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Sounds to me that you are primarily a magician or mental magician and not a mentalist.


Probably my German friend is.
Best,



-Avik
Scott Soloff
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On Jul 10, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:

And Q&A is not limited to answering questions or revealing useless trivia. You can reveal specific facts about people, things they are merely thinking of, etc. It is the most powerful thing a mentalist can do and, done properly, will leave many wondering if what they are seeing might just be real.



Second that!

Best,


Scott
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rickreation
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If read discerningly by a mentalist who understands how to present their art bekievably, The Magic Way by Juan Tamariz is one of the greatest resources for dealing with spectators' false solutions (and correct ones) like stooges.
mastermindreader
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On Jul 9, 2014, avik_d wrote:
Quote:
Sounds to me that you are primarily a magician or mental magician and not a mentalist.


Probably my German friend is.


Sorry that I attributed that to you. But you didn't indicate in your post whether you agreed with it or not.

Do you?
avik_d
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Sorry that I attributed that to you. But you didn't indicate in your post whether you agreed with it or not.

Do you?


Bob, whatever you've said in your post certainly carries a lot of logic behind it. That's why you're one of my favorite thinkers.

However, as indicated in the first post of this thread, yes I'm primarily a close-up magician, gradually beginning to dip my feet in the mentalism ocean. I've not been performing mentalism for long, may be 2-3 years tops. I believe I'm yet to get to that position with experience where I can myself comment on expert views like yours.

I perform mentalism on a lighter mood (if it's termed as mental magic). As I'm gradually thinking deeper about this art form, the threaded question came to my mind. I posted it here to witness the popular opinions.

Yes I agree with you as far as the logic it conveys goes. However, since my background is essentially close-up, I never performed mentalism for a group of more than 6-7 people at a time. As a matter of fact, I've never performed classics like Q&A or psychometry. So far I've been limited to doing billet works, DD, PK and a few psychological stuffs, which can be performed in close quarters.

So from a practical point of view, I'm certainly not in a position to comment on this, at least at this point of time. That's why looking up to more experienced people like you for my query.
Best,



-Avik
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