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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ebooks, PDF's or Downloads » » In Plain Sight (by Mick Ayres & Jim Callahan) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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goldeneye007
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Quote:
On 2008-11-13 00:26, adamc wrote:
If you're looking for a good solution to the Open Prediction problem, you might want to check out BRRR! or 27 Below from Thomas Baxter's eBook, Not a Dianoetic Rage, both of which seem more fair than the first method used from In Plain Sight, which in my opinion is a little weak. Combining either of these methods with the presentation from In Plain Sight would be killer.


Thanks! Yes I've heard about these... I'll check that out!
Ben BV
goldeneye007
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On 2008-11-12 18:10, Lemniscate wrote:
Totally fair, Ben, mucho thanks for responding. I think this is a good topic and would like to discuss it a bit more if you are up for it. Maybe by PM or something so we don't derail this.


No problem Lem, with pleasure! That's what a forum is made for!
Ben BV
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Hi Ben,

I'm not offended at all (it'll take more than a Café opinion to do that). In truth, I'm grateful that you have taken the time to clarify your position. Your posts are very well written.

I do not agree at all that the method, presentation or premise behind In Plain Sight is in any way, shape or form "weak". There is plenty that is original within the routine.

Frankly, I feel you are still looking at this from a magicians-only point of view. I have NEVER designed my routines to please the well-versed magician. I like hanging around with 'em and sharing a cup of joe...but they are not in my audiences. IPS is scripted and choreographed to fool and entertain a lay-audience, period.

I have performed IPS hundreds of times in front of guest from all walks of life from around the world. Every reaction was not just well-received, but the resort guests would talk about it for days afterwards! You tried it twice and decided it was weak. So...we will just have to agree to disagree on this.

Thank you again for expressing your thoughts on this.

All the best,
Mick
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
goldeneye007
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Hello Mick!

Thanks for your nice answer - I really apreciated - and for having understood my points, even if our positions disagree on the matter. I also understand your approach, again even though I'm not convinced about everything (it's not really about only having tried it twice on my side but anyway...).

In consequence I will continue to give IPS a few tries and hope to have better answers.

All the best to you, I promise to give some feedback if I have significant responses from the audience!

Ben
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the fritz
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I have not purchased this product but, based on this discussion, I am fairly certain the first method (with a few motivational ploys added) is well-known and the bare bones of it can be found in a paperback on most magicians' bookshelves. If this is indeed the case, the ad description reflects Paul Curry's originally-described procedure and not this version of the trick. Though this effect (and I have used my variation of what I--like Lemniscate deduced also--am certain is the method to good success for a long time) will undoubtedly seem impossible for lay audiences, the actual procedure is indeed very different from the ad description.

I believe it's one thing to describe an effect by omitting certain psychologically invisible details (which is standard to prevent backtracking as Mick suggested), but it is an entirely different thing to CHANGE (as opposed to omit) the actual details of what is being witnessed, in an ad description. Marketing is tricky and magicians tread a very fine line in their attempt to arouse curiosity and interest from other magicians in their effect descriptions. If I'm going to take someone's money, I feel an obligation to make sure they get what they expect. Likewise, if I'm spending my money, I expect to get what I pay for. Mick Ayres' history here indicates he does things the right way but if the ad description is misleading, then perhaps it would be better to change it.
Steven Conner
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Quote:
On 2008-11-13 11:12, the fritz wrote:
I have not purchased this product but, based on this discussion, I am fairly certain the first method (with a few motivational ploys added) is well-known and the bare bones of it can be found in a paperback on most magicians' bookshelves. If this is indeed the case, the ad description reflects Paul Curry's originally-described procedure and not this version of the trick. Though this effect (and I have used my variation of what I--like Lemniscate deduced also--am certain is the method to good success for a long time) will undoubtedly seem impossible for lay audiences, the actual procedure is indeed very different from the ad description.

