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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mnemonics performances- are they still amazing? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Parson Smith
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Inner circle
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I think that Richard Osterlind's Amazing Memory Demonstration is great.
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
+++a posse ad esse+++
drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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Belated thanks to Scott for his understanding of the framework of my memory act!

Fitzke, in The Trick Brain, dismisses memory feats as feats of skill, not to be confused with magic. People have heard of this skill, and they might admire the skill of a practiced performer, but many do not have the sense of having seen something impossible that is the essence of a magic performance. In this sense it is like juggling, glasswalking, sword swallowing, fire eating, and other sideshow skills.

Yet all of the circus and sideshow feats are entertaining if they are properly framed and presented. Many people in the audience refuse to believe that what they have seen is real, and they invent ridiculous explanations. I have had this reaction to my mnemonics performances. At the end, if you succeed in smashing through their wall of disbelief, they temporarily inhabit a world in which larger things are possible. Unfortunately, they often go back to their regular world after a good night's sleep.

It is different from the reaction to magic in the strict sense. Whit Haydn has framed this nicely in his posts about locking the audience in a kind of cage, bouncing between "It was magic/There is no such thing as magic." A great magic performance can achieve this, but I think too often we end up with, "It was a trick."

So perhaps the best we can hope for is a kind of bounce between "It was mnemonics/It was too much, too fast." If there wasn't a good element of entertainment to the act, that isn't enough to leave the audience with.

I have had a good reception to the kind of performance that Bill Palmer describes. If the group knows each other well, they are all interested in what the other people offer as items for the list. I no longer ask for objects, I ask for things from their memory. We collect all of their memories, then I make them mine as well. We have all shared something, which gets away from the freak show that mnemonics demonstrations can become unless handled carefully.

Yours,

Paul
Itay
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Paul, Jack, Corriveau, parson smith ,Scott ,PsychoMagi, scott b., Richard, Bill ,Murf, Ideation, Edward, ruben ,parson smith-

Thanks so much for your great thoughts.

Itay
roi_tau
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Israel
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I would like to comment on some of the things Scot said("Strong magic" by Ortiz)

Scot,I have been in your site(both of them) and read every word tha is written there.

You have great stuff over there.

In his book "The collected works of Alex Elmlsy vol 1") he tried to to what you
did by summering Ortiz's book into 2 questions:

1)Is something of interst happens ALL the time?
2)Can the audinece appriciate the effect?

Have fun.
Roi
graemesd
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I performed a 20 mnemonic list last night at a private function. It was a bout 1am with a disco!!! I did it at the first table then I did it at another then another - a totoal of five tables. Some interesting list. I stood between all the tables and had people shouting out numbers and objects and I was telling them which table which number etc etc. I have worked with mnemonics for years but never actually performed it. Last night was the first time and I will do it again and again.

Sometnhing really imprtant! remeber everyones name!!!!
obviously this isn't so easy in a theatre type setting but I had tables of 5-10 people and through the evening I over 3 hours I had learnt everyones name and as a finale I went throughnb the whole group there were 100 guests I must have got 95% right

getting mnemonics wrong doesn't matter it was fun when people were giving me help and cles on the names. The lists I got 99.99999999999999% right. I screwd up on ... 15 - orgasms!!! you would have thought id got that right. it just made the performance funnier.

I've been booked for next year

oh ps - I'm not a mentalist in the true sence of the word
drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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I just had a very good reaction to a mnemonic feat I'd always wanted to try, but I never had the chance until this week. I was giving a performance for a Rotary club with 65 members. I asked the president for the list of members with their business phone numbers. He promised this, but took his time, delivering the list three days before the performance.

For each person, I memorized their names, their business or profession, their work phone number, for some of them their home phone number, and their birthday if it was listed in the directory. After my dictionary demonstration, I asked for people who had never met me before to raise their hands. I asked three different volunteers their names, then I told them where they worked, the phone number (in one case both numbers), and their birthday. I did three people with no mistakes before concluding.

It is fair to say that they were stunned. I think that this has a big impact on this particular kind of group, because everyone remembers how long it took to get to know the other members when they first joined. This group, predominantly business people, puts a very high value on getting to know other people, so this effect plays to their interests. Also, since it isn't cards, they know that nothing slippery happened a magician touched a deck of cards. I am really sure that nobody thought of stooges, because the looks on people's faces when I told them their phone numbers and birthdays was priceless.

I would certainly do this effect again for a group of this kind.

Yours,

Paul
Itay
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Great idea.

Thanks,

Itay
Richard Osterlind
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I have a funny story here. I was asked to a party a while back and I knew that the only reason this person asked me was because he wanted a free show. There were about 50 people there and as I stolled around meeting everyone, I remembered their names. Sure enough, just before dinner the guests introduces me to the audience (without even asking me if I wanted to perform) and tells them what a famous mentalist I am. So I walk in front of everyone and start thanking them one by one, calling each one by their name! About half way through they started really getting stunned. By the time I was finished they burst into applause! I said, "Thank you very much. Let's have dinner!" And that was the end of that!

Richard
Memo
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Does anybody have got Itays mailaddress?
"There have been many claims by magicans and mentalists to the invention of mnemonics; some of the claimants have been world-famous performers - and none of them have a right to their claims!" - Corinda
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