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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Is Amazement correlated with Actual Odds? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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genius
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I'd love to get your thoughts on this topic. The question: Is Amazement correlated with Odds, for any particular effect ? In other words, if you perform an effect that has 50-50 odds (coin in which hand), that can be amazing. But, what if you do an effect that is 1 in 3 (3 card monte, for example)? Is that more amazing? What about something like Fair Play by Steve Haynes, with a 1 in 6 probability? Or an acaan with 1 in 52 odds---even more amazing? How about, using CUPP by Cesaral to do something that can be 1 in a million, or more? Will the spectator NECESSARILY be amazed more by CUPP than by any of the other effects, (assuming the presentation and all else is equal and that you are doing just one effect) because of the odds?

And remember, we are talking about actual odds and not perceived odds. Thanks!

Mindblowingly,
Charles
Amirá
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, genius wrote:
I'd love to get your thoughts on this topic. The question: Is Amazement correlated with Odds, for any particular effect ? In other words, if you perform an effect that has 50-50 odds (coin in which hand), that can be amazing. But, what if you do an effect that is 1 in 3 (3 card monte, for example)? Is that more amazing? What about something like Fair Play by Steve Haynes, with a 1 in 6 probability? Or an acaan with 1 in 52 odds---even more amazing? How about, using CUPP by Cesaral to do something that can be 1 in a million, or more? Will the spectator NECESSARILY be amazed more by CUPP than by any of the other effects, (assuming the presentation and all else is equal and that you are doing just one effect) because of the odds?

And remember, we are talking about actual odds and not perceived odds. Thanks!

Mindblowingly,
Charles


Hi Charles

My opinion: Not at all.

ALL, and I mean ALL depends in the human behind the action and experience created (performer) . It´s YOU that create the mentalistic experience for your audience and participant, doesn't matter if you use a 1 in 2 , 1 in 5, 1 in 10, 1 in 1000512.

A mediocre performer can take something so inherently mysterious as a "A Million to One" (f.e.) and make it just a trivial trick obviously done just for the sake of exposition of abilities ("look how clever I am") and ruin a potential moment of entertainment and mystery, but a great performer can take something so simple and common such a ESP symbol effect and make it relevant and memorable, even when the odds are in that piece of 1 in 5.

Isn't a matter of quantity, rather quality.


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Pablo
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Mifune
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I think that amazement is more related to clean effects more than to probability, that's why "wich hand" works well.
Cervier
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On Nov 15, 2014, genius wrote:
The question: Is Amazement correlated with Odds?
(...)
And remember, we are talking about actual odds and not perceived odds.


What??? Smile

Who's supposed to ba amazed? I'd say its the audience. And what odds are they dealing with, if not "perceived odds"???
And how could be real odds (remember they're 100%...) be amazing to anyone???

The sight of slaughtered logic is ghastly... Smile Smile
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TonyB2009
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Amazement is correlated with performance, nothing else. If you are a good performer you can make rubbish brilliant. If you are a duffer you won't make miracles look good. That's the truth.
Cervier
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On Nov 15, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
Amazement is correlated with performance, nothing else. If you are a good performer you can make rubbish brilliant. If you are a duffer you won't make miracles look good. That's the truth.

Smile
Let silence follow...other words would be superfluous.
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Lar
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Amazement is correlated with performance, nothing else. If you are a good performer you can make rubbish brilliant. If you are a duffer you won't make miracles look good. That's the truth.


Exactly.

Imagine a simple 50/50 with two paper cups and a paper ball. The participant hides the ball under one of the cups and mixes the cups around. The performer correctly divines which cup the paper ball is hidden under. Hardly impressive, and possibly just blind luck. If the performer fails then his claims of having some extraordinary ability might be called into question. It's a bland effect.

However, imagine a similar 50/50 effect (like Luke Jermay's Dangerous Opener) where there is a knife (which is only revealed at the end of the effect) hidden under one of two upturned paper cups. A member of the audience (who doesn't know about the knife) gets to which cup the performer gets rid of. The audience member chooses a paper cup, the performer smashes their hand down on it and crumples it up. That's not amazing in the least. It's only when the performer shows that the other cup had an upturned knife under it that the amazement kicks in and the audience begins to comprehend what they've just witnessed and what was at ultimately stake.

Regards,
Lar.
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On the other hand, imagine a performer asks you to think of the full name of a childhood friend, and without another word being spoken, he names your friend. You will be blown away, regardless of how dull his presentation may have been.

Performance isn't everything. Effects are important. For proof, you only have to see the mediocre performers succeeding by presenting brilliant mentalism effects (created by others) on AGT.
innercirclewannabe
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On Nov 15, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
On the other hand, imagine a performer asks you to think of the full name of a childhood friend, and without another word being spoken, he names your friend. You will be blown away, regardless of how dull his presentation may have been.

Performance isn't everything. Effects are important. For proof, you only have to see the mediocre performers succeeding by presenting brilliant mentalism effects (created by others) on AGT.


I don't agree with that, Martin.

Tony nailed it. Performance IS everything, effects are merely secondary. AGT or any other "talent" shows are a bad parallel to use. Those shows, although I don't watch them normally, are not really based on "talent", rather - they're based on telephone votes, and the entertainment value the producers think the act is worth in terms of viewership. I think the real paradox is calling them "talent shows" in the first place.
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CThomas
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I wonder if it's a false dichotomy. If performance includes selecting the right effects and implementing them correctly, then it isn't clear how "performance" could trump "effect." If the question is whether the selection among effects is wholly irrevant to the audience then I do have to admit that would be surprising. Why would you ever bother to learn a new effect if that were the case?
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, innercirclewannabe wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
On the other hand, imagine a performer asks you to think of the full name of a childhood friend, and without another word being spoken, he names your friend. You will be blown away, regardless of how dull his presentation may have been.

