Psychological Forces

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by abstract52, Aug 22, 2009.


  1. A few quick points to respond to: 1) I agree Brown's invisible force has a very high success rate (I think Brown says about 90%--it sounds like you are doing even better). My search for outs is more for Anate or some of Brown's other forces. Anate is very direct, quick and hard hitting but it also has a smaller success rate. 2) Every book or DVD i have watched has said that the best way to improve is to practice and the best way to practice is to perfrom. I have done this with complete strangers and people I know---If I was afraid to fail, I would not being do this. I think it is fair to be as well prepared for all situations and certainly can benefit from hearing from others who have more knowledge than me. 3) I do take issue with your comment that by merely asking about outs, you believe that may indicate I should take up another branch of magic. I disagree--I want to be the best I can be and if an "out" helps--I'm all for it. I think you can make your point without being discouraging. If there are no outs or they hurt the performance, than fine I need to understand that too. However, I think it is a big jump to state that just asking the question means you should change to another type of magic. We all start somewhere and we all can improve---hopefully using this forum helps us learn from others
     
  2. You could have a pocket index and use a switch. It's not hard, and in the eyes of the audience, there is no discernable difference. You could say the methodology is the use of the index, and the force is a "kicker" for that one clean moment when the card is unfolded by them...
     
  3. I apologise if I came off as harsh. Let me rephrase.

    Outs for any such effects, in general, including Derren's other forces and Dee's Anate, I believe, weaken the effect dramatically, for example, the use of an Invisible Deck, for the reasons described in my last post. Contrary to thought, I do not believe that it has as much merit as the argument for simply copping a miss.

    I feel that looking for outs is a manifestation of not wanting to fail, a natural predisposition. Ultimately, however, I find that this is the wrong mindset for performing psychological forces and is something which should be corrected, just as a card magician should be taught the importance of presentation. Again, refer to above post for reasoning.
     
  4. i think you should not focus on the outs but an out certainly is better than failing completely. i think it's the same in cardmagic when someone is saying "Hey, you did not put that card in the milddle of the deck!" and then you do it again using another control so you can show the card really going into the deck. its part of the presentation and i dont think you shoud take the risk to fail miserably. and good god don't use a gimmicked deck as out, even if it may work it's the weakest way to get out IMO.
     
  5. This may sound strange, but I completely disagree that an out is worse than failing completely. Some of my best performances have been ones where I utterly failed. And not just like, they named the Queen of Spades instead of the Jack of Spades for Invisible Deal Force, but like, I was going for the Jack of Spades and they named the Three of Hearts. If you ask the guys who perform mentalism professionally, I've found at least that many if not most of them will be able to recount a story that goes as follows - and this has happened to me personally:

    *An effect utterly fails*

    *Awkward silence*

    Spectator: !@#$. That just screwed me over. What the hell?

    Performer: What do you mean?

    Spectator: I thought you were just performing like, card tricks or something I couldn't work out. That just screwed me over.. So all this psychology is real?

    Performer: Yeah, absolutely. Of course the reality is that no-one can ever be perfect - even savants can make mistakes, but human minds really do have that potential.


    When you're performing mentalism*, the fact is that a failure often can give you far more credibility than succeeding always ever can. Many performers deliberately make themselves miss - Chuck Hickok has a wonderful routine in which a spectator reads another spectator's mind to name the number they're thinking of, but gets it the wrong way around, for example.

    You may note that there's an asterisk there I will address at the end.

    I know of several professional mentalists who could tell you the same story as mine off the top of my head, and I'm certain many more have too - I'd venture to say that almost any serious performer of mentalism will have experienced such a moment. Of course, in general, barring the odd purposeful miss, the original successful conclusion is always the preferable option.

    Honestly, failing miserably is only a bad thing because we think it's a bad thing. It's not easy, but I try to think simply, "If I miss, I miss, no big deal." And it's not, if you don't make it a big deal.

    So aside from this, why do I think that certain outs should not be used? Well, consider Invisible Deal Force, for example (I use this because it's one I'm familiar with). The performer hands the participant a playing card to hold onto but not look at, and then, through a series of verbal instructions, allows the spectator to freely, in his mind, eliminate groups of cards until he arrives at one. The card the participant is thinking of, is of course, the card previously given to the participant at the start. It is the mental force card of course, the Jack of Spades.

    There are two reasons, aside from the surprising benefit of failing. Firstly, in order to create an out for a routine like Invisible Deal Force, you have to compromise. That compromise is not showing the spectator the card before the routine starts - therefore, if you miss, you just don't show the card.

    The problem is this. I'm hitting the Invisible Deal Force about 95% of the time (to give you an idea, I perform this about three times a week and haven't missed for about five or six weeks). Another 3-4% of the time, I get very close (King of Spades mostly). So I completely miss under 5% of the time, let's say, for convenience. That means, that in return for having a weaker but successful conclusion to the effect less than 5% of the time, I am weakening this powerful effect 95% of the time!

    I would much rather cop the miss, since the idea that you commit yourself before you even start is so, so powerful. I don't think the trade-off is worth it, personally. Of course the situation will differ between other mentalism routines - we are talking here about purely psychological forces of playing cards. In other routines involving psychology, I do use outs, but only ever to strengthen the effect - not to salvage a miss, or provide a weaker but successful effect.

    There's one other reason that I advise against outs for this instance, which is this: An out prepares you to fail. It goes without saying that you have to have absolute confidence in yourself to perform an effect like this. Anyone who has persevered with a psychological force will tell you that they missed the first 6 times. But then they got better once they hit the force once, and then it went up from there.

