I wanted to share with you some of my outlines I used when creating/ building a routine, with whatever methods. I can't tell you how much of those posts I will make, but certainly a couple of them will mystically appear in the next month.
Hope you enjoy,
Justification is everything
Mentalists usually have fear of using any kind of props that are visible to the audience, prop free mentalism for sure is a thing I love to have closely keept in my skull for everyday use. However you can't believe how much you could do with objects lying around.
Props doesn't hurt you, however I like to have my own ettiquette
for using them, because much of the time people misuse their props and doesn't justify
their uses, thus making the audience suspicious about that very prop.
Also a rule of the thumb, keep your routines as simple as possible for your audiences, I hate having to force numbers with deck of cards, a gaffed book, add a number pads etc. In my mind why would you need to have someone select a number instead of merely thinking of it, since you said that the process of knowing that number is only having them to think about it, so wouldn't it seems fairer that way?
The goal of this ''essay'' (I post it there because if I post something about mentalism in essays no one looks at it), is to make you able to use those props skillfully to make them believe that the force was part of the process, that it was INTENDED to make it fairer, and less possible.
What you should consider is a prop or not
Lot's of mentalists thinks that the following are props:
- Slips of paper
- Rolled up ball of paper
- A canvas (large thick sheet of paper)
- A blindfold
- A pencil
- A clipboard
- Index cards
Are all normal objects to me, what a props is, it's an unusual object which the audience migth be wondering about it's use, such as a mystical medium glass orb, an antique looking box etc.
Don't think everything is props in your acts, you can have a lot more freedom for using them, as well as keeping your nerves down before the show.
I think we should differentiate those two groups:
- Propless mentalism:
Mentalism that can use the above list, effects that you can do by carrying any small objects, or you can do anywhere with little or no preparation. Also effects using absolutely no visible props to the audience while secretly using one EX: TT.
- Naked mentalism:
Mentalism that can be done without any preparation, or visible/ invisible props, without having to borrow anything from your spectators.
Your persona and your props
Your props should follow the outline you gave yourself for your effects, some people called it stage presents, some called them persona, however they are the same.
If you are some sort of mystical performer, then you should use props which seems mystical to your audiences, such as pendulums, spirit cabinets etc.
While if you are a more psychologically oriented performer, you migth prefer to use clipboards, ruled notepads, Ink pencils etc.
If your audience can build upon a logical link between yourself and your props you are already a step ahead.
This is the part that is most important in this essay, the justification of using a prop.
What is a good justification for using a prop?
Anything that make's sense with that routine, let's say we have a problem here, we want to be able to reveal four randomly selected numbers using a force bag, however since your routine deals with visualisation processes and whatever presentation you wish to use, you need to find a reason for using the force bag.
Revealing a pin number: Someone PIN number is very personal, and it should be something that only this person know as long as I am concerned, so it would be highely impolite to reveal someone PIN on stage. So you need to make this person think about another number, you have to tell them that you don't want to influence their choices so it's better to have a fair (appently free choice) than one that migth be influenced, OR you could tell that you don't want to be able to get a glimpse of what he/she migth write on a piece of paper, so it's better to have one already written, and also it make's it faster.
Make them buy
A bit ago I brought a book called '' How to control anyone to do anything '', this book was filled with nice ideas that you could apply in your mentalism routine, however I don't think the book is traducted in english, I migth be mistaken.
However it's told that if you can make someone think about an universally accepted belief, and then link with it something that is false or mistaken, they will link that normally suspicious belief with one that is universally accepted.
1- If you toss a coin you have 1/2 that it will fall on either sides
2- An object that has an end or a side that weigths more than the other is more likely to hit the ground first if you toss it.
3- The side of the coin with the less ''cavings'' is most likely to fall face down on the ground.
The statement #3 is false, but since they never made that experiment #3 you exploit their ignorance, and since you made a logical link with the object #2 they are more likely to believe you.
So let's take our bag concept once more, let's say earlier you used influence as a part of your presentation:
1- I can influence your thougths, and make you think of something of MY choice.
2- The bag contains all different slips of paper which can't be influenced to sellect since the bag is mixed with different slips.
3- It's more fair to have you pick something from that bag than merely thinking about a number.
So what could be stronger than having someone actually think of something, well you guess it now.
Hope you like this devilish application!
Is that make sense?
Sometimes you exploit someone ignorance too much and your audience thinks you are taking them as dummies. Thing's that doesn't make sense to me is saying what someone grandfather name is by looking at body movements.
There is an end to your spectator ignorance, that way I prefer to use the method above combined with more justification, per example:
You have a two way page force gaffed book, ( which is just like a deck of cards with all the same two cards repeated over and over again, but now with page numbers.) And you want to use it to force a page for two spectators, you need a logical reason for using a third book.
You could have both spectators with the same book, however to make sure both doesn't end on the same page (which is what you don't want actually with a force book) You use that book to make it fair, and you can then let the other participant peek the other participant page number to confirm it's not the same page.
Also you could tell them that you don't want to touch THEIR book for the page selection.
I migth keep on working the same subject for the second installement of Max tips.
Hope you liked it, feedback would be greatly appreciated!