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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Final Answer by Richard Osterlind (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mormonyoyoman
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It would be sooooo easy to start this review by saying that there's nothing new in this routine, that the props are inexpensive to find and easy to gimmick, and that one really shouldn't waste one's money and time on this. But it would be a Big Lie, all for the purpose of trying to keep this all to myself, greed-head that I am.

However, a look at the package itself will "separate the men from the boys" (in a manner of speaking, without any intent of sexism). For someone who THINKS they understand mentalism, it may look like there's not much there. The props ARE inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to use. The method IS simple, and physically easy. In fact, this entire routine is VERY easy to do -- and that would be the downfall of someone who doesn't have a deep respect for this material and its creator.

*The Final Answer* (not to be confused with anything about bills and lemons) is one of three Question & Answer (Q & A) routines which Richard Osterlind has demonstrated on video. (The other two are "Thought Scan" on Mind Mysteries Vol 1, and the classic Q & A routine by Annemann on one of the Easy to Master Mind Medicals DVDs.) Q & A's effect is to read the thoughts of a number of people in one's audience. The concern of the actor is to obtain those thoughts by hook or by crook. To the audience, most Q & A routines look alike; the "secret" work is what makes the difference.

One more thing: a classic Q & A also includes predictions, actual answering of thought-of questions, and what has come to be called "cold reading." (It was once called "that crazy stuff that Sherlock Holmes did.") "Thought Scan" didn't cover this (although it certainly could include it); "classic Q & A" covered it to a degree. "The Final Answer" manual gives some basic instruction in this, but "strongly urge(s)" us to "find a copy" of George Anderson's book *It Must Be Mindreading.* Osterlind may be being modest here; "the Final Answer" manual may give only basic instruction, but it's good and meaty instruction. Richard is known for his condensed method of instruction. That is, he will teach in ten pages what many others would teach in 125 pages - and teach it just as effectively.

That said, a Q & A routine requires consumate acting skills and "the Final Answer" is almost designed for the person who can convince themselves that they are doing what it looks like they're doing. (Chet *strongly* suggests that anyone performing "the Final Answer" study Richard's trilogy of books on making magic real to one's self and to one's audience.) Indeed, the ease of the routine gives the actor lease to spend his energy and time on making this *real* instead of learning sleights and instructions.

So what IS it that one DOES during "the Final Answer," you ask? Here's what your audience will see:

The mysterious-yet-charming person passes out perforated slips of paper on which people write their questions. Said people then tear those slips in two, fold the written-upon portions so that our mysterious host cannot read them - and aforementioned host collects them in a pencil pouch, then dumps them on a table....and proceeds to ignore them. The remaining portions of those slips, with identifying numbers on them, are collected in the pouch. Our hero now pulls random slips from the pouch and proceeds to read that person's thoughts - AND answer their question(s) - AND predict their future - AND possibly tell something about their personality or life that they didn't write, or even suspect.

This is what your audience will feel:

"This can't be real, but I'm watching it happen."

"He must have read those slips, but he couldn't have."

"A person can't predict the future, but I find myself believing him."

(Change the preceding pronouns to feminine if necessary; there's no gender requirement in this routine.)

You can see Osterlind perform this routine on Vol 7 of Mind Mysteries Too, and you can see these thoughts on the faces of his audience.

You can also see that this routine comes with a great deal of responsibility. Perform it as instructed, and you will have even the skeptical believing you - even if only a little. Your advice will, therefore, carry immense weight.

This routine is underpriced. This should only be performed by the most practiced of mentalists, but even I plan to rehearse this until I'm ready.

*jeep!
--Chet
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Parson Smith
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Chet,
I have mine, but have not even looked at it.
When I get a free day, thanks to you, I will bring it out.
Peace,
Parson
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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Decomposed
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Chet,

And you can add Modern Mindreader to that stack also. Richard demonstrates this on the new series also. THoughts are written down on slips of card stock and each one sealed in an envelope. Performer devines one at a time.

Just check the reactions of even the LnL audience on this one. Especially the wife of one man who has a beard and gray hair and glasses.

Im sure Final Answer is strong also but haven't experimented with it.
mormonyoyoman
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(Now that we're speaking of the videos...) I was sooo saddened that "the Very Modern Mindreader" was on the DVD. As much as I enjoyed watching Richard performing it (and picking up a few subtleties) it was nice to have that (as well as StenoESP) available only to people who buy & read books. Those two routines are incredibly stunning, and can even be performed close-up.

*jeep!
--Chet
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sbays
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Here Here Chet!

I recently got a chance to do this routine at a local coffee house after being prodded to do a few demomstrations. Long story short, I am a hobbyist and do not do this for a living. After doing TFA, I was hired to do a company party by a spectator that was watching my routine. Being paid quite well for an hours work!

For those who have ever questioned if the L&L reactions are real world??? YES!! I had people jumping out of their seats and playing soccer with their jaws. This is a hit!
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
bobser
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My kids have bought the set for me for Xmas. But they won't let me have them till Xmas day. Grrrrrrr!!!!!

Bobser
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inorthcott
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I got mine this week and I will definatelyt follow Chets advice to practise practise practise.

