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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Jan Forster Penguin Live ACT (36 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JanForster
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David, first of all, many thanks for your long review and the time you took to write it up! But as you certainly were expecting, I would like to comment a bit on it Smile

I can assure you that I am aware of Annemann�s �4 DT� although I was not crediting it; I didn�t as my starting point was indeed Cassidy�s creation. So, I didn�t forget it � it is also in all my German books, and Annemann is always credited there. The wrong credit concerning the �Opener� was corrected already long time ago in the �discussion area� of �Penguin Magic� for all buyers of the lecture. And I am sorry for the misspelling of Jermay�s book � it can happen when you do a lecture in a language which is not yours. And even memorizing a deck of playing cards wouldn�t be of any help then Smile �

I understand your thoughts well concerning the entire opener sequence � and I agree that you can handle it quite differently. But my goal was and is simply pace � and I wish you could see it once again when I do it in my native language. Nevertheless, I like your thoughts!

I never thought of �Back to School� as a competitor to Cassidy�s creation; it is simply a different approach which plays very well for me. I believe that there are also a lot of subtleties in it which are leading to a very strong routine. I perform it like that all the time, see your point concerning the first spectator, but I can assure you also that it never did create any problems at all although it seems to be quite bold. My goal was also using just three envelops, three file cards and three pencils from the very beginning, nothing more, handing out all at the very beginning and never come back to it until the (almost very) end when collecting the already sealed envelopes.

Wholeheartedly I disagree with your opinion concerning �Do you believe in chance?�. I believe that you would lose a lot of its �class of total impossibility� when you �streamline� it. I never mind taking an extra mile in order to achieve my goal. And I think that your ideas would remove remarkably the general impression of �total hands off�. But that is my goal.

I am glad that you (at least) liked the last routine. Although not being in any sort of really hypnotized state, my involved volunteers (and also the spectators) are in fact believing that �it� did something to them � how would they have been able otherwise accomplishing this difficult task? Again, I speak out of experience.

And as a last word: Performers constantly work on their material, things and presentation are always in a flow� so even until today, I have changed and polished various smaller and greater details in my acts � except one thing: It is always me, never a hardworking psychic, but a playful and lighthearted performer who simply enjoys doing what he does. Jan
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Consultthemind1
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Hello Jan,

Thank you for the response. I can see from your response that you are an open and honest person and don't mind reading reviews that contain constructive criticisms. On several occasions, I have had performers start attacking me instead of reading what I wrote and addressing each point.

I fully accept that English isn't your first language, and I couldn't begin to comprehend what it would be like to lecture and perform in a language that is not my own. That aside, removing a phase from a routine in any language reduces the time it takes to perform the routine. I honestly think that simply letting the disposable color phase play out as detailed in the original would fix most of the issues present in the alteration. I cannot comment on the strength of the language used in the secondary 50/ 50 effect (in your native language) but have a solution in English that would make the outcome equally as strong no matter which path is taken. I refrained from sharing that as it exposes your method and that is not mine to share. I am happy to share with you if we get the chance to chat person to person.

In regards to the credits, if they have been amended then that's great.

Your "Back to School routine" I don't consider bold. I am very much in favour of the use of good Dual Reality and after rethinking about your routine, in-fact it is two spectators that leave the routine with a diminished experience. This ups the probability of more people talking and leaving with a lesser experience. The first is the spectator who thought of their zodiac sign and the second is the spectator in the three envelope test. There are simple ways to close those doors and end clean, which I think should be explored. In regards to you only wanting to work with three envelopes, three slips and three pencils - creating a series of unnecessary restrictions for yourself at the cost of the experience of the spectators and some of the audience doesn't make sense to me. The only difference in the number of props is one extra envelope and a dummy billet - it's hardly 15 dice planted around your body in clear plastic bags. If you got rid of the dice, you would have extra room for the extra envelope and the dummy billet. Your philosophies between the two routines (this and "do you believe in chance?) don't sit in line with each other.

As I mentioned in my review, if you re-look at the drawing aspect of the routine, you open yourself up to reduce the number of envelopes, and it is also a much cleaner routine. Due to the nature of a one-ahead, you could eliminate two of the three envelopes or eliminate the envelopes entirely with a bit more thought (but I wouldn't recommend that). I feel the big finish of the drawing is vital to the integrity of the routine; showing the two drawings side by side at the end of the routine is a very powerful moment, and I would hate to lose that.

