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Postmentalism by Alvo Stockman The future of written prediction is HERE.
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Postmentalism is impossible to film a standard demo for. The impact hits when your friend is sitting at home! So what I did was I told a handful of working pros (Tom Krzystof, Oz Pearlman, Paul Draper and Morgan Strebler) about the effect--what happens--and then I gave them 24 hours to think of a method. I gave them a call the next day to chat. The following reactions are from those calls...
Click here to hear the impact of Postmentalism on the radio! Daniel Jay Robison left the DJs stunned on WANR and got an extra mention on the air!
Before a major event (football game, election, etc), you offer to make a prediction to one of your friends. However in the interest of security, you dont want to hold on to the prediction yourself, nor do you want your friend to. You offer to mail the prediction in the form of a letter to your spectator's house, using the US Postal Service. In this way, it would be a felony to tamper with it!
You write the prediction, put it in an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it, and hand it to your friend. You then invite him to put the letter in any mailbox in town.
The following day (or whenever the letter happens to arrive), alone at home, your friend's brain will slowly disassemble itself and finally shut down, trying to figure out how you knew.
YES. It's as clean and straight-forward as it sounds. There's absolutely nothing misleading in this description. Get ready to be talked about, this is a reputation maker.
[excerpt from the manuscript]
In envelopes, pockets, folded billets, and boxes, written predictions have become a standard theme in magic. Its easy to see why. The ability to predict the future is something central to being human. In fact, some consider it the most important measure of intelligence. The ability to be prepared for future events is a critical survival skill. Even in our day to day lives, weathermen, stock analysts, marketers, politicians, lawyers, and hundreds of other occupations are focused around the outcome of future events. Predicting the future is a theme everyone can relate to and see the value of.
The focus of any prediction effect inevitably comes down to its integrity.
When a television escape artist puts on chains, traditionally he will have a privately hired member of the local police force examine them to make sure the handcuffs he is using are legitimate. In this way, a 3rd party has vouched to the audience for the effects integrity.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this when performing casually for friends. First, most of us are not under 24 hour police surveillance. This makes contracting a member of local law enforcement impractical. And second, even when a privately or even randomly selected police officer is chosen from an audience during a stage show, their legitimacy is still in question. Are they really a police officer or an actor who is part of the show? Each time a question like this is asked, it chips away precious credibility from the performance.
In a written prediction effect (particularly between a mentalist and a single individual), there is a dilemma of who to entrust with the prediction until the time of revelation.
If the mentalist holds onto it, the details could be discretely changed (as they often are), compromising the integrity of the prediction. If the spectator holds onto it, they could read it and possibly change the outcome, also compromising the original prediction.
Ideally we would have an escrow style trusted 3rd-party agent who could hang on to the prediction for us until after the predicted event. There would also be severe penalties for either side to tamper with the prediction.
The solution I propose in Postmentalism is to use the US Postal Service to mail a prediction to your friends home.
Anticipation is a huge part of pleasure. Its what makes Christmas mornings, 16th birthdays and Fridays so much juicier. In Postmentalism, your spectator will be looking forward to receiving this mysterious prediction from you for at least a day or two, listening for the mailman and anticipating what it could be.
I touched on this concept in my effect Mix Tape. Regardless of whether youre performing on stage or walk-around, its impossible to get a truly honest reaction from someone as long as youre watching them. By sending the prediction to their home, your spectator is somewhere they feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and most importantly, alone, to react completely genuinely to your performance. Its obviously a different kind of performance where you dont get to see a freak-out moment, but one that hits hard and will be remembered forever regardless.
In many tricks, the spectator is left with some scrap of signed card that the magician gives to them (usually to avoid having to walk it over to the waste basket) with the belief that they will cherish it and remember them fondly forever. The problem is that usually its a meaningless shred of a performance. In Postmentalism, the spectator receives an envelope, addressed and mailed to them, delivered to their door the old fashioned way (which is only getting more memorable as email takes over), that they personally put in the mail. This envelope contains a full recount of what happened during the performance and any time they look back at it they will be able to relive the moment.
