Postmentalism - Alvo Stockman

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Postmentalism - Alvo Stockman

Postby Beardy » Tue May 13, 2008 2:33 pm



The Effect

In envelopes, pockets, folded billets, and boxes, written predictions have become a standard theme in magic. Its easy to see why. The ability to predict the future is something central to being human. In fact, some consider it the most important measure of intelligence. The ability to be prepared for future events is a critical survival skill. Even in our day to day lives, weathermen, stock analysts, marketers, politicians, lawyers, and hundreds of other occupations are focused around the outcome of future events. Predicting the future is a theme everyone can relate to and see the value of.

The focus of any prediction effect inevitably comes down to its integrity.

When a television escape artist puts on chains, traditionally he will have a privately hired member of the local police force examine them to make sure the handcuffs he is using are legitimate. In this way, a 3rd party has vouched to the audience for the effect’s integrity.

There are a couple of drawbacks to this when performing casually for friends. First, most of us are not under 24 hour police surveillance. This makes contracting a member of local law enforcement impractical. And second, even when a privately or even “randomly” selected police officer is chosen from an audience during a stage show, their legitimacy is still in question. Are they really a police officer or an actor who is part of the show? Each time a question like this is asked, it chips away precious credibility from the performance.

In a written prediction effect (particularly between a mentalist and a single individual), there is a dilemma of who to entrust with the prediction until the time of revelation.

If the mentalist holds onto it, the details could be discretely changed (as they often are), compromising the integrity of the prediction. If the spectator holds onto it, they could read it and possibly change the outcome, also compromising the original prediction.

Ideally we would have an escrow style trusted 3rd-party agent who could hang on to the prediction for us until after the predicted event. There would also be severe penalties for either side to tamper with the prediction.

The solution I propose in Postmentalism is to use the US Postal Service to mail a prediction to your friend’s home.

Benefits

Buildup

Anticipation is a huge part of pleasure. It’s what makes Christmas mornings, 16th birthdays and Fridays so much juicier. In Postmentalism, your spectator will be looking forward to receiving this mysterious prediction from you for at least a day or two, listening for the mailman and anticipating what it could be.

Private Reaction

I touched on this concept in my effect “Mix Tape”. Regardless of whether you’re performing on stage or walk-around, it’s impossible to get a truly honest reaction from someone as long as you’re watching them. By sending the prediction to their home, your spectator is somewhere they feel safe, comfortable, relaxed and most importantly, alone, to react completely genuinely to your performance. It’s obviously a different kind of performance where you don’t get to see a “freak-out” moment, but one that hits hard and will be remembered forever regardless.

Souvenir

In many tricks, the spectator is left with some scrap of signed card that the magician gives to them (usually to avoid having to walk it over to the waste basket) with the belief that they will cherish it and remember them fondly forever. The problem is that usually it’s a meaningless shred of a performance. In Postmentalism, the spectator receives an envelope, addressed and mailed to them, delivered to their door the old fashioned way (which is only getting more memorable as email takes over), that they personally put in the mail. This envelope contains a full recount of what happened during the performance and any time they look back at it they will be able to relive the moment.

Postal Integrity

As far as middlemen go, it doesn’t get much better than the USPS. It’s actually a felony to tamper with the mail. Assuming both you and your spectator are performing outside the walls of a prison, this should be more than enough to convince them that no one has changed the prediction.


FAQ
QWill Postmentalism work with foreign postal services?

AYes! In fact, not only will it work in different countries, it even works when you're mailing from one country to another!


Cost

$29.95 - about £20 (if you add on the postage ;))

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1-2 - very easy :P

Review

I just couldn't for the life of me think how this was done. When it arrived I read the manuscript straight away. And you know those moments when you thnk "Now why didn't I think of that"? This isn't one of them - this is a time when the method is so different to what I would have expected, I just couldn't help but admire the way that this guy thinks.

How clean is it? It is just like the preview says - there are no hidden stuff there. It is you writing a prediction, putting it in the envelope, writing the address, and letting them post it.

The gimmick that comes with it? I didn't even know that one of these existed! The only downside is what I will do when the gimmick stops working...it isn't something that will last forever Maybe Mr Stockman will release the gimmicks seperately as well? Something to think about!

