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Topic: RANDOM HAPPENINGS by Ryan Schlutz ("A great trick...a wonderful baffling trick!")- Penn Jillette
Message: Posted by: MurphysNEW (May 3, 2021 02:01PM)
"A great trick... a wonderful, wonderful baffling trick!"
- Penn Jillette

From the founder of False Anchors, Ryan Schlutz, comes something completely unexpected.

Random Happenings is a book test unlike any other. Instead of simply opening a book and choosing a word from it, your spectator gets to completely TEAR THIS BOOK APART, shuffling, mixing and RIPPING pages as they go, until they've made it down to their selection.

https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=66749


EVEN THOUGH THE SPECTATOR TEARS THE BOOK APART AND SHUFFLES IT...YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WORD THEY ARE THINKING OF

"As a lover and owner of fare few incredible book tests It's rare for me to see a new one that gets me excited. Random happenings changed that! I feel a book test should be simple to learn, deceptive and fun, Random Happenings ticks all the boxes for me and I know it will for you! I love it."
- Peter Nardi

Random Happenings provides great texture as an addition to your current show set and is also a fun and exciting presentation all on it's own!

The beauty of Random Happenings is that the book completely RESETS and goes back to new within MINUTES after being torn apart!

Random Happenings includes enough materials for over 100 performances including a SECOND DIFFERENT BOOK cover & pages along with everything you need to perform this to your heart's desire! You can even pack both books in order to perform a second time instantly!
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (May 3, 2021 03:42PM)
Okay. That is so good. It's fresh, and takes it to another level. Just wow. Original, more audience participation, fun premise, fair, what could be better?
Message: Posted by: jerdunn (May 3, 2021 11:13PM)
Great idea --it's like the classic newspaper-tear prediction done with a book.

However, will people feel comfortable with the idea of ripping a book to pieces? (Avid readers especially may recoil.)

One solution might be to add something more to the premise of "random happenings." You could reveal that the last chapter of the book instructs the reader to try a test of whether things are really random or not. The reader is to tear up the book until a single word remains, etc.

Just a thought (maybe biased, as I've written 11 books). . .

Cheers,
Jerry
Message: Posted by: leosx1 (May 4, 2021 01:51AM)
Tearing and restoring a newspaper or card, yes. Tearing a book ? A huge pass for me, no thanks.
Message: Posted by: videoman (May 4, 2021 11:21AM)
Yeah, although I liked the concept, the book tearing seemed just plain strange to me. What an odd way to arrive at a word?
Probably plays fine for paid gigs, but at a dinner party performance for friends I fear people would now be certain Iíve gone mad.
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (May 4, 2021 11:23AM)
[quote]On May 3, 2021, Nathan Alexander wrote:
Okay. That is so good. It's fresh, and takes it to another level. Just wow. Original, more audience participation, fun premise, fair, what could be better? [/quote]

Fresh?
Oh how quickly we forget...
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14356
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (May 4, 2021 11:47AM)
[quote]On May 4, 2021, videoman wrote:
Yeah, although I liked the concept, the book tearing seemed just plain strange to me. What an odd way to arrive at a word?
Probably plays fine for paid gigs, but at a dinner party performance for friends I fear people would now be certain Iíve gone mad. [/quote]

Haha! Oh I agree, probably better for paid shows. And I'm a huge reader and book lover, like many of us. Ruining a book like this is anathema to me. But that's why I like it. Having said that, I can see having people come over for dinner (or whatever) and you casually steer conversation towards randomness, probability, etc.

You frown thoughtfully, then reach behind you on your bookshelf (or stack of books lying around everywhere in every room, like I have), searching for 'just such a book' and then finding it.

"You know," you say thoughtfully, riffling through, "there are actually some good stories about some crazy coincidences in this thing. Most of it was 'eh' but there was this one story... Here, let's try something I've been wondering about...I mean, if we're talking about randomness" And you go into it. "Like I said," as they watch, thinking you're nuts while you tear, "it was only 'so-so'"...pause a beat, "and it doesn't 'bring me joy'" for the KonMari fans, or "... but hey, I've already read it...", or "I guess when they say, 'tear into a good book'..."