    Now, if a routine has an inbuilt out, great, go with it. If it doesn't, spending too much time thinking about outs will, at performance time, have you doubting about hitting, and how to close the effect successfully, and that leads to a bad mentality. It's what I spoke about before about having the right frame of mind for performing mentalism in general and not just for psych forces.

    Now, to address the * before: I'm assuming for the purposes of this post that your entire routine, your show, whatever, is structured around mentalism. That is, that you're not a card magician who occasionally performs a cute mental trick. That is when all these things particularly matter. The reason I made this assumption is simply on the basis that, a good mentalist performing a mentalist routine such as a psych force will ALWAYS be better than a good card magician performing a psych force - because of the congruency of the effect within the routine. So I'm basing this opinion/perspective from my position and also on the basis that I'm assuming we want the effect to be as powerful as possible (which involves the conditions necessary in this assumption).

    To any mentalists reading this, I realise that I am generalising in a lot of points, but to be honest we could go into the fine points for weeks on end; I only bothered with the basic arguments for my general point of view.
     
  6. You really shouldn't be afraid of Failure. It makes you look more human and people tend to enjoy that more than the guy who ALWAYS get's it right and ends up looking like a Marty Stu. Plus it adds to the suspense and you pretty much learn from it.

    You know the old saying "Failure is the Key to Success."

    I think outs are great for magicians, but from a Mentalist's stand point. Failure tends to often times enhance the effect. Weather it's a failed prediction or a failed force or mind reading effect.
     
  7. it's not that i'm afraid of failing, but it must be a cultural difference because if you fail over here in the Netherlands you only get laughed at which is in no way the reaction we magicians hope for do you? i dont even imagine one would say: "I thought you were just performing like, card tricks or something I couldn't work out. That just screwed me over.. So all this psychology is real?" if you fail, the spectators (at least over here) realize that you could've named any card having a chance of 1/52 that you guessed it right. and that is why i always got an out, just to be sure, not because i often fail. Failure might be the key to success but only if you learn from it. IMO it would be the same as totally screwing up any magic trick one could think of, if you keep failing you get nowhere, and you might be lucky and 'guess' their card right once in a while. that's how i see it.
     
  8. I don't know about a cultural difference. I certainly know of many European mentalists who have given a similar story to myself; it's possible that it's just a thing with the Netherlands but I don't think that's likely.

    Out of curiosity, do you perform mentalism only at shows, and such?

    One explanation that just struck me was this: I get those sorts of responses when I perform professionally, eg at private parties for adults, and so forth. If on the other hand, I'm performing for my (often not too sober) friends at a casual party, then I'd be more inclined to receive a response like the one you described. Not always - depends on the friends, but it seems a reaction that lends itself towards younger audiences and non-serious performances of mentalism.
     
  9. Hmmm... I think the mistake you're making is that you're performing the psych force stand-alone. That doesn't work. Have other effects with psychological-themed-presentations, most of which rely on trickery to work. Use the psych force as a "real" moment, and perhaps even teach the audience how it works if it hits. Greatly improves the impact of the other tricks.


    And when I say "teach" them how it works, i literally mean, "teach them how it works." Tell them that "if I say 'bright and vivid,' it makes you go fora red card."


    Eheheh. it also makes them less likely to hate you
     
  10. i never perform psychological forces on their own. The best reactions i ever got for failing was that they were a quiet for a bit because they didntt expect me to be wrong, then realizing that i was. of course im a human so i can make mistakes and they know that but i rather have them believe and keep thinking that i am not 'just a human'. the best reactions always are that they say (or yell) that i am 'the real deal' in any possible way. and at those moments failing is really not my cup of tea because it lowers me by a lot (the difference of being a magician or the real deal) so then i want my psychological forces to work, really work, so then i have my outs for when i am failing, and so i never actually 'fail' in those situations. Believe me, i have failed, i also did lots of tests before i really started to use things seriously, and i never ever had someone think that i was the real deal after failing.

    i asked my mentor about it yesterday and he confirmed it but he also tells that he has been in the situation you described yet he also says dutch people are too down too earth to react like that, ever.
     
  11. I'm not sure I buy it - but having never known a Dutch person well, I'll take your word for it.
     
  12. I have preordered Crossroads and if it works they way I think it does, I think it may be the perfect out for an effect like Anate. In other words, I think that Anate can be performed just as seamlessly with the out as without it. The spectator will have just as powerful an impact when you hit Anate even with the out in place. I admit that I have not yet got Crossroads (it will be out in a few days) but from reading a zillion descriptions, watching the demo, etc I think it would be the perfect out for the effect (I have a fairly good idea how I think Crossroads is done but am excited to see when it arrives if I am right). Finding the perfect "out" can be the most creative idea one comes up with as a magician.
     
  13. You could indeed use crossroads as an out for ANATE, me and Ben Harris discussed this a while ago. His deck is fantastic. I LOVE it.

    DC
     
  14. Where can I get One by Daniel Madison. I keep hearing about it but i don't know where to get it
     
  15. He discusses some psychological forces in his book Psych as well. Both One and Psych are in Anthology.
     
  16. Check out Peter Turners work on the subject. He discusses this in The Devil in Disguise, Freeform Mentalism, and his second penguin lecture.
     
  17. Hey buddy. Dani Daortiz has an Invisible Deck with a normal deck of cards, and you don't even touch the deck until the very last moment. Their thought of card is face down in the deck that was in front of them the whole time. No sleights, just pure magic. Also, Hofzinser 7 force. all in his lecture. I saw his lecture live, but I think you can find a Penguin Live one.
     
  18. memorized deck could be used for this. Basic way is force a card and convince them that they selected it. Then you can read the mind.
     
  19. I never liked invisible deck.
     
    faizpardesi likes this.
  20. This does not use an actual "Invisible Deck"
     

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