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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Pure Effect?? 1st ed?? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Leohart
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I was curious to know if anyone knoews if this new re-printing of pure effect is like the orignal first edition?? I have heard that the first edition had an effect called reminisence which was not then later put into to the later editions. So does anyone know if this effect and a few others are in this new re-printing?? Smile
NickW
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I'm afraid not - I've got a copy of the new printing. So far as I'm aware it's a reprint rather than a new edition. It's got a lot of good material in, but 'lift' and 'reminiscence' were withdrawn after the first edition because they are apparently still in Derren's performing repertoire.
Ian Rowland
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This point has been dealt with many times here in the 'Penny...' forum, but it seems nothing, but nothing, can stop it coming up time and again. I think it's this forum's own private Frankenstein's monster!

So, here we go again...

DB published the first edition himself. It contained 'Reminiscence' and 'Lift'. He published a second edition from which he deleted these two items. His deal with Richard Hatch was that he (DB) would sell the book directly for a few months, and then sell the rights to Richard. He did.

Richard Hatch thereby acquired the rights to publish the version of the book which does not contain 'Reminiscence' and 'Lift'. This sold out. Now they have had some more copies printed. No 'Reminisence', no 'Lift'.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
zmagicleez
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I'm glad you cleared that up!
It's a small world... but you wouldn't want to hoover it.
ThoughtThief
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If you want to see the two "deleted" routines--Lift and Reminiscence--performed by Derren, you can purchase a lecture video of Derren's that is carried by International Magic in the UK. As I recall, these routines are not explained, per se (although Derren does explicitly tip an aspect of Reminiscence in passing), but any reasonably experienced, moderately read, normally observant mentalist should be able to devise the methods involved upon viewing the performances. As with any of the plethora of routines in mentalism involving the "instant (albeit, at times, unwitting) stooge" and "double entendre" principles of mentalism, Lift and Reminiscence depend for their effectiveness on careful language choice (scripting) and confident spectator management. Others before Derren have published good works in this regard, e.g., Bruce Bernstein, Docc Hilford, Kenton Knepper, etc. For whatever reasons--an appealing performing persona, a contemporary "packaging" of the mentalism, and popular broad exposure via television, for example--Derren's application of these standard, but perhaps less frequently employed, methods to achieve or enhance his effects seems to have lit something of a spark in the mentalism community.

In my opinion, the video is primarily valuable for Derren's articulation of some of the principles he was subsequently to espouse in his book "Absolute Magic," namely: not trivializing your magic; "showing" the magic happening, even if the magic is the supposed transference of a thought from point A to point B; and approaching your role and art as a magician--whether comedic, "straight," mentalist, clown, whatever--with seriousness. Derren's adherence to these principles has certainly been successful, resulting in even other magicians attributing his effects to "NLP," prodigy-like "powers" and "abilities," and underground "methods" not known to other mentalists. This is not the case, of course--as Derren and his friend Mr. Rowland of this forum will readily tell anyone who will listen, and as any reasonably experienced mentalist can readily determine by watching Derren's routines or reading his books--but it validates the performance principles he espouses and argues strongly in favor of more magicians heeding them.

Okay, enough.
DonMarco
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Thought Thief,

your post was more helpful to me than probably the ones you hoped to send it to...thanks...let us all keep in mind, that the golden nuggets that remain unexplained (i.e. reminiscence and lift) should do nothing more than propel us to implementing new waves of thought (absolute magic) and should show, not as a model, but rather as an archetype...

yours truly,

Don Marco
"Imagination is the Only Reality"-- Marquis de Sade
VernonOnCoins
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Great...but who actually owns a copy of the first edition?
DonMarco
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VOC,

If you need access to a "first edition" PM me.
"Imagination is the Only Reality"-- Marquis de Sade
Ian Rowland
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I have the pre-first edition (the loose-leaf pages from the back of Derren's printer that he sent me so I could proof read it for him).

'Lift' is an ingenious piece of Derren material but not many mentalists will often encounter the requisite performing conditions. However, for all those who know 'Lift', let me pass on a piece of GENIUS from the very gifted Drew McAdam: a pub bar is a very good substitute for a draped table. First, 'hypnotise' your barmaid. Then go behind the bar, so you're on the same side as her, and you're in perfect position to perform 'Lift'. Why is it not surprising that a Scotsman came up with this?

For anyone interested in 'Reminsicence', and somewhat frustrated by its current lack of availability, why not check out its parents? Part III of Kenton Knepper's 'Wonderwords' and Docc Hilford's truly beautiful 'Perfect Q+A Act' are the parents which gave birth to 'Reminiscence', and both are well worth knowing. Incidentally, both are also very good emergency standbys if you're at a venue and unexpectedly short of material. If you can find some cards - any deck of cards - and get 30 seconds to yourself, you can mock up a "good-enough" version of Docc's Q+A act.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
ThoughtThief
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Regarding Lift and Reminiscence, it appears that the "you can't have it so you must/grass is greener" phenomena have spread like viruses. By not including these particular routines from his working repetoire in the mass published version of Pure Effect, Derren has inadvertently (or perhaps knowingly?) elevated these effects to mythic proportions.

