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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Dynamite Book Test -- an actual review -- no speculation (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mehtas
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Dennis,

What are the possibilities of that person (helping assistant) being a killjoy ? are the risks worth it ?

Many years ago magus magic in U.K came up with a trick that uses the instant stooge.

I saw them perform at a magic circle and two magicians were used as assistants. even though the basic effect looked good, the looks on those assistans face gave away everything. they were led into something it seemed.

I think if your helping asistant don't look very surprised, most in the aud. wont.

This is just MY opinion.

All this got me intrested in buying it. if someone in U.K wants to sell the single book version cheaply, let me know.


:kewl:
Badger
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Ireland
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Magic arty,

I think if Spinnato knew the method given he would not of bought it.
doiron
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Mr. Loomis, the argument can be made that I should have included the heading, "The Ultimate Platform, Banquet, and Stage Book Test", although the inclusion or omission of it neither adds nor detracts to the points I made. I did, however quote the full ad copy, word for word. I don't consider testimonials part of the copy. However, if my definition of that is wrong, I'm sorry. Again, the inclusion or omission of testimonials does not address the phrase, "prearranged stooge".

I know a prearranged stooge is not an instant stooge. My point is that claiming no prearranged stooge leads one down the path of thinking no stooge at all. Obviously this isn't the same thing and magicians use verbal strategems to fool the lay public all the time. I follow that. My point is simply that this one phrase is enough to convince some magicians to buy this routine and then discover that they can't or won't perform it.

I don't doubt the testimonials. I don't doubt that it can be a strong routine in the right hands. I don't doubt that you are an excellent and principled magician who did not set out to mislead. I've enjoyed reading your posts for years here and on the EG.

I only suggest that there will be some disappointed magicians who believed something that wasn't precisely true. There are those of us who just don't think it's right to use an instant stooge unless it's for a humourous and obvious routine. And your ad copy suggests (accidentally, I'm sure) otherwise.

As that famous philosopher, Fabio, once said, "the world is a beautiful place because there are so many colours" - and there's room for all of us in it.
Spinnato
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Denny;

I don't know what world you're performing in but in the one I work I know for a fact that after leaving the venue word would spread like wild fire as to the method therefore undermining my entire show. I'm real sorry about beating a dead horse and I don't want to get into a p.i.s.sing contest with you but in my professional opinion this booktest is not do-able REGARDLESS of spectator management. You may think you look like a hero to the audience while on stage but trust me when I tell you that after you leave it will be a different story.

And Arty. You're right. Your comment did come off harsh. More than harsh. Condescending in fact.
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2005-11-01 16:12, Spinnato wrote:
....in my professional opinion this booktest is not do-able REGARDLESS of spectator management. You may think you look like a hero to the audience while on stage but trust me when I tell you that after you leave it will be a different story.


What about the professionals who recommend it, and have noted the success they have had using it? Surely they are capable of seeing what really works on an audience and what does not.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Badger
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A lot of pro's recommend a lot of things, that dose not mean it is good.
Turk
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I don't have a dog in this hunt and I am not a professional magician. I certainly appreciate rhew many comments that suggest that if you use an instant stooge, when he gets back to his seat (or after the show) he will reveal the method and soon the method will be spread all over the audience--thereby weakening your entire show.

Without outright discounting this point (I lean very heavily in support of the point), I do seem to recall reading somewhere that using instant stooges can be very beneficial and does not automatically result in the instant stooge revealing "all" to the other audience members. The basis of this position is that the instant stooge becomes the hero of the effect and is the one seen as possessing the "magic powers" and that he enjoys the attention and would be loathe to reveal the methodology because, by so doing, he lessens his status in the eyes of the other audience members. Any truth to this position?

I would suppose that the success or failure of using an instant stooge would depend on the magician's ability to pick wisely and control superbly. Just throwing this out for discussion and I'd be appreciative for any professionals to discuss this concept and offer their thoughts and experience with the same.

Thanks for any info.

