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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Question about "Mes(s)merize" ebook by Stefan Olschewski (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magical Dimensions
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Ok, I finally bought this after all this time.... The reason I didn't buy it back when it came out was that it just didn't make sense that it would work during one part of the routine. So I bought it just the other day and I was right….. It doesn’t work as described. It said in the advertisement that the audience throws their envelopes onto the stage creating a mess on the floor. How can this happen? I use to work on stages and thrown envelopes would never make it up to the stage from the audience. Unless the word stage in the advertisement means a totally different thing than what a real stage really is.

I read the PDF and then got an envelope like described and stood in my office and threw it as hard as I could. It went this way and that way and finally landed about three feet to my right…. It didn’t have a change of making it to a real stage. I tried five different ways of throwing the envelope and not one made it over two - three feet from me. So what am I missing?
How can I get a flat light envelope to fly 20 feet or so unto a real stage? Like I said earlier it just doesn't make sense.

I thought that maybe the envelopes could be gathered in a bowl and brought up to the stage and there a spectator or the performer could then just dump the envelopes onto the stage floor. This way, at least the envelopes would make it to the stage.




Ray
Greg Arce
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Although I haven't tried it, I kind of felt like you do that it wouldn't work that way. I was already trying to come up with a solution. This might work: So after everyone has put the cards in the envelopes you have them pass them down the line so the first four or five seats get them. Then you have those persons walk up to the front of the stage or closer to you, and then toss their bundles.

See if that helps.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Shadow Art
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Sounds like a messy routine. If routine didn't work as described, author should refund money.
Magical Dimensions
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Greg,
Thanks for your suggestion and I do like it.



Ray
Mobius
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There's a performance of it on his Mentalities DVD. On the video, Stefan is performing in a smallish venue and he instructs the people in the front rows to simply pick up any envelopes that don't make it to the stage/platform and throw them forwards.
I like the routine a lot (haven't performed it - but definitely worth revisiting) and my feeling when I first watched it was that the spectator gets to pick up a handful of randomly and haphazardly thrown envelopes from the floor. It doesn't matter if there are only 10-15 envelopes to choose from as it is the arbitrary nature of the selection that matters.
aligator
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I agree that it seems a bit messy and a somewhat imperfect routine. I thought about it at one time, but decided against it. That said, I think Greg's idea would work but when there are better demonstrations available....why bother?
spatrick
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It's all in how you present it!



S. Patrick
Magical Dimensions
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On Dec 3, 2018, spatrick wrote:
It's all in how you present it!

S. Patrick




Nice presentation, but the envelopes still wouldn't make it onto a stage. Even on that video they only went a few feet.

Maybe if index cards were used and placed in the envelopes it might give a little more weight to the whole thing.

After buying this thing and trying to make it work, I remembered an old rule that I momentarily forgot. Simply that when working gigs back to back almost nightly you want routines that are easy set ups and no cleaning up of your work area between shows. If done as the last routine it would be ok (I guess) but if this was done in the beginning or in the middle of your act, you now have all those darn envelopes lying on the floor. Are you going to stop and pick them all up before you move on with your act or just leave it until the act is over? Both look bad IMO.

Like alligator say, “There are better demonstrations available.” And I have to agree….



Ray
Greg Arce
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I think, for those of us that have a problem with the tossing, we have this nice vision of the chaos that's presented in the demonstration. BUT, what it really comes down to is the appearance of a freely chosen envelope from a large group.

So, why not do the picking in other ways: the envelopes are collected in a large bowl and the spectator gets to randomly plunge his hand into the bowl and pick out an envelope/if we stay with he chaos look, what if the performer holds the bold and says he will toss up the envelopes and the spectator is to reach into the air and pick out one at random as they fly up/staying with the chaos, the spectator grabs all the envelopes and the performer tells the spectator to close his eyes and start tossing away envelopes randomly until he's left with one/the spectator takes all the envelopes and makes large various stacks of them on your table... now you have him smack off the stacks in random order until only one is left on the table

Anyway, now just realizing that it all comes down to showing that it is a free choice from all those envelopes, there are many ways to approach the choosing.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
StephenRoy
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On Dec 4, 2018, Greg Arce wrote:
Anyway, now just realizing that it all comes down to showing that it is a free choice from all those envelopes, there are many ways to approach the choosing.

Agreed. It's not so much about the throwing, but the randomness of the selection. If you're in a big theater with a proscenium stage, collecting them in a bowl as Greg suggest makes sense, and then simply dumped on stage... Or the reaching in the bowl and taking one. Or do a different routine -- like my father always used to say, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."
Shadow Art
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If you use bowl, then you can use any s***ch bowl or basket on the market.
StephenRoy
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On Dec 6, 2018, Shadow Art wrote:
If you use bowl, then you can use any s***ch bowl or basket on the market.


You could, but then you wouldn't be performing Mes(s)merized anymore and are getting off the topic of the mess that Men(s)merized leaves. However, the audience wouldn't know the difference...
Shadow Art
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Well, it's logical. If the audience can't throw envelopes on the stage and because of that you use bowl, then why you need this routine instead of !@#$e bowl?
Greg Arce
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On Dec 7, 2018, Shadow Art wrote:
Well, it's logical. If the audience can't throw envelopes on the stage and because of that you use bowl, then why you need this routine instead of !@#$e bowl?


You'd want to make sure that it's as clean as the original method so the bowl should remain in sight and be completely clear. The whole point of the original is that it looks like there is no possibility of a switch and that the person truly got a choice of one of the audience's envelopes.

As long as you maintain those rules then any way to accomplish the same ending would work.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
StephenRoy
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On Dec 7, 2018, Shadow Art wrote:
Well, it's logical. If the audience can't throw envelopes on the stage and because of that you use bowl, then why you need this routine instead of !@#$e bowl?


You wouldn't... I think Mes(s)merized is a good routine for a more intimate audience. In a larger venue or on proscenium stage, the black envelope and the wine glass holder may get lost in the scenery. I doubt I'd choose to perform it in any large auditorium type setting because of that.
aligator
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Nor would I. I have often tried to think of ways to make this work in a manner that feels comfortable but always come up short. Maybe it is the imperfection of the effect. Maybe it's me.
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