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KiKi
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Hi! what are your experiences with CT and Peeks? I mean the reactions of the audience. Do they wonder? How you could read their minds, or is it more like `how could he peek the word?`

kiki
Withnail
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The answer is down to presentation, timing and offbeats.

How you "peeked" the word shouldn't even enter a spectator's mind!
Yet again that oaf has destroyed my day
Vraagaard
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Quote:
On 2004-08-17 07:07, Withnail wrote:

How you "peeked" the word shouldn't even enter a spectator's mind!


Exactly, which answers your question. They will think how on earth did he read my mind. A simple successful peek is the closest you get to real mind reading. Only one thing is closer to real mind reading than a PEEK, and that is if you overhear or pick up information about a person from another source (listening in on a conversation unnoticed) and then you use this in a revelation later in the show. Like "Sir, you in the white shirt, would you please stand up. What's your name? Please think of a person or an animal dear to you. Oh, you do have a pet animal, right? Now please picture that pet. It's a dog, isn't it. blah, blah blah..."It's a black retriever, with the name, please think of the name blah blah blah"

Blah, blah, blah doesn't mean you are babbling. It means that you carefully plan how you intend to reveal words, numbers and names, etc. Patter and presentation is the main part in mentalism.
Osiris
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The CT ISN'T A TRICK! That's the first thing you need to realize. It is a METHOD used by Mentalist and abused by Magicians who don't know the difference (sorry, guys, but you do know what I mean if you've been around for any amount of time).

My recommendation is that you read up on billet work, the Q&A and how to do effective Readings/Revelations. There is some important psychology that goes along with all of this that not only leaves your patron in awe of your psychic talents, it often detours their recall of having ever written anything, let alone you ever touching the slip that jot the thought down on.

Find a copy of Cassidy's dissertation on the Simplified Baker Billet Switch. After you've read it a couple of dozen times, and practiced what he's suggesting a few hundred times, you may begin to see what I meant previously, about this being a method vs. a "trick". I can promise that you'll discover the difference when it comes to your patron's reactions.

Best of luck!
johne
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Osiris is right on the money. This switching is worth practicing. Once you have the switching down, so you can easily do it with either hand, you will have to rehearse the effect you wish to accomplish.

Switching BEFORE you have read your information will confuse the heck out of you and your spectator. LOL.

Take a look at Annemans "A Day in your Life" in his Practical Mental Magic.

An awesome example of one-on-one mentalism in which you tell a person three or four things from a day in his life before handling the billets.

This type of routine in which you are "ahead of the game" will leave your spectators really confused. If they even thought you peeked in your center tear, this will throw them for a loop.

John E.
Mystery
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Where can I find that dissertation ? Which book is it in ? I hope not in one of his e-books, because it seems he never sends them out !
Let your dreams tear apart your life, before your life tears apart your dreams...
John Nesbit
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Mystery,

It's in Practical Mental Effects and also in The Amateur Magician's Handbook (highly recommended by Bob Cassidy).

It is everything John E. says it is. So is the first effect by Anneman in that chapter,"A Question and the Answer".

The original post here from KIKI does present a real concern. Even the great "Busch's Billet" can come under that kind of scrutiny if it is not "dressed" with a routine like Anneman's.

Remember what Erdnase said about moves and sleights. "The spectator should not suspect, let alone detect the moment of execution".
That would take some experiential knowledge, of either the routine, or the spectator (for starters).

I would love to hear more thoughts on this.

Peace,

John
johne
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John, I think Mystery was referring to the Bob Cassidy dissertation. Smile I love Anneman's work on the subject.
______________

The beauty (in my opinion) with a routine such as "A day in Your life" is it is so hard to reconstruct for the viewer, provided you are well versed in your switching. A billet beneath each foot, and one held in the hand while the reader reveals each one as he walks around the table.

I just can't seem to incorporate a routine in which I am able to peek every billet before it is placed. I mean, it is possible to retrieve/peek/then place the billet beneath a foot undetectable, but here is my problem.

A had a bit too much fun in college, I guess, and I often find myself overloading my brain with information. LOL. Perhaps it is nerves, but things can be come intertwined, and I fear I will forget what I am supposed to remember.

My second problem with this (without taking into consideration Millard Longman's ideas) is still getting the information on the billet where I need it. For a single effect, such as a name revelation, I don't feel bad having the writing done "here." Most everyone has ideas on how to do this. Having something done by a single individual three times in a row, may draw them into more suspicion as to why.

In Peek Encores, Richard shows us his business card full billet peek. I have incorporated this peek for my last billet in "A day in your Life" routine. Instead of doing a CT on a fourth item (the time in Anneman's case), I simply ask them to decided which hand to hold the billet in. While they do this, I do my smoothest full billet peek while turning my head to the side, as not to see which hand they decide to hold it in. It really does not matter, because I'm going to ask for it back anyway. Smile It give me the time to get my read, then get back to the game.

