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Topic: In Plain Sight (by Mick Ayres & Jim Callahan)
Message: Posted by: Waters (Oct 27, 2008 07:42PM)
One thing I really like about Mentalism is that routines can truly transcend the methods that are used to create the illusion. This fantastic routine by these two great minds, is one such example.

In Plain Sight is a fantastic version of Paul Curry's "Open Prediction". What I really like about this routine is that there is a really intriguing premise and presentation here. I don't want to give too much away, but it gives the audience a "peek behind the curtain", to learn a bit more about this interesting and sometimes crazy world we call "magic".

In a way, the premise is the presentation itself. It is truly a wonderful piece that I think is about as perfect a routine as one could ask. The methods are simple and direct, the effect is accomplished while in the participants hand, and the whole audience is involved. Wonderful!

You decide for yourselves...
http://www.mickayreswares.com./dramas__presentations

I gave him permission to use my (private) response to this routine because I really like it. Understand, you are not going to find new techniques or methods, but a wonderful answer to the "Open Prediction" plot.

Sean
Message: Posted by: Nathan Pain (Oct 28, 2008 06:48AM)
Curse you, Waters! I was trying to keep this a secret...Mick is crazy to put this up for sale! Cat's out the bag now!

Nathan
Message: Posted by: Lord Of The Horses (Oct 28, 2008 08:58AM)
One of the BEST takes on the Open Prediction problem I have ever read.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Oct 28, 2008 09:40AM)
Mick released this after all? I thought I convinced him to keep it to himself (and Jim, of course). Rats!

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 28, 2008 10:44AM)
Looks good, Im in!
Message: Posted by: scarnecky (Oct 28, 2008 11:08AM)
Thank you for posting this information Sean~

Everything [i]feels right[/i] about this effect and the two [i]great minds[/i] behind it.

Openly

Scar
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 28, 2008 04:05PM)
Can anyone advise about how long it takes to get the e-book? I know some are instant. I just want to make sure I didn't do anything wrong!
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 28, 2008 04:44PM)
Nevermind, I got it! I think this has some real potential!
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Oct 28, 2008 10:58PM)
Not being a card guy maybe I'm not the best to critique this. I have been around awhile though and am always looking for a card effect I think fits my personna. I bought this yesterday and knew the "work" needed to accomplish the effect. So it really is straight forward. But what a great script for a virtual impromptu effect, its obvious that professional minds got this together. Very, very entertaining, well worth the small investment for such clever thinking. I'm really happy with this purchase, enough so, I thought twice about saying anything to encourage others to buy it. Thanks guys, I certainly wouldn't mind if this one flew under the radar for most. A great piece
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Oct 29, 2008 06:00PM)
Thank you all for the kind comments about 'In Plain Sight'!

I am truly happy that you guys are 'getting it' about the presentation being far more important than the method in this routine.

Honestly, I hope IPS serves you well. Thank you again!

With warm regards,
Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Oct 30, 2008 05:30PM)
Wow I did not even know this was out!


I am glad as Mick said you guys are 'getting it' about the presentation being important. But I am biased I guess.

Y'all have a good Halloween.

Best Wishes,

Jim

H.o.A-X
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Oct 31, 2008 01:53AM)
I just got this yesterday, and it is a wonderful, and DEEPLY simple approach to the effect. My hat's off to you guys, and I am looking forward to performing it--it appears that it will be a stunner! I love reading stuff put out by really smart workers. If you are interested in the Open Prediction premise, I highly recommend this offering.

Seth
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 31, 2008 04:46AM)
I think that some additional uses can be made with the second phase. Im experimenting using that in another effect I do. Works surprisingly well.
Message: Posted by: DT3 (Oct 31, 2008 09:30PM)
I'm not trying to brag or anything here but I was lucky enough to be included in the test pool for this routine a few months ago on first inception and...

I really could never put a price tag on the mileage I have got out of it so far.

On one hand, I hate to see it being released but on the other hand I am vicariously enjoying the idea of fellow wizards getting the opportunity to add this to the arsenal.

Stay true to the script and enjoy your new reputation maker.

D
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 1, 2008 09:59PM)
Thank you all for the unexpected praise for 'In Plain Sight'. I am thrilled that this presentation for Curry's Open Prediction is finding a home with so many performers.

Warm regards,
Mick
Message: Posted by: Gregory57 (Nov 2, 2008 09:15AM)
I just ordered and received In Plain Sight last night (talk about fast service). It's great. I can tell you that I have been in magic for over thirty years and there's only a handful of magicians out there, who, when they offer something to the magic community, a book, lecture, effect, I have no second thoughts about purchasing. Well, Mr. Ayers is now one of those magicians, ever since earlier this year after having purchased his phenomenal Act Series books.
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Nov 2, 2008 07:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-30 18:30, Jim-Callahan wrote:
Wow I did not even know this was out!

Let me know when the manuscript on my chair levitation is posted.
Just so I don't get a bunch of PM's here is the effect as posted on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ls2ZOMJrLU
(Mick will be writting it up for me at some time).

Best Wishes,

Jim

H.o.A-X
[/quote]



Darn, Let us know, cause this looks good also!

I just ordered In Plain Sight. Looking forward to reading it.

Best
ray
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 4, 2008 08:11AM)
Cliff...thank you for your faith and confidence in my work. I'm glad you enjoyed the Act-series. Compliments like yours are rare and highly valued. Thank you again!

Ray...I will be getting together with Jim once he starts wading in the waters of his International Seance Project (right now he is neck-deep in it). I hope you find IPS worthy. Thank you for your continued interest in my work, too!

Warm regards,
Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 4, 2008 09:14AM)
I bought this, examined it thoroughly, and have now began to routine the effect to suit my needs and ensure the work (which is so ludicrously minimal) is all done in the 'dark' spots of attention.

This one is a real worker, and if you memorize the 'rules' you can do this, as presented, IMPROMPTU! Which I think is the strongest way to perform this, explain and write them down as you go, set it up in an intimate climate and it FEELS real.

I performed it this way last night and it went down a STORM!

I will continue to perform this.

Thanks Mick and Jim.

Jon Hackett

P.S. a good tip with this is to believe it yourself, set it up so it will fail, as in tell everyone it wont work, believe that this is just a kinda, lets give it a go, and remember, the SPECTATOR performed the magic!
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Nov 4, 2008 11:14AM)
I feel like I have to add my voice here....

My biases are that normally, I would not using playing cards in a show where I am in the role of Psychic Entertainer...UNLESSS.... Unless I felt the effect looked more like a psychic demonstration which HAPPENS to use cards and less like a magic trick.

In the past I have done my own version of the princess card trick, and what I suppose one might call an early crude version of the effect now marketed as Bang On- via a different method.

THIS is now the third card effect I would consider using. I also think it is unusual in that it is one of the VERY few real cross-over effects I have seen. A Magician could present this as a magician doing a "trick" and it would be equally well received as a Mentalist or Psychic Entertainer doing it as a serious demonstration.

A really nice piece of thinking!

Thank you both for sharing this... Now stop selling it immediately so we can all keep it to ourselves.
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 6, 2008 08:46AM)
Thank you, Jon! Thank you, Dean!

You guys are seeing more practical value in IPS than I initially thought. I'll consider your advice, Dean.

Warm regards,
Mick
Message: Posted by: Cody S. Fisher (Nov 6, 2008 09:25AM)
I was VERY impressed with the "thought" that went into this routine. Simple...Logical...Memorable...My kind of magic!

My highest recommendation.

Cody S. Fisher
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 6, 2008 10:14AM)
Absolutely, proffesionalism of the highest order.

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 6, 2008 06:06PM)
Here goes my no-holds-barred review of this, both pre- and post- purchasing the effect.

Pre (before I ordered it): I have most of the releases from the past several years from both Mick and Jim. I would say I am rather familiar with both their works from the effects, forums (her and elsewhere, including Jim's forum), and a few emails between them and me. With that being said, when the effect was originally described, I was fairly certain I knew the approach they were going to use. I happened to be correct, 50% of the way.

This already goes into the plus column, they got me thinking about something I have thought about before, then I had an "insight". Of course, the insight wasn't mine and I have a personal rule, if somebody else's effect makes you think, you owe it to them to buy the effect.

Post purchase:

Brilliant. Even the part I figured based on the minds involved was scripted and designed so beautifully. The next phase is just as brilliant and the combination of the two phases, along with the psychology and approach is perfect. I had to change the approach because I am just like that, I reference the "Ghostbusters" movie, if you can believe that. I also lie a little bit about the characters (Paul Curry even).

I practiced and thought about this for about 12 hours prior to trying it on my close friend. Worked amazingly. Tried it on the tough guy at the office. Worked amazingly and he got so hung up on the first phase, he wouldn't even look at the second phase (which I happen to like better, personally, but they are both great).

Easily a 8.5-9 out of 10. It looks like real magic/mindreading/etc. It is designed to be utterly convincing as an act of real magic/mindreading/etc. It is simple and direct for the audience yet is complex enough not to seem dumbed down.

Congrats on a great release guys. I'm at least as harsh as I am nice on these boards so for me to be so effusive about something is quite telling. To me at least.

Lem
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Nov 7, 2008 09:10PM)
[i]Tried to write a good review, and found that I'd already written a better one long ago. The following is an excerpt from an e-letter to Mick....[/i]

Quick version: It's terrific!

Longer version: 99.999999% of magicians are going to screw this up. As Jim's intro specifies, this utterly and completely needs a good performance. No one without strong acting skills should attempt it.

You know it works, and I believe you. I shall be trying this myself someday soon, after MUCH rehearsal, and I only hope my acting skills are sufficient. But I came into magic & mentalism out of acting (a reverse of some magicians, I gather, who only later pick up on the need for acting) and I know that a good performance can carry off even a failed effect - or a mediocre script.

A review I'd write (Am I free to do so) is going to focus on the fact that this does all happen in the participant's hands. That, yes, there is a bit of a cheat -- the participant doesn't just choose a card, but they choose a card after the fashion you determine. This is the only weakness of the routine -- and you effectively turn it into a strength by making it into two test conditions, to "prove" you couldn't be affecting the outcome.

Magicians who wannabe mentalists are going to have a fit about the idea of ---- the top card. They will strongly feel the need to handle the cards themselves. I like that you urgently insist that we must resist the temptation -- except for the example of the 2d selection (demonstrating how to turn the cards over) -- of touching the cards at all. This requires giving up that sense of power and control which means so much to so many magicians (Definitely the beginning or young magicians!) and I'm not sure that they won't read the manuscript and insist on breaking your rules.

I don't have to tell you how good this is. I don't have to tell you how strong this is. I don't have to tell you how easily this could be performed badly.

This, quite simply, is dynamite. It's really too good to release, and I wonder if it's possible to talk you into not releasing it? (Gee, I just had this same conversation with Richard, and lost.)

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Nov 8, 2008 02:18AM)
OK, here I go as the one dissenting voice in this and other threads about "In Plain Sight."

I really wish I had seen a video of this performance. Had I done so, I would have passed. Because when it comes to the process of how the spectator is supposed to freely select the card, I would have seen that how that card is selected is nothing like how it's described in Paul Curry's "Open Prediction." Yes, the spectator BEGINS with a shuffled, face down deck as in the Curry description. But then the spectator is asked to first CUT the deck and through a series of cutting, reversing and dealing steps then winds up with a reversed card. The card selection process is totally different than Curry's method. Period.

