Suspension of Disbelief

Sep 1, 2007
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With movies, audiences know that it's all fake.
The director knows that people understand it's just a movie and it's not real.
Audiences just accept that.

That would be the suspension of disbelief.

But when an audience hears a magician saying what he's doing is all real and that he has powers, well they're gonna want to challenge him to see if he can really do real magic. They're skeptic, who wouldn't be?
It's exactly like what most magicians think of psychics, mediums, and all that garbage. We don't believe it, so we want to challenge them to see if they can really do what they say they do. (FAIL)

So why aren't we shouting at the actors in a play?

How can we be convincing like these books are, and make people want to believe in our magic so they will suspend their belief?
I really don't have a clue, you tell me.

What do movies, books, plays, and games offer that you're not offering now?

A small remark, "I can read your mind, think of your card(FYI- if you ever say this line in your act, I will slap you)" by the magician and most of the time you get challenged to read another person's mind with no trick in the works.
Spec: "What am I thinking of now?"

You're actually going to use that as an argument?

So no, it doesn't have to go that far, just as soon as a spec hears something that seems impossible to do, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Only if you're so bad at this you can't get them involved.

Alright, well I'm marking the "I can read your mind,think of your card" at the lowest end of the God-mage. That little comment is minuscule to what it can really be played up as or what else could be accomplished.

Which is why I question the point of using it as an argument when we all know that boldly stating what you're going to do and then doing it is about as boring as watching glaciers drag race.

Plus, many laymen would expect a magician to know how to do a mind reading effect anyway and not consider it God-mage type. But, even so he would still get heckled/challenged.

It's a wonder then that any mentalist ever does a Q&A act by that logic.

Jesus, this isn't that complicated.
 
Steer, I think the answer to your question may very well lay in the modernization, and production of more classic and mainstream effects that have carried over from the 1960's through the early 1980's. Your Foo can's, Lotta Bowls, Etc.

The general patter usually accompanying such effects certainly nods to the mythical or the supernatural, but it does so in such a cheesy 1970's TA-DA way.

Such presentations have given way to the rise of the cheesy birthday party sucky magician. I think in a way, to attempt to escape that stereotype young magicians go the polar opposite way with their presentations and go more strait forward "I'm going to con or trick you" route; Which I personally think does nothing more than stroke one's own ego. But that's just me.

Creating a character, presentation style, and themeing a show takes a hell of a lot of work, and isn't something that can be done over night. In this day and age of instant gratification the long drawn out process of finding yourself and improving on that image seems to get over looked. When you have magicians like Blaine and Houchin performing in jeans and T-shirts on street corners for innocent and unsuspecting victims it becomes easy for the uneducated to assume that their presentation isn't a well thought out, audience tested, and methodically planned character. Instead the instant assumption is "If I get a deck of playing cards, and this new DVD I can go out and be just like Danial Garcia! Oh boy oh boy!" Sadly, this is the wrong assumption. To another point, this is also the same reason why most will fail at ever progressing their personal act beyond doing card tricks for their friends or harassing people at the local mall.

Now, just so it's said. There is nothing wrong with performing in Jeans and a T-shirt if that's what kind of character you want to present. However be able to explain, defend and justify to anyone who cares just WHY you look the way you do and perform the way you perform. Don't just do it because it's what you've seen on TV and assume that's the way it has to be.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
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Back in Time
Plus, many laymen would expect a magician to know how to do a mind reading effect anyway and not consider it God-mage type. But, even so he would still get heckled/challenged.

I think you're the only one who's worried about the God-mage image (you need to stop watching Episodes of Mind Freak.)

Who say's you'd get heckled or challenged if you do the supernatural act? A lot of Mentalist's doe the supernatural aka Psychic type deal and most of them don't get heckled or challenged (that I know of.).

and yeah what Steerpike said. if that was the case, Mentalist wouldn't do any mind reading effects, they'd be too worried about being heckled and challenged. No matter what you do, you are going to get challenged every blue moon. Not everybody is going to do it. But it WILL happen. maybe once in a year or so.
 
