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Topic: Meet Alain Nu here.
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 4, 2005 10:13PM)
Hi, I'm Alain Nu.

Happy July 4th!

I'm registered under the name Geff Mongoose because, for mysterious reasons, I can't register myself under my own name, but there you have it. To the best of my knowledge, this may be the first message that I have ever posted here on the Café.

So anyway, my schedule has been real tight. Especially after the airing of my first four part "mystery man" series on TLC, "The Mysterious World of Alain Nu."

I know there are questions about my recently aired TV series on TLC--so I'm hoping that those who might have a question, or anyone else interested might find out that I've posted here.

I really wanted to be a part of those conversations, but the way my life goes, time is hard to distribute properly. I would, however, like to offer you, to the best of my ability, the chance to have answered whatever questions you may have during a very short window of time:

It starts NOW-- July 4th and ends July 9th (this Saturday). I apologize that it can't take longer than that (at least, for now). (close friends of mine will laugh at my being like this, because they're used to me calling them up at the last minute to tell them that I'm coming into town on the same day I'm coming into town). :)

If Steve Brookes would contact me about arranging a more formal event here at the Café, I would be thrilled, but timing is crucial. If we can work it out with my crazy schedule-- then it was meant to be.

But if, for logistical reasons, it can't work out for me later-- then at least you see I attempted some contact here. I'm open for questions and meaningful conversations re: mentalism here until Saturday-- until then, I'll answer all the questions I can (within reason) to the best of my ability.

I'm looking forward to meeting whoever feels like dropping in and saying hello!

Peace,

Alain Nu
Message: Posted by: Millard123 (Jul 4, 2005 10:17PM)
Hi Alain,

Happy Holiday!

Is there some secret reason that you picked geff mongoose as your name.

Millard
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 4, 2005 10:31PM)
Millard,

When I was a kid growing up reading 'strange-but-true pulp-non-fictions" (Vincent Gadis was my favorite, but I'd settle for Frank Edwards), one of the stories that fascinated me the most was of a fellow whose family moved into a home and was said to have met a talking mongoose spirit that sort of lived in the walls of the house and called himself Geff. I just thought of that story recently, and how much I love it (for many personal reasons). Geff is a "true story", and yet it's totally absurd. I sort of relate to that. That, and since my real user name didn't work, I just wanted something that I could remember!

independently yours,

alain
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 4, 2005 10:46PM)
Is this really you, Alain?

Dipping your toes into this cauldron can be pretty frustrating. I look forward to the posts!
Message: Posted by: Brian Turntime (Jul 4, 2005 11:32PM)
Hi Mr. Nu,

I have a novice-type question... I'm less worried about embarassing myself than might the experienced mentalists here...

The persona you cultivated on the TLC specials reminded me of Uri Geller, but looking at your website, I was relieved to see you were not presenting yourself as a psychic, but as an entertainer. I have nothing but respect for the way you present yourself to your future clientele.
Your audience clearly believes they have seen something supernatural as you worked with them, which is what the mentalist does, but anyone that hires you for a booking hears the truth, that you are not claiming supernatural paranormal abilities, but are an entertainer... Does that dynamic/ dichotomy of the illusion and the reality ever become problematic? Banachek described people insisting he heal them of terminal illnesses during the Alpha trials. Kreskin would get called on by the families who had missing loved ones asking for help finding them. Geller, unlike Banachek, deluded his experimenters from the risible Stanford Research Institute but never made reference to his thaumaturgic methods: he demanded like John Edward to be seen as "special."

I'm just wondering how you personally keep it all in balance.

Brian
Seattle, WA
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Jul 5, 2005 12:00AM)
Hi Alain,

keep in mind that from time to time, some here post under various names and like to just stir up things with silly questions or controversial ones just to get attention or see how one reacts. You can usually flesh these out pretty quick :) Hopefully this will not happen to you as it can get pretty frustrating.

As for your name, could be that some have tried to use your real name before. I know this has happened to others of your fame and Brooks and the gang try to hold those names in reserve until the real person asks for it directly.

Congrates on your new specials, quite an achivement and I for one know how much material you have to go through to do one show let alone four.

Just back from my French/Spain tour so will be in touch soon.
Message: Posted by: MentaThought (Jul 5, 2005 12:02AM)
Welcome to The Café Mr. Nu -- and how wonderful to have a professional mentalism performer such as yourself -- indeed, one talented enough to be given his own television series -- participate here alongside respected pros such as Banachek, Max Maven and and Marc Paul.
Here's a question which I sometimes ponder which you might have some views on and which, if so, I'd love to hear:

How to make mentalism more popular among the public?

(To me, a sure sign of the lack of popularity of mentalism among the public at large is that -- in the USA, anyway -- if you asked 100 random people "What is mentalism?" the vast majority would have little or no idea what you were referring to.)
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 01:18AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 00:32, Brian Turntime wrote:
Your audience clearly believes they have seen something supernatural as you worked with them, which is what the mentalist does, but anyone that hires you for a booking hears the truth, that you are not claiming supernatural paranormal abilities, but are an entertainer... Does that dynamic/ dichotomy of the illusion and the reality ever become problematic? Banachek described people insisting he heal them of terminal illnesses during the Alpha trials. Kreskin would get called on by the families who had missing loved ones asking for help finding them. Geller, unlike Banachek, deluded his experimenters from the risible Stanford Research Institute but never made reference to his thaumaturgic methods: he demanded like John Edward to be seen as "special."

I'm just wondering how you personally keep it all in balance.

Brian
Seattle, WA
[/quote]

There's no easy way to answer this question, Brian.

I have indeed received requests from people who ask for psychic or spiritual guidance, or also energy work to heal a chronic injury. I tend to first open them up to understanding how my art works (my demonstrations are a simulation of these powers of the mind using a powerful blend of psychology, probability and timing); the process and power of perception; how the mind then can be used as a tool to create your own destiny; that they have the power to find their own way, and that that is THE way.

But IMO, the demonstrations are not that important to people who come to you in distress. I think they come to you because they see you as an 'open channel' from which they can get strength from. And if you are doing your job properly, you are indeed manifesting this "open channel" that I speak of. I don't have to define it as a spiritual or metaphysical thing, it's simply a "contact" or "communication" thing. When one meets people like these, and we do often because of what we do, it is most important to treat them with the utmost of respect and caring sensitivity. That is what they want most from you, not to be "healed" per se. They're in distress. So they're looking for attention. treat them with caring kindness.

with regards to healing-- healing always takes time. physical injuries, chronic pains, the spiritual healing of a suffering soul. also, there are different ways that something can be healed. focus their mind on accomplishing their objective-- that's all you are required to do. sometimes, you just need to communicate sincerely-- but the more experience one has speaking to people about these matters, the better, since you don't ever want to be accused of passing off bad or inappropriate counsel.

My show has a couple of soft disclaimerss in it and is booked as an "entertainment show". Otherwise, it is a "mystery/mentalism show" which weighs heavily on the mystery ticket. People who come to see my show are taken for a ride in which the line is blurred between magic and mind-science and the pieces are demonstrations of fringe-science concepts like "esp, tele-this, and psycho-that" and are seamlessly woven into the reality of the show. so its like theatre of the absurd-- or am I reaching?

my thoughts,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 01:02, MentaThought wrote:
Welcome to The Café Mr. Nu -- and how wonderful to have a professional mentalism performer such as yourself -- indeed, one talented enough to be given his own television series -- participate here alongside respected pros such as Banachek, Max Maven and and Marc Paul.
Here's a question which I sometimes ponder which you might have some views on and which, if so, I'd love to hear:

How to make mentalism more popular among the public?

(To me, a sure sign of the lack of popularity of mentalism among the public at large is that -- in the USA, anyway -- if you asked 100 random people "What is mentalism?" the vast majority would have little or no idea what you were referring to.)
[/quote]


Hey Ban, how 'bout that, running into you here. Hey thanks for the props and the shout out-- yeah, I hear you, like birds taking flight in the night, a'ight? Sorry, I know how you hate when I do that. Anyway, hit me back, world traveler.

Mentathought- Firstly, I don't think mentalism isn't popular. Ask Ban, Carter, Karges, Jeff & Tess, Riggs, Stetson, any of them, and they'll agree, most college programming board advisors know what a mentalist is, and most corporate meeting planners have a secret roster that they keep stashed in their PDA's...

...actually I don't know if that's true. But with regards to your qualifying how most people in general don't know what it means, well, you also have to realize that most people have not been shown magic tricks (or at least decent ones) in their life either. so I guess my answer is, it shouldn't matter how popular it is so long as it's interesting when they are experiencing it.

word of mouth is always the best form of advertising.

Alain

Hey Carlo!

Almost forgot you.

Yes-- I had a few extra days, so I figured, I'd check out the Café and introduce to myself to anyone who cares to talk. I'm like an open book. But only until Saturday-- then I gotta get back to work.

Tanya's CD is being promoted this month onto various radio stations, so while she's working down in her sound-lab on all that, all I need to do is cook, clean and chat on the Magic Café!

Just like a regular home-maker-- except for the Magic Café part. ;)

So far, so good.

peace,
alain
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Jul 5, 2005 02:45AM)
I would like to take this opportunity to bring Alain's attention to Richard Osterlind's recent Café frustration. In a nutshell, Osterlind posted a rather passionate message here on the Café stating how a televised production gives a mentalist the opportunity to accomplish effects that would simply not be possible to do within a live performance environment, even stating that it was a form of "cheating!" Too many times have we seen this happen on TV specials, knowing that the people on camera were either interviewed before, staff members pretending to be spectators or stooges who were asked if they would be willing to give a specific response if they went on camera.

In response to his rather heated posting, on one hand, some felt that since we all cheat one way or another (unless of course you are a true psychic), then "anything goes" and using large amounts of pre-show, or doing it over and over again until you get the desired results and then only showing that segment on the TV show, cutting, time-shifting, etc. are all perfectly acceptable.

On the other hand, and that's the side Richard is on, the view was that you perform it on the camera as you would perform to a live audience.

I'd be curious as to what Alain's feelings are on this topic. So here's my question to you:

Do you believe that the camera is something which a mentalist should use to his advantage, or should you not use any time-shifting, video cuts or whatever and perform in front of the camera as you would to a first-time live audience? In other words, do you believe that you should perform your craft as the rest of us without TV specials have to perform it?

By the way, here is the Café link to Richard Osterlind's posting about this very subject:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=122183&forum=82&93

Thanks Alain. I look forward to your reply and appreciate the opportunity you have given all of us to ask you questions here on the Café!

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: SpAgHeTtI (Jul 5, 2005 03:52AM)
Quote:"In response to his rather heated posting, on one hand, some felt that since we all cheat one way or another (unless of course you are a true psychic), then "anything goes" and using large amounts of pre-show, or doing it over and over again until you get the desired results and then only showing that segment on the TV show, cutting, time-shifting, etc. are all perfectly acceptable. "

This is a complete false statement :)

I'm happy that you however have posted a link ( of a loked topic) so Alain Nu can have an idea of what is going on....

However it will be more fair starting talking of Alain's ideas starting from Alain Nu's idea instead from Osterlind's frustation.....
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Jul 5, 2005 05:36AM)
2 things sspaghetti:

1. Alain can't read it because its in inner thoughts and that requires 50 post.

2. A statement that starts with "Some Felt" can never be completly false.

"Some" people can feel whatever they want, and as long as we are only talking about WHAT they feel and not whether their feelings are true, then you can never say that what they are feeling is false.
Message: Posted by: bloodkin (Jul 5, 2005 06:37AM)
Hey Alain!

Can't tell you how many offers I've received for my "Mind over Matter" manuscript since your specials. Needless to say I would never part with it. I picked it up quite a while ago at Hank's. At the time it was very difficult to find published works of this kind. It proved to be priceless.

2 questions. Any more shows planned? And will you be performing in the Boston area anytime soon?
Message: Posted by: Scott Kahn (Jul 5, 2005 06:45AM)
Alain:
Welcome to the Café. My name is Scott Kahn and I am a physician/magician/mentalist from Long Island, NY. My question for you is do you have any plans on re-releasing any of your lecture notes in the near future? Very difficult to track things down now that your shows have been aired. Let us know, as their is now a renewed interest in much of your mentalism now.
--Scott
Message: Posted by: SpAgHeTtI (Jul 5, 2005 06:54AM)
2 things Bloodkin:

1:Your first point is right . The link of Mr. Crossman is useless for Alain Nu

2:A statement that starts with 'Some Felt' CAN be completly false.
Example:Read the posts of' Meet Alain Nu' , some felt he is not a good performer as I am! :)

For other question like this that are out of topic I'll be happy to discuss by PM....
Message: Posted by: bloodkin (Jul 5, 2005 06:57AM)
Think you got the wrong guy, Spaghetti.
Message: Posted by: SpAgHeTtI (Jul 5, 2005 07:23AM)
Sorry Bloodkin you are right ! I was responding to Daegs .... -_-'....
Message: Posted by: bloodkin (Jul 5, 2005 07:40AM)
No prob.
Message: Posted by: JTW (Jul 5, 2005 08:31AM)
Alain (My friend Kostya speaks of you highly), Could you talk a little about the shows? One of the things that reverberated through the Café was the assumption that you had little acting experience or that you needed some training. Perhaps you can talk a little about the choices you made, your character development, why you choose to present them the way you did, difficulties you faced in bringing the show to TV and things that you might do differently the next time?

Thank you,
JTW
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Jul 5, 2005 08:39AM)
Thanks to the above Café members for pointing out that Alain can't read the link I posted until he himself posts 50 messages! I was able to PM him a copy of Richard Osterlind's message so he can now read it.

:)

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: mysticz (Jul 5, 2005 08:58AM)
Hi Alain:

It's nice to have the opportunity to enjoy your insights on this forum.

I know that working on the TLC specials earlier this year was quite a learning experience for you despite your many years as a working professional. It would be interesting to hear how you dealt with the unique challenges that were presented in developing and shooting four specials within the time constraints of a very strict schedule.

Congratulations on your specials and to Tanya on her CD release and promotion.

Joe Z.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 5, 2005 10:26AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 03:28, geff mongoose wrote:
Hey Carlo!

Almost forgot you.

Yes-- I had a few extra days, so I figured, I'd check out the Café and introduce to myself to anyone who cares to talk. I'm like an open book. But only until Saturday-- then I gotta get back to work.

Tanya's CD is being promoted this month onto various radio stations, so while she's working down in her sound-lab on all that, all I need to do is cook, clean and chat on the Magic Café!