Here's how the product is promoted on the website:
"Your guest now deals cards face up, stops at a place of her own choosing, and now deals a single card face down to the table. She now deals the rest of the deck face up until all the cards are on the table."

Technically that's what happens but only AFTER the cuts are made which they neglect to leave out in the above description. It SHOULD have read "After cutting and reversing portions of the deck, your guest now deals cards face up to a reversed card which is her supposed freely chosen selection. She now deals the rest of the deck face up until all the cards are on the table."

I was misled by the wording in the product's description because I associated to it the Curry premise of how the cards are to be dealt from beginning to end. It's not. It's VERY different and for me, changes everything.

That said, obviously everyone in this thread enjoys the product and I went with their recommendations. Please understand that I'm not saying this isn't a good, well thought-out effect. It is. It's just not done in the manner described by Curry which was what I thought I was buying. Just be aware of that before you make your purchasing decision.

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 8, 2008 06:17AM)
Surley it's irrelevant?

Are you performing for spectators? Or magicians?

This effect to the spectators is even more amazing than the curry Open Prediction because they have no idea what it is.

Its entertaining and more to the point, the second phase, which means, the part they will remember more clearly, is exactly they method described, deal them face up, decide to stop, deal aside, carry on dealing face up.

Are you not intending on leaving your spectators with the feeling that they saw a very entertaining gentleman, who showed them a miracle which is a migicins challenge and no one else in the world can do it, but last night their freind did it!

This ebook is the perfect example for me, magicians now, especially with the digital-techno-super-highway-interweb era want [b]new[/b] methods, [b]fast[/b], that will [b]elevate[/b] their magic.

Reality check, methods should [b]fit[/b] with the presentation and natural misdirection.

You can only be entertaining when you focus on entertaining them, and not fooling them, because then, your only fooling yourself.

I only wish one third of the effects I bought had everything built in like this effect, I would be a better performer for it.

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: fvdbeek (Nov 8, 2008 08:22AM)
[quote]
OK, here I go as the one dissenting voice in this and other threads about "In Plain Sight."
[/quote]
And that's ok with me. Your review is the best.

Frans
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Nov 8, 2008 09:43AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-08 07:17, Jon Hackett wrote:
Surely it's irrelevant?

Jon Hackett
[/quote]
No Jon, in fact it's the [b]most[/b] relevant thing of all (to me). This effect is being billed as "The solution to Paul Curry's Open Prediction!" But it isn't. The chosen card is not "chosen" in the straightforward manner that Curry details [b]very[/b] specifically. To me, [b]how[/b] the card is selected is the most important thing of all! Why? Because if there is [b]any[/b] doubt regarding the validity of the card's selection, even if it's a subconscious doubt, it lessens the impact.

This I believe is the [b]key[/b] that holds true for [b]any[/b] effect where the spectator must physically pick a card. That is why I have devoted a great deal of my efforts towards this very thing. You see, when I ask for someone to name a card out loud, everyone knows with 100% certainty that their selection is a free choice. Everyone intuitively knows that I can't force someone to speak aloud a specific card's name. So when I show that I predicted their card somehow, it makes the effect that much more impactful!

So the challenge for me as a mentalist, is coming up with ways to have someone [b]physically[/b] pick a card and yet have everyone know, with 100% certainty, that it was a free choice. Believe me, that's not an easy thing to do. Over the many years I have learned a few precious methods and have developed a few of them myself.

This I believe is the main attraction to Curry's premise and it was what I thought I was buying with In Plain Sight. But it isn't, because of the reasons I previously explained.

And don't call me Shirley...

:)

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: Nathan Pain (Nov 8, 2008 09:56AM)
I guess the large number of methods I have for forcing a free choice are useless...

Nathan
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 8, 2008 11:11AM)
***! I haven't seen Airplane for ages!

Your post entirely proves my position, your trying to fool them, but that's fine, I don't really care.

Oh, and you obviously havent performed the effect. [b]In[/b] fact, I bet you wrote the review before even finishing the ebook.

[b]Do[/b] you actually think real magic exists?

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Nov 8, 2008 01:13PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-08 12:11, Jon Hackett wrote:

DO you actually think real magic exists?

Jon Hackett
[/quote]

Jon,
Actually, many of the people who see me perform ask themselves that very question! If I may, I'd like to quote Jim Sisti regarding Mentalism:
[quote]
Mentalism has been called 'Magic's last frontier.' It's really the only form of the art left where the audience can think that what they've just seen is, perhaps, real.
[/quote]
That's the reason I chose to become a mentalist as I explored all the specialized areas of magic, i.e. coins, cards, illusions, escape, etc. A mentalist is a person who performs feats of "magic," but in a way that suggests some kind of psychic ability was used to accomplish them. In my experience, mentalism continues to be the one area of magic that elicits the highest visceral response from those who experience it. So I continue to seek out products and ideas that help me to further enhance that response. Therefore I must remain true to my quest in seeking out that which is the most impossible.

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 8, 2008 01:27PM)
If you changed the angle at which you came at your 'quest' I assure you, you would have more success.

And heck, you might even be able to make a living at it!

I supose you do tricks, and I do performances.

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Nov 8, 2008 01:44PM)
Craigs point is a very valid argument and brings balance to the forum. His opinion on this will help others in their decision. I stated that I wasn't a card guy so was unaware of Curry's prediction method. Craigs honest evaluation is what this Café needs more of, constructive and objective critiques, with an explanation as to how he came to his decision. Personally I think this is a great piece of entertainment. I performed it for a group of 15 hard line critical peers that will shot me down and burn me at any opportunity. They had no idea how, and better still, luv'd the story, build up and end revelation. Basically they were entertained. I really think this is a gem. Its easy, can be done on the fly with any deck and has a great story and structure. It makes me look like a pro. And Craig, thanks for your review, I hope I didn't confuse you, I truely try to make very honest post here on the Café, and hope you continue to as well
cheerz all
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Nov 8, 2008 02:20PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-08 14:27, Jon Hackett wrote:
I supose you do tricks, and I do performances.

Jon Hackett
[/quote]
Jon,

I never call them "Tricks" and my performances are always met with sounds of wonderment and resounding applause.

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: joe161205 (Nov 8, 2008 05:41PM)
Craig, I believe you are a very good mentalist, but maybe you still think like a magician, who try to get good method rather than performance. I have this and it concentrate on presentation. I believe the audiences will be enterteined with this without knowing how the method works. However, if you trying to fool magician, maybe its not work. This just my opinion
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 9, 2008 06:20PM)
Craig,

I am grateful for your willingness to post your clear thoughts and feelings about In Plain Sight. I love to read any honest opinion about my efforts. Thank you.

I wish to address a few assumptions that are being made in this thread: First, I have NOT billed IPS as "the solution to Curry's Open Prediction". Rather, I offered it as "A solution..." only. I fully realize the variety of 'solutions' to Curry's challenge are legion.

Second, to my knowledge, Paul Curry passed away before coming up with a solution that was acceptable to him...so, he did not offer a 'method' as an answer to his challenge.

Third, the nature of proposing a solution to Curry's Challenge means that the rules are subject to interpretation. Without going into the methodology, the IPS presentation allows the guest to deal the cards openly. Whether this is done with a straight-deal or a stud-deal is irrelevant in my opinion.

My practical experience with IPS has shown me that out of hundreds of performances, not one guest has ever questioned the validity or accuracy of this drama. Based on that, I feel the concerns you expressed in your initial post about the procedure are not valid...or at least, if you were to give IPS a serious try, you would find this to be true.

In your posts here and in your PM to me, you stated you feel IPS is a strong presentation and a wonderful effect. If that is so, may I ask why you would have 'passed' on it? I only ask because that confused me.

Thank you again for sharing your honest opinion, Craig. I'm enjoying the dialogue.

Warm regards,
Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Craig Crossman (Nov 9, 2008 09:28PM)
Hi Mick,

Sorry you are confused. I'll try and clarify. My point is that I bought IPS based upon the assumption that it was a [b]solution[/b] to Curry's Open Prediction conundrum. Reading your website's promotion led me into believing that was exactly what I was buying. Here is what your website says:

[quote]
Unfortunately, Paul Curry passed away before coming up with an adequate solution to this daunting presentation...known today as 'Curry's Open Prediction Challenge'. Will Curry's elusive proposal ever be solved? Yes!
[/quote]
So silly me, I thought that was what I was buying, namely a [b]solution[/b] to Curry's "Unsolved Card Problem." Again quoting from your website:

[quote]
Your guest now deals cards face up, stops at a place of her own choosing, and now deals a single card face down to the table. She now deals the rest of the deck face up until all the cards are on the table. Your predicted card has not been seen. The guest turns over the single face down card...it matches your prediction!
[/quote]
That [b]is[/b] an accurate description of how Curry lays out his rules for the card's selection. But that's [b]not[/b] what actually occurs using your IPS. It is [b]not[/b] the free selection procedure outlined in Curry's criteria although reading the above once again led me into believing that was how the card was selected. Of course had I [b]seen[/b] it performed in a [b]video[/b], I would have [b]known[/b] that it was not and of course I would have passed.

Now as to your statement about how one interprets the rules of a challenge. I'm not so sure that the nature of proposing a solution to something, by definition means that the rules are subject to interpretation! Tell that to all the mathematicians over the past centuries who tried coming up with a solution to Fermat's Last Theorem. If you changed a rule, the answer was invalid, period. No, the proof was recently solved not by changing any rules, but by using a clever new mathematical method that didn't even exist until recent times. I was hoping that you had come up with something new and clever to reach the solution. You didn't. You just, as you said, changed one of the rules. To me, that invalidates the outcome and Curry's Challenge remains unsolved.

Mick, I was [b]not[/b] looking for something "close" or "like" Curry's Challenge, I was looking for a [b]solution[/b] to it and from reading your description, that's exactly what I thought you had come up with and what I was buying.

I hope that makes everything clear. Let me say once again that I like your IPS and all the thought you put behind it. But it's just not what I was expecting to buy based upon your website's description of the effect.

-Best,

Craig Crossman
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 9, 2008 10:00PM)
Craig,

Thank you again for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate your compliments about In Plain Sight.

I understand your point now. However, I still feel the description is adequate. In the conjuring world, effect-descriptions are traditionally based on the audience's interpretation of events. True, the guest does not stop exactly "at a place of her own choosing" (though she certainly will believe it is).

I agree with you about the inflexibility of rules concerning mathematical or scientific theorems...but in the subjective world of mentalism and card play, doesn't thinking-outside-of-the-box come with the territory?

I am hoping it is fair to say you [b]did[/b] get a solution to Curry's Open Prediction...just not the one you were hoping for.

By the way, if [b]did[/b] ever come up with that Holy Grail solution we're all hoping for...let me know and name your price. I'll want it, too! :)

Thanks again, Craig.

All the best,
Mick
Message: Posted by: fvdbeek (Nov 10, 2008 05:42AM)
[quote]
effect-descriptions are traditionally based on the audience's interpretation of events
[/quote]
That's a cheap escape. Laypeople don't buy effects nor do they read the adds that promote them. There are a lot of things we traditionally were doing but nowadays aren't doing anymore.

[quote]
True, the guest does not stop exactly "at a place of her own choosing" (though she certainly will believe it is).
[/quote]
So I guess you change the text in the ad?

Frans
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 10, 2008 06:17AM)
The text in the add certainly should not be changed.

The [b]effect[/b] is entirely accurate, what the audience sees is what happens, not what the magician sees.