I believe it's one thing to describe an effect by omitting certain psychologically invisible details (which is standard to prevent backtracking as Mick suggested), but it is an entirely different thing to CHANGE (as opposed to omit) the actual details of what is being witnessed, in an ad description. Marketing is tricky and magicians tread a very fine line in their attempt to arouse curiosity and interest from other magicians in their effect descriptions. If I'm going to take someone's money, I feel an obligation to make sure they get what they expect. Likewise, if I'm spending my money, I expect to get what I pay for. Mick Ayres' history here indicates he does things the right way but if the ad description is misleading, then perhaps it would be better to change it.


Here is the Ad:

In the 1940's Paul Curry challenged conjurors everywhere with his 'Unsolved Card Problem' by describing an amazing effect: A household deck of cards is shuffled by a guest. Next, you openly write the name of a card and show it to the audience. Your guest now deals cards face up, stops at a place of her own choosing, and now deals a single card face down to the table. She now deals the rest of the deck face up until all the cards are on the table. Your predicted card has not been seen. The guest turns over the single face down card...it matches your prediction!

Unfortunately, Paul Curry passed away before coming up with an adequate solution to this daunting presentation...known today as "Curry's Open Prediction Challenge". Will Curry's elusive proposal ever be solved? Yes!

In Plain Sight, a creative collaboration between myself and the controversial paranormalist Jim Callahan, allows you to share this captivating tale with your audience and make history at the same time by solving Curry's Challenge. This dramatic presentation has earned standing ovations repeatedly. Why? Because, to your audience, In Plain Sight is not just an effect...it is an unforgettable event.

There is absolutely no challenging sleight-of-hand involved. The presentation allows for repetition without diminishing the mystery.

I think this one part (allows you to share this captivating tale with your audience and make history at the same time by solving Curry's Challenge)is what is getting magicians fired up. There have been countless method's to solve the original problem but to no prevail. In magic, its about perception. Another example of this is David Berglas ACAAN. If our audience believes based on the perimeters we have established, it is a success.

Steve
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
magicmerlz
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I just wanted to say that It is very refreshing to read opposing views on an effect, without anyone resorting to the usual slagging off and general nastiness that seems to go hand in hand with different opinions. Exactly what the Café is for, I tip my hat to you all.

Matt

P.S I am loving this effect.
Chris K
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I agree magicmerlz.

Ben, I'll PM you in the next few days.

For everybody here, I highly recommend reading the introduction to Paul Brook's "The Alchemical Tools" if you have a chance. I think that some of the issues being discussed are put into wonderful context by Paul.

Lem
burst
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Personally, if someone finds the presentation is lacking in certain areas, it's probably due to the fact that you aren't Mick. If something is missing from it, then change it.

I usually write, practice and rehearse something constantly for weeks, if not months, before I perform it, but I already had a presentation in mind for such an effect. I simply looked at Mick's supplied script, looking for what I thought should be kept in. Because my presentation was so close to me, because I already use the first force in an effect of mine that has many variants, I was able to perform this fairly quickly after receiving it.

Simply put, the methods supplied work perfectly. What I think some of you are over looking is that the first phase is simply a warm up. You tell your participant that before you ever start. The second phase is similar, but removes all negative aspects that the first phase had. Which it should considering that is the real deal and not a warm up exercise. During the warm up exercise, why not miss? why not have the value off a bit? why not have the suit wrong? or why not have it as is and have the procedure not be as amazing as the second phase?

Have a problem with one part of the second phase? Play your direction you gave as a mistake.

Every issue that I've read in this thread can easily be remedied with presentation.

I may be overlooking something right now, but I don't believe that entity's OP effects can be used in a two phase presentation like this. That's not a negative against his methods, I think they're wonderful. I've had the opportunity to use both of his effects to great success, but right now, Mick and Jim's variation is what I will be using. It plays perfectly with the presentation I've had in mind. Honestly, performing this effect has been extremely therapeutic for me. In my mind, I owe Mick and Jim for sharing this with me (even if I did already pay).

I think it's a beautiful effect that is extremely hard hitting. Granted, I have only performed this twice now, but each time it played hard. There haven't been any doubts. If any of you are getting doubts, I suggest that you work harder on the presentation rather than complaining about the methodology.

But if it just doesn't fit you, then it doesn't fit you.