Just like a regular home-maker-- except for the Magic Café part. ;)

So far, so good.

peace,
alain
[/quote]
Tell Tanya I really like the CD and pass along my wishes for success. I'll be leaving for Boston (SAMCON) tomorrow so I'll have to see if I can catch up from the road.
I know all about the house frau role with Kathy putting in 12 hour days during internship. Keep the fridge stocked with pre-cooked meals ;)
Good luck with the rabble, so far you've only met some of the more polite and respectful folk :bg:
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 5, 2005 11:16AM)
Alain, as soon as I'd heard you were coming to the Café, I had to rush over and wish you well -- but I see the welcoming party got here first!

Here's a softball for you (but hopefully it will provide some insight into the way you approach the magical creative process): what's the single most Alain-like piece of performance material you've done -- it could be in your stage show or on TV, but the one item that you think encapsulates who you are as an artist, why you think it is, and maybe even the struggle it took to make it happen.

There, that shouldn't take too long (as I wouldn't want you to risk burning a lasagna or anything).

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Patrick Redford (Jul 5, 2005 11:37AM)
Alain!

Welcome to the Café. I hope your time here is enjoyable.

-Patrick Redford
Message: Posted by: Brian Turntime (Jul 5, 2005 11:44AM)
[quote]My show has a couple of soft disclaimers in it and is booked as an "entertainment show". Otherwise, it is a "mystery/mentalism show" which weighs heavily on the mystery ticket. People who come to see my show are taken for a ride in which the line is blurred between magic and mind-science and the pieces are demonstrations of fringe-science concepts like "esp, tele-this, and psycho-that" and are seamlessly woven into the reality of the show. so its like theatre of the absurd-- or am I reaching?
my thoughts,
alain
[/quote]
Thank you kindly. That makes perfect sense.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Jul 5, 2005 11:48AM)
Congratulations on getting 4 (!) specials onto TV. :)
Message: Posted by: entity (Jul 5, 2005 12:28PM)
Alain has a lovely routine, a "back in time" type of concept wherein at the end a previously pocketed wrist-watch "visibly" appears back on his wrist. While I've given only a brief description, and it may read like a Magic effect, in reality it is pure Mind Mystery and has a deep resonance for the audience.

I've always loved this routine of Alain's.

- entity
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 01:36PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 03:45, Craig Crossman wrote:
In response to his rather heated posting, on one hand, some felt that since we all cheat one way or another (unless of course you are a true psychic), then "anything goes" and using large amounts of pre-show, or doing it over and over again until you get the desired results and then only showing that segment on the TV show, cutting, time-shifting, etc. are all perfectly acceptable.

On the other hand, and that's the side Richard is on, the view was that you perform it on the camera as you would perform to a live audience.

Do you believe that the camera is something which a mentalist should use to his advantage, or should you not use any time-shifting, video cuts or whatever and perform in front of the camera as you would to a first-time live audience? In other words, do you believe that you should perform your craft as the rest of us without TV specials have to perform it?

By the way, here is the Café link to Richard Osterlind's posting about this very subject:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=122183&forum=82&93
[/quote]

I believe that so long as one can represent their abilities well in a live performance, that even if a demonstration of 'those same abilities' took extra work to do in the TV special, it plays fair. Frankly, people are more amazed at my blindfold abilities in live performance than they are in the TV special anyway. the TV show just demonstrated novel ways of incorporating the concept of "sensing with eyes covered or closed". I wouldn't WANT to perform those effects in a live performance. That stuff doesn't fit into my luggage.

As for the concept of little or no editing, it can be done, but it's hader to do since you need the artistry of all performer, director and cameraman in order to make it stylish. Of course, when you're on a go! go! go! schedule, unfortunately very little time gets put into thinking about the artistry of the moment. That's just the way it is sometimes

My next TV special will be negotiated with more of my own interests in mind, at least, that's what I heard could happen!

... but to answer your question, Craig, everything you saw in the four TV shows could be presented in a live venue, so for instance, if a corporate client were to call me and say, "i really liked that stunt where you caught the dart out of the air", I would be able to give them a nominal price quote.

[quote]

I'm happy that you however have posted a link ( of a loked topic) so Alain Nu can have an idea of what is going on....

However it will be more fair starting talking of Alain's ideas starting from Alain Nu's idea instead from Osterlind's frustation.....
[/quote]

craig sent me richard's post. I wonder if he was talking about me???

... gee, I hope he won't judge me as the opposition if ever I meet him. he was one of my heroes when I was a kid. anyonee remember those plastic wrapped camirand academy manuscripts? those were the real old school days...

peace,
alain
Message: Posted by: JamesBiss (Jul 5, 2005 02:06PM)
Bravo Alain!

As I've written to you privately, you've made a wonderful contribution to the world of mentalism through your specials - and at the same time a much wider audience is now hip to your terrific talent!

It is with great honour that I can say I've actually performed on stage in Canada and the U.S. with Alain Nu, television star!!! :cool:

Many of us were not able to see all four specials... What plans are in the air to make them available as tapes or DVDs? I've never tried this, but a buddy suggested that TLC may actually sell some of the programing on tape on request...any thoughts?

Cheers and best wishes,

James
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 02:08PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 07:37, bloodkin wrote:
Can't tell you how many offers I've received for my "Mind over Matter" manuscript since your specials. Needless to say I would never part with it. I picked it up quite a while ago at Hank's. At the time it was very difficult to find published works of this kind. It proved to be priceless.

2 questions. Any more shows planned? And will you be performing in the Boston area anytime soon?
[/quote]
Bloodkin,

Thanks for your kind words-- it means a lot to me.

I am planning on planning on planning another special for no specific date as of yet.

The mailing list:

Those interested in hearing news of re-airings on TLC, up-coming TV appearances, media hype, and the eventual sales of some cool stuff I'll soon be putting out, please contact me through e-mail and in the subject title, write the words, "LIST ME" along with your city and state of where you live. That way, I'll know how to contact you if I find I am in your area, as well as inform you of upcoming notices regarding me and my whereabouts. You will not be constantly spammed by me, as I only will put out quarterly to bi-annual announcements, and your email address is kept safe in my database only.

And put my two e-mail addresses on your "friends list" in your email account if you decide to join, so that your computer doesn't see me as a threat if I were to send you bulk message from one of those two addresses.

Thanks for your interest!

alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 07:45, Scott Kahn wrote:
Alain:
Welcome to the Café. My name is Scott Kahn and I am a physician/magician/mentalist from Long Island, NY. My question for you is do you have any plans on re-releasing any of your lecture notes in the near future? Very difficult to track things down now that your shows have been aired. Let us know, as their is now a renewed interest in much of your mentalism now.
--Scott
[/quote]

nice to meet you dr. kahn,

my stuff has gotten ridiculously expensive lately, I know. sigh.
I want to eventually re-write book in a hardbound format, and I've had a few offers to have this done, but so far have been too busy to see that as a priority.

so many other other things need to be worked on, that I haven't even done yet.
so the answer is no. I'm sorry to say. but should you ever catch me in person, feel free to ask me any questions.

best regards,
alain
Message: Posted by: Scott Kahn (Jul 5, 2005 02:47PM)
Alain:
Please call me Scott. Dr. Kahn is way too formal for our Café. It is wonderful to have you here, even if for this brief visit. I'm sorry to hear that your lecture notes won't be re-released. So I'll keep searching. Someone has to have a copy that they are willing to part with. Sigh back. However, I'll be first in line to get your book when that comes to pass. Great job on the television specials. Look forward to talking with you more and maybe even becomming friends in the future.
--Scott
Message: Posted by: slydini62 (Jul 5, 2005 02:50PM)
I have a copy of Mr. Nu's note and I cherish them sooo much!! Please don't re-issue them!!
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 04:07PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 09:31, JTW wrote:
Alain (My friend Kostya speaks of you highly), Could you talk a little about the shows? One of the things that reverberated through the Café was the assumption that you had little acting experience or that you needed some training. Perhaps you can talk a little about the choices you made, your character development, why you choose to present them the way you did, difficulties you faced in bringing the show to TV and things that you might do differently the next time?

Thank you,
JTW
[/quote]

Hey JTW,

Please tell Kostya his check is in the mail. :)

Ok, let's just talk briefly about the facts of what I was faced with:

I didn't know that my deal would result in more than a single one hour special until Dec 2004 when my consultants, the producers and I had our first meeting. Responsibility to create effects for FOUR specials (to shoot approx 80 effects for each episode) was a surprise to all of us. December is also my busiest time of the year. I didn't think that principal shooting would begin so close to the initial signing of the contract, until AFTER the contract was signed-- I thought surely they would give me a few months during Jan/Feb to rehearse and engineer while we'd wait for the weather to get nicer. But no. Principle shooting began on December 27th (just two days after Christmas). Jeepers.

Originally the airing of episode 1 wasn't going to be until June 2005. While shooting, we found out it would air on April 24th. Originally we were supposed to have a 28 day shooting schedule. That number was reduced almost 50% to only 16 DAYS. Our goal of shooting the EIGHTY different effects we had to come up with (required/don't ask) in 16 days was the craziest mental marathon anyone can possibly imagine. Man, there was ALWAYS something new I had to be worrying about... Thank "the power of chi and psychic energy" combined that I was able to get all that done in so little time. :)

That, and also back in Decemebr, we came up with most of the material right on the boardroom table of Mike Mathis productions. Bob Fitch, Sam Haine, Allan Hayden, John Riggs, Bob Sheets and me. We didn't know if it worked, since it had never been tested, and we never got a chance to test it. Before I knew it, they were like, "you're on!" and I'd be there doing it for the first time ever on TV. It was pretty intimidating, actually.

But in retrospect, even though I feel it would have come out so much better had it been carefully scripted and rehearsed and edited to perfection, I feel that the outcome was really not that bad, actually, and considering that you are really seeing me do it for an audience each time, like it was the first time, (because even if we repeated an effect, those repeats were used for the final footage) I think it really does sincerely document this very chalenging exercise. And since I am not planning on this being my LAST TV special, I feel I have plenty of time now to think about how I'll design th next one, hopefully having more overall control of the shots and my locations on the next go-around.

So the answer is, I presented the material to the best of my standing ability faced with the circumstances. The above description pales in comparison to the real brutality of what actually happened during the making of the series. I wouldn't want to get into any more details because it'll just make everything too complicated, but let's put it this way, by mid January I was sporting a very badly sprained right hand, and I had still to do two and a half more episodes. I do a remarkable job of hiding this from the camera throughout the rest of the shooting, but ask ayone who saw me, you just can't bend metal with a hand that sprained-- at least not without psychic energy! :)

My right hand was mostly unuseable throughout the rest of the shooting.

peace,
alain


[quote]
On 2005-07-05 09:58, mysticz wrote:
Hi Alain:

It's nice to have the opportunity to enjoy your insights on this forum.

I know that working on the TLC specials earlier this year was quite a learning experience for you despite your many years as a working professional. It would be interesting to hear how you dealt with the unique challenges that were presented in developing and shooting four specials within the time constraints of a very strict schedule.

Congratulations on your specials and to Tanya on her CD release and promotion.

Joe Z.
[/quote]

hey joe,

I think I covered most of what you are talking about in my message above to JTW. if you have any otheer questions regarding this time please feel free to ask!

thanks,
alain

JTW--

I realized that I didn't answer your question re: character.

Well, my character, outside of just an ordinary American-born-Asian dude, is that I have certain powers to do extraordinary things-- seemingly with just the powers of my mind. There is a "trickster" element to the character, in that there are times that it'd seem as if the character were just being a smart ass. Over-the-top, almost absurdist demonstrations of "pyrokinesis" are performed, or the name of an 'old flame' is mysterriously found written on a bathroom wall... real? well reality IS stranger than fiction... But that's my character. A 'performance artist' (if you will) who can seamlessly insert into reality, 'a moment' that something truly out-of-the-ordinary just happened. That's basically what I get paid to do.

So there it is,
PEACE,
Alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 12:16, Necromancer wrote:
Alain, as soon as I'd heard you were coming to the Café, I had to rush over and wish you well -- but I see the welcoming party got here first!

Here's a softball for you (but hopefully it will provide some insight into the way you approach the magical creative process): what's the single most Alain-like piece of performance material you've done -- it could be in your stage show or on TV, but the one item that you think encapsulates who you are as an artist, why you think it is, and maybe even the struggle it took to make it happen.

There, that shouldn't take too long (as I wouldn't want you to risk burning a lasagna or anything).

Best,
Neil
[/quote]

Hey Neil,

That's a really hard question to answer, actually, because I like to think that everything I do, at least in my regular repertoire, has a large part of who I am in it, in the sense of method, presentation and basic script.

Perhaps if you had a more specific question about a specific demonstration? Though I have done away with performing most "magical repertoire", even within the context of what I can do within the confines of my "mental repertoire" I am left with preferences between the ability to:

read certain specific and/or simple thoughts, feelings, or sensations of others

suggest the choice (or choices) of a decision unbeknownst to the unwitting

simulate pk / tk stunts by moving small objects under test conditions

bend metal to greater and lesser degrees

be a catalyst to impossible demonstrations of synchronicity

and finally, sensing my surroundings while blindfolded

that would encapsulate the 'six aspects' of what I generally do.

I have my favorites within each one.

late,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 12:37, magicbygeorge wrote:
Alain!

Welcome to the Café. I hope your time here is enjoyable.

-Patrick Redford
[/quote]

Hi Patrick,

Nice meeting you!

- Alain Nu

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 12:48, Philemon Vanderbeck wrote:
Congratulations on getting 4 (!) specials onto TV. :)
[/quote]

thank you philemon,

nice seeing you here!

peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 13:28, entity wrote:
Alain has a lovely routine, a "back in time" type of concept wherein at the end a previously pocketed wrist-watch "visibly" appears back on his wrist. While I've given only a brief description, and it may read like a Magic effect, in reality it is pure Mind Mystery and has a deep resonance for the audience.

I've always loved this routine of Alain's.

- entity
[/quote]

hi entity,

now that's old school nu! invisibility watch. thnx for the memory!

~nu

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 15:06, JamesBiss wrote:
Bravo Alain!

As I've written to you privately, you've made a wonderful contribution to the world of mentalism through your specials - and at the same time a much wider audience is now hip to your terrific talent!

It is with great honour that I can say I've actually performed on stage in Canada and the U.S. with Alain Nu, television star!!! :cool:

Many of us were not able to see all four specials... What plans are in the air to make them available as tapes or DVDs? I've never tried this, but a buddy suggested that TLC may actually sell some of the programing on tape on request...any thoughts?

Cheers and best wishes,

James

[/quote]

thanks for your kind word james,
can you find someone who has a bootleg copy?
peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-05 15:50, Slydini62 wrote:
I have a copy of Mr. Nu's note and I cherish them sooo much!! Please don't re-issue them!!
[/quote]

thank you mr. 62,

you made my day!

peace,
alain
Message: Posted by: Seance (Jul 5, 2005 05:17PM)
Hello Alain,

Are you still performing in the bars around Washington, DC? I seem to remember you doing so. Madam Organ's, I believe, if my memory can be trusted.

