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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Disclaimers (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Last Laugh
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If I had to guess, it's that this exact conversation has been had in dozens of threads with nearly the same talking points since the beginning of the Café. And, well, way back before that too...
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Max Hazy
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Quote:
On Jan 9, 2018, Robb wrote:
SHOOT ME NOW.


After LL explanation, this actually made me laugh hard... ROFL
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ibm_usa
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I've had a lengthy in person conversation with Lee Earle this past November. He and I share the same attitude about disclaimers. They are useless and a waste of time.
People will arrive at their own conclusions without your help.
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Quote:
On Jan 9, 2018, Max Hazy wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 9, 2018, Robb wrote:
SHOOT ME NOW.


After LL explanation, this actually made me laugh hard... ROFL


Yeah now I'm laughing too hahaha
ThomasIndigo
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I agree, disclaimers can only invite skepticism, diminish impact, or fall on deaf ears in most cases. I don't think disclaimers are theatrically useful either. Not anymore anyway.
Max Hazy
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Some opinions here in the Café are quite curious to me. To mention an example, in my case, the husband of a famous singer here where I live didn't even took part in a performance of mine, he just saw me performing and came talking how I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop my "gift" since I was a kid... by my side was a friend (a very popular magician) staring at me with absolute curiosity, wondering what I was going to reply. Yep, I had to give a disclaimer that nothing I do is supernatural... I didn't use terms like "tricks" but rather psychology, techniques and even esoteric stuff... much to my surprise, he acted like I wasn't being sincere... he clearly thought that I wasn't comfortable to talk about supposed gifts. He kinda didn't believe me. I talked about it with my friend later. While I do agree that the "ticket is the disclaimer", I eventually find myself in situations where I can't hide... I have to take a position about what I do (both outside of performance and during it). People will make up their minds with or without claims or disclaimers... but sometimes I feel that taking a position is necessary for different reasons. So I guess claims and disclaimers are like presentations: what works for some, might not work for others.
"Your method is in my opinion the very best way to do Q&A"
Millard Longman

"Max has pushed some less known and seldom used principles a huge step forward"
Jan Forster


Arcane Grimoires Vol 1- http://www.maxhazy.com/arcane-grimoires/apocryphal-reach/

Arcane Grimoires Vol 2- http://www.maxhazy.com/Codex-Mentis/
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jan 9, 2018, Max Hazy wrote:
I eventually find myself in situations where I can't hide... I have to take a position about what I do (both outside of performance and during it). People will make up their minds with or without claims or disclaimers


Whether you use a disclaimer or not, yes, you should take a position about what you do (for several reasons). Just as they say a confused mind never buys, same here. Even an ambiguous positioning won't satisfy most. People want to know what they are seeing. What is interest and belief rooted in otherwise? Why wouldn't any performer take a position? And then why wouldn't they share it with the audience to create the proper perspective and experience?
Last Laugh
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Apparently Tim Conover thought disclaimers were extremely important:

http://www.timconover.com/x-2/
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Senor Fabuloso
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Presenting yourself as real also gives credence to the occult and other not so pious endeavors. Personally this counters my faith and would then be a sin. Even though I said in the thread about the 13 steps rewrite that step 8 should be divination and other oracles I believe that there presentation can be done from a theological prospective.
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Tony Iacoviello
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Disclaimers don't work, the public already knows...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMpFmxCcJks
Max Hazy
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Mindpro, I guess I can see your point better now. So I believe I can explain better the whys behind what I do, as well as what I think about my position.

The first point I have to make is that I do have a position, it's just not a polar position, but rather a middle-ground position. From a "client appeal" point of view, if I take the scientific polar position, I'll start to not appeal to "believers". If I take the pure psychic polar position, I'll not be so appealing to "skeptics". So, by standing in the middle, being ambiguous allows me empathy from both sides, which from a marketing point of view is advantageous. One could argue that it would be advantageous to pick the side of the majority and appeal to it, but I found in practice that you can appeal to both sides.