Nothing works for everybody.

/paul.f
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Well said, Paul. This is very true. I think when Vernon said be natural, it means natural for the person doing the performing because like you said, everybody is different and what works or doesn't work for them will be different.
Magicsquared
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I didn't really want to post again about this effect. At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way. However it seems that most of the defenses of this are platitudes and don't address the actual issues with the effect. It's one thing to say, "Nothing works for everybody." And that's true, of course. But my problems with this effect aren't because of my own personality quirks, they are in regards to structural weaknesses in the presentation.

Quote:
On 2008-11-12 22:58, Mick Ayres wrote:
Rather, it is about presenting his Challenge with all the drama, conflict, tension and theatre I can muster to please an audience!


Yes, and my biggest issue with the presentation provided was that it seemed a lot of choices were made that only served to decrease the drama, conflict, tension and theater. I agree that introducing the background of the effect is interesting to an audience, but once that was out of the way the effect/presentation was fairly standard.

The method used is a very small, in the hands, method. Not only is it an obviously contrived way to do things, but it lacks the drama of an unkempt pile of face-up discards slowly growing until the spectator chooses to set aside this ONE card face down, over here on the table -- isolated from the rest. A very clear stage picture that could almost tell the story of the trick in a photograph.

The repeat of the effect is unmotivated, lacks drama and tension. Some effects may strengthen from repetition but this isn't one of them. If we're setting this up as a near impossible miracle, all repeating it does is pull the rug out from under the impossibility you attempted to establish up top.

And finally the script is just adequate in telling the story. Once the history of the effect is established that whole premise gets lost. We introduce Curry as a character in this drama and he isn't really mentioned again once the trick starts. The "story" isn't woven into the trick in an engaging way, it's just parked in 8 paragraphs at the top of the effect. After that we get a lot of descriptive patter of what's going on, but not much about why the audience should care.

You can say, "I've performed it a lot and it works for me." Which is fine for you, but that doesn't mean that it's up to the standards established by anyone else here. You can say, "My audiences loved it." But Scary Movie 4 made 91 million dollars at the box office, so the fact that a lot of people like something doesn't mean it's something I as a performer would want to do.

And finally, if someone says I need to try this out in front of an audience, you're wrong, I don't. And you shouldn't have to either. You shouldn't have to for the same reason a director doesn't have to film every screenplay to see if it works, and a chef doesn't have to make every recipe to see if something will taste good, and an architect doesn't have to construct every set of blueprints to know if the building they depict is structurally sound.
burst
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I am a chef, and you just made both my point and yours. There are certain ways that I cook food that some people don't like, yet others love. For example, some people like spicy food, others do not. Same goes for architects. When Frank Lloyd Wright was alive and kicking, some people booed his building, others praised them. You aren't going to find a Werner Herzog film directed in the style of a Wes Thomas Anderson film.

What some people found to be weaknesses, other saw them as strengths. There are always trade-offs. That's why there are so many different styles of buildings, so many types of cuisine, so many variations of the same story in film. Some people love the Scary Movie franchise, I've never liked a single one of them.

If this doesn't fit you, don't try it. I never said take it out if you don't initially like it.

However, I did say that if you think the script is lacking in certain areas, change it. To say that it isn't up to the standards of you or others is negatively knocking Mick's standards. It implies that his are low. Considering where he works, how long he has worked there, that people continuously come back to see him should say that his standards are high. If they weren't, he wouldn't be there.

Also, that picturesque ending that you want is very easily achievable with this effect. I've done it both times I've performed it.

All of the problems that you have stated, to me, are easily remedied, and have been. But if you just don't like it, that's fine. Nothing is wrong with that. People have different opinions. You think there is no reason for the second phase, I do. You think it would get weaker reactions, I've found that the reactions are much, much stronger.

But this effect fits me. I was initially pleased with reading it. That doesn't mean that I'm going to stick to this variation. I'm going to keep looking at other versions, there are still going to be times when I perform entity's variations. Besides this version fitting me, I know I will grow and another version will fit me better in the future, and that there will be times when it would be better for me to do a variation on the same effect.

