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Bill Blagg III
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Does anyone out there perform one? Which one do you prefer? Explain?
Osiris
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Firstly, you're a "Magician" wanting to do a piece of MENTALISM. So ask yourself why you want to do a bit of business that is NOT part of your field. Are you simply wanting to jump on the current popularity train associated with Mentalism and Bizarre Magick or are you honestly seeking to create an act that is dedicated to the art of Mentalism/Psychic Entertainment?

If you're wanting to remain with magic as your primary then you need to consider "how a magician would present a Headline Prediction" vs. how a "psychic" would do such. The psychology is completely different and will reflect upon your character in ways that can be empowering or distracting. This is where many a magic buff get lost when it comes to Mentalism vs. Magic. They refuse to accept the contrast in dynamics -- the psychological differences that either art form hosts. In short, it's like oil & water, they simply do not mix but you can combine them in ways that embellish your primary course of issue.

That said, I'll suggest that you look at bits along the lines of the "Air Tight" prediction (very simple, inexpensive and the audience loves it!) If you have the cash, there are those nifty little (and very expensive) prediction chests... I'd take a long hard look at the one offered by Stevens Magic. It's well made and for what it is, reasonably priced.

I've rambled quite a bit here but I feel it is important that you and others consider certain points. It's not that I'm one of those opinionated Mentalists but rather, I'm an experienced performer that believes in stacking the deck to my advantage e.g. I'm seeking to help you look at how to do this kind of bit properly and within the mode of your character, etc.

Feel free to PM me and we can discuss things in a bit more detail. Do bare in mind that the Headline Prediction isn't what it used to be. I've had editors to Newspapers laugh, agree to the bit and ask me which method I'm using... they knew more about the gag than I did (and that's saying quite a bit). Nonetheless, there are ways of doing it and making it work to your advantage.

Best of luck!
Bill Blagg III
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I was actually inquiring to see if other performers out there were using the cassette predictions available and what they thought of them. I know that Copperfield uses one in his Lotto prediction routine and it plays very nicely, and of course in his hands it should. I appreciate your feedback. I've done mentalism routines in my shows for years along with the magic and the audiences absolutely love it. Presentation is key I agree.
Starrpower
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Osiris, lighten up. Magic is magic. It's only us "Magic Geeks" who differentiate. Copperfield does mental effects all the time, and people never quesiton it -- to them, it's magic. So call off the Magic Police. Give Bill a break ... if he wants to do a headline prediction, it's his choice.

I have used the headline prediction with a cassette tape. I don't use a marketed verson, I made up several methods of my own. My only objection to it now is that cassettes are seldom used any more. I suppose we can rationally get away with it for a few more years, as not everyone had a CD recorder, but before long it'll be like bringing our an 8-track, or a wire recorder.

I think it's not as effective in the show as when I do a written prediction. A lot of it has to with the timing ... recorded predictions have a tendency to not be able to account for applause or other "real time" activity on stage. I much prefer to have the audience member simply read aloud the prediction.

Additionally, it's less stuff to carry if you use the written prediction. And, people ALWAYS suspect electronics when you use anyitng sound-related.
MagicByRy
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Starrpower,
I feel the same way about the cassette prediction. We currently use one in our show and it gets a great response. I am unfamiliar with all of the cassette predictions on the market, we came up with our own method and it only cost $20. Plus, the audience members are chosen at random, asked random questions, the tape is never switched and always insight, the cassette player is run off batteries so there is no "line in" to carry the audio, and they get to keep the tape, the answers are different every show! It is pretty much fool proof. However, as you point out many people expect some type of electronic equipment being used. Cassettes are out dated too. We thought about using a CD, but it didn't quite make sense to me. If I wanted to record a message for you, I would not burn it onto a CD, I would record it on a cassette. That's just me though. Bill if you are interested in this effect PM me and give you more info.
Starrpower
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I agree about the cassettes. Still, for how much longer? Soon, I believe cassettes will be obsolete.

