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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » The Scryer Project (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Medifro
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A video review was up approx. 1 week ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6katAnHRv94

- Feras
Daniel Meadows
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Thanks for that Medifro. That was me trying to give a bit of balance to the whole debate. I could have talked about the set for the full allocated time slot but due to the format had to pick out certain elements. I have 5 of the Scryer books now (just picked up Carnival of Secrets). Some of it I like, some of it leaves me cold. Just like any other purchase I have ever made really.

I would still stand by my recommendation to start with the Black & White book as a primer, and then ask for suggestions what to get next based on what you are looking for more of (eg Readings, pure mentalism, Pateo variations... Smile ). I don't think people who watch the DVD will suddenly be converted by what they see and rush out to buy the books. I was going with the Lord of the Rings analogy but didn't fully explain what I meant: (I don't know anyone who watched the DVD and then went back to read the books. Equally I don't know anyone who read the books and then was disappointed by what they saw. Maybe I have a problem with my sample sizes but that aside I think this principle will hold for the Scryer Project.).
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Dirty Cards
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I too was disappointed with the DVDs. I am a huge fan of what I've read from Scryer, but I felt this DVD was a poor attempt at conveying the power of this material. I also think it is a bit misleading to use "performance only" footage when advertising a new product. I was very disappointed to find that Easy Hellstromism's method wasn't covered in the DVD, just Gerard performing it. When watching the advert for the DVD this was the one effect that really stood out to me. To find it was "performance only" seemed a bit lazy to me. Granted, I could figure out my own handling and method for the effect, but I really purchased this DVD because I admire and enjoy Andrew Gerard's thoughts and approach to mentalism, which is a very small part of this 2 disc set. There are 8 routines on this DVD, only 2 of them are actually discussed by Gerard. I feel that this could have been an exciting on going series of DVD's (that I would have happily shelled out 100's of dollars for) had the subject matter been handled with care and professionalism. Gerard's parts were insightful and well thought out, not to mention sem-professionally shot. What follows after is just shoddy. Even Richard Webster's performance of Scryer's Haunted Pen (which many have spoken highly of in the past) was rushed and almost treated as a throw away effect. I also found Rohmany's performances and explanations to be lacking in comparison to Gerard's preceeding presentations. It's a shame . . .
Psy
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My hope was to see ONLY Gerard performing in these DVD's. I only liked DVD 2, especially the interview with Gerard. Definately not worth $100
Bill Cushman
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The Haunted Pen was published and taught by Millard Longman years ago, long before Carnival Of Secrets.
Tony Iacoviello
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2015, Bill Cushman wrote:
The Haunted Pen was published and taught by Millard Longman years ago, long before Carnival Of Secrets.


And I believe most performers who actually do the key have experimented with other objects, pens, pencils, pocketknives, anything that would lay on the hand and can be turned using that method.
Bill Cushman
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Very true, Tony. It makes perfect sense that such creative people would experiment and come up with similar ideas. "Great minds...." and all that.
mindguru
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I finally received my DVD's and got a chance to watch them. I am a fan of Scryer and pre ordered, as I was eager to get hold of actual video presentation of his books. I noticed that the reviews are very mixed and now I can see why. I am a little disappointed with this project, but that's because I had such high expectations, I thought it was good rather than great.

I know some people felt certain things weren't explained as clearly as they could be and I can see why. I feel this wasn't a problem for me, as I have the majority of his books and I felt I was filling any gaps as I went along. Obviously if this is your first experience with Scryer's thinking it could put you at a disadvantage and make you feel less appreciative of it. I also agree as others have said if your not a fan already as I am, this might not be the best way to get you to go out and buy the books or future Scryer Projects.

Overall I don't feel the effects performed were the best choices, but I still got some good ideas from this.
Sean Giles
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The second routine that Gerrard did was awful to watch (and I like Gerrard usually). Ashes on Hand is advertised in the blurb so it's no secret that it's on there but to use a presentation that involves bringing up someones dead relative was a shocker to me. It's ashes on hand! She was crying and it was just sad to see her reduced to tears, and for what? to shoot a DVD? Entertainment? power? Is it really ok to do that to someone?

And worse still if she tells people about it then sooner rather than later she will find out that she was tricked. The principle is just too well known, at least in the UK.

I usually have the utmost respect for Gerrard and Scryer but messing with dead relatives is just wrong.
Bill Cushman
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Sean, I can recall having a parallel concern when watching live therapy demonstrations during grad school. Particularly in the heyday of family therapy, such demoes were the "in thing" and there were more than a few instances when I questioned the motives of the presenter similarly to what you are describing. While admittedly instructive and generally benign, there were still many occasions when I felt lines were crossed that weren't justified in the name of education. I really felt for those families and wondered about the long term effects.

So I can only imagine, if what you describe is accurate, how you felt watching someone brought to grieving tears in the course of presenting a mentalism effect for an instructional DVD. I've often thought to mention this parallel and don't mean to derail the thread but these issues overlap in my life so it feels relevant.

