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 Post subject: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lecture)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:19 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 209
Location: Leeds, U.K
I think I will post this here, as I know it will be appreciated.

I have recently noted that in a lot of performers opinions, a method to performing an effect is where the importanty is, this is B*ll Sh*t!

Performers should spend more time thinking about the presentation, the essence of the effect and use the most direct method of achieving that possible (no matter what the method is as its irrelevant).

The audience as a whole never see the method, they see the Presentation and judge your performance based on this, performers should take less time feeding their ego and more time pleasing the only thing important to a performance THE PEOPLE WATCHING!

I mean come on, would you worry about what undergarments you were wearing under your pants if you knew you wasn't leaving the house and no one was going to see them? NO!

I add a representation of my findings in a diagram;

⃝ A. (This is the start of the effect), ⃝ B. (This is the end of the effect).

⃝ A. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ⃝ B.

Above is a representation of actual mind reading (if it was possible), this of course is never going to be achieved, so we must add variables and the idea when writing effects is to get from A.-B. With as little stops along the way as possible.

This is the route I try (when possible) to take,

⃝ A ------ (presentation) ------------------(variable here) -------(presentation)----------------- ⃝ B.

You can clearly see I have spent the time on the effect, the presentation the psychology and tried to seal things up with as little clues as possible (preventing the lay picking things apart).

This is the conventional route, (A method thinkers route)

⃝ A ---(presentation)-- (sub writes something)--(Presentation)---(peek happens)----(Presentation)--
--(variable)--(presentation)---------⃝ B.

There is so much going on here, the writing (one variable), the peek (another variable), misdirection (another variable) the presentation cannot be incorporated effectively as you are breaking the essence of performance all the time and also look at the amount of times the lay gets to pick something apart.

Try just two things for me,

1. Write an Effect (then look for a method as long as it keeps the effect as close to as you saw it in your mind)

2. Come up with a Method (then write an effect around it you will end up with the Bellar's shoe effect)

Hope someone finds use from these words :)

Disagree?? share you views

Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:49 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
If I am following you then I think I agree with you. But if you are implying we should do less billet and peek work I'm not sure I am fully on board. They are reliable methods and if presented right the work. The key, which I think jives with your overall point, is that the presentation is more important. Billet and peek work will always be justifiable because it commits the spectator. In a performance, spectators, though they only deal with them in the third person, understand the concept of a heckler. They seem to understand, without being told, that the billet will provide proof of what the spectator was thinking in the off chance that the performer winds up on stage with a jerk who will say "no that's not what I was thinking," just to screw up the performers trick. That justification is the exact reason I agree whole heartedly with your thoughts on the center tear. Once you tear up the billet and burn it, or whatever, you just destroyed the "natural" justification for having them write it down in the first place. Now you need to make up other justifications that are not as directly apparent. Ie. I want you to burn the word into your mind so you can get a clearer thought.

The natural justification for a billet is also why I never mention that justification out loud. If some one asks, "why do I need to write this down if you are going to read my mind anyways?" then I can explain that justification but I haven't been mentioning it unprompted. I think that is akin to "running when you are not being chased."

That is not to say that presentation isn't still the most important thing. In one effect I do I get one person to jot a time of day. I get the info, peek it, and say I am going to try to determine the rough time of day. I get as close as morning, afternoon, evening, nighttime, and them redirect focus to a friend who blindly winds a watch. So my peak and "rough estimate" becomes a very small part of the routine. The real effect is that so and so thought of a time and their good friend spun a dial on a watch and somehow got to within + or - 5mn. When I reveal I never even go back to the written prediction of time. The spectator who thought of the time simply says it out loud and then the time on the watch is revealed. So in essence, buy the time the time is revealed I have used several different performance methods to disguise the dirty work. I have used time misdirection, a false hit, and a false memory so that hopefully what they remember is one friend thinking of a time and another friend blindly spinning the hand on a watch to get to the same time. 10%method and 90% presentation.


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:34 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 209
Location: Leeds, U.K
I am not saying do not use peeks (I use them and love them). *This is long and is summed up in two paragraphs at the end*.

Its a couple of things,

I am talking about the people that complain about methodology, for example (I use this because you know it) the 'simon says' drawing duplication, there is no need for a billet or peek it is practically self working, a 100% hit and to an audience looks like the real deal.

If I had someone saying it is un-practical and writing it off before attempting it, because of the method this would be ignorant (but we all do it).

If it works, is logical and adds to the performance it works.

If it works, is a mess around, detracts from the performance then yeah it will work but no it will look [edited].

The method to this effect is an irrelevant factor, it is the presentation that makes what you do believable to an audience and a subject not a method.

A Peek doesn't make an audience believe you are a mind reader you do, therefore the peek is an irrelevant factor (to an audience) and is only there to make the effect work (if you understand where I am coming from).

But people seem to spend too much time relying on the method and the overall presentation lacks, I use Richard Bellars as an argument point, fantastic performer but built the whole effect around a gimmick shoe. How many people including lays said that it didn't make sense and wasn't consistent? The performance went all the way around the houses for him to reveal something in the most ridiculous manner possible.

People should spend less time on worrying about what makes an effect work and more time on the presentation of said effect.