It was great seeing you perform in person, and I enjoyed your specials. Congratulations and best wishes on your continued success!

Dave
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 08:17PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 18:17, Seance wrote:
Hello Alain,

Are you still performing in the bars around Washington, DC? I seem to remember you doing so. Madam Organ's, I believe, if my memory can be trusted.

It was great seeing you perform in person, and I enjoyed your specials. Congratulations and best wishes on your continued success!

Dave
[/quote]

I miss that crazy bar-- Adams Morgn was my DC hood. One year on Valentines Day, Tanya and I couldn't get into any of the restaurants in town, because I was too slow on getting reservations, well I decided to try Adams Morgan, (which was totally jammed), but the guy at the parking lot recognized me in my car and gave me his private space, the doorman at The Reef (also sold out for the evening) personally escorted us in, and the manager there sat us in the nicest table where we were served a first class meal. I usually don't impress my wife too much these days, but that evening, I think she liked me a lot.
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 5, 2005 08:25PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 17:51, geff mongoose wrote:
Hey Neil,

That's a really hard question to answer, actually, because I like to think that everything I do, at least in my regular repertoire, has a large part of who I am in it, in the sense of method, presentation and basic script.

Perhaps if you had a more specific question about a specific demonstration? Though I have done away with performing most "magical repertoire", even within the context of what I can do within the confines of my "mental repertoire" I am left with preferences between the ability to:

read certain specific and/or simple thoughts, feelings, or sensations of others

suggest the choice (or choices) of a decision unbeknownst to the unwitting

simulate pk / tk stunts by moving small objects under test conditions

bend metal to greater and lesser degrees

be a catalyst to impossible demonstrations of synchronicity

and finally, sensing my surroundings while blindfolded

that would encapsulate the 'six aspects' of what I generally do.

I have my favorites within each one.

late,
alain
[/quote]

Hi Alain,

You know your repertoire better than I do, so I want you to have complete freedom over the category and effect. If it helps, let me give you three different criteria (so you can choose the game you want to play) --

1. Out of everything you do, what's the one piece of material that you think says who you are more loudly and clearly than everything else, and sets the standard for everything else you do? What is it about this item that makes you feel that way?

2.Which one piece of material do you perform (or have you performed) that gives you the greatest personal satisfaction? Why?

3. Which piece of material do you perform that was the greatest struggle for you to turn into a performance piece that you are happy with? How long did it take, and what mountains did you have to move to get it right?

If you can't pick one, feel free to pick more than one ;)

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 5, 2005 10:04PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 18:17, Seance wrote:
Hello Alain,

Are you still performing in the bars around Washington, DC? I seem to remember you doing so. Madam Organ's, I believe, if my memory can be trusted.

It was great seeing you perform in person, and I enjoyed your specials. Congratulations and best wishes on your continued success!

Dave
[/quote]

One more time Dave,

Sorry, I got caught up in nostalgia-- no, there are no longer any places I perform on a regular basis. Only larger events from colleges to corporations and the occasional theatre show.

However...

Have you ever made it out to any of the Wednesday Wizardry (www.wednesdaywizardry.com) shows? If you want mailings to come to you announcing upcoming WW shows (local to DC), e-mail me at alain@justsaynu.com and let me know you want to be on this list. We (Bob Sheets, Mark Phillips and I) have had a lot of great performers showcase there (including Jon Stetson, Steve Bargatze, Paul Gertner, David Oliver, Francis Menotti, Rich Bloch, Darwin Ortiz, Denny Haney, the list is long, man). It's a great night for like $18 a ticket. Our next season starts at the end of September. And I *think* I'll be performing at that one with Sheets and along with one or two other surprise "Mystery Guests."

So I hope you'll stay in touch, since you live in the area!

ciao for now,
alain
Message: Posted by: ShaunRobison (Jul 5, 2005 11:14PM)
I just thought I should add my hello's and welcomes to Alain.
WELCOME ALAIN!!!

It was a good 5 or 6 years ago you came to an Albany NY, NYCAN magic convention. I watched you work and lecture (even with a fever of 101) I wasn't going to miss it. Then you blew me away with one of the greatest stage shows ever. I still remember the balloon and the sigh's from the audeince as the balloon came back for the child on stage with you.

I hope to see that again someday!!!

Simon Lovell and I spent the night talking with you after the show and it was something I will never forget.

Welcome to the Café'. I am sure your presence here will be memorable!!

Shaun R.
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 6, 2005 07:05AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-05 21:25, Necromancer wrote:

You know your repertoire better than I do, so I want you to have complete freedom over the category and effect. If it helps, let me give you three different criteria (so you can choose the game you want to play) --

1. Out of everything you do, what's the one piece of material that you think says who you are more loudly and clearly than everything else, and sets the standard for everything else you do? What is it about this item that makes you feel that way?

2.Which one piece of material do you perform (or have you performed) that gives you the greatest personal satisfaction? Why?

3. Which piece of material do you perform that was the greatest struggle for you to turn into a performance piece that you are happy with? How long did it take, and what mountains did you have to move to get it right?

If you can't pick one, feel free to pick more than one ;)

Best,
Neil
[/quote]

I'll answer all 3 questions to the best of my ability:

1) with metal bending, people just don't understand how it's possible, and yet somehow in their minds, it's plausible. that's a good loop to end up in. OR another loop: something that is SO impossible that there is simply NO WAY as to how it could be so positively manufactured- as witnessed by seeing any card of 52 stated, appear at seemingly any random number called. or how about guessing (within a few days) a person's exact birthdate-- the astonished looks on their faces-- you see, basically I like ALL interesting concepts, so I don't think of the effects as being indicative of "who I am" necessarily, besides whether or not I can make it resonate enough with my audience, I just like the concepts for what they make other people feel when they are experiencing them. so it's actually quite simple in my way of seeing it: everything I do, I do because I see how it affects people in a certain way. the nice thing is that each separate demonstration affects people in a different way-- that's basically how I set my standard. so it's hard to try and decide which individual piece stands out from the rest (at least in my stage presenatations)-- each separate effect arranged in the context of, say, my live performance, counts off a different feeling or sensation, that combined, helps to create the overall impression of my character. but my character, if I were to have one, is just me. I've made choices (and to some they may appear to be "bland" choices) to try and integrate fully the mentalism (of which I've put my own spin) as seamlessly as possible into simply being who I am. my thinking is, that way, as I continue to grow and evolve as a human being, so does my work and how I do it. imo, that is the only sincere way of expressing this 'art form.'

2) it changes from year to year or sometimes even from month to month. some people might think it's spoon bending, and that's what I know clients will count on seeing when they see me, but it's far from the one that will give me the most satisfaction currently. the piece of material that ALWAYS gives me the most personal satisfaction is usually the one that I'm playing around with right now. currently, I have a few items on my plate-- another blind experiment, and a one-on-one 'challenge' design dupe. all the pieces I perform, I add some pychological "mojo" to put my mark on it. usually it's in the form of some combination of subtleties. the subtleties, and the overall convincingness of the effect is where I ultimately derive the most self-satisfaction. one year at caesars, it was a magic effect with a handkerchief I came up with, a few years before that it was an effect in which practically ALL that happens is flash paper is ignited, four years ago it was pk touches, many years before that it was my work on the impromptu book test. but like most painters or craftsmen (if it's ok to see myself as equal to those categories), I simply cannot choose which one I like the most. usually, it will be for a totally DIFFERENT set of reasons that I choose to work on the "next piece."

but I can answer the above question differently-- when I was first asked to meet with discovery, my producer mike and I went together and met with the ceo, along with about 8 other producers and marketing people. bla bla bla, well anyway, so they ask me finally if I'd show them something-- give them a little taste of what I do. so I throw a pack of cards on the boardroom table, and tell them all about the "moon and the cards", and finally ask a woman to name any card. "9 of spades." I ask if she wants to change her mind and she says no. I ask if she'll point to ANYONE ELSE sitting at the table, and she points to another woman. I asked that woman to name a number, and she says 3. I ask if she wants to change her mind, and she says "YES". I say "to what?" and she says 5. well the cards are on the table and I ask her to pick them up and start counting slowly from the top. sure enough (sigh of relief), at the fifth position from the top, she turns it over, and it was the 9 of spades... silence. but you should have seen the look on the exec's face. no one said a word, so finally I go "so did I get the gig?" and everyone snapped back laughing (i didn't think it was funny that they never answered my question tho). later, on the long elevator ride down, mike goes, "yeah the spoons are really tight--- but THAT CARD TRICK... that HAS to be the BEST card trick I have ever seen in my life..." and then I watched as he proceeded to have a melt down trying to figure it out, just repeating over and over, "that has got to be the best (insert explitive) card trick I've ever seen. period." as the elevator doors opened at the bottom, I couldn't contain myself any longer, so I say to him, "mike, it was the best card trick I'VE ever seen."

3) every single piece I do. they're like children. some mature a little faster than others, but all of them take roughly the same amount of time to get to speed. I'd say at by the 3rd time doing it in front of a live audience you get a good idea of what needs to be smoothed out, and then if I'm working on it, by the 10th performance, the idea is usually fairly mature. this is why the TV show was a big pain in the side-- each time was a first take. I was like, "what about that last thing I did?"

anyway, the evolution of an effect can also vary depending on how much or little time lapses between performances and rehearsals. every individual piece has its own history of trials and errors, so it's hard to tell which one had the "greatest struggle." the other reason why this question is so hard to answer is because everything we do has a methodical struggle as well as a presentational struggle. I have hundreds of stories that revolve around the various histories of each effect I've worked on, but each one would be its own long drawn out process that would be more interesting shared in person so you can experience the effect and be explained its process in person. otherwise, it just ain't that pretty in print.

I hope I've done an ok job anwering (or not answering) your questions, neil. sorry if it was more than what you expected. :)

peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-06 00:14, ShaunRobison wrote:
I just thought I should add my hello's and welcomes to Alain.
WELCOME ALAIN!!!

It was a good 5 or 6 years ago you came to an Albany NY, NYCAN magic convention. I watched you work and lecture (even with a fever of 101) I wasn't going to miss it. Then you blew me away with one of the greatest stage shows ever. I still remember the balloon and the sigh's from the audeince as the balloon came back for the child on stage with you.

I hope to see that again someday!!!

Simon Lovell and I spent the night talking with you after the show and it was something I will never forget.

Welcome to the Café'. I am sure your presence here will be memorable!!

Shaun R.
[/quote]

Thanks for dropping in, Shaun-- and for all your kind words!

I remember that night with crazy Simon! can you remember the joke he told? It had to have been one of the most admirably tasteless jokes I have ever heard, but I can't remember it. Didn't it have something to do with a hedgehog???

Alain

We're now half-way to Saturday June 9th-- my cut-off date. Thank you for your kind words, and allowing me this platform to answer your questions.

Come Saturday, I will start getting ready to join Bob Fitch at his annual workshop/camp outside of Montreal.

Bob was a driving force for me to get through the TV specials, and I recommend his workshop highly to anyone who feels that they are at a point to really get serious with their act. The best of the best go to see Fitch, and I'll be there this year with Gene Anderson, Paul Gertner, Bob Sheets, and a few select others. There may even be an extra opening for someone who has it together enough to move quickly at the last minute-- but you can reach Bob Fitch himself at FITCHMAGIC@aol.com.

Bob is one of the most caring individuals a performer could ever meet. All of you need to know this man.

word,
Alain
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 6, 2005 09:33AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 08:05, geff mongoose wrote:
I hope I've done an ok job anwering (or not answering) your questions, neil. sorry if it was more than what you expected. :)

peace,
alain
[/quote]

That was great, Alain (terrific any-card-at-any-number story)! And while I know that I'd love hearing your stories in person (coming to Chicago soon?), I think that the story of your process -- how you worked the rough edges off an idea, trying one thing and then another until you arrived at a finished piece -- would be fascinating to read; I hope you'll reconsider and share one such story here.

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: adolphus (Jul 6, 2005 09:52AM)
It's funny about the name, because I came to the Café a while ago to answer some questions about "Adolphus" and found that the name was already taken - by myself, apparently. I then remembered that I very briefly surfed here a few years before! :)

Anyway, glad to see you here, Alain. I can attest to Alain's incredible skill, inventiveness and professionalism. While I've only seen his mentalist performances, I subsequently learned that he has also performed and excelled in nearly every other form of illusion, conjury, knucklebusting and legerdemain you can name.

He can be a valuable asset here to the Café, so I hope everyone will remember that he is a very busy guy and that he is essentially donating his time here.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 6, 2005 10:45AM)
Already the Saturday deadline begins to loom large before us.

I'm on record (in another, obscure thread) of at once being enchanted by and dismayed by your specials. (Overall, I enjoyed 'em. Not that you were sweating the opinion of one old cranky cripple.) What I'd said, and what I believe, is that you're a personable and extremely likable person who doesn't go in for the sort of "spooky, mysterioso" persona that Blaine attempted. And my first rule of magic/mentalism is that the audience needs to like you and be rooting for you. So who made the decision to cut and edit the specials to create the "Ooo, scary! Darkness, spooky music. Oooo!" atmosphere? It seemed at odds with your actual personality.

When my wife and I watched the videos (we taped 'em; we were either out of town or they aired too late, or on Sunday, or the floor was too cold, or somethin') nothing impressed her, nothing made her react whatsoever. UNTIL the "extreme mumblety-peg" segment. And even THEN she wasn't impressed 'til the camera pulled back and she saw you were blindfolded.

I asked her about all this afterwards, because she represents - to me, at least - that group of people who are not impressed by most magic on television. (And far too many people I know are not impressed by most magic on television.) Her impressions were that most of the stunts were either "fixed" before filming or off-camera "or could have been." That's right. They didn't have to actually BE rigged pre-show, just the fact that they COULD have been set her into "not entertaining" mode.

But the blindfolded mumblety-peg? She didn't see any way that it could have been "cheated," and she literally shouted in alarm. And not showing the blindfold until AFTER we've seen the knife swiftly stabbing close to each finger -- now THAT was BRILLIANT. Curses on the "coming up next" segment which showed the blindfold first! Thank goodness she was out of the room and didn't see that!

*jeep!
--Chet (with many parenthesis)
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Jul 6, 2005 10:53AM)
Welcome !
I saw you lecture many years ago. You did the back in time plot with the watch, (as previously mentioned), a nice card warp finally, and a great book test! I bought the lecture notes (Not for sale so don't ask) and had an opportunity to watch you bend spoons. Truly inspiring! You had a few notes left for sale on that too, sadly, I didn't buy them. Now they are impossible to get. BTW, the lecture was in Norfolk VA.

