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tvbobby
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There is a lot of skepticism when using a phone to do magic. Because people feel that it is or can be easily programmed. And the truth is - that's the truth. So it's hard to debate. You can deny all you want, but people are very very skeptical. How do you get around this?
Red Shadow
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People are sceptical about any magic trick. It has nothing do with an iPhone, you bring out a normal pack of cards and they want to check it for short cards, secrets marks and some spectators even check it for crimps. Why do magicians hand out the rings in a linking ring routine? Why do you have a book checked before you do a book-test? Or pull on the ropes before doing Professors Nightmare. They think all our props are gimmicked!
And then, even after it has been checked and you perform the effect, the spectators still think that its gimmicked in some way, they just didn’t find it and don’t want to get into an argument about it with you. At no point during any magic show do the spectators really think you have magic powers. They know a trick is in play, they just don't know where. If they truly thought it was magic, they would be asking you to heal the sick and win the lottery, and they most definitely don’t want to see you get a signed playing card to the top of the deck. What a waste of your powers that must be!

But you know what; they still watched you because you were entertaining. You gave them something interesting to watch and presented them with a puzzle which they like to test themselves on. People buy Sudoku books and do the daily crosswords for fun. Watching us perform and seeing if they can work it out is also fun for them. Its our job to make it entertaining as well.

So who cares if you’re using an iPhone to entertain with? As long as there having a good time, then you've done the job right.
tvbobby
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Agreed and agreed. Thanks for the thoughtful answer, Stephen. All my best.
dtextreme
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I agree with ku7uk3, being entertaining is the most important aspect!

Going back to tvbobby's concern, I agree that a lot of people are familiar with what smart phone apps are capable of. Doing an effect that requires a spectator to look at an apparent magic app raises suspicion right away, and if the spectators become amazed by the effect--the credit usually goes to the app and NOT the magician.

I use regular apps such as using the Photo album to store Kioku (added pictures of the memories) and Liebrary (which contain regular PDFs), used multiple apps to store information as an index, and use magic apps that look and behave like a normal and innocent function of the phone, such as iPredict.

Another thing I notice that helps is to do some non-app magic for the spectators beforehand to establish repoire and to show that you are good. Then when you perform with apps, and people usually lower their guard.
Greg Rostami
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Wow Steven!

I completely agree with you on every count. You really hit the nail on the head.

dtextreme . . . I also agree about your observations.
I've performed iPredict for MANY magicians (that hate APP-MAGIC) that didn't know I was using a magic app (since they called the psychic on their phone).

I usually start by writing down the psychic's phone number on a piece of paper . . . but I forget a few digits. Hence the reason why I have to check my iPhone.
If performed correctly, iPredict fools the smartest spectators (and magicians).

But then again, I am a little biased. Smile

all the best,
Greg Rostami
MeetMagicMike
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No matter what the public knows or thinks it knows about current technology, magician's should be able to fool them. It doesn't matter if it's pencils, birdcages, automobiles, strait-jackets, or iPhones.

Magic apps fall into two broad categories:

Overt Magic Apps - You show an App that performs a magic trick. You seem to have nothing to do with the magic even though you are likely doing something to make it happen.

Covert Magic App - You are performing a magic effect and "happen" to use your iPhone because it is handy.

I think there is value to both types just as I might enjoy showing a mechanical trick (for instance Tenyo) to my friends or family even though I wouldn't use the same trick in my restaurant work.
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tvbobby
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I will say, I get excellent response from MENTAL KILLER and have gotten wonderful response from MARTY PSYPIC since I downloaded a couple days ago. It's really all in the banter, the handling and the fun. If you believe in it, they will.
jlibby
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I am very pleased with a routine I developed that uses a video file on my iPhone rather than an app. But the routine contains lots of comedy and hopefully a couple of magical surprises. Whether you are using a deck of cards, an elephant, or an iPhone app, the goal should always be to be entertaining.

