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johne
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Michael,I PM'd you. Chanor, great advice. I forgot all about that on Richard's site. That would be pretty nice to do.

JE
Photofnish
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Great discussion here. Thanks to everyone for their insight and opinions. Mentalism is indeed a thinking man's (and woman's) game, and I know I have much to learn.

Thomas, question for you regarding this Cassidy passage:

"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."

In his Name/Place Routine, Cassidy burns a billet with his lighter. Because fire is by nature a focal point, isn't he in a sense making "the billet the center of attention"? Just curious as to how you perceive this.

Thanks.
ThomasBerger
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No...the heat is on the billet the spectator is holding. That is the target.

The billet being burned is "out of the frame". It is irrelevant, it is eliminated, and not used. That's the perception.

Quite different from showing a billet on both sides, tearing, showing on both sides again, etc.

Tom
johne
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I don't know, Tom. I always thought the fire brought attention to that, and people will remember the fire, and also remember what it was used for---to burn up the paper in which the writing was done.

In essence, if burning the billet takes the heat off the billet (kind of ironic in a funny way LOL) then we could take our peek in any fashion (i.e., Acidus Novus, Busch's, etc.) then burn it so it is irrelevant and not used.

I am always excited to hear thoughts in this arena.

Thanks for sharing all the input.

John Eddington
ThomasBerger
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Johne,
You are not comparing apples with apples.

To compare the 2 issues, you would show the billet on both sides, then you would set fire to it ...then you would show it on both sides again etc.

In other words...overdo the display which by it's action, calls attention to it.

Basic misdirection and audience management teaches us that what we make important, the spectator adds extra importance to.

Think about when you started to learn the French Drop with a coin. The fake transfer has to be underplayed.
You relax, you don't look at the coin, you talk to the spec...in other words, you exercise basic misdirection.

After the transfer you have to use Time Misdirection.
The wait prevents them from backtracking and thinking..."where was the last place I saw the coin".

You do this by convincing yourself absolutely that you hold it...you WAIT...and you focus on it thereby causing the spec to realise that something is important is about to happen. They are CONVINCED the coin is there. that's why they are amazed it disappears. If they want to see your other hand......you stuffed up!!

This is the moment that is "burned" into their memory.
The fist shown just prior to opening.
Then when you open...there is maximum attention and concentration at that moment, the moment of disappearance.

If a routine moves from A to B to C to D, then your job is to do AB, make them forget about C ever happening, then hit them with D. This prevents any reconstruction because there are missing steps.

The way to make sleights forgotten, and not ever have a red flag raised in a spectators to prevent backtracking...is to make a sleight so casual and natural in context...it is NEVER suspected. You do it on the offbeat and invest importance AFTERWARDS.

That moment is "frozen" or burned in the spectators mind
if proper Time Misdirection is applied.

Bringing this together, the burning of the billet is unimportant in the routine. The switch is done on the offbeat. No importance is put in it by the performer...the important part follows. If you use correct audience management and time misdirection, you can "freeze" moments in a spectators memory.
That is what they remember afterwards.

To draw attention to the billet while it was burning, elegantly showing both sides etc would be suicide.

The woo-woo (as Eugene Burger calls it) happens with the billet in their fist. That is important to you, and therefore the spectator.

Your argument about "burning up the paper on which the writing was" is not right. This is because there are 2 billets, you reveal the one in their hand!
That is the important part of the routine, and that's what is played up.

The second revelation is almost an afterthought.

Your comment about using fire to make all peeks invisible doesn't make sense.
If you read the Andy Nyman lecture notes, you will see how he makes his peek invisible-- he turns around with his back to his audience!! (Con Air routine developed with Marc Paul). Brilliant routine by the way.

Everything must appear within context.
That's what makes convincing structure.

Look at how Kurtz does his peeks, using the "Archer" technique and other methods. One thing for sure, Kurtz and Cassidy understand audience management.

I think the number one skill to aquire in this biz is to be able to judge effects from an audienec perspective.
It is critical to listen to your audience.
I always want to know what people remember. That moment that was "frozen" in their memory.

For years I doubted my own ability to recognise powerful effects and/or structures. You learn to see things like a layman when you show them video performance and see what they think, ask them what stands out after a performances. Some people remember things for years afterwards. You need to know why.

After a while you can judge what works, but more importantly, HOW laymen think. We lose that ability very early on when we learn magic/mentalism and need to get it back at all costs.
Ultimately, it's what works for you.

I have done my version of Name/Place routine everywhere.
It's totally incomprehensible because of the various principles at work. It's worked in pubs, it works for doctors and pyschologists at the Pharmaceutical gigs.

So that's my take on it.

Cheers.
Tom
johne
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Thanks for your take on this Thomas...I enjoyed seeing your thoughts, and you have much more experience with Cassidy and Kurtz...I have none, nor know the two routines you mentioned...that may explain my Granny Smith and your Golden Delicious apples Smile

I do think the burning can still disguise a method of peeking. At least from a non lay perspective. I had a college intern explain to me an effect he did one night at a party. I had it pegged as a simple CT in which he used the burn as cover for his peek. He later showed me his routine, and did not use a center tear at all...From my viewpoint I had no idea why he burned the paper...there was no need to at all. I think somewhere along the way he seen a routine in which this was done, and added the burning as an afterthought. Classic moment Smile

Off for the night...thanks for the discussion

John E.
Vraagaard
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I'm in line with Thomas here:

As Cassidy says on the DVD: the billet switched and burned is ELIMINATED, meaning all the focus is on the billet in the spectators hand.

