Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

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Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby MatCult » Aug 20th, '12, 16:21



Name: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Available from: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/33815273/Yachan ... lcome.html

Price: $15

Maker: Stephen Yachanin

Examinable: Yes, up to a point. The spectator can handle the card freely, but as with many props in mentalism you wouldn't give anyone the opportunity to study it in depth, particularly after the effect.

Difficulty: 3/10

Out of 10: 8/10

Effect
Image
Two volunteers are handed a card containing 80 words (no repeats). Each volunteer is asked to mentally select a word (free choice). The volunteers mentally spell their words as you attempt to sense any reactions they have to the letters. Silently focusing on one of the letters, each volunteer is asked to think of a new word beginning with that letter. This process is repeated two more times, making it impossible for anyone to have any idea of the final words in the minds of the volunteers.

You ask the volunteers to concentrate on their final word selections as you write your impressions on the back of your business card. Only after you have placed the business card on the table do you instruct the volunteers to announce the words they have in their minds and have one of them turn over the business card. The words on the business card match the volunteers’ words!

• Nothing written down
• No fishing
• No switches
• No secret writing
• One or two volunteers
• Fits in your wallet

Comments:
Previously, due to certain methodological restrictions, this effect was only available to the US. However, after a lot of work by Stephen, the UK-friendly version will soon be released. I was one of a few people lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the manuscript and helped Stephen 'road test' the effect on British audiences. So, in the interests of 'disclosure' I must state I didn't pay for this effect.

However, it plays just as cleanly as it reads in the blurb above and leaves people gobsmacked. The manuscript also teaches techniques that have changed the way I approach all word revelations - yes, the methods in this manuscript can be adapted to any effect in your arsenal that includes a word reveal. Is that worth $15? I rather think so!

So, what do you get? You get a PDF of well-written and thorough instructions, containing print templates for two different versions of the wallet card. The card itself, as the ad copy states, has 80 words printed on it - but you do not simply reveal which one of these your participants are thinking of, oh no, you do something much more impressive. Starting with any of these words, you can take two volunteers (or one if you prefer) on a guided exercise in 'thought association'. Only the starting word appears on the card, the rest are arrived at through apparently fair and free choices. Nothing is written down and yet you are still able to reveal the words in their minds at the end. Oh and I should make it clear that each of the two participants arrives at a different word by the end of the experiment. There are no "T.O.D."-style "sit down if you heard your word" ambiguities here. The effect is direct, absurdly clean and in my opinion looks pretty close to 'the real deal'.

I've performed this for individuals, couples and once to a small group in a 'parlour' setting and it consistently hits people squarely between the eyes. For the purists among us, there is no 'visible compromise', the words you reveal exist only in the participants' minds. There is apparently no possible way you could know what they are thinking and yet without fishing, writing or other shenanigans, you can reveal the contents of their minds.

Several of these 'wallet card' type effects (Kioku, Dreamweaver and others) use a b*n*** system, which requires some memorisation, but 'Thought Association' applies another method entirely, one that originates in a book by Joshua Quinn and has been developed and refined by Stephen Yachanin. There is a little memory work required for this effect but it is absolutely minimal, no more than the usual effort required to remember a script.

So for $15 and very little effort, you gain the ability to baffle audiences with something that appears completely fair and deeply mystifying. I've had some great reactions to this - it's impossible to backtrack and leaves both the participants and observers amazed. Also, as stated above, I now find myself applying the thinking in this effect to book tests and other word effects to create double revelations, where I can not only reveal the 'association' word they finally land on, but also the word the started with originally - very strong stuff!

In summary: I'm usually pretty wary of single-effect PDFs, but this is one I can recommend whole-heartedly. Strong mentalism at a very reasonable price.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Lownatic » Sep 3rd, '12, 09:08

I have to echo Mat on this one, lovely effect and very versatile.

I, and many others, have sent Stephen suggestions for additions and improvements, and as I understand it from Stephen, there will be a supplement released in the future.

A spec remembers a word, then says nothing, or writes anything down for the rest of the effect, is taken by you down a word association pathway to a word that you reveal, and it's merely in their head. It could be a different word thought of or revealed every time.