If your not sure, (its certainly because you havent, and don't have the ability to perform it) perform the effect! And ask the spectators what they thought happened, and did they enjoy themselves?

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: Nathan Pain (Nov 10, 2008 06:50AM)
To correct everyone...by the choices the spectator makes, she most certainly does stop at a place of her choosing...think about it. I wish I could say more...if only Mick had a private forum.

Nathan
Message: Posted by: Mystification (Nov 10, 2008 07:36AM)
I like the effect, but I also agree with Craig. The description is a little misleading. At least I was misled. I still like the effect.
Message: Posted by: Cody S. Fisher (Nov 10, 2008 08:39AM)
Greetings friends,

I have been following this thread primarily due to my interest in Mr. Ayres latest creation. Like everyone else here, I am always curious to see what other’s think…people are interesting to me!

I love it when I see threads that involve the words “holy grail”. There is no such thing as a "holy grail" for [b]any[/b] effect, presentation, or method. The “holy grail” would be real magic! Like each of us as individuals...our magic [b]always[/b] has room for improvement. Just as the concept of "one card reversed" (non-gaffed ID) or "any card at any number", the “open prediction” is nothing more than a 1 in 52 chance. Given Curry's criteria (borrow deck, shuffled, never touched, free dealing by volunteer, free stopping by volunteer, etc.) the only real solution is a 1 in 52 chance. Since magic is not real we have to create the desired effect using presentation and method. Magic is nothing more than an “impossible feeling” that was created through an open presentation and a concealed method.

Why am I writing all this? I do not know Mr. Ayres so I have no financial interest...I am taking the time to write because I was so impressed with the "thought" that went into this. He has taken a simple "move" and through the carefully scripted presentation properly justified it so it accurately fits Curry's criteria...it is simply brilliant. The ad is not misleading in any way.

Even if you never perform this, I would certainly recommend this for reading...it may change the way you 'think' about how to “justify” or “motivate” the method through clever scripting and presentation.

Will this fool magicians...probably not! Will this fool a lay audience...I would say yes! But more importantly...the presentation will get them interested in the effect. Have you ever performed for a group that was not interested in your trick? You could have real powers and still not impress them! The reverse is also true…I have seen an audience spell bound and completely absorbed in an effect where the method was nothing more than a DL…just something to think about…

I hope this helps...just my thoughts...

Take care my friends,
Cody S. Fisher
Message: Posted by: scarnecky (Nov 10, 2008 09:52AM)
Cody~

[b]Perfectly said[/b]..


Greatest Thanks

Scar
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 10, 2008 07:08PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-10 06:42, fvdbeek wrote:
[quote]
effect-descriptions are traditionally based on the audience's interpretation of events
[/quote]
That's a cheap escape. Laypeople don't buy effects nor do they read the adds that promote them. There are a lot of things we traditionally were doing but nowadays aren't doing anymore.

[quote]
True, the guest does not stop exactly "at a place of her own choosing" (though she certainly will believe it is).
[/quote]
So I guess you change the text in the ad?

Frans
[/quote]

Greetings Frans,

I don't regard anything I've written in my response as a 'cheap escape'. Rather, I feel I am stating the obvious. Effects are offered to the conjuring market via descriptions of what the audience sees. No one involved in marketing their creation gives a blow-by-blow, detailed description of the methodology. This is to prevent reverse-engineering, plain and simple.

'In Plain Sight' is a theatrical presentation of Curry's Open Prediction challenge that consistently delivers enthusiastic, lingering applause (and even a few standing ovations) from my audiences. The purchaser doesn't get a simple outline of the basic method. Instead, the purchaser receives a thorough description of the presentation along with the full scripting, blocking and choreography details involved in pulling this off. I have a reputation for being exceedingly detailed and professional in my publications. 'In Plain Sight' is no different.

I have no intention of changing the IPS ad or anything within the manuscript.

I do regret that you might be missing the bigger picture about IPS.

Best,
Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 10, 2008 07:38PM)
I'm afraid my opinion is going to be unpopular as well.

I feel there were things to like and dislike about this ebook. The actual method of the effect is one thing I didn't like at all. The matter in which the spectator decides which card she is going to stop at is convoluted and unintuitive. Yes, I realize it's a classic technique, but I don't believe it works well with the Open Prediction. The beauty of the open prediction plot is that everything seems so fair and above-board. The technique used in this effect is neither; it's a little cozy and quirky. And while I think Mr. Ayres does a decent job of attempting to justify it, I believe an audience still registers it as being not quite above-board.

My second issue is with the structure of the trick. There is no justification for doing it twice in a row. And, in fact, I think it weakens the effect to do it twice. If this is supposed to be something difficult and special, why are we rattling it off twice in a row? If you're going to do a prediction twice, I believe a much more intriguing structure would be to do a standard prediction first (a "closed" prediction, in your hands, etc.), and THEN introduce Paul Curry and the idea of an open prediction, and all the rules, and so on, and only then do the open prediction (just once).

The structure as it stands now is like Evel Knieval jumping 50 buses on a motorcycle and then saying, "I'm going to jump 50 buses on this motorcycle again." That's not a very interesting story to tell. However if he jumped 30 buses first, took a lap around the grandstand, grabbed the mic and said, "Thank you. You know, originally, I wanted to jump 50 buses but we couldn't get insurance for such a stunt, my family wouldn't agree to it, and the engineers and mechanics we consulted said it would be physically impossible for a motorcycle to jump that distance. Those are all valid reasons not to attempt such a jump. But my dream was to jump 50 buses and I need to at least TRY to share my dream with you here tonight. Bring 'em in!" And in come rumbling 20 more buses, honking their horns and sputtering diesel fuel. Now that second bus jump is a grand finale instead of an afterthought.

My third issue was the script itself. I found it underwhelming. I love the idea of pulling back the curtain to let the audience in on the history of what they're seeing. Getting a peak "behind the scenes" is always fascinating. It's the reason you'll watch a Behind the Music of a band you don't even like. However I didn't find the script that compelling. It was serviceable and definitely better thought out than most magic scripts you read, but I don't think it really captured how interesting this story is. I was surprised to see he didn't introduce the phrase "open prediction" to the audience, which was a concept that fascinated me the first time I heard it. It's only fair to say that I put food on my table by writing so perhaps I'm overly-critical.

I should say that there were a lot of little touches in the manuscript that I liked. I wish I could go on about them as much as I've gone on about what I perceive as weaknesses in the effect, but to do so would give them away.

I don't know that those little touches were worth $20 for me, but I certainly don't feel ripped off in any way and will support Mr. Ayres work in the future.
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 11, 2008 03:57PM)
Wow, some really great discussion, even if it got a little too personal for my liking. I'd like to share some of my PERSONAL thoughts. If you agree, great. If you disagree, double great, as long as we all think about it. In the interest of saving time, I really like takeachance's post earlier. Aside from the fact that I come from a card magic background, I could have written something very similiar. My post will be long so that post is your escape hatch, take it now...

Craig Crossman brings up a valid point. He wasn't happy because he thought he was buying a method versus what I'll call a presentation. This is going to affect what he feels is the value of the release, which is completely valid. I'll offer a slightly different take.

First off, I said it straight away that I figured out "50%" of the method of the effect before I even sent my money in. What I felt I was buying was pretty simple: an approach to the Open Prediction problem. Probably like many of you, I have used some variation of 51 Faces North for this kind of effect. Many have said that they think it is one of the best approaches to the problem ever. However, in my personal opinion (more on this later), it has less to offer than variations on Mick's and Jim's work. However, let me clarify something before I progress any further.

I had no illusions of learning some new fancy "force" or a card or psychological subtlety to make a spectator stop dealing at a specific card. That is simply a pipe dream for 100% effects (maybe 95% but not 100%, I'll grant you that). Instead, I had the inherent understanding that it was a presentational approach and, furthermore, I figured it would be congruent with almost any force or psychological stopping technique out there. It was perhaps my experience with both of the creators of the effect that made it clear, but it was clear as day. I never felt mislead, nor did I feel that I was ripped off in any possible way even though 50% (METHOD-WISE ONLY) was exactly what I thought it was.

After a little less than a week performing this effect, my opinion is the same: brilliant. Now, and this will probably just confuse people, I don't use the force and/or psychological controls, nor do I use the story/presentation given in the ebook. However, I use the "general" approach, the list (people know what I am talking about), and combine them with the knowledge and other tools I have.

I've tweaked the presentation I give (I only mention the Ghostbusters movie when I need to explain parapsychology now) but I still really enjoy the inherent ideas. For a bit, I toyed with sharing some the the little tidbits I have added that seem to make it work for me but they rely on drawing from many different sources and, as such, would represent an exposure problem.

I will simply say this:

Thos who have many of Mick's or Jim's/Jack's other works should now have all the tools they need to do an open prediction effect OVER THE PHONE. Jim/Jack's work in Leap of Faith should be enough to get off the ground and Mick's work in Predictabilities ("Reality Phone Experience") should spell it out. There is some amount of additional misdirection and/or participant control needed than in either of those effects but really not that much.

In the end, I knew 50% of what I was going to get and am still happy with this purchase. Craig Crossman brings a very valid point of view, and one I won't argue with except to say that he and I were looking for different things and I happened to be right in what to expect. I can't say that is a compliment to me for figuring it out or an inherent problem with the ad text. I can only say, for me, this was exactly what it was billed as, is now a staple of any "impromptu" set I would do with any type of cards (maybe not esp since it is not as impressive, but still maybe there too).

Final point: I am torn with the idea of repeating the effect. I've done it and I am not sure how much of an improvement it really is in many situations. I referenced Leap of Faith from Jim/Jack already, so let me go ahead and quote something from that manuscript:

[quote] Do it once it’s a miracle. Do it twice it’s a trick [/quote]

I tend to agree. If I am going to repeat it, I might slightly miss the first time, using it as a "calibration", if you will. However, in the end, it's an irrelevant distinction. Whether you follow the script to the letter (ALWAYS a bad idea) or not, it is simply two ways to get to the same point, with added subtleties to ALLOW you to do it again, if you wish.

I think it's great. I see others' viewpoints but I can't resolve them in terms of the complaints except to say that their were, ONLY IN MY OPINION, unrealistic expectations.

I recommend it highly. Is it "real" magic? Of course not. I said so in my first review. Does it look like real magic? To absolutely everybody I have performed it for, bar none. I've been a proof is in the pudding guy and the one thing I see missing from criticisms so far is actual audience reaction that it fails to match the goals set in the open prediction "criteria". To me, a lack of negative evidence hurts the arguments for negative reviews but, again, I am a scientist at heart and I would never expect somebody to perform something they don't have faith in, so I also recognize that some people will have negative views of this and never try it. Fair enough.

Sorry for being so long winded but this is a topic that goes beyond the open prediction, beyond any card at any number (another holy grail effect), and even beyond holy grail effects in general. It has to do with understanding what an effect is versus trick versus presentation.

One last example of something that is relatively simple and perhaps even "too simple" yet is an amazing piece of theater:

Lior Manor's Mobile Opener

Nuff said.

Lem
Message: Posted by: magicmerlz (Nov 11, 2008 05:04PM)
I bought this (also own two of Micks Act Series E-Books) and really like it, and HAVE to emphasise that Mick is 100% spot on when he says that the presentation of this effect is the key. An example below of what I mean.