My question has to do with choosing material and routining. What criteria do you set for each effect you decide to use? And how often do you change your routines and add new or take away effect?

Chad
Message: Posted by: Julian Kestrel (Jul 6, 2005 02:33PM)
Alain,

are you planning a book or reprints of your previous works? Also can you tell us about the consultants you hired for the shows and what their contributions were to the specials?


Congrats

Julian
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 12:21AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 10:33, Necromancer wrote:

That was great, Alain (terrific any-card-at-any-number story)! And while I know that I'd love hearing your stories in person (coming to Chicago soon?), I think that the story of your process -- how you worked the rough edges off an idea, trying one thing and then another until you arrived at a finished piece -- would be fascinating to read; I hope you'll reconsider and share one such story here.
Best,
Neil
[/quote]

I'm holding off on announcing my calendar until around aug or sept (currently it's a little weak to the norm, since my fee jumped)-- I predict by september, things will pick up tho. check back with me around september about chicago bookings.

I'll try to think of an appropriate story to tell re: process-- it would be hard to do without explaining method tho, so let me think about it.

alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-06 11:45, mormonyoyoman wrote:

I'm on record (in another, obscure thread) of at once being enchanted by and dismayed by your specials. (Overall, I enjoyed 'em. Not that you were sweating the opinion of one old cranky cripple.) What I'd said, and what I believe, is that you're a personable and extremely likable person who doesn't go in for the sort of "spooky, mysterioso" persona that Blaine attempted. And my first rule of magic/mentalism is that the audience needs to like you and be rooting for you. So who made the decision to cut and edit the specials to create the "Ooo, scary! Darkness, spooky music. Oooo!" atmosphere? It seemed at odds with your actual personality.

When my wife and I watched the videos (we taped 'em; we were either out of town or they aired too late, or on Sunday, or the floor was too cold, or somethin') nothing impressed her, nothing made her react whatsoever. UNTIL the "extreme mumblety-peg" segment. And even THEN she wasn't impressed 'til the camera pulled back and she saw you were blindfolded.

I asked her about all this afterwards, because she represents - to me, at least - that group of people who are not impressed by most magic on television. (And far too many people I know are not impressed by most magic on television.) Her impressions were that most of the stunts were either "fixed" before filming or off-camera "or could have been." That's right. They didn't have to actually BE rigged pre-show, just the fact that they COULD have been set her into "not entertaining" mode.

But the blindfolded mumblety-peg? She didn't see any way that it could have been "cheated," and she literally shouted in alarm. And not showing the blindfold until AFTER we've seen the knife swiftly stabbing close to each finger -- now THAT was BRILLIANT. Curses on the "coming up next" segment which showed the blindfold first! Thank goodness she was out of the room and didn't see that!

*jeep!
--Chet (with many parenthesis)
[/quote]

Nice to meet you, Chet.

First, allow me to make no excuses for the 'performance level' of the demonstrations performed on my specials. In the end, whether it was me, my director, my cameramen, my producers, the network, or whatever combination, the four specials turned out the way they turned out, and I am not any less (or more) proud of the outcome because of anyone else's opinions of it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But for that matter, I personally don't believe that anyone's opinion of anything that could be considered "art" stays unchanged over time. So, not that it will by my saying so, but your (or even your wife's) opinion of even specific effects performed during my specials, may change over time towards either the positive or the negative depending on any number of conditions and circumstances that happen internally or externally in history. Well, I could be right.

The bottom line is, the production of the four specials was a colaboration between my producer, director, the network, and myself. My part, was to provide them with 80 demonstrations to be shot over a period of 16 days over three months. And from there, everything is left in their hands. Yes, there were directing and editing choices made that took out significant parts of specific effects (at least in my opinion). Yes, they removed elements of humor in almost every main segment. Yes, they made things confusing during the interview segments. I'll tell those stories some other time. The point is though, it was a 'colaboration', therefore what came out, is the (pardon the expression) 'artistic' combined forces of those who got to make choices. My choices (and my director's choices) were made during the shoot. My producer and the network's choices are made during the editing. They always asked me what I thought, but didn't always listen to my extensive notes. But that's the way it goes, and in the end, I experienced something that I never ever thought I would ever experience in my life. No one can take that away from me.

Plus, it's like I have this old "video documentation" of what my TRUE CLOSE FRIENDS and I were able to throw down as a three-month-long project for cable TV. Whether one likes the shows or not, the over-all artistic sincerity of these four programs would be hard to match. But of course, that's my opinion.

Anyway, I do appreciate the fact that you can see I make no overt attempt at "copying" anyone who came before me, but rather attempt at my own spirit and spin of the, uh, current 'cultural street-style template', shall we say. Thanks for thinking that I'm personable and likeable (see I fooled you already).:)

I'm also glad you appreciated the mumbledy-peg segment (Riggs' idea, and another effect I never rehearsed or performed ever before 'show time'). Please don't, anyone, do this at home--unless you want to steal any of my other material-- then please feel free to try the mumbledy-peg first. :)

I totally understand your wife's opinion of the rigged/not-rigged indifference concern you were speaking of. It was a learning experience to try to figure out how to make it so that everything was as fair as we could make it for the lens. Lots of arguments over that subject, but no matter-- what's done is done and now it's history. When I make the next TV special, more focus will be put to the elements that were missed on these specials. Still, I maintain, it's nice to have the "dirty four"-- no matter what anyone says, I say they're worthy.

But as far as whatever anyone else says about the stuff I put out, good or bad, it CAN'T change my own opinion. That's no way to be an 'artist' or even a 'wannabe.' Because I don't have much time to dwell on the things I'm already done with, you know? I'm always on the next.

with respect to your thoughts, and regards to your wife,
PEACE,
alain


[quote]
On 2005-07-06 10:52, adolphus wrote:

Anyway, glad to see you here, Alain. I can attest to Alain's incredible skill, inventiveness and professionalism...

[/quote]

adolphus,

you're probably right about the old user name thing-- I think I might have lurked around here once before a looooong time ago. hey thanks for the props, man. especially coming from you, with those kick mental manuscripts of yours. please take those off the market! and for those of you who don't have adolphus' manuscripts yet, please help me get them off the market by purchasing them from him-- wait, am I being too obvious here? :)

anyway, nice to see you again, blood. ;)
peace,
alain
Message: Posted by: magicman02 (Jul 7, 2005 02:57AM)
Hi Alain,
I just wanted to say congrats on your four tv specials. I was wondering what got you interested in all of this, magic and mentalism? Also how do you try and separate yourself from all the other mentalist out there, character wise? When you were young, was it hard for you to develop a performing character? I am in college right now and I have a twin and my twin and I are working on a Twin two person act, we are calling it "TSP: Twin Sensory Perception." Two person acts are the hardest to learn in mentalism and most of them have been husband and wife (like the Evasons, who I think are the greatest two person act ever!), but we decided that by doing a twin hook on it, we can give it a new and fresh outlook, something that can make us stand out. Your specials were great and it is great to see people like you and Gerry out there giving good attention to mentalism to the public. Best wishes for you in the future.

Best,
Adrian
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 7, 2005 03:02AM)
Cushlomachree, what are you doing up at this hour?!

Just had to comment that you put your finger on the key element which was in short supply: humour! For all the world, it seemed as if you're a life-loving guy and would have fun with your audience. What we had on the final cut, was the impression of a nice guy seemingly behaving out of character.

I am the more impressed now that I know of the impossible deadlines which were set. Contractually imposed 80 effects per episode? Yipes! And that time constraint! More startling: that the mumblety-peg segment was unrehearsed --- now THAT's scary!! I'd have joined my wife in yelping aloud! If it weren't 3:40 am, I might yelp even now!

Like I said, I liked much more than I disliked; the tapes of the last two specials (missed taping the first two, dagnabbit) will leave my possession when they're pried from my cold, dead fingers. Our best wishes for more, even greater television events in the future.

Although where you're get ANOTHER 80 new effects per 45-minutes, I'll never know.

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 05:51AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 11:53, Chad Sanborn wrote:
Welcome !
I saw you lecture many years ago. You did the back in time plot with the watch, (as previously mentioned), a nice card warp finally, and a great book test! I bought the lecture notes (Not for sale so don't ask) and had an opportunity to watch you bend spoons. Truly inspiring! You had a few notes left for sale on that too, sadly, I didn't buy them. Now they are impossible to get. BTW, the lecture was in Norfolk VA.

My question has to do with choosing material and routining. What criteria do you set for each effect you decide to use? And how often do you change your routines and add new or take away effect?

Chad
[/quote]

Hey Chad,

Thanks for the memories of that old stuff. I remember being in Norfolk. Gerry Blount wrote a nice review of my being there as I recall. Of course, it's always great to see Ed Fowler aka Carlyle (mentalists, please swarm here)!

re: criteria for choosing effects--

of course first of all, I'm partial to doing the real thing whenever the conditions are perfect to do so. so first, my a-list in my arsenal consists of effects that are as clean and pure as I can make it happen in real life. stuff that is (or appears) unmistakeably genuine. next, I try to piece together effects with entertaining premises that connect the a-list effects in a way that creates texture and a through-line to the powers that I possess. I know, in the TV series, it was more of a collage. sort of snapshots of me in various random places, doing random stunts and demonstrations that were connected only by their strangeness and nothing else. wasn't my choice but, imo, not an invalid presentation.

of course, the obvious, my personal criteria as a mentalist, is to see myself as a 'performance artist', if you will, who is capable of demonstrating under what appears to be worthy test conditions, the most amazing acts of paranormal presentations 'seen right before your very eyes.' so since it's a mentalism show, I don't usually mix any magic into the show. I think doing so diminishes the impact of what I DO. as for anyone else, that's not my job to decide, but for ME, my overall concept of what I DO lies in giving my audiences the experience of a REAL MOMENT happening. for me, it's that kind of showmanship.

btw, my live performances (as you should know from having seen me perform in Norfolk) is much different from the unrehearsed, let's-see-if-this-is-going-to-work-out presentations that you see me sport on the specials. frankly, the three basic qualities I look for in the demos I use in my live show is: 1) it's gotta kick ass 2) it's gotta kick ass 3) it's gotta kick ass. I just try to be the best that I can be-- you know, and try not to be a jerk about it.

but seriously, it's all about texture. try to stay away from being 'card-heavy', or 'synchronicity-heavy', or bending-metal-heavy, (or banging-heavy-metal).


re: routine changes--

I have enough material nowadays that I try to rotate certain demos a little on the college circuit since many schools have me back year after year. also, I tend to add something new that I play around with into the show here and there-- one year I went around and did sealed and healed until everyone else started doing it, and then I took it out. sometimes I throw in a pk demo, sometimes not. I did my own version of add-a-number for a year (partially at caesars-- wonder if anyone out there ever saw that version, where three two-digit numbers are called and added straight up. I'd say my act changes very slowly every year, with mild changes and improvements depending on my interests of the time. my act might, however, stop changing as much since I've become transfixed on trying to get it down so that I can pack as little as possible to get around. packing light, and performing an arsenal of material that also packs light was last year's personal fixation... but, not to worry, I don't intend to stop creating at the expense of saving on luggage space!
best regards,
Alain

[quote]
Contractually imposed 80 effects per episode?
*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

no, that would be 80 effects total for the four episodes-- 20 per episode-- but only about 12 to 16 effects were chosen-- the rest are on the cutting room floor, and some of those were awesome! well, I guess we can re-do some of those for the next one!

~nu

[quote]
On 2005-07-06 15:33, Julian Kestrel wrote:
Alain,

are you planning a book or reprints of your previous works? Also can you tell us about the consultants you hired for the shows and what their contributions were to the specials?


Congrats

Julian

[/quote]

Bonjour Julian,

Currently I am considering the possibility of re-writing a lot of the old material and then re-publishing it anthology-style in a hard-bound format, but there are no final plans to go in this direction as of yet. I'm sure you'll hear word of it if and when it happens tho.

For now, I'll quickly go into a few facts about the material in the four shows and the roles of the various consultants:


1) A large number of the effects use my own personally conceived methods.


2) I had a few close friends with interesting ideas who were kind enough to donate effects of their own design for the production of the four specials. many of these ideas were seed-ideas that I needed to tweak with my own methods.


3) More effects were worked on, or created jointly, by my crew of principle consultants and I when we were flown into LA for a day of brainstorming back in Dec 2004.


4) The principle magic consultants are:

Bob Fitch: Fitch is one of the most amazing guys I know. Ask anyone who was on the road with me, and NO ONE will tell you it was a picnic. Fitch may be the oldest of us, but no one worked harder on my show in hours and commitment than Bob Fitch. Bob is the most generous and caring soul, and I will never forget the time and energy AND dedication that he gave to me during this project. He was the man that kept me on track at all times. He always made sure I did my homework.

Sam Haine: Sam was my west-coast connection for this project. Actually, back in 2004, the week before Easter, Sam and I (along with a small team) went and shot the Exorcist Staircase effect in DC. This footage was eventually edited and sent to Discovery, and it’s said that it was upon them seeing this that ultimately sold the show! I like Sam because he’s philosophical about his approach to mentalism, he thinks ‘outside the box’, and his knowledge of what exactly can be found ‘outside the box’ is greater than that of most people’s. Sam Haine has been a confidante of mine for many years-- he always knows something that no one else does, and his resources are delightfully obscure. That and he’s got web-savvy. Sam helped me come up with scripts, and offered a few unconventional ideas, most of which (very unfortunately) didn't end up on the series-- but these may end up on my next... but whatever-- he's a method-man. a methodical jam-maestro.

John Riggs: John Riggs is one of the most prolific mentalists alive in the underworld today, and he’s been my dawg for years now. If I’m on tour and found myself driving through Knoxville, I’d call John, and if he was free, we’d meet up and spend an evening jamming on ideas that we’d been working on. John has an encyclopedic knowledge of mentalism, paranormal phenomenon, and arcane studies, which was why I thought he’d be a great asset to my team. What I like most about working with Riggs is that we have an affinity for each other’s work, but we come from different schools, so our repertoire is different. Basically, I knew if anyone could help me creatively beef up my mental repertoire purely from an effect standpoint, it would be John. A lot of John’s creativity was put into this production. A lot of it didn't make the cut, but he and I colaborated on methodical and presentational ideas to the bathroom wall effect (very late at night), cinderella showgirl psychometry, the blindfolded memory drive, and the dart catch, and he contributed fully ideas for the blind mumbledy peg and the blind on clay pots.

