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Marko Ragnos
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Trying to dive in propless mentalism world, like anagrams for example and I have a few questions:
1) What if spectator don't know how to spell right a thought word and make a mistake during performance? How to turn such fail to win?
2) What if spectator don't care about following process? Give random answers, for example.
3) What if spectator distracted? Drunk or tired.
4) What if spectator forget some information during the process and it lead to fail?
5) How to prevent failure in noisy environments, when spectator misheard instructions?
ed wood
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Marko Ragnos wrote:
Trying to dive in propless mentalism world, like anagrams for example and I have a few questions:
1) What if spectator don't know how to spell right a thought word and make a mistake during performance? How to turn such fail to win?
2) What if spectator don't care about following process? Give random answers, for example.
3) What if spectator distracted? Drunk or tired.
4) What if spectator forget some information during the process and it lead to fail?
5) How to prevent failure in noisy environments, when spectator misheard instructions?


1. It fails, use an imp/pe*k instead
2. It fails, use an imp/pe*k instead
3. It fails, use an imp/pe*k instead
4. It fails, use an imp/pe*k instead
5. It fails, use an imp/pe*k instead

Simple fact, I've yet to meet a single performer who makes their living from performing mentalism who uses propless as a sole method for anything. Sure a few ideas from psychological subtleties here and there to add to the routine but you'd be crazy to try this stuff in the real world. The only people who use this stuff are those who make their living selling mentalism to magicians.
Mark Timon
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Propless mentalism is the most boring thing you cant do. You are an entertainer unless you are a comedian , people want to see things happen. Just look around what pros are doing and you realize that you already know much of that.

Regards
Slim King
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Volunteer selection is of key importance here.... Simply avoid drunks and other asshats … Smile Make a list of things or types of personalities you don't need...
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Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Mark Timon wrote:
Propless mentalism is the most boring thing you cant do. You are an entertainer unless you are a comedian , people want to see things happen. Just look around what pros are doing and you realize that you already know much of that.

Regards


Depends on the kind of propless you do. Psychological forces can be quick and very entertaining.
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Lemniscate
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Mark Timon wrote:
Propless mentalism is the most boring thing you cant do. You are an entertainer unless you are a comedian , people want to see things happen. Just look around what pros are doing and you realize that you already know much of that.

Regards


Please, Mark, tell us how you really feel. lol

I'll simply give an example that shows why I disagree with your blanket statement.

I just wrote about Wonder Words, so this was a true piece of synchronicity.

An effect in Wonder Words, where "examples" of cards are used to eliminate them from consideration. I used it quite often, although not as much any more as I don't do anything with playing cards in my paid gigs (admittedly as rare as they are these days). You ask someone to THINK of a card (no cards are used). You name the card. The first time I did this I was on a cruise, listening to Wonder Words on an iPod (remember those). I did it for my wife. She literally dropped her drink. She's seen this stuff for decades. I decided to work on it and do it a bit more.

Listen to Wonder Words if you want to learn it. Also talks about what to do if it "misses" (no real misses but...). I am sure the first question is what my hit rate is. That's a good question. I'd say direct hit is 10-15%? I'm lowballing because I already know people aren't going to believe (and I really don't care). Misses aren't an issue and most can be turned into hits too but I am going on too long.

Other effect, and I actually discussed this on his private forum for a while, but Paul Brook has an effect in The Alchemical Tools which is similar to the effect above. I used some ideas from that, with the Wonder Words effect, and ideas from Paolo Cavalli's Sigma release.

Propless, quick, easy to do, no big deal if there is a miss. These are the elements that I need for any propless effect I may consider doing. There are not a ton of them.

And finally, this is the answer to the OP. If it is quick and organic, then any issues are just you warming up, getting calibrated, or even just getting to know how the people think (for example). The last thing I would ever do is play up a propless effect AHEAD of time.

In retrospect, I would for sure, but not going into it. Just my thoughts.

Good luck,
Lem
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Oscar999
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Close to propless, but my two favorite effects from Wonder Words are how to vanish a coin with words alone ... and Ghost Coins.

