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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Thought Association Card (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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robwar0100
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Steve Yachanin sent me a PM asking me if I would be interested in reviewing an effect of his, Thought Association Card. He had seen some recent reviews of mine and solicited my feedback. I did not pay for the effect, and if he brings it to market, I am not sure what the price point will be. However, let me tell you what I do know.

Two spectators are chosen who will help with a Cognitive Association Skills Test. They each are asked to freely (and silently) select a word on the test (and there are about 80 words). Each is then asked to focus on one of the letters from the word. Once they do, they are to think of a second word. Again, each is asked to focus on one of the letters and come up with a third word based on that letter. This procedure is done one last time, and each is asked to think of his or her final word selections. The mentalist writes his impressions down (this is not an allusion to the method). The spectators reveal their choices, and the card, which is sitting on the table before the revelations are made, is turned over and shown to contain two words, matching the spectators' choices.

When Steve asked me to review this effect, he wanted honest feedback, whether it was positive or negative. So, here goes.

I have not tried this effect yet, but I am eager to. I think it has potential. For those of you who sort of kinda don't like book tests because why does a spectator need to pick a word from a book, then this might be something for you. It is a word test, but the spectators start with one word from a list then freely select other words, so I think it will have the feel of a freely selected word. When the spectators start choosing other words, the performer should quietly tuck the card with all of the words into his pocket -- out of sight, out of mind.

As I was pondering this effect, I was wondering, because it uses words, would it be a good lead in for a book test. On the one hand I think it would because we are dealing with words. Logically, you can state the case, OK, we started with 80 words, now let's magnify this thing and deal with tens of thousands of words. But ... if Thought Association Card has the feeling of a free selection, then a book test might seem forced. I have a show coming up Friday for a group of Realtors, and I will likely try Steve's effect as a lead-in to a book test. I will update everyone on how it plays in the real world.

The method is quite clever and is based on an effect from Joshua Quinn, who gave Steve permission to use it with his Thought Association Card. While Steve borrows the method, I believe it must have taken considerable time to think this one through. I should say, when the spectators start thinking of the other words, Steve tells them to think of specific things that start with those letters. If he wants to clarify what those items are, he can. I don't know if it tips too much, but I prefer him to make that choice.

The only limitation I see is in selecting the right people for this effect. This is not an effect where you can pick just any person. Steve addresses this to a certain extent in his finely written manuscript (Doug Dyment would be proud of the copy editing done with it). However, he even has a way around this by harkening back to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire show and telling the spectators not to worry because they can use a life line and ask a friend.

As mentioned earlier, I don't know what the price will be when, or if, this comes to market. I do know this, I just paid $20 for a method with no routine. This comes with a routine and suggested story and has the potential to play really big.

Here are a couple of things I might do differently. Because I generally perform shows, not merely "doing tricks," I would write the answers on a slate instead of a business card. And, even though I said this does not have the feel of a book test, I might buy some sort of cool-looking, leather-bound journal and write in big letters one word per page (and not write on the backs of pages) and tell the people to just think of one of the words.

I like this. I think it has potential. I have been working on a new show for the past few months, and I am surprised at how little of the stuff I have purchased is worthy (in my eyes) of being acceptable for a full-length show. I have many good effects, but not many seemed quite right for my show. In my mind, Steve's Thought Association Card is worthy for a show. There is some risk involved, but there is the potential for a big payoff at the end.

I am one who looks for value when I make a purchase, and value does not have to mean cheap or inexpensive. Because I don't know the price of the effect, I am not sure if I can give a blanket recommendation to purchase this, but I can say this with confidence: If the price seems reasonable to you and you like how this effect appears to play out, then I recommend you buy it.

Like I said, I am going to give this a try on Friday, and I will tell you how it went.

Steve, thanks for the opportunity to review this. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
robwar0100
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P.S. Steve had sent me a link to the ad copy for the effect, but because my Internet connection was acting up, I did not visit the site. However, the price is $15. I believe it is worth it. I have paid $15 and $20 for effects just because I was curious about the method.

So, let me revise and extend my remarks by saying: I recommend those in the United States buy this. It might be difficult anywhere else. PM Steve if you need more details on that.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
yachanin
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Hi All,

I'd like to thank Bobby for taking the time to review "Thought Association Card" and for his kind words. This is my first release and I am quite excited by the whole process. I know that you will be excited, too, when you try Thought Association Card and see the response you get from your audience and I hope you come back and share your experience. I've performed this hundreds of times and it has always received great reactions.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. I'll start by saying that nothing is written down, there's no fishing, no switches, no secret writing, and it can be performed with one or two volunteers.

If you decide to purchase Thought Association Card, you can get it here: Thought Association Card The price is $15. You'll receive a pdf of the manuscript and the images to print the front and back of the card. I'll make every effort to send the pdf to you within 24 hours.

Regards, Steve
mrmysticmike
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Steve performed this effect for us at a Ring 23 meeting last month.

It got a really good reaction.

