Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby U THINK I KNOW » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:49 pm



Do you think it's more important to give your effects a premise and make it something that they can relate to, like producing a "Ham sandwich" when someone says they're hungry, or like making money appear and just in general giving a good reason for the (context of an) effect. Or is it BETTER to just BRAKE the natural as hard as you can like eating a pice of thread and then pulling it out of your stomach or like making 4 coins end up under the card for no reason?

I read this ebook "Magic in Mind" and I saw a lot of this idea but I want to ask questions about it and the book wouldn't answer :lol: so, to you all...


You can find the book here. https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic ... c-in-mind/" target="_blank" target="_blank

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby bmat » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Admittedly I did not read it, but to answer this age old question, you have to find what works for you. Find your style. What works for one doesn't always work for another.

Many magicians are very successful by simply doing magic trick after magic trick. When questioned by others, (usually magicians) who ask what the premise is? What is the reason for doing such and such? What is the motivation for performing that particular effect in that way? The answers to all the questions are exactly the same. I'm a magician and I'm entertaining with magic. They don't need any other premise or motivation. For example? What is that little copper box? (Okito box) Oh that, its a magic box I got at the magic store, check it out I put a coin in my hand, it vanishes and it appears inside the box! And they get way with it and it kills and they want to see more.

Me? That box is a transporter like you see on Star Trek. The coin? this is the captain. my hand is the planet. Scotty beam me up! Planet is now empty and the transporter holds the captain.

In your example. I'm not a fan of geek magic so for me eating the thread and pulling it out of my stomach is never going to work. And as for making the coins appear under the card for no reason? Well why on earth did you eat the thread only to pull it out of your stomach. No reason. Actually both reasons are the same. You are a magician entertaining with magic.

Toss the book. Go out and perform and find what works for you by guaging your audience reactions.

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby U THINK I KNOW » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Well this question really came up when I read a ladys mind (she was thinking of her husband) and I told her his name. She then asked me WHAT'S THE POINT IN THAT'S... (it worked out in end)

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby U THINK I KNOW » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:40 pm

I should really tell you that that person was Russian, I don't have anything against Russians (my inlaws are Russian) but I noticed that I usually don't get great feedback from them, they're not so receptive (that's after I finally got them to watch). Maybe it's just me I don't know and don't really care I just try to perform for orhers. But that's what got me thinking, "why would I do that?"

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby Boris » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 pm

Culture shock. Nothing more.

You might do well to follow 'The Jerx' in regard to understanding presentation when showing magic from an amateur's point of view. Don't take that wrong because I'm not putting amateurs down, but Andy, the writer of 'The Jerx', is a proud amateur who writes from a purely amateur point of view.

One of his latest posts discusses the hows and whys of reacting properly to a trick you've just performed and it might be valuable for you to consider that the reaction you got was based on the reaction that you gave.

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/9/11/o ... -reactions

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby Boris » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:49 pm

Another consideration is that you should aim your trick at the audience at hand. As the saying goes, "Know your audience". Your audience being Russian, you might want to study up on Russian myth in order to give a deeper meaning to spectators. For example, in your mind reading presentation, you can always say that you get your flashes of psychic ability from the spirit of Vasilisa the Wise. Most people of Russian descent will know the mythology.

Here is a page that just might get you started:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... gyAndTales

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Re: Dose a Magic/Mentalism effect really need a premise?

Postby U THINK I KNOW » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:23 am

Thanks Boris they're both useful.

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