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Carl Andrews
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I agree with ku7uk3 as well. I absolutely fry people with my iPhone Apps, they love them and they are entertained! Even though they know it's an iPhone and even if they know it's an App, they still have no idea how and if you are entertaining with it you will have success! Magicians want to over think this, just do it, make it entertaining and enjoy the results!
karlito
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I echo TVBobby marty psypic is a wonderful effect. Especially the animal prediction. It doesn't use any funny moves at all, the handling is VERY minimal, you touch the phone once and it's perfectly natural. Sooo it depends on the effect. I believe there is still ALOT of untapped potential for magic apps out there. If only I could program!
TheiPhoneMagicGuy
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I support ku7uk3. It's all about how you execute it and how entertaining you can be. With the same magic app like "Magic-Eye"(iPhone app), I have developed different routines using it, some of them combine with actual deck of card, some using a box to contain the iPhone from view. And every time I blew my audience away. I can use the same app several time doing it slightly different ways and nobody have a clue and are all stunned!
jesse_james_mcguire
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Just do the effect and move on...
GDGrey
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Lots of good points raised in this thread.

Quote:
On 2012-01-09 23:42, jlibby wrote:
I am very pleased with a routine I developed that uses a video file on my iPhone rather than an app.


This is one in particular I want to explore - it is of course possible to incorporate your phone in effects that do not require an app... where the phone is used to play a video, or merely used to show a list of words or symbols for the participant to consider. And why would anyone think twice about that?

I have been making "paperless" PDF versions of various effects that I might once have carried around on index cards or in a notebook: for example, some of the material in Leo Boudreau's Skullduggery can be so adapted.

I even used the Doodle app without the secret sauce, just to draw my end of a DD. The backlit screen made it nice and visible for all. Of course, any drawing app would have done for this.

So I say the device per se is not the issue, the procedure is. The ideal for an app is to approach that level of motivation for one's actions where "the phone is being used for convenience's sake." Because of course, smartphones are incredibly convenient for all sorts of things!
PredictionTech and other apps for Android smartphones: http://kernow.me/
Jim Mullen
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I agree with Ku's point, and I believe a solution is to incorporate two methods (i.e. two tricks in one) when doing some of today's app tricks. For example, I currently perform iPredict--a great trick by the way.

One method of performing this--suggested in the app instructions--is to have a spectator name a card out loud. After this, the magician picks up the iPhone and shows the audience the Contacts entry for the psychic, Christen. He then asks the spectator to place a telephone call to Christen, who's voicemail message names the selected card. (The app also supports text messaging to the "psychic.") The problem with this routine is twofold in my view. First, the actions telegraph the method. The audience knows that in some way or another, the magician or his accomplice is "telling" the application the name of the card. Second, the actions focus attention on the app rather than the magic. This is a problem as Ku mentions: people are aware that applications can be programmed to do just about anything, including sensing movement of the phone, sensing voice information, sensing touches to the screen, etc. Thus the trick becomes a puzzle or an engineering feat rather than a "magical event".

A better method of performing iPredict--also suggested in the app instructions--is to use a second method to discover the card thought of by the spectator and use this "secret" information when signalling the name of the card to the iPredict app. For example, I ask the spectator to think of any of the 52 cards in a deck. I then instruct the spectator "for validation purposes" to remove that selected card from a deck, without letting anyone see the card, "especially Christen." I ask the spectator to place the unseen card face down on the table. Then I hand the phone to the spectator so he can call Christen and receive the voicemail response. My way of finding out the card in the spectator's mind is to use a marked deck, so, when the card is placed on the table, I immediately know the name of the card and can immediately signal it to the application using the very clever technique incorporated in the iPredict app. When Christen answers the phone and reveals the name of the card, I say, "the six of spades--is that the card in your mind?" Then, a few seconds later, I turn over the tabled card saying, "For validation purposes--the six of spades." The end. Other "second" methods also work well with the iPredict app, and these are shown in some of the Youtube clips: a stacked deck, a Mind Power deck, etc.

I also employ two methods (two tricks) in performing the No Freakin Way application, which I have performed for several years. This too is a great magic app. For this, I spread a deck of cards front and back and have a spectator place his/her right finger on any of the face down cards, without looking at it. Then I have the spectator place his/her left finger on the touch pad displayed by the iPhone app. The phone makes some noise and shuffles through some cards ending up displaying say the two of spaces. I tip up the iPhone and say, "the two of spades." Then I wait a few seconds and turn up the card (taking it out from under the spectators finger) and say, "the two of spades." The way I know the selected card is by use of a stacked deck, the simple Eight Kings stack from Erdnase. In removing the spread cards above and below the selected card, I glimpse card just above the selection, and I use this knowledge to signal the iPhone app in much the same way as one does with the iPredict app.

