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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Using a volunteer (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Down under there was some discussion on having a spectator be a mindreader

Here is a story on this theme that you'all might enjoy (based on a true experience, of course)

The Silent Breeze

I’m not much on watching mentalists perform. It’s too much about them and not the special abilities that everyone has, but probably forgot or was trained not to use. Mind-reading is no big deal. Everyone can tell if someone is afraid or angry or surprised without a word being spoken, and if you have never stared at the back of a victim’s head in church until they squirm – well, I can anyway. But, my wife dragged me to this program at the community college and I could read her well enough not to argue. Glad I went. Guy’s name was Adam.

The first part of the show was nothing special except that Adam always had someone else do the weird stuff. They would read his mind, or one volunteer would read the mind of another or predict what they would do. He was just a sort of tour-guide into the fringes of psychic adventure. Then came his final demonstration.

He wandered to the front of the stage with a harp – not a big one in an orchestra – just a couple of feet tall, and plucked out a simple tune. He suggested that everyone loved to hear a harp play, and how the haunting notes seemed to pluck at heart strings and memories and even soul. Everyone there seemed to agree judging by the silence and close attention. Then he related as how before modern musical notation was invented a system called neumes was used (had to look it up). Different cultures had different codes but a song or story had little markes above or below the syllables to indicate whether you went up or down the old do-re-mie scale. The exciting part was that a choir director could signal these neumes with his hands; the left controlling volume and rhythm, while the right indicated what would happen to the next syllable. Now, you didn’t have time to think about what was happening, but had to just let the next note fall out with the word. You could get twenty people all speaking a different language and they could sing together in Latin – if you call chanting that way music. I knew that all of that changed with Hildegarde of Bengin but Adam didn’t mention her. Instead he made a point of how the Director was actually producing the sounds by telepathy – he thought of a note and every singer responded. I began thinking of how an orchestra conductor does the same thing. It is almost like he is playing the notes himself on a dozen instruments at once. Anyway, Adam said he would demonstrate.

He asked for a volunteer – someone with some musical experience. Several hands went up. Not mine because she had it clamped in hers – my wife, that is. More telepathy! She didn’t want anyone to see that my socks didn’t match. Adam motioned for one person to stand, come over to the isle, wave at the crowd and come up on stage – all with motions of his hands. I get it! He had this gal sit on a simple chair and hold the harp on her lap and showed her how to hold it against her shoulder and pluck some strings. Then he told us it would be better if we could see the notes rather than hear them, and demonstrated how some of the harp strings had been replaced with some golden beads hanging on ribbons. “Amber” he said, “since they were once living things and more resonate to thought.” I doubt that but it sounded good. Then he touched them one by one, calling out the colors of the ribbons. Each would swing back and forth outside of the sides of the harp frame. Then the fun began!

Adam stepped back and placed his left hand on the top of the harp pillar while the assistant steadied the harp. He asked for someone to call out a color. “Blue” rang out more than the others. Now his right hand gestured with a swinging motion and that bead began to swing in sympathy, or symphony or something. He opened his hand and held it still, and the bead stopped swinging. He repeated this with each amber bead and it was the only one swinging. “Pretty neat,” I whispered but got some “shut up” thought waves. Then Adam stepped back about six feet from the harp. From his pocket he extracted three colored cards that matched the ribbons. He shuffled these while gesturing to us all to make a choice. Red seemed most popular but I knew it made no difference. He held up this card in his left hand and began the sway motions with his right. Slowly the appropriate bead quivered and began to swing! I glanced around despite the nails digging into the back of my hand, and was not surprised to see every pair of eyes entranced by the visual note being produced. I swear I could hear a musical tone too, but realized that was coming from inside of me. Adam repeated this with another color and bead. Within my chest I heard another note and the thought “silent breeze” popped into my head. I knew that there was no trick here. Adam was controlling the bead by his will alone! Or so I thought. He raised his hand and stopped the applause.

He retrieved the harp and had the assistant rise, then signaled for the applause to be directed to her. He walked to the edge of the stage and raised his hand. Silence once more! Then he said, “I must thank all of you. It was your combined energy that made this possible. Each of you saw what your heart instructed and heard what your mind would deny. May the force be with you!” Then he sat on the chair and began to play – lost in a world we had only glimpsed.

I am not sure what to think in hindsight. If it was a trick I do not wish to know. If this Silent Breese was some supernatural manifestation then I am filled with awe. If this is nothing but what we all could do if we but believed, I am filled with hope. What I do know is that later that night my gal snuggled in my arms and hummed love songs from long ago, and that’s magic enough for me.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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No posted responses or reactions here. OK, since I know that many will not read a post this long.

but, few PM's asking about the described effect suggest I offer a bit more.

the effect is real - I can do it, and have on rare occasions. It takes an audience paying full attention and interested in both music and mystical things.

Yes, I have a harp that has been modified to be a multi-bob pendulum. Neat since the curved head masks the fact that each ribbon is a different length.

I can have a volunteer assistant hold the harp and direct the action of the three pendulums from a distance by either cuing a color or humming a note or just finger movements in the air. The incredible part is that this assistant does not know that she is unconsciously translating my commands into bob swings. The key is how the initial instructions are given and modeled.

I do not claim anything about myself, just that I am going to do a demonstration about the mysterious power of harp music.
On the rare occasion that someone asks whether I am a mentalist or psychic, I am always prepared to direct them to a professional performing near by.

I primarily posted this because of the discussions over using a spectator in a mental-based effect.

I do feel this is the most impactful demonstration I have ever done except for Helstromism where I can drop the hand of the assistant and complete the action alone. In neither one is any trick involved or any paranormal ability -- but certainly, extraordinary use of special knowledge and confident guile.

Is this "mentalism" in the opinion of purists here? Is any use of a pendulum mentalism? I am not sure. PMs Ok for those bashful readers.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Nestor D
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I did read it and you probably already know my thoughts on the subject Smile
Quade Walker
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You're a great story teller funsway. You drew me right in and it was wonderful
Senor Fabuloso
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I think the purists have a problem with imparting special powers on the participants because it somehow diminishes the performer? If we all have these powers then why are we mentalists special? The interesting thing about it all is that when I show others their own ability to help themselves with mentalism, it makes thing stronger. It's like in Mental Miracles by Bob Cassidy when he says "I'll show you how you can use the memory thing to win at cards" and then doesn't really share anything. The audience is intrigued and wants to know more. This is an old performing guise that says "always leave them wanting more".

Funsway, your REAL approach to mentalism is intriguing and something I find very original. It's refreshing and unimpeded by the phony psychic stuff some people claim. Thank you for showing me a different way to go Smile
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Adrien L.
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I always love to read your stories!
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