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Topic: Painless Monte
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 23, 2006 08:39PM)
I would like to ask if any one here has any general patter themes that can be applied to most Montes that do NOT make the spectator the loser (The fool, the dummy, the person who looks stupid in front of his friends, etc.)

I have used the theme of "I was taken in by this game, and I always chose the bad card" many times, but for the life of me, there has to be more ways to present this and make it entertaining!)

I am open to any ideas anyone has and would like to share.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Mar 24, 2006 09:43PM)
I don't know about universal themes to all montes, but there are definitely more ways than one. I do a couple. Instead of mine, here are some random sentences of inspiration. If your performance has a strong gambling theme ignore the following:

You could alter the appearance of the props and leave gambling and guessing out of the effect.

Think of the shells as cups and balls* or the pea as a quick change artist.

What if you change the images on the cards and draw your inspiration from that?
2 sheep 1 wolf
2 rubies 1 diamond

Take the above type of story line and apply it to someone searching for a pearl (the pea).

Rattle bars can demonstrate psychic ability.

There is no rule about adding or subtracting cards between throws; Two peas can go under one shell; Don't limit yourself to the rules of gambling.

Good luck with your ideas! Hope this useful to someone. -Josh

*Not literally. Just in a different mind set.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 25, 2006 12:59PM)
I suggest you study the work on the School for Scoundrels DVD on the Three Card Monte. You'll see Chef Anton performing the Monte in a non-confrontational manner. Bob Kohler's "Golden Shells" Routine does the same for the Shell Game.

People understand these games for what they are, swindles. I wouldn't go so far as to try to make up cute stories or specially printed cards to try and get around that. And although there are some "two pea" shell routines, I cringe at the thought of "exposing" the notion that you have more than one. Charlie Frye has a great "conman" routine in one of his Eccentricks videos. There, he switches out the pea for a... well, you'll have to see it.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 25, 2006 07:42PM)
I like the idea that the above poster metioned as using the monte as a test of "pshycic powers'
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Mar 26, 2006 08:54AM)

Doesn't your performance have a strong gambling theme? I agree with what you say regarding the traditional games entirely. But I stated in my post "If your performance has a strong gambling theme ignore the following: ". Because I was trying to inspire new thought on the bones of these effects.

I was suggesting abandoning the original swindles and games entirely, but using props with similar properties and the secret moves to form a new magic presentation. I would never do a traditional guessing game with a second pea. But maybe I would put 2 similar looking pearls under an oyster shell and ask someone to put their finger on it. Only to make one appear elsewhere.

Where it may not be right for your persona, cute stories and cards could be appropriate for some people. Again not necessarily as a traditional monte, but maybe a story of the "lady or the tiger" variety.

Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 28, 2006 11:59AM)
Okay, if you abandon the gambling theme entirely I can see your point. When I see three cards, or three shells, I see them for what they are, but changing the props (more than just saying "Now this card, it represents a wolf...") can turn it into something else entirely, and I have no problem with that. The shell game can be turned from a "con game" into a magical tranposition/transportation theme using a variety of things. At that point, to me it ceases to be the game it started out to be and has turned into something else entirely, and that's fine if that's what you want.

I thought the original poster was looking for alternative presentations but staying within the original theme, so that's why I answered the way I did.

You may be right that cute stories and printed cards could be appropriate for some people. I'm not one of them.
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Mar 31, 2006 12:08PM)
I use the Monte as a demonstration of why one should not gamble, on anything. Not "I was taken in by this game..." instead a tutorial on how what appears to be in a "money situation" most times is not. Money not on the table, the "one for you" is easy to find. Money enters the picture, the "one for you" impossible. The money, the act of gambling changes everything, you know, like Magic! Goes over very well with parents with kids in tow as well as single people.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 2, 2006 08:40AM)
Non-gambling theme.

"I haven't mentioned how I got started in magic have I? I didn't learn from a magician, my interest came after meeting up with an old con man. Here's what happened......."

Another take that removes both you and the audience from the scenario.

"I haven't mentioned how I got started in magic have I? I didn't learn from a magician, my interest came watching an old con man burn my friend Adam. Here's what happened......."

Adding some short but colorful descriptions of Adam, the con man and location can add to the entertainment.
Message: Posted by: BobSheets (Apr 16, 2006 09:41PM)
I perform Patrick Page's Three Card Monte as "a public service". The whole thing is done as a tongue and cheek FALSE expose. Lot's of visual magic that always leaves them clueless.

Have fun. bob.
Message: Posted by: airship (May 2, 2006 02:53PM)
I used to do a 3-card monte routine in my best W.C. Fields characterization. It instantly conveyed a playful, "you're going to get swindled" atmosphere to the bit, and removed the confrontational aspect. Rube: "Is this a game of chance?" Fields: "Not the way I play it, no..."
Message: Posted by: Comedy Writer (May 3, 2006 12:51PM)
Thom Peterson has a nice version of this -- and, If I am remembering right, its all in the hands....

Comedy Writer