It's exactly like what most magicians think of psychics, mediums, and all that garbage. We don't believe it, so we want to challenge them to see if they can really do what they say they do. (FAIL)

The difference here being that when the curtain falls the magician is just an entertainer.

Magicians don't get mad at psychics because they present their acts as if they were real. Magicians get made because the psychic lives their claims 24-7 both on and off set.

Plus, many laymen would expect a magician to know how to do a mind reading effect anyway and not consider it God-mage type. But, even so he would still get heckled/challenged.

I perform a supernatural style act. I've got some videos up of some of my material. I present a "god-mage" vampiric style character. I walk onto stage dressed in Victorian-Goth clothing, I have a pale white face, eye makeup, black nail polish, and a top hat with a silver skull and cross bones on it. I make no apology for my appearance or my presentation. I openly and freely discuss the subjects of spiritualism, occultism, and the like. I very rarely if ever get called out on it or heckled. If I ever do, I am confident in my ability to quickly neutralize the situation without compromising my show or my audiences enjoyment.

Anyone can pick up a deck of cards and find a spectators selected card. You want to show me you're good? Then present a piece of magic as a character, that is themed, and theatrically balanced. Being a magician isn't knowing how to do magic in an act; It's knowing where the magic is in the act.

Pull your tail out from between your legs and dare to experiment a little with your audience. I think you'll find they are a lot more forgiving than you give them credit for.

Quit building your character and theming your acts to impress other magicians. Magicians are ass holes. They only care about the clicks they belong to, and their own act. Their opinions are like diapers, full of crap and change many times in one day. While it is true that you will occasionally get a magician in your audience, you will more than likely never perform for an audience of only magicians more than a hand full of times. Worry about what the spectator thinks and likes. Build your act around that.

Quit trying to be the next David Blaine, Wayne Houchin, Criss Angel, The Buck Twins, or Danial Garica. Be yourself. Design yourself, and strive to improve yourself. Otherwise your nothing more than a two bit hack act with no originality just coping off what other people do.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
In fact I suggest a few people here pick up Paul Brook's book " The Alchemical Tool." he pretty much goes over a ton of ideas on how to turn something simple into a miracle. Also it's not just me recommending it, Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger also suggest their students read it as well. So you know it's obviously worth the price for the wisdom.

Magicians don't get mad at psychics because they present their acts as if they were real. Magicians get made because the psychic lives their claims 24-7 both on and off set.

I think it's a bit 50/50 on that. Some Psychic's don't walk around fortune telling, while others do. Magicians over the decades and years have just hated them because they don't believe people can do what they say they are doing. IE: contacting the dead or whatever. The other half stems from jealously. But that's a subject for another time.

As for the supernatural angel. It really depends on WHAT you are doing. Most effects that are sold here or on E aren't really the thing I could see people doing with a supernatural tone (besides a few Sean Feilds effects.) The other problem is that people here simply don't want to put in the effort it takes to actually pull it off right (which is kind of lame, seeing has how they would just have read a few books and maybe spend 5-10 min learning how to script. etc etc)
 
Aug 31, 2007
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So why aren't we shouting at the actors in a play?

Seriously? You have to ask?
You're actually going to use that as an argument?

Just did. Flat out saying you can read minds so blatantly is the same as watching Harry fly on a broom. They know it's fake.

Not really, just depends on how you do it. Take Richard Osterlinds Two in the Pocket or any of his effects where he has the BCS or Radar Deck. He doesn't get heckled for doing them. Because most of the time those are completely hands off. With the Radar Deck all you do is spread the cards and have 5-8 people think of a card and then when they do, you put the cards away and go on with the mind reading. The same can be said for his other effects with cards.

William and Randy:
I was referring to the statement, "I can read your mind,think of your card", with no explanation other than that.
Not just any presentation that you may have for mind reading. If you present it right, then you shouldn't get heckled. If you do, well then you should brush up on your presentation and on audience management.
All I'm saying was if you said only that line "I can read your mind,think of your card", you would get heckled.
You guys read a little too much into it.