Meaning no attention is given to the bill switch (on the off beat, while you are talking about the remaining billet in the hands of the spec), and the burning is not raising focus, but simply eliminating the "unimportant" billet.

It's rather clever. Actually from the same DVD I admire Cassidy's take on the "reversed" one ahead principle on "the Fourth dimensional Telepathy". This is truely one of the finest "one ahead" effect I've seen. Clever use of the envelopes, clever disquise of the one ahead principle, and great subtlety of being able to return even the first envelopes content - just beautifull. And yet so simple in it's handling.

However, It's *** difficult to find adequate envelopes when you live in scandinavia. Can anyone recommend a great online store for coin envelopes and smaller envelopes that opens in the end??
johne
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I was completely off topic when I was commenting. I got off of thinking in terms of "switching" with my comments. I was referring to peeking a single billet in use, such as in Osterlind's watch routine. It was to be taken lightly as a means to get rid of a billet that might contain writing in a particular area of a billet.
jiggyjer
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Funny, these discussions always fall into the trap of discussing which moves are better and who has the best peek etc. Mentalism in my mind is not about the moves. This is a card magicky way of apraching your mentalism. Mentalism is much more about drama and presence. Besides, everyone knows that the Berstien centre tear is the best anyway so there's not reason to even discuss it. I will assume that everyone here is in compleate agreement and we can all consider the topic closed.
By the way who makes the best impression board for me to use. I want an impression board that will really fool them, and don't say the Brown Hornet or the Nelson ultra perfect clip boards because I already own them. No what I want is a really good clip board that will really fool them!
J
johne
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Since you brought it up, jiggyjer...Richard Osterlind has a nice impression board, and his PCT it top notch. I haven't even heard of the Berstein Tear...did you mean "Bernstein Bear?" Smile

John E.
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2004-08-20 13:11, jiggyjer wrote:

By the way who makes the best impression board for me to use. I want an impression board that will really fool them, and don't say the Brown Hornet or the Nelson ultra perfect clip boards because I already own them. No what I want is a really good clip board that will really fool them!
J


It is not so much the "impression board that fools them" but the ability of the performer to use them effectively. If you cannot get satisfactory results using impression boards of the caliber of the ones you mentioned, then I would be surprised if anything will ever be good enough.

All devices of this kind have their good points and drawbacks. You have to build your routine taking these pluses and minuses into consideration. I know that I have used the Riggs Hornet/Skeeter line of impression boards (and other devices that I have developed) to great effect. But always it is the manner in which these gimmicks are used that determines their effectiveness.

Joe Z.
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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
magicinsight
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I totally agree with Mysticz. Even if you use the $1,800.00 Psychic Clipboard but do not present it well, the effect will flop. The Osterlind Imp Pad (a terrific impression device) is not an impression board per se, but an impression pad which is used for pre-show work and not for real time effects unlike the Hornet or Shrink's IA pad which can be used for pe-show work or real time effects.

I also never heard of the Berstein tear and would like anyone to come forward with any further information. I did, however, hear of the Bernstein Bears but I believe they only do close-up magic using Bee playing cards, no mentalism though.

You always get the best punch lines in first though.
“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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Hey...the Bee playing cards was really good Smile I really hope someone speaks up on the Berstein Tear though. Everyone already knows it's the best, and I don't even know it.

Maybe we should start a new thread on the best Center Tear LOL

John E.
mysticz
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The Bernstein tear is the creation of Bruce Bernstein. His center tear, one of the first practical "instant-read" center tears that can be accomplished using practically any size or type of paper scrap, has been in print for years and is well known to many mentalists. Bruce showed me his technique early this summer and it is truly a wonderful application.

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
johne
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Thanks so much Joe...I guess I got in on it a bit late. Osterlind's was the first time I had seen an "instant read" billet. Then Richard Busch's handling which was a bit different yet, but still an "instant read."

Thanks for the input.


John Eddington
magicinsight
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Which publication can it be found in?

Thank you very much for your help.
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
mysticz
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I believe the Bernstein Center Tear can be found in Bernstein's "Classics."

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
magicinsight
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Thank you very much, Mysticz. You have been very helpful. Now on with the show! Where are those Bearnstein bears when you need them? No doubt playing blackjack again with the Koala bears!
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
jiggyjer
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FACETIOUS: adj; joking or trying to be jocular.

(Webster's New World Dictionary)
francisco
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About the 'burning' of the CT - I used to do it, however a good point was put forward by a friend - why would you do it? it's completely illogical!

apparently the idea of burning started due to the spirit mediums in the 19th century and probably before that by claiming they could read the words, of whatever in the 'smoke'

however, we live in the 21st century, and not as many people believe in the older 'methods' which with mediums use nowadays

does anyone else believe the idea of burning the billet outdated?

I liked the idea but sometimes you have to let things go

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
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