There is no denying the intelligence and cleverness of Derren's thinking in structuring these routines, but would you still clamour for them knowing the following?:

1. With both Lift and Reminiscence, the "jig is up" or the effect gravely undermined as soon as the subject talks to her friends and other spectators.

2. Particularly in the case of Reminiscence (the "apparently devining the detailed memories of a subject concerning a life experience" routine), the subject's reaction to the supposed revelations of her inner most secret thoughts will be oddly muted--certainly not the "oh my god!, how did you know that?, I'm going to p** myself!!" outbursts one would expect. (On the video performance of this routine, the subject's reaction was sort of a bemused, "cat who ate the canary" expression.)

Frankly, IMO there are more satisfying applications in the literature and elsewhere of the "dual reality" (the subject experiences one effect and the audience experiences another) and "instant (witting or unwitting) stooge" principles employed by Derren in these routines--particularly in the case of Reminiscence. The key to a successful dual reality effect is that both "realities" must be sufficiently astonishing to create a reaction in the subject that is consistent with the effect that the audience is supposed to be witnessing. Taking nothing away from Derren's obvious talent and creativity, I'm not sure that Reminiscence gets there. Because we cannot see a thought being transferred, and only the subject knows for sure what the thought is and whether the mentalist has "gotten" it, an audience viewing mentalism must first and formeost take its cue directly from the reaction of the person whose thoughts are supposedly being "read." If the reaction of a subject to the mentalist's revelation that "the waiter's hair was red" is a shrug of the shoulders or sly smile--anything less than a hand-over-the-mouth gasp of astonishment--how is the audience to respond? Precisely.

I have no doubt but that Derren's admirable desire for "minimal visible compromise" led him to choose the dual reality method for Reminiscence. He apparently didn't want to resort to pre-show work; didn't want the subject to write anything down in front of the audience (eliminating billets, p*** devices and impr****** devices); didn't want to reveal primarily numbers, letters or short words (eliminating NW) and only after the subject announced them (eliminating NW and d***** wr*****); and didn't want to rely on telepathy. Given these self-imposed constraints, therefore, Derren chose dual reality, and the "visible compromise" he made to this method was that the audience sees the subject select a tarot card to deterimine the kind of memory or experience to think about (relationship, career, travel, etc.) However, some would argue that what was sacrificed in real-time effect and post-perormance effect was not worth the "reduction" in visible compromise. Indeed, some would contend that the visible compromise made was not less than the visible compromises inherent in other methods, only different, and that the effect would be strengthened substantially (or at least the weaknesses diminished) by using one of the other arrows in the mentalist's quiver. But if curiosity still gets the better of you, then by all means keep searching for these "holy grail" routines.

That's just one person's opinion, of course.
Adam
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Thoughtthief,

That's one of the most intelligent posts I've read on this board. Thanks for that.
GothicBen
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Excellent, ThoughtThief!

I don't deny that Derren is a marvellous thinker, and performer, but if I've seen one "Where can I find lift / reminiscence" post I've seen a few dozen.

Now that ThoughtThief has helped enlighten us, let's hope we don't see ANOTHER thread in two weeks time saying "Derren Brown -lift".

That said, I ain't holding my breath...
mclare
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Thoughtthief - admittedly I am a DB fan and always eager to leap to his defence, but I do think your criticisms of Reminiscence are a little unfair. The routine is structured so that there is no reason for the subject to react to anything. She has no idea what D is doing - in fact, has a very different idea. And not only that but she's hypnotised, and told to give simple answers in what we take to be a sleepy state. It's designed specifically to deal with that response issue, which he talks about at length in PE.
However, you may just not like the effect much. But the effect when he did it at MindMagic was electric, and seeing him do his current version (which is different and gets over your other issue about discussions afterwards with the subject)in Bristol was awesome.

