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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » If there is one mentalism trick for a group of people- which would you perform? (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Hermit
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[quote]On Oct 9, 2014, sbays wrote:
My Ferrigno Anecdote was to simply illustrate that, when there is someone you really look up to and admire, it really sucks when they treat you as if you are beneath them, like just another plebe.

I will use you as an example Bob. I look up to you a great deal. I consider you a General in this Mentalism world. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Along with that comes a LOT of influence. As Uncle Ben would say, "With great power comes great responsibility.". Smile

Based on the snark that can usually happen, I think this thread is mild. Bob was not really out of line, nor do I think he ever made General. I suspect private with a lot of KP duty. And, I had no idea Uncle Ben was a philosopher as well as rice purveyor.

Now to the question and the response where I will loop in your childhood disappointment. If you ask professionals a question like what's the best, your favorite etc., you should expect a clarifying question if you want a well thought out answer. Their experience has shown that a group of Shriners will respond differently than a group of Bikers. The assumption that a trick plays across all mentalist the same is an assumptive part of the questions. That is wrong and the clarifying points it out. It's like asking an actor their favorite movie - for many it's the one that paid the most. Asking for free advice on appropriate trick is looking for free advice. Expect some pushback. As a young magician, I was told to go look in book more than once when I overstepped by bounds - asking pro's to disclose secrets and advice.

The same thing is at play with poor Lou. The dude is reduced to signing photos for money at a table in a convention. You are a paying audience. He is a purveyor of autographs. He is the guy with the info you want, not your friend. He made the decision to ask for money if you wanted more than the photo. You could comply or not. You are making it a personal affront in a situation that is not personal. It was all transactional. What do you expect?

Older magicians used to be really crusty when asked for stuff. In fact, I have some of my idols and realized they were a**holes. I think Woody Allen talked about it. Actors are people being paid to act. They don't do scenes from Hamlet at dinner parties. Magic is probably the only art where pros tend to share with amateurs. Take the lumps here and move on.
DynaMix
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On Oct 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Actually, I do that all the time. Over fifty percent of what I do is billet work. With logical disconnects and offbeat timing I'm quite comfortable having a participant write a question on a billet (while my back is turned) fold it up, initial it and hold it tightly in his fist- at which time I turn to face him and give a direct answer to his question.

The problem is solved simply by adding elements that make the idea that I could have seen what he had written seem completely impossible.

But I agree with you for another reason. The routine's not quick enough to open with. I'd lead in with a much quicker, albeit slightly less ambitious, effect.



I think my goal is absolutely to get to that level. Their is probably some guilt on my side that manifests itself when doing billet work so I tend to save it for later when I've built up some credibility. At the same time, I'm happy moving at a slower pace and learning the nuances of what make people tick and how to structure a set around that psychology. In some ways I hope I'm defending mwntalism at large by not jumping in super fast and giving it as realistic a feel as possible.
Then again as I mentioned in another thread I overthink everything lol.
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I still agree, though, that the effect I described isn't a particularly great opener unless the people watching already know what you do and are in an expectant state. Before you can get them to watch a longer presentation you've got to get their attention. That's why I'd perform something quicker and simpler to start.

Sounds like you're coming along just fine.
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Hermit-

I wasn't a general Or a private. I was a Navy spook. Smile
Tony Iacoviello
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What is it with mentalism and military intel people?
mastermindreader
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On Oct 9, 2014, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
What is it with mentalism and military intel people?


It's probably because both directly involve covert intelligence gathering, misdirection and disinformation. I think it's almost an ideal match. My routine "Psychic of the Deep" was directly inspired by that part of my life.
The Hermit
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On Oct 9, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Hermit-

I wasn't a general Or a private. I was a Navy spook. Smile



My apologies. Poetic license.
sbays
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"The same thing is at play with poor Lou. The dude is reduced to signing photos for money at a table in a convention. You are a paying audience. He is a purveyor of autographs. He is the guy with the info you want, not your friend. He made the decision to ask for money if you wanted more than the photo. You could comply or not. You are making it a personal affront in a situation that is not personal. It was all transactional. What do you expect?"

You are completely wrong. It is as simple as this, there is a right way and wrong way to treat people. And yes I took it personally because he was a rude pompous jerk. It's nor "poor Lou", it's poor fans. Do this crap to your paying audience, and you might just be outta work. Which incidentally is exactly what happened to poor Lou in several conventions he was not asked back for.

And he is not "reduced" to having to sign autographs. Lou makes a very solid living with his personal training business. And end of the day, I don't care who you are, you don't get a license for bad behavior. Not everyone is going to just let you do that to them. Smile
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
Pakar Ilusi
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If there is one mentalism trick for a group of people- which would you perform?