In regards to "Do you believe in chance?" The "hands-off element" adds nothing to the routine's strength or apparent impossibility. If you were divining the card by reading the spectator, the hands-off element makes all the difference. As you are predicting the card in advance and the audience are calling out the cards, and you are not touching the cards when they are called out and drawn from the deck, it makes absolutely no difference to the routine whatsoever.

Suppose you were hellbent on not touching the cards at all. In that case, there is a straightforward solution that you can apply, as you are having the cards called out and drawn from the deck one by one, you could say to the spectator, "Take the cards out and put them one by one in a line here" Draw the imaginary line on the table. As the spectator lays out the first card on the table, look at which way around the spectator lays down the cards (left to right or right to left). You now know the position your target card lies in (again eliminating the need for prep work); let's say you want the target card in position 'three' say to the spectator, "Switch the cards around one by one in a random order". Now you let the spectators switch around the cards until the target card ends up in the target position (al la Berglas). Mark Paul also has a beautiful use for this principle in his chair test.

Hand the pen to the spectator whilst saying, "I want you to number them one to six; I think you would agree that if you had mixed the cards up into a different order, the numbers on the back of the cards would be different".

To the audience, this is precisely the same effect.

The problem I had with the routine was the need to prep a card, prep the box, and carry 18 dice. The same effect (from the audience's perspective) occurs when you reduce all of this down, and there is no need to prep anything at all. You could even perform the effect with a borrowed deck (not that this is a common occurrence anymore) in short, it's not about streamlining; it's about labour and logic.

You said in relation to the hypnosis, "(and also the spectators) are in fact believing that �it� did something to them � how would they have been able otherwise accomplishing this difficult task? Again, I speak out of experience".

I am the audience and I am sharing my perspective as an audience member - with added knowledge on the subject. I believe the logical leap is too large for the audience to make themselves. Half of everything is the ability for the audience to be able to translate what they have seen to other people, by adding a simple line of scripting it is not 'implicit' that something is happening but instead 'apparent' that something is happening instead. The problem is that "it" is too loose and open-ended, if an audience doesn't have a bit of thread to pull at they will simply assume "it" is a trick - It's the simplest explanation.

I wholeheartedly agree that performers constantly work on their material and refine everything. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed some of my thinking and I hope you might try some of the things that I have suggested to see if it makes a difference.

Psychics/ mentalists don't need to be hardworking, they just need to seem to be Smile

I am glad, that you are you.

David.
JanForster
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David, all is good� I see myself and my work as a permanent project, so I am always willing to listen, to think, rethink and to make my conclusions. And you are obviously a knowledgeable and thinking person with a good writing style. Although I may not agree with you in all points.

Maybe we meet one day person in person so we can discuss matters, also things I may have changed until then; and some things that have changed already significantly. After all, the discussed recording was made almost 4 years ago.

Jan
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Consultthemind1
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I need to add, that I was reminded today to look back through 3510 and came across "Hail Dunninger", which is Luke Jermay's brilliant routine that utilises the invisible deck and the use of the Dunninger ploy. Jan shares this routine (without credit) and I wrongly attributed the idea to Jan. I wanted to point this out and amend myself.

Thanks,

David
JanForster
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Sorry, David, but I think you are getting a bit "picky"... I never said that using the "Dunninger Ploy" in combination with an "ID" is my idea.

It was meant just as an additional example or illustration (and not an even specified or elaborated remark) on how you can use the "ploy" as well. This is WHY I mentioned "3510" (2007) as readers find a lot there about how to use the "ploy". I am aware of that. Besides that, Colin McLeod writes in his "Divine" (2013) that he started using the "ploy" in that combination back in 2004 (page 77 ff.).

I really can take criticism, but I don't like getting presented as an idiot who is unable to read, giving correct credits or use his memory. It is a verbal (and live) lecture (only once recorded, flying in the day before, flying out the day after...), not a printed book which you review many times before sending it into print.

Jan
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Consultthemind1
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Read back what I said Jan, I corrected myself - I can hardly talk about the importance of crediting and not amend that section in my review - I took the necessary steps, so I didn't open myself up to the same criticisms.

However, let's be honest you did NOT mention 3510 in relation to the Dunninger ploy and the invisible deck; you said it in reference to the ambiguous language used in the 50/ 50 effect (that proceeds the effect that uses the Dunninger ploy). Don't try to make it as though I am unfairly representing what is there in the video for everyone else to see.