I think you're the only one who's worried about the God-mage image (you need to stop watching Episodes of Mind Freak.)
LMAO!
Good one.
Why should I have to worry. My presentation for mind reading is great. It serves a purpose with what I do. I'll worry about me and you keep your comments to yourself.
Who say's you'd get heckled or challenged if you do the supernatural act? A lot of Mentalist's doe the supernatural aka Psychic type deal and most of them don't get heckled or challenged (that I know of.).

and yeah what Steerpike said. if that was the case, Mentalist wouldn't do any mind reading effects, they'd be too worried about being heckled and challenged. No matter what you do, you are going to get challenged every blue moon. Not everybody is going to do it. But it WILL happen. maybe once in a year or so.

Once again, not what I said. I didn't say mind reading in general will get heckled. I was talking about that exact comment. You guys are just arguing over nothing. Keep playing with the ball of yarn if you'd like.
 
Feb 27, 2008
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Grand prairie TX
The problem you and visual artist have is that you are not thinking like a Mentalist, you are thinking like a magician and magicians worry too much about being heckled or challenged. Mentalist don't really care if they get challenged or not. Because a good one, usually won't. (Mainly due to the fact that a lot of Mentalism requires getting rid of Magicians Guilt and developing a brass pair.)

No,its just that you didnt get at all the point I was making.
 
Aug 31, 2007
2,025
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Long Island/New York
magicians worry too much about being heckled or challenged. Mentalist don't really care if they get challenged or not.
Stereotype much?
All magicians care too much about being heckled, and mentalists don't?
I'm a magician and I don't care if I get challenged. I'm usually quick-witted when I perform.
Congrats, your statement is now worth nothing.
Because a good one, usually won't. (Mainly due to the fact that a lot of Mentalism requires getting rid of Magicians Guilt and developing a brass pair.)

I love how you think all mentalists don't give and are just rebel bad asses.
:eek:
 
Sep 9, 2007
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While Randy's last comment was a little crude, he has the right idea - the more you worry about hecklers, the more you'll have them. Maybe it'll be the nervous cues you subconsciously give off, but if you just hold the frame that you're always in control, most people won't challenge it. And if they do, there's fun ways to deal with it.

Personally, I don't mind hecklers at all....
 
All I'm saying was if you said only that line "I can read your mind,think of your card", you would get heckled.
You guys read a little too much into it.


It's nothing personal but I'm half tempted to take my camera and an index down t
o Hollywood blvd today or tomorrow and film 30 peoples reactions to this.

I'm willing to bet that I wouldn't get heckled, and I'll even use that quote word for word.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
William and Randy:
I was referring to the statement, "I can read your mind,think of your card", with no explanation other than that.
Not just any presentation that you may have for mind reading. If you present it right, then you shouldn't get heckled. If you do, well then you should brush up on your presentation and on audience management.
All I'm saying was if you said only that line "I can read your mind,think of your card", you would get heckled.
You guys read a little too much into it.

I'd like to introduce you to Richard Osterlind or anybody else who has done the Think of a card routine.

He's been heckled so much that he he gets hired by big companies to perform at trade shows, and other high end jobs. I mean people must heckle him so much that his career is pretty much nothing.

(Yeah that was sarcasim)
 
Oct 13, 2008
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I may be new to these Forums, but if i can just try and inject a little sanity here.

Whatever your persona is, it's YOUR persona. It works for you? Fine. It's not wrong because there is no right or wrong if it works for you. Some people can carry off the ' i have supernatural powers ' act, and others can't. Live and let flourish.

I echo Randy's statement that you should all read ' The Alchemical Tools ' by Paul Brook, it helps you build your character if you think you need help in that area. If you don't, and think you're doing alright by yourself, more power to you, keep it up.

It's magic only in name. We know it isn't real. Your spectators are all different, they'll take from it whatever they want to. Supernatural, super sneaky, super boring, whatever.

By the way i can't remember who said it but im stealing that line about the diapers.
 
Oct 24, 2008
245
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Savannah, GA
I may be new to these Forums, but if i can just try and inject a little sanity here.

Whatever your persona is, it's YOUR persona. It works for you? Fine. It's not wrong because there is no right or wrong if it works for you. Some people can carry off the ' i have supernatural powers ' act, and others can't. Live and let flourish.

The whole, "everyone is different and everything is okay" argument is really the worst. Pretend for a second that we all know that basic bit of human nature and discuss what's at hand.
 
