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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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MysticJohn
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Im personally not crazy about iPhone effects. I’ve seen some good ones. However it’s not for me.
Scott
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I don't like mentalism with playing cards for the reasons already stated.

That's it really.

Oh but I also find the majority of book tests boring and I don't like anything that uses specially printed full colour laminated whatever's.

Apart from that.

Well actually I don't like mentalism with phone apps, I don't like anything that requires me to buy refills from a magic dealer but thinking about it I can't remember the last time I bought anything from a dealer so that one probably doesn't count.

That's about all I suppose

But now you mention it I loved my spoon bending routine but don't do it any more because every man and his dog are bending spoons like balloon animals. I steer clear of the latest and greatest bandwagon and also avoid all high tech gadgets. I don't like which hand effects (low tech or high tech) and if it can be Googled forget it.

Apart from that anything goes.

Oh except 99% of all the cutting edge propless routines out there especially star sign reveals.








And wallets.
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Rhewin
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Quote:
On Dec 30, 2021, Scott wrote:
I don't like mentalism with playing cards for the reasons already stated.

That's it really.

Oh but I also find the majority of book tests boring and I don't like anything that uses specially printed full colour laminated whatever's.

Apart from that.

Well actually I don't like mentalism with phone apps, I don't like anything that requires me to buy refills from a magic dealer but thinking about it I can't remember the last time I bought anything from a dealer so that one probably doesn't count.

That's about all I suppose

But now you mention it I loved my spoon bending routine but don't do it any more because every man and his dog are bending spoons like balloon animals. I steer clear of the latest and greatest bandwagon and also avoid all high tech gadgets. I don't like which hand effects (low tech or high tech) and if it can be Googled forget it.

Apart from that anything goes.

Oh except 99% of all the cutting edge propless routines out there especially star sign reveals.

...

And wallets.


You might have saved time if you had just told us what you don't dislike! From my count you're good with about 10 of the 13 Steps and that's about it Smile
funsway
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On Dec 30, 2021, Rhewin wrote:

You might have saved time if you had just told us what you don't dislike! From my count you're good with about 10 of the 13 Steps and that's about it Smile


Me - I like the see the workings of an experienced Mentalist - so full of confidence about what they know Smile
none of that searching, probing - a center tear with nothing but doodles, an out looking for a demonstration.

Just kidding, Scott - I found your post amusing.
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Scott
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Quote:
On Dec 30, 2021, Rhewin wrote:

You might have saved time if you had just told us what you don't dislike! From my count you're good with about 10 of the 13 Steps and that's about it Smile


Ha! I think you are probably right and that was the short list. The older I get, the longer I'm in this business the more selective I've become.

But if you read between the lines.

1% of Propless is gold and I use it.

The Minority of Book Tests are brilliant and I use them.

If I write or draw the information from those specially printed full colour laminated whatever's onto blank cards they become more organic and less propy.

I get great satisfaction from recreating routines that require high tech gadgetry by using low tech props.

Avoiding the latest and greatest bandwagon means most of what I'm doing can't be googled in the first place.

I get a lot of mileage out of star sign revelations without the propless verbal gymnastics.

I've got a drawer full of wallets but can do the same routines they were designed for with an envelope.

And if someone hands me a deck of cards I've got enough mentalism material to bore them to death for at least 2 hours.


But I'm sorry, I can't think of anything nice to say about phone apps. Smile
Scott Creasey - Mind Reader

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Rhewin
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2021, Scott wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 30, 2021, Rhewin wrote:

You might have saved time if you had just told us what you don't dislike! From my count you're good with about 10 of the 13 Steps and that's about it Smile


Ha! I think you are probably right and that was the short list. The older I get, the longer I'm in this business the more selective I've become.

But if you read between the lines.

...


What can I say? I'm just too positive for these kinds of topics. I like what you're saying between the lines Smile
clairvoyant
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The ones other performers are using.
phedonbilek
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Quote:
On Dec 30, 2021, Scott wrote:
I don't like mentalism with playing cards for the reasons already stated.

That's it really.

Oh but I also find the majority of book tests boring and I don't like anything that uses specially printed full colour laminated whatever's.

Apart from that.