just my thoughts,
M
ThoughtThief
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Thank you for your thoughtful input, mclare. I, too, admire tremendously Derren's marvelous, creative thinking and his efforts to modernize the presentation of mentalism and popularize it with contemporary audiences(see my "Collected Posts" on this forum concerning Derren). It is not that I don't like Reminiscence (I do, in fact); I simply believe there are better applications of the dual reality principle, including ones that do not require the subject to appear intermittently somnambulant. My comments were offered not so much as a "criticism" of Lift and Reminiscence--both routines are brilliantly conceived, in my opinion--but as an effort to assuage the angst of a considerable number of Café members (judging from the number of posts concerning these "deleted" routines) that they had somehow missed out on something revolutionary or unprecedented in the history of mentalism by not purchasing the first edition of Pure Effect. My points simply were that the principles employed by Derren in these routines are standard mentalists fare and, as is the case with any of mentalism's plethora of efforts to portray a paranormal experience, neither effect is without its own compromises and imperfections. Indeed, I would be most interested to know how Derren has reworked Reminiscence to address the issue of the potentially chirpy subject once the show is over. (Perhaps you would be kind enough to PM me with a description?) Please do not mistake my comments for an indictment of Derren or his work. In my view, Derren is one of the most innovative and serious thinkers in magic today, and his successful efforts to elevate the performance of magic, and the public's perception thereof, from mere amusement to legitimate performing art should rightly be lauded.

Thank you again for your thoughts.

TT
A l a i n B e ll o n
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Thought thief,

Excellent thoughts on your post. I agree with all except a few details:

Quote:
I'm not sure that Reminiscence gets there. Because we cannot see a thought being transferred, and only the subject knows for sure what the thought is and whether the mentalist has "gotten" it, an audience viewing mentalism must first and formeost take its cue directly from the reaction of the person whose thoughts are supposedly being "read." If the reaction of a subject to the mentalist's revelation that "the waiter's hair was red" is a shrug of the shoulders or sly smile--anything less than a hand-over-the-mouth gasp of astonishment--how is the audience to respond? Precisely.


If you remember Derren's performance on his Lecture video, the participant is never made aware of the mentalist's revelations. The revelations are written down, and the participant never sees them. No reaction is expected from the participant in this case. Furthermore, Derren after each revelation says: "Who else got this? Yes. Yes. You too. Yes." This creates the notion that some people in the audience are getting the thoughts from the participant, which to her would be unexplainable.

Of course then you get the issue of a "chirpy" participant. But pay attention to the way Derren closes the routine. That is his attempt to solve the issue. I don't know if it works though.
ThoughtThief
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Point taken, Alain, and thank you for your comments. You are correct: The "reality" supposed to be experienced by the subject in Reminiscence is that, with her eyes closed and with the encouragement of the mentalist, she is successfully transmitting certain facts to members of the audience, a reality that is confirmed through the audience's applause, the mentalist's oral indications that audience members have received the transmitted fact, and the congratulatory words of the mentalist. You are also correct to observe that because "revelations" of the subject's thoughts are not being made, per se (at least in the reality experienced by the subject), "No reaction is expected from the participant in this case."** But I suppose that is also MY point: because of the "dual reality" method that Derren elected to employ, the audience, which in ITS reality is supposed to be experiencing what is arguably the jewel in the mentalist's crown--the divination of a stranger's innermost, personal thoughts--is deprived of that which goes far to make this quintessential effect a distinctly memorable event, i.e., the squeals, cries, shouts, gasps and other spontaneous expressions of utter astonishment that spew forth from a subject whose unspoken thoughts have just been divined and revealed. Add to that the sheepish grin displayed by the subject (on the lecture video, at least) when she first looks at her selected card, her none-too-hypnotised-sounding speech when she is called upon to say more than "yes" or "no," and the issue of the subject comparing notes with the audience after the performance (particularly in a setting where audience members are likely to know one another), and I believe the question can legitimately be asked whether other "compromises" available to the mentalist might more satisfactorily achieve the effect (in the audience's view) sought to be created by Reminiscence. But, hey, no routine or effect is "perfect"--not even Derren's, brilliant and diabolical though they may be--which was my original point.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

TT

**I was remiss in not directly addressing this same point made by mclare in his post.
A l a i n B e ll o n
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Quote:
...the divination of a stranger's innermost, personal thoughts--is deprived of that which goes far to make this quintessential effect a distinctly memorable event, i.e., the squeals, cries, shouts, gasps and other spontaneous expressions of utter astonishment that spew forth from a subject whose unspoken thoughts have just been divined and revealed.


Absolutely!

And of course, there are ways to change the presentation to include these moments.

Right Derren?
Quentin
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There is a copy of the very first limited edition of PURE EFFECT with full descriptions of LIFT and REMINISENCE Look Here
hackmonkey
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There are lecture notes from his 1997 lecture out there for 'Reminiscene', my friend lent me them. All I can say is it's going straight into my stage show, it may not be perfect eg ThoughtThief's comments but for most of the audience it is a miracle. Little things like when the second spec writes someting down and it's the number the first spec is thnking of. Smile
Look behind you...on your left...thats the real world.



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leondo
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Quote:
...snip...On 2002-12-05 23:09, hackmonkey wrote:
but for most of the audience it is a miracle.


For "Most" of the audience?
With all due respect, do you really perform?
Ted (Leondo)
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