Oscar
Mr. Dural
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Marko Ragnos wrote:
Trying to dive in propless mentalism world, like anagrams for example and I have a few questions:
1) What if spectator don't know how to spell right a thought word and make a mistake during performance? How to turn such fail to win?
2) What if spectator don't care about following process? Give random answers, for example.
3) What if spectator distracted? Drunk or tired.
4) What if spectator forget some information during the process and it lead to fail?
5) How to prevent failure in noisy environments, when spectator misheard instructions?



I was also enamored with propless...until I tried it in the real world, and in the real world :

• They can't spell
• They can't do simple math
• They can't follow simple instructions
• They are usually out to have a good time, not to do mental processes.


Propless is often procedural - which makes it look more like a guessing game than mind reading. I know people here saying that failing /missing is no big deal. It is! When you fail / miss you lose credibility.
This is why it is advised to use propless sparingly.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Marko Ragnos wrote:
Trying to dive in propless mentalism world, like anagrams for example and I have a few questions:
1) What if spectator don't know how to spell right a thought word and make a mistake during performance? How to turn such fail to win?
2) What if spectator don't care about following process? Give random answers, for example.
3) What if spectator distracted? Drunk or tired.
4) What if spectator forget some information during the process and it lead to fail?
5) How to prevent failure in noisy environments, when spectator misheard instructions?


Of course the host wants to get what he/she paid for from his/her $6,500. Use your creativity and put together a back up for each path so it will not lead to a dead end. There are many turns you can make, just do not let it be the wrong one.
IAIN
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How many times can you PW or NW during a paid gig?

Seriously, don't perform for drunk people for anything other than surefire and social...even PA or BA requires thought and being present in the room...

And depends on your set, the variety and the skillsets you profess to have...
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RileyG
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Mark Timon wrote:
Propless mentalism is the most boring thing you cant do. You are an entertainer unless you are a comedian , people want to see things happen. Just look around what pros are doing and you realize that you already know much of that.

Regards


It’s not what you know, it’s how you present your effects... it all comes down to character development and being an entertainer.
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WitchDocChris
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Propless != process heavy.

While many contemporary resources are very process heavy, they are by no means the only things out there that are "propless".

I use propless material in "the real world" all the time. I also use methods from propless material in my material that uses props as well.

There's value in props for a variety of reasons, but there's nothing stopping someone from learning how to entertain with only their minds, skills, and wit.
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Dr Ross
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Most of the issues listed in the OP apply to nearly all effects, both propless and prop-based. For example, they may mishear an instruction for what to do with a prop (e.g., a book, the folding of a b***et, a phone); forget a playing card; write down something silly on a b***et (if drunk), etc etc. You just have to practice and perform regularly so that you become proficient with the method. That way, when a situational issue arises, you will be calm and quick-on-your-feet when dealing with the issue, regardless of whether it is prop or propless effect. Spectator and environment management skills will, of course, also come into play.

With propless specifically, it is useful to have a variety of effects in your arsenal. That way, you can assess the situation/spectator and perform an appropriate effect (i.e., something that is less process-heavy). This could include a 'Which hand?' effect, 'Wish you were here' (Pete Turner), 'Guess Who?' from IS3 (Pete Turner), an ECROF effect (Ross Tayler), Gypsy Name Guess (Fraser Parker/Ross Tayler), contact mind-reading, and perhaps some cold reading. The little 'process' in these effects will appear no different to acting out an apparent process for a prop-based effect (e.g., seemingly reading someone's body language).

- Ross
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John C
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Mr. Dural wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Marko Ragnos wrote:
Trying to dive in propless mentalism world, like anagrams for example and I have a few questions:
1) What if spectator don't know how to spell right a thought word and make a mistake during performance? How to turn such fail to win?
2) What if spectator don't care about following process? Give random answers, for example.
3) What if spectator distracted? Drunk or tired.
4) What if spectator forget some information during the process and it lead to fail?
5) How to prevent failure in noisy environments, when spectator misheard instructions?



