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It's about what the audience experiences. My strongest material possible is what I find I kill with. Based on your post you'd be surprised at what "does the trick".

You've also never seen Fritzner Paul with a ball and vase.

Hilford is another who will amaze an audience with the simplest of magic items.
Hoff Man
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In regards to what Tom stated, I suspect the Hanky Mouse, properly performed, might go over better than the Floating Cork for an audience of 4 or 5 year olds.

But as far as the thread is concerned, what someone may consider a “flaw” of method may be nothing more than an effect “weakness”. Most methods have at least one. But this does not make a method flawed. It would be like saying Zombie is a flawed effect since it cannot be performed up close and surrounded, (though I’m sure it has and will be attempted by someone).

The fun part of a lot of this stuff is learning to accentuate the strengths of an effect while at the same time camouflaging or downplaying the weaknesses.

Someone once asked Slydini in regards to his Linking Safety Pin routine, “what do you do when someone asks to examine the pins?” He replied, “they don’t ask.”

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I would like to tell you about something that happened several years ago when I was giving some private lessons to a group of absolute magic beginners. I think there is a lesson here that relates to this thread.

I was teaching a student a chop cup routine and his question was "what if the spectator picks up the cup before the climax?" My response was that they don't do that. The next week he says "I did the trick and they picked up the cup"

This lead me to think why he was having this problem and I decided that the answer was a lack of authority and control and that the only real answer was to work enough and you won't have that problem, but that answer is a bit of a paradox.

Gil Scott
Tom Lauten
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On 2008-09-27 15:33, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Sorry if I came across that way, I had no intent on slinging anything, mud or any other dark substance. My intent was quite the opposite.


You didn't mate, not at all, it isn't your style and we all know that... my comment after yours was purely an accident of timing and placement.

Mine was a general comment on the nature of the "review" thread.
Living at and loving Loch Ness!
Floyd Collins
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Tom Lauten, that's why I am trying to move the performance discussions on to its own thread.

I agree with Alex that simplicity is the winner for me as well. As I understand it, this card cannot be handed out for inspection. Although that is ok for some, there are others who would not perform it due to the un-clean factor. I can fully appreciate that as well.

I normally do not have an issue with such things unless I repeat the effect over to the same person. Let me just clarify something here, we are talking about a walk around close up effect, not a stage effect. I can tell this, that on stage you have a lot more management ability then you do in a pub or around a table. I think those who are worried about the card are so because audience management is a lot different one on one then on a stage.

Can’t wait to get mine!!!
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Joe Roberts
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On 2008-09-28 08:48, ALEXANDRE wrote:

You've also never seen Fritzner Paul with a ball and vase.

I've never even heard of Fritzner Paul. Perhaps that proves the point that Tom was making.

And Steve, I was using "flaw" and "weakness" interchangeably. This is not just some language quirk of mine because they are, in fact, synonyms.

Just to be clear, the statement I made that changed the course of this thread was along the lines of, "The fact that the card can't be handled freely by a spectator has made this a non-worker FOR ME."

Again, just "for me."

Speaking of "workers," in Michael Close's book he talks about having a filtration system in regards to what effects you perform. One of my personal filters for an effect is if it involves something interesting -- not just a pen, pad of paper, or even a deck of cards -- but something inherently INTERESTING, I want that object to be able to be freely handled by the audience if they so desire. Why? Because wanting to look at an interesting object that you've presented to them is a natural instinct of a person that likes you. And one of the things I refuse to do when I perform is quell someone's natural instincts.

So it doesn't matter to me how many people post and say nobody ever asks to see the card. The dynamic I establish when I perform is one in which if they DIDN'T ask to take a closer look, it would indicate disinterest. This is not true for everyone, of course, but it's the case for me.

Again: for me.
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That's fair enough Joe...

the suggestion I had, I know I bored you with it via pm - but in case other people feel the same...

