The Ellusionist Forums are no longer active. Join us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
+ Reply to Thread
  1. #1
    Raymond Singson's Avatar :: Lead Forum Manager
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,498

    Mindreading with Playing Cards



    I recently reunited with an old friend of mine at a local bar in Philadelphia. He introduced me to his girlfriend who was very enthusiastic about magic and mindreading. I framed this piece within an entire presentation and routine that was heavily peppered in psychological manipulation. I felt that, despite the use of playing cards, the focal point of the performance was the interaction between her (as a participant) and me (as a mindreader/performer). With that, I would argue this is mentalism in a very rudimentary sense.

    This is still a very "bare bones" performance in comparison to where I'd like it to be. There are several nuances I'd like to incorporate in future performances to make this more into a personal reading rather than a simple (trivial) card divination. Mechanically, I believe I possess everything necessary to produce the effect I want, but there's something significantly lacking in presentation. In the near future, I hope to enhance this into something much more meaningful.

    I'm primarily sharing this piece to illustrate the strength of simplicity in performance. Those familiar with the techniques I use will appreciate how dead easy they are to execute, and yet they produce a strong, visible reaction from the participant who seems to credit that something more than a mere "magic trick" occurred. The old adage holds up: simple hits hard.

    Welcome any thoughts and input.

    RS.

  2. #2
    Raymond Singson's Avatar :: Lead Forum Manager
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,498


    This is a video of how the same effect looked over a year ago. I thought I'd share it to illustrate how it's evolved over time. I eventually found that making physical contact with the person not only gives the method more of a plausibility for the spectator to appreciate, but it naturally makes the overall experience more personal and intimate as well.

    Amusingly... I also find myself in a lot of bars.

    RS.

  3. #3
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
    :: Social kinda guy
    :: J. Kredible Dance Commander

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ma
    Posts
    5,239
    This is really awesome to see the changes over time. I enjoyed that a lot! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I've always wondered why some people shy away from mentalism with cards. I mean if you could REALLY read minds, why wouldn't you go to vegas and let loose at a poker table?

    They are a tool, and a pretty effective one :-)
    Pancakes10385
    http://twitter.com/sleightofshawn
    http://www.mullinsmagic.webs.com

  4. #4
    RealityOne's Avatar :: Moderator
    :: Elite Member
    :: Agent R1
    :: Gauntlet winner

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,930
    Mental Magic - Yes. Mentalism - No.

    I don't object to the use of a deck of cards in mentalism, but that performance was mental magic, not mentalism due to the kicker reveal ending (what psychic power of the performer explains that?) and what I presumed happened before the camera started rolling (did someone say "pick a card?").

    Phil.. I mean Max Maven has some great routines using playing cards. The better routines use handwritten index cards or ESP cards or Tarot Cards. The difference is that the audience views cards as magician's tools and magicians do tricks.

    If you perform that effect often enough, you will probably get to the point where you don't need to force the card - especially if you tell the person not to react at all when you say the correct color, suite, etc. Saying that forces them to consciously tense up when you as it - watch for their eyes to move to their right as they think about not reacting and their lips to tense up (as if they are thinking "don't say anything").
    ~ David
    Perception of reality is a selection of reality which results in a distortion of reality.

  5. #5
    Raymond Singson's Avatar :: Lead Forum Manager
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,498
    Quote Originally Posted by RealityOne View Post
    Mental Magic - Yes. Mentalism - No.

    I don't object to the use of a deck of cards in mentalism, but that performance was mental magic, not mentalism due to the kicker reveal ending (what psychic power of the performer explains that?) and what I presumed happened before the camera started rolling (did someone say "pick a card?").

    Phil.. I mean Max Maven has some great routines using playing cards. The better routines use handwritten index cards or ESP cards or Tarot Cards. The difference is that the audience views cards as magician's tools and magicians do tricks.

    If you perform that effect often enough, you will probably get to the point where you don't need to force the card - especially if you tell the person not to react at all when you say the correct color, suite, etc. Saying that forces them to consciously tense up when you as it - watch for their eyes to move to their right as they think about not reacting and their lips to tense up (as if they are thinking "don't say anything").
    Amusingly, the portion that I edit out is likely the most important aspect to the entire performance, but I also feel that it uses an extended amount of time in dialogue before 'anything happens' for the sake of an online video. While I agree that this is likely more mental magic than traditional mentalism, I just wanted to offer that I did, in fact, think long and hard about the 'kicker reveal ending'.

    The context of the entire performance is actually focused more around the participant's abilities than mine. I ask her how much she trusts in her own intuition, and I offer some playful examples of how strong and relatable intuition is: she can often tell when something is bothering a significant other despite not saying a word or she can occasionally feel what the next song will be on a random playlist on the radio, etc. All the while, she's shuffling and examining the cards. I then offer that intuition is often the result of being able to emotionally and mentally absorb and process a lot of information. Under the guise of "showing her every card in the deck" I also force the selection via the optical riffle force recently popularized by David Blaine. For me, I believe it genuinely feels like a spontaneous mental selection for the participant instead of a contrived force or manipulation on my part. I use David Williamson's subtleties to make the entire force feel unimportant and leveraged toward the participant's favor. I offer to show her how to harness intuition consciously before I ask her to cut the cards. And THIS is where the videos start. This structure makes the presentation a cohesively themed win-win for both the performer and the participant. I use my intuition to determine her mental selection and she uses her intuition to actually find it in the pack.

    Given that context, I don't believe this violates the law of "predicting a divination" that many magicians make when attempting to performing mental magic and/or mentalism.

    RS.

  6. #6
    Craig Browning's Avatar :: Elite Member
    :: Psychic Old Bear

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    Posts
    1,556
    It is very, very, VERY rare that the laity view any "Mentalism" done with a deck of cards as being anything other than a card trick and that's the reality of things. On the other hand, when you disguise the effect by using index or business cards, photos, etc. you do not end with such an assumption (unless you handle the items like a pro manipulator).

    I'm not a Mentalism Nazi in the sense of saying absolutely no cards when doing mentalism in that there are certain routines that do work, the TOD being one example alongside PREMONITION or those routines in which the patron imagines the deck vs. use of a physical deck. But it is best when possible, to obfuscate the approach by using anything other than playing cards; this is the proven course of success.
    Help Me Get to Doomsday 2015 -- www.gofundme.com/doomsday2015 --

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Recognition Program
WELCOME TO MAGIC. PERFORM LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

At Ellusionist, we have one goal: to give you the power to perform magic beyond belief. We want to make you the life of any party. We want to make you into a performer. Composed of 12 individuals, we barely sleep, and we will do anything necessary to bring you the best magic, the best talent, the best training and playing cards possible.


We manufacture many of our own magic supplies, tricks, effects, and custom playing cards. We strive to create the very best magical products the world has ever seen. We work with the United States Playing Card co and have produced 14 lines of playing card decks that are repeatedly acclaimed by top industry pros and magic enthusiasts all over the world.


2001-2014 Ellusionist.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Toll Free: 1-866.244.2426 or International 1.415.459.4945


Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.6
Copyright © 2017 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.