I purchased (a while ago now) Harry lorayne's Classic Collection: Volume 1 and, I am ashamed to say, bypassed a lot of the effects in the book, as 'not for me' based on their written descriptions. However I recently purchased The Harry Lorayne DVD's on which he teaches and demo's a lot of the effects from the book. Well I was an instant convert - when seen how these effects SHOULD be performed I instantly went back to the book and am currently re-reading EVERY effect from the book with renewed enthusiasm. The performance's won me over.

My point is that, this may not appeal to everyone, just as sponge ball magic and book tests don't appeal to me, but in my opinion (if presented correctly) this can be a seriously strong piece of magic. The great patter/story is an added bonus as I personally hate the cr**py patter that seems to plague card effects.

Bottom line = different folks...different strokes...but I like it a lot.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Nov 12, 2008 03:32AM)
Too bad "Leap of Faith" is no longer available.
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 12, 2008 07:41AM)
I want to thank everyone who is taking their time to share their honest opinion about 'In Plain Sight'. Lem's wonderful observations about 'missing slightly' the first time...and about doing this as an Open Prediction presentation over the telephone...is constructive criticism at its best.

Warm regards,
Mick
Message: Posted by: El Mystico (Nov 12, 2008 09:16AM)
I've got to chime in here on Craig's side. It seems to me he was being criticised for what to me seems like a valid point.
This trick may be great - I don't know, I've not bought it. I'm not critcising the trick.
But to call it a solution to the Curry Open Prediction is making a very specific set of claims for it. Curry wrote "the spectator, as instructed, would hold the pack face down and deal the cards into a face up pile. At any point of his choosing, he would deal one card face down..."
Many magicians, including Curry, have spent many hours trying to devise solutions to Curry's strict description. As Mick says, Curry himself failed to come up with an adequate solution; "I have admittedly ignored some of the conditions of the original," Curry said of his solution.
So - if Mick views Curry's attempt to produce The Curry Open Prediction effect as a failure, then he must view his own as a failure too, because it too does not meet Curry's description. Mick too has ignored some of the conditions.

Again, I'm not criticising Mick's trick. It may get teriffic reactions. I'm not criticising Mick's instructions. I'm not criticising Mick's scripting.

But - it isn't a solution to the Curry Open Prediction.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 12, 2008 11:28AM)
Well... just my 2 cents too...

I bought this and must say I'm quite disappointed. Some very good points were made by other people who also were disappointed, so I won't go over this again...

It is an idea for a presentation, but I don't find it effective at all. $5 - $10 would have been a fairer price...

Moreover, and that's my main reason for posting, I tried it twice on two different audiences. When I read the pdf I was disappointed and never thought it would work that good, so I figured out I might as well try it and see... and guess what: each time a spectator told me: "but... ok... so we stopped at [this] card... but we did not really choose when to stop..." (I put [this] into brackets because what he said exposes the method... which most magicians know in fact...), so I made my way through by saying that the card was random, even though it was [this] one... and it went ok, but I felt that they felt qomething was wrong...

I told myself "man... what went wrong?", maybe I made a mistake in my presentation, but when it happened again after I really paid attention to what I did (and I've been doing mentalism for quite a long time now, so I know what I'm doing... I hope!... :) ), I really thought it wasn't a good idea after all.

It's an idea for a presentation, ok... but the technique used here is really in fact only a technique and should imho only be used as such. When I use it otherwise (and I do sometimes use it), it's really for something else, so people do not really pay attention to it and they buy it, but here everything relies on this method (you practically tell everybody to carefully watch what you're doing!) and your presentation. And imo the presentation is not strong enough to conceil what's happening.

I already here people saying: "that's because YOU are presenting this in an inapropriate manner!"... Well... I think I followed - and each time - the patter given in the pdf quite thoroughly, so I don't think it's because of this.

Maybe it suits some people and that's great for them. I only find this too expensive for what it is. In fact it should have been published as a bonus effect in another pdf...
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 12, 2008 01:24PM)
Thanks for sharing, Goldeneye, I think we all appreciate it.

Quick question for you, did the effect fail with both [methods]?

I ask because, technically speaking, the second method given by Mick in the ebook should have eliminated any possible "we did not really choose where to stop" issue with the audience.

I would never say that anybody else is presenting in an inappropriate manner, esp. the first method, as a personal approach is really required. I would say that the second method, technical deficiencies (flashing, for example) would seem to be on the short list of why problems arise. Again, I am NOT saying that is what happened, but the [method] itself is pretty darned good to standing up to heavy analysis, both during and after.

That's all I'll say because I am more interested in hearing more about your side as I have already made my thoughts on this clear. I think, regardless of final analysis of this effect, this discussion can be really informative itself.

Lem
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 12, 2008 03:33PM)
No Lem, you're right! I didn't make it clear in my post, but the spectators made the remark I referred to after the first method of course. But, for some reason, even when I proceeded with the second method (which I do not find very natural by the way - c'mon! who would do that? technically speaking it's a nice solution, in the hands of the spectator, but it's not very natural - and which still does not meet the Open Prediction requirements as stated in the ad or as Curry settled them), I still felt suspicion in the air, most probably because spectators felt that the Curry procedure was not really beeing followed. Without tipping too much about the second method - nor the first - the procedure of IPS is not THAT fair. At least it's not as fair as: 1/ magician/mentalist makes a prediction 2/ spectator deals cards face up 3/ he puts a car aside 4/ he turns the single tabled card over : it's the prediction...

Ok, the second method is a little clever because the spectator nearly does everything, but I don't see how adding the story about Paul Curry and his "Open Prediction" problem turns these techniques (the second method is also a technique which is not THAT new) into an incredible routine sold as the solution to Curry's "Open Prediction" problem, especially if you do not follow Curry's rules...

Ben
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 12, 2008 05:10PM)
Totally fair, Ben, mucho thanks for responding. I think this is a good topic and would like to discuss it a bit more if you are up for it. Maybe by PM or something so we don't derail this.
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Nov 12, 2008 05:21PM)
I was going to stay out of this but just wanted to add a bit of fact.
Possibly an observation will be added at a later time but I do think this will do for now.

On the page were this product is sold it states as follows.

DRAMAS & PRESENTATIONS

The manuscripts offered on this page fully explain singular dramas that function as powerful showpiece presentations in your act.

Here is a link for those interested. http://www.mickayreswares.com./dramas__presentations

I do understand that all things are not for all people.

For instance I never do card tricks.

Anyway I just thought the above from Mick’s site needed to be posted.

Thanks,

Jim

H.O.A-X
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 12, 2008 09:58PM)
The problem here is that I play my mentalism on the off-beat.

Again, I consistently get strong reactions from the presentation (even a few standing ovations). If you are not, well...sorry, but it ain't the routine. Perhaps more rehearsal will help. IPS does require a performer to put forth more than average effort into acting and theatre. If you are just reading the manuscript through quickly and expecting to floor your audience with it immediately...then this isn't for you.

I will say this again, too: I have not proposed IPS as THE solution to Curry's Open Prediction...I offered it as A PRESENTATION for it, period. The description on my webpage attempts to capture the drama of the presentation itself in a condensed manner.

Please, please, please understand...IPS is not about solving Curry's Open Prediction Challenge in a manner that satisfies magicians. Rather, it is about presenting his Challenge with all the drama, conflict, tension and theatre I can muster to please an audience!

Sigh,
Mick Ayres

PS: About the price of IPS...I now agree it is completely wrong. I should have listened to Callahan and charged $50 for it instead.
Message: Posted by: adamc (Nov 12, 2008 11:26PM)
If you're looking for a good solution to the Open Prediction problem, you might want to check out BRRR! or 27 Below from Thomas Baxter's eBook, Not a Dianoetic Rage, both of which seem more fair than the first method used from In Plain Sight, which in my opinion is a little weak. Combining either of these methods with the presentation from In Plain Sight would be killer.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 13, 2008 05:15AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-12 22:58, Mick Ayres wrote:
The problem here is that I play my mentalism on the off-beat.
[/quote]

I do unserstand that and I truly think it's a good idea.

[quote]
Again, I consistently get strong reactions from the presentation (even a few standing ovations).
[/quote]

And I do beleive you... though I would have said that IPS gave you weaker reactions than usual... but anyway...

[quote]
If you are not, well...sorry, but it ain't the routine. Perhaps more rehearsal will help. IPS does require a performer to put forth more than average effort into acting and theatre. If you are just reading the manuscript through quickly and expecting to floor your audience with it immediately...then this isn't for you.
[/quote]

There I don't agree. From the beginning you've said that it's not about a new method, it's ALL about presentation. But I repeat it, I don't see how just explaining what the Curry Problem is makes a weak method a strong routine. Let me be more clear: of course a presentation can turn a small trick to an extraordinary miracle and every (or nearly every) magician/mentalist (especially mentalist) knows that. HOWEVER, and that's where we also have to be realistic on some things, and even if it's my own opinion, it really depends on the power ratio trick/presentation. You can always make a funny routine out of a small trick with a very good presentation and, sometimes, but not always, you can make a miracle out of nearly nothing. My problem with IPS is that, imo, first the presentation is not really that original and powerful (please don't take it personal, I know it's easy to say for me, but I really try to be objective, I'm not angry at you) and second it's not powerful enough to hide what is happening.

Let me give you two examples to illustrate my thinking: you sure must know Lennart Green's routine "The Eye of Stonehenge". THIS is an extraordinary presentation. He has taken a small mathematical principal and invented a routine which simply hides everything. Or let's take "White Star" which is another OOTW plot. The story is incredible (of course this is my opinion here), but people are just too concentrated on the story to see what is technically happening : they take part in the story in fact and cards are not cards anymore. In "The Eye of Stonehenge", cards become priests and in WS, cards are people, represented by photographs. In your routine cards are... well cards. And people are COMPLETELY focused on that. Besides, you tell them the story about the Curry problem (I'm sorry but unlike WS or The Eye of Stonehenge it's not really creative...) and you even suggest to show the procedure required which you don't follow in the end....! It's not about presentation, it's about being coherent. I know you can do a lot with specatator management, but I'm sorry audiences are not THAT stupid : if you give them a rule to follow they will follow the rule... no?

Ok, as I said the second method is slightly better, but still does not follow the script YOU give at the beginning regarding the Curry procedure. So at least don't talk about it! But if you don't... well... the whole story does not work any more...



[quote]
I will say this again, too: I have not proposed IPS as THE solution to Curry's Open Prediction...I offered it as A PRESENTATION for it, period. The description on my webpage attempts to capture the drama of the presentation itself in a condensed manner.
[/quote]

Here is a quote from you webpage:

"Unfortunately, Paul Curry passed away before coming up with an adequate solution to this daunting presentation...known today as "Curry's Open Prediction Challenge". Will Curry's elusive proposal ever be solved? Yes!"

I understood, like others apparently, that IPS was a solution...

But again, it's not really what troubles me. Of course what is important is what spectators see... Unfortunately people I performed it for (and I never was told that I was THAT bad at presentation... but hey, there's a beginning for everything...) saw that something was wrong... It's like saying to people that a film takes place in China and in fact it's about Australia...

[quote]
Please, please, please understand...IPS is not about solving Curry's Open Prediction Challenge in a manner that satisfies magicians. Rather, it is about presenting his Challenge with all the drama, conflict, tension and theatre I can muster to please an audience!
[/quote]

Ok... the idea of your routine is ok: you use a known technique to make a routine out of it but I wouldn't have sold it as a single effect in pdf...