There are variations in art to fit the variations found in people.

Hooray for that.

/paul.f
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Paul,

I must not have made my point clear in my last paragraph. I wasn't arguing that people don't have different tastes and styles, they certainly do. My argument was just with the idea that one has to fully stage a play in order to know if the play was any good.

Other than that, I don't really disagree with anything you're saying. My post came out harsher than I intended. My frustration is not with this manuscript as much as it is with the way criticism is dealt with in this thread, and more so on the Café in general. It's one thing to dismiss criticism when that criticism is "This is a piece of crap. I hate it." But when people are pointing out specific issues with an effect to then say, "Well, I get great reactions with it," is kind of disingenuous. Every piece of garbage that has ever been released in magic has always been defended by the creator with, "Well, I get great reactions with it." So that retort is meaningless whether the effect truly is good or bad..

And I don't think invoking someone's professional credentials is an effective defense of a trick either. I respect Mr. Ayres' performance history, but if I had to perform magic at a Disney Resort for tourists I would fall on my card-sword. I never meant to imply my standards were higher than Mr. Ayres', just different.

You can tell people that if they don't like the presentation and the method they should change it, which is understandable, but then what are we paying for here?

But again, I feel the length of these posts is in no way proportionate to the mild-disappointment I had with this effect and has become (for me) more about the rather depressing way people sometimes rush to defend a product (and/or its creator) rather than debate the merits of certain aspects of the product itself.

I've more than had my say. For the people who are enjoying this I wish them continued success.
goldeneye007
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Quote:
On 2008-11-13 19:29, burst wrote:

Simply put, the methods supplied work perfectly.

/paul.f


So every routine which is supplied with a method that works is a good routine ? Smile

I don't think so.

I'm working on something to change the second method, but the first method is still for me unaccaeptable. I tried it again the other night and, again, I got a question about the choice of the card. It's not just about presentation, if you tell people what to look for... well... they will... If you tell them to deal a single card aside and they don't... it's kind of strange no? I don't see what presentation has to do here...

Of course you can tell them it's a mistake... but is it really a good idea to finally tell them to do something that's not as fair as it was first meant to be?
Ben BV
Chris K
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Yikes, two people, both making excellent independent points yet both completely ignoring each other's points. There are inherent contradictions and logical leaps that are anything but logical. I think this is the type of situation where strong beliefs are making people ignore anything they disagree with. Luckily for me, I never think any effect is perfect, have even talked about a few of the issues I happen to have with this effect, and can look at least somewhat objectively.

Since Paul (burst) posted last, I'll go back to Magicsquare's post first:
Quote:
And finally the script is just adequate in telling the story. Once the history of the effect is established that whole premise gets lost. We introduce Curry as a character in this drama and he isn't really mentioned again once the trick starts. The "story" isn't woven into the trick in an engaging way, it's just parked in 8 paragraphs at the top of the effect. After that we get a lot of descriptive patter of what's going on, but not much about why the audience should care.


I'll be honest here, I think this is one of the most made, yet least logical arguments here on the Café. I don't know any actual performing professional who takes ANY script verbatim. I said it before but that approach is ALWAYS a bad idea. It's actually pretty simple, if you don't think the script gives the audience enough to care about, change it, you should be changing it anyway if you are a performing professional (this is a general statement, not meant towards magicsquared).

Literally, the first thing I did was take the presentational approach and completely modify it. Paul Curry was an insurance salesman and magician who became sick of claims mades by parapscyhologists and devised a "true test" of psychic powers. I explained what parapsychologists were (using the example of the movie Ghostbusters). I keep their attention the whole time and yet I am still using the presentational premise. Your argument (the script does not keep their attention) is one towards the PERFORMER, not the effect. It is often hard to tell the difference if one doesn't go in assuming all presentations must be modified.

Quote:
You can say, "I've performed it a lot and it works for me." Which is fine for you, but that doesn't mean that it's up to the standards established by anyone else here. You can say, "My audiences loved it." But Scary Movie 4 made 91 million dollars at the box office, so the fact that a lot of people like something doesn't mean it's something I as a performer would want to do.


