Social Distortion - Andrew Mayne

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Social Distortion - Andrew Mayne

Postby lozey » Jan 18th, '08, 23:08

The Effect: The magician asks for a volunteer to help him. This volunteer faces away from the rest of the audience and the magician. The magician shows a selection of blank business cards to the audience and talks about the various professions he might have had if he wasnt a magician. The volunteer selects one of the cards and is shown it without the audience or magician being able to see the 'face' of it.

The magician takes out a pen and on one of the blank cards writes down a prediction. He then puts it in his pocket an asks/tells the spectator about the card they 'saw'. A name, profession, colour and number are all correct. The prediction and the rest of the blank cards are left with the spectator.

My Views: I don't like this effect because if its sucker aspect. When the spectator rejoins the audience, he/she will be utterly convinced that they saw a printed business card. The rest of the audience are utterly convinced all the cards are blank.I'd prefer that spectators feel pleased for being a part of my act and not like I've made them out to be a fool.

Secondly, the number on the gimmick is a US phone number!!! I live in the UK, so that immediately looks suspicious. To use this effect, I'd have to make another gimmick myself or alter the patter to cover the discrepency (which neither Andrew or Christopher advise doing, at least not at first). I also think the gimmick looks a little 'cheap', not like what it is pretending to be

There are some good points though. The instructions are very comprehensive and the photos are reasonable quality.The audio CD is interesting, but I don't think it really adds anything to the package, its basically a radio interview with a magician called Christopher raving about it.

Finally a good and bad point, this effect takes some time to get around to the predicted information. I prefer something snappier like a mental epic routine or Osterlinds Sterno ESP. Then again if youve got to do a 40 minute act, you might be greatful that it takes about 15minutes.

Overall, I'd give it 5/10 You'd be far better reading a mentalism book and creating your own 3 phase routine

(C, AH)
If you have a quality,let it define you no matter what it is-Doug Bradley
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Postby .:Ham:. » Jan 19th, '08, 03:25

Thanks for the review. I'll steer clear of this.

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Postby Demitri » Jan 19th, '08, 07:12

I disagree with the idea that the spectator on stage is left feeling like a fool. While it IS possible for such a thing to happen, with proper scripting and audience management, their experience can be just as baffling as the experience the audience has. I think it's wrong to refer to this as a sucker effect - it's not.

As for the UK/US problem - I can see your point on that one.

you've definitely given some food for thought. Thanks for the review, Lozey.

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Postby Part-Timer » Jan 19th, '08, 16:24

It's actually slightly better than I thought from the brief description, although the US cards don't exactly make it a great effect for the UK, without additional work.

Thanks for the review. This effect won't be going to the top of my want list!

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Postby Tom Lauten » Jan 19th, '08, 18:16

I pretty much agree as well...I can't help but feel that the experience for the participant will, during the effect, seem rather un-extraordinary if not a bit "So what?"-ish.

I would go further and suggest that the participant and, lets say, their friends...even the audience on the whole, could quickly come to suspect and ascertain the basics of the method.

The "gimmicks" are a bit amateurish, the booklet looks GREAT and the CD is nicely printed, the advertising seems comprehensive and the COLOSSAL list of "Thanks yous" and "You were my inspiration" at the end of the booklet is truely "Academy Award ceremony" worthy... I began to wonder if Andrew Mayne was dying and this was the culmination of his life's work!!!

Not awful but not as "gob-smacking" as one might be lead to believe.

If we can hit that bullseye then the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards... Checkmate!
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Postby Demitri » Jan 20th, '08, 04:57

The question I've been asking myself is what would the difference be if the spectator just selected a business card from a stack of business cards? I understand that concept of dual reality can be incredibly strong, but I am beginning to agree with Lozey and now Tom Lauten in regards to the props being used. In fact, it would seem the only logical deduction an audience could make would actually run right into the actual method.

So I wonder - if I had a stack of business cards, one is fairly selected and I divine the details of the card from across the room - would that somehow not be as strong as this effect?

I think adding in the more "impossible" aspect of it, actually makes it more transparent. Granted, I'm talking from the other side of the curtain, but it just seems that way.

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Postby TonyB » Apr 13th, '09, 23:30

All these posts seem very negative about Social Distortion. I loved the concept and dropped it into my show within days of getting it. The reaction was very strong. It doesn't take much effort, in presentational terms, to make your volunteer on stage feel that they have experienced real magic, just as the audience did.
Also, it is easy to change the American business cards to British ones (Irish in my case). Give this trick a bit more time. It is simple, strong, direct mentalism that is entertaining. You can use two volunteers, and you can use it to get into a one-ahead situation. I love Social Distortion. It's in my act.

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Postby lewisswiresmagic » Jun 2nd, '09, 17:29

i got this a while back and i agree with the majority, i think its because it is slightly too long for table hopping etc... but the few times i have performed the effect, it has had a strong reaction... the idea is brilliant, the booklet is a bit lame, i just played about with it for a while, but it has kind of stayed in the draw with the self tying shoelaces and bitten key..

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