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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Help with finding a convincing book test (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JarJarJared
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Oh, okay. My fault. Thank you for correcting me, Mr. Cassidy.
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2015, Casper TFG wrote:
"Very few people have ever seen a mentalist live, let alone a different one every week. -- Bob Cassidy"

I didn't say "a different mentalist/magician EVERY week."

Perhaps you haven't experienced it but that doesn't mean other people haven't experienced it. Surely, you don't speak for everyone, do you? I, for one, have experienced it several times. And as far as I'm concerned, once is too many. I have over 7,000 shows before paid audiences under my belt so it doesn't surprise me that I've experienced it several times. And as I've said, once is too many for me.


Over 7,000 paid shows? That's a show every day for over 19 years straight. You must be tired.

But here's EXACTLY what you wrote:

Quote:
...For example, if one week the audience saw a mentalist using a rather uncommon looking blackboard and then the next week saw a different mentalist or magician using the same uncommon looking blackboard...


Like I said, most people have never even seen a mentalist, let along seeing a different one every week.

In case you've never heard of me, I've done a few shows myself and have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.
Mark_Chandaue
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2015, JarJarJared wrote:

Anyway, PAs and BAs are convincing if scripted well. Many book tests use them because they are the only way that almost any book test could even function.


Most book tests function perfectly well without PA's or BA's. I have around 20 commercial book tests and around half a dozen impromptu book tests and only 2 use a PA.

Mark
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Johannes L.
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By the way, isn't this better if it's taken downstairs?
The Rain Man Glimpse

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Casper TFG
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"Like I said, most people have never even seen a mentalist, let along seeing a different one every week." -- Bob Cassidy

Yes, but I wasn't talking about the sum total of the world's population. I was referring to venues such as colleges, etc.

For example: I was booked at a college and before the show I was talking with the activities director who booked me. She said to me, you're not going to go up to people prior to the show and have them write down information on a clipboard, are you? I looked at her and said, "No. Why do you ask?" She proceeded to tell me about the other mentalists who appeared at the college in the past and then she proceeded to tell me everything she knew and trust me, it was something no mentalist would want to hear; especially the mentalists who carry a clipboard. Fortunately, it didn't apply to me.

"Over 7,000 paid shows? That's a show every day for over 19 years straight. You must be tired." -- Bob Cassidy

No, not tired at all. I'm a very resilient person. Three years ago life through me a curve ball and I found myself in a hospital, literally dying of stage IV colon cancer. They removed a massive tumor and it ended up being a major, major operation. I'm happy to report that two months after getting out of the hospital, I was back doing shows with a chemo pump hanging around my neck. So no, I'm not tired at all and I feel better than I've ever felt.

"In case you've never heard of me, I've done a few shows myself and have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about." -- Bob Cassidy

When I was a newbie to mentalism back around 1980, there were only three mentalists with whom I had any kind of personal contact. One was Scott Gordon at a magic shop in Fair Lawn, the other one was Sandy Kross and last but not least, Bob Cassidy. As a newbie, I was hungry to learn about mentalism and I remember the last time our paths crossed was at a magic convention in Cranford. I happen to have an excellent natural memory and distinctly remember asking you if you would guide me to the right people at the convention who would be able to help me with information on mentalism. You tossed me a few quick crumbs, abruptly turned your back and walked away without even excusing yourself. It made me feel small and insignificant. But you actually did me a big favor. It made me vow to myself that I would become self-reliant. Sink or swim, it was going to be my doing.

I ended up hosting my own weekly cable TV show in New Jersey and New York City for over two decades. I was very fortunate to have Joe Dunninger's widow, Billie Dunninger as a guest on my TV show. To my knowledge, I was the only one to ever interview her on television. It was in 1983 and it was a fun show. She brought with her pictures of her husband Joe Dunninger never before seen by the public. She even brought with her his baby pictures...lol...Without a doubt, it was a fun and most memorable experience. And yes, I ended up doing over 7,000 shows - sometimes as many as three or four a day for school assembly programs.

So, I too, have a pretty good idea as to what I'm talking about Smile

To all, I apologize for hijacking this thread. It certainly was never my intent. I simply wanted to make people aware they might find themselves in an uncomfortable position as far as having to explain why the book they used in their show was exactly the same as the book they saw another mentalist use in his or her show. Naturally, the preceding is only one example. It's a different day and age than it was 35 years ago. I'm astounded as to how many mentalists there are in the New Jersey, New York area. Also, I have no clue as to how many magicians are doing a mental effect or two in their shows. The numbers seem to keep growing. I had a magician recently call me because he heard I was doing a show for the same people he was scheduled to appear before one week prior to my booking. He was gracious enough to tell me which mental effect he was going to do so as to make sure we would not be stepping on each other's toes so to speak and run into the exact scenario I've been laying out in this post.