I turn back, then proceed getting the information from them. Ask which hand it is concealed in, as if trying to pick up signals. Ask first...it's in the right hand? If yes, you say, "Ah, I thought so, I was picking up STRONG vibes from that hand." If they say no..."I didn't think so, I was only getting a WEAK signal, but I did manage to get this much..."

Proceed onto the other closed hand for more "signals" and you've just justified the fist choosing portion which allowed your full-billet peek to happen with ease.

John E.
David Numen
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I have tried hard with Peek Performances and Peek Encores but there is a fundamental "something" that Busch's techniques seem to miss - that is, that the billet ought to be psychologically invisible. Instead, on the techniques I have studied, the billet is on parade. Yes, Busch's Billet from Encores IS very clean but I think promoting the existence of the billet in the way it is handled turns the effect back into one of reading something written on a piece of paper rather than reading someone' smind.

A friend has Obsidian Oblique and showed me the moves to me in action - very clean and natural and the billet isn't ever a big focus (although on clear display throughout) like it is in Busch's work.

Regards,

David.
johne
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David, how do you rate O.O to Busch's full billet peek? I know what you mean by the parading, but I don't think that finger flicking is meant to be a distraction, or even a move to flaunt.

I have the folded billet in my right hand, then do the finger flip move as I put it into my left. I also do this as I start to reveal the goods. They are looking at me, not my hands. My problem for this billet is "hand size." No matter what I do, I don't feel natural. I love the ease of the move, but I have chosen to use it as such, so I don't have to do it invisibly.
Photofnish
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Bartlewizard,

Interesting post, and I see your point. Isn't there another school of thought, however, that feels that with today's more skeptical spectators, you need to dispel their suspicions immediately? For example, when using his PCT as well as the Acidus Novus peek on his watch routine, Osterlind will say something like, "Look, there's no way I can see through this paper, and I'm not gonna try to peek..."

I think that Busch's billets -- particularly his namesake method -- accomplish this in a visual, unspoken manner by virtue of being "on parade." Here's the billet. It's opaque. There's no way to see through it, and obviously I'm not trying to get a peek.

We live in an information-rich, skeptical world. Is it possible for a billet to be "psychologically invisible" from the get-go, or can you only achieve this invisibility by dispelling suspicions first?

I don't know the answer to this question.
ThomasBerger
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I agree with David about the need to be natural.

Here's something from Cassidy-"Theories and methods for the practical psychic Vol 2":

"In other words, if you make the billet the center of attention, you are not doing mentalism, you are doing a magic trick with a slip of paper. The fact that the trick may fool an audience should not fool you. As I pointed out in Volume One, they will wonder how you secretly read the paper when they should be thinking, 'Hey, that's spooky. Is he really reading my mind?'(or 'my body language,' or whatever your persona is supposed to be doing.)"

Cheers.

Tom
Vraagaard
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Hmmm, I agree, but also disagree. I agree that the billet should not be center of the focus at all - it should be psychologically invisible. "Don't run if you're not being chased", meaning don't explain a lot about the billet just because you anticipate the spectators are suspicious - your job is to handle the billet in a non-suspicious way in the first place.

Regarding the Bush Billet, in the Busch billet from PO the billet goes from Anneman position to peek position to Anneman position within 2-3 seconds while you are talking and purposely looking away or at the spectator. In my handling I can assure you there is absolutely no focus whatsoever on the billet.

I agree with you that in other of Busch's billet works there seems to be focus on the billet - but is it really so? Busch's book is a workbook and as such there is a lot of focus on the billet in the explanations. It doesn't mean that you have to put focus on the billet during performance. As I recall it, Busch constantly writes "Rehearse it to perfection so that you can do the moves without looking at the billet and in a smooth and natural way - actually so that it doesn't become a move at all - don't even consider it a move". That actually suggests that you should perform the effects without putting focus on the billet - without even looking a the billet. Let's remember "A PEEK is a PEEK, and not a STARE at the billet".

Even in the "Master Busch’s Zen Billet tear" from PP you can do the tearing process without putting attention on the billet, just like in Osterlind's PCT, just some casual tears while you are talking.

However, Busch is suggesting that since the tearing process is so clean, you can actually do it slowly and show it to the spectator. As I recall it's his own personal way of doing it. It doesn't mean that we have to copy his presentation if we like to make the tear in a more casual way.

So my conclusion is this: If you can handle "the moves" to perfection, meaning smooth and without looking at the billet before the actual peek moment, then there is no focus on Busch's billets. It's all about handling, patter and presentation. I acknowledge that it is easy to become focused on the billet from reading the PP and PO, but it doesn't have to spill over in the handling.

However always wanting to improve my handling I will dig into "Obsidian Oblique". Please advice on where I can find it.
ThomasBerger
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Vraagaard,

The more natural a sleight is, the more disarming and convincing it becomes.

The problem is that when you twirl paper, showing both sides, emphasizing ELEGANCE, you are raising a red flag in the spectator's mind.