Bob Sheets: Sheets is my homie. We live pretty close to each other, and I was raised on a raw diet offered by the Brook Farm Inn of Magic back when I was in my teens. As far as Sheets is concerned, there are simply few people who I would trust, who I can count on helping me think of the things that I ordinarily wouldn’t think of. Bob is backed by a performing history like few others and is one of the most respected guys in our industry today. So Sheets was essentially assigned to play my ‘left field.’ Having Sheets around is like having a captain. He’s in it for life, he’s creative, he’s always coming at it from the other side, but he’ll always come up with a plan. Last December, in the boardroom, when we were first told to create four hours of TV material, Bob immediately took control, “How many different equivoque effects can we come up with? How many psychometry effects can we think of?” and we were just scribbling away. In two short hours we wrote down a list of effects, much of which was original and created right there at the table. That list turned into four specials. Bob gave us the juice.

But there was actually one other guy who was there at that meeting who I didn’t make a mention of before—

Allan Hayden: Allan was the guy who basically GOT ME THE GIG, by introducing Mike Mathis to me in the first place. Allan is also a long time, trusted friend, and he and I go way back farther than anyone else. Allan is an amazing visionary, and a performer who is a true master of what he does. Anyone who knows him, knows what I’m talking about. I would be leaving out a significant part of that day by not mentioning that Allan’s energy was present.

Fitch and Sheets had never met Riggs before, and I don’t think any of them knew Sam that well if at all, but the second we shut the doors and got to work, it was a jam session like nothing you could possibly imagine. One thing we have in common is we’re each our own ‘creative machine’, but each of those guys were chosen by me because of their different strengths. The thing is, though-- for all the great guys I had to back me, less than half the demonstrations we created right at that moment were actually tested and driven, compared to the larger number of them which had never been performed or even thought of before.

there you have it.

peace,

alain
Message: Posted by: MagicJared (Jul 7, 2005 07:31AM)
Just wanted to congratulate you on the specials. I was flipping through the channels at 1am and went "wait a minute, I know that guy". Its nice to see a mentalist get some serious air time.
Message: Posted by: Deming (Jul 7, 2005 07:41AM)
Alain,

I just registered on the Café' after learning you were here. Very good stuff pal. Very kind of you to take the time, and I know how little you have. The questions are great and your reponses are wonderful. You're a generous pro!

Catch up soon.

Scott
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 01:08PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 03:57, magicman02 wrote:
Hi Alain,
I just wanted to say congrats on your four tv specials. I was wondering what got you interested in all of this, magic and mentalism? Also how do you try and separate yourself from all the other mentalist out there, character wise? When you were young, was it hard for you to develop a performing character? I am in college right now and I have a twin and my twin and I are working on a Twin two person act, we are calling it "TSP: Twin Sensory Perception." Two person acts are the hardest to learn in mentalism and most of them have been husband and wife (like the Evasons, who I think are the greatest two person act ever!), but we decided that by doing a twin hook on it, we can give it a new and fresh outlook, something that can make us stand out. Your specials were great and it is great to see people like you and Gerry out there giving good attention to mentalism to the public. Best wishes for you in the future.

Best,
Adrian
[/quote]

hey Adrian,

Thanks for your nice thoughts. The "twins" performance sounds so dope I'm now jealous that I'm not a twin! I predict that you and your brother will come up with something that takes it even FURTHER than you were expecting, so keep on thinking!

re: character--

I mentioned this earlier-- basically my character is me. I sincerely enjoy exploring in creative ways, ALL interesting concepts of the mind and perception, So the effects are relevent to my character only in that I am a "collector/designer" of these unusual demonstrations. So I play the part of "me" (sometimes harder than what one might imagine), and my demonstrations and stunts-- well they're just part of my weird collection. A collection of feats that no one else can present quite the way I do it (mostly for their own reasons I'm sure, but my claim holds no matter). I try and make each demonstration fun and captivating as well as resonate with the deeper, more mysterious side to weird things we think about and the strange ways we think about them. I enjoy each separate concept for what it makes other people feel while they are experiencing it. So, as I said in an earlier post, it's actually quite simple: everything I do, I do because I see how it affects people in a certain way. The nice thing is that each separate demonstration affects people in a different way-- that's basically how I set my standard. So my live performance, counts off a different feeling or sensation, that combined, helps to create the overall impression of my character. but my character, if I were to have one, is just me. I've made choices (and to some they may appear to be "bland" choices) to try and integrate fully the effects (of which I've put my own original spin) as seamlessly as possible into simply being who I am. my thinking is, by doing this in this manner, as I continue to grow and evolve as a human being, so does my work and how I do it. IMO, that is the only sincere way of expressing this 'art form.'

But yes, of course when I was young, I had no character to speak of except my geeky little self. And so with that in mind, please allow me to take a, perhaps unconventional, stand. I believe, when one takes on the great responsibility of becoming a practicing "mentalist', you are NOT an actor. Ultimately, you are a REAL person whose purpose is to demonstrate "amazing feats that challenge the human mind." To me, that is the big difference between mentalists and magicians.

Mind you, I'm not saying that a mentalist should not perform "tricks," or temporarily take on a funny role to create a "playful moment"-- as I mention on an earlier post, some of what I do might seem TOO outrageous or over-the-top- - an ex-lover's name appears written in a mens room stall, a book a matches going up in flames while concentratng on it-- you have to admit, it adds a playful element that doesn't necessarily make me appear "real", but at that point for me, it's not the intention. I want those moments to make me come off as quirky, light-hearted, and most of all good spirited.

Well, that's part of who I am-- the real me. This is the way I've always done it. Sometimes, I will bust out the role of a 'trickster' who plays the PART of a 'bizarre mentalist' , but what is really happening is I am ACTUALLY a mentalist (that is myself) who is exhibiting a "mischievous" side to his character during those moments-- at least that's how I play moments such as those during live conditions.

Hope this helps.
peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-07 08:31, MagicJared wrote:
Just wanted to congratulate you on the specials. I was flipping through the channels at 1am and went "wait a minute, I know that guy". Its nice to see a mentalist get some serious air time.
[/quote]

... I've always dreamt of being on late night tv. I fantasized that some guy who used to know me would be surfing the channels late at night in a half-intoxicated stupor, and stop because he sees some vegas showgirls, only to realize a second later he got stuck on my show. how wronged he would feel at that moment would ultimately determine how much I intend to chuckle inwardly. nice to see you, jared! (he he)

alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-07 08:41, Deming wrote:
Alain,

I just registered on the Café' after learning you were here. Very good stuff pal. Very kind of you to take the time, and I know how little you have. The questions are great and your reponses are wonderful. You're a generous pro!

Catch up soon.

Scott
[/quote]

scott,
well guess what? you may definitely be responsible for me turning out this way. YOU are the pro's pro, and you never cease to impress me on every level, as a speaker, mentalist, and human being. thank you for making me proud to be human!
peace,
alain

Gee wiz-- just 16 more posts before am a 50 plus posted member of the magic Café!

I wonder if by saturday evening, I will earn this honorable priviledge...
Message: Posted by: saglaser (Jul 7, 2005 02:02PM)
Hey Alain!

I really appreciate your tales of how your specials came to be. I think there's a common misconception that, since television is taped and edited, it can be lovingly crafted, tweaked and massaged until it's at least [i]somebody's[/i] idea of the best it can possibly be. The truth, as your stories show, is that it's a race, sometimes a marathon, and the fact that a series like yours gets completed at all can be a near miracle. What you and your team actually had to do is in many ways scarier than the Excorcist stairway stunt :)

Aside from all the other insights you've sharted here, I hope folks come away with the understanding that, if these four specials were as good as they were given the conditions under which they were made, just imagine how good the [i]next[/i] ones will be with all you've learned.

If it were entirely up to you, though, would your next special be along similar lines or would you rather be able to do something more like your stage shows?
Message: Posted by: Sam Haine (Jul 7, 2005 02:58PM)
Greetings Mr. Nu,

While I have seen your so called "TV Shows", I have some serious questions that I am sure are on everyone's mind. Please don't think you can avoid this post as a real mentalist would certainly answer them. (HA! Caught you with my stunning NLP technique.) There are rumors you cheated to get additional audience reactions. Perhaps you would care to address these accusations?

1) Is it true that in many of the effects on your shows, when you were filmed from the waist up, you were only wearing a pink boxers that say "I Used To Hate Spankings" to elicit looks of astonishment from the audience?

2) That in fact, the girl in the dojo is your mother, all the wrestlers were first cousins, and the guy with the DVD was in fact your love child with Janet Reno?

3) That in fact, during the mumbledy-peg, people held their breath only because John Riggs had purposefully ingested large bean burritos for breakfast!

4) That the poor girl in the bookstore had no choice but to pick that book as the entire store's inventory had been swapped out?

and lastly,

5) Is it not true that you surgically altered not just one, but SIX ducks for the cover of your bizarre magick booklet, aptly titled "Six"?

Do not dodge these questions sir. I, for one, want to see the truth told.

Sincerely,
Sam Haine
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jul 7, 2005 03:05PM)
Wait.......sam......was that a joke.......At first I thought you were serious but they seemed to just get really weird...
Anyway congratulations on the TV specials....I enjoyed the first and hope to see the others as there aren't many magic specials on any more (except for David Blaine reruns and boy they get exciting more and more ;)
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 06:40PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 04:02, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Cushlomachree, what are you doing up at this hour?!

Just had to comment that you put your finger on the key element which was in short supply: humour! For all the world, it seemed as if you're a life-loving guy and would have fun with your audience. What we had on the final cut, was the impression of a nice guy seemingly behaving out of character.

I am the more impressed now that I know of the impossible deadlines which were set. Contractually imposed 80 effects per episode? Yipes! And that time constraint! More startling: that the mumblety-peg segment was unrehearsed --- now THAT's scary!! I'd have joined my wife in yelping aloud! If it weren't 3:40 am, I might yelp even now!

Like I said, I liked much more than I disliked; the tapes of the last two specials (missed taping the first two, dagnabbit) will leave my possession when they're pried from my cold, dead fingers. Our best wishes for more, even greater television events in the future.

Although where you're get ANOTHER 80 new effects per 45-minutes, I'll never know.

*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2005-07-07 04:02, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Cushlomachree, what are you doing up at this hour?!

Just had to comment that you put your finger on the key element which was in short supply: humour! For all the world, it seemed as if you're a life-loving guy and would have fun with your audience. What we had on the final cut, was the impression of a nice guy seemingly behaving out of character...

*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

Hi Chet,

I’ll respond to the rest of your post here.

Please consider my 3am to 5am posts a testament to my commitment to answer all your questions on this thread here at the Magic Café. It’s 7pm now, and as you can see, I’m still at it (don’t worry tho, I remembered to eat). :) But for those of you who need reminding, please note that come the end of Saturday night, I will sign off from the Magic Café for an indefinite period of time, so that I can persue my career as an “International Man of Mystery.” :)

RE: Humor. Yeah, I know, they cut out practically ALL humorous asides. In the blindfold drive, for instance, you hear me at one point saying, “A few people died while driving this road...” and that’s it. Well, considering that Lombard Street is a 5 mph one way street-- if anyone ever actually did die on that stretch, it was probably from a brain anurism. But for you, and your entertainment pleasure, or whatever, the entire line is: “A few people have died driving down this road-- even more have been injured, and even more have gotten tickets...” The tag line at the end which was also omitted was “One thing’s for sure-- I’m really glad I didn’t get a ticket!”

Anyway, I know at times the editing made things feel awkward on the specials, I thought so too, but if that’s the hand you were dealt at the time, then the moment that is captured becomes the finished product. The beauty of it does not come from the first gut impression or reaction of whether one liked or disliked the effect or shows in general , but from the ‘truth of the moment’ caught on tape by whatever reaction, ecstatic, bewildered or just mildly amused. Regardless of the reaction, or even the editing, an aspect of the 'truth' is ALWAYS told, and IMO, that’s what makes it both interesting and appealing to the viewing audience. Not everyone, of course, will think of it as interesting, but it’ll ultimately be a matter of opinion.

People, to this day, talk s**t about all the other guys out there as well, so now I probably know how they feel or felt. What’s been a kick to me is that I even have loyal supporters out there (magicians and laymen alike) who think I’M the only game in town, but I don’t even take that seriously. I have much love and respect for the main guys out there doing it and making it their own. I’ve heard many good things and I’m really looking forward to checking out Angel’s specials on cable coming soon. I’m really curious as to what Blaine’s got up his sleeve for his next attack on 'the streets.' In fact all the guys out there doing it currently, are interpreting magic and mystery in their OWN WAY, and you know what, that's what's most exciting about it all to me.

word,
alain
Message: Posted by: blazes816 (Jul 7, 2005 06:52PM)
Please don't dodge sam's questions mr. Nu. I too would like to know.
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 08:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 15:58, Sam Haine wrote:

>>While I have seen your so called "TV Shows", I have some serious questions that I am sure are on everyone's mind. Please don't think you can avoid this post as a real mentalist would certainly answer them. (HA! Caught you with my stunning NLP technique.)>>

(insert "kung-fu-flick-style-startled-appearance" facial expression here)
"OH! you got me again, you devil you!" (lips keep moving one half beat longer).


>> There are rumors you cheated to get additional audience reactions. Perhaps you would care to address these accusations?>>

and blow my cover?


>>1) Is it true that in many of the effects on your shows, when you were filmed from the waist up, you were only wearing a pink boxers that say "I Used To Hate Spankings" to elicit looks of astonishment from the audience? >>

first, they were b pink boxers.

second, I'm impressed at your ability to read and decifer the embroidered ancient characters so easily.


>>2) That in fact, the girl in the dojo is your mother, all the wrestlers were first cousins, and the guy with the DVD was in fact your love child with Janet Reno?>>

no... the woman praying during the blindfold drive, THAT was my mother.
yes... all the wrestlers were YOUR first cousins :)
no... I don't know where you could have gotten information like that, but I feel I've already said too much.


>>3) That in fact, during the mumbledy-peg, people held their breath only because John Riggs had purposefully ingested large bean burritos for breakfast!>>

and he wasn't even there!


>>4) That the poor girl in the bookstore had no choice but to pick that book as the entire store's inventory had been swapped out?>>

...don't forget about the 'wall index' we used for the grafitti effect. (just blow the whole *** thing, why don't you?)

>>and lastly,

>>5) Is it not true that you surgically altered not just one, but SIX ducks for the cover of your bizarre magick booklet, aptly titled "Six"?>>

gather around, Café listeners, and let me let you all a little secret. it has been a well kept secret for 5 years now, and after this moment it won't be a secret any more-- if you go out to joe mogar's (yes, of 'color changing knife fame' if there is such a thing). well so like I'm saying, if you go out to joe mogar's place in south jersey, on a beautiful pond, surrounded by miniature horses (joe owns the largest miniature horse farm on the east coast, sporting over TWO HUNDRED miniature show-horses). anyway, like I'm saying, if you go out to joe mogar's place in south jersey, on the farm, on a beautiful pond, literally surrounded by miniature horses (that protect the 'franken-flock' from carnivorous predators), at certain times of particularly quiet afternoons, if the ever-present fog is lifted from the pond in just the right way... you can see them-- with all SIX HEADS still functioning and acting as their own government-- dunking, feeding, preening, resting... a completely breathtaking experience; equally as beautiful as it is grotesque. should you ever be out at his Magic Stars Miniature Horse Ranch, right smack between I 95 and AC...


