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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Drawing duplication: reveal style and performing style (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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CMT VN
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Hi guys,

I am in need of your help. I want to perform mentalism in a 'funny' style. A little bit less than John Archer, but a little bit more lively and more jokes than the average/common mentalism show.

For that, I have been looking for a good example of a DD performance, done with a touch of comedy, but I've search to no avail.

Can any of you guys recommend me a mentalists who does DD like I describe?

Secondly, for the revalation of DD, I've seen people draw out the reveal openly (like Derren Brown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRFxHWNsF3Q)

What is your opinion on this? should the mentalist's drawing be obscure till the last minute?

Thank you for your help
NeilMcCauley
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I don't think it matters very much whose drawing is seen first by the audience, as long as there is some tension/anticipation/build-up/intrigue to the process. In the example you linked to, the audience doesn't know if what Derren is drawing is correct and nor does the person who did the drawing (because he is facing the other way). When the original drawing is finally revealed, it's essentially the same thing as the mentalist showing his drawing a second or two later--as long as one comes after the other, there is tension. If both drawings were revealed at exactly the same time, it would take a moment for viewers to compare them and this would defuse the big pay off. It's much better, in my opinion, to set the 'target' in the audience's mind by first displaying your prediction/guess and only then confirming how close it is by revealing the drawing you were attempting to duplicate or predict.

I can't give any advice on making DDs funny, but I can say a couple of other things about them, having done dozens on strangers over just the last few weeks alone:

- Remember the apparent reality of the DD. If you apparently don't know what they have drawn, then you should probably be quite surprised when you see their drawing for the 'first time'. You don't need to shriek--you can be more understated. But I've seen a lot of performers barely bat an eyelid, and I think this is a sign to the audience that something isn't right.

- If you want people to believe that you didn't just see their drawing somehow and copy it, it's important not to duplicate it TOO perfectly. This is just my opinion, but there's a fine balance between getting it bang on and it seeming a bit too perfect, and intentionally getting it a bit wrong and actually hurting the reveal because people frown and question if it was just a coincidence. Being close to the drawing is tough, because we know what they have drawn and we can perfectly duplicate it--but the psychological impact of being very close but not exactly right is much stronger. Uri Geller used to do this. He'd draw an elephant from behind instead of from the front, which is what the volunteer drew.

- If you aren't actually sure how close your drawing will be (because you didn't get a good peek at their drawing using whatever method you used), then ask them to show it and as soon as you see it (and before you show your drawing), mentally plan what you will say about your drawing and why it isn't exactly the same as theirs. For instance, I've had people draw something very small, which meant I was duplicating something I didn't even know the identity of. I was just copying a vague shape. When I saw their actual drawing, I at first used to panic and think "Mine is nothing like that!". Now, I still think that, but I also immediately emphasize that there are billions of things in the world: "If I'm anywhere near in terms of the shape or form, then we've done it." Then I might put my thumb over the part of my drawing that isn't even in theirs, while pointing to a part that is in fact more accurate and giving a brief commentary. Generally though, people will either react or they won't. They will either think "Yes, that's the same, even if it's been psychically fuzzed," or "I see no similarities."

I suppose infusing humour into the routine can come from almost anything. To stick with Derren, check this out, which gets a lot of laughs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiHkGrp3S_8 It's not a DD, but the same type of thing could be done with one.
IAIN
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Forgot about other people's styles and presentations...

what is YOURS?

who are you? how do you behave? if you don't know that yet, have you at least any further ideas that might help us?

don't copy someone else's performance style as it'll come off as inauthentic...and at worst, "oh, he's like derren...derren's great" *starts big discussion about derren and forgets about watching YOU*...

its a difficult question to answer, but worthwhile...
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Stefmagic
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Everybody told not to copy someone else but in business, the better and faster way to get successful is by modeling someone who had success before !!! You don't want to be someone else clone, but you have to find some models to help you shape what you'll become. With time, experience and maturity, you'll then shape your own personnality and performing style... But you must do modeling first.
Magical Dimensions
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I agree with Iain.

Performing in a funny style comes from you not by copying someone's else's act. Either you have a funny side or you don't.

What do you mean by average/common mentalism show? Who have you seen?

How do you perform you other mentalism? Is it funny or what?




Ray
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Comedy mentalism is, or should be, an oxymoron.
IAIN
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On Sep 16, 2014, Stefmagic wrote:
Everybody told not to copy someone else but in business, the better and faster way to get successful is by modeling someone who had success before !!! You don't want to be someone else clone, but you have to find some models to help you shape what you'll become. With time, experience and maturity, you'll then shape your own personnality and performing style... But you must do modeling first.


i would say that's more of the NLP business stuff - where you supposedly model the behaviours of famous/rich/powerful people...

magic and mentalism (the performance of) is all about being unique and presenting things that reinforce who you are and what you do..

it doesn't work in comedy, because lifting lines or using a similar delivery will get you outcast quicker than taking a dump on stage...
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Magical Dimensions
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On Sep 16, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Comedy mentalism is, or should be, an oxymoron.


