What kind of magic (if it is even magic) am I describing in this experience?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Noel W., Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone.

    Several of y'all may have seen a post form me little while ago looking for advice on developing one's character (thank you again for those who responded, it was great help). Since then I have been self-reflecting about the kind of performer I want to be, looking at answering the question applying a modified version of Gallop's StrengthsFinder program. For those unfamiliar, in StrengthsFinder there are identified themes, and each of us represents those themes in a different ranking order. This order of themes determines the level of strength they exhort in our daily lives. As an example, one such theme is focused on "Wining Over Others" and folks strong in this theme will draw energy from the constant networking and development of relationships, whereas for those who are weakest in the theme they can still network but they will expend energy and it won't be as empowering experience for them.

    Taking this idea of different themes (in my case looking at presentation styles, experiences created and effects performed) I have sought to identify a few themes which come more naturally to me. As I have been doing that I remembered a period in my life where I was in between thinking about magic (I have always been what I would call an amateur performer leaning collector) and was just experimenting with something which I can only describe as maybe part suggestion (but not hypnotism). Suggestion may not be the best term either: if any of you are familiar with the how the concept behind "A Small Bend" is experienced (where the intended audience witnesses a spoon bend but the casual observer does not - at least that is what the demonstration video I saw looked like to me - I think I had stumbled upon that. An example of what I mean may help here.

    Years ago I was working in a movie theater concession stand, and one of the gals I worked with and I had developed a pretty good rapport over the Summer. She knew I had been into magic somewhat before, and one day she asked if I could show her something involving magic. Well, I wasn't carrying anything at the time, but the thought occurred to me to just try something out there; if it didn't work there was no foul, and if it did work then it would be awesome (if only for me). I asked her to focus on the popcorn popper machines we had in the concession stand. They had recently been loaded with popcorn seeds and would soon be producing popped kernels. I asked her to focus to visualize those kernels falling from the poppers, and as they began to come out I asked her to visualize them slowing down as they fell. I do not know if she was going along with it; I can only believe her when she claimed that she saw the kernels slow down to a crawling pace and stop during that time.

    My questions are:
    (1) What was I doing that created that particular experience? AND Can you help me put some possible names to it, so I can find more information about it?
    (2) Do you have any leads that I could start tracking down to learn more. The above experience has stuck with me and impacted me in profound ways during this time of learning what kind of performer I want to be.

    I appreciate you all for helping me out with this!
  2. The broad term would be 'suggestion'.

    More accurately it's suggestion mixed with little-known physical and physiological reactions. Or, maybe a better term would be little-paid-attention-to but that doesn't roll off the tongue the same way.

    Look into Aaron Alexander, Bill Montana, and Art Vandelay.

    Aaron Alexander's work walks the line between physiological ploy and suggestion, bordering on hypnosis. Bill Montana frequently takes little things like this and turns them into mysterious experiences (But he's more or less pulling his material from the magic market so don't dilly dally - Mystic Orb is my biggest recommendation from him). Art Vandelay does what he calls "Elemental Manipulation" which is big effects that center around natural things like water and stars.

    Note - most of this kind of work is a mixture of knowing proper set ups, and taking advantage of things that are going on around you naturally - like when the popcorn was about to spill over. While the authors above may not have anything specific to that scenario, their work teaches you how to take thorough advantage of those situations.
  3. Thank you @ChristopherT for your insights and recommendations. That is good to know about Bill Montana pulling their work. I had been eyeing The Bridge and the Penguin Lecture, so I will jump on those two. As per a prior conversation I am keyed into Aaron Alexander now, but Art Vandelay is a new name to me.

  4. Aaron's major work on this is "Pygmalion Effects - Reality as Art" which is a book you are going to have trouble finding. But if you can, I do recommend it.

    Some of Bill's work will remain available, such as his Penguin lecture. Those lectures are owned by Penguin I believe - the material I'm referring to is his self-published work, mostly centered around and spiritual work. The Penguin lecture is a good buy, even though it didn't get great reviews. Don't confuse Aaron Alexander's work "Bridge" with Bill Montana's work "The Bridge", though. Bill Montana's is a dream manipulation thing, and Aaron Alexander's is creating a "bridge" between two people that connects their sensations.
  5. Is Bill’s self-published work available at different sources? I found some things at Steve’s Magic, and some other sources but it was tricky to figure out what was more spiritual aligned and what was seemed like straight mentalism (or do all of his work have a spiritualist approach?)
  6. There's a lot of cross over between the two fields. His primary history was, by his own admission, a fraudulent faith healer.

    I thought he had already pulled his PDFs and such from Stevens but it's possible there's still some there. Feel free to pop me a PM if you have a question about a particular product. I have most of his work, and the stuff I don't have I know what it is, generally speaking.

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