Performance isn't everything. Effects are important. For proof, you only have to see the mediocre performers succeeding by presenting brilliant mentalism effects (created by others) on AGT.


I don't agree with that, Martin.

Tony nailed it. Performance IS everything, effects are merely secondary. AGT or any other "talent" shows are a bad parallel to use. Those shows, although I don't watch them normally, are not really based on "talent", rather - they're based on telephone votes, and the entertainment value the producers think the act is worth in terms of viewership. I think the real paradox is calling them "talent shows" in the first place.


I honestly don't think that is the case. I know it is the standard answer (and probably the right one for newcomers to hear) but mentalism is a performance art form, and like any performance art form you need good material. Prince is as good a performer as ever he was, but his recent songs have been dreadful. A concert full of his classic material will be brilliant; a concert full of his recent material will be insufferable . Same performer-different material.

Audiences have genuinely been amazed by some of the effects performed on AGT. For me, it is the effects that garnered the votes. It certainly can't have been the performers.
innercirclewannabe
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My point regarding AGT & other such "talent shows" remains the same. I think they're the death knell when it comes to discovering "real talent". What Prince and other singers do is worlds apart from what we do. We are asking our audiences to suspend their disbelief for the period of time that we are entertaining them. We cannot do this effectively unless we "sell" the idea in the first place.

Singers can be having bad day, but once they sing the songs that their audiences have come to hear - the "bad day" will be overlooked. If we don't do our effects justice, we will be perceived as nothing more than tricksters, charlatans, and mountebanks! ( Who said that's what we are?! Smile )
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sandsjr
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It's both in my opinion. Take Steely Dan for example. You're not going to find too many records technically better than theirs, great songs, great arrangements, great playing and singing, great productions etc. But people think they are boring live.

Prince as was mentioned on the other hand has the WHOLE package. That's why he's a superstar!

I think it's the effect AND the performance if you want to take it to the top. Yes you can get various degrees of success when both parts aren't there but nothing beats it when EVERYTHING is working.
innercirclewannabe
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On Nov 15, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
It's both in my opinion. Take Steely Dan for example. You're not going to find too many records technically better than theirs, great songs, great arrangements, great playing and singing, great productions etc. But people think they are boring live.

Prince as was mentioned on the other hand has the WHOLE package. That's why he's a superstar!

I think it's the effect AND the performance if you want to take it to the top. Yes you can get various degrees of success when both parts aren't there but nothing beats it when EVERYTHING is working.



I agree, in parts. But, it is my contention that the effect is just a by product of the performance.
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Amirá
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Also depends in your goals during performance.
For example in this piece ( http://youtu.be/K0TAT6uvIwM ) I use a 1 in 2 odds piece to introduce myself, let the audience know that I need their participation and active intuition.

You still can get what you want if you think about it. Not always just amazement. Our performances should be crafted in such a way that several experiences and emotions are elicitaded.


Best
Pablo
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sandsjr
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Think about it this way. Think of Whitney Houston singing "I will always love you." That song drives me nuts (not in a good way) but I think she has one of the best voices of all time. Now imagine her singing the "Star Spangled Banner!" The song, in this case, represents the "effect." There's a HUGE Difference in the way the song moves me. I'm strictly talking melody, changes, arrangement, vocal performance here, not considering the lyric.

Pablo, I just saw your post. I agree there has to be dynamics. But the low parts STILL have to be played well (so to speak).

Also Pablo, I'm comparing apples to apples with regards to the importance of the performance and the effect in one instance.
Amirá
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Again, is what do you want to achieve with what you are doing.

Personally, I don't want to amaze with everything that I do. If I am just an "amusement" , I will not reach all my goals as performer. That piece is one of my openers for the simple fact that I can connect with the audience. THEN I can hit them hard with other type of performance´s pieces.


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Pablo
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sandsjr
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On Nov 15, 2014, Amirá wrote:
Again, is what do you want to achieve with what you are doing.

Personally, I don't want to amaze with everything that I do. If I am just an "amusement" , I will not reach all my goals as performer. That piece is one of my openers for the simple fact that I can connect with the audience. THEN I can hit them hard with other type of performance´s pieces.


Best


Pablo, I think your missing my point. Let's take the piece you want to "hit them hard" with. I'm saying, it will hit harder and be more impressive if your "performance" AND the "effect" are BOTH great. Also let me add, your "lower-keyed" effects will play better when your performance and the effect are both the best for the situation.
CThomas
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I assume that some of the "it's all the performance" opinions expressed above are hyperbole, in which case I have no objection to them. But if they are meant literally, then I could make up an effect right now that would test that hypothesis. It's an effect that allows you to discern a date someone is thinking of. At the risk of exposing the method outside of Inner Thoughts, what you do is ask the participant to imagine a date -- a genuinely free choice -- and then you ask them to tell you what the date would be on the NEXT day following their selected date. So if, for instance, they tell you that the next date following their date is May 14, then you calculate their date by working backwards one day on the calendar. In this case their date must be May 13. (Please don't spread this around as I'm currently working on an ebook for this effect.) Obviously this is a reductio but unless you'd be willing to try my new effect out in your act tomorrow and expect the same results as your normal performance the quality of the effect must necessarily affect the quality of your performance, holding performing ability constant.
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I predict that if you released that ebook with the title "GREAT DERREN BROWN MENTALISM MAGIC - FOOL YOUR FRIENDS" you would sell at least 10 copies.
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