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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Russian roulette (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mastermindreader
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Not so. He HAS, in fact, failed to find his check on several occasions, all of which he publicized to the max. (Proving that there is indeed a risk involved.)

But even so, that's a completely different scenario. Risking one's check (especially when most people figure he could easily afford it) is hardly the same as risking one's life on a nightly basis.
AH
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It really depends on how you want your presentation to be, if you feel danger is how you want to present it, find a routine that has a dangerous appearance, but tread carefully on what you do, and remember what Bob previously said, smash and stab routines are very over used now.

Spend hours, days, months thinking, find something that sets you apart. Colin McLeod has a nice idea on his Penguin lecture if you fancy checking that out. Hope you find what your looking for. PM me if you need any advice.

Regards
AH
jstreiff
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Colin McLeod did a variant on the premise as his opener his Penguin lecture recently. It involves paper bags and glass.
John
GothicBen
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Wish I could find footage of Fogel performing Russian Roulette. You could sense the danger.

His emphatic East London Jewish tones saying 'I would like to declare PUBLICALLY that I PERSONALLY, take full RESPONSIBILITY and LIABILITY for tonight's performance of Russian Roulette!'

'This is a gamble for LIFE!'

What a showman!
john wills
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl......ibN9M6gA If the link does not work: google Hans Moretti Russian Roulette
Sealegs
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To answer the OP's question, I think that Randi Rain's 'T2 Sterile' effect combines a brilliantly effective method with total safety during the selection process. (By total safety I mean that you can't hurt yourself even if you suddenly decided you wanted to) And so by these criteria I would say that this is one of (for me the) best version.

Bob wrote:
Quote:
... if it actually IS as dangerous as it looks, how do some performers manage to do it every night (with an extra matinee on Saturdays) without ever being injured? That's totally illogical.


How do any performers/mentalists achieve anything that they do every night? They have an ability that they employ to achieve the end goal. To me these routines are only illogical if there is no ability, or process, or power being apparently employed during the selection process. No process would mean the results of the effect are down to sheer luck... in which case there is no effect and indeed the whole thing would be both illogical and nonsensical.

I think this is one of the mistakes that many make when performing these routines. They see the drama in the situation but forget to ask… what's the effect? Performed as sheer luck Bob's statement brings to light this common performing error but that doesn't mean the premise, if framed as an effect, is illogical or nonsensical.

The same is true for Bank nite effects. What's the effect? If it's luck then again there is no effect being demonstrated/performed.

Luck can be used as a premise, say by claiming that your horoscope says that today is the luckiest day in the year for you… or having a lucky charm that protects you… by stating this you introduce a process (albeit not a very convincing one) by which the events are unfolding. (in this case it's the alignment of the planets or the power of the charm having their benevolent affect on you)

There was an interesting discussion of these types of effects in this thread (Well at least I I think it's interesting but then I started it Smile )
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
mastermindreader
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Yes, the premise of the effect itself obviously should be logical. But my point is that it is not logical on its face to defy death or serious injury nightly unless the experiment is not as dangerous at it appears to be - i.e., a trick.
Sealegs
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I'm not sure I agree with that… people in all sorts of branches of entertainment face serious injury nightly doing all sorts of stuff that's as dangerous as it appears to be just to entertain. Trapeze acts, and other ariel acts come to mind but there are plenty of others. I don't see why the same logic shouldn't apply to mentalists and so consequently I don't think that defying a perceived serious injury is necessarily an illogical basis for drama and entertainment... it for sure might be considered foolhardy and indeed some may look at ariel acts (and mentalists doing smash and stab/roulette routines) and well think this the case but that's a different point altogether.

And then there are those acts that the audience is convinced are doing something more dangerous than they actually are… such as juggling chainsaws. The perception from the audiences point of view is that these people are doing something that risks serious injury and again this can be a basis for drama and entertainment.