Mike

P.S. I have a personal hang-up with book tests becasue, in my mind, they ALL seem somewhat contrived and unneccessary. Why? What is the justification for using a book to pick a word? If you were a real mindreader Mr. Magician, why don't you let me just pick ANY word that comes to my mind and then you tell me what it is? Why the book? I can see the justification for writing it down (it both concentrates your thought waves and/or verifies the word that was being thought of), but, again, why the book?
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
p.b.jones
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HI,
Whilst this is nothing to do with the effect in question it has to do with instant stooge, The owner of a local fish and chip shop goes out of his way at every mrention of magic or magicians to say how much he hates Paul Daniels/magic and how he used to love him and magic the reason because paul got him up for the electic chairs in a stage show (instant stooge) he felt embaraced and cheated .
phillip
Magic Arty
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Spinnato:
Sorry man, didn't mean to come off that way. posts don't always reflect the intent.
Best,
Arthur
atsmagic
Arthur Atsma

Feeling real happy now!
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2005-11-01 16:45, Badger wrote:
A lot of pro's recommend a lot of things, that dose not mean it is good.


Hmmm.... Guess a lot of pros also put down things, too, but that does not necessarily it is bad.

Goes both ways. To each his own.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Terry Holley
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Interesting discussion. My following thoughts are based purely from the standpoint of the method. I do not know Dennis and have nothing to gain or lose in regard to what I am stating.

I understand the importance of "mystery," but is this about entertainment or about trying to convince the audience that we also have "supernatural" power?

I used the concept hundreds of times during a run at a theme park. It is a fooler - but one of the other reasons I enjoyed it was because it was so bold. Also, as has been stated, stage management can put the spectator on your side and keep him there as they become a "star." Believe it or not, some people won't even believe the explanation if it is given, especially if the person being given the explanation has participated in one of the other "legit" (as some of you might contend) demonstrations.

During that theme park run I tripped up once, but I did not ruin my reputation (obviously the venue had much to do with me not being hurt by the situation). I made the best of what could have been a bad situation. So can it happen? Well, it happened to me. But I think most of us have had something go wrong with something at one time or another, whether it be mentalism or "straight" magic.

Is it possible that many of us have had this ruse pulled on us by others and have not even realized it? On the other side of the coin, I hear many magicians saying that the only explanation for effects they can't explain must be this principle to one degree or another.

If we don't realize that successful professionals can and do use the concept, then we have been fooled by it. If we think everyone is using it, we have more to learn.

And as a side note, some of you would have really enjoyed buying effects in the 50 and 60's based on the ad copy! Anyone remember "Richard Himber's Newsweek Production"?

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Steve Dela
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Quote:
On 2005-11-01 17:07, Turk wrote:
P.S. I have a personal hang-up with book tests becasue, in my mind, they ALL seem somewhat contrived and unneccessary. Why? What is the justification for using a book to pick a word? If you were a real mindreader Mr. Magician, why don't you let me just pick ANY word that comes to my mind and then you tell me what it is? Why the book? I can see the justification for writing it down (it both concentrates your thought waves and/or verifies the word that was being thought of), but, again, why the book?


To justify a book (if you really have to) doesn't take toom muc thinking. The top pros have their own ways of doing it. I have a way if needed, but why do you have to justify it?

Steve Dela
http://stevedela.com
Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle
FFFF
Spinnato
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Once again, Mr Joglar has answered all your questions regarding this booktest.
http://www.magicbackstage.blogspot.com/
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On 2005-11-02 17:06, Spinnato wrote:
Once again, Mr Joglar has answered all your questions regarding this booktest.
http://www.magicbackstage.blogspot.com/


But did he answer too much? Is it really ethical to explain the workings of another person's creation as he has on his blog?

