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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » What is it, and why does it look like that? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

IAIN
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When we use "items", how much do you question its authenticity?

Its very important to me, even in social settings...

Does the thing I'm waving about look and feel like it should?

for me - its a bigger/deeper thing...the believability factor is important. And of course, its partly and sometimes entirely character based...

if you perform socially and wear tatty jeans and boots and a t-shirt and hat, it might stand out if you then use a high quality fountain pen (as an example)…

or if you use a notepad to have something written down, why do you then switch to business cards for another? The pad is right there on the table!

sometimes I see things being sold and its obvious they've built the "thing" around the m*thod, and (for me) it looks like a Frankenstein's monster in many ways - its a bit of this, a bit of that, and none of it really matches the theme it represents...(for example - you might have an antique finish to the cards, but the font looks new and the distressing you've added is uniform across all cards)

or you have this great method, so you jam everything you can into the one "thing" because you...can!

I feel very strongly that the things we use should be realistic and natural, and sometimes...googleable... (its where some ESP things fall down - they're on playing card backs for example)…

I also feel that we fool ourselves into believing that people don't notice or talk about "our special cards" or "that strange looking object" - I think audiences DO discuss all kinds of things that we do and show... sometimes that's a good visual hook, othertimes, I feel it undermines what we are doing (if what we do we want to portray as a serious thing)

a lot of people seem think all of the above doesn't matter, and I'd like to understand where they're coming from...or if you think something else - please share...
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John C
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First off, I don't think what you think matters matters to me or 100 other performers. So what you do and what matters to you isn't necessarily wrong or better than what others think matters.

Now the rest....

I think the part about old looking cards with 21 century fonts is dumb and I believe people would make fun of that. Yes there are people that are perceptive but not all people are.

I, for example, am good at finding misplaced stuff in TV shows and movies. Like the guy's hair one moment it's messed up then the next it's all combed. Or, he has sweat on his shirt one scene and then when he turns around it's gone. Some people don't spot those things. My wife never does. And it's not that I watch for it it's just that... I don't know why I do that

I also think you're correct about using a pad and then changing to biz cards to hide them in a wallet. Doesn't make sense.

Also, one thing I notice is this...

... when obvious "card people" do mentalism or demo their latest mentalism creation they handle the cards like a card guy and before they turn over a card they bend it and let it flick or they blow on it. Who does that? If the cards are only being used as objects in a mentalism routine why would you professionally handle them? Now I'm not sure audience members think this way but perhaps.

So there you have it, or some of it, in a nutshell. I may have more later.


PS: in all honesty I just bought a force wallet and a complete peek wallet but can do both these things with envelopes and simple biz card stack. But, hey I like buying stuff. May never use either. I think though I will use the force wallet.
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IAIN
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I hope you use all your wallets in one performance!
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Stunninger
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Someone once described Osterlind's T******S*** board as looking unusual, like a piece of "desktop furniture". And I have to agree, it does look unusual when you think about it. Yet at the same time, when you see performance video of Richard using T******S*** and the reactions he gets, it seems to work quite well...for him anyway. Others who us it regularly have said they get great reactions as well.

Same with Kreskin's odd looking Q&A pad. He's used it for decades, and it seems to work for him. At the same time, I have to think there are probably those in the audience who wonder about the unusual looking device and how it must have something to do with how it's done.

Similarly, I don't think some C*****T***s are as deceptive as some performers may think. If you watch enough performances you will see spectators make unconscious sounds or movements right when the performer gets the information...unconscious signals as if to say, "I just saw you look!" but they don't verbalize it for one reason or another, perhaps to be polite.
John C
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2018, IAIN wrote:
I hope you use all your wallets in one performance!


Now that would be dumb. I would never only use two wallets. I have a lookout, Espionage, himber, a large JOL, a...

I'm sure I can find a spot for each one in my 12 minute close up act.
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pacozaa
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2018, IAIN wrote:
When we use "items", how much do you question its authenticity?

Its very important to me, even in social settings...

Does the thing I'm waving about look and feel like it should?

for me - its a bigger/deeper thing...the believability factor is important. And of course, its partly and sometimes entirely character based...

if you perform socially and wear tatty jeans and boots and a t-shirt and hat, it might stand out if you then use a high quality fountain pen (as an example)…

or if you use a notepad to have something written down, why do you then switch to business cards for another? The pad is right there on the table!

sometimes I see things being sold and its obvious they've built the "thing" around the m*thod, and (for me) it looks like a Frankenstein's monster in many ways - its a bit of this, a bit of that, and none of it really matches the theme it represents...(for example - you might have an antique finish to the cards, but the font looks new and the distressing you've added is uniform across all cards)

or you have this great method, so you jam everything you can into the one "thing" because you...can!