Alvo covers what to do if the envelope is opened prematurely as well. Furthermore, he shows how to provide inherent proof that the envelope that they receive is the same one as they posted! Not sure why they wouldn question it though, considering they told you the address, saw it written correctly, stuck the stamp on, and posted it themselves :P

Overall

Overall I can see this as a definate something that I shall be using. The great thing about this is that all you have to have on you when you want to do it is the gimmick...which you could have in your pocket all day long without causing a fuss! It takes up next to no room at all in your pocket as well.

This isn't really for a show. This will, however, help get you bookings for a show. Either way, this shows some truly original thinking, and has persuaded me to purchase Alvo's effect "Poetry Reading" when it gets released!

In all, this is definately something that I thought was worth it!

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
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Postby Mage Tyler » Wed May 14, 2008 3:54 pm

It comes with a gimmick, though you've posted in the Books and print section. How extensive is the book/printed material that comes with the gimmick?

Is this a case of buying the method and well detailed notes with a way to produce your own gimmick, or is the majority of the cost the gimmick and it just comes with a booklet detailing its use?

Sorry to ask so many questions. I'm not trying to get a hint of the method, it just sounds too good to be true and I'm trying to figure out why you posted in printed materials rather than gimmicks and whether this is a good fit for me.

Thanks,
-Tyler

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Postby Beardy » Wed May 14, 2008 9:18 pm

It does come with a gimmick, and i guess it could go in tricks and props.

At the end of the day though, it is a manuscript detailing everything that you need to know.

It would fit well in both :P

I have run a few tests with the gimmick over the last two days, and it seems to work very well.

I'm going to e-mail me Alvo with a question about the gimmick, and then be performing this next week - and I'll let you know how it goes as well!

Any other questions, feel free!

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
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Re: Postmentalism - Alvo Stockman

Postby Mage Tyler » Thu May 15, 2008 3:46 am

Blapsing_Beard wrote:The gimmick that comes with it? I didn't even know that one of these existed! The only downside is what I will do when the gimmick stops working...it isn't something that will last forever Maybe Mr Stockman will release the gimmicks seperately as well? Something to think about!


In my last post I asked if it was a gimmick that could be self-made, but this seems to suggest against it.

Perhaps if you're emailing him anyway you might ask if he has any plans to release a gimmick refill?

How many uses would the gimmick be good for?

Thanks,
-Tyler

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Postby Beardy » Thu May 15, 2008 11:12 am

Hundreds! Used sparingly, I may even suggest that it could go into more than triple figure uses!

When it comes to the gimmick, a simple internet search has shown that it does exist! Well what do you know!

I have found an auction website where you can get a refill at £6 a go. Not bad...I'm going to now see if there is a UK based supplier!

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
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Postby Mage Tyler » Thu May 15, 2008 2:16 pm

I honestly don't know if I can resist at this point.

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Postby Beardy » Thu May 15, 2008 8:05 pm

Here are a few bits I'll say - then you can make your own judgement call:

This is not something you will -put into your daily reportoire in a gig. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a delayed reaction. It would be good to use on important clients to book future gigs

It is doubtful that you would be able to perform it to lots of people on the same day. Not because of the gimmick or method, but because you have to have good memory skills if you do!

With a bit of imagination, the gimmick can be used very illegally... (;))

Overall, considering I have spent lots of money on pieces of c*** (not the best) in the past, this was worthwhile for me. And I have now even ordered "poetry reading" based on this effect alone.

Althoguh not for everyone, this is certainly something that you can pull out of the bag should you really want to impress somebody!

It is recomended - as long as the issues above don't concern you.

I shall be happy to answer any questions you have still before you order - even via PM if you so wish

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
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Postby I.D » Thu May 15, 2008 9:50 pm

Blapsing_Beard wrote:With a bit of imagination, the gimmick can be used very illegally... (;))



Yes indeed.. we may release a dvd for that very purpose :wink: :lol:

www.youtube.com/brum2redmagic !! Youtube Project started.. early days

Reading: Nothing right now
Studying: loving band redemption
Performing: Speechless, Stand up Monte, Coinvexed,
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Postby Mage Tyler » Fri May 16, 2008 4:49 am

Blapsing_Beard wrote:I shall be happy to answer any questions you have still before you order - even via PM if you so wish


Thanks, I'll probably bug you with some because, to be honest, I'm a hobbyist, not a performer. Most of the material I buy is books with multiple effects and I've never laid down $30 for one effect before - but this one has really got me interested.