I must be cruel, only to be kind, that is foolish wisdom.......


See, I used oxymoron........... Smile
John C
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Situational comedy works in most situations.
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Sensio
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Quote:
On Sep 16, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Comedy mentalism is, or should be, an oxymoron.


So true......
Sensio
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On Sep 16, 2014, John C wrote:
Situational comedy works in most situations.


So true too....
CMT VN
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On Sep 16, 2014, NeilMcCauley wrote:
I don't think it matters very much whose drawing is seen first by the audience, as long as there is some tension/anticipation/build-up/intrigue to the process. In the example you linked to, the audience doesn't know if what Derren is drawing is correct and nor does the person who did the drawing (because he is facing the other way). When the original drawing is finally revealed, it's essentially the same thing as the mentalist showing his drawing a second or two later--as long as one comes after the other, there is tension. If both drawings were revealed at exactly the same time, it would take a moment for viewers to compare them and this would defuse the big pay off. It's much better, in my opinion, to set the 'target' in the audience's mind by first displaying your prediction/guess and only then confirming how close it is by revealing the drawing you were attempting to duplicate or predict.

I can't give any advice on making DDs funny, but I can say a couple of other things about them, having done dozens on strangers over just the last few weeks alone:

- Remember the apparent reality of the DD. If you apparently don't know what they have drawn, then you should probably be quite surprised when you see their drawing for the 'first time'. You don't need to shriek--you can be more understated. But I've seen a lot of performers barely bat an eyelid, and I think this is a sign to the audience that something isn't right.

- If you want people to believe that you didn't just see their drawing somehow and copy it, it's important not to duplicate it TOO perfectly. This is just my opinion, but there's a fine balance between getting it bang on and it seeming a bit too perfect, and intentionally getting it a bit wrong and actually hurting the reveal because people frown and question if it was just a coincidence. Being close to the drawing is tough, because we know what they have drawn and we can perfectly duplicate it--but the psychological impact of being very close but not exactly right is much stronger. Uri Geller used to do this. He'd draw an elephant from behind instead of from the front, which is what the volunteer drew.

- If you aren't actually sure how close your drawing will be (because you didn't get a good peek at their drawing using whatever method you used), then ask them to show it and as soon as you see it (and before you show your drawing), mentally plan what you will say about your drawing and why it isn't exactly the same as theirs. For instance, I've had people draw something very small, which meant I was duplicating something I didn't even know the identity of. I was just copying a vague shape. When I saw their actual drawing, I at first used to panic and think "Mine is nothing like that!". Now, I still think that, but I also immediately emphasize that there are billions of things in the world: "If I'm anywhere near in terms of the shape or form, then we've done it." Then I might put my thumb over the part of my drawing that isn't even in theirs, while pointing to a part that is in fact more accurate and giving a brief commentary. Generally though, people will either react or they won't. They will either think "Yes, that's the same, even if it's been psychically fuzzed," or "I see no similarities."

I suppose infusing humour into the routine can come from almost anything. To stick with Derren, check this out, which gets a lot of laughs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiHkGrp3S_8 It's not a DD, but the same type of thing could be done with one.


Thank you very much for taking sich length to answer my question. I also agree with you about the suspend. I like the ideas of not 'duplicate' but rather 'great mind think alike' kind of story. Thank you very much
CMT VN
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On Sep 16, 2014, IAIN wrote:
Forgot about other people's styles and presentations...

what is YOURS?

who are you? how do you behave? if you don't know that yet, have you at least any further ideas that might help us?

don't copy someone else's performance style as it'll come off as inauthentic...and at worst, "oh, he's like derren...derren's great" *starts big discussion about derren and forgets about watching YOU*...

its a difficult question to answer, but worthwhile...


Hi IAN, I guess it is fair that you are asking this question. I am a comedy magician, fully comedy. here is a clip of my typical performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMVijuoT......0EUJM5uA

I am putting together my mentalism act as a process of my growth as a performer. I want a full-ledge mentalism show, but still able to infuse my comedy style and personality in it.

I mentioned Archer because I admire him. I mention Derren because he is an example of my question.

I hope I clear thing up a bit
CMT VN
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On Sep 16, 2014, Magical Dimensions wrote:
I agree with Iain.