I was also enamored with propless...until I tried it in the real world, and in the real world :

• They can't spell
• They can't do simple math
• They can't follow simple instructions
• They are usually out to have a good time, not to do mental processes.


Propless is often procedural - which makes it look more like a guessing game than mind reading. I know people here saying that failing /missing is no big deal. It is! When you fail / miss you lose credibility.
This is why it is advised to use propless sparingly.


Yes I agree it doesn't work in pre school shows.

Stick with the pom pom stick and magic coloring book.
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Count Lustig
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On Aug 7, 2018, John C wrote:
...Yes I agree it doesn't work in pre school shows...

If you think that preschoolers are the only ones who can't spell, you need to spend more time reading posts on the Magic Café.
Steven Keyl
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Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Count Lustig wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, John C wrote:
...Yes I agree it doesn't work in pre school shows...

If you think that preschoolers are the only ones who can't spell, you need to spend more time reading posts on the Magic Café.


I agrea holeheartedly!
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Marko Ragnos
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On Aug 7, 2018, Dr Ross wrote:
Most of the issues listed in the OP apply to nearly all effects, both propless and prop-based. For example, they may mishear an instruction for what to do with a prop (e.g., a book, the folding of a b***et, a phone); forget a playing card; write down something silly on a b***et (if drunk), etc etc. You just have to practice and perform regularly so that you become proficient with the method. That way, when a situational issue arises, you will be calm and quick-on-your-feet when dealing with the issue, regardless of whether it is prop or propless effect. Spectator and environment management skills will, of course, also come into play.

With propless specifically, it is useful to have a variety of effects in your arsenal. That way, you can assess the situation/spectator and perform an appropriate effect (i.e., something that is less process-heavy). This could include a 'Which hand?' effect, 'Wish you were here' (Pete Turner), 'Guess Who?' from IS3 (Pete Turner), an ECROF effect (Ross Tayler), Gypsy Name Guess (Fraser Parker/Ross Tayler), contact mind-reading, and perhaps some cold reading. The little 'process' in these effects will appear no different to acting out an apparent process for a prop-based effect (e.g., seemingly reading someone's body language).

- Ross

How did you deal in situation where spectator make a mistake in spelling and in result there will be another world in the reveal?
Mr. Woolery
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Marko, one of the really interesting things about mentalism is that you can switch methods if you like. Let's say you use a PA to determine that a participant has chosen a particular word from your list. Only he messed up the spelling and you do a big deal about how "Okay, I think I have it! Your word is 'transient'!" And he looks puzzled and says "uh, no."

That's what you are worried about, right? That's one of the two dangers of the anagram. (The other is that everyone will figure out you are using an anagram and that kills the trick right there.)

Be ready with another method. Simple as that. You tried the propless direct mind reading and it didn't work because this guy can't spell. Or you messed up the mnemonic for your anagram. Or something. Doesn't matter. It didn't work.

So, say something like "I'm having a harder time connecting to you than I expected. Maybe I'm tired tonight or had too many drinks. Anyway, how about your write your word down to really focus on it and help lock in the letters one by one. No! Wait! You can think of any word at all if you don't want to use that one. Write it down on this business card." Or this bar napkin. Or this piece of an envelope.

If you don't know what to do with that paper, go get Switchcraft by Elliott Bressler. This is simply the best value there is for learning to do mentalism with bits of paper. And Elliott is a really nice guy.

Alternatively, if you reveal the wrong word, screwing it up, just laugh it off. "Sorry. This isn't something that works all the time. I got some of the letters and sometimes I can't tell when I'm actually getting the whole word and when it is just my imagination trying to make something out of the letters. Let's try something else." And move on. Do something entirely different.

Or just say "Obviously I'm not connecting with you at all. I ended up just taking a wild guess and hoping I would get it. I can't connect with everyone. but maybe this other person over here would be willing to try something with me?" And do a different anagram or another trick entirely.