As far as middlemen go, it doesnt get much better than the USPS. Its actually a felony to tamper with the mail. Assuming both you and your spectator are performing outside the walls of a prison, this should be more than enough to convince them that no one has changed the prediction.
Q: Will Postmentalism work with foreign postal services?
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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 57)3 of 3 magicians found the following review helpful:
Truly ingenious Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on June 23rd, 2009
I live in asia and yes this trick works where I live. I don't think there are countries where this masterpiece can't be preformed...
Anyway, the method is simply amazing, and the prop should last long enough, wish they sold refills though.
A new semester is coming for me, and this really can predict ANYTHING... I have tons of new ideas already!
Add to cart, you won't be disappointed. You might get the best reactions in your life.
Great Effect but defective materials Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on March 12th, 2011
I must say that i purchased this in an instant when I saw the explanation. I just had to know the secret and perform it for myself.
I got the materials and explanation and performed it once or twice. I stored it in the drawer until I was able to use it again only to find it defective.
I spoke with Penguin who agreed to replace a few items, but I'm afraid the quality needs to be improved overall.
I don't want to reveal the secret, I just want to say it's not worth it. I'm a big fan of Alvo Stockman's magic and buy his tricks all the time, but this is one i'm a little disappointed in and judging from other fellow magicians, i'm not alone.
wow Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on August 2nd, 2008
ok first i only gave it 4 stars, but it probably deserves 5, it is almost perfect. my wife has thought we have a ghost in our house for some time now, so i thought perfect. I told her he talked to me and gave me the lottery numbers but if we played them terrible things would happen to us. of course she didn't believe me so i proved it to her by mailing the right numbers before the draw...........she is scared to come home, pretty funny. anyways add 2 cart you won't be disappointed, thanks alvo.
WoW!!! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on September 23rd, 2008
OMG!!! This trick is fantastic. I don't know how Alvo come up with such a clever trick, but I know that this is one of the best tricks you can ever buy.
You get two gimmicks and each one will last for about 2 years.
The amazing thing is you don't need any skill.
It's just astonishing.
Thank you alvo 100 *.
wow! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 17th, 2009
wow! yeah, i'd initially hesitated on this one, then came back & ordered it and am thoroughly satisfied! wonderfully engineered for an effect that everyone will have great difficulty figuring out or explaining! kudos!
Postmentalism Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Great concept. Something so simple, yet so powerful. Accurately predict the outcome of an upcoming event. The method is pretty simple but you're kind of forced to go out of your way to find a mailbox. If you live near one then it's great. The best part is, that your friend watches you write their address down, and he or she is the one that puts it in the mailbox. A few days later, they receive the letter with an accurate prediction. Great effect.
Incredible! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
Wow was I surprised in the method for this effect! I would have never guessed it in a million years! I performed this for my parents one night to predict what we would eat for dinner and a few days later when it came in the mail they were blown away! My dad has been doing magic for 30 years and he had no clue how I did it! I booked a gig from my town's mayor by predicting how well his daughter would do in the county spelling bee! He was shocked to say the least! Buy Now!!!
Predict the Lottery Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 4th, 2010
I was able to successfully predict the lottery numbers using this system. What a great gimmick.
After the letter was sent, I never touched it. We did it with a Wednesday lotto drawing. I found a way to get the post mark to match date of the drawing as well. They will even stamp it for you. Remember the drawing it done about 10 at night, way after the post office closes. This was the big selling point on making it work.
But it can really be used to predict anything. I highly recommend this one. I'm going to do it on the radio soon too.
Wow Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 8th, 2008
Wow is this a great effect and so simple to. It is just a clean as the preview says. Whatever you think it might be you are completely wrong. And as most good reviews say ADD TO CART!!!!
Postmentalism by Alvo Stockman Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on May 21st, 2008
This is absolutely awesome, some great thinking from Alvo indeed. Postmentalism is exactly as the description says and in my opinion, can be adapted to form a multitude of powerful prediction based effects. You will love this! Even though you won't be with the spectators to see their reaction, you are absolutely certain that when they read it, it will bring down the house! Add to cart!!! you will not be disappointed!!!
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