I feel very strongly that the things we use should be realistic and natural, and sometimes...googleable... (its where some ESP things fall down - they're on playing card backs for example)…

I also feel that we fool ourselves into believing that people don't notice or talk about "our special cards" or "that strange looking object" - I think audiences DO discuss all kinds of things that we do and show... sometimes that's a good visual hook, othertimes, I feel it undermines what we are doing (if what we do we want to portray as a serious thing)

a lot of people seem think all of the above doesn't matter, and I'd like to understand where they're coming from...or if you think something else - please share...
Smile


I completely agree. It does matters. I encounter it myself when I use big paper pad after read mind and found out later from my friend that he thought it is gimmick after I performed without big paper pad.
pacozaa
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2018, Stunninger wrote:
Someone once described Osterlind's T******S*** board as looking unusual, like a piece of "desktop furniture". And I have to agree, it does look unusual when you think about it. Yet at the same time, when you see performance video of Richard using T******S*** and the reactions he gets, it seems to work quite well...for him anyway. Others who us it regularly have said they get great reactions as well.

Same with Kreskin's odd looking Q&A pad. He's used it for decades, and it seems to work for him. At the same time, I have to think there are probably those in the audience who wonder about the unusual looking device and how it must have something to do with how it's done.

Similarly, I don't think some C*****T***s are as deceptive as some performers may think. If you watch enough performances you will see spectators make unconscious sounds or movements right when the performer gets the information...unconscious signals as if to say, "I just saw you look!" but they don't verbalize it for one reason or another, perhaps to be polite.


I don't know the secret of those things you mentioned above but I feel the same with CT. Now I am using only AN(and B****t S*****) and never go back.
Matt Pulsar
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Being congruent makes the performance smooth for the audience. Even if they don’t consciously notice they will unconsciously pick up on incongruence and that will raise suspicion.

When I am purchasing things I will use in my shows I always consider whether it fits my brand. If I create a painting and there is one part that is in a different style, that’s the part that gets the most attention.

But the same token, if you perform a show that is all mind reading or thought reading and then at some point you bend a spoon, that’s what the audience will remember. So you can use this to your advantage.
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Marko Ragnos
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It depends on the script, what item and when I can use it. I try to show logic between items, effects, theme, story.
IAIN
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There's definitely a power in difference, for me it's usually a pendulum...

There's also been some recent releases where I can't understand nor justify its usage cos either the item is over designed or doesn't fit into the overall logic of what it is supposed to be...
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Stunninger
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2018, pacozaa wrote:

I don't know the secret of those things you mentioned above but I feel the same with CT. Now I am using only AN(and B****t S*****) and never go back.


Completely agree about AN and B***** S*******. AN is powerful and so deceptive. After studying Millard's multi media CD, I've come up with variations or handlings of my own that provide options for different situations and routines. I love how easy it is to execute while being so deceptive.
tomd
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AN is great, so useful.
Dominic Mastronardi
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Why do you care what others are doing? If you have your own feelings on the way things should be done - great. This just comes off feeling as an attempt to be authoritative and knowledgeable.
IAIN
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Well, it's a forum, and sometimes we discuss things rather than just attempt to sell them...

You don't have to join in...
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Djin
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Iain, I definitely agree with your observation. Unless one is as talented a fabricator of goods as he is a fabricator of stories, one is stuck spinning a tale to fit the props. Anachronistic details like the fonts and finishes are missed by most, but not everyone. Weaving a routine around an "artifact" has endless possibilities but a flaw in the artifact may blow a good thing. There is much to be said for going propless when possible.

I've been working privately on pendulum. By that I mean learning and practice but not yet ready to do it in front of people. One thing I have been putting a lot of thought into is the pendulum itself and how it fits with my presentation and persona. I don't want to go with something that looks like I bought it at a new age bookstore. Shiny crystal on a chain is too cliche. I'm thinking of an heirloom, passed down from.....(insert fascinating dog and pony show line of fiction).... I have skill and experience at making objects and I've handled many objects of antiquity. I'm still contemplating just what it will be but I will put in the effort to make it right, just as soon as I figure out what "right" is. I've had a few ideas that I don't think are right for me and one in particular that is more than a little over the top. Not for the open forum at this time but I will be glad to discuss my ideas in PM if anyone would like to. Once I decide on the direction that I want my patter to go, I will know what to make and what to make it out of. That's part of the beauty of the pendulum. It gives you an established Oracle and a mind blowing effect with a really simple object. Little or no cost. It's a beautiful thing.
John C
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Based on one answer here about the audience subconsciously picking up on inconsistencies and becoming suspicious.

My feeling is that if the show is exciting enough and moves at a good clip this would rarely happen. Most folks can't think that fast.
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ddyment
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John C claimed:
Quote:
... Most folks can't think that fast.

Some can, though, and to the extent possible, I want my material to be deceptive to everyone.

So in this regard, I completely agree with IAIN.
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WitchDocChris
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I also agree that congruence is very important.

An audience member doesn't need to intellectually understand what specifically they feel is off. If they feel something is off, then it's off, and they'll be that much less engaged in the performance.

It's not hard to make everything line up. Just takes a little bit of planning and maybe some shopping around.
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Cleverpaws
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As a craftsman I always find it odd when a maker of some supposedly very ancient wooden item (a box for example) uses plywood, new-growth pine and latch / hinges from Ace hardware. No matter how much the item is patinated, it still looks off to me. I guess if you're a really good performer or the audience doesn't get too close it doesn't matter.
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