Once again, I apologize but hopefully we can all take something away from this conversation on one level or another. Perhaps checking all our egos at the door would be a real good place to start (in my opinion).

And Bob, if you happen to remember who I am, I would appreciate it if you would not disclose my name. I want to maintain my anonymity and live up to the label Ford Kross assigned me a long time ago - "invisible member." lol
C.J.
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It's one of those awkward times when the op can't get the answers to their question if the topic is moved. I can't remember what we agreed on for handling such situations. I should probably read that sticky announcement again...
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Johannes L.
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Why don't they just do the whole magiccafe -non googlable?
The Rain Man Glimpse

Effect: The mentalist memorize any kind of information in less than a second. $5
Michael Zarek
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2015, John Linden wrote:
Why don't they just do the whole magiccafe -non googlable?


Poor idea, we should make the mentalism section non googlable though. Afterall magicians don't really care anyway.
Reader discretion is advised.
Johannes L.
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Magicians don't care? That must have been the stupidest thing I've ever heard you say...
The Rain Man Glimpse

Effect: The mentalist memorize any kind of information in less than a second. $5
Michael Zarek
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2015, John Linden wrote:
Magicians don't care? That must have been the stupidest thing I've ever heard you say...


C'mon mate we talked about it, I meant that it's a known fact that magic is not real therefor speaking about there being a method is normal.
With mentalism if someone goes on the forum and reads that there even is a method that the audience doesn't know of, that puts in their head an idea of fakery.

So disscussing mentalism on an open forum even if you don't name specific methods, is way more harmfull than talking about magic.
Reader discretion is advised.
Robb
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If you're looking for a commercially released book test that meets all of your conditions AND no other mentalists use... Well, good luck with that. I think it's a nonissue that some other mentalist might use the same books. I really don't think THAT many people see multiple mentalists in their lifetimes (if even one!) and are unlikely to remember such details as what the titles of the books were that were used.

Marc Paul's AAA Book Test is my go to book test. It has some minor restrictions the way I perform it (the page numbers must be in the upper corner of the page) but I have never been questioned about it and it always knocks them dead. I have a few touches that make it really make sense but I'm hesitant to share them here.
Slim King
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THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
mastermindreader
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Casper-

It seemed pretty clear that in your original post you were speaking of regular audience members when you referred to people seeing multiple mentalists, sometimes on a weekly basis. College show bookers, of course, don't fall into that category.

Sorry I offended you in Cranford over thirty years ago. No one really knew who I was at the time either! Smile I probably had to take a leak or something because I never would just intentionally walk away from someone who asked me a question.

Welcome to the Café.
Scott Soloff
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2015, Casper TFG wrote:

When I was a newbie to mentalism back around 1980, there were only three mentalists with whom I had any kind of personal contact. One was Scott Gordon at a magic shop in Fair Lawn, the other one was Sandy Kross and last but not least, Bob Cassidy. As a newbie, I was hungry to learn about mentalism and I remember the last time our paths crossed was at a magic convention in Cranford. I happen to have an excellent natural memory and distinctly remember asking you if you would guide me to the right people at the convention who would be able to help me with information on mentalism. You tossed me a few quick crumbs, abruptly turned your back and walked away without even excusing yourself. It made me feel small and insignificant. But you actually did me a big favor. It made me vow to myself that I would become self-reliant. Sink or swim, it was going to be my doing.

Perhaps checking all our egos at the door would be a real good place to start (in my opinion).

And Bob, if you happen to remember who I am, I would appreciate it if you would not disclose my name. I want to maintain my anonymity and live up to the label Ford Kross assigned me a long time ago - "invisible member." lol


Casper,

Where to begin? Well, first thing, I am truly sorry to hear about your health challenges. I know first hand how difficult that is.

Second, I enjoyed reading your post. Helpful insights and a little history. Much appreciated.

And finally, it is possible to realize (from your own account) why you may have some animosity towards Bob. This hasn't been my experience. My encounters with Robert, both in person and here on the forum, has found him to both gracious with his time and experience. Obviously, your experience was otherwise.

I enjoyed this post much more and it sounds like you have much to contribute. I'm not crazy about the anonymity thing, but that is your personal choice. Me thinks that your advice concerning leaving egos checked at the door is more than sound.

Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Casper TFG
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the welcome and just to be clear, I never held a grudge. I intentionally used the word "it" and not the pronoun "you" when I made the statement, "It made me feel small and insignificant." And as I said, the experience was a blessing in many different ways.
Casper TFG
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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the feedback again and rest assured, I never had any animosity toward Bob. My initial "negative" was turned into a positive rather quickly.

This will be my last comment on this subject, - otherwise my apology for hijacking this thread would be rather hypocritical and insincere if I continued posting Smile
Chris K
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Uh... interesting thread?

I don't want to get pulled into too many of the side conversations here (although I may briefly say something, haven't decided yet). But, talking about the OP's question as well as the title of this thread, there are 4 key words: Help, Convincing, Book Test.