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
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Quote:
On 2005-11-01 16:12, Spinnato wrote:
Denny;

I don't know what world you're performing in but in the one I work I know for a fact that after leaving the venue word would spread like wild fire as to the method therefore undermining my entire show. I'm real sorry about beating a dead horse and I don't want to get into a p.i.s.sing contest with you but in my professional opinion this booktest is not do-able REGARDLESS of spectator management. You may think you look like a hero to the audience while on stage but trust me when I tell you that after you leave it will be a different story.


Spinatto,
What makes you think that the audience will still be around after you're gone? Not all shows work like that. If fact, most don't. When I perform a public stage show or following a banquet, my performance is the last event and because I have some packing up to do, the audience is usually gone before I get my van loaded and hit the road. The relevance of the Headline was a clue that this is designed for Platform, Banquet, and Stage shows, just like it says. It is not intended to be a walk around close up kind of thing. While you are entitled to your opinion, I can point to hundreds of successful performances in which the problems you suggest are going to befall the performer, just were non-issues. Didn't happen. Not once. Just as U.F. Grant and John Murray originally stated in their instructions for Dyna. I've not hear any reports that these difficulties befell performers that used Tony Raven's Necromantic Grimoire Book test, which also uses the same principle. And Al Mann, a pretty savy mentalist also marketed a book test based on the same principle. I don't think he was the kind of guy that want to try to rip off magicians by selling them something that doesn't work. Your comment about magicians is a very poor example. All magicians react very differently than lay people.

I repeat: I have personal experience with the principle. So Does Tony Chaudhuri, although not as much. So did Tony Raven, Al Mann, and John Murray. Bill Palmer and David Alexander are working performers that have used book tests for years. David bought mine, knowing exactly what he was getting. Bill's review is at the top of this thread. You simply claim that they are ALL wrong... that you know better.

Your opinion is based on just what you speculate is going to happen. Nothing more. You are so absolutely sure that you are right that you simply write off the opinions of those that have actually done it!

In the right venue, for the right audience, this is one of the strongest things that I do. And, in the wrong venue, for the wrong audience, I have enough sense not to do it. This is true of many magical effects. Many good tricks can only be performed when the angles are correct, or for the right age group, or for more intelligent audiences. A part of being a good performer is knowing what effect to do in a particular venue. That's why this is not the only book test in my repertoire. This thread is not the place for that discussion, but the ad points you away from doing this in intimate and close-up situations by telling you that my book test designed for that kind of work is on the way. And, it is.
Denny Loomis
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Dennis Loomis
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Terry,
Magicians ethics? What's that? I used to think that they existed. But, over the years, that idea has been really hard to believe in. I was one of a small group (relatively) world wide that obtained the rights to perform Robert Harbin's Zig Zag Girl Illusion. If ever anyone tried to protect his body of work, it was Harbin. He put all the good stuff into a book and sold it for what was back then a large sum of money. ONLY the purchasers of the book could make and perform the illusions and smaller magic. We had to sign a secrecy agreement. I believe that I was the third magician to perform the Zig Zag on the North American Continent. The second one was Doug Henning, and we were good friends and he helped with the construction of mine! Amazingly, the first guy, whose name I will not mention publicy, did not have the rights! He saw a TV performance by Harbin and built it. He did not even know the full secret and built it incorrectly!

Today, all of the "ethical" magic companies build Zig Zags. I've seen them sitting in the showrooms of many of the illusion builders. I quit doing it years ago because for a time it was in almost every magic show. This is just one sad story of the disregard for ethics in the magic community. There are dozens and dozens more just like it. We virtually lost the creative genius of Steve Dusheck because so many of his ideas were ripped off that he just stopped trying to create and sell magic. What a shame. Thank Goodness that Jim Steinmeyer has hung in there. He has been deprived of hundreds of legitimate royalties for his wonderful Origami Box illusions because so many builders have just helped themselves to it.

Ah, but it's time to get off the soap box and get back to work on the new book test.