Well actually I don't like mentalism with phone apps, I don't like anything that requires me to buy refills from a magic dealer but thinking about it I can't remember the last time I bought anything from a dealer so that one probably doesn't count.

That's about all I suppose

But now you mention it I loved my spoon bending routine but don't do it any more because every man and his dog are bending spoons like balloon animals. I steer clear of the latest and greatest bandwagon and also avoid all high tech gadgets. I don't like which hand effects (low tech or high tech) and if it can be Googled forget it.

Apart from that anything goes.

Oh except 99% of all the cutting edge propless routines out there especially star sign reveals.








And wallets.



HA HA HA!!! Best post ever! 😂😂


Phedon
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JanForster
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On Jan 1, 2022, clairvoyant wrote:
The ones other performers are using.


Always my first decision... Smile Jan
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JackThomson
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Anything that looks like it came from a dealer is a no-go for me. As Scott said above, so many can be replicated onto index cards with a marker and suddenly feel 100% more natural and less proppy.

I agree that most apps are a no-go HOWEVER, I have had some amazing experiences with WikiTest and DFB. It's just about making the phone completely incidental and like the effect could have happened without the phone. (This is close-up, I'd NEVER use a phone on stage).

I tend to stay away from anything too esoteric or alternative as it doesn't suit my performing character.

I hate routines that involve any process that isn't intuitive and try to structure my routines so everything that happens in them is similar to the flow of if I was doing it for real.

I'll never do routines that involve mixing patterns or series of cuts etc. Either shuffle the cards or don't, anything else looks 'tricky'.

I will never perform anything at a paid gig that isn't methodologically 100% sure fire, I'm being paid to entertain by reading minds and knowing thoughts (I know the strength of misses but I like to include them in scripting rather than just seeing what happens each gig).

Ana***ms typically don't do much for me (apart from one or two where the restricted options seem like they could be anything). Unfortunately, forgetting the world of mentalism, most people are not idiots and are aware of how to do a process of elimination.

Although I haven't mentioned specific routines, I do think the most important thing within mentalism is what Derren wrote about as "Invisible Compromise". When viewing a routine, if any part feels contrived or unnatural, it kills it.

No routine is perfect, but by running through what it would look like if we did it for real, we can get ourselves a hell of a lot closer.
Mind Circus
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Double reality effects don't appeal to me. Though I love reading about and learning about such things, I mostly perform for smaller groups, dinner parties, etc. These groups would certainly speak to each other afterwards.
Chaz93
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99 percent of the "propless" stuff. It's just such a long way to go for a reveal, and more often that not it doesn't even work and you're falling back on tried and true methods like bi**ets and n**l wr**ers.

Pin reveals. Utterly boring to me.

Metal Bending. Unless someone is doing an actual PK show it's just a magic trick. So many magicians now do some form of metal bending, it's just not believable any more. Audiences do seem to enjoy it, but as a performer I hate it.

Magic Squares/Number Reveals. Oh joy... math. How very entertaining.

Star Sign reveals. Good for an added hit but not what I would consider a great stand alone effect. Especially when you're using a PA to accomplish it. If you're going to do a star sign reveal B*ll*ts or an *nd*x are the way to go.
David Thiel
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It’s tight deciding whether I’d rather count my own teeth or watch another fricking Magic Square routine. Despise all iPhone effects. I’m pretty sure Hell is populated with undead mentalists wanting to inflict defective anagram effects on me. Topping the “Who Cares?” Category is every single PIN divination effect. All routines featuring numbers…except mine. Every card trick that isn’t a creative Invis*ble Deck routine.

And also…oh…the list just goes on.

And on.

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Rhewin
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I’ve just recently discovered how much I hate watch routines. They bore me to death. From Peter Turner to Richard Osterlind, I’ve yet to see one that held my interest. Also something about Confabulation performances are a bore for me. Yes, yes, yet to the reveal. Of course I attribute this to me simply having seen too many.
dirtyfoucault
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Pin reveals

Magic squares

Long, procedural propless routines.
Noobmaster69
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Q&A
Dr Ross
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This is an interesting thread to read for several reasons. At first, it seemed like it was just a place or opportunity for people to bash certain plots, effects, and methods in mentalism. As a result, I initially felt an urge to defend the effects and methods that were being bashed, especially those I that I use or like.

