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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Least favorite mental effects (27 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JimB_85
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Are there any mentalism routines that you simply refuse to do because you dislike them? I've got a few that I don't think I'll ever perform:

- readings (they feel exploitative, and if you do a reading for someone who is a genuine believer, then you don't know how they could react)
- Rubik's Cube predictions (too gimmicky for my taste)
- progressive anagrams (always felt to me like a dressed-up form of guessing)
- iPhone/iPad effects (they'll know you're using an app)
Mr. Woolery
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The variety of paper bag/cup over a spike tricks. Those freaking horrify me. I don’t want to make people afraid for their physical safety.

Chair tests tend to confuse me when I watch them. So I don’t find them all that interesting.

Most magic square presentations are really dull. However Doug Dyment’s material in Calculated Thoughts has me rethinking them. So now I am no longer in the “never gonna do that” camp and somewhere in the middle.

The awesome thing about magic and mentalism is that there are so many tricks and possibilities that there’s truly no reason any two performers should have a similar show. TA Waters had a good screed on this topic in MMM.

Patrick
Mindpro
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ACAAN, 4thDT, most book tests, Name/Place Routine, Mental Epic, most chair tests, anything with playing cards, to name just a few that quickly pop into my mind, plus I agree with these you mentioned - Rubik's Cube predictions (not mentalism), progressive anagrams (often too much fishing), and I strongly agree about any iPhone/iPad effects. I could go on but these are enough to get started.

Happy holidays everyone!
Pit Boss
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4th Dimensional Telepathy, straight out of the Cassidy book, may be the strongest thing I do (if people's reactions are any indication).
Totally agree about progressive anagrams.

JD
George Hunter
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I cannot think of any genre that I particularly dislike, but for various reasons I will likely never perform much with plying cards, nothing with a Zodiak theme, no smash and stab, no confabulation, only a brief reading as within a psychometry routine, no serious bizarre themes.

George
Mindpro
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Thanks, George, I forgot and agree about smash & stab.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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I don't consider smash and grab mentalism at all and still don't like it even as entertainment. I avoid any demonstration people might try at home.

I do not care for Prediction Effects for the same reason audiences seem to like them. They know it must be fake so they have no fear or sense of risk or mental challenge.

Such an Effect requires the observer to accept two premises: that of a paranormal ability and that of a pre-determined future.
Why make their brains work any harder than necessary? Most Effects can be presented as Influence or Clairvoyance without the second risky premise.
Save Predictions for card trick.

Yeah, any Effect using electronics is out. I fell asleep during a hopping chess knight demonstration.

I did not much care for most Book Tests as they are too much work for to small a result, so I created ones that allow for more complete reveal and "found books" rather than props.

So, I guess my answer is that if you don't like an effect, modify it till it smiles for you.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Djin
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I remember the first time I saw a bag over spike routine. It was at a renaissance fair and the guy was a good actor. He built it up and I was really afraid for him. He was (in my mind) about to get a huge blade through his palm.

Things I have no interest in trying to perform? Definitely any smart phone effects. The premise that it's not an app is not believable.
Rhewin
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Confabulation is one of the only things that just does nothing for me. Whether printed or hand written, I've never been blown away. Yes, yes, everything we say is going to be on a single note. I also don't like most routines that are presented as predictions. I'll second what someone else said and say they work better as influence, perception, or mind reading effects.

I also don't like effects that use confederates or instant stooges. That's not exactly an unpopular opinion, but some of the masters don't shy away from them. 13 Steps and PRISM/The Color Series both have a significant amount of effects based on them. I'm sure they're quite fooling but I wouldn't have a good time.

But all in all I don't know if there's a lot of value in focusing on what effects we don't like. If you don't believe in it or your ability to sell it, it won't work. Don't bother with it and leave it for the next guy.