Dan Harlan states that you perform worldwide; therefore, you are clearly someone who travels. If you knew there was the potential chance of being tired or struggling with crediting due to jet lag, then make notes of the credits to share during the lecture. You managed to find a source to share from Colin Mcleod's book and send it in as a citation in this thread - Why couldn't you have done that live?

If you are ever performing an idea that does not belong to you or is inspired by something else, it is respectful to credit. If you do not remember where something came from, simply say, "I saw this idea a long time ago, I cannot remember where I saw it, but it was such a brilliant idea that I want to share it with you, and hopefully it inspires you the way that it inspired me". Nobody is under the illusion that it belongs to you that way. I posted in my review that I enjoyed that part of the lecture; if you had that credit at your fingertips (that you just posted above), why did you not point that credit out in reference to that part of my review?

Even if you point out a credit and you are not sure it's the proper credit, you could say, "This is the first place I saw it; there's a good chance it predates that". At least you attempted to credit; not only that, if people do go and look at that source, that person likely cited a credit, and people can work their way back to the original.

When did I ever say you didn't read? When did I ever call you an idiot? Don't take out of context what I am saying, or what my intention is,

David.
JanForster
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David, I really do not want to argue with you - and I admit that my crediting was far from being precise. As far as I remember I even haven't planed to talk about the "ID" as I did NOT perform it. But talking about "3510" was meant also pointing to this specific use of the "ID". Obviously, I didn't make that clear - my mistake. Let me explain also why: For me, the "Opener" ends with the star sign revelation, not before. It does not belong to the part of "Back to School" which I perform also often in different settings; and then it is preceded always by an entire different opener or routine. Jan
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Steven Conner
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David it appears as if you think Jan did this crediting or lack there of on purpose. He is a class performer and certainly a gentleman. For whatever reason you have gotten on the bandwagon and don't want to get off. This world has gone nuts and if something is said maliciously then it needs to be brought to attention. Songs are rearranged all the time, some are good some not. Whitney Houston did her version of I will always love you and she gets all the accolades when Dolly wrote it but everytime its played, nothing is said about Dolly. Let's not make a fuss about something so unintentional.

Best

Steve
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
Consultthemind1
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I don't think Jan did it on purpose.

I paid for a product, and I reviewed the pros and cons. Forgotten Credits were one of the cons - If Jan considers what I am saying, he will not accidentally forget, and will actively do his best to credit next time. Then it is a non-issue and it is win/ win for everyone.

Based on your analogy, let me ask you a question: Do you think it is fair that Whitney gets all of the accolades and Dolly doesn't? Whether on purpose or not, this is happening here, and I think it is an issue. I see it happen all the time, sometimes, it is done on purpose, and people steal, knowing the idea is not theirs. They don't do the research, do not give credit, and get away with it because other people get a 'free pass' in scenarios like this, so they think it is alright too.

Look at how I amended myself (above); I am far from perfect; I forget credits from time to time and sometimes miscredit. I am not above correcting myself, making notes, and expanding my knowledge base. I am here to share my findings, and I always approach a review constructively, I offer alternative opinions and sources/ approaches. This place is supposed to be 'Magicians helping Magicians'. Some people find my reviews helpful, and I have received numerous messages thanking me for my contributions and leading them to ideas they might never have been privy to had I not reviewed certain products in the first place.

I do not know Jan personally. I am sure he is a gentleman, he has been gentlemanly in this thread, and I am not attacking Jan's character; I will repeat; I am reviewing a product that I paid for. Nothing more, nothing less. I said what I had to say on the performances and was rounding off my review with a self-amendment, which Jan replied to. If Jan has a right to respond, I only ask for the same courtesy - It is a public forum after all. I also do not want to argue; when anyone comes back and makes out what I have shared in my review to be incorrect, I will either double down (if I know I am correct) or amend myself - Which I did.

David.
Steven Conner
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Yes. I know Dolly Parton and she could care less. She does get her royalties but she is also very unselfish. In the simplest of terms, to copy an exact act, mannerisms, etc. is certainly wrong. For one to adapt, change, improve or rearrange is certainly reasonable and doesn't necessarily require a constant reminder of the original. Magicians are the only breed that that constantly keep this fire burning. Let's save this argument for a time when it's more warranted.

Best

Steve
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
Illusion77
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Thanks for the review!
k3nnyma
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Nice review
Magonil
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Great lecture, of the best I have ever seen
elimagic
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I’ve re-watched multiple times. I need more Jan instruction in my life Smile
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