Now, one could argue that I could also achieve this "empathy" by not making any claims at all... and that makes sense, but in practice, a detail makes all the difference. When you make a claim (positive) in the middle ground, the "direction" of the claim can't be going towards the opposite position of what they believe, so they naturally assume you're coming closer to what they believe. When you simply don't make a claim (negative), they naturally believe the direction of your position is going away from their position, causing less empathy. This becomes obvious from their reactions to both approaches. They are more likely to get "disappointed" to not have any confirmations from what they believe when you don't make any claim, but when you "kinda" confirm, they get more satisfied, curious and intrigued. That's why the first approach has a tendency to get more empathy and the second has a tendency to have less, in my experience.

Lastly, I like to be honest about my work. Being dishonest makes me feel bad. If I say everything I do is real, I'll be lying. If I say there's absolutely nothing "real" about what I do, I'll also be lying.

Right now, this "ambiguous" position is what works best for me, but again, what works for some might not work for others.
"Your method is in my opinion the very best way to do Q&A"
Millard Longman

"Max has pushed some less known and seldom used principles a huge step forward"
Jan Forster


Arcane Grimoires Vol 1- http://www.maxhazy.com/arcane-grimoires/apocryphal-reach/

Arcane Grimoires Vol 2- http://www.maxhazy.com/Codex-Mentis/
Max Hazy
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I just remembered something quite pertinent to this topic. Imo, a brilliant observation from Alan Wheeler about how our own beliefs, presentation and claims can interfere with each other if they're not in tune:

Quote:
On Sep 2, 2017, Alan Wheeler wrote:
Of course the key is not in the performer's inner world but what is expressed.
For example, classical stage actors used much larger movements and gestures, much more grandiose vocals and expressions, than film actors.

The "believing" method advocated by many is probably more of a suspension of disbelief that helps communicate whatever claim is being made, even if the claim is subtext.

If the claim is supernatural, then a shut-eye expression is best.
If the claim is nuanced, a wink-eye or squint-eye expression is best.
If the claim is naturalistic, an open-eye expression is best.
"Your method is in my opinion the very best way to do Q&A"
Millard Longman

"Max has pushed some less known and seldom used principles a huge step forward"
Jan Forster


Arcane Grimoires Vol 1- http://www.maxhazy.com/arcane-grimoires/apocryphal-reach/

Arcane Grimoires Vol 2- http://www.maxhazy.com/Codex-Mentis/
Mindpro
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I guess you wanted to share that and your opinion which is great. I think there is a lot of me-thinking around there that you have seemed to just accept, where in reality there is much you could still experience. It's this non-commital need to not want to position yourself or to be real that I find so disappointing. There is no point in being a fake mentalist. Would you want to go to a fake doctor, or have a fake plumber work in your home? If performers want to feel this way then why can they just accept that they are magicians and claim it, be proud.

If you feel uncomfortable saying what you do is real when what you perform is not, then change your performance material and perform only things that are real or that you can do for real. It can be an entirely different game altogether.

Performance is for the audience. It is their perceptions, beliefs, and expectations which we as entertainers should serve. Sure they may believe what they want, especially without framing or direction, but you may be missing how impactive it can be for them to know and understand what they are seeing. It can take their experience to an etirely greater level.
Last Laugh
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Hmm, but that isn't a perfect analogy. Sure you wouldn't want a fake doctor or fake plumber for real needs but mentalism is theater... so it's like saying I only want a real doctor or plumber to play a doctor or plumber on TV.

Yes the ticket is the disclaimer for most, but there is going to be the occasional person who comes up believing what you do is a 100% real. And I think it's important - ethically and morally - to handle that situation delicately. There is a way to diffuse that situation by creating ambiguity.

For me, ambiguity is enough to create the requisite mystery. I don't need (and won't get) 100% of audiences to be willing to believe, but if they are at least questioning if it *could* be real, I've done my job.
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MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, Last Laugh wrote:
Yes the ticket is the disclaimer for most, but there is going to be the occasional person who comes up believing what you do is a 100% real. And I think it's important - ethically and morally - to handle that situation delicately. There is a way to diffuse that situation by creating ambiguity.


Good stuff right there, Last Laugh.
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Max Hazy
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Last Laugh got exactly my point. We don't need to sacrifice mystery to not be dishonest while playing for real.

Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
I think there is a lot of me-thinking around there that you have seemed to just accept, where in reality there is much you could still experience.


Well I gave my arguments, you didn't quite gave examples to illustrate what much more I could experience, but I'm not even sure if that would make a difference, because as far as I know, people in your area know exactly what a mentalist is and this couldn't be further from the truth here where I live. Arguments through different situations hardly apply to each other. It would be like accepting different results as something scientific.

Btw, this "me-thinking" is coming from a guy who have played the role of a psychological mentalist for real in the past, being introduced as a magician and being asked afterwards to do a lecture on psychology. And I did, but it wasn't for entertainment purposes anymore. It would be imoral however to "pretend" being an psychological expert and accept to do a lecture about it without authority/knowledge to do so. Cases like this only happens when played for real. The "real" in me doesn't just refer to the "arcane" stuff, I'm also a credentialed hipno-therapist who uses real hipnoses as entertainment (no need to extend to further psychological approaches here).

Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
It's this non-commital need to not want to position yourself or to be real that I find so disappointing.


That's ok. But I'm in this business to satisfy my clients, not to satisfy others in the business.

Quote:
On Jan 10, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
Performance is for the audience. It is their perceptions, beliefs, and expectations which we as entertainers should serve. Sure they may believe what they want, especially without framing or direction, but you may be missing how impactive it can be for them to know and understand what they are seeing. It can take their experience to an etirely greater level.


I see. Like me, you must have the same vision of Bob Cassidy about not mixing magic with mentalism. Even a blatant magic trick "card through window" Bob would play for real, entering what he called "miracle class", listing his reasons in Art of Mentalism 2. In my case, I've learned to separate clearly one thing from the other.

Furthermore, I can be ambiguous both during the presentation and outside of it. If I played the 100% real during presentation, outside the presentation I would have to deal with 2 issues: 1) keeping my words, making me a charlatan by definition. 2) Go out of the 100% real, breaking the mystery. Bob Cassidy would use trickery played for real under theatrical context, but I have different premises... I want to be Max Hazy not Bob Cassidy.

I think if I wasn't serving people's interests, they wouldn't show interest in my work, which isn't the case, so I can't agree with you there. Now that I have incorporated esoteric/arcane stuff in my work, I have to be cautious, because even if indirectly (and specially when directly), people's personal beliefs will come into play. I wouldn't have to worry about it if I didn't play for real, but I do... and people do believe it... and I do care about not being dishonest about my work. Imo, being "impactive" should be achieved through presentation, not through dishonesty, specially under entertainment context.
"Your method is in my opinion the very best way to do Q&A"
Millard Longman

"Max has pushed some less known and seldom used principles a huge step forward"
Jan Forster


Arcane Grimoires Vol 1- http://www.maxhazy.com/arcane-grimoires/apocryphal-reach/

Arcane Grimoires Vol 2- http://www.maxhazy.com/Codex-Mentis/
Mindpro
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Ok, sure.
Rocketeer
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I like Philemon's "disclaimer," which is an inversion of the late Tim Conover's disclaimer: "I use my five senses to create the illusion of a sixth." Conover's disclaimer in particular always dismayed me and it was him I had in mind when I wrote my OP.

Hmm. I think I just might have come up with mine:

"Some of you are a little uncomfortable with the idea of a sixth sense or supernatural powers. If you're one of them, just keep repeating to yourself, 'It's only a show... It's only a show... It's only a show..."
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MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2018, Rocketeer wrote:Hmm. I think I just might have come up with mine:

"Some of you are a little uncomfortable with the idea of a sixth sense or supernatural powers. If you're one of them, just keep repeating to yourself, 'It's only a show... It's only a show... It's only a show..."


Again... the Café needs a LUVIT button! :o)
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Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2018, Rocketeer wrote:

Hmm. I think I just might have come up with mine:

"Some of you are a little uncomfortable with the idea of a sixth sense or supernatural powers. If you're one of them, just keep repeating to yourself, 'It's only a show... It's only a show... It's only a show..."


It's just great entertainment might do more for your career? it's just great entertainment. It's just great entertainment. Has a hypnotic way about it don't you think?
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
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