Help: It's a request for help. It's a bit callous to say "First off, I would not have ever shared that. I think that someone should have to work just a little bit harder." Please, let me be clear, I don't happen to disagree with that statement per se but, again, that phrasing and exact attitude seem a bit harsh. I'd point him to some references to start going through, like say... The Bold and Subtle Miracles of Dr. Faust . That's help without being coddling, I know we all have our definition of helping but I think that is a bit more helpful than just saying "Magic and Mentalism don't mix", another less than helpful (IMO) response.

Convincing: Here is where the true lessons lie with this question. What makes something convincing, is it the method, the approach, a combination of those two, something else? The title of the book may be misleading, but something like Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic seems like a worthwhile place to spend some time. Derren Brown' Absolute Magic could be good in a couple years. In any case, understanding where conviction comes from, what types of conviction there are, and how they work (all ideas in Ortiz's book btw) is a great place to start. For all performers, magician, mentalist, card juggler, even readers, understanding conviction is a key point.

Book Test: The least important of the words but a handle on which to hang the discussion. Alain Nu has/had some interesting work on book tests but that would not be a recommendation I would make to the OP. Again, the convincing part is what he needs to focus on. Additionally, he (or she, I don't know and I apologize if I'm using the wrong pronoun) needs to be careful in that maybe inadvertantly he isn't looking for a convincing book test but instead is looking for a book test that "fools" his roommate. They are not necessarily the same thing.

Finally, I want to briefly talk about whether mentalism can be incorporated by magicians. I'm going to ignore whether it is classified then as mental magic or magic or mentalism because that's just an arbitrary label that isn't even important to audiences anyway. Instead I'll give an example and let you all reach your own conclusions (because there isn't a "right" answer anyway).

John Bannon. Loves Ace Assemblies. Has lots of card work (and other types of effects, but primarily cards). Is he a magician or mentalist? What is his effect Detour De Force characterized as, magic, mental magic, or mentalism? It uses playing cards so automatically some of you say magic or mental magic. It uses a prediction so some of you say mentalism. His patter says something about being psychic trick of the year, so what does that make the audiences think? IF he said something like "this trick uses marked cards", what would the audiences think then?

Lots of good stuff has been shared here, some of it a bit (WAY) off topic, some of it very discussion worthy, some of it totally unbelievable and most likely trolling. In other words, a relatively good Café discussion. Thanks everybody!

Best,
Lem
Anti-intellectualism has been nurtured by the false notion that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."-Isaac Asimov
Scott Soloff
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Lem,

I think that your points are very well considered. What they don't seem to take into account is the original OP.

Here is somebody with very few posts. He is obviously unclear about what he wants (most if not all books tests give the appearance of free choice. Isn't that in part what a mentalist is and does).

The reason that I wouldn't share that with him was not to be cruel. This person isn't looking to become a mentalist. At the moment, he is a magician looking to add mental effects.

And, there is nothing wrong with that. However, the reason that I wouldn't share Dr. Faust's bold approach with him is that to me that is the very definition of mentalism (again, not magic tricks).

Is there anything to stop the OP from stumbling across Faust and learning it and incorporating it on his own. Obviously not. I just don't want to be the one to point him in that direction.

And, at the risk of being defensive, check out my other posts here. It is obvious that I am more than willing to share with serious aspirants.

Anyway, everyone draws the line somewhere. This is where I draw mine.

Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Chris K
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Hey Scott,

I get it, sorry my post didn't seem that way (I guess I hinted at it when I said "I don't happen to disagree with that statement per se" but should have tried to clarify a bit better). That's just how it came off to me, enough that I wanted to spend the time talking about help and where I think the original poster needs help.

Your points are good ones! Also, I never, for a moment, meant to imply that you aren't willing to share. Again, the phrasing seemed a bit harsh but I take it back gladly, I certainly didn't mean for it to seem like a slap on a wrist or anything.

My apologies but I stand by this comment: In other words, a relatively good Café discussion. Thanks everybody!
Anti-intellectualism has been nurtured by the false notion that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."-Isaac Asimov
Scott Soloff
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2015, Lemniscate wrote:
Hey Scott,

I get it, sorry my post didn't seem that way (I guess I hinted at it when I said "I don't happen to disagree with that statement per se" but should have tried to clarify a bit better). That's just how it came off to me, enough that I wanted to spend the time talking about help and where I think the original poster needs help.

Your points are good ones! Also, I never, for a moment, meant to imply that you aren't willing to share. Again, the phrasing seemed a bit harsh but I take it back gladly, I certainly didn't mean for it to seem like a slap on a wrist or anything.

My apologies but I stand by this comment: In other words, a relatively good Café discussion. Thanks everybody!


Thank you for taking the time to clarify. Much appreciated!


Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
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