Forget it all in an instant (stooge)

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Forget it all in an instant (stooge)

Postby Vanderbelt » Jul 25th, '11, 23:55



I've been having an interesting discussion with a couple of other magicians following an effect we saw which some of us thought may have involved an IS (it didn't btw) and we got to talking about the rights and wrongs of ISing and I thought I'd bring that discussion over to TM for you all.

There was division that was to be expected, either all for or all against ISing and there was myself and one other somewhat in the middle.

My position is this: If you IS someone the effect it has on them in the view of the rest of the audience should be magical, that they have acheived something impossible too. They can then return to their friends and experience a wonderful moment of their peers asking them how they did what they did.
Example: Sometimes within a Kurotsuke effect with two people eliminated I'll invite someone to see if they can do it too. With my arm comfortingly around their shoulders I'll say something to the effect of "Who else do you think has a white stone, have a look at them and you're just going to get this feeling and you'll know it's them..." and I'm sure you get the picture. They get it right (hopefully) and walk away to applause and the admiration of their friends. Everyone's a winner, my routine is nicely paced and less monotonous and there's a minor miracle worker within the audience.

However I am wholeheartedly opposed to someone being ISed just in order for you to acheive an effect, ergo look good. The effect that sparked this discussion was Col Mcleod's Bookless Test as shown on Fool Us this weekend. Now that effect does not use an IS though one of my friends had assumed (and insisted in fact) that it did.... but if it had then this would've been a prime example of what I consider a very poor use of an IS. Getting someone up on stage, tell them what to think and then say "Hey, I know/always knew what he was going to think". The IS walks away with no applause (he knows the applause is for you) and with a very bad taste in his mouth.

For me, if an effect, no matter how stunningly brilliant can only be achieved with an IS with the latter example then it has no place in my repetoire, I have no right whatsoever to make someone who's taken the time and money to see me perform to be made to feel like a pawn. That said, if the effect is that great and can be acheived with a regular stooge then yeah, full steam ahead ;)

Discuss....

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Postby Beardy » Jul 26th, '11, 00:02

I had a big discussion about this with Colin Mcleod last year, and we both lived on opposite sides of the fence.

He hates IS, whereas I love it.

I think that IS is very underused, and is one of the most powerful tools in the art of magic.

In my mind the method doesn't matter, and in my opinion you do whatever it takes to get the job done.

:)

Love

Chris
xxx

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Postby Vanderbelt » Jul 26th, '11, 00:08

Beardy wrote:you do whatever it takes to get the job done.


Can't agree more - within those paramaters I mentioned. I feel, as an entertainer we have a responsibility not to degrade our audience. Often after a performance, an IS will approach me and actually thank me for letting them in on the fun and sharing my 'abilities' with them like that. They're genuinely grateful and no doubt love the attention they receive too. In that light, I've never felt it necessary to whisper the common "Sshh, it's our secret".

I'd never get that reaction from someone I'd merely used in order to look good.

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Postby Beardy » Jul 26th, '11, 00:14

Vanderbelt wrote:
Beardy wrote:you do whatever it takes to get the job done.


Can't agree more - within those paramaters I mentioned. I feel, as an entertainer we have a responsibility not to degrade our audience. Often after a performance, an IS will approach me and actually thank me for letting them in on the fun and sharing my 'abilities' with them like that. They're genuinely grateful and no doubt love the attention they receive too. In that light, I've never felt it necessary to whisper the common "Sshh, it's our secret".

I'd never get that reaction from someone I'd merely used in order to look good.


I've had an IS not like the process, but that was pure bad luck on her part for being the random person selected.

I've never had an issue with anybody else, so based on that one person alone I'm not going to stop.

The eyes of the audience is greater than the eyes of the one person :)

Love

Chris
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"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 The4thCircle » Jul 26th, '11, 01:09

I must admit to not really having much of an interest in mentalism per se, but this whole IS debate really bends my mind... perhaps it's meant to.

Maybe I've misunderstood the whole premise of how IS works or what it's all about, maybe I'm just an obtuse so-and-so, but if I volunteered to be involved in a mentalism act and I felt directly coerced, I'd be tempted to subvert the whole thing and choose an answer totally left of field.

Not because I wanted the act to go wrong but because I'd feel like it were one of those joke forces done in a cup & balls routine or having one card in a spread bobbing back and forth as if to say "pick me pick me!"

Is it over thinking matters to assume that if a mentalist seems to be directing you too obviously it's actually a way of comedically pushing you away from a certain option?

Or have I totally got the wrong end of the stick? If I've got the wrong end of the stick just let me know and I'll shut up, I'd hate people to think I was fishing. But what I think people like myself with no working knowledge of mentalism assume (apparently incorrectly) is that the Bookless Test essentially involved the participant being surreptitiously shown a tenner with the force word written on it, or something similar.

If that is the method being discussed I wouldn't do it in a million years, particularly not at a make or break moment on television, because of the chance (however remote) of ending up with a crazy b*tch like me on stage trying to out think the method.