But once that knee-jerk reaction had dissipated, I realised that viewpoint was on me. However, I did suddenly notice that the content of this thread provides useful insights into why certain effects/methods are disliked. I realised that this provides an opportunity for us to find solutions to these problems. Based on the posts, the majority of people's dislikes stem from either:

- The view that an effect is boring (primarily from the mentalist's POV) or meaningless
- The view that a method is transparent
- The view that a process is too long (confined almost exclusively to propless routines)
- An aversion to props that look too 'gimmicky'
- An incongruence between one's character and the premise of an effect

Focusing on the underlying reasons (rather than the specific effects/method) enables us to observe and appreciate the differences between us in terms of character and approach. In turn, we can more readily appreciate why one person dislikes an effect while another person doesn't. This could be simply reduced to "horses for courses". However, identifying and focusing on 'reasons' provides us with another important and useful opportunity - it enables us to move the discussion to "What can we do to remedy this specific issue?". A few posts in this thread (e.g., from Scott and Jack) already showcase this, as they explain how they addressed and adapted a certain method/premise so that it fits with their approach, skillset, and character.

If we take the issue of finding (in its raw form) an effect or premise to be boring, what can be done to remedy this? The simplest thing to do is avoid and not perform it (and, very likely, remain averse to it). A second option is to check whether our dislike is underpinned by the 'egocentric bias' (i.e., "I find it boring so my participants will") or the 'curse of knowledge' bias (i.e., "I know how this works, so others will"). To address this, we should simply trial the effect and check whether people do find it boring. But, for me, the best option is to find a way to make it not boring. This involves taking the time to create or identify a meaningful, engaging, or fun premise within which we can embed the effect/method - one that both we and our participants will find interesting. I find this activity to be quite fun in and of itself. It also has the benefit of addressing other issues raised in this thread (e.g., finding something meaningless, not liking long procedures, feeling that something does not fit our character, feeling that something is too obvious). I know that many people already do this and is something that others regularly mention (e.g., "It's all about the performance" or "It's how you perform it"). However, I find that this specific topic receives, relatively speaking, far less in-depth discussion.

Just some thoughts...

Ross
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'Janken' (propless RPS effects) and 'Tacitus'
landmark
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One staple of mentalism that leaves me cold is the 7 Keys to Baldpate plot. Fishing through a bunch of keys several times in order to find a key that fits a lock that the mentalist has thoughtfully provided...Meh.
John C
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On Dec 25, 2021, JimB_85 wrote:
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?


I don't think that's fair. Generalizing using playing cards with a simple find a card. That's different than using playing cards in a good mentalism designed routine.

I've not put myself in a box. If I have an idea and I feel it will work best with playing cards then I'll use them.

We've all heard the great rationals for playing cards in mind reading. 😀 various suits numbers picture and a few colors. Wow that's a lot to choose from and plant in someone's mind.
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Matt Pulsar
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Mentalism when performed in the context of a magic show during which the conceit of the performance is that the entertainer is doing tricks. Pretty much any effect of Mentalism is killed by this and it’s hard to watch. That’s not to say Mentalism can’t be performed during a magic show effectively. If the performer performs under the conceit that they are able to do magic and read minds, in that the performer while we are watching the show, feels like they are actually able to do what they are doing, then it works. Example: When I saw David Copperfield as a kid I believed he could walk through a wall and I believed his wall prediction equally. He was a mysterious person who could do amazing things. Mentalism worked in his program alongside magic effectively at that time for me. P&T (dispute hating Mentalism) wouldn’t be able to pull it off, everything they do together (save the floating ball and the flower which is more teller by himself anyhow) is performed as trickster characters, Mentalism can’t work in this context except as a trick or puzzle. One exception is the nail gun effect that P does. I could consider this Mentalism because the idea that is being presented is a feat of memory. Which is hilarious to me and essentially hypocritical, and I love that about it too.

As for individual mental effects I can’t think of one I don’t like on its own. I think any of them can be done well or badly. I think predictions are hard to do well, but most people do them with little thought and they feel fine about it because a badly performed prediction effect is still amazing to the audience and gets decent applause.
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