What will Spectators Fool For?

May 21, 2011
162
1
Bedford, England
Something has been on my mind throughout the week. Something that i think is important and somewhat intriguing enough for you guys to hear (or shall i say 'Read')

On Tuesday, i brought Smoke by Alan Rorrison into school but instead of performing it like it said on the DVD, i instead did it in the middle of the classroom when almost everyone was paying attention to the teacher. So, as my Science teacher explained circuits to the class, i opened my mouth and smoke 'magically' came billowing out my mouth. All of a sudden, the people who were on my table freaked out, shouting and squealing with amazement for something so out of the ordinary and offbeat. My friends explained what happened to my teacher as soon as he asked the question 'What the hell just happened?!' with a confused and concerned face. He too was put back a step by what was described to him. So he asked the question (and so did my friends) "How did it happen?!" This is the point of the story where the point of this thread is based off of. I knew he and everyone else would ask that question so i came prepared with an answer which should seem like complete bulls*it but was easy to understand and still have a magical vibe to it. So this is what i said, word for word.

"You know when you have hot foods and it's smoking when it's first served? Well, i ate some really hot food late last night and all the smoke from it must have stayed floating around in my stomach. And just now, i felt it travel up my throat and out my mouth........... I know, strange isn't it?" So, using this patter line, i'm very certain that i acheived my goal of going for a story which appears to be utter bulls*it but at the same time made some sense. To my surprise, nearly the entire class believed the story to some degree. In fact, someone said i should be in the Guiness Book of World Records for what i can do!

So all this left me pondering, what will spectators fool for? I believe in the statement that our spectators are getting smarter and smarter, but this situation has completely defied the aforementioned statement.

Do spectators really believe what us magicians say just to be part of the moment, or will they really believe anything?

Give me your thoughts below. (I know this has been a bit long but i do believe this is thought provoking enough to be brought up properly)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
Depends on the spectator and how good of a liar you are. Also it depends on if your lie has any truth to what you just said as well.

Some people will fully believe what have said, while others will probably doubt it and just go along with it.
 

D@n

Oct 11, 2011
104
1
I think from their perspective, magically producing smoke from nowhere is more unrealistic than smoke produced from spicy foods, so they go with the more sane option, even though we both know it couldn't be further from the truth.
D@n
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
The fact is that there are a LOT of really gullible people. Plenty of people that don't believe you will go along with it just because. Either they're being nice, or they think it's funny, or whatever. Then there's the people that know you're full of it and don't bother correcting you because there's no harm.

Out of curiosity, is "fool for" a British/dialect thing? It seems like a really strange phrasing to me.
 
Apr 14, 2011
192
0
I do SMOKE at school all the time. It's a great effect because of how IMPOSSIBLE it is. In class is great cause it just scares the **** out of people. I have them light an invisible match and I 'grab' the smoke from the match. Very powerful.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Some people are gullable. If they weren't, hypnotism wouldn't exist. Others play along because they want to beleive and some will not beleive crap!!!

That implies that hypnotism only works on gullible people and that it's not 'real'. I question your reasoning for this. Studies have shown that hypnotism really does put the mind into an altered state.
 
Hypnotism does work. Yes! But haven't you realised that not everyone can be hypnotized??? Thats a fact! However presentation creates a comfort level. Confidence from the hypnotist, creates comfort from the subject. But there are some people who cannot be hypnotized and no level of pro can do it. Thats fact! Hypnotism doesn't actually put people to sleep, yet we say sleep! It heights their responses and create a higher level of comfort. But they don't fall to sleep.


Words such as receptive, responsive, good subjects, and somnambulism are cool words for gullability. So in a way, it means what i said it meant.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Moderator
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
It is true that not everyone is a good candidate for a hypnosis show. If you have ever watched a hypnotist work they will start out the show with around 15 people up on stage, but then after the initial few phases and relaxation techniques, the hypnotist may ask a few if not half of those original people to go sit back down.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Hypnotism does work. Yes! But haven't you realised that not everyone can be hypnotized??? Thats a fact! However presentation creates a comfort level. Confidence from the hypnotist, creates comfort from the subject. But there are some people who cannot be hypnotized and no level of pro can do it.

Yes I do know that, and I'm 99% sure I can't be hypnotized. But a subject going along with the show doesn't mean they are gullible. You're using words you don't understand.

Thats fact! Hypnotism doesn't actually put people to sleep, yet we say sleep! It heights their responses and create a higher level of comfort. But they don't fall to sleep.

What does sleep have to do with anything?

Words such as receptive, responsive, good subjects, and somnambulism are cool words for gullability. So in a way, it means what i said it meant.

I suppose you could say that 'good subject' could mean gullible, if what you're looking for in a subject is gullibility, but the other words have absolutely nothing to do with gullibility. I suspect that you have no idea what those words actually mean and you're hoping we don't either. I think you should spend some time with a dictionary before trying to base an argument around what words mean.

In short, hypnotism and gullibility have little to nothing to do with each other.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
receptive to a command involves gullibility

People don't have to believe your story to obey your commands. Most times when magicians are performing for me, I don't believe a word they say. I still do what they ask me to do, because I'm not a jerk. Following directions does not equate to gullibility.

repsonding to a command involves gullibility

No, it doesn't. Do you understand what gullibility is? You can keep repeating the same thing over and over, it doesn't make it true.

a good subject is gullible

Only if you're looking for gullibility. Suggestibility is not gullibility. The ability to be hypnotized is not gullibility.

a somnambulist is the person who repsonse is so great, that the higher level phenomena are achieved. That in itself relies on gullibility.

Somnambulism is sleep walking, or to quote Merriam Webster (which you should read): "an abnormal condition of sleep in which motor acts (as walking) are performed." As you've already pointed out, a hypnotized subject is not asleep, therefore cannot be a somnambulist. Furthermore, being that somnambulism is a sleep disorder, it has absolutely nothing to do with gullibility. Seriously, please, stop using words you don't understand.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
How did this whole topic go from talking about how different spectators will believe different stories, to talking about hypnosis logistics..
 
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