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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical equations » » Magic Square presentation... (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alexander
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What do you think is the best way to present the Magic Square? As your amazing powers of maths?

I saw Derren Brown do a fantastic presentation, really got every one to think
"You clever ****".

What really gets a buzz rather than a dull writing out of numbers in a matrix?

Best wishs,
Alex
The Man Who Knows (how to make a good cup of Tea)

Mentalism -
Philosophy. the doctrine that mind is the fundamental reality and that objects of knowledge exist only as aspects of the subject's consciounes.
Ben Blau
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I think the best way to present a magic square is to conceal the principle, and present it as something other than a magic square.

The principle lends itself to the construction of other forcing matrices, wherein the "square" itself, as well as the unusual selection procedure, isn’t necessary.

Ben Blau
landmark
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Ben,
Could you give an example of what you mean?
Thanks, landmark
Bill Cushman
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I have two presentations that take it out of the realm of a clever math trick and I have found they get a great response.

In the first, I present it as an example of subliminal messages. The participant names a number after briefly looking at a completed magic square and that is the number that all the rows, columns, etc add up to.

This "proves" that their number wasn't free choice, but the consequence of the repeated subliminal suggestion implanted throughout the square. The response I have found this generates is along the lines of, "just how vulnerable am I to suggestion?" as opposed to
"You clever ****, how did you calculate so quickly?" I find this preferable in many situations.

The second presentation, utilizing the same method, is to frame it around savant-like abilities that we all possess. I state that many savant's skills are based on unconscious pattern recognition and that the magic square is an ancient tool to activate this process.

The completed square is flashed, a number is named and it is found that all the rows, columns, etc add up to this very number. The participant has unconsciously recognized the pattern. Again, this takes them away from thinking about my skills and turns the focus to theirs.

For more details, see the other thread on this same topic in this forum. Or do a search for other forums where this and other presentations have been explored exhaustively. Actually, I am kind of surprised you started a new thread on this forum given that one is clearly visible right near the beginning.
Ben Blau
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Landmark:

I don't mean to offend, but I'd rather not post specific examples here. Suffice it to say that I feel that very little creativity has been applied to disguising the principle in the literature.

It's too bad, since there are definitely more deceptive ways to make use of the principle, and handlings that are more appropriate to mentalism, in my opinion.

Ben Blau
chriscox
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Marc Salam presents it at the beginning of his act, getting two audience members to shout out a single digit number, then doing the square really quickly as a "mental warm up"

It kills... a great start to the act. But I think you'll struggle to try and beat Derren's presentation!
ddyment
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Chuck Hickok (see his book, Mentalism, Incorporated) also does it as his opener for corporate audiences.

I have a couple of different presentations, for trade shows and for walk-around work. For the latter, I do as Richard Webster suggests, creating a "talisman" -- a unique magic square -- for each individual on the back of my business card. I've found nothing better to encourage them to keep the card.

For both of these particular applications, you need a method that generates a completely different square each time. If you use one where only four numbers change, you'll get caught out! For walk-around, you also need something that can be done extremely quickly. My own technique -- from my first book -- satisfies both these criteria (which is why I created it in the first place); it's also easy to do, requiring only a single subtraction, thus making it more reliable in the heat of performance.

... Doug
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Greg Arce
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Check out Doug's book for some great takes on these mathematical principles.
When I do the square I do it as a somewhat funny prediction. I'll have someone think of a number and write it down... then get the number via thought transmitter, impression device, etc. I start having the person think of his number and try to send it to me. I usually say something like, "Hmm.. it has one odd digit? Right? Okay, and I think it's 3... right? Okay. Let's see..." I then turn my pad around and start quickly writing something, but always turning back to the subject and having him concentrate. I finish by turning the pad around and saying, "Do you see your number here?" they always stare at all the numbers and say No. I say, "You don't see it here? That's interesting. What was your number?" They call it out and I start showing how all the various sides add up to that number, It of course gets funnier as I prove the various ways the number comes up. I end by saying, "You don't see your number there... I seem to see it everywhere!"
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
LobowolfXXX
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Harry Lorayne's presentation of the Magic Square, as detailed in Reputation Makers, is a killer.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
MarkFarrar
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One of the real challenges can be disguising what you are doing until the end; otherwise people start to get ahead of you, and it sort of ruins the finale. Joe Riding has some interesting thoughts on this.
Mark S. Farrar