This is very important advice from Cassidy:
"And DO NOT treat it like a 'move.' Don't be furtive and never be flourish. (I cringe whenever I hear billet moves referred to as "elegant" in appearance. If you've drawn sufficient attention to your handling to warrant appreciation for your 'elegance,' you've destroyed the illusion of mentalism. I know I have said that many times before, but I'll keep saying it because far too many performers just don't get the point. Magicians do tricks with slips of paper. Mentalists read minds."

Theories and Methods for the Practical Psychic Vol 3.

Cheers.

Tom
Vraagaard
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Quote:
On 2004-08-19 07:24, ThomasBerger wrote:
Vraagaard,
The more natural a sleight is, the more disarming and convincing it becomes.

The problem is that when you twirl paper, showing both sides, emphasizing ELEGANCE, you are raising a red flag in the spectators mind.

This is very important advice from Cassidy--



"And DO NOT treat it like a "move." Don't be furtive and never be flourish. (I cringe whenever I hear billet moves referred to as "elegant" in appearance. If you've drawn sufficient attention to your handling to warrant appreciation for your "elegance," you've destroyed the illusion of mentalism. I know I have said that many times before, but I'll keep saying it because far too many performers just don't get the point. . Magicians do tricks with slips of paper. Mentalists read minds."

Theories and methods for the practical psychic Vol 3

Cheers.
Tom




Hi Thomas,

Yes, we do agree indeed. I'm in line with your statement from Cassidy and so is Richard Busch. All I'm saying is that several of the Busch Peeks can be handled without any flourishes and in a very disarming way. Meaning they can be handled as Cassidy is proposing. And Busch says the same over and over again. "Don't even treat it as a move"

In the handling of the Busch Billet you don't "twirl paper, showing both sides, emphasizing ELEGANCE, and raising a red flag in the spectators mind". Bush doesn't even suggests anything but a 2-3 second action "from Anneman position to peek position to Anneman position" - all smooth and completely natural movements. No twirling Paper around showing both sides - not the slightest. Maybe we are not referring to the same billet. I don't know (Peek Encores p. 21 to 24).

I also agree that some of the peeks in PP and PE certainly requires more handling, but I think Busch vision is to have several ways of handling Peeks for 2 reasons: 1) You could pick your own preferable method among the methods and 2) Different tools for different situations and different audiences (lay audience vs. magician audience vs. mentalist audience)

Having said that, I would love to get a hand on Cassidy's material. So far I only have a DVD featuring a very nice Fourth Dimensional Mind reading routine (using Envelopes).

That's what I like about this forum. It always gives you inspiration to investigate other sources.
johne
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The elegance is to be found within the performer, not the spectator's perception of a "flourish" with a billet. I think when one puts enough effort in a particular handling, the "move" becomes second nature, taking away from the appearance of a "move" and leading us into a feeling of elegance.

When I do a simple switch of two billets, with a typical Anneman switch, I would have to say I feel a sense of elegance when my switch is smooth and natural. I believe that is all Richard is saying. I don't feel anyone would ever admire my paper twirl, as it is invisible for the most part. It is turned end-for-end in one fluid motion as it is transferred from one hand to the other. It has never got any "oooo's" and "ahhhh's" yet. Smile

I agree with Vraagaard 100%. "Thats what I like about this forum. it always gives you inspiration to investigate other sources."
magicinsight
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JohnE,

Which billet switch do you believe is the most natural and deceptive and which billet switches do you recommend learning?

Best regards,

Michael

P.S. A good rune stone is worth a thousand words.
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
johne
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Michael, first of all (LOL) had to get that out regarding the rune stone. I'll get back to with that one, hopefully with a good stone and not an essay.

I recommend learning any simple switch. Like I mentioned, I use Anneman's right out of "Practical Mental Magic." I use folded business cards, which fit my hands perfectly. With a naturally curved hand, the folded business card will rest right at the base of my fingers, and into the first crease of my fingers. The method of switching is not all that important if done smoothly, for it is never expected. The switching can be one handed with very little misdirection, or done while handing the spectator the next slip of paper.

JE
magicinsight
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JohnE,

Thanks for the advice. It was very helpful. I have an old video of billet methods by Doc Hilford entitled, "Faster than a speeding Billet."

I have not watched it in some time. Have you seen this video? If so, how would you compare the method(s) taught by Hilford with the Anneman switch? Once I have "mastered" Anneman's billet switch, do you have any further recommendations for more "advanced" billet switches or is Anneman's the "best". If it is mastered, there is no need for other type of billet switches, per se?

Which are your favorite billet effects and which books are they located?

Thanks again for your advice and help.

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
chanor
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Richard Busch has a website, http://www.richardbusch.com, in which he offers you to come and work with him in the Pittsburgh area, one on one, to perfect your billet work. It is expensive, but the ultimate way to learn peeks, switches, etc.
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