I don't want to offend any mentalists, so if my above description is considered a bit too 'out there' I'll gladly go back and edit it out. I'm just confused as to why anyone would think this was a good idea if that's really it.

-Stacy

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Postby Magical_Trevor » Jul 26th, '11, 01:13

Beardy wrote:The eyes of the audience is greater than the eyes of the one person :)


I dont do enough stage / parlor tricks to really use an IS, however, I agree with the above quote from Chris, if it adds to the effect and the show as a whole, then do whatever it takes ... within reason (ie, don't use a plant, or an IS in the way which people assume Colin did ... not that it would make a difference to the audience, BUT should they get asked about it, you're whole house of cards falls like dominoes ... then its checkmate :P)

Are there any books / dvd's / manuscripts on this idea? (Feel free to PM should you not want to over-expose)

Dan

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Postby Vanderbelt » Jul 26th, '11, 01:35

The4thCircle wrote:Or have I totally got the wrong end of the stick? If I've got the wrong end of the stick just let me know and I'll shut up, I'd hate people to think I was fishing. But what I think people like myself with no working knowledge of mentalism assume (apparently incorrectly) is that the Bookless Test essentially involved the participant being surreptitiously shown a tenner with the force word written on it, or something similar.


No, although it can seem that way even to people with a basic working knowledge of mentalism! The participant in question did experience 'an effect' albeit not the same one we as an audience did, something magical still happened for him. This concept is known as Dual Reality, a brilliant tool in the mentalist's arsenal.

As for the whole concept of ISing.. I'll PM you to save exposure on the public threads.

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Postby Arkesus » Jul 26th, '11, 02:20

Wayne Dobson has a wonderful little IS "horror" story that always makes me chuckle.

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Postby Beardy » Jul 26th, '11, 02:23

Magical_Trevor wrote:
Beardy wrote:The eyes of the audience is greater than the eyes of the one person :)


I dont do enough stage / parlor tricks to really use an IS, however, I agree with the above quote from Chris, if it adds to the effect and the show as a whole, then do whatever it takes ... within reason (ie, don't use a plant, or an IS in the way which people assume Colin did ... not that it would make a difference to the audience, BUT should they get asked about it, you're whole house of cards falls like dominoes ... then its checkmate :P)

Are there any books / dvd's / manuscripts on this idea? (Feel free to PM should you not want to over-expose)

Dan


Not currently, but there is one in the works......

Love

Chris
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"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 Lady of Mystery » Jul 26th, '11, 07:39

I think it's a tool like anything else in magic and mentalism. I'm not really against it but again I'm not really for it either. When used well it can be a very useful technique but I don't think that it should be the means to the entire effect.

When I use it, it's usually only really a small part of the routine, there are always other methods at play to support it and make sure that the volunteer doesn't go away just thinking that I've told him what to say, he goes away having experienced something as well.

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Postby grant_m23 » Jul 26th, '11, 09:44

Most probably won't agree with me on this, but one mentalists Instant Stooge is another's Dual Reality - there's a very fine line between the two. I sometimes think certain performers fight to have their routines viewed as DR when in fact they could just as easily be viewed as IS... (and vice versa). There are no "trading standards" in magic/mentalism, and we're left to our own communities to define things - there seems to exist a certain level of performing pride.

I don't believe the stand-point should be taken from that of the participant, it should be taken from the audience - doesn't matter if that person is (unwittingly) "in on it" or not. And no, that does not mean every participant is an IS just because they are asked to pick a card.

Just my opinion.

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Postby Amira » Jul 26th, '11, 13:09

The IS participant on stage needs to understand that the procedure:

1. Will be fun
2. Will create something amazing for THEM

That 2 lines are essential to create a fun moment for he as well. As you say, in IS work, the participant is working WITH you, so he needs to understand that this isnt for FOOLING he or THEM, rather to have a good time.

I use this technique in my shows and have never one complain or weird comment, because I frame the experiment for him with that words.

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Postby TheStoner » Jul 26th, '11, 14:23

If it's good enough for Derren...

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Postby aporia » Jul 26th, '11, 17:47

I always thought of stooging as slightly cheating.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but surely anyone can bring up either a stooge or ask a participant to "go along with the show" and generate the most amazing effects. Tricks that do use the instant stooge are usually so impressive because no one believes that they are used, with the possible exception of stage mediums.

If you are going to use stooges, then you might as well run a whole show with them and not bother learning how to tear up a billet (do people still do that?).

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Postby Beardy » Jul 26th, '11, 18:30

aporia wrote:I always thought of stooging as slightly cheating.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but surely anyone can bring up either a stooge or ask a participant to "go along with the show" and generate the most amazing effects. Tricks that do use the instant stooge are usually so impressive because no one believes that they are used, with the possible exception of stage mediums.

If you are going to use stooges, then you might as well run a whole show with them and not bother learning how to tear up a billet (do people still do that?).


Disagreed. In most instances, instant Stoogery takes a lot of management, skill and balls.

IS is different to Stoogery in itself

Love

Chris
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"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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