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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Spectator as magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DavidMor
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Hi
I have recently had some great results from simply "reversing the table" on a few mentalism effects. Instead of me doing the magic, the spectator seems to be the real magician. Example: "I can tell you have some unusual ability to read minds. I am writing down a two digit number on this pad. I am through; you hold the pencil. Close your eyes. Do you see a number? 31? Yes, exactly, that is amazing! (Vernet w****r) Did you know you could do that? YOU ARE AMAZING!"

Here is the weird thing. I did this on my wife. She actually claimed that she has had this sort of mental ability all her life! My sister actually claimed that she just knew me so well, she could guess my number!

Both of them knew that I do magic for a hobby. But, apparently their desire to believe they were special/magical/intuitive simply overrode the obvious explanation: it was a trick.

So, here is my question: what other magic tricks, especially mental effects, can be recast into this mold where the spectator seems to do the magic? I can think of a few, such as The Invisible Deck ("can you guess which card I previously reversed in this deck?"). But, surely there are more.

Any thoughts?
Jerskin
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Ted Lesley's "Spectator as mindreader"
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Peter Morrissey
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I guess you could reverse the "which hand " routine so they are right time and again
Last Laugh
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Any effect that can be presented as a prediction can also be presented as a spectator as mind reader effect.

There are ongoing arguments about this - some mentalists prefer to make themselves the mind readers and don't like these types of effects. Others (myself included) find that they are among the strongest effects you can do.
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ProfessorMagicJMG
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This approach is one of the core principles of most of the Alchemy Moon products, and it has changed how I think about magic: its purpose and my role as a performer. Add to the list of mentalism “personas” what I now call “The Awakener”... Performer whose goal is to awaken latent psychic abilities of audience members. As those who do readings as part of their mentalism know, people are most interested in them elves. Crafting all your mentalism in that direction cannot help but be successful. It is just not popular. It requires a certain amount of humility and genuine goodwill toward the audience members, and the commitment to provide them with a unique experience that boosts their self-concept and their faith in their own potential.
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John C
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Mr. Woolery
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I do a Living and Dead test in which the participant finds his own card. I used to follow this with me figuring the name on it, but that puts the focus back on me. I want it on the helper.

In general, I enjoy the sense of cooperation in a routine, rather than the feeling that I’m invasively pulling information from their brains.

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jimgerrish
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In The Wizards' Journal #34, two of the mentalist effects encourage spectators to discover their own psychic powers by participating in tests of just how strong their mental skills are. In "The Cardless Card Trick", you use a "Psychic" spectator to convince a "Skeptic" spectator (and the rest of your audience) that just maybe paranormal powers really do exist. In that same WizJ #34, using "CLEAR-Voyance Cards", a "Sender" and a "Receiver" are chosen from the audience. The Receiver is not trying to guess, nor to mentally see, the Sender’s freely and randomly chosen card, but only a hole in the universe of 52 cards. It is the ABSENCE of the Sender's card that he must perceive. The Receiver must mentally look for where it is NOT. And of course, he does! There are other mental tests of this sort in several other issues of The Wizards' Journal. Just recently, we began exploring just how well we could convince spectators that they have "magic powers," but these powers only last for the duration of the individual tricks (such as the examples in "Follow the Leader" in The Wizards' Journal #37) and it doesn't take the spectators long to realize that they really don't have "magic powers." However their belief in their own natural "psychic powers" seems to be reinforced and not easily dispelled when the show is over!
Senor Fabuloso
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I may be wrong but it seems that if we allow the participant to find his own psychic powers, we become more reliable? Especially if we start with the premise that the powers we have are afforded us through years of research and training. But if you have to be born with it, I don't see how the participant can accomplish our feats. Mr. Geller would say and I'm paraphrasing that, "while his powers were highly developed anybody could develop the powers in themselves with years of training."

So I guess the way it works would depend mostly on, ones character and presentational motivations.
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IAIN
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For me, it's ok if it's a low level reveal, a two digit number, a star sign or similar...but nothing too over the top...
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seamagu
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Yeah, I agree with Iain, if they were to divine my phone number less say, its too much of a jump for them going from no ability to high ability. Then when they leave the show they are back to no ability. But if you get it at the right level, example w digit number or starsigns guessing, well then when a coincidence happens a few days later, they are more likely to attribute it to this awakened ability.

I think if you show a sudden ability that is too amazing, they will just put it down to a trick.
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Senor Fabuloso
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I wonder how OOTW figures into this discussion? When I do it, I make sure to interject one or two mistakes. Is that a good idea if presenting it as mentalism?
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IAIN
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2018, seamagu wrote:
Yeah, I agree with Iain, if they were to divine my phone number less say, its too much of a jump for them going from no ability to high ability. Then when they leave the show they are back to no ability. But if you get it at the right level, example w digit number or starsigns guessing, well then when a coincidence happens a few days later, they are more likely to attribute it to this awakened ability.

I think if you show a sudden ability that is too amazing, they will just put it down to a trick.


Yeah, definitely... Plus, those kinds of things can also be seen as guessing games, and one for them to try out again with friends and family after the fact.

This is where the presentation kicks in, because if the presentation doesn't support the idea that it worked "under certain circumstances" then it can lead to the idea it was just a trick...which is and isn't a problem depending on your POV...
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Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
So I guess the way it works would depend mostly on, ones character and presentational motivations.


Very well said Smile
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
vsha2
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Many routines that involve multiple out as a reveal can be a spectator as predictor/mindreader.

Also, Ken Dyne (kennedy) came up with Whisper - which is in principle very very strong as a spectator/mindreader plot.
DavidMor
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Wow! Thank you so much for all your Replies from everyone. I asked this question about "spectator as magician" and then got distracted with life. I come back here to the Forum, and find that there is a WEALTH of great information in your responses: Which Hand; Predictions; Alchemy Moon; Living and Dead Test; Wizards Journal; Whisper.

And, I agree that the performer should not jump into having the spectator suddenly accomplish a great deal. So, when I do the Vernet w*****r, I ask them to divine my two digit number. They are always off by one on the first few predictions, but then nail it!

Thank you so much! I have a lot to pursue!

This approach does seem to suit my personality. Now, I just need to get up the nerve to go perform on the street or before adults. (Most of my magic is done before my grandchildren or family.)
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