The one you do best, of course. Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Pakar Ilusi
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And what Bob Cassidy said... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
The Hermit
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I agree there is a right way and a wrong way to treat people based on YOUR view. The dude was more or less out of work already so he doesn't have a lot of fans to lose. Maybe his way of treating people is to get as much money as he can out to them. He got $30 for an autograph - maybe he assumed he could get a 10 spot for a question. He offered his services for money, you offered to pay for them (autograph). Why does asking an up charge make it all so unappealing? There is also the possibility of his speech impediment making things seem worse. You viewed a 'over the hill' actor's signature worth $30. Time is money too. He coulda signed a couple of autographs for the time he takes to talk. It appears you feel you did not get your money's worth. Lou apparently did. I have been to these conventions - trust me - guys making a solid living don't want to sit at card tables signing autographs for cash. Most actors give their signatures for free. I have collected movie memorabilia for 40 years. I only pay for dead actor sigs. When I run into one in LA and want an autograph of a working actor, no one has said sure give me ten bucks. I appreciate you won't put up with his behavior. All I'm saying, as in asking for advice from professionals, they work for money and they choose what they should be paid for.
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On Oct 9, 2014, sbays wrote:


You are completely wrong. It is as simple as this, there is a right way and wrong way to treat people. And yes I took it personally because he was a rude pompous jerk. It's nor "poor Lou", it's poor fans. Do this crap to your paying audience, and you might just be outta work. Which incidentally is exactly what happened to poor Lou in several conventions he was not asked back for.

And he is not "reduced" to having to sign autographs. Lou makes a very solid living with his personal training business. And end of the day, I don't care who you are, you don't get a license for bad behavior. Not everyone is going to just let you do that to them. Smile



I agree completely with you.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
sbays
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On Oct 9, 2014, The Hermit wrote:
I agree there is a right way and a wrong way to treat people based on YOUR view. The dude was more or less out of work already so he doesn't have a lot of fans to lose. Maybe his way of treating people is to get as much money as he can out to them. He got $30 for an autograph - maybe he assumed he could get a 10 spot for a question. He offered his services for money, you offered to pay for them (autograph). Why does asking an up charge make it all so unappealing? There is also the possibility of his speech impediment making things seem worse. You viewed a 'over the hill' actor's signature worth $30. Time is money too. He coulda signed a couple of autographs for the time he takes to talk. It appears you feel you did not get your money's worth. Lou apparently did. I have been to these conventions - trust me - guys making a solid living don't want to sit at card tables signing autographs for cash. Most actors give their signatures for free. I have collected movie memorabilia for 40 years. I only pay for dead actor sigs. When I run into one in LA and want an autograph of a working actor, no one has said sure give me ten bucks. I appreciate you won't put up with his behavior. All I'm saying, as in asking for advice from professionals, they work for money and they choose what they should be paid for.


I also regularly attend these conventions. Probably about a dozen a year. I am well aware of the autograph culture. If they have a booth signing autographs, they charge. I have never seen one who didn't. All of that is besides the point. Lou was being a jerk plain and simple. He is known for this. It was not an isolated incident. Upsell? Seriously? You were not there. I was. I think I know a little more about how it all went down than you. haha

His speech impediment was not the issue. Lou speaks just fine. It was his demeanor, his body language, everything about it. And how exactly do you know how many fans he has to lose? If he had a sign at his table that said, "Autographs 30 bucks - questions 30 bucks", well then I would know what to expect. Though he would not to well with that either. It was his ATTITUDE that was the issue. HOW something is said typically carries much more weight than WHAT was said.

Many of the "Celebrities" who come to these cons with their holier than thou mindsets quickly wake up to the reality that people just will not tolerate it. Some adjust their attitudes accordingly, some do not. Those who don't either make little money, or are not asked back.

It's a common decency and respect thing, not a transaction thing. I won't tolerate that from a celebrity, or from the guy at the shop changing my oil. Just because I am paying you for a service, it does not give you a green light to treat me like crap. You lose my business that way, and I WILL have something to express to you in return.

And now I think this horse has been beaten, tarred and feathered.
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
The Hermit
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'It's a common decency and respect thing, not a transaction thing. I won't tolerate that from a celebrity, or from the guy at the shop changing my oil. Just because I am paying you for a service, it does not give you a green light to treat me like crap. You lose my business that way, and I WILL have something to express to you in return.'

That's all nice in theory. Lou already had your $30. And seriously, how many people go back for a second autograph. I think he was looking to see what the market can bear. And, he can do that as much as he wants because it's not like he losing an audience for any upcoming movie or TV slots. You're offended. He goes home with your $30.

Good think you tore up the picture vs throwing it down. He probably woulda sold it to the next guy and made double.