I have another truly beautiful prediction effect that uses several cassettes, each having a single recorded song, and the one selected matches the music on a music box. All are played, and all are different. It's a nice piece of mentalism, but I fear it's on it's last leg due to cassettes ...
Muddy
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I don't know the technique, but why do you have to use cassettes? Why not CDs?
MagicByRy
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Muddy,
Good question, the method we use, could easily use a CD (would cost a little bit more, but can be done), like I mentioned though, a CD doesn't quite make sense to me. If you had a message you wanted to record for me to play later, you prob. would not burn your voice to a CD, but record it to a cassette. Again, that's just me. I am going to start working on a CD prediction though.
Michael Dustman
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I talked with Chris Kenner one night regarding the Lottery effect Copperfield does and why not a cd vs. casette. For one thing, people don't usually record thoughts on cd, as much as they would just grab a tape player. Also, the perception that most everyone has a CD burner now and know how to digitally alter what is on them. People somehow perceive it is more legitamate to record on cassette than CD.

Let me give one more good example though. I do a Vegas Prediction effect combining Casino Royale, with Room Service, with my own version of a Lottery prediction using a Keno ticket. I have been doing this routine for about 8 years, and admittingly after seeing Copperfield do the cassette recorder, I experimented with using a CD for a give away. Backstage at one show, my computer locked up and wasn't able to burn the cd without rebooting. At least with a cassette recorder, you can record it at a moments notice and is more portable.

Incidentally, if you want to make a good gaffed tape deck, check out the effect "Unkown Power" in Mind, Myth and Magick.
Muddy
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MagicByRy: Understood ... My question was really directed at the effect that Starrpower referred to ...
Joshua Quinn
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This is only tangentally related, but with all due respect, I think the day when cassettes are as antiquated as 8-tracks is already well upon us. They've become obsolete enough that using them in any capacity will probably seem at least odd, if not outright suspicious, to at least some members of your audience. If I wanted to record a message for you, I probably would burn it to CD. Or I might use a digital voice recorder, or an MP3 player, or voice mail, etc. (And if I were younger, that list might also include any number of other gadgets that now, at the age of 34, I'm already too geezerly to know about.) Cassette would probably be my last choice, as I wouldn't assume that people even have cassette players anymore.

As for people burning CDs and knowing how to digitally alter what's on them, that's true... but it presents just as much of a problem for cassettes as it does for CDs, because everybody also knows that you can swap audio between cassettes and CDs/hard drives/whatever else.

I will concede the possibility that those two factors could be used to cancel each other out, if you brought out a cassette player in order to create the impression of being so hopelessly out of touch that your audience would never suspect high-tech trickery. Smile
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
discjockey
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I good idea would be lesley's in paramiracles, or becker's in stunners or stunners plus. both are very very good.
espresto
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I agree with disc jockey - I really like Becker's version. It has a triple prediction - very powerful.
Tom Jorgenson
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If you are researching Headline Prediction methods, don't forget Walter Gibson's method described in Al Mann's "Breakthrough" manuscript. Very sneaky and slick and totally clean from the start of the show to the reveal.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Osiris
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Quote:
On 2005-01-11 12:17, Starrpower wrote:
Osiris, lighten up. Magic is magic. It's only us "Magic Geeks" who differentiate. Copperfield does mental effects all the time, and people never quesiton it -- to them, it's magic. So call off the Magic Police. Give Bill a break ... if he wants to do a headline prediction, it's his choice.



Spoken like a true MAGICIAN...

Magicians are a lot like NRA members that refuse to let go of their guns (in this case, bad habits and disrespect of kindred art forms) until such things are removed from their cold dead hands. IN short, magician simply refuse to recognize the difference between either field and feel it their right to do anything that involves trickery or basic deception. They rarely have the patience or the discipline (let alone the respect) to see and learn how to allow those finite differences serve them to a greater level of performance. Which is the actual issue.

I'm not saying you or anyone else can't do a Headline Prediction, I'm merely suggesting that this is something one should think about and consider. When it comes to the one in question... well, it's a magic trick and though there are some very clean (and seemingly impossible) versions to it, I'd have to say that the average Mage would get more mileage from such a contrivance, than a Mentalist. NOT BECAUSE ITS A BAD PIECE OF WORK, MIND YOU... rather, because it's been seen in far too many Magic Shows. The novelty of the gag has been lost and thus, the commercial use and availability of it has taken away from the psychological power it once allowed the Mentalist/Psychic Entertainer.