Email: [email]MarkFarrar@TheMagicCircle.co.uk[/email]
Web: www.MagicSquaresBook.com, www.RandMPublishing.com, www.TheDailyGoalMachine.com, www.ParvoBuster.com
grazza
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How does Derren Brown present it?
Sven Rygh
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I experimented with combining a magic square with getting the number from a Center Tear.

The spectators were really amazed when I after having finished filling in the square, asked a spectator what number he wrote down.

However, I don't do this anymore, it is in conflict with my principle of "one effect at the time."

Sven
Count Zapik
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I sometimes do a thing where:

1. I ask a spectator to choose a card out loud as I put a deck down on the table. Watch this space!

2. I have a second person think of a number larger than 20 and write it down secretly.

3. I try to divine this secretly thought of number. Having some difficulty deciding on one number I suggest that I will instead work out the combined sum of the two numbers involved.

4. I reveal a 4x4 square in which only one number is circled.

5. Spectator verifies that this is the correct sum of his still undisclosed number.

6. Taking the pack, the spectator is asked to count from one until his chosen number is reached and declare when it has been reached. When he says stop the card is turned over to reveal the first persons chosen card.

7. For the first time the number has been made apparent.

8. The wonder worker then says, Hey wait a minute the numbers I previously wrote down need looking at after all.

At this point the amazing nature of the magic square is revealed. Different audience members are asked to total differing parts of the square at the same time and shout out the total in unison when prompted.

Loud thunder is heard in the distance, lights flicker!

New religions are born!

Best wishes

Count Zapik Smile
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Andini
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I'm confused… how are you guys able to get the number before it's mentioned. I'm only familiar with calculating the square after a number is given.
landmark
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I believe you have Corinda. He mentions a number of ways that might be done.


Jack Shalom
Steve Hoffman
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Andini, look into threads on The Magic Café about John Cornelius' Thought Transmitter and/or the Mind Reader Wallet and/or similar devices. They can be used as utilities to do a Magic Square routine with a "secret" number.

Steve Hoffman
MarkFarrar
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Performing Orville Meyer's "Amazing Magic Square & Master Memory Demonstration" takes some of the heat off the magic square element, because of the memory demonstration component of this feat.
Mark S. Farrar

Email: [email]MarkFarrar@TheMagicCircle.co.uk[/email]
Web: www.MagicSquaresBook.com, www.RandMPublishing.com, www.TheDailyGoalMachine.com, www.ParvoBuster.com
Scott Cram
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The magic squares presentations that have been discussed on this thread concern two basic approaches:

1) Spectator gives the number, and the performer creates the magic square.
2) Spectator chooses a number, hides it from the magician, and the performer creates the magic square as an amazing prediction of the number.

Royal V. Heath, in the magic square chapter of Greater Magic, has a third approach that could lead to some interesting presentations. He suggests that the performer start creating the magic square, and asks for a number during the creation of the magic square.

This could work well with both of Bill Cushman's ideas of subliminal messages and savant-like abilities, for example.
kamiruaga
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I didn't know Derren Brown presented the Magic Square. Would it be possible to elaborate a bit more?
All those who believe in telekinesis,
raise my hand. (Kurt Vonnegut)"
Bill Cushman
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Scott,

Thanks for suggesting Heath's idea in Greater Magic as an avenue for my Subliminal Square and Savant Square. I've actually named them now, as Kenton is including them in Kentonism II. This will be a full treatise on the possibilities, including the close-up versions I've mentioned here and a stage version that doesn't rely on the OTL principle. Also included are suggestions for practicing and mastering the basics needed in the close-up presentation. I'm getting a great response to these routines and I think even people who are on the fence about magic squares will find these ideas put the square in a whole new light, far from a "math trick."
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