My point is the view of the askee to the asked. Especially in the part of magic advice. The person asked gets to decide if they want to impart valuable information (that they may have worked a lifetime to discover) to someone. While we are on a tangent about Lou's lack of sensitivity to his 'fans', my point was that I don't think you get to ask those kind of questions without pushback and you should be able to take it. I agree the Café has plenty of snarky, I'm gonna put you in your place members that should be more helpful. But when someone asks an open ended question and gets pushback - that is not people being rude. In fact, they are helping him by showing how the question could be better formed (i.e. your style, audience, etc.) If you don't want rude answers don't ask stupid questions. And, giving him advice like use a CT or PW isn't a helpful answer either. Like I said, I got lots of crusty retorts from old magicians in the day. They were helping me by showing me my question was ill thought. However, they did it by making me feel stupid sometimes. But, you can bet I didn't ask the same question again.
The Hermit
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Oh and BTW, if Lou's known for being a jerk, why did you want his autograph. Or, why are you surprised when he was one?
sbays
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Quote:
On Oct 9, 2014, The Hermit wrote:
'It's a common decency and respect thing, not a transaction thing. I won't tolerate that from a celebrity, or from the guy at the shop changing my oil. Just because I am paying you for a service, it does not give you a green light to treat me like crap. You lose my business that way, and I WILL have something to express to you in return.'

That's all nice in theory. Lou already had your $30. And seriously, how many people go back for a second autograph. I think he was looking to see what the market can bear. And, he can do that as much as he wants because it's not like he losing an audience for any upcoming movie or TV slots. You're offended. He goes home with your $30.

Good think you tore up the picture vs throwing it down. He probably woulda sold it to the next guy and made double.


My point is the view of the askee to the asked. Especially in the part of magic advice. The person asked gets to decide if they want to impart valuable information (that they may have worked a lifetime to discover) to someone. While we are on a tangent about Lou's lack of sensitivity to his 'fans', my point was that I don't think you get to ask those kind of questions without pushback and you should be able to take it. I agree the Café has plenty of snarky, I'm gonna put you in your place members that should be more helpful. But when someone asks an open ended question and gets pushback - that is not people being rude. In fact, they are helping him by showing how the question could be better formed (i.e. your style, audience, etc.) If you don't want rude answers don't ask stupid questions. And, giving him advice like use a CT or PW isn't a helpful answer either. Like I said, I got lots of crusty retorts from old magicians in the day. They were helping me by showing me my question was ill thought. However, they did it by making me feel stupid sometimes. But, you can bet I didn't ask the same question again.


Like I said earlier, I wouldn't expect you or anyone to impart all of their secrets. Or any of them for that matter to someone you don't know or feel deserves it. That is NOT what I am talking about, but seems to be what you are fixated on. I think that even your point can be made by giving proper guidance MINUS the trash talking and insulting comments that so many want to throw out there. You want to be crappy to people? Have at it. But you may find there is a consequence to pay for it. So using your example, if you want to throw that kind of attitude at people, is you who should be prepared for some pushback.

I also find the people who generally behave this way do it from behind their computer screens, but aren't so quick to do it in person. An interesting observation which I have seen on many occasions. I believe it is because they don't want to face that pushback in person. They would rather do it here on a forum so the rest of their clique can help gang up on their victim. This happens almost on a daily basis. This becomes a place to take out your frustrations, anger issues, or whatever else floats your boat.

Sometimes we get trouble makers in here that deserve a kick in the backside, but does everyone? And I would bet you along with everybody else in here has asked one of those "stupid questions" when you started out as well. You are ok with mean spirited behavior. I am not. Hence we will not agree here.

Have a wonderful day ... or a crappy one if that is what you prefer. Smile
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
sbays
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On Oct 9, 2014, The Hermit wrote:
Oh and BTW, if Lou's known for being a jerk, why did you want his autograph. Or, why are you surprised when he was one?


Because at that time I was not aware of him being a jerk. I found out rather quickly though. And since then, I have heard many stories of similar instances.
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
mastermindreader
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At least Dynamix and I managed to squeeze in some information about billet work that may be relevant to those who noticed it.
The Hermit
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OK without having fun about the whole Lou thing.

You: I think that even your point can be made by giving proper guidance MINUS the trash talking and insulting comments that so many want to throw out there.

My point is thus: I don't think people were too snarky in this case. They only commented on context of question. There are far worse examples to raise the flag on. This OP just threw out a question without it being thought out well enough to get a substantial answer. I also applaud your desire to pushback. I just don't think this is the one to go to battle for. Then again, I could be wrong.

I hate that there are posters here that jump on noobs, but it's a community. Some good, some bad. There is information flow here you can't get elsewhere, so you have eat it sometimes to get the good stuff. That's my point in general grasshopper. Your choice. Nature of the beast and all.
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My one favorite mentalism trick for a group of people? It's something I first performed when I met Lou Ferrigno -- I did a center tear using his 8x10 head shot, it's a billet move I learned from Bob Cassidy.

;)
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