No offense but this is pretty convoluted logic. On one hand you are saying that success is not an indicator of what you would want to do (fair statement by itself). However, you then bring in ideas of being "up to standards". The question that is begged is what is the priority for you, what your audiences like or what you personally like?

Please don't get me wrong, I would NEVER say that you HAVE to perform something because other people get good results. However, if audience pleasure is NOT an indicator of the success of an effect what is? Would you rather perform something you like to perform, even if it gets lackluster response? Would you perform something you hate for an amazing response? There are no hard and fast rules but let me give a personal example.

I loved Rick Maue's work. I think his Group Dynamic effect could be the subject of a whole semester in multiple out effects at a magic university. With that being said, after trying it multiple times, I have found it's biggest effect is on other magicians, who don't constitute my audience generally. As such, it's out. To me, the priority isn't what "standards" I have for an effect necessarily unless you count audience pleasure as a standard (which you actually EXCLUDED in your post). If you don't like it, don't do it but to make an argument AGAINST giving people what they like... tough to follow my friend, that is all I am saying.

Finally, your director analogy is inherently flawed. If every film or every recipe was a success, you could make the argument. However, whatever criteria is used by a chef, magician, or director uses a priori, it's flawed. Only a complete amateur would say that every single effect they thought would be great was. We have ALL had situations where things we thought would get a great response only got a moderate one. As such, a priori determinations, in any field, have the caveat that they are not absolute. No director "knows" what will play great and what won't. Nor does any performer I have ever seen, they have all fallen flat. To imply that you know what would and won't work beforehand is simply not true. You know what you do and don't WANT to do beforehand, sure, but it is not related to the success of the effect and to say it is... well, let's say I can't follow the logic.

Burst,
I am getting tired, so I'll be more brief. Even though I agreed with a lot of what you were saying, I have to disagree with saying the methods worked perfectly. They simply worked perfectly for you (and me, btw). However, you are making the opposite argument as magicsquared. He says he knows what will and won't be a success without trying (illogical), you are saying what works for you should work for somebody else (I am paraphrasing, so correct me if that was not your implication). Your argument about the idea that the first phase is a "warm-up" is also a personal take on the presentation and not something "some of you are over looking".

Finally, I've already said how the use of the chef and director analogies were taken to improper conclusions with magicsquare, but the same for you. I'll simply attempt to give an example. Let's say you are a chef with a French cuisine specialty. You cannot state that an asian dish will or will not be a success (this would be the mistake Magicsquared made), you can only say that it is not for you. This goes for magic too, the presentation itself may not lend itself for what you want to do as a performer (the infamous bra trick for magicians is an example). It may garner spectacular reactions but it may not be for you. This is very close to what you are saying but also slightly different. Your take (at least what I can tell) is that the presentation can be modified to fit almost everybody. Well, the counter argument is that the same thing can be said about the bra trick. However, whether it can be made to fit is irrelevant if the performer does not want to do it.

Again, whether you like or dislike an effect does not offer ANY insight into whether it is going to be successful. Nor does the ability to modify something make it into an effect everybody is going to want.

Now, I am simply commenting on things as I read them, if I misinterpreted, I apologize but I provided the quotes that made me think what I think, if that helps at all.

In the end, I personally think the approach (NOT the script or the methods) is what I like from this. For $20 it was an absolute steal.

I truly hope nothing I say is taken as an insult, it is all merely my opinion, and if it comes off differently, I apologize now.

With that, I'll leave this discussion. I've made my feelings on this known and pointed out what I, personally, IN MY OPINION, happen to think are problems with some of the arguments made pro AND con for this effect.

ALl of your opinions are correct, for you, just as mine is for me. I love to change it when new facts arise though. Do you?

Lem
goldeneye007
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Quote:
On 2008-11-14 13:46, Magicsquared wrote:

At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way.



Really? So you don't mind throwing $20 away ? Would you give them to me ? Smile

The problem is that paying $20 once can be ok (although I don't like throwing my hard-earned money away...), but if you start paying $20 two, three, five, ten times, it can start to be annoying...
Ben BV
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Quote:

No offense but this is pretty convoluted logic. On one hand you are saying that success is not an indicator of what you would want to do (fair statement by itself). However, you then bring in ideas of being "up to standards". The question that is begged is what is the priority for you, what your audiences like or what you personally like?