[quote]
PS: About the price of IPS...I now agree it is completely wrong. I should have listened to Callahan and charged $50 for it instead.
[/quote]

Oh, that my friend you know you're wrong! Selling an effect as a solution to the Curry problem for $50 would not have prevented a LOT of people to buy it... but how disappointed they would have been...

Anyway... Please acccept my best wishes all the same,

Ben
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 13, 2008 05:24AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-13 00:26, adamc wrote:
If you're looking for a good solution to the Open Prediction problem, you might want to check out BRRR! or 27 Below from Thomas Baxter's eBook, Not a Dianoetic Rage, both of which seem more fair than the first method used from In Plain Sight, which in my opinion is a little weak. Combining either of these methods with the presentation from In Plain Sight would be killer.
[/quote]

Thanks! Yes I've heard about these... I'll check that out!
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 13, 2008 05:25AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-12 18:10, Lemniscate wrote:
Totally fair, Ben, mucho thanks for responding. I think this is a good topic and would like to discuss it a bit more if you are up for it. Maybe by PM or something so we don't derail this.
[/quote]

No problem Lem, with pleasure! That's what a forum is made for!
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 13, 2008 06:36AM)
Hi Ben,

I'm not offended at all (it'll take more than a Café opinion to do that). In truth, I'm grateful that you have taken the time to clarify your position. Your posts are very well written.

I do not agree at all that the method, presentation or premise behind In Plain Sight is in any way, shape or form "weak". There is plenty that is original within the routine.

Frankly, I feel you are still looking at this from a magicians-only point of view. I have NEVER designed my routines to please the well-versed magician. I like hanging around with 'em and sharing a cup of joe...but they are not in my audiences. IPS is scripted and choreographed to fool and entertain a lay-audience, period.

I have performed IPS hundreds of times in front of guest from all walks of life from around the world. Every reaction was not just well-received, but the resort guests would talk about it for days afterwards! You tried it twice and decided it was weak. So...we will just have to agree to disagree on this.

Thank you again for expressing your thoughts on this.

All the best,
Mick
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 13, 2008 07:38AM)
Hello Mick!

Thanks for your nice answer - I really apreciated - and for having understood my points, even if our positions disagree on the matter. I also understand your approach, again even though I'm not convinced about everything (it's not really about only having tried it twice on my side but anyway...).

In consequence I will continue to give IPS a few tries and hope to have better answers.

All the best to you, I promise to give some feedback if I have significant responses from the audience!

Ben
Message: Posted by: the fritz (Nov 13, 2008 10:12AM)
I have not purchased this product but, based on this discussion, I am fairly certain the first method (with a few motivational ploys added) is well-known and the bare bones of it can be found in a paperback on most magicians' bookshelves. If this is indeed the case, the ad description reflects Paul Curry's originally-described procedure and not this version of the trick. Though this effect (and I have used my variation of what I--like Lemniscate deduced also--am certain is the method to good success for a long time) will undoubtedly seem impossible for lay audiences, the actual procedure is indeed very different from the ad description.

I believe it's one thing to describe an effect by omitting certain psychologically invisible details (which is standard to prevent backtracking as Mick suggested), but it is an entirely different thing to CHANGE (as opposed to omit) the actual details of what is being witnessed, in an ad description. Marketing is tricky and magicians tread a very fine line in their attempt to arouse curiosity and interest from other magicians in their effect descriptions. If I'm going to take someone's money, I feel an obligation to make sure they get what they expect. Likewise, if I'm spending my money, I expect to get what I pay for. Mick Ayres' history here indicates he does things the right way but if the ad description is misleading, then perhaps it would be better to change it.
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Nov 13, 2008 12:59PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-13 11:12, the fritz wrote:
I have not purchased this product but, based on this discussion, I am fairly certain the first method (with a few motivational ploys added) is well-known and the bare bones of it can be found in a paperback on most magicians' bookshelves. If this is indeed the case, the ad description reflects Paul Curry's originally-described procedure and not this version of the trick. Though this effect (and I have used my variation of what I--like Lemniscate deduced also--am certain is the method to good success for a long time) will undoubtedly seem impossible for lay audiences, the actual procedure is indeed very different from the ad description.

I believe it's one thing to describe an effect by omitting certain psychologically invisible details (which is standard to prevent backtracking as Mick suggested), but it is an entirely different thing to CHANGE (as opposed to omit) the actual details of what is being witnessed, in an ad description. Marketing is tricky and magicians tread a very fine line in their attempt to arouse curiosity and interest from other magicians in their effect descriptions. If I'm going to take someone's money, I feel an obligation to make sure they get what they expect. Likewise, if I'm spending my money, I expect to get what I pay for. Mick Ayres' history here indicates he does things the right way but if the ad description is misleading, then perhaps it would be better to change it.
[/quote]

Here is the Ad:

In the 1940's Paul Curry challenged conjurors everywhere with his 'Unsolved Card Problem' by describing an amazing effect: A household deck of cards is shuffled by a guest. Next, you openly write the name of a card and show it to the audience. Your guest now deals cards face up, stops at a place of her own choosing, and now deals a single card face down to the table. She now deals the rest of the deck face up until all the cards are on the table. Your predicted card has not been seen. The guest turns over the single face down card...it matches your prediction!

Unfortunately, Paul Curry passed away before coming up with an adequate solution to this daunting presentation...known today as "Curry's Open Prediction Challenge". Will Curry's elusive proposal ever be solved? Yes!

In Plain Sight, a creative collaboration between myself and the controversial paranormalist Jim Callahan, allows you to share this captivating tale with your audience and make history at the same time by solving Curry's Challenge. This dramatic presentation has earned standing ovations repeatedly. Why? Because, to your audience, In Plain Sight is not just an effect...it is an unforgettable event.

There is absolutely no challenging sleight-of-hand involved. The presentation allows for repetition without diminishing the mystery.

I think this one part (allows you to share this captivating tale with your audience and make history at the same time by solving Curry's Challenge)is what is getting magicians fired up. There have been countless method's to solve the original problem but to no prevail. In magic, its about perception. Another example of this is David Berglas ACAAN. If our audience believes based on the perimeters we have established, it is a success.

Steve
Message: Posted by: magicmerlz (Nov 13, 2008 02:01PM)
I just wanted to say that It is very refreshing to read opposing views on an effect, without anyone resorting to the usual slagging off and general nastiness that seems to go hand in hand with different opinions. Exactly what the Café is for, I tip my hat to you all.

Matt

P.S I am loving this effect.
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 13, 2008 05:18PM)
I agree magicmerlz.

Ben, I'll PM you in the next few days.

For everybody here, I highly recommend reading the introduction to Paul Brook's "The Alchemical Tools" if you have a chance. I think that some of the issues being discussed are put into wonderful context by Paul.

Lem
Message: Posted by: burst (Nov 13, 2008 06:29PM)
Personally, if someone finds the presentation is lacking in certain areas, it's probably due to the fact that you aren't Mick. If something is missing from it, then change it.

I usually write, practice and rehearse something constantly for weeks, if not months, before I perform it, but I already had a presentation in mind for such an effect. I simply looked at Mick's supplied script, looking for what I thought should be kept in. Because my presentation was so close to me, because I already use the first force in an effect of mine that has many variants, I was able to perform this fairly quickly after receiving it.

Simply put, the methods supplied work perfectly. What I think some of you are over looking is that the first phase is simply a warm up. You tell your participant that before you ever start. The second phase is similar, but removes all negative aspects that the first phase had. Which it should considering that is the real deal and not a warm up exercise. During the warm up exercise, why not miss? why not have the value off a bit? why not have the suit wrong? or why not have it as is and have the procedure not be as amazing as the second phase?

Have a problem with one part of the second phase? Play your direction you gave as a mistake.

Every issue that I've read in this thread can easily be remedied with presentation.

I may be overlooking something right now, but I don't believe that entity's OP effects can be used in a two phase presentation like this. That's not a negative against his methods, I think they're wonderful. I've had the opportunity to use both of his effects to great success, but right now, Mick and Jim's variation is what I will be using. It plays perfectly with the presentation I've had in mind. Honestly, performing this effect has been extremely therapeutic for me. In my mind, I owe Mick and Jim for sharing this with me (even if I did already pay).

I think it's a beautiful effect that is extremely hard hitting. Granted, I have only performed this twice now, but each time it played hard. There haven't been any doubts. If any of you are getting doubts, I suggest that you work harder on the presentation rather than complaining about the methodology.

But if it just doesn't fit you, then it doesn't fit you.

Nothing works for everybody.

/paul.f
Message: Posted by: the fritz (Nov 14, 2008 10:25AM)
Well said, Paul. This is very true. I think when Vernon said be natural, it means natural for the person doing the performing because like you said, everybody is different and what works or doesn't work for them will be different.
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 14, 2008 12:46PM)
I didn't really want to post again about this effect. At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way. However it seems that most of the defenses of this are platitudes and don't address the actual issues with the effect. It's one thing to say, "Nothing works for everybody." And that's true, of course. But my problems with this effect aren't because of my own personality quirks, they are in regards to structural weaknesses in the presentation.

[quote]
On 2008-11-12 22:58, Mick Ayres wrote:
Rather, it is about presenting his Challenge with all the drama, conflict, tension and theatre I can muster to please an audience!
[/quote]

Yes, and my biggest issue with the presentation provided was that it seemed a lot of choices were made that only served to decrease the drama, conflict, tension and theater. I agree that introducing the background of the effect is interesting to an audience, but once that was out of the way the effect/presentation was fairly standard.

The method used is a very small, in the hands, method. Not only is it an obviously contrived way to do things, but it lacks the drama of an unkempt pile of face-up discards slowly growing until the spectator chooses to set aside this ONE card face down, over here on the table -- isolated from the rest. A very clear stage picture that could almost tell the story of the trick in a photograph.

The repeat of the effect is unmotivated, lacks drama and tension. Some effects may strengthen from repetition but this isn't one of them. If we're setting this up as a near impossible miracle, all repeating it does is pull the rug out from under the impossibility you attempted to establish up top.

And finally the script is just adequate in telling the story. Once the history of the effect is established that whole premise gets lost. We introduce Curry as a character in this drama and he isn't really mentioned again once the trick starts. The "story" isn't woven into the trick in an engaging way, it's just parked in 8 paragraphs at the top of the effect. After that we get a lot of descriptive patter of what's going on, but not much about why the audience should care.

You can say, "I've performed it a lot and it works for me." Which is fine for you, but that doesn't mean that it's up to the standards established by anyone else here. You can say, "My audiences loved it." But Scary Movie 4 made 91 million dollars at the box office, so the fact that a lot of people like something doesn't mean it's something I as a performer would want to do.

And finally, if someone says I need to try this out in front of an audience, you're wrong, I don't. And you shouldn't have to either. You shouldn't have to for the same reason a director doesn't have to film every screenplay to see if it works, and a chef doesn't have to make every recipe to see if something will taste good, and an architect doesn't have to construct every set of blueprints to know if the building they depict is structurally sound.
Message: Posted by: burst (Nov 14, 2008 02:07PM)
I am a chef, and you just made both my point and yours. There are certain ways that I cook food that some people don't like, yet others love. For example, some people like spicy food, others do not. Same goes for architects. When Frank Lloyd Wright was alive and kicking, some people booed his building, others praised them. You aren't going to find a Werner Herzog film directed in the style of a Wes Thomas Anderson film.