Is this effect impromptu? If not, how much preparation is required?

Does the paper/envelope need to be prepared or could you purchase it with the spectator directly before performing the effect?

You mentioned that a gimmick is involved. Does the spectator ever see the gimmick?

If you feel any of these tip too much for public, please PM. I don't think any would tip the actual method, but if you feel it might, feel free to decline to answer. I'm just trying to find out if this will fit for me as I would most likely be doing it more for friends and family who know me pretty well.

Many thanks,
-Tyler

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Postby Beardy » Fri May 16, 2008 8:03 am

Mage Tyler wrote:
Blapsing_Beard wrote:I shall be happy to answer any questions you have still before you order - even via PM if you so wish


Thanks, I'll probably bug you with some because, to be honest, I'm a hobbyist, not a performer. Most of the material I buy is books with multiple effects and I've never laid down $30 for one effect before - but this one has really got me interested.

Is this effect impromptu? If not, how much preparation is required?

Does the paper/envelope need to be prepared or could you purchase it with the spectator directly before performing the effect?

You mentioned that a gimmick is involved. Does the spectator ever see the gimmick?

If you feel any of these tip too much for public, please PM. I don't think any would tip the actual method, but if you feel it might, feel free to decline to answer. I'm just trying to find out if this will fit for me as I would most likely be doing it more for friends and family who know me pretty well.

Many thanks,
-Tyler


It shall be perfect for friends and family as well.

No prep is required - but it is not impromptu. Impromptu in my mind is anywhere, anytime. This effect is anywhere, any time...as long as you have the gimmick on you.

The paper and envelope do not have to be prepped at any time. You can go down to your local post office and purchase the stuff there in front of them...though some envelopes will work better than others. I believe white ones will work better than the brown jiffy ones.

Yes the spectator sees the gimmick. But the gimmick is something that will not cause any questioning at all

This wont be something that you perform all the time by any means...but...I personally think that it is a really innovating idea

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
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Postby Part-Timer » Fri May 16, 2008 9:34 pm

I might be wrong, but this sounds awfully like something John Fisher talked about on the Magic Circle record many years ago, and which Kenton Knepper has discussed (albeit in a slightly different form).

May I ask if the gimmick is purple (although it might be blue)? I think that's obscure enough to give nothing away if I am right, but I might be barking up the wrong tree.

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Postby IAIN » Fri May 16, 2008 9:38 pm

if you wanna perform for your friends and family - why bother with spending your money on this? you'll do it the once and that'll be it...

RESIST!

buy a book instead... :)

IAIN
 

Postby Beardy » Fri May 16, 2008 9:49 pm

Part-Timer wrote:I might be wrong, but this sounds awfully like something John Fisher talked about on the Magic Circle record many years ago, and which Kenton Knepper has discussed (albeit in a slightly different form).

May I ask if the gimmick is purple (although it might be blue)? I think that's obscure enough to give nothing away if I am right, but I might be barking up the wrong tree.


The gimmick is indeed blue...though with the ingredients inside it I wouldn't have thought that it could be purple? I may be wrong however!

Either way...from a personal point of view, I like it!

abraxus wrote:if you wanna perform for your friends and family - why bother with spending your money on this? you'll do it the once and that'll be it...

RESIST!

buy a book instead... :)


It is true that you can't really perform it more than once for your family...it'll ruin the surprise ;)

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
Beardy
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Postby Part-Timer » Fri May 16, 2008 9:52 pm

Sounds like it is similar to what I had in mind, but not quite the same. Tempting, but I will have to have a loooong think about it. Thanks for answering my question.

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Postby Beardy » Fri May 16, 2008 10:30 pm

it might be able to be got in purple! I just haven't seen it in my research...I don't claim to have full knowledge however!

I am more thinking of this as something to get bookings/prove I'm psychic if anything else :P

Love

Chris
xxx

"An amazing mind manipulator" - Uri Geller
"I hope to shake your hand before I die" - Derren Brown
"That was mightily impressive - I have absolutely no clue how you did that" - Tim Minchin
Beardy
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Posts: 4221
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:12 pm
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