Denny Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
Spinnato
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Denny;

You're confusing my comments with those of someone else. I made no mention of walk around or misleading advertising. My b.itch is simply about the method, your use of an instant stooge and the violation of SAM's #1 Code of Ethics which states, and I quote:

"Oppose the willful exposure to the public of any principles of the Art of Magic, or the methods employed in any magic effect or illusion."

And that's exactly what happens when you pass this book out to a complete stranger. I again refer you to Mr Joglar's review which IMHO is 1000% accurate. It can be found here: http://www.magicbackstage.blogspot.com/

And please don't preach to me about spectator management. That's simply BS and a poor excuse to justify the method used.

In regard to U.F. Grant and Mr Murray: they performed in the 40's. IT'S 2005! Audiences are much more sophisticated today. Hell, back then you could actually convince an audience that you were REALLY pulling off your finger when in reality it was your thumb.

Again, your effect is not for real world performers. Just try this trick in a comedy club setting and let me know how long it takes before some smartasss yells out the method. Then what? That's why I'll stick with Flashback, MOAB or ANY other booktest that can easily be handled.
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2005-11-03 21:02, Spinnato wrote:
Again, your effect is not for real world performers. Just try this trick in a comedy club setting and let me know how long it takes before some smartasss yells out the method. Then what? That's why I'll stick with Flashback, MOAB or ANY other booktest that can easily be handled.


It is certainly for real world performers, based on the fact that real world performers have used it, and from their comments, will continue to use it.

As to the setting issue you mention (a comedy club setting), Denny addressed that in his post:

Quote:
In the right venue, for the right audience, this is one of the strongest things that I do. And, in the wrong venue, for the wrong audience, I have enough sense not to do it. This is true of many magical effects.


I am thinking twice, however, re: your exposure comments.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Dennis Loomis
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Re: Exposure. Many, many performers use stooges and feel that letting in a single person to fool many is an acceptable technique. Annemann said that he would use several stooges to fool one person. But that's a judgement call. If you don't feel that way, you are entitled to your opinion.

What about the balls over the head as popularized by Slydini and done by hundreds of others. In the name of entertainment, this simple technique is exposed to the entire audience except for the one person on stage. How do you feel about that?

The Dyna principle is pretty much unique. The person that finds out how it is done will not be able to figure out other tricks because of that knowledge. The "exposure" of this simple contrivance to ONE person in order to fool hundreds is an extremely small price to pay. I don't think that even for the person involved it means anything like undermining the rest of my show. I find that suggestion to be insulting. If this person had a good time, he's not going to forget that. He has one magic secret, sure, but so does anyone that opens up a magic book in a library or bookstore. He knows that you use gimmicks, but then 99% of the audience assumes that anyway. And, I am not of the school that attempts to create the impression that Mentalism is REAL and I have supernatural powers of some kind. In fact, I consider that to be highly unethical. David Hoy had it right... he labeled himself a fraud right at the beginning. Copperfield and Blaine and Chris Angel use the word "Illusion" all the time. So, if you do the Dynamite Book test, ONE spectator finds out that yes, magicians do use gimmicks. So What? Your continuing suggestions that this somehow undermines and destroys the entire performance is laughable. On several occasions when I was performing Dyna, I used the guy that hired me. And, most of them hired me again. Does that sound like my credibility was destroyed?

Laymen know a lot more that we give them credit for. The term "palming" is used by lay people and they have a general understanding that card sharps and magicians hide things in their hands. And still, most of us fool them anew using the principle they are aware of.

Spinnato, I am sorry that we cannot see eye to eye. You continue to insist that the thing is just not doable while many of us have done it and are continuing to. What does that say about your credibility?


Denny Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
Spinnato
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Denny;

For some unknown reason I just can't seem to let this go. I've purchased many items over the years that haven't met with my approval but for some reason this Dynamite Book Test of yours is just a thorn in my side. It's exposure in the clearest form and it WILL undermine the rest of your performance inspite of what you may think. Also, I totally disagree with your opinion of the spectator being quiet about the method simply because he had a good time. Bull!

That's it. I'm done with this topic.

Best wishes-
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