What some people found to be weaknesses, other saw them as strengths. There are always trade-offs. That's why there are so many different styles of buildings, so many types of cuisine, so many variations of the same story in film. Some people love the Scary Movie franchise, I've never liked a single one of them.

If this doesn't fit you, don't try it. I never said take it out if you don't initially like it.

However, I did say that if you think the script is lacking in certain areas, change it. To say that it isn't up to the standards of you or others is negatively knocking Mick's standards. It implies that his are low. Considering where he works, how long he has worked there, that people continuously come back to see him should say that his standards are high. If they weren't, he wouldn't be there.

Also, that picturesque ending that you want is very easily achievable with this effect. I've done it both times I've performed it.

All of the problems that you have stated, to me, are easily remedied, and have been. But if you just don't like it, that's fine. Nothing is wrong with that. People have different opinions. You think there is no reason for the second phase, I do. You think it would get weaker reactions, I've found that the reactions are much, much stronger.

But this effect fits me. I was initially pleased with reading it. That doesn't mean that I'm going to stick to this variation. I'm going to keep looking at other versions, there are still going to be times when I perform entity's variations. Besides this version fitting me, I know I will grow and another version will fit me better in the future, and that there will be times when it would be better for me to do a variation on the same effect.

There are variations in art to fit the variations found in people.

Hooray for that.

/paul.f
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 14, 2008 03:40PM)
Paul,

I must not have made my point clear in my last paragraph. I wasn't arguing that people don't have different tastes and styles, they certainly do. My argument was just with the idea that one has to fully stage a play in order to know if the play was any good.

Other than that, I don't really disagree with anything you're saying. My post came out harsher than I intended. My frustration is not with this manuscript as much as it is with the way criticism is dealt with in this thread, and more so on the Café in general. It's one thing to dismiss criticism when that criticism is "This is a piece of crap. I hate it." But when people are pointing out specific issues with an effect to then say, "Well, I get great reactions with it," is kind of disingenuous. Every piece of garbage that has ever been released in magic has always been defended by the creator with, "Well, I get great reactions with it." So that retort is meaningless whether the effect truly is good or bad..

And I don't think invoking someone's professional credentials is an effective defense of a trick either. I respect Mr. Ayres' performance history, but if I had to perform magic at a Disney Resort for tourists I would fall on my card-sword. I never meant to imply my standards were higher than Mr. Ayres', just different.

You can tell people that if they don't like the presentation and the method they should change it, which is understandable, but then what are we paying for here?

But again, I feel the length of these posts is in no way proportionate to the mild-disappointment I had with this effect and has become (for me) more about the rather depressing way people sometimes rush to defend a product (and/or its creator) rather than debate the merits of certain aspects of the product itself.

I've more than had my say. For the people who are enjoying this I wish them continued success.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 14, 2008 03:50PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-13 19:29, burst wrote:

Simply put, the methods supplied work perfectly.

/paul.f
[/quote]

So every routine which is supplied with a method that works is a good routine ? ;)

I don't think so.

I'm working on something to change the second method, but the first method is still for me unaccaeptable. I tried it again the other night and, again, I got a question about the choice of the card. It's not just about presentation, if you tell people what to look for... well... they will... If you tell them to deal a single card aside and they don't... it's kind of strange no? I don't see what presentation has to do here...

Of course you can tell them it's a mistake... but is it really a good idea to finally tell them to do something that's not as fair as it was first meant to be?
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 14, 2008 03:55PM)
Yikes, two people, both making excellent independent points yet both completely ignoring each other's points. There are inherent contradictions and logical leaps that are anything but logical. I think this is the type of situation where strong beliefs are making people ignore anything they disagree with. Luckily for me, I never think any effect is perfect, have even talked about a few of the issues I happen to have with this effect, and can look at least somewhat objectively.

Since Paul (burst) posted last, I'll go back to Magicsquare's post first:
[quote] And finally the script is just adequate in telling the story. Once the history of the effect is established that whole premise gets lost. We introduce Curry as a character in this drama and he isn't really mentioned again once the trick starts. The "story" isn't woven into the trick in an engaging way, it's just parked in 8 paragraphs at the top of the effect. After that we get a lot of descriptive patter of what's going on, but not much about why the audience should care. [/quote]

I'll be honest here, I think this is one of the most made, yet least logical arguments here on the Café. I don't know any actual performing professional who takes ANY script verbatim. I said it before but that approach is ALWAYS a bad idea. It's actually pretty simple, if you don't think the script gives the audience enough to care about, change it, you should be changing it anyway if you are a performing professional (this is a general statement, not meant towards magicsquared).

Literally, the first thing I did was take the presentational approach and completely modify it. Paul Curry was an insurance salesman and magician who became sick of claims mades by parapscyhologists and devised a "true test" of psychic powers. I explained what parapsychologists were (using the example of the movie Ghostbusters). I keep their attention the whole time and yet I am still using the presentational premise. Your argument (the script does not keep their attention) is one towards the PERFORMER, not the effect. It is often hard to tell the difference if one doesn't go in assuming all presentations must be modified.

[quote] You can say, "I've performed it a lot and it works for me." Which is fine for you, but that doesn't mean that it's up to the standards established by anyone else here. You can say, "My audiences loved it." But Scary Movie 4 made 91 million dollars at the box office, so the fact that a lot of people like something doesn't mean it's something I as a performer would want to do. [/quote]

No offense but this is pretty convoluted logic. On one hand you are saying that success is not an indicator of what you would want to do (fair statement by itself). However, you then bring in ideas of being "up to standards". The question that is begged is what is the priority for you, what your audiences like or what you personally like?

Please don't get me wrong, I would NEVER say that you HAVE to perform something because other people get good results. However, if audience pleasure is NOT an indicator of the success of an effect what is? Would you rather perform something you like to perform, even if it gets lackluster response? Would you perform something you hate for an amazing response? There are no hard and fast rules but let me give a personal example.

I loved Rick Maue's work. I think his Group Dynamic effect could be the subject of a whole semester in multiple out effects at a magic university. With that being said, after trying it multiple times, I have found it's biggest effect is on other magicians, who don't constitute my audience generally. As such, it's out. To me, the priority isn't what "standards" I have for an effect necessarily unless you count audience pleasure as a standard (which you actually EXCLUDED in your post). If you don't like it, don't do it but to make an argument AGAINST giving people what they like... tough to follow my friend, that is all I am saying.

Finally, your director analogy is inherently flawed. If every film or every recipe was a success, you could make the argument. However, whatever criteria is used by a chef, magician, or director uses a priori, it's flawed. Only a complete amateur would say that every single effect they thought would be great was. We have ALL had situations where things we thought would get a great response only got a moderate one. As such, a priori determinations, in any field, have the caveat that they are not absolute. No director "knows" what will play great and what won't. Nor does any performer I have ever seen, they have all fallen flat. To imply that you know what would and won't work beforehand is simply not true. You know what you do and don't WANT to do beforehand, sure, but it is not related to the success of the effect and to say it is... well, let's say I can't follow the logic.

Burst,
I am getting tired, so I'll be more brief. Even though I agreed with a lot of what you were saying, I have to disagree with saying the methods worked perfectly. They simply worked perfectly for you (and me, btw). However, you are making the opposite argument as magicsquared. He says he knows what will and won't be a success without trying (illogical), you are saying what works for you should work for somebody else (I am paraphrasing, so correct me if that was not your implication). Your argument about the idea that the first phase is a "warm-up" is also a personal take on the presentation and not something "some of you are over looking".

Finally, I've already said how the use of the chef and director analogies were taken to improper conclusions with magicsquare, but the same for you. I'll simply attempt to give an example. Let's say you are a chef with a French cuisine specialty. You cannot state that an asian dish will or will not be a success (this would be the mistake Magicsquared made), you can only say that it is not for you. This goes for magic too, the presentation itself may not lend itself for what you want to do as a performer (the infamous bra trick for magicians is an example). It may garner spectacular reactions but it may not be for you. This is very close to what you are saying but also slightly different. Your take (at least what I can tell) is that the presentation can be modified to fit almost everybody. Well, the counter argument is that the same thing can be said about the bra trick. However, whether it can be made to fit is irrelevant if the performer does not want to do it.

Again, whether you like or dislike an effect does not offer ANY insight into whether it is going to be successful. Nor does the ability to modify something make it into an effect everybody is going to want.

Now, I am simply commenting on things as I read them, if I misinterpreted, I apologize but I provided the quotes that made me think what I think, if that helps at all.

In the end, I personally think the approach (NOT the script or the methods) is what I like from this. For $20 it was an absolute steal.

I truly hope nothing I say is taken as an insult, it is all merely my opinion, and if it comes off differently, I apologize now.

With that, I'll leave this discussion. I've made my feelings on this known and pointed out what I, personally, IN MY OPINION, happen to think are problems with some of the arguments made pro AND con for this effect.

ALl of your opinions are correct, for you, just as mine is for me. I love to change it when new facts arise though. Do you?

Lem
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 14, 2008 04:02PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-14 13:46, Magicsquared wrote:

At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way.

[/quote]

Really? So you don't mind throwing $20 away ? Would you give them to me ? ;)

The problem is that paying $20 once can be ok (although I don't like throwing my hard-earned money away...), but if you start paying $20 two, three, five, ten times, it can start to be annoying...
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 14, 2008 04:04PM)
[quote]

No offense but this is pretty convoluted logic. On one hand you are saying that success is not an indicator of what you would want to do (fair statement by itself). However, you then bring in ideas of being "up to standards". The question that is begged is what is the priority for you, what your audiences like or what you personally like?

[/quote]

My priority is to perform material that suits my style, my voice, and the experience I want to give an audience.


[quote]
Finally, your director analogy is inherently flawed. If every film or every recipe was a success, you could make the argument. However, whatever criteria is used by a chef, magician, or director uses a priori, it's flawed. Only a complete amateur would say that every single effect they thought would be great was. We have ALL had situations where things we thought would get a great response only got a moderate one.

[/quote]

You got my analogy the wrong way around. I never suggested that a professional will be able to know what will work. But a professional CAN see flaws in a project without actually executing the project.
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 14, 2008 04:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-14 17:02, goldeneye007 wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-11-14 13:46, Magicsquared wrote:

At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way.

[/quote]

Really? So you don't mind throwing $20 away ? Would you give them to me ? ;)

The problem is that paying $20 once can be ok (although I don't like throwing my hard-earned money away...), but if you start paying $20 two, three, five, ten times, it can start to be annoying...
[/quote]

I will give you $20. PM me your paypal address.
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 14, 2008 04:18PM)
;)
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 14, 2008 05:24PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-14 16:40, Magicsquared wrote:

My frustration is not with this manuscript as much as it is with the way criticism is dealt with in this thread, and more so on the Café in general. It's one thing to dismiss criticism when that criticism is "This is a piece of crap. I hate it." But when people are pointing out specific issues with an effect to then say, "Well, I get great reactions with it," is kind of disingenuous. Every piece of garbage that has ever been released in magic has always been defended by the creator with, "Well, I get great reactions with it." So that retort is meaningless whether the effect truly is good or bad..

And I don't think invoking someone's professional credentials is an effective defense of a trick either. I respect Mr. Ayres' performance history, but if I had to perform magic at a Disney Resort for tourists I would fall on my card-sword. I never meant to imply my standards were higher than Mr. Ayres', just different.

You can tell people that if they don't like the presentation and the method they should change it, which is understandable, but then what are we paying for here?