>>Do not dodge these questions sir. I, for one, want to see the truth told.>>

how do you like them onions?

late,
alain
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 7, 2005 08:29PM)
Ouch! "Wall index"! Now we know for certain how Copperfield did Graffitti Wall!

*jeep!
--Chet

Just noticed: Sir Nu, you have only to come up with 14 more posts and then you can join in at the Inner Thoughts banquet room. Might I suggest using the post index?

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 09:25PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 21:31, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Just noticed: Sir Nu, you have only to come up with 14 more posts and then you can join in at the Inner Thoughts banquet room. Might I suggest using the post index?

*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

what is this 'post index' that youy speak of?

[quote]
On 2005-07-07 15:02, saglaser wrote:
Hey Alain!

I really appreciate your tales of how your specials came to be. I think there's a common misconception that, since television is taped and edited, it can be lovingly crafted, tweaked and massaged until it's at least [i]somebody's[/i] idea of the best it can possibly be. The truth, as your stories show, is that it's a race, sometimes a marathon, and the fact that a series like yours gets completed at all can be a near miracle. What you and your team actually had to do is in many ways scarier than the Excorcist stairway stunt :)

Aside from all the other insights you've sharted here, I hope folks come away with the understanding that, if these four specials were as good as they were given the conditions under which they were made, just imagine how good the [i]next[/i] ones will be with all you've learned.

If it were entirely up to you, though, would your next special be along similar lines or would you rather be able to do something more like your stage shows?
[/quote]

hey steve,

thank you for saying all that-- you overstand and I appreciate it. I couldn't have said it more beautifully. thank you. more importantly, however, I'm touched that you support my push to work on future programs/dvd's of this nature--

I truly am itching to organize into action, all the things we didn't have time to do or think about the last time we put all this together.

as far as what I plan to do with the next special formatwise-- I haven't figured it out yet totally-- but I'm open to ideas... ;)

I like the idea of doing it partially in a 'live audience / staged' setting for perhaps a short trio of effects... I'll meditate on this. thanks again for your eloquent thoughts.
PEACE!
alain
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Jul 7, 2005 11:10PM)
Alain,

They're treating you very nicely here. See? They're pretty nice guys.

And we like you... we really like you! :)

Your pal,

Docc
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 7, 2005 11:17PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:10, Docc Hilford wrote:
Alain,

They're treating you very nicely here. See? They're pretty nice guys.

And we like you... we really like you! :)

Your pal,

Docc
[/quote]

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Docc Hilford (Jul 7, 2005 11:26PM)
Tell them how many ideas you had going in to the specials, how many could be used, how many were shot and not used and how much they wanted on top of all that, and wanted it instantly as well.

Or did you already tell them?

Docc

P.S> Have you been awake all these days??? :)
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 7, 2005 11:36PM)
1. Mr. Hilford, how did you get in here with that name/
2. Mr. Mongoose, not that I want to know for myself, I am only asking for a friend who wishes to remain annonymous NOT ME really (my wife might read this), but do you have the names and #s of the ladies who helped you with the shoe thing?
Feel free to PM me.
Peace,
Parson
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 8, 2005 09:17AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 22:25, geff mongoose wrote:

what is this 'post index' that youy speak of?

[/quote]

The post index is similar to the wall index, in that one has an index folder of 52 different posts which can be posted to an electronic forum (such as this). This index, like the wall index, is kept in one's pocket and the appropriate electronic message is palmed (just as the appropriate wall) and switched with a blank electronic message. Since these messages are electronic, it is recommended that one's pockets be insulated. I recommend rubber pants.

*jeep!
--Chet (How close is Alain to 50 posts now?)

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:10, Docc Hilford wrote:
Alain,

They're treating you very nicely here. See? They're pretty nice guys.

And we like you... we really like you! :)

Your pal,

Docc
[/quote]

Just wait. Let him stay in here for a few months and they'll turn on him like rabid fish on stinkbait.

*jeep!
--Chet (When disgusting mental images are made, they'll be made by Chet.)
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 8, 2005 09:30AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:26, Docc Hilford wrote:
Tell them how many ideas you had going in to the specials, how many could be used, how many were shot and not used and how much they wanted on top of all that, and wanted it instantly as well.
Or did you already tell them?
Docc
P.S> Have you been awake all these days??? :)
[/quote]

(Ladies?) and (gentle)men, Docc Hilford!

Que pasa, Dr. Cocktail? Thank you for caring about me-- and visting me here! Many famous (as well as infamous) friends of mine have made choices NOT to join me here (all w/ weak excuses) but I'm delighted to have you chime in, my fiendish friend! I must apologize for the 'alarmed response' to your initial post, but YOU (of all people) are the post that has caused me to respond WITH ONLY 10 MORE POSTS before I am admitted as a NEW LEVEL priviledged member who will enjoy the benefits (and secret teachings!) that only the Magic Café can offer (just think). That's right, in just TEN more posts, I'll be there... UNLESS Saturday comes first. (will I make it? do ya think?)

Docc sez:

>>Tell them how many ideas you had going in to the specials, how many could be used, how many were shot and not used and how much they wanted on top of all that, and wanted it instantly as well.>>

I did tell them once or five times before, but to put it to those specific specs--

1) we were initially told to come up with 80 effects (20 per show), and w/ help from the boyz, we did it in two hours while in LA (minus the experimentation, engineering, and scripting) one week later I was informed that I had to be ready to begin shooting within 2 weeks of that time.

2) we shot close to (we kept adding and subtracting as we went along) 80 effects in an incredibly short amount of time (ending in a 16 day shoot schedule)-- of these effects, only roughly 55 to 60 effects were chosen (which is what I predictd from the start). Docc was at my shoot in Miami, and saw a few effects that I did that didn't make the cut...

... I think you were there when I had those people covering my face and eyes on the Coco Walk, and I told that one guy to stop (messing) with me-- I wish I could've actually seen the look on his face...

Y'know, I assume most of y'all know Docc Hilford already, but if you don't, Docc is one of the coolest cats you will ever meet who is also a mentalist/mystery-maker (a sometimes difficult combination to find, plus that dude'll mix you a mean cocktail). He has written more independent literature in the psychic-subterrainean than you can shake a stick at, and you can only get that stuff directly from him these days-- so I don't know if I'm doing him a favor, or me a disfavor by saying so, but if you don't already own this guy's writings-- you better catch him while you can, as he still hasn't posted five times here yet, and he may disappear quicker than you expect!

Shout out to Hilford!

Alain
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 8, 2005 09:45AM)
The only question I have for you Alain is...

How did you get your own TV special? Was it through contacts, performances, or what?

If this question was already answered by you, then just ignore it, but I am interested in knowing how some of you guys pull this off...

Thanks,
~Kyle~
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 8, 2005 09:47AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:36, Parson Gary Smith wrote:
2. Mr. Mongoose, not that I want to know for myself, I am only asking for a friend who wishes to remain annonymous NOT ME really (my wife might read this), but do you have the names and #s of the ladies who helped you with the shoe thing?
Feel free to PM me.
Peace,
Parson
[/quote]

hi parson,

tom cuts pmed me, to see if it was really me by asking me where I was born (apparently he met somebody on a plane from vegas who knew my parents in ca). strangely, he seemed shocked to see that it really was me (citing that a few have come on board, posing as other 'known' guys).

but if you are asking me for the LAST names of the showgirls on my show, I can't answer that-- it just not cool, even if I were to pm you. why don't you pm me with a description of the girl your friend wants to know about (if that's what he wants to know) along with what he 'thinks' her name is, and I will let you know if he's right or not.

as for docc, I can't be sure that it is actually him, but I'll say this-- I can 'hear his voice' by the tone of his message. it's a psychic energy thing-- that you all probably already understand.

peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:17, mormonyoyoman wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 22:25, geff mongoose wrote:

what is this 'post index' that youy speak of?

[/quote]

The post index is similar to the wall index, in that one has an index folder of 52 different posts which can be posted to an electronic forum (such as this). This index, like the wall index, is kept in one's pocket and the appropriate electronic message is palmed (just as the appropriate wall) and switched with a blank electronic message. Since these messages are electronic, it is recommended that one's pockets be insulated. I recommend rubber pants.

*jeep!
--Chet (How close is Alain to 50 posts now?)
[/quote]

now I'm totally confused. I'll stick to pen and paper, thanks.

posting awfully close to 50-- I think I can see the light!

alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:52, geff mongoose wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:17, mormonyoyoman wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-07 22:25, geff mongoose wrote:

what is this 'post index' that youy speak of?

[/quote]

The post index is similar to the wall index, in that one has an index folder of 52 different posts which can be posted to an electronic forum (such as this). This index, like the wall index, is kept in one's pocket and the appropriate electronic message is palmed (just as the appropriate wall) and switched with a blank electronic message. Since these messages are electronic, it is recommended that one's pockets be insulated. I recommend rubber pants.

*jeep!
--Chet (How close is Alain to 50 posts now?)
[/quote]

now I'm totally confused. I'll stick to pen and paper, thanks.

posting awfully close to 50-- I think I can see the light!

alain
[/quote]

ok, wait, I get it. I'm an idiot (and to think I thought I was so clever with my response to sam's post) just wasn't quick enough for you, you clever devil you.

hee hee,

alain
Message: Posted by: kcalB (Jul 8, 2005 10:27AM)
Mr Nu, Welcome to The Magic Café.


Sebastian Black
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 8, 2005 11:01AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:58, geff mongoose wrote:
posting awfully close to 50-- I think I can see the light!

alain
[/quote]

So if you're still up for talking about the evolution of a specific routine, you don't have to leave out methodology if you posted in, say Inner Thoughts (the 50-post counterpart to the Penny For Your Thoughts area). That is, if you don't want to.

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 8, 2005 11:31AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:19, mormonyoyoman wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:10, Docc Hilford wrote:
Alain,

They're treating you very nicely here. See? They're pretty nice guys.

And we like you... we really like you! :)

Your pal,

Docc
[/quote]

Just wait. Let him stay in here for a few months and they'll turn on him like rabid fish on stinkbait.

*jeep!
--Chet
[/quote]

I love rabid fish on stinkbait-- but, personally, I still try and stay away from red meat.

Unfortunately, by Saturday I will be sucked back into my own vacuum of existence.

... but I've truly enjoyed my stay here on this public forum, and hope that Steve Brooks invites me back to be interviewed as a "celebrity." Also, I hope that when he does, it will conveniently work out with my crazy schedule.

I'll cross my fingers, since sometimes, I've found that it helps.

Peace to all,

Alain Nu

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 00:36, Parson Gary Smith wrote:
2. Mr. Mongoose, not that I want to know for myself, I am only asking for a friend who wishes to remain annonymous NOT ME really (my wife might read this), but do you have the names and #s of the ladies who helped you with the shoe thing?
Feel free to PM me.
Peace,
Parson
[/quote]

Joan: 702-555-CUTE
Candace: 702-555-FLRT
Rosie: 702-555-SEXY
Jill: 702-36-24-36
Carrie: 702-555-NICE
Linda: 702-555-LIPS
Jennifer: 702-555-ASSS
Lori: 702-555-OHHH
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 8, 2005 12:29PM)
I once dated Lori's sister, and her phone number was identical except that the "O" was at the end of versus at the beginning of the last four digits. Thank God I was able to do the $100 bill switch in reverse after the date ended.

Congrats on the outcome of all your hard work, mi amigo!

Larry D.

P.S. - I look forward to your version of JK's exploding nickle on the next special.
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 8, 2005 12:38PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:45, KyletheGreat wrote:
The only question I have for you Alain is...

How did you get your own TV special? Was it through contacts, performances, or what?

If this question was already answered by you, then just ignore it, but I am interested in knowing how some of you guys pull this off...

Thanks,
~Kyle~
[/quote]

Kyle,

First let me apologize for that last post, it wasn't me. It was my friend, (we'll just call him "Dick"). :)

(that's what I get for having friends come over to my house while I'm 'at work')

Now let me get right to your questions:

1) I was VERY LUCKY to get the specials I did.

2) Re: Contacts-- my friend Allan Hayden, who at one time was actually my 'idol' as a kid when he used to live here in DC, 25 years ago, befriended a TV producer in LA 25 years later-- and after me having lost touch with Allan for years, he still recommends that Mike Mathis should call me-- how random is that?

3) Re: Performances-- ok, well here's a point that one could consider helpful. now I wasn't there at the time, but this is roughly how I heard it went down: Mike Mathis (my producer) asked Allan if he knew anyone who could: #1-- perform on the same or similar playing field as DB, and #2-- have enough personal material as to be able to fill several hours of tv. Allan knew me well enough to know that I was always working on new ways of presenting effects and that I'll obssess about ideas, concepts, functions, and applications-- it's the way I'm wired. so that's the reason why Allan pointed Mike to me. After that, Mike and I took it from there.

so maybe the future of magic on tv has something to do with quantity???

I doubt it-- frankly, I believe that everything is so random it's hard to tell just HOW anything actually is accomplished. I think if you are simply true to your heart and visualize what you want to do more than anything else, and not try to force yourself, but just be the absolute best that you can be, and never loose sight of the objective, you can get anything you want. it becomes then a matter of desire, focus, and understanding-- three of life's greatest mysteries.

peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 11:27, Derek Flint wrote:
Mr Nu, Welcome to The Magic Café.


Sebastian Black
[/quote]

Welcome back, Mr. Black!

~nu

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 12:01, Necromancer wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 10:58, geff mongoose wrote:
posting awfully close to 50-- I think I can see the light!

alain
[/quote]

So if you're still up for talking about the evolution of a specific routine, you don't have to leave out methodology if you posted in, say Inner Thoughts (the 50-post counterpart to the Penny For Your Thoughts area). That is, if you don't want to.

Best,
Neil
[/quote]

man, that would just take so long, it'd make me want to slit my wrists. I'd almost rather start talking about the creative process of something altogether new and work on it right in front of everyone. at least that way, I'm getting something done at the same time!

AM I KNOCKIN' ON FIFTY'S DOOR? DO I HEAR A KNOCK-KNOCK, ANYONE???

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 13:29, Larry Davidson wrote:
I once dated Lori's sister, and her phone number was identical except that the "O" was at the end of versus at the beginning of the last four digits. Thank God I was able to do the $100 bill switch in reverse after the date ended.

Larry D.

P.S. - I look forward to your version of JK's exploding nickle on the next special.
[/quote]

HOOO!

ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Larry,

Because of your "HO-joke", I am now eligible to enter the through the pearly gates of the Magic Café.

DOES IRONY NOT EXIST, I ASK?

like the rain-man always said, "about a hundred dollars."

PEACE!!!
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Jul 8, 2005 01:28PM)
"I'd almost rather start talking about the creative process of something altogether new and work on it right in front of everyone."

OK!!! Let's get started!!!

Glad you came - and welcome - to the Café. I was one of the guys behind the counter at Dream Wizards those many years ago...

- Greg Owen
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 8, 2005 01:42PM)
Mr. Mongoose,
Thank you so much for the #'s. I will xxxxxxx, I mean my friend will call them tonight after my wife xxxxxxx I mean his wife is asleep.
Even without the girls, though, I enjoyed your specials.
Peace,
Parson
Message: Posted by: Nathan Kranzo (Jul 8, 2005 02:55PM)
Hi Alain,

Just wanted to say congrats to you and your team for doing an awesome job with the specials. The way you handled a couple of the classics will go down as my all time favorite versions. The situational stuff like the "stair walk" leaves images in the mind that won't be soon forgotten.

Power.

Your performance style and presentation make you a joy to watch, and it really sucks people in.

Keep up the good work and I hope we can hang again soon.

Later,

Kranzo
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 8, 2005 05:10PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 14:28, Greg Owen wrote:

"I'd almost rather start talking about the creative process of something altogether new and work on it right in front of everyone."

OK!!! Let's get started!!!

Glad you came - and welcome - to the Café. I was one of the guys behind the counter at Dream Wizards those many years ago...

- Greg Owen
[/quote]

hey greg,

how are you, guy?

for those of you who don't know, Dream Wizards was the very first magic shop I worked in-- I was 13 when I started there. Mark Chorvinsky (owner of dream wizards, my original influence in mentalism, and the publisher/editor of Strange Magazine, the fortean publication, is currently very sick, and I have been visiting him at his home over the past year as well as during the shooting of the TV specials. I really mean it when I say that he was my greatest influence in mentalism. he was the man who showed me the 'real world' of strange phenomena! I was at his home the other day and gave him the dvd release of "what the bleep do we think?", but I was told that he is too sick now to accept visitors or even phone calls. I'm glad that he is still watching movies though, because I think he'll like it a lot. mark is a real interesting guy who always had visionary qualities. he totally called it on the pokemon craze and now lives in a very nice home in one of the 'strangest states' in the country-- maryland!

Greg, I remember you and Jonathan and how you both liked to use the bounce-pass coin move, you were both quite the hot-shots of those days! ah yes, I remember the days-- back then, we used to save our junk-cards and play out 'street fights' in the parking lot between cars-- in front of Dream Wizards... those cards could sure sting. were you ever in on any of those fights when we used to do that-- with Steve Heston and Biff Gaut and Eric Simenauer, and the other guys who demo'd there? I can still throw a card like nobody's business. so far, though I doubt I've broken any world records, I'm undefeated at one-on-one distance matches-- but then again, I've never gone up against ricky jay.

great to hear from you, man.
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 14:28, Greg Owen wrote:

"I'd almost rather start talking about the creative process of something altogether new and work on it right in front of everyone."

OK!!! Let's get started!!!
- Greg Owen
[/quote]

Ok, but I only have until Saturday night, first one who picks the topic, calls it, ok? I'll do the best I can with it until SATURDAY night! a'ight?

I'm game. Let's bring it on!
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 8, 2005 05:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 08:19, geff mongoose wrote:
"...I remember that night with crazy Simon! can you remember the joke he told? It had to have been one of the most admirably tasteless jokes I have ever heard, but I can't remember it. Didn't it have something to do with a hedgehog???"
[/quote]

If it's the one about the mole, please let me know of an audience I can safely share that with!

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:15, geff mongoose wrote:
I'm game. Let's bring it on!
[/quote]

I've often thought it would be a hoot to perform a mentalism effect with a cheesy magic prop, like Hippity Hop Rabbits. And I mean something that would actually come across as mentalism vs. magic. Any ideas? It's probably best to just disregard this posting and let someone else choose a more "normal" topic.
Message: Posted by: Crossroads Mystic (Jul 8, 2005 05:45PM)
Greetings Alain,

I’ve had the please of seeing two of you lecture here in MN. And, I’ve enjoy your TV specials. I look forward you see a special that you have more creative control over.

I’d like to thank you for the time you’ve spent here in the Café. I always enjoy hearing what working professionals have to say. Are you planning on attending Mindvention ‘05?

Gavin D.
Message: Posted by: Aaron B Fisher (Jul 8, 2005 07:38PM)
Alain,

I was watching a little tv the other day while my girlfriend was putting her makeup on, and as I flipped the channels, what did I see? I've known you for longer than just about anyone in magic. I think I met you my first year, 1992, in Washington DC. Its really incredible what you've accomplished with hard work, talent and deadication. I'm sure there are many young magicians reading this thread who find your success, and the quality of your work, to be nothing short of inspirational. You can count me the president of your fan club.

Your aging fan,
Aaron
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 8, 2005 09:32PM)
Okay, since nobody else is offering suggestions, and my first one was a bit wacky, how about something completely different--changing nature or its impact, for example, bringing back to life something that's dead (I know the effects been done, on TV in fact), making a green leaf on a summer tree turn into Fall colors and fall off of the tree, being rain on yet not getting wet, etc.?
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Jul 9, 2005 08:22AM)
Alain -

WOW!!! WHAT A MEMORY!!! Yep - Jonathan and I just couldn't get enough of the ole bounce pass!!! Not sure if I was in on the card throwing or not...

I continued to daubble in magic and also developed a Yo-Yo show (I was the Sports Division World Winner in 2000). Ended up performing magic, mentalism, and yo-yos on stage many times (never at the same time though) and recently published an e-book. PM me your e-mail address and I will send you a copy if you like.

I would love read your thinking on a design dupe but any effect you want to work on today is great. I will not be able to hover over the computer to participate though, I have a 2-year-old we HAVE to take out and keep active. Else there is no sleep for anyone in the house!

All The Best -

- Greg Beatty <--first time using my real name on the Café
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 9, 2005 09:34AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:42, Larry Davidson wrote:I've often thought it would be a hoot to perform a mentalism effect with a cheesy magic prop, like Hippity Hop Rabbits. And I mean something that would actually come across as mentalism vs. magic. Any ideas? It's probably best to just disregard this posting and let someone else choose a more "normal" topic.
[/quote]

I'm with you, Larry!

You could explain that you have a red bunny and a yellow bunny, and you'll use them to test your audience's clairvoyance. Put the covers on, mix them up, then ask an audience member which one he thinks is the red one and which is the yellow. You of course turn the bunny the right way in an obvious fashion, and reveal that he's right. Put the covers back on and do it again with a different audience member. Amazingly (!), he guesses correctly too.

Finally, when people don't seem to be taking this experiment seriously, explain that "Some of you apparently think that this isn't a fair test of clairvoyance. And you're right. The fact is...I use mindreading bunnies. And they knew which one you'd choose as red, and arranged themselves accordingly. They also knew (turning the bunnies around to reveal same-color backs with information printed on them in big black figures)...your name and your phone number!"

Okay, it's mental magic rather than mentalism, but it's Hippity Hop Rabbits, for god's sake!

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 9, 2005 09:51AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:42, Larry Davidson wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-06 08:19, geff mongoose wrote:
"...I remember that night with crazy Simon! can you remember the joke he told? It had to have been one of the most admirably tasteless jokes I have ever heard, but I can't remember it. Didn't it have something to do with a hedgehog???"
[/quote]

If it's the one about the mole, please let me know of an audience I can safely share that with!

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:15, geff mongoose wrote:
I'm game. Let's bring it on!
[/quote]

I've often thought it would be a hoot to perform a mentalism effect with a cheesy magic prop, like Hippity Hop Rabbits. And I mean something that would actually come across as mentalism vs. magic. Any ideas? It's probably best to just disregard this posting and let someone else choose a more "normal" topic.
[/quote]

Larry--

RE: the Simon Lovell hedgehog/mole-joke controversy, I think you are spot on!!! I think our friend at NYCAN can now verify if his memory serves, because (#1) it was close to 10 years ago, and (#2) as I recall, there was a bit of alcohol present that evening (as, at one time or another, was inclined to happen around that charming brit). I still can't remember it, but the closer I get, the less I think I ought to!

RE: mentalism effect involving Hippity Hop Rabbits-- LARRY DAVIDSON, YOU were the FIRST to respond after my challenge was announced, and this is the FIRST effect that came out of YOUR HEAD when your fingers touched the keyboard, so I made a promise, and a promise is a promise.

SO-- as per Necromancer and Greg Owen's request to watch my gears turn as I deconstruct and reconstruct a chosen topic towards the making of an effect which can potentially fit into one of my performances with my sense of criteria and treatment. Please enjoy as I now examine (thanks to Larry D!) from the beginning to the end of today, Saturday July 9th, 2005-- (IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT) THIS IS MY LAST DAY here on the Magic Café-- an adaptation of:

Hippity Hop Rabbit's "mentalism breakdown":

A) My first instinct, with the treatment, is to list for myself the most interesting aspects and subtleties of the effect-- usually this list will match the same reasons as to why the original effect was conceived of in the first place by its originator. This is important, IMO, because the 'Energy', 'Impact', and 'Power' of the effect itself rides on these elements. I try to *appreciate*, to the best of my ability, all of these subtleties from my heart as if it were my first time seeing the effect, and then learning how to do it.

So in this case, that 'old stupid kid-show trick' that we all just don't even want to have to think about anymore-- well, it's really quite beautiful actually. (1) You have 1 black and 1 white cartoon images of rabbits, (2) nicely displayed on the most simple wood-block stands. (3) NOT MYSTERIOUSLY, since "the magician" just "turns them around", the black and white cartoon images of rabbits "switch places" (4) under cover of NON-MYSTERIOUS-looking, galvanized metal tubes, (5) usually with a back-of-the-garage-style spray-painted stencil of a top hat on the front. (6) Much mirth ensues as the magician drags on, for the longest amount of time possible (in order to fill the required 30 minutes) his inneptness of understanding the definition of what the words "TURN IT AROUND" means. (7) At the conclusion, the know-it-alls of the audience are given a sucker-punch by revealing that when the cut-out rabbits are actually turned around, they are instead, usually red and yellow rabbits! (8) These rabbit-cut outs could potentially be examined after the effect. (9) The tubes can also be examined with not too much difficulty.

B) I'm sure by just reading the list above, your minds are already filling up with ideas, so now let's list those creative thoughts, emotions, and criteria that enters the mind during the making of the first list.

Mine are: (1) "The nature of all things can't be simply 'black and white'..." so I take note of the notion that I like the fact that it begins w/ black and white images. (2) However, images of 'bunny's and top hats' are NOT MY STYLE, but (3) whatever is printed on the cut-outs are OPTIONAL to my own artistic aesthetic (NOW we're getting somewhere!). (4) The obvious turning-around of the tubes to make appear the feeling of black and white images switching places, can also look like a sort of visual aid that a professor might use to explain something in a very simple manner. (5) the tubes can be ANYTHING (including cloth-- now there's an idea for kid-show performers (but maybe it's already been thought of)--

SIDE NOTE-- try not to think that just because we come up with an idea that it is our original idea. Of course we might think of it ourselves, and of course we are all VERY SMART to be here on this thread, but that doesn't mean that we are the original originators. It is, therefore, important that if we come up with something which appears new, that we do extensive research on this before we decide that it's ok to market and/or publish under our own names.

(I'd like to find out, if any of you can be delegated, if anyone has ever thought of this idea for the Hippity Hop Rabbits effect in the past-- and especially if it has been published in a book or magazine article in the past as of yet-- it just seems too darn obvious, but then again, sometimes we simply miss the obvious!)

(6) The two colored (red and yellow) bunnies, are "surprise revelations" of a side of the cut out that was "somehow not seen before". (7) I love surprise revelations. (8) The two colored bunnies COULD end up being two CHOSEN colors that two spectators choose which results in the "surprise revelation", (9) but that, IMO, is the obvious choice, when first thinking of changing the Hippity Hop Rabbits premise into a mental effect. (10) I hate obviousness. (11) Mentalism is the art of demonstrating the powers of how we think and perceive things. (12) So the rabbits don't have to be rabbits, they could be anything we perceive them to be. (13) And since the cut-outs are covered by cloths (as was mentioned above), EVEN THE FRONT-SIDES OF BOTH CUT-OUTS, could be a revelation!

C) The effect outcome, to my current aesthetic, although still subject at this point to unknown levels of improvement, because a conceptual presentation still has not been fully installed (and this can potentially change everything) is as follows:

Mongoose stands on stage next to a small table on which there are two items "underwrap."

Talking about the powers of the mind, Mongoose invites audience to think of a simple shape, any one so long as it's a simple one. Then he asks them to imagine another "simple shape", and fit one into the other-- "How many of you were thinking of a Circle inside a Triangle?" he asks for a show of hands. A murmer hums through the room as those holding up their hands, look at each other and see that the majority of people present thought about those images in that exact configuration!

Mongoose explains how we think, how we communicate, and how it is possible to transfer thought into another's mind by communicating with the proper intention. "See, I knew all along you were going to be thinking of those shapes..." Mongoose says as he whips away the cloths to show beneath them are two cut outs on stands, one with a triangle on it, and one with a circle. Both prominently displayed on their stands for all to see. Both black shapes and easy to see against the white background (black and white). The auddience is somewhat amazed, but Mongoose continues by sharing with them how it might have seemed that their choices were limited when he said to think of a "simple image". But he persists about how we "exchange ideas", and by using the cardbaord flats, and the cloths, he proceeds to communicate this and use the flats as visual aids for the audience to understand his testimony of "thought transference and the exchange of ideas", each time using the switching of the triangle and the circle, as if it were just a stupid way of explaining a more elegant concept.

But Mongoose seems frustrated, his point isn't getting across properly. Putting away the two cloths into his bag and out of the way, Mongoose decides to go in a different direction. Asking two spectators in the front row to stand up where they are, he asks them both to concentrate on a scenery, seeing the vivid colors, perhaps they are outdoors, perhaps they are indoors... They are both asked individually now to tell the rest what images they thought of. Let's say, one is an ocean sunset, and the other is the Eifel Tower.

Well Sacre Bleu! (is that how you spell it?) Upon them both announcing their thought-of images, and to both of their complete surprise, Mongoose, clever devil that he is, spins the flats around to show that instead of what the audience had *thought*, there are, instead, two full-color images of an ocean sunset on one, and the Eifel Tower on the other!

Perception is everything. Nothing is real; everything is permitted.

So are you happy?