Like you, I also enjoy much of Gerard's and Scryer's work. Yet I can't help but be concerned, like I was those many years ago, that something is amiss if this was done in the course of teaching an effect that can be presented in another manner without losing any power or utility in terms of instruction. And the same applies for me even if there is no trick, per se, to be exposed that might get back to the participant.
ddyment
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Sean Giles wondered:
Quote:
... She was crying and it was just sad to see her reduced to tears, and for what? to shoot a DVD? Entertainment? power? Is it really ok to do that to someone?

I see people brought to tears by films, plays, books, even music, on a regular basis. So I don't understand why this would be considered inappropriate in and of itself.

Do we not seek to move our audiences in ways that are more profound than "cool trick, man"?
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Sean Giles
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Doug, Nothing wrong with tears if they are from a positive place but if we need to bring up someone's dead relative to do it then that is sad. I Don't have an issue with tears, just the way they were brought about in the second demonstration. Do you use loved ones that have died as part of your presentation?
Sean Giles
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, Bill Cushman wrote:
Sean, I can recall having a parallel concern when watching live therapy demonstrations during grad school. Particularly in the heyday of family therapy, such demoes were the "in thing" and there were more than a few instances when I questioned the motives of the presenter similarly to what you are describing. While admittedly instructive and generally benign, there were still many occasions when I felt lines were crossed that weren't justified in the name of education. I really felt for those families and wondered about the long term effects.

So I can only imagine, if what you describe is accurate, how you felt watching someone brought to grieving tears in the course of presenting a mentalism effect for an instructional DVD. I've often thought to mention this parallel and don't mean to derail the thread but these issues overlap in my life so it feels relevant.

Like you, I also enjoy much of Gerard's and Scryer's work. Yet I can't help but be concerned, like I was those many years ago, that something is amiss if this was done in the course of teaching an effect that can be presented in another manner without losing any power or utility in terms of instruction. And the same applies for me even if there is no trick, per se, to be exposed that might get back to the participant.


Thank you Bill. That is just how I felt watching it.

Even in the first effect that Gerard performed, he managed to get a different girl to cry using negative emotion. It's hard to beleive but he did this by having her read a tragic clipping about a father that accidentally run over his 2 year old son and killed the boy! The girl was visibly distressed and upset when reading the story, especially when Gerard told her to 'really connect and feel the emotion of the story'. It was awful to watch.
Tim Cavendish
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I haven't seen the discs, but I thought I'd read that these participants are acknowledged to be actors?
Sean Giles
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Tim, he used actors because he had decided that it fit his presentation to do so but he made it clear that they were there to participate, not act.
dan the man
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I was under the impression too that he said that they were actors but weren't acting, if that makes sense..
Tony Iacoviello
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Sean

I didn't find it bad because she was an actor.
Basically, she was reenacting a very common acting technique.

Tony
IAIN
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All I saw were watery eyes really, not floods of tears or anything...and andrew did keep asking if she was ok with it all...but I do get the concern, totally...i would have thought that they would have had a general discussion of what was going to take place, and if they hadn't had felt comfy with it, they wouldn't have done it...which is kinda the same with performing it, you ask for people who are ok delving into that side of things - rather than just randomly springing it on them...
A.G.
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"I am shocked that in todays world people are so desensitized to what is happening in the world (good and bad) around them they can read newspapers stories and DON"T shed a tear, or smile ear to ear... but rather sip their coffee and flip the page"

That was part of a conversation that occurred after filming with the first participant in the dvd.
As she stated she felt sensitized, and energized afterwords... and was smiling. She was very happy.

So if SHE feels that way about her experience, why can't you?

The past life routine was very impactive, and if you have ever lost someone and not shed a tear you have issues.
This demonstration had an amazing unseen aspect to it as well... the participant felt she had some closure.
And as you can see she was bewildered and happy smiling at the end, just as the other girl and everyone I perform for is. again, not a victim.

I think it is important to understand that these 2 effects I was invited to perform for Paul's dvd were written by Scryer, not me, these are psychic like effects not magic tricks.

The discussion of ethics in psychic performance is an entire discussion in itself.

Was it necessary to have her connect with the newspaper articles and heighten her sensitivity? OF COURSE IT WAS!
How else will she be able to sense which article is which? that is the ENTIRE premise of the effect.
With out that part of the equation, you just have an unaffected person shuffling paper, for no reason.
Then you have a magic trick, not a demonstration of heightened awareness and mental/emotional ability.

I have not seen the dvd myself, so I can't comment on the other effects presented. As for the price/value, again, I have nothing to do with that either, as I am not the one selling it. My involvement was to be a guest on the project, and I was happy to help out by demonstrating these 2 pieces.

I don't read or post here very often, but I hope my post helps people understand better the process. It doesn't mean you have to like the material, or even my performance, but is important that you understand the "why"


best thoughts,
AG
Sean Giles
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Andrew, thanks for taking the time... Nothing wrong with invoking emotion. I do think it's wrong to introduce dead relatives for a magic trick though. My daughter just lost her mother and the thought that a magician might be crass enough to use that information to bring out emotion in a magic trick is beyond me.

Tony, respectfully I think the fact that they were actors is irrelevant. It's a teaching video and the people that buy it won't be performing for actors.
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