But again, I feel the length of these posts is in no way proportionate to the mild-disappointment I had with this effect and has become (for me) more about the rather depressing way people sometimes rush to defend a product (and/or its creator) rather than debate the merits of certain aspects of the product itself.

[/quote]

You are frustrated with the way your criticism is being dealt with? Are you serious? In my opinion, every part of this dialogue has remained polite, respectful and professional.

You say my responses are meaningless? I said, "I get great reactions to it" for very specific reasons. Your negative opinions about the routine are based on a handful of limited attempts to present the effect that resulted in failure for you...my opinion is based on countless performances in front of theatre audiences where the routine is presented as part of an hour-long mentalism act. No offense, but for those reasons, I feel the credibility of my statements have more merit.

By the way, your statement about where I perform makes me question your attitude toward this art. The demographics of my audiences are families who are paid members of an private, exclusive club. You don't buy a membership unless you have a GREAT day job. These are intelligent, hard-working, kind-hearted families who are a cut-above the average audience (in my opinion). But, you would fall on your card-sword before performing for them? Well, your nibs, I have a hard time believing you.

Finally, you ask "what are we paying for?". You are paying for the long hours spent creating, scripting, blocking, choreographing and rehearsing a routine that took a FRESH approach at a presenting a magical legend to lay-audiences in a manner that nearly guarantees a strong response. The manuscript was professionally and expertly written and then made available for the cost of a quarter-tank of gas. All this is practically being spoon-fed to you. But, you consider it 'garbage'.

For the record, when I publish something, it is ALWAYS material that I have tested extensively over and over again. I don't just hope it works...I KNOW IT WORKS. I have nurtured this reputation in my manuscripts and would do nothing that threatens it.

You CAN take a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.

Have a great day.

Mick Ayres
Message: Posted by: Magicsquared (Nov 14, 2008 05:52PM)
I understand, Mr. Ayres. I actually wasn't concerned about how much money your audience has. That's not a factor for me in deciding who I want to perform for or in what venue. I have no doubt that you perform for wonderful people and you give them a great show. But for me personally that's not a performance situation I'd be interested in.

And just to set the record straight, I never called this effect "garbage."
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Nov 14, 2008 08:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-14 18:52, Magicsquared wrote:
I understand, Mr. Ayres. I actually wasn't concerned about how much money your audience has. That's not a factor for me in deciding who I want to perform for or in what venue. I have no doubt that you perform for wonderful people and you give them a great show. But for me personally that's not a performance situation I'd be interested in.

And just to set the record straight, I never called this effect "garbage."
[/quote]

If you buy a trick that doesn't suit your fancy, sell it, give it away, or put it in the drawer and forget about it. I remember back in the 80's when magicians use to say that Eddie Tullock only did a top change, a pass, a double lift and a false shuffle. Not only that, it wasn't that good. Well, Eddie made $250,000 a year being terrible. If you can improve on the Open Prediction, have at it but don't knock what works for others.

Steve
Message: Posted by: burst (Nov 15, 2008 02:32AM)
Lem,

I think I very clearly stated that if he feels it doesn't fit him, then he shouldn't do it. I pointed out that certain things fit certain people and sometimes they don't. Also note that my post ended with, "There are variations in art to fit the variations found in people."

I wasn't ignoring what he was saying at all, I was clarifying my thoughts on this. He even stated in the post right before your's that he understood what I was expressing.

I was also trying to counteract some of what is seen as negatives, such as the complaint of how he wants the end picture to look like. He thinks it should look a certain way and I completely agree with him. I share his opinion so much so that I thought out how to have the same visuals that he seeks, and that was before he ever posted his feelings.

And of course the analogy is flawed. It's an analogy, it isn't going to line up perfectly. You're using one subject to talk about another, there's no way it's going to line up completely. It's used to further illustrate our opinion. I understand what he meant, I'm sure he understood what I meant. I'm also sure you understood what we were trying to get across. I could probably argue the specifics of every analogy, but there isn't a point to if I have the slightest understanding to what they attempting to convey.

Magicsquared,

Excuse me if I seemed to be taking up for him or bashing you. I have absolutely no problem with you not liking the effect. I felt I should say that certain things can be changed, is all. I did take up for Mick in that one part, but I see now that I was misunderstanding what you were saying. I think your opinion should definitely be shared, as I am sure that others will feel the same as you and it's good for that opinion to be out there for them to read. On the same note, I also think my voice should be heard when I say that I think those things are obtainable with what is supplied.

As for the analogy, I should have said that I agree with you. To follow up with what you said, a crap play done by one person can be a work of art by another. I'm sure you have seen this happen before. I know I have on many occasions.

007,

Maybe I should have put a "for me" on the end of what you quoted.

And as for the mistake part, a mistake is for if the first OP is missed (purposefully). For the procedure, which I think is what you were referring to, I was suggesting keeping with it being used as a warm up. You tell them what the procedure should be, then tell them that you are first going to warm up to it and do the first phase. The second phase plays exactly how you describe it to them, just as you pointed out.

And as I said a couple of times now, if it doesn't fit who you are, don't do it. There are many methods to every effect. Find what you are comfortable with and do that.

Personally, I'm never completely disappointed with an effect. If I don't like the method, the script, or whatever else about it, I still learn from it. I learn what works for me, I get a better understanding of what it is that I do want, do like, don't like, etc.


I'm done now.

fo' rilz,
/paul.f
Message: Posted by: fvdbeek (Nov 15, 2008 06:05AM)
Wow, you guys really take this seriously ! Hey, it's just a $20 trick, not a Shakespearean performance !
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Nov 15, 2008 06:08AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-15 07:05, fvdbeek wrote:
Wow, you guys really take this seriously ! Hey, it's just a $20 trick, not a Shakespearean performance !
[/quote]


Ha, LOL!
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Nov 15, 2008 07:35AM)
See, Mick? I [i]told[/i] you not to release it!

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 15, 2008 08:57AM)
I'm glad I released "In Plain Sight", Chet. Good or bad, the reviews given on this thread have been honest and direct...I certainly appreciate the fact that no matter how people feel about the effect, at least they are THINKING about it!

Well, with the exception of Fvdbeek...he still thinks its just a trick. :)

Best to all,
Mick
Message: Posted by: muse (Nov 15, 2008 09:39AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-15 07:05, fvdbeek wrote:
Wow, you guys really take this seriously ! Hey, it's just a $20 trick, not a Shakespearean performance !
[/quote]

Shakespeare had his good points, for sure. But no-one ever says that all those monkeys with typewriters could come up with a half decent plot for a card trick, now do they? I rest my case.
Message: Posted by: ggarcia (Nov 15, 2008 01:58PM)
I havent purchased this but it has been performed for me by a friend. is it a good effect? I think it is but its not one that I would perform or one that I would invest $20 in. that is just my opinion. to others this may be a top notch effect. this is effect is not about the method but about the routine. having been in magic for sometime, the method(s) was of course obvious from the beginning. if you are considering this to maybe fool a fellow magician...forget it. this will not, and I repeat will not fool any knowledgeable magicians. this should (and from the posts written here has been tested) fool layman. the story is enticing for the lay public. as for this being a solution to curry prediction effect. maybe on foggy day it might be. does it follow the curry guidelines - yes, but I personally think it stretches them quite a bit. this is not the type of solution I think mr curry would have wanted for this. again my opinion. if your looking for routine that will definitely fool the public, this is one of them. it is very easy to do. instead of practicing your sleights you will need to practice your performance and script.
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Nov 15, 2008 02:11PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-15 09:57, Mick Ayres wrote:
I'm glad I released "In Plain Sight", Chet. Good or bad, the reviews given on this thread have been honest and direct...
[/quote]

Maybe. But, gee, I wish I had posted my prediction before this thread got rolling (rather than "just" e-mail it to you) -- I can hardly believe how accurate to detail it has turned out. Kreskin couldn't have asked for a more accurate prediction!

*jeep!
--Grandpa Kreskin Chet
Message: Posted by: goldeneye007 (Nov 15, 2008 05:21PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-15 14:58, ggarcia wrote:
I havent purchased this but it has been performed for me by a friend. is it a good effect? I think it is but its not one that I would perform or one that I would invest $20 in. that is just my opinion. to others this may be a top notch effect. this is effect is not about the method but about the routine. having been in magic for sometime, the method(s) was of course obvious from the beginning. if you are considering this to maybe fool a fellow magician...forget it. this will not, and I repeat will not fool any knowledgeable magicians. this should (and from the posts written here has been tested) fool layman. the story is enticing for the lay public. as for this being a solution to curry prediction effect. maybe on foggy day it might be. does it follow the curry guidelines - yes, but I personally think it stretches them quite a bit. this is not the type of solution I think mr curry would have wanted for this. again my opinion. if your looking for routine that will definitely fool the public, this is one of them. it is very easy to do. instead of practicing your sleights you will need to practice your performance and script.
[/quote]

With all due respect to Mr Ayres, I like your post ggarcia! Your points are very close to the feelings I have.

Cheers! :)
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Nov 15, 2008 09:59PM)
After I clear my plate of the plethora of material before me ...I will definitely check this out.
I...like 'some' here...happen to perform for real folks on a regular basis.Mick Ayres material thus far has been an inspiration and a winner for me.I just downright like the way the man thinks.He is one of several here who have this effect on me and others..it's all good.

IMHO,one could actually go on the road with their own adaption of his Hoodwinking's or Predictabilities or combo thereof and make a nice living.

I have done so on a much smaller scale.To wit:[added a few adaptions of Micks material,to all of my own stuff]..however,I hate to travel....but it still works for me.
My feelings about 'multi-faceted' e-books from most 'established' working pros...if I can get one or two valuable ideas and improve my performance or performing repertoire..It is worth it to me.

Hey Mick...thanks a million!

Rich
Message: Posted by: Mick Ayres (Nov 18, 2008 11:22AM)
You're welcome, Rich. It's always good to hear from you!

Thank you all for the honest comments. I'm glad to know that (either way) IPS is getting strong reactions.

Cheers,
Mick
Message: Posted by: Bill Lhotta (Nov 20, 2008 01:01PM)
In the bonus section I really like the way Ryan Frame ties the two different forces together to make them appear the same. After executing the second phase using Ryan's method I truly believe the spec will believe both forces to be identical, and since the second force is so clean they will have nowhere to go to back track.

Mick's presentation makes this a nice showpiece instead of just another card trick. Nice job Mick (and Jim)!

By the way it may have already been mentioned, but there is a fabulous treatise by Allan Slaight on James' "51 Faces North" in the James File volume 1. There are over a dozen solutions to this plot by some of the top names in magic and mentalism. Ken Krenzel's first method is one of my favorites.

Cheers!

** Bill **
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 20, 2008 01:25PM)
First off, I need to apologize. Based on PMs as well as posts in this thread, my post must have been very poorly written. Both burst and MS responded by pointing out the exact same things I said in my post like I never said it. Example: I said: "This goes for magic too, the presentation itself may not lend itself for what you want to do as a performer (the infamous bra trick for magicians is an example). It may garner spectacular reactions but it may not be for you.", burst responded by saying "I pointed out that certain things fit certain people and sometimes they don't" as if it wasn't what I had just said. I know you said it. I agreed with it in my post, said I agreed with it in my post, then rephrased it in my post. Not sure why you would try to isolate that part of my post while ignoring the rest but whatever, it really doesn't matter to me, I know what I meant.

I don't want to come off the wrong way, though, so let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR: Since both people misunderstood, the problem in communication is on my end and I apologize.