What I was trying to represent with the illustration was just pointing out the obvious, in my opinion the less variables in an effect the better for the presentation, I ask you this question if you could get data out of a subject without them writing it down would you?

(not saying for insurance, just imagine they wasn't going to change their mind and somehow you had the information would you have them write it down?)

I would bet the answer is no, because it is does effect the look of the overall performance (if it didn't they wouldn't edit out of tv programs.) (this is going off on another tangent entirely SORRY)

I use my bold dual reality effects in moderation, maybe one a show but when I do use them they kill.

Overall, if you do five effects in a show and four of them involve the subject writing something on a billet (yeah its consistent in the fact they all wrote something down) but it eats the performance and leaves the audience something to pick at.

If in one effect you used Dunningers principle to get the data (spent the time on the presentation of the effect), second time used dual reality (spent time on the presentation) 3rd time used a billet (started fishing before you get them to write it down, so it sells you know the person they are talking about and then got them to write it down so they cannot change their minds) and finally ended with a confabulation (you have worried about the presentation of the show and not relied on a method as a means to perform).

It seems a lot of people are doing this the other way round they are learning a method and then relie on it constantly to perform with, for me this isn't good. Think of the effect you are portraying then what method best fits the effect you have in mind NOT here is a method what effects can I create around this method (you are only restricting your own performance).

Sorry I went LONG way around getting to the point in the last couple of paragraphs its us British overly thorough:)


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:54 pm 
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born to perform.

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In that case I think I am right on board with you. I think I just misinterpreted your example originally. One thing I have noticed since I have been performing mentalism lately, and I am not sure how much of a tangent this is, is that sometimes keeping a cool head is way more important than any method you use. What I mean is that, in my show I screwed up several methods and even a few times in casual performances I screwed something up as well.

One example, I have this nifty little "organizer" that I made so I could keep all my mentalism gimmicks in one spot. In it I designed a peek. The peek has a specific design to it because it is actually meant for a dual purpose. The down side of that is that it isn't a full peek. It is designed for like a 3/4 peek of a business card. No biggie since you can always do different things to ensure the spectator writes the information in the "peekable" area of the business card. Long story short, I do all that, write some guideline marks on a card to get the spectator to put their info on the right part of the card but then I insert the card upside down! So the spectator had written their information in the 1/4 of the card that is in my blind spot! So I thought, " Great....I've really stuffed this one up!" I decided to play it cool. I moved my spectators to different locations for "theatrical reasons," and under the cover of that littereally pulled the card out of the peek and looked directly at it! They didn't see or suspect a thing.

Anyways, it was a good lesson to learn as I make the switch from classical sleight of hand to mental magic and mentalism. People just don't "burn you" like they do with magic and keeping a cool head and performing well are much more important than the method. It has been making me rethink some of those crazily bold methods you read in Practical Mental Magic and discredit because, "No one will ever fall for that!"


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:54 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
In that case I think I am right on board with you. I think I just misinterpreted your example originally. One thing I have noticed since I have been performing mentalism lately, and I am not sure how much of a tangent this is, is that sometimes keeping a cool head is way more important than any method you use. What I mean is that, in my show I screwed up several methods and even a few times in casual performances I screwed something up as well.

One example, I have this nifty little "organizer" that I made so I could keep all my mentalism gimmicks in one spot. In it I designed a peek. The peek has a specific design to it because it is actually meant for a dual purpose. The down side of that is that it isn't a full peek. It is designed for like a 3/4 peek of a business card. No biggie since you can always do different things to ensure the spectator writes the information in the "peekable" area of the business card. Long story short, I do all that, write some guideline marks on a card to get the spectator to put their info on the right part of the card but then I insert the card upside down! So the spectator had written their information in the 1/4 of the card that is in my blind spot! So I thought, " Great....I've really stuffed this one up!" I decided to play it cool. I moved my spectators to different locations for "theatrical reasons," and under the cover of that littereally pulled the card out of the peek and looked directly at it! They didn't see or suspect a thing.

Anyways, it was a good lesson to learn as I make the switch from classical sleight of hand to mental magic and mentalism. People just don't "burn you" like they do with magic and keeping a cool head and performing well are much more important than the method. It has been making me rethink some of those crazily bold methods you read in Practical Mental Magic and discredit because, "No one will ever fall for that!"


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:42 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 209
Location: Leeds, U.K
You did exactly the right thing there Eric :)

Those are the moments I live for, gives you that feeling in your stomach where you have to work and think on your toes. If you are blatant most of the time no one will notice anything, if you are confident and have already won the audience over, they are not looking for secrets as they don't believe there are any and just think you are a 'clever psychologist'.

I have done some outrageous things before;

Went for a beer with Arkham last night.

Went to the worst shambles of a booking ever last night. They made out is was a massive gaming event in a big hall 500 people, they paid my travel down there, was paying me a healthy sum to perform and when I got there there was about 20 people and they was all too engrossed in video games to be interested in coming away.

It was a shame, but I am getting paid all the same (all I did is travel and get paid to go for a beer and talk mentalism).

When you start your travels Eric?


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 Post subject: Re: Method vs Presentation (preview of something I will lect
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:25 am 
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Peter_turner1 wrote:

When you start your travels Eric?

It will be in September. I plan on the England to Scotland road trip the last two week of the month. I will definitely have to look you guys up if I get a chance.


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