Peace,

Alain
Message: Posted by: Rick Maue (Jul 9, 2005 10:04AM)
Hey Alain,

I disappear from the face of the planet for a few weeks, and when I return, I hear that you have dropped in at the Café. I know that your schedule has been pretty crazy in recent months, so I hope you are getting the chance to relax and enjoy life for a short while. You deserve it after all of the great work that you did for the TLC shows.

I am glad to hear that everything is going well, and I hope to see soon. Take care my friend.


Keep the change,
Rick
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 9, 2005 10:40AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 15:55, Nathan Kranzo wrote:
Hi Alain,

Just wanted to say congrats to you and your team for doing an awesome job with the specials. The way you handled a couple of the classics will go down as my all time favorite versions. The situational stuff like the "stair walk" leaves images in the mind that won't be soon forgotten.

Power.

Your performance style and presentation make you a joy to watch, and it really sucks people in.

Keep up the good work and I hope we can hang again soon.

Later,

Kranzo
[/quote]

Kranzo my man-zo!

have you mentalists ever heard of Nathan? (x'cuse me, nate). y'know, it's funny, I get so many mentalism ideas from magic premises, and hanging out with cool magicians. well folks, nathan kranzo is one of them. nathan kranzo from detroit, you are my man. If you haven't seen or read this guy's lecture notes or DVD, you really should-- card guys WILL be fooled badly. he's cuttiung edge.

Was the last time I saw you in Michigan, or was it at the last FISM?

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:45, Mr.Skin wrote:
Greetings Alain,

I’ve had the please of seeing two of you lecture here in MN. And, I’ve enjoy your TV specials. I look forward you see a special that you have more creative control over.

I’d like to thank you for the time you’ve spent here in the Café. I always enjoy hearing what working professionals have to say. Are you planning on attending Mindvention ‘05?

Gavin D.

[/quote]

Hey Gavin,

first, thank you for your nice thoughts-- and for dropping in. currently, I don't have the dates for mindvention on my website, so I'm not sure. also, my calendar probably won't fill up until september as many things still need to be worked out.

but the answer is, I'd like to go. I was there last year. were you there too? I had a lot of fun last year-- danny throws a fun conference, and vegas is my second home!

hope to see you there if I make it!

peace,
alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 20:38, Aaron B Fisher wrote:
Alain,

I was watching a little tv the other day while my girlfriend was putting her makeup on, and as I flipped the channels, what did I see? I've known you for longer than just about anyone in magic. I think I met you my first year, 1992, in Washington DC. Its really incredible what you've accomplished with hard work, talent and deadication. I'm sure there are many young magicians reading this thread who find your success, and the quality of your work, to be nothing short of inspirational. You can count me the president of your fan club.

Your aging fan,
Aaron
[/quote]

Aaron,

I must say, it's nice to have, as a "fan" one of the top card guys and card-treatment authors in the world, but I don't know, frankly, I think you might be one of the younger guys on this thread. How old are you, 30? pshaw.

Take it from me, kid, it ain't easy being a hundred and six.

thanks for dropping in on us, you the man my brother.

PEACE!

Alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-08 22:32, Larry Davidson wrote:
Okay, since nobody else is offering suggestions, and my first one was a bit wacky, how about something completely different--changing nature or its impact, for example, bringing back to life something that's dead (I know the effects been done, on TV in fact), making a green leaf on a summer tree turn into Fall colors and fall off of the tree, being rain on yet not getting wet, etc.?
[/quote]

Awwww... Sorry, Larry, I did, afterall say, I would do it with the FIRST topic called. So if you thought you could retract your first thought, you were sadly mistaken. Sounds interesting though, so good luck!

;)

Alain
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 9, 2005 11:07AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-09 09:22, Greg Owen wrote:

- Greg Beatty <--first time using my real name on the Café
[/quote]

Greg, has that been you all along? How are Jody and the kids? Man, I've owed her an e-mail for months. You wanna tell the gang (sometime soon) about how you and she brought down the house at a dance, doing the yo-yo jam?

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 9, 2005 11:13AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-09 09:22, Greg Owen wrote:

Alain -

WOW!!! WHAT A MEMORY!!! Yep - Jonathan and I just couldn't get enough of the ole bounce pass!!! Not sure if I was in on the card throwing or not...

I continued to daubble in magic and also developed a Yo-Yo show (I was the Sports Division World Winner in 2000). Ended up performing magic, mentalism, and yo-yos on stage many times (never at the same time though) and recently published an e-book. PM me your e-mail address and I will send you a copy if you like.

I would love read your thinking on a design dupe but any effect you want to work on today is great. I will not be able to hover over the computer to participate though, I have a 2-year-old we HAVE to take out and keep active. Else there is no sleep for anyone in the house!

All The Best -

- Greg Beatty <--first time using my real name on the Café
[/quote]

Greg Beaty the famous yo-yo meister! Duh-- it's amazing what one can do when you put two and two together! Connections, re-connections, and connectivity, that's what mentalism is about, yes? It's really nice to have gotten back in touch with you; an honor!
Alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-09 10:34, Necromancer wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 18:42, Larry Davidson wrote:I've often thought it would be a hoot to perform a mentalism effect with a cheesy magic prop, like Hippity Hop Rabbits. And I mean something that would actually come across as mentalism vs. magic. Any ideas? It's probably best to just disregard this posting and let someone else choose a more "normal" topic.
[/quote]

I'm with you, Larry!

You could explain that you have a red bunny and a yellow bunny, and you'll use them to test your audience's clairvoyance. Put the covers on, mix them up, then ask an audience member which one he thinks is the red one and which is the yellow. You of course turn the bunny the right way in an obvious fashion, and reveal that he's right. Put the covers back on and do it again with a different audience member. Amazingly (!), he guesses correctly too.

Finally, when people don't seem to be taking this experiment seriously, explain that "Some of you apparently think that this isn't a fair test of clairvoyance. And you're right. The fact is...I use mindreading bunnies. And they knew which one you'd choose as red, and arranged themselves accordingly. They also knew (turning the bunnies around to reveal same-color backs with information printed on them in big black figures)...your name and your phone number!"

Okay, it's mental magic rather than mentalism, but it's Hippity Hop Rabbits, for god's sake!

Best,
Neil
[/quote]

Neil, I like it. They ALWAYS choose the right one like 'two card monte', and then you clobber them with a hard closer. See? You came up with something different than me! And you were hardly even trying. There's a world of possibilities for everything we do, so it just depends on how much focus you give it!

peace,

Alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-09 11:04, Rick Maue wrote:
Hey Alain,

I disappear from the face of the planet for a few weeks, and when I return, I hear that you have dropped in at the Café. I know that your schedule has been pretty crazy in recent months, so I hope you are getting the chance to relax and enjoy life for a short while. You deserve it after all of the great work that you did for the TLC shows.

I am glad to hear that everything is going well, and I hope to see soon. Take care my friend.


Keep the change,
Rick

[/quote]

hey, and I am really excited about all the work YOU've done in the world of mentalism as well as spirit seances and haunted homes. thank you for dropping in!

do I have all of your products?

I think I'm behind, as I only have your book of haunted houses. please tell me what you got going on in the world of Maue! and I would love for you to send me your stuff and go ahead and bill me whatever, as I know you are always fair with me!

thanks!

alain
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Jul 9, 2005 11:55AM)
And I like yours, Alain! I was trying to preserve the ridiculousness of the prop. But following your example and dispensing with it, how about this.

My take is that we're essentially dealing with a 50/50 chance, a resolution that feeds an audience suspicion, followed by a surprise kicker that destroys the suspicion and deepens the mystery.

So, keeping that blueprint and throwing out everything else --

The performer has an envelope containing an index card, on which is pre-written a prediction. An audience member takes a coin from his pocket and flips it. Let's say it's heads. The performer carefully removes the index card to show that the word "heads" is printed across its face. Of course, the audience suspects that if the coin toss had ended differently, the performer would have shown the other side of the card. But if it had said "tails" on the other side, there'd be no room for what is actually printed there -- and when he turns the card over, we see that the date of the coin is printed there.

How does that work for you? :)

Best,
Neil
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 9, 2005 12:03PM)
Well folks,

I think that about wraps it up quite nicely here at the Café.

It's Saturday, July 9th, and as you know (for those of you who have been following along), Today is my last day on this thread, and most likely, even on the Café, at least for a while. If you thought that any of what I have been put through that you read about in the previous posts was a challenge, I don't even think it comes close to the challenge that awaits me now.

So much time, and dedication, and money (that I don't have-- you know, the real big bucks), needs to be put into taking my next project to the next level, and all I can say is wish me luck, because the way it is with me is: I always get it eventually, but I never get it easy. That's why I'm telling you all to follow your dreams. And I'm not saying it because it's the obvious thing to say either. I'm saying it because it isn't obvious that isn't easy, and so it's easy to FORGET to follow your dreams. What I'M saying is ALWAYS REMEMBER to follow your dreams.

peace,

Alain
Message: Posted by: Gede Nibo (Jul 9, 2005 12:18PM)
Wow, Alain Nu rules after all...
Message: Posted by: Alain Nu (Jul 9, 2005 12:30PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-09 12:55, Necromancer wrote:
And I like yours, Alain! I was trying to preserve the ridiculousness of the prop. But following your example and dispensing with it, how about this.

My take is that we're essentially dealing with a 50/50 chance, a resolution that feeds an audience suspicion, followed by a surprise kicker that destroys the suspicion and deepens the mystery.

So, keeping that blueprint and throwing out everything else --

Tthe performer has an envelope containing an index card, on which is pre-written a prediction. An audience member takes a coin from his pocket and flips it. Let's say it's heads. The performer carefully removes the index card to show that the word "heads" is printed across its face. Of course, the audience suspects that if the coin toss had ended differently, the performer would have shown the other side of the card. But if it had said "tails" on the other side, there'd be no room for what is actually printed there -- and when he turns the card over, we see that the date of the coin is printed there.

How does that work for you? :)

Best,
Neil
[/quote]

Very nice! You see, you obviously do this stuff already! There wasn't even a need to ask me to "process-out" like that-- and all that from the Hippity Hop Rabbits effect. See that? We can amaze ourselves!

... and I didn't even HAVE to enter through those-- iced-out pearly golden gates of silver linings, where one can have the inner world of mystery brought to you by posting more than 50 times on the Café! We did all that right here.

But your coin idea is a good one, and it reminds me, that I do have a mentalism book for sale.

Called "XXX Hardcore Mentalism." It's really a nice collection of mentalism that you can do under close up, and in some cases, completely impromptu conditions. The effect that you came up with above, reminds me of an effect that can be found in that book. It's my most recent, and currently, you should only be able to get it through me by looking me up on the web and finding out how to email me. I wasn't allowed, by Magic Café policy, to leave you with urls and/or email addresses, so I apologize for that earlier, but I will say this, it shouldn't be hard to find me, if your a real mentalist!

If you are interested, I now ONLY sell signed copies that have my special mark on it (after an unfortunate duplicating incident, I have to do this now). I also do not advertise anywhere of my selling this manuscript through anyonen, with the exception of Denny and Lee, because he and I go way back... but I don't think even he has copies presently. there are 7 full effects and the cost is $35 signed and postage paid. seek me out and we wil make the exchange!

peace,

alain

[quote]
On 2005-07-09 13:18, Gede Nibo wrote:
Wow, Alain Nu rules after all...


[/quote]

thanks gede, you're a man.

peace to all,
alain
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 9, 2005 12:50PM)
Alain,
Many thanks for the time that you shared with us.
May you find peace and joy throughout your life.
You are certainly a gift to the wonderful world of magic and mentalism.
Peace.
Parson
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jul 9, 2005 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-09 13:03, geff mongoose wrote:
"...wish me luck...."
[/quote]

I would, but that wouldn't account for your success. So I'll wish you continued skill!
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Jul 9, 2005 03:51PM)
Now if you would just tell us HOW you would get the named objects on the back of the circle and triangle...

All the best and hope to hear from you again soon.

- Greg Owen
Message: Posted by: blazes816 (Jul 9, 2005 03:55PM)
Any idea when your next special will be out?
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Jul 9, 2005 06:39PM)
Hey Alain,
Looks like I just caught the tail end of your visit here. I'm still sorting through all the posts, since I've been busy catching up from the last ten months on the road and have spent the last day doing a lot of, well, sleeping :oD

Anyway, good to see you here and doing your thing, from what I've skimmed of this thread so far, I'm digging all you guys have discussed, and can't wait until I have a little bit to sit down and go through it all leisurely. And one of these days I need to get my paws on copies of your shows, since I was on the road and didn't get 'em in the hotels I was in when they aired :o(

Catch ya later,
Andy
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 9, 2005 07:57PM)
Hasty lumbagos, 'til we meet again!

*jeep!
--Chet
Message: Posted by: Craig Chamberlain (Jul 9, 2005 10:07PM)
[quote]So much time, and dedication, and money (that I don't have-- you know, the real big bucks), needs to be put into taking my next project to the next level, and all I can say is wish me luck...[/quote]
Alain, I most certainly wish you lots of luck in taking your next project to the next level.

And thanks very much for visiting.

-Craig
Message: Posted by: peacelove (Jul 10, 2005 01:29AM)
Big shout out to you, Alain, and super-congrats for all your success. Yes, it's Jonathan Steigman, late of both Dream Wizards and Al's Magic Shop. I remember you well; you were more focused, cleverer, and a harder worker than the rest of us, so your success is hardly a surprise!

I vaguely recall some pretty fierce card fights outside the old shop.

Please pass my prayers and best wishes on to Mark Chorvinsky. You're correct about his vision; he understood real magic back when I was strictly tricks. Please also send my regards to Alan Hayden, who I used to hang out with at Al's but haven't seen in years and years. Glad to hear he's still around!

Thanks for honoring the art for all of us.

PeaceLove, Jonathan
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jul 10, 2005 12:24PM)
Alain, welcome to the Café. I love your CLOSE-UP SKETCHES! Are you filming another dvd? Please let us know here first :)
Message: Posted by: lane99 (Jul 12, 2005 03:43PM)
I haven't seen it mentioned in this thread. But there is another thread in the Magic Café were quite a few people expressed disappointment in Alain Nu's tv specials.

I wonder if Alain read those critiques and what he thought about them?

I admit I didn't like the tv specials very much. But I enjoy reading his published writings. And, for me, he is automatically elevated to "super cool guy" status when I see that (in his posts here) he treads rather gingerly when using the terms "art", "artistic", etc. when refering to his magic and performance of it. I see these terms used far too often around here in a supercilious manner which I find offputting.
Message: Posted by: Scott Alexander (Jul 14, 2005 05:34AM)
Hey...

Sorry Im late. But if you do check in...

I was just wondering...where do the ducks go?