Again, this would be great for stage, but I think could be used well casually if it felt spontaneous and totally separate from other effects (not within an informal set or performance, maybe).
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (May 4, 2021 11:48AM)
[quote]On May 4, 2021, the Sponge wrote:
[quote]On May 3, 2021, Nathan Alexander wrote:
Okay. That is so good. It's fresh, and takes it to another level. Just wow. Original, more audience participation, fun premise, fair, what could be better? [/quote]

Fresh?
Oh how quickly we forget...
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14356 [/quote]

Eh, I didn't forget, because I didn't know. So would you be okay with, "It's a little fresh"? Is that better? :)
Message: Posted by: videoman (May 4, 2021 12:54PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2021, the Sponge wrote:


Fresh?
Oh how quickly we forget...
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14356 [/quote]

Hey thanks, Chad Long's similar effect was the first thing I thought of when I watched Ryan's performance, but I couldnít remember the name of Chad's effect.
I saw Chad do it at a lecture a couple years ago. It didnít have the same weird feeling about ruining a book because of the already loose pages.
Message: Posted by: brodertim (May 4, 2021 04:43PM)
Is this the same routine in his Penguin Live Act?
Message: Posted by: toberman (May 4, 2021 10:41PM)
Yes
Message: Posted by: Luke Dancy (May 5, 2021 02:14PM)
I'm live with Ryan Schlutz right now talking all about Random Happenings.
Watch now to see if this one is for you!

[youtube]42vyPGyzpuQ[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Forza Azzurri (May 6, 2021 04:40AM)
In my collection development class in library school on the first day of class the professor handed us each a book, then had us come up to the front of the classroom where there was a garbage can and he instructed us to tear up the book and throw it away. We were all shocked and mortified. It was our first lesson in what librarians call "weeding." As a necessary process to keep a library healthy, you HAVE to discard books (poor condition, redundant, not relevant to the institution, not valuable, etc.). Though the lesson was taken, imagine a room full of future librarians being so traumatized!

I'm planning on acquiring RANDOM HAPPENINGS and performing it at our annual (except for last year) library holiday party. I expect much hooting and yelling.

Professor Evans required us to purchase a textbook he had written and for which he was getting royalties on each sale. Stating up front he didn't think this was ethical, when he was paid the royalties by the publisher later in the term, he gave us each a shiny, new $5 bill thus returning the royalties he had earned from us to us. Knowing what I know now I'd probably do a bill transpo in the class today.

My anal retentive nature, typical for a librarian, requires me to cite the text: Evans, G. Edward. Developing Library Collections. Littleton, CO : Libraries Unlimited, 1979.
Message: Posted by: Forza Azzurri (May 12, 2021 11:03AM)
[quote]On May 4, 2021, the Sponge wrote:
[quote]On May 3, 2021, Nathan Alexander wrote:
Okay. That is so good. It's fresh, and takes it to another level. Just wow. Original, more audience participation, fun premise, fair, what could be better? [/quote]

Fresh?
Oh how quickly we forget...
https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14356 [/quote]

Thanks, Sponge! You just saved me a small chunk of change by posting that link to Chad Long's Spineless (which I purchased). I'm sure Random Happenings has some nice adjustments, and it does come with the necessary props and gimmicks. But Spineless was just what I needed to develop my own version of tearing up a book in front of aghast librarians as part of a mentalism (book test) routine. A question for those who have purchased Random Happenings: does Ryan Schlutz give a nod to Chad Long's version? Not knowing the exact details of Random Happenings I'm not even sure if that's warranted. Just curious though.
Message: Posted by: Illusion77 (May 12, 2021 10:29PM)
Just an FYI, I have Chad Long's Spineless for sale in the 'DVD's for sale' section, if anyone is looking for one.
Message: Posted by: Frank Yuen (May 13, 2021 06:09PM)
[quote]On May 12, 2021, Forza Azzurri wrote:A question for those who have purchased Random Happenings: does Ryan Schlutz give a nod to Chad Long's version? Not knowing the exact details of Random Happenings I'm not even sure if that's warranted. Just curious though. [/quote]

Based on the demo vid for Random Happenings the only thing similar to Chad Long's effect is that both use loose pages. Methodology is entirely different.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mindbender (May 13, 2021 09:03PM)
Gerry McCambridge did something similar long ago - I believe it was his NBC show "The Mentalist" in 2003, where he stood back to back with an actress and they tore a script. Don't recall the details, and can't find the video. So, not much help, I guess!!
Message: Posted by: BathTub (May 25, 2021 06:18AM)
I got this through Ryan's Penguin Lecture and used it in my show last year, it went down really well! I'm slightly miffed that's more available now! The shock of tearing the book up is quite a moment. One thing I learnt during my performances is that you really have to highlight to the audience that the spectator can choose a word, as someone afterwards incorrectly thought they guessed the method (that the book was just one word repeated, it's not). It's very quick to reset, just a minute or two off stage.
Chad Long's Spineless is a different effect, though I guess it could be adapted to something pretty similar. I don't recall Ryan referencing it in the old instructions, maybe the new video (which I don't have) mentions it.