We're seeing the same thing happen right now with certain commercial Book Tests that have been heralded as the "beat all" systems on the market. Yet, when a 13 or 14 year old kid is featuring MOAB in his birthday party shows it seriously deminishes the impact and value said system would have in the hands of an accomplished performer that has studied and applied his/her self into understanding the psychology and approach for selling said bet as being "real"... impossible!

There are most certainly "Headline Predictions" as well as versions to "Confabulation" (like "Dream Vision") that work far better in a Magic Show and for magical artists than they do for the serious Mentalist. That's my only point... to find material that is practical to what it is and the image you are trying to project around yourself. In so doing, lend respect to the other side of this craft and allow the more surreal to remain in the hands of those that specialise in that particular approach.

It's like Vernon used to say (since his name has already been invokved) "Why work harder when you don't have to?"

When you are able to stage things in a way that permits the greatest psychological advantage available to you in a performance, EVERYBODY WINS! So stop screaming for the right to run up-hill simply because you want to be on the current bandwagon... such fickledness only makes you look like a greedy moron vs. someone that knows his/her stuff and retains a sense of consistency around themselves e.g. marketability!

Just my two-cents worth...

BTW... there is a CD version of the old Cassette tape prediction. I forget who brought it out, but it's been available (quietly) for at least a year that I'm aware of. I've been told that there are at least two different methods in use e.g. two different sources. The retail on the bit running well over $2k U.S.

Best of luck to all!
drosenbe0813
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I'll jump on this bandwagon....I have removed all 'prediction' type effects from my show. This allows me to totally avoid the 'if you're so good, then what are tonight's lottery number' question. I simply say that I don't do predictions (which I don't!) I read minds.

That said, I think Lee Earle's idea of predicting pictures of the front pages of a newspaper comes closest to being able 'sell' a prediction.
snushy
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As I've posted on similar threads, a great version of the headline prediction can be done using the Theta Portfolio available from Hank Lee. It's not cheap, but certainly less expensive than most commercial cassette versions of the effect.
Its main strength, IMHO, is that it allows for the evelope which contains the prediction, and which is opened by the spectator, to be quite large. Those familiar with versions in which the prediction, after opening layers of envelopes or other containers, is found written upon a piece of paper which could only fit into a t#### t##, will understand the value and added deception which a large envelope with a full sized piece of paper inside upon which the prediction appears in large, bold letters would represent.
BTW...Osiris...you take yourself WAY too seriously. History's finest mentalists, including Dunninger, Kreskin, Osterlind, just to name a few, all effortlessly combine magic and mentalism in the same program. The object is to amaze. To do that, and to paraphrase Malcolm X, we should seek to do so by any means necessary.
If you're in New York on a Friday night, make sure to see Steve Cohen's Chamber Magic at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. During his wonderfully entertaining show he combines pure sleight of hand, straight mentalizm, and even a touch of the bizzare. All the while he holds the audience in the palm of his hand, mainly because he comes across as someone who DOESN'T TAKE HIMSELF SO FRIGGIN' SERIOUSLY.
L. Zaslow
YOU KNOW WHY YOU DON'T SEE? BECAUSE YOU DON'T WATCH! - SLYDINI
RG Allen
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Quote:
On 2005-01-11 12:17, Starrpower wrote:
Osiris, lighten up. Magic is magic. It's only us "Magic Geeks" who differentiate.


Well said.

"Mentalism" is a specialised branch of the field of "magic" in general. What we don't need is pompous MENTALISTS going around thinking that they are somehow superior to magicians, or that mentalism should never overlap with other areas of magic. Sure, it's a different discipline to (say) card magic, but no cause for such an attitude.
espresto
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I don't think Osiris is taking himself too seriously at all. He is simply saying, think a bit before adding a mental piece to a magic act. Copperfield does just that. His lottery prediction is consistent with the theme of his show as he tells a story about his grandfather and his lucky numbers. I love magic, I love mentalism , but I would not do MOAB after my chop cup and bill to lemon routine. Not just because it would not make sense, but out of respect to other mentalists who make this the grand finale from the mindreading segment of their act.
PsiDroid
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Osiris knows what is talking about.
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