My priority is to perform material that suits my style, my voice, and the experience I want to give an audience.


Quote:
Finally, your director analogy is inherently flawed. If every film or every recipe was a success, you could make the argument. However, whatever criteria is used by a chef, magician, or director uses a priori, it's flawed. Only a complete amateur would say that every single effect they thought would be great was. We have ALL had situations where things we thought would get a great response only got a moderate one.



You got my analogy the wrong way around. I never suggested that a professional will be able to know what will work. But a professional CAN see flaws in a project without actually executing the project.
Magicsquared
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Quote:
On 2008-11-14 17:02, goldeneye007 wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-11-14 13:46, Magicsquared wrote:

At $20 it's not so much of an investment that it matters much either way.



Really? So you don't mind throwing $20 away ? Would you give them to me ? Smile

The problem is that paying $20 once can be ok (although I don't like throwing my hard-earned money away...), but if you start paying $20 two, three, five, ten times, it can start to be annoying...


I will give you $20. PM me your paypal address.
goldeneye007
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Smile
Ben BV
Mick Ayres
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Quote:
On 2008-11-14 16:40, Magicsquared wrote:

My frustration is not with this manuscript as much as it is with the way criticism is dealt with in this thread, and more so on the Café in general. It's one thing to dismiss criticism when that criticism is "This is a piece of crap. I hate it." But when people are pointing out specific issues with an effect to then say, "Well, I get great reactions with it," is kind of disingenuous. Every piece of garbage that has ever been released in magic has always been defended by the creator with, "Well, I get great reactions with it." So that retort is meaningless whether the effect truly is good or bad..

And I don't think invoking someone's professional credentials is an effective defense of a trick either. I respect Mr. Ayres' performance history, but if I had to perform magic at a Disney Resort for tourists I would fall on my card-sword. I never meant to imply my standards were higher than Mr. Ayres', just different.

You can tell people that if they don't like the presentation and the method they should change it, which is understandable, but then what are we paying for here?

But again, I feel the length of these posts is in no way proportionate to the mild-disappointment I had with this effect and has become (for me) more about the rather depressing way people sometimes rush to defend a product (and/or its creator) rather than debate the merits of certain aspects of the product itself.



You are frustrated with the way your criticism is being dealt with? Are you serious? In my opinion, every part of this dialogue has remained polite, respectful and professional.

You say my responses are meaningless? I said, "I get great reactions to it" for very specific reasons. Your negative opinions about the routine are based on a handful of limited attempts to present the effect that resulted in failure for you...my opinion is based on countless performances in front of theatre audiences where the routine is presented as part of an hour-long mentalism act. No offense, but for those reasons, I feel the credibility of my statements have more merit.

By the way, your statement about where I perform makes me question your attitude toward this art. The demographics of my audiences are families who are paid members of an private, exclusive club. You don't buy a membership unless you have a GREAT day job. These are intelligent, hard-working, kind-hearted families who are a cut-above the average audience (in my opinion). But, you would fall on your card-sword before performing for them? Well, your nibs, I have a hard time believing you.

Finally, you ask "what are we paying for?". You are paying for the long hours spent creating, scripting, blocking, choreographing and rehearsing a routine that took a FRESH approach at a presenting a magical legend to lay-audiences in a manner that nearly guarantees a strong response. The manuscript was professionally and expertly written and then made available for the cost of a quarter-tank of gas. All this is practically being spoon-fed to you. But, you consider it 'garbage'.

For the record, when I publish something, it is ALWAYS material that I have tested extensively over and over again. I don't just hope it works...I KNOW IT WORKS. I have nurtured this reputation in my manuscripts and would do nothing that threatens it.

You CAN take a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.

Have a great day.

Mick Ayres
THE FIVE OBLIGATIONS OF CONJURING: Study. Practice. Script. Rehearse. Perform. Drop one and you're done.
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