There are some propless effects that are bulletproof for one person and not for another. C*ld r*ading is one. Some people can nail it with absolute sincerity and make the most general stuff seem like it applies perfectly to a person. Others will come across like they are reading from a bad script. I've seen PA material used in ways that is supposed to look like real mindreading and it looks like fishing. I've seen the same method used by a different performer and it seems like the real deal. If you look like you are trying to do a trick, people will potentially try to bust you. If you look like you are genuinely trying to read minds, they will either cooperate or dismiss you, but won't be trying to bust your methods.

It took me a long time to understand and internalize the lesson Bob Cassidy put into his Artful Mentalism 2 about making your material fit your character. I now have an easier time not buying books and videos because I have done some work defining what material will and won't work for me.

In short, and this isn't anything he didn't share here on the Café when he was alive, so I'm not taking away from potential sales of the book:

-What are your claimed abilities? Are you a telepathist? A body language expert? A hypnotist? A psychometrist? A telekinetic? A sorcerer? What is it you actually want people to believe you do? Or do you want to admit that you are doing tricks in the first place and have people spend the whole performance trying to figure out your methods and bust you?

-If you could do this ability for real, what would it look like? What would your limitations be? What conditions would be necessary for you to do your thing?

-Who will you perform for? If you are dealing with drunks, illiterates, or people who are likely to challenge you, you will need very solid effects that can't go wrong. If you are dealing with people who genuinely believe in psychic abilities, you will want to tailor your material to work with what they expect such things to look like.

-Under what circumstances can you simply not do things? You need to be able to say no to a request if you are not up for performing.

Only after you figure these things out, ask what material, propless or otherwise, will fit with your performing approach. Some material will work with almost any presentation, some will not. Kind of hard to do a book test and claim it is body language or lightning calculation. But a "which hand" routine can be telepathy, body language, psychometry, or precognition.

Since you are anticipating the things that can go wrong, I have to assume you know some people who are likely to mess up their part or try to mess you up. Propless might not be best choice for your main body of material. You might be better off learning some card-based mentalism or something like that. If you really want to do without any props, that's cool. But anything you do has the potential to fail. Embrace that. Find ways to work with it and make your performance better for it. Experience is the best teacher. I've only been busted once on my LD test. It actually caused me to eliminate half of it, which turns out to make it a better experience for the participant. I don't divine the name now. They find the dead name and that's the end of it. But it keeps all the focus on them. Getting busted was valuable to me. Your failures will be the best teacher you can get for improving your presentations.

-Patrick
Dr Ross
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2018, Marko Ragnos wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 7, 2018, Dr Ross wrote:
Most of the issues listed in the OP apply to nearly all effects, both propless and prop-based. For example, they may mishear an instruction for what to do with a prop (e.g., a book, the folding of a b***et, a phone); forget a playing card; write down something silly on a b***et (if drunk), etc etc. You just have to practice and perform regularly so that you become proficient with the method. That way, when a situational issue arises, you will be calm and quick-on-your-feet when dealing with the issue, regardless of whether it is prop or propless effect. Spectator and environment management skills will, of course, also come into play.

With propless specifically, it is useful to have a variety of effects in your arsenal. That way, you can assess the situation/spectator and perform an appropriate effect (i.e., something that is less process-heavy). This could include a 'Which hand?' effect, 'Wish you were here' (Pete Turner), 'Guess Who?' from IS3 (Pete Turner), an ECROF effect (Ross Tayler), Gypsy Name Guess (Fraser Parker/Ross Tayler), contact mind-reading, and perhaps some cold reading. The little 'process' in these effects will appear no different to acting out an apparent process for a prop-based effect (e.g., seemingly reading someone's body language).

- Ross

How did you deal in situation where spectator make a mistake in spelling and in result there will be another world in the reveal?


Hi Marko - see Patrick's (aka Mr Woolery) post above for advice on this. He has said it better than I ever could Smile

Ross
"If you want to be taken seriously, always check your fly" - Corey Taylor (of Slipknot/Stone Sour)
KLMind
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I think propless is not for all spectators. Pick spectator carefully for the propless piece. Mixing the process props to make the reveals stronger.
In the end, it really depends on your character and environment, propless is not for everyone.
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