Performing in a funny style comes from you not by copying someone's else's act. Either you have a funny side or you don't.

What do you mean by average/common mentalism show? Who have you seen?

How do you perform you other mentalism? Is it funny or what?




Ray


Hi Ray,

First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer me.

For me, I learn comedy by laughing and enjoying the jokes of other. I make my own jokes, but untill the new are created and tested, I have little shame in entertaining my audience with proven, time-tested jokes and gags. After all, I am not famous and the enjoyment of the crowd is my current top priority now. I will, of course, replace the old jokes when I create a better one of higher quality.

By average/common, I by no means trying to disrespect the art of mentalism itself. What I mean is the usual way of revealing the Duplication, which is simply showing the drawing. I am asking you guys to advice me (if you feel like it, that is) on the many ways to do so.

I live in Vietnam and sadly, no great, or even good mentalist have bestow me with the honor to see them perform live yet. This country is quite isolated to the magical communiy, unfortunately.

I do perform mentalism, but I want my audience to laugh too. That is perphap, truely a Oxymoron
Grumpy_Panda
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For my DD I draw on a pad whilst I play the theme tune to sMart a children's art show popular in the 90s over here in the uk. (song as reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wdWGtTQ7hA ) Then I sign the drawing with my name then age: in a similar vain to kids art shows. Always gets a good laugh not sure if it would work quite so well over the pond.
IAIN
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I would say (and bearing in mind, I don't do stage and never been a comedian) - why not enjoy starting all over again afresh?

blank canvas...because mentalism is a completely different kettle of fish...

by watching your vid though, you come across as friendly, confident and I would say that's a big part of the battle...clearly spoken...

what I was really trying to say was "be yourself" - don't worry about how or what someone else is doing, cos hopefully you want to work on being "you"...so maybe seeing it in the third person for a moment will help - what happens naturally during a DD that you might feel you would want to comment on, mess with and have fun...

i mean, if you look into say R. Osterlind's ODDS effect, I could see how you could adapt that to make sure you could get some fun out of it (by changing the words)...

we don't discuss methods or techniques out in the open on this section of the forum - but if you search the forum you'll find it...
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Galileo
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4DT by bob Cassidy has a good drawing duplication part to it with some good and humorous patter and the effect itself plays pretty well. My personal advice would be just perform the DD you do now and you will naturally come up with new jokes and patter everytime you perform this.
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I don't use "patter" and the script I use is original with me. In comedy mentalism, the mentalism is presented as a joke. I use comedy, but the effects and the revelations are always presented seriously.

The climax of a DD is when the performer's drawing is seen to match the participant's. THAT'S the applause moment and, IMO, it is stronger to show the participant's drawing first before revealing your own.

DON'T copy someone else's lines and script. In my books I've always emphasized the importance of writing your own presentations. I only included my actual presentations as EXAMPLES, but nonetheless I've seen several performers who have tried to do my act word for word. And, for the most part, they fall completely flat. Your presentation must fit your own stage persona.

I'd disagree that my version of 4DT plays "pretty well." Done correctly, it's a showstopper.
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On Sep 16, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I don't use "patter" and the script I use is original with me. In comedy mentalism, the mentalism is presented as a joke. I use comedy, but the effects and the revelations are always presented seriously.

The climax of a DD is when the performer's drawing is seen to match the participant's. THAT'S the applause moment and, IMO, it is stronger to show the participant's drawing first before revealing your own.

DON'T copy someone else's lines and script. In my books I've always emphasized the importance of writing your own presentations. I only included my actual presentations as EXAMPLES, but nonetheless I've seen several performers who have tried to do my act word for word. And, for the most part, they fall completely flat. Your presentation must fit your own stage persona.

I'd disagree that my version of 4DT plays "pretty well." Done correctly, it's a showstopper.


Thank you Mr. Cassidy, your books is currently laying on top of my research pile. I appriciate you taking the time to answer my question. The 4DT is without a doubt a great routine.

I never take the effects for granted and present the mentalism as a joke. Without offending anyone I think if any effect is presented that way, it will damage the community as a whole. After the jokes, gags and fillers, the core effects must be done seriously and successfully, that is what I think
The Hermit
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I think you can be a mentalist with a light comedic touch (ala Brown). John Archer is what I would call Comedy Mental Magic. Both are great and can be successful Browns Kurotsuke or Archers Bank Nite routines are fun, but not so much mentalism. Therefore, I would question DD as a comedy bit. Comedy Magic, Mental or otherwise should move fast and really knock people upside the head. DD usually requires more buildup and is often better as a seque from something else than just the dupe. I'm not sure the comedy setting can work for a DD. Unless you make it risqué or add multiple people to it to get audience byplay.
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