By the way, I don't do iPredict and NFW in the same show because of the similarity of method. On the other hand, the plots are sufficiently different, so it may be possible to use both, probably at separate times in a show. In NFW, the iPhone is part of the trick, whereas in iPredict, the iphone is simply a tool that is used, presumably in its normal way, to call someone or send someone a text message. The difference is nuanced, but I think it is important. Thus, I would do iPredict first.

What I particularly like about iPredict is that it is really fun. There is a plot. There are characters. There is action. There is human communication between the "psychic" and the audience. There are amusing bits that you can use when talking about your relationship with Christen. And there is a strong build-up, followed by a climax. This is not just another card trick. This is entertaining. And it's magic.

Similarly, with NFW, the plot is entertaining. You introduce the iPhone as a device that can enable ESP--extra sensory perception. You ask if he audience wants to see a demonstration. Of course they do. You talk about the danger of placing a finger on the finger pad and ask the spectator if he is afraid. There are plenty of entertaining bits that are fun to throw in. Again, there is a build up and a great climax.

Using two methods (i.e. two tricks in one), it becomes much more difficult for the spectator to figure out the method of iPredict or NFW. If you and the spectator himself do not know the name of the card, how can the application know it?

These tricks fool people; believe me. And they are fun to do. Incidentally, another side benefit that I found only after I started to do NFW is that audiences seem to like stuff related to an iPhone, maybe because iPhones are just cool. Several times, a spectator has in jest said something like, "Wow, this show is really up-to-date." They perceive you as a hip and with-it performer because you use the latest technology.
Jim Mullen

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Greg Rostami
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Hi Jim,

I completely agree with you. As I've said in the instruction video of iPredict+ . . .

If you perform for people that DON'T know you do magic, NOT using a deck of cards is stronger.
If you perform for people that DO know you do magic, then mixing iPredict+ with other methods (marked cards, Si Stebbins, etc.) is better.

Surprisingly, some of my favorite reactions have been from people that didn't know I do magic. Like this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emEXO1mXp54

In these performances IF I had introduced a deck of cards, then the spectator would know that I'm a magician. But, when there's a lack of cards, the effect is MUCH stronger.

cheers,
Greg Rostami
Jim Mullen
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Greg,

I think you make a good point. Your audience reaction is great. I guess that inasmuch as I am a magician, I am guided to the methods using tangible cards, but I can see the advantages for a non-magician performer.

Your comment in the video on Tarot cards versus ordinary cards raises a further thought in my mind: why not use Tarot cards for this application? This could be the application of another psychic, Tamatha. The performer could mark or stack tangible Tarot cards and could signal the application using the same user interface as for playing cards. (You could take advantage of the fifth signal per button--no swipe--to represent 14 trump cards, and you already can support 14 rather than 13 cards per suit.) For this possible version, the performer probably would need to have a Tarot deck on hand because many fewer spectators know the Tarot deck than know the playing card deck.

Jim
Jim Mullen

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Greg Rostami
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Hi Jim,

That's a great idea. I'll think about adding a REAL Tarot deck to a future psychic preset (I'll make sure I call her Tamatha). ;-)

I really don't know much about Tarot cards. I'm gonna do a little research now.

magic on brother,
Greg Rostami
Jim Mullen
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Greg,

Maybe Tabatha is better--the psychic daughter in the TV series Bewitched.

http://www.fanpop.com/spots/bewitched/im......ha-photo

Jim
Jim Mullen

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GerrySr
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Quote:
What I particularly like about iPredict is that it is really fun. There is a plot. There are characters. There is action. There is human communication between the "psychic" and the audience. There are amusing bits that you can use when talking about your relationship with Christen. And there is a strong build-up, followed by a climax. This is not just another card trick. This is entertaining. And it's magic.


You're absolutely right. The same day I got IPredict (just 2 weeks ago, new to IPhone) My wife, looking up a number from my phone, zero right in on my contact list of about 75 names and asked "Who is this Christen?". Wives huh? Anyway, I told her I had met her a couple years ago when we were out in Vegas, "you know that night you went to bed early and I went back down to play some slots. I told you about her". Well, let's just say it turned out really funny. In my mind it more than paid for itself right then. In this short period of time I have done this 5 times with groups of friends and relatives, using their phones , of course. And each time with the storyline of the girl I met in Vegas - Please don't tell my wife. Each time it turned out hilarious.

Thanks for a great effect, Greg
Greg Rostami
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You're welcome GerrySr

I hope iPredict+ continues to bring you many more magical performances.

magic on brother,
Greg Rostami
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