It's clever and once you know the method you can change it a bit to suit your own situation.
yachanin
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Hi All,

I've been asked about using this ONLY with U.S. volunteers. The nature of the routine requires the volunteers have some knowledge of american culture that most non-U.S. citizens would probably not know. The information can be googled during the performance if necessary, but you may think that detracts from the effect too much and decide to pass on Thought Association Card. I suppose, however, some might see that as an even stronger effect in the sense that your volunteers are thinking of words that they didn't know before they volunteered!

I would also like to mention that you can have the image of the card on your iPhone or Android in case you don't want to carry the card in your wallet. If you have some "note" app as well, you could write your impressions on that instead of your business card.

Regards, Steve
robwar0100
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Steve,

Here is my latest thought. I do not have enough time to get this done before my show on Friday (July 20), however, I was thinking of getting two smaller journals (leather or leather-looking), black or brown, and having 40 different words in each one. Have the spectators decide which ones they want, look to see they are different words in each one, and then perform.

Like the Outlaw stuff, imagined if these two books were aged and were remnants from some of the earliest cognitive tests in '30s or '40s, something like that. Any way, mind is just running. I keep coming back to this idea of journals.

I hope I do Thought Association Card justice tomorrow night.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
yachanin
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Hi Bobby,

I think aged journals or aged spiral notebooks would be great for a stage presentation. I'm sure you'll blow some minds tomorrow. Good luck!

Regards, Steve
robwar0100
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Steve,

Sorry to keep returning to this, but here is another thought (this one for cardstock/paper)

Perhaps give them clipboards/mini-clipboards with the word choices printed on top and then have lines printed underneath where they would write in their freely thought of words leading up to the final cognitive association.

Because I don't generally perform close-up, I am thinking of the two spectators standing a few feet behind the performer, one on each side. This way, you will be able to give the clear instructions to form other word associations, and having the new words in front of them might be easier to make those other associations. Then have them circle their final, random, freely thought of association.

Just thinking out loud here.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
yachanin
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Hi Bobby,

That would help ensure they don't forget their words or letters, but I'd prefer they didn't write anything to eliminate any possibility of someone thinking "he must have seen what they wrote."

Regards, Steve
John C
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This is a great idea, effect, and routine. I really like it. Plays big or small. Impromptu and simple to do.

Nice.

John
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
yachanin
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Hi John,

Thanks, and you are correct that it does play big or small. I have performed this for just two people, small groups, and for large audiences (I use a whiteboard to write down my impressions).

Regards, Steve
yachanin
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I know this has not be available for very long, but has anyone taken it out on the road for a drive? How did it go?

Regards, Steve
mrmysticmike
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Steve,

Tried it out a small gathering the other evening. Got a really good reaction.

Mike
yachanin
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Hi Mike,

I happy that it went so well... thanks for sharing.

Regards, Steve
robwar0100
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Steve,

I have been posting about this effect in other areas of The Magic Café because I really do like this effect. However, I realized I never gave an update about my performance right here, as I said I would in an earlier post in this thread.

I did perform it in my show. I was not fully prepared to perform this, but I did so anyway. Despite my unpreparedness, it worked like a charm and got a very strong reaction.

Above, you recommended not having anyone write anything down, and I think this is what led to a very strong reaction. I attribute that reaction to your effect because my presentation was not great. I did use it as a lead-in to a book test.

As with many mentalism effects, there is some risk involved. I think the way you have structured this effect, that risk is minimal. Because you have two spectators, I cannot imagine the performer will have two misses.

While there is marginally some risk involved, I think that is why the payoff is so great. If we could see how this plays out from a spectator's point-of-view, this effect is nothing short of amazing, just like Richard Osterlind's Radar Deck. There is no way the performer should be able to know what the people are thinking, but s/he does.

It is true the performer takes the helpers down a guided, Cognitive Association Skills Test, but they are choosing their own words. Because it involves them choosing words freely, this plays big.

As noted above, I have been talking about this in several places here on the Café, and I might sound like a Johnny-One-Note or paid shill (which I am not), but if you could have seen the reaction this got before a group of Realtors, it was incredible. For those of you who perform this, you might just get labeled as being "freaky and scary" like me.

Again, Steve, thank you so much for this effect.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
yachanin
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Hi Bobby,

Thank you for taking the time to post your wonderful review here as well. I'm so happy that Thought Association Card has been received with such enthusiasm and that those who've performed it have had the same great reactions with their volunteers as I have had with mine Smile

Regards, Steve
Magical Dimensions
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Yachanin (Steve)

I have solved the opening bit in the event a person can't think of what to say. LOL

It flows so smooth and never misses a beat in the action.

I will Pm you later today about it. It is now 100% user friendly.



Ray
Stephen Young
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I'm intrigued by this.

Language has been mentioned.

As an Englishman living in Holland, I perform mostly in English to Dutch audiences.
is this likely to be a problem?

Thanks
steve
rockbrunnen
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Quote:
On 2012-08-03 03:03, steveline wrote:
I'm intrigued by this.

Language has been mentioned.

As an Englishman living in Holland, I perform mostly in English to Dutch audiences.
is this likely to be a problem?

Thanks
steve


I was wondering the same thing.
If it depends on culture, rather than on language, then I have to give this one up.

Rock
yachanin
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Hi steveline and rockbrunnen,

PM'd you.

Regards, Steve
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