I suggest using an online headlines/newspaper generator and "do what's needed" - that way, though you can't leave them with the lead them onto something..a sealed envelope you place in their hand, after the normal card explanation - which you can leave with them to read whatever suits your performance...

sorry to be vague - but the owners of the card, or those worried about the points raised at least have "something" to mess around with...however, that does give you something else to carry, and takes it away from the pocket-mentalism genre...
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Nathan Pain
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I am actually gonna get ballsy and show the WHOLE card before I start...I find that if you hold the card vertically, they won't notice much...if you show the whole card before the beginning...they won't need to examine...because they already have seen the full monty...

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Hey...the more people who learn the carlyle card move...the better...
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Marc Spelmann
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On 2008-09-28 05:44, ThomasBerger wrote:
Just in response to something Tony said about the tricks being immaterial....
I would respond and claim that that is one of the great myths of magic.

I heard this in magic clubs when I was a kid, it was the rage in
the 60's and 70's , taking slum magic and creating a magician fooler.
(Mike Skinner even publishing a magician fooler ball and vase effect in Genii in the 60's)

My claim is that this is a myth largely confined to magic clubs.

If that were true, Uri would be doing the ball and vase or folding paper bunnies,
and many of the pro's wouldn't be doing the same effects.

Presentation is important-
BUT so is choice of material.
BOTH are vital.

Yes, a pro can do "slum magic" and make it entertaining.
But it is unlikely you will make your living from doing crap effects.

Likewise, you can perform a strong effect with little/no presentation,
and still make a strong impression.

BUT you need both presentation and the strongest effect
possible to survive long term in in the real world.

Vernon said the same thing--use your head,
think very carefully about choosing an effect.
Choose the strongest effects.

And while anecdotes are interesting, they are not evidence.
So lets set some benchmarks.

I am assuming we are talking about performing:

1-for money (possibly substantial $)
2-for laypeople (conferences colleges and other venues where professionals are booked)
3-pro or semi pro where you NEED repeat work.

In this world, you need repeat work from laypeople.
Bottom line.

Marketing guru Seth Godin says good is not enough in this world,
not even very good.

You need to be "remarkable"-- you need people to remark about your act,
to be talked about.

And it needs to be remarkable to laypeople.
Not magicians, clubs, friends and family.
They won't get you bookings.

So here is the question--
Looking at the top 10-20 percent of performers,
Who is doing weak material because he is a brilliantly entertaining performer?
Who is doing crap filler?

I don't know anyone, but I could be wrong.

Conversely, I see most pro's doing the same/similar effects,
because they are powerful and are talked about by laypeople.
Look at the acts of Karges, Salem, Kurtz, Conover, Carter ....
look at the overlap of effects.

The truth of the matter is, a large percentage of effects that are published,
probably even most, are crap.

Professional performer Nimrod Harel says the same thing in Shalosh-
"It's a badly kept secret of the trade that many of the mentalism
products on the market today would be far better served as kindling than for a professional show."

I don't know any professional performer who would not pick the absolute strongest material possible for a performance because his living depends on it.

You can entertain people with a hanky folded as a mouse, but you wouldnt have a chance if you in the same room as Fred Kaps performing his dancing cork.

Value is determined by comparison.


Although not an exact science, Toms post is true..
Two excellent performers in opposite rooms, one is vanishing a hanky and finding a card whilst the performer next door is bending metal in peoples hands and levitating. I know which room I would go in and most of the audiences I perform for..

Most effects can be enhanced by a strong performance and a performer with a strong charismatic personality but what you choose to do is equally important.. I have not seen Pauls effect so can't comment but just thought I'd butt in as Toms post is true..

We strive to be the best at what we do by using strong performing skills along with strong effects..

It's not goodbye, just see you later...
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Thanks, Marc
Appreciate your comments.
Floyd Collins
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No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.
Roger Kelly
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I've got mine and absorbed it now. I performed it for my girlfriend and she chose, what in my opinion, was the worst of the outcomes. She didn't ask to see the card when I convinced her the "subliminal reasoning" of her choice. She though it very clever and she is a huge cynic - believe me!

Let us not lose track of the simplicity of this very convenient piece of mentalism - AND the low cost! Rocket Science it isn't, and groundbreaking and reputation making I doubt it - but it's certainly a clever piece of thinking and well worth the money invested.

A happy customer here Paul.
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