Moving forward, I just won't respond to anything anybody says, ignoring everything everybody else writes and simply share my opinion. As such, I am going to write another post, after this, which will now reflect my new outlook. I just wanted to apologize in as clear a way as possible.

Lem
Message: Posted by: burst (Nov 20, 2008 01:34PM)
Lem,

Relax, man. I know it was a misunderstanding. As for why I brought that up, you said to me:

[quote]
On 2008-11-14 16:55, Lemniscate wrote:

. . . you are saying what works for you should work for somebody else (I am paraphrasing, so correct me if that was not your implication).
[/quote]

You asked me to correct you if that isn't what I meant, so that's what I did. As you pointed out in your most recent post, I did very clearly state that, basically, one size does not fit all.

Best to you,
/paul.f
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 20, 2008 02:35PM)
I've found the perfect illustration on what In Plain Sight means to me as a performer but I need a little bit of an intro first. I will try to make this relatively brief. However, in order to put everything in context, I need to take a minute to explain why and how I was doing what I was yesterday.

On the train on the way home last night, I started working up a couple of new sets. The holiday season will be here soon and I need to start thinking about my new routines for the new year. Since most of my paid performances (as a part-timer with a more than full time regular job) are rebookings, I find myself performing for at least SOME of the same people quite often. As such, I find that I often need to change things around to keep it fresh for them (since, generally, they are the ones who book the parties).

There are several ways I do this. One of the more basic ones is to classify my effects. Examples are cards-impromptu (e.g., Richardson's Impromptu CAAN), cards-open set-up (e.g., Ayres' Howjadothat), cards- secret set-up (e.g., James' Further than That), cards- gaffed, etc.

By classifying my effects like this, I can construct a set. "Hmmm, I open with a secret set-up but now I have to follow with either an impromptu or open set-up", you know, stuff like that. It's only one part of a multifaceted approach, btw.

In any case, I realized that I was not willing to put In Plain Sight as an impromptu effect even though it is quite easy to perform in an impromptu setting. The reasoning is the basic presentational premise is SO important to the effect that I would never consider doing it without it. In fact, I tried an experiment on the above-mentioned train. I tried the effect "impromptu", explaining the rules and such, then tried it again on different people using the page from the ebook. The second was, for multiple reasons, much stronger (I assume you can all reason out at least 3 reasons why it was so I won't bore you listing the reasons I came up with).

So, here I was, with an effect that COULD be performed impromptu and yet I never wanted to perform it that way. That is how strong the presentation is and how I important I felt it was. For $20, it's absolutely no contest, totally worth it.

Lem

PS- Paul, I didn't want anymore on that in the thread, so I PMed you. But, to be clear since I read it and it wasn't: my apology is real. I do feel I wasn't clear in my post(s) and didn't mean to take away from that.
Message: Posted by: burst (Nov 20, 2008 03:47PM)
Just to throw it in, an apology is tossed your way and yours is fully accepted.

/paul.f
Message: Posted by: RLFrame (Nov 22, 2008 11:23AM)
"In the bonus section I really like the way Ryan Frame ties the two different forces together to make them appear the same. After executing the second phase using Ryan's method I truly believe the spec will believe both forces to be identical, and since the second force is so clean they will have nowhere to go to back track."

Thank you Bill. You made my day.

I suspect that people who haven't done this don't realize how people can 'get into' the presentation. If the audience is engaged and lively, the presentation makes them feel as if they part of something rare and special. They react accordingly.

My personal way to do it, further gives a sense of building tension for the second phase that was expressed as a concern in this thread. In my version, for the first phase, I claim that history proved that no spectator/participant could actually turn over one card at a time and match the prediction. That way was tried for decades and they were just frustrated time after time. It just didn't work. Then I acknowledge that the rules HAD to be stretched (another criticism herein)to technically meet the requirements, but probably not as Paul Curry intended. Even with stretched rules, I claim that only a handful of others have been able to write the correct prediction and almost none are able to repeat it. "Tonight, if successful, and that is a big 'if', you will be only the second group of people in history to witness it hit for two straight times. I was fortunate to hit the last time I tried it two nights ago, and I have a good feeling about you tonight. Only once other person has ever done it twice in a row and he missed on the third and hasn't hit since."

Of course, after phase one hits, they want to go for the record, (nobody likes a tie) but I try to talk them out of it, finally conceding, saying "Well, if we are going to do it again, I want no part of backing into any record. Let's try something that has never worked before: the way Curry likely intended, one card at a time..." and so it proceeds with the second phase.

Gudaytuya

Ryan Frame

The Abnormalist
Message: Posted by: dafin77 (Nov 24, 2008 04:25AM)
I have a worry about this effect that I don't think has been expressed. I wonder if people think it's a reasonable worry. If you first tell your audience that magicians have been trying to solve a problem posed by a well-known magician named Paul Curry many years ago, and then you perform something that isn't a solution, that wouldn't begin to satisfy Curry himself or the magicians you've just made reference to, as if it were a solution, then I worry that you are doing a kind of injustice to Paul Curry and other magicians who followed him. Put it this way: If a magician were to say of me, after I was dead: "David tried throughout his life to come up with a way to meet a challenge he'd set for himself, but never managed it. I'll show you what he never managed to achieve" whereupon this magician performed some effect that did not at all meet the conditions I'd set for myself and failed to meet, then said magician would, I submit, have done me a significant disservice. He'd be, in effect, saying falsely, "David couldn't come up with what you're about to see."

I don't have this effect, so I may be mistaken about how the presentation goes. My worry is based on what I've read in this thread.
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Nov 24, 2008 04:58AM)
You worry way, way too much! Go and chill and forget about this thread man
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Nov 24, 2008 06:22AM)
Lem, whn I have performed it impromptu, I spent a little longer talking introducing Paul and generally having a fun relaxing convo with everyone, whilst doing that I wrote the page out on a piece of paper with a line at the bottom for the OP.

Then before actually starting the effect and using the presentation (although of coarse in reality, all the presentation building it up was the real effect) I leave a long pause. Allot of that nervous type staring around.

I to be honest have had stronger reactions from friends and family and such impromptu places than when performing it at gigs, (but I only performed it once at a gig, I have another version I use, and I'm trying to combine at the presentation at the moment.)

Jon Hackett

P.S david if it is worrying you don't buy the effect, nothing anyone can say here will change anything. At the end of the day, Paul was not a performer so much as a creator, so it may well be that method is more important.
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Nov 24, 2008 09:10AM)
Hello

'In Plain Sight' works but the search WILL go on to find a better way to make that face down card look more in keeping with what Curry wanted.

For me I feel ''The Fantasy Phone Experiment' is a much better effect that uses the ***** *****. Maybe with 'In Plain Sight' you just need a 'leap of faith'. LOL



best
ray
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Nov 24, 2008 03:39PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-24 05:25, dafin77 wrote:
I have a worry about this effect that I don't think has been expressed. I wonder if people think it's a reasonable worry. If you first tell your audience that magicians have been trying to solve a problem posed by a well-known magician named Paul Curry many years ago, and then you perform something that isn't a solution, that wouldn't begin to satisfy Curry himself or the magicians you've just made reference to, as if it were a solution, then I worry that you are doing a kind of injustice to Paul Curry and other magicians who followed him."

I don't have this effect, so I may be mistaken about how the presentation goes. My worry is based on what I've read in this thread.
[/quote]

Well I worried about it after reading your post and got in touch with Paul and he was very impressed with it and found it to be very entertaining.

In fact he said he would be working it into to his extended set very soon.

He also let me in on some of his new work that is pretty clever.

Best Wishes,

J ack
\
H.o.A-X
Message: Posted by: RLFrame (Nov 25, 2008 08:09AM)
Jim,

You spoke to Paul Curry? I thought he had moved Out Of This World many years ago.

Oh. I forgot that you can speak to such folks. Your manuscript deals with him reverently and I'll bet that he is happy that he is still being talked about and still remembered by so many down here.

Ryan
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Nov 25, 2008 06:20PM)
Jon,

Thanks for the post. November has been a terrible month for me, in terms of being clear in my posts but I am not surprised by your results at all (impromptu versus stage). For anybody who ALREADY HAS “In Plain Sight” here is my analysis/explanation of what I meant earlier (anybody who doesn’t have it should just skip this post since it won’t contain exposure and will be relatively useless for you).

Okay, with them gone, let’s get into the nitty gritty (just kidding!). But really, here are my thoughts on the effect:

1.) It is inherently stronger with a borrowed deck. While this is not necessary, methodologically speaking, it is a reality that tricks with their packs tend to have more impact.

2.) Tricks in which spectators must remember multiple things (multiple cards, multiple conditions, etc.) turn off many people. In this particular effect, if I list all the conditions that must be met, then go back to them, I don’t get the same kind of buy-in. For example, after I go through [page 3 of the manuscript] when I have it printed out, I get unanimous buy-in prior to continuing. If I do it by explaining the rules, the spectator’s (fairly I think) feel like I am manipulating something or I will tweak the rules or just… “something”. I believe, btw, that spectator’s have inherent distrust of what you say as a performer and you must take this into account, either through your effects, your patter, or the manner in which you approach a topic (e.g., allowing them to make up the rules but I go too far…).

3.) I feel that due to the fact that 1.) cannot always be followed, special attention must be given to 2.) above. With that in mind, I feel it is appropriate and helpful to have a print-out of the relevant page from the manuscript. Now, I have given thought to this based on something else I do “semi-impromptu”. So here is my model example and my approach to it that I am going to use for “In Plain Sight” moving forward.

EXAMPLE:
Sign Language by Doug Dyment

Modified basic premise: You determine somebody’s astrological sign letter by letter.

My problem: People don’t necessarily know how to spell their sign (story: one person swore that Sagittarius only had one “S” and one “T”).

My approach: Using a modified version of page 11 from Sign Language booklet, print list of signs and relevant dates onto back of some of my business cards.

Benefits: They can look while you diving their sign, you can give them the list (aka YOUR CARD) after the effect, your card has added significance, they can choose anybody’s birthday not just their own (in case they think you may have found it out somehow)

So, take my approach above and insert “page 3 from ‘In Plain Sight’ manuscript” instead of the Sign Language reference, and you will see how I intend to implement it to get what I think are the strongest reactions.

Hopefully that was both vague enough and specific enough to give some help on two wonderful effects. If it is not (talking to you, Mick), have them take this post down.
Message: Posted by: unclesamayen (Feb 20, 2010 05:53AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-13 00:26, adamc wrote:
If you're looking for a good solution to the Open Prediction problem, you might want to check out BRRR! or 27 Below from Thomas Baxter's eBook, Not a Dianoetic Rage, both of which seem more fair than the first method used from In Plain Sight, which in my opinion is a little weak. Combining either of these methods with the presentation from In Plain Sight would be killer.
[/quote]

I'm quite intrested in Open Prediction.
What is BRRR?
Is it a effect or a book?
Where can I find it?
Thank you very much.

Eric
Message: Posted by: CardWiz (Feb 20, 2010 10:20AM)
Brrrrr.... is an OP effect that follows all of Stewart James's legendary conditions.

It can be found in both of the following ebooks by Thomas Baxter:

http://www.imentalism.com/index.php/e-books/cards/not-a-dianoetic-rage

http://www.imentalism.com/index.php/e-books/cards/topp

The effect is not 51 Faces North....it is a handling of the OP that is very good though.

CW