Ian
"Life's too short for wasting - for ifs and might have beens"
David Numen
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This sounds very similar to the q&a part in Docc's $1000 Secret Seance...anyone have that AND Final Answer willing to compare and contrast?
Tony Razzano
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Bartlewizard,

I have the original seance from several years ago. I am not sure if the most recent one is the same or not, but assuming that it is ( or at least very similar), the bare bones of both Docc's and Richard's are the same; very different dressing, though. Docc's has one extra step, but that is because of his presentation. Docc has a lot more going on, though. Since you have Docc's, you know what he does.

Richard's is more direct. Its a direct Q&A. Period. No spirit guides or readings, etc.

One is as effective as the other depending on the makeup of your audience.

I guess it depends on your personna and your venue as to which one to use.

That's about as much as I can say without tipping anything.

Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
Sven Rygh
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Chet;
That was a great review, and I second every word of it.
As I mentioned somewhere else, I have been working with The Final Answer since March this year.
It is a great and stunning Q&A routine, and it is direct and easy to do.
If you follow Chet's advice and read the trilogy, and on top of that rehearse a bit of cold reading, you should be on the very safe side, - with a winner.

Sven
mormonyoyoman
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Quote:
On 2005-11-25 10:56, bartlewizard wrote:
This sounds very similar to the q&a part in Docc's $1000 Secret Seance...anyone have that AND Final Answer willing to compare and contrast?


As far as I can tell, the only similarities are those which each routine shares with all Q & A routines. Docc's is a little more over-the-top, with plenty of spooky brou-ha-ha to separate the mark from their dollar. Richard's is more direct, doesn't invoke spooks, and is far easier to perform.

*jeep!
--Chet
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Dario
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The routine is great, the only bad point is to go 3 times to the audience.
1)Giving the papers
2)Collecting the questions
3)Collecting the numbers

If you work in clubs is not a big problem but if you work on stage it can affect the rhythm of the show.

When I perform it, I prefer to give the papers at the begging when I'm going to the stage making my entrance walking from the audience to the stage when a voice in off is saying my introduction or at the first moments of my show after the first effect.

This kind of routine is better if you have before established your credibility as thought reader with some effects before. I have a diferent twist in the presentation, but what I love most of this kind or routines is that people is entertained, can be even funny and you can make the people feel positive about their feelings, inner potential and ways to afront the future.
Renaldi
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May I assume that The Final Answer is preferred to Thought Scan? I would appreciate all comments. I find The Final Answer the cleaner of the two.

Renaldi
mdspark
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You can even "break up" the readings...do 2 or 3..then another effect...2or 3 more..another effect..etc.. Kinda ties the whole show together. What do you guys think?

Mark
mormonyoyoman
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When it comes to "the Final Answer," I can only say: Try it. The routine seems extremely adaptable, and I don't think breaking it up into segments throughout the show would hurt it. I also don't know if it would help. This is something that would have to be road tested.

Right now, there are only two people with more than a month or two's experience; and only one of them has decades of experience with this routine. Perhaps we should be asking him what variations he's tried, and what led him to "whittle" this particular presentation.

*jeep!
--Chet
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Dario
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Hi Renaldi.
In my opinion Thought scan is better for stage procedure, due that you need to go to the audience just one time.

For more intimate situations is good consider the final answer. But don't forget to look for different methods, theories, history of this kind of effect. Perhaps you'll find inspiration, different methods, that allows you be more yourself.

Hi mdspark,

Of course you can do the Q&A as a hook along your performance. In my modest opinion is not the best way to do it due to the impact that a well done Q&A routine has in the audience. It creates a special climax the people wanting to be answered, the ad libs you can say, my presentation at least needs to be done in one block. But, as always, is a question of try and see if in suits to you.
Richard Osterlind
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Let me address one point about The Final Answer in regards to the number of times you go into the audience.

If, like on the video, you have a fairly small audience, it is actually an "advantage" to stay in their midst while you pass out the papers, collect them, etc. You keep everyone's attention and keep it very personal.

If, however, you want to do the routine in a larger stage setting, you can alter the working somewhat. You can pass out the slips and pens by just stepping to the front of the audience and letting a couple of specatators pass things around. You can direct them from the stage. Then you go out to collect the written on slips. Finally, after the questions slips are dumped on the table, you can just direct everyone to remember their number and pass the folded number slips to the front. You collect them at the edge of the stage in the bag. In this way you speed up the action and let the audience do most of the work.

Richard
Dario
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Hello Richard,

Veeeeery good advices for improve the routine. Thank you

My option in a banquet situation with separate round tables is talk in the "first round" about what I see down in the audience, ab lib a little, and in the "second round" tell a funny false story about what happen once I went to the audience collecting the papers in a place so big that I was lost...all this talking when I'm collecting the papers.

I think in the second situation you expose, a interesting deatil for when you are going down to the audience is saying something like "Ok., tear the paper, and..ok. just like this" That is, to explain the instructions and go down to the audience as a casual thing.

Two more details:
-I prefer use "click-click" pens, for avoid the caps of the pens fall to the floor
-And interesting way to give (and collect) the papers is prefolding them and cliping them in the pen's hook.

Me Hope mine english could was understanding ;-)
7th_Son
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What would be the smallest audience size for this effect?
"Here's to our wives and girlfriends...may they never meet!" - Groucho Marx
mormonyoyoman
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Well I think I see a way it can be done for an audience of one, but if you go any smaller than that you're probably ruining it.

*jeep!
--Chet
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