If you think branching anagrams look like fishing, don't do them because they will look like fishing. If you think magic squares are boring, don't do them because they will be boring. If you think people will always know that routines that use technology must be apps, don't use them because your spectators will know you're using an app.
JamJar
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Likes: Book tests, PK touches, Metal Bending, ACAAN, OOTW and anything involving a blindfold Smile
Dislikes: smash & stab, anagrams, pendulums (they just don’t do it for me) I’m not too keen on which hand either but I will say I’m open minded and will try anything once (within reason!)

Merry Christmas everybody Smile
Mid 40s guy probably having a mid life crisis, so I started a blog!
Www.mentalistblogger.com
Julie
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Larry Becker's RUSSIAN ROULETTE is scary!
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Any "mentalism" effect involving playing cards. To me, it's just a card trick.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
JimB_85
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Agreed, Philemon. If you're going to simulate psychic powers, why limit yourself to something as trivial as predicting what playing card someone will select?
JamJar
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Quote:
On Dec 25, 2021, JimB_85 wrote:
If you're going to simulate psychic powers, why limit yourself to something as trivial as predicting what playing card someone will select?


I respectfully disagree, I don’t see it as limiting or trivial.
I see it as a demonstration of my intuitive abilities
Mid 40s guy probably having a mid life crisis, so I started a blog!
Www.mentalistblogger.com
Mindpro
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Of all possible be ways to demonstrate intuitive abilities predicting a card is the best you can do?
JamJar
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Who said it was the best I could do? I was making the point that I don’t find playing cards limiting or trivial
Mid 40s guy probably having a mid life crisis, so I started a blog!
Www.mentalistblogger.com
funsway
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Playing cards? Not trivial - but I do not want "trick" to be the first thought in a spectator's mind.

You can use your card trick skills with Recipe Cards, paint chips, business cards, etc. Why start off behind the curve?

I guess it comes down to whether one wants be an entertainer who uses mental based demonstrations,
or a presenter of paranormal phenomena in an entertaining way.

to paraphrase Laurence Olivier, "For some in the audience this will be their first experience with Mentalism, for other it may be their last. Make it real for both."

Playing cards? naaaa.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
JamJar
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It’s really a matter of personal preference, I quite like playing cards and I see nothing wrong with using them in performance.
Spend a little time in the presence of Peter Turner then ask his audience if they think of him as a magician who performs tricks or if they believe he has some other type of abilities.
Mid 40s guy probably having a mid life crisis, so I started a blog!
Www.mentalistblogger.com
Escamoteur
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I generally steer clear of 99 percent of effects with smartphones, or any modern technological gadget for that matter. While I have always been enamoured with technology and am a serious power user of it in my personal life, and when appropriate or necessary I love technology in magic or mentalism behind the scenes, I feel the intrinsic nature of the smartphone putting in essence "magic" in everyone's hands detracts from the impact of anything done involving one (my personal opinion others have their own and some surely can prove the opposite). As it is, while a heavy computer user my smartphone use is more akin to a Swiss army knife and not something I have attached to my palm every moment, to the point where I am sometimes still asked if I have one. I very much like that. (Meanwhile I walk around armed with an extremely hi tech but invisible tool).

There is one awesome use of smartphones for mentalists. When I craft a premise for things, I often make sure references in the script are airtight enough to withstand a Google check. (A simple example being a particular ESP study or the like). In a group of folks I can often rely on someone checking on the fly, and I find this very beneficial. I am glad though that the technology did not exist in my 20's when I was table hopping close up at a bar and told oh so many patrons that I was charging a dollar bill with static electricity by rubbing it on my afro Smile.
sujetom
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I don't think is about the type of effect, but rather the kind of dressing you put in it. Like... the presentation. A confabulation can get the effect of mental control, pseudopsychology, medium, etc; you can do spikes but with eggs or drinks.

Yes, I agree that if you are using an app, younger audiences can be more souspicous (and not that young); using technology in magic deminishes the magic...
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