Wonderful.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 11:37

Just bought this, based on the reviews above. It would be great to have something that I can keep in my wallet that doesn't require any kind of physical handling such as peeks, switches etc.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 11:50

I'll try to remember to post on here in a few days or a week or so, whenever I feel confident that I know what I'm doing with it, but in case I forget, feel free to give me a nudge (a PM) anyone, to remind me.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Discombobulator » Sep 3rd, '12, 12:20

It sounds interesting but I am a little worried that it might just be an updated version of 'grey elephants in Denmark.'
Please tell me I am wrong.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 12:25

I can't remember how Elephants work in any detail.

Received within half hour of placing the order, so that's good.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 12:49

Discombobulator wrote:It sounds interesting but I am a little worried that it might just be an updated version of 'grey elephants in Denmark.'
Please tell me I am wrong.


OK, having read the PDF, what I can tell you is that there are at least two principles at stake here, maybe three, in a way, so it certainly is not just the grey elephant principle glorified.

I probably can't say much more than that without tipping the method.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Lownatic » Sep 3rd, '12, 13:12

Discombobulator wrote:It sounds interesting but I am a little worried that it might just be an updated version of 'grey elephants in Denmark.'
Please tell me I am wrong.



There are some elements of similarity, but several levels of sophistication higher.
When I first bought this, I was continuously trying to think of variations and pathways.
It has potentially many possible endings.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 13:18

Discombobulator wrote:It sounds interesting but I am a little worried that it might just be an updated version of 'grey elephants in Denmark.'
Please tell me I am wrong.


The elephant thingy relies heavily on maths, of course, which can be difficult to get away with. Paul Brook has lots of routines which use maths but hide the method beautifully.

Thought Association Card, however, does not use maths at all.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Lownatic » Sep 3rd, '12, 18:21

I have just returned from a lunchtime Silver Wedding party, where I tried this effect several times (first time out at a professional engagement).

The reaction in each case was complete disbelief.
Brilliant.

A card will always be in my wallet from now on.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 18:54

Lownatic wrote:I have just returned from a lunchtime Silver Wedding party, where I tried this effect several times (first time out at a professional engagement).

The reaction in each case was complete disbelief.
Brilliant.

A card will always be in my wallet from now on.


Did you find it hard to learn? At first read it looks a bit complicated but maybe it isn't really. Maybe if I sit down and draw a little flowchart I'll find that it's actually very simple.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Lownatic » Sep 3rd, '12, 19:10

It did seem complicated at first, but once I got into it, I found it rather easy.

As they think of each word, several different pathways potentially open up, to end with different words each time.
(If you see what I mean) cant say too much without tipping the method.

I'd be happy to pm you with a more detail explanation if you want.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Mr Grumpy » Sep 3rd, '12, 19:32

Oh, I'd got the impression the whole thing is a force, that it's always the same word, though I have only read it through once.

Thank you for suggesting the PM. I'll read it again and have a go, then PM you with any questions if I'm stuck. I don't want people to think I haven't bought it.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby Lownatic » Sep 3rd, '12, 19:43

Like yourself, I initially used a flow chart to get the overall view, then realised the potential different pathways.

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Re: Thought Association Card - Stephen Yachanin

Postby MatCult » Sep 5th, '12, 09:45

Mr Grumpy wrote:Did you find it hard to learn? At first read it looks a bit complicated but maybe it isn't really. Maybe if I sit down and draw a little flowchart I'll find that it's actually very simple.


It does look tricky at first. Once I started working on it, I found it was really not really much harder to remember than any other m*l*i*l* o*t effect (for example Killer Elite).

I find I mentally "follow" each participant from association to association and that helps me keep track of where we are and where we're going to next. Remember, there are only really two "hops" in each "path" so the memory work isn't too overwhelming.

Discombobulator wrote:It sounds interesting but I am a little worried that it might just be an updated version of 'grey elephants in Denmark.'
Please tell me I am wrong.


As Lownatic says, there are elements of "Grey Elephant", but applied in a fresh and versatile way. I never found "Grey Elephant" very exciting, but this effect really fired my imagination. That said, the method probably won't appeal to everyone, so if the descriptions don't grab you, maybe steer clear.

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