So many performers get caught up in the cycle of buying the latest and greatest secret. You know the sort. The underground, limited-edition, overpriced whatchamacallit which is, in fairness, very clever; but once the honeymoon period wears off, is still just another way to learn a word or duplicate a drawing. You've just spent $XXX to deliver an experience to your audience that you've been delivering since reading Corinda and Annemann.
Worse still, this endless hunt for the perfect secret draws valuable time and effort away from refining the performance you already have now. The result?
"Draw a picture."
(Plastic, inauthentic patter about lies or some such)
"You drew a house."
It's just fine. It can amaze people. But it's just fine. It's not the transcendent miracle your audience deserves after you've paid $XXX so many times for such clever secrets. You have already spent too much money for mediocrity.
Whatever secret method you use, the presentation is far and away more important.
However much money you were going to spend this year on underground whatchamacallits, save it. However much money that is in the form of time and effort, spend it on this instead. Spend your time and effort on what I am about to give you.
Google has collected 50 million drawings by average people. Google also recorded the way in which the picture was drawn. The game “Quick, Draw!” gives players 20 seconds to draw a picture as it uses machine learning to identify the drawing. Each drawing expands the database making the game more accurate. The data records what shapes comprise each drawing, how they are drawn, and in what order. This translates to little animations of drawings being made as an average person would make them. Fifty million times.
This data set is now available for free.
The more experienced of you will be salivating profusely at this point. No doubt, this will remind you of Banachek's cat drawing duplication from Psychological Subtleties and the Psi Series. Banachek's ample experience allowed him to describe in real time how a participant will draw a cat. Every shape thought of was described at the exact second it was thought of. That is real mind reading. That's the kind of miracle you expect to provide audiences after paying $XXX so many times. To be in a person's mind as they think, seeing what they see as they see it. Why was this so powerful? Not because it was a new secret, because it was a brilliant presentation.
This new data set means you do not need the thousands of trials from the experience of another performer. You now have the TENS OF MILLIONS of trials from Google's data collection.
As accurately and precisely as Banachek describes in real-time how a participant is drawing a cat, so too can you describe in real-time how a participant is drawing an image only in their mind. You will be able to walk around in your participant's mind, not just for a cat, but for hundreds upon hundreds of drawings. This is the kind of payoff people hope for by sinking big bucks into some underground release.
Do not waste this.
Other authors might have kept this resource a secret or sold it at a price. I certainly debated whether or not I should share this priceless information and in what way. Used diligently, this information will net professionals thousands of dollars.
There is a cost to this. Seriously. I am not going to charge dollars, but I do want to charge you in time. I want you to take the money you would have spent on the cool new underground $XXX whatchamacallit and do some math. Whatever your next big, sexy purchase was supposed to be--calculate how many hours of your work it would take to pay for that. That's (cost of whatchamacallit / dollars you make per hour). Whatever number that is, I want you to commit that many hours to incorporating this drawing data into your act. For example, if you wanted to buy a $200 dollar thing and you make $10 an hour--please pay me by dedicating ahead of time 20 hours to studying the data, writing notes of your ideas, scripting your routines, recording yourself, and practicing with people. Please schedule this time in your calendars. Plan around it.
Once you get started, you'll probably end up using more hours than you committed anyway. It's a lot of fun refining what you love. But if you do not commit to that time in advance, it is too easy to glance, hit writers block, and walk away into another generic purchase. By committing to the time in advance, you will power through the lulls and end up discovering new epiphanies that will enhance your audience’s experience. No dollar amount sent through PayPal will improve your show. You need to put in work hours. That's what I want from you. You are not accountable to me, you are accountable to your audience. I am giving you a gold mine. If you waste it, your audience loses amazing experiences. Please do right by them. By investing time in yourself, you are investing in this art form that I love so dearly.
Here are the links. Go.
- "Quick, Draw!" game: https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com/
- List of drawing categories: https://github.com/googlecreativelab/quickdraw-dataset/blob/master/categories.txt
- Download the raw data: https://github.com/googlecreativelab/quickdraw-dataset
- Animations of each drawing: https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com/data