What I do agree with is that the conviction and belief of the audience has to be cemented for there to be any believable premise. (Which I believe is Bob's point) For this reason I agree that Russian Roulette routines that purport to put the performer at risk of death are more difficult to believe and consequently sell to an audience. I personally find that the routines that fit this catagory are generally either; distasteful, because they are believable; or uninteresting, because they aren't.

Even away from lethal risks I can see that some people might not buy into the premise of there being any real danger in a smash and stab type of routine.. but I reckon a video showing a few of those clips of the many people that have stabbed themselves in various ways, doing similar routines, might be enough to convince an audience that the version they are about to see does indeed contain some real danger. (Even if, as with 'T2 Sterile', it doesn't)

I have my own staple gun routine and part of the attraction of it for me is that the danger is, very believable. And by very believable I mean it's not too (unbelievably) extreme…. but neither is it something that lacks the potential of creating drama. There's no risking life and limb (in the way that Bob would find to be an illogical premise)... it is after all 'merely' risking getting stapled… and while for the Dirty Sanchez and Jacka55 lads that would just be part of a days work, for most of us the idea of a non lethal but painful enough experience of getting stapled is one best avoided.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
mastermindreader
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I agree with most of that.

But the other problem I have with effects of this nature is that they have become entirely too popular with magicians and I really wonder if there is ANYONE who hasn't seen a variation on television, if not live.
IbiMania
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I would just like to leave something here:

Make sure you do not make it look like it being too good to be true.
phillsmiff
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I was actually writing up a handling of the standard smash and stab routine for my Quinta project the other day and the only sensible premise I could think of (that fits my performing character anyway) was that stage performing had left me something of an adrenaline junky and that once I was no longer getting the desired buzz from just being on stage in front of hundreds of people I realised I needed to up the ante to get the same high - the whole thing essentially was a set up for a slightly weird joke on the idea of smash and stab itself to be honest. The bog standard routine isn't my cuppa.

Phill
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IbiMania
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, phillsmiff wrote:
I was actually writing up a handling of the standard smash and stab routine for my Quinta project the other day and the only sensible premise I could think of (that fits my performing character anyway) was that stage performing had left me something of an adrenaline junky and that once I was no longer getting the desired buzz from just being on stage in front of hundreds of people I realised I needed to up the ante to get the same high - the whole thing essentially was a set up for a slightly weird joke on the idea of smash and stab itself to be honest. The bog standard routine isn't my cuppa.

Phill



That is awesome. Plus a roulette routine with the risk factor gradually increasing with each effect would be great with this premise.
Machina
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I performed a Russian Roulette that is far from the old smash n stab, putting my reputation at stake.
http://youtu.be/Qfy-R_2ipm8

If the link doesn't work:
Search Warren Thackeray Russian Roulette.
This "has nothing to do with the Magician who doesn't like Rock n Roll!" Corinda

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TonyB2009
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I agree with Bob's reservations. I have always looked at Russian Roulette and its variants as a magic trick rather than mentalism, partly because the audience understands that there is never a real danger.

Having said that, for years I opened my hypnosis show with my version of Russian Roulette, which featured four toilets, each rigged with powerful stage pyros. The exploding toilets got me plenty of work. But if I was hired as a mentalist, they were left at home.
mastermindreader
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I've contemplated using four chairs- three loaded with Whoopee cushions. Also makes for a great chair test- you predict which spectator is the least flatulent.
IAIN
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How about using five nappies, people plunge their hands into them, not knowing if they are full of excrement or not? could also be a sh*te night kind of thing...
mastermindreader
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Let's market that. We could call it "Celebrity Party Pooper."
MentalistCreationLab
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I am laughing but that would sell. Its commercial and funny. Bob that is genus. I also love me some chair tests.
Greg Arce
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Call it the Sensory Heightening Intelligence Test or Clairvoyant Reasoning Amplification Procedure or Dunninger's Unique New Gimmick or Psychic Otherworldly Omnipotent Performance. Smile

Or just Experiment Number 2

Greg
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mastermindreader
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Actually they would all be excellent titles for separate effects that could be included in my next book "Bob's Big Heap of Mentalism."
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