Aug 31, 2007
2,025
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Long Island/New York
It's nothing personal but I'm half tempted to take my camera and an index down t
o Hollywood blvd today or tomorrow and film 30 peoples reactions to this.

I'm willing to bet that I wouldn't get heckled, and I'll even use that quote word for word.

Do it.

I'd like to introduce you to Richard Osterlind or anybody else who has done the Think of a card routine.

He's been heckled so much that he he gets hired by big companies to perform at trade shows, and other high end jobs. I mean people must heckle him so much that his career is pretty much nothing.

(Yeah that was sarcasim)

No need for the introduction. I already met him and had lunch with him one day.
I have his material and am a big fan of his work.
He doesn't just say that one liner and do the mindreading trick though.
He has a whole big presentation built up.
Plus he does the "Break through card system" and "radar deck" after telling the audience that he doesn't have any real powers or anything. He is what is called an "honest" performer.
 
Oct 13, 2008
46
0
The whole, "everyone is different and everything is okay" argument is really the worst. Pretend for a second that we all know that basic bit of human nature and discuss what's at hand.

I do apologise. Please continue bickering like kids then.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
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Seriously? You have to ask?

Yes I do.

Just did. Flat out saying you can read minds so blatantly is the same as watching Harry fly on a broom. They know it's fake.

The fact that's not entirely true aside, most people with an ounce of performing experience know that the say-it-then-do-it formula is generally bland and uninteresting anyway. And besides that, it's somewhat tangential to the point, relating only in that you failed to create suspension of disbelief by being a boring SOB.

It's basically like me saying that we should be polite to our audiences because Nazis are dicks.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go apologize to Godwin.

You guys read a little too much into it.

At least they are reading.

Once again, not what I said. I didn't say mind reading in general will get heckled. I was talking about that exact comment. You guys are just arguing over nothing. Keep playing with the ball of yarn if you'd like.

In other words, you were talking just to hear yourself talk.

To atone, get me a margarita. Chop chop.

Whatever your persona is, it's YOUR persona. It works for you? Fine. It's not wrong because there is no right or wrong if it works for you. Some people can carry off the ' i have supernatural powers ' act, and others can't. Live and let flourish.

I don't flourish so this is doubly irrelevant to my point.

There's already proof that some people can portray the supernatural convincingly in a theatrical context. What I am debating is why it works in an effort to counter the growing trend that taking an "Honest deceiver" route is somehow inherently superior.

If you don't, and think you're doing alright by yourself, more power to you, keep it up.

In regards to that piece of advice I have a little story.

When Phil Jackson was made coach of the Chicago Bulls, he called the team in for a meeting. Phil had correctly analyzed that pro basketball at the time was star-driven. In the case of the Bulls, Michael Jordan was not only the team's star, but widely considered the best player currently in the league.

Phil proposed a new strategy to decentralize attention. Every player would touch the ball at some point, taking the focus off of Michael and thus giving the opposing teams no clear target to stop. In other words, diminish Michael's star on the court so the whole team can play to win.

Michael replied, "I've always been a coachable player. Whatever you want to do, I'm behind you."

Make of that what you will.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
I have a question for the people who think they will get heckled or challenged by saying they can read minds.


Have you done anything to the contrary to prove it? Answer this question honestly and without trying to rip off Steerpikes rhetorical attitude.
 
Aug 31, 2007
2,025
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Long Island/New York
The fact that's not entirely true aside, most people with an ounce of performing experience know that the say-it-then-do-it formula is generally bland and uninteresting anyway. And besides that, it's somewhat tangential to the point, relating only in that you failed to create suspension of disbelief by being a boring SOB.
Ok, and that has to do with?
Are you trying to say that I don't have experience with performing because I'm not like many guys here who post their performances on youtube, just so people like you who think they know what they're doing to critique it?
No, I perform my routines for pro magicians to get critiqued. People like you would be a waste of my time and tape.


At least they are reading.
Am I not?
In other words, you were talking just to hear yourself talk.
This is a forum, I can't hear anyone talk.
In other words, I was typing to clear things up for you, instead of members thinking something else.
 
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