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  1. #1
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    Russian Roulette Where The Spectator Picks?

    Just like the title asks - is there a Russian Roulette effect that allows the spectator to make all the choices? I'm not intending to add any real danger to it - no spikes or anything that will hurt anyone. Just the basic plot of: all of these items will be eliminated one by one until only one remains, and that's the one that was predicted / written down / has something surprising inside of it, etc.

    I'm not adverse to using equivoque or something, but I'm curious if there's anything out there that allows the spectator to have a truly free choice? (Maybe some gimmicked props or something?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by caitiecat View Post
    Just like the title asks - is there a Russian Roulette effect that allows the spectator to make all the choices? I'm not intending to add any real danger to it - no spikes or anything that will hurt anyone. Just the basic plot of: all of these items will be eliminated one by one until only one remains, and that's the one that was predicted / written down / has something surprising inside of it, etc.

    I'm not adverse to using equivoque or something, but I'm curious if there's anything out there that allows the spectator to have a truly free choice? (Maybe some gimmicked props or something?)
    Working with a Spectator is a lot like working with a wild animal. You can guide them, you can coax them, and you can beat them with a stick but you can't always predict what, how, or why they'll do the next thing they do.

    So using a dangerous element like a spike, nail, or broken glass bottle wouldn't work. Should they screw up and get it wrong you're set up for a nasty law suit.

    So the only plot that would work is you trying to influence them, control them, or have power over them. It's almost a pseudo mentalist act in that regard.

    You couldn't give them free choice because one in three or one in four cups has the loaded what ever in it. Murphy's law states that the spectator will find the one cup they're not suppose to 8 out of 10 times without fail. Murphy was an *** hole by the way.

    The way I see it working is using an egg. Smash the egg accidentally worst thing happens is you have a mess to clean up. At least no one goes to the hospital.

    As for method you'd either have to force a cup each time on them, or control their choices somehow. Maybe having them place their hands over two cups, selecting a hand, and using a magicians force to narrow the field down to just 1. or Have them remove one, then you remove one back and forth so forth and so on until one remains. You'd just have to be able to know which cup is loaded at all times and there's a variety of different methods to do that.

    hope this at least somewhat helps.
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    I'm not a fan of the RR plot that uses actual danger or risk of injury, so yeah, it'd be something like an egg.

  4. #4
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
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    There is an egg based routine out there called "Russian Roulegg" which is aimed at being a comedic piece.

    Here is the problem you run into taking out the perceived danger: you loose that "tension" you cannot tell me an egg has the same tension a knife or spike does. SO, the question becomes WHAT are you trying to A.) Convince your audience and B.) Make them feel?

    Those are really the driving questions behind any choice you ultimately make.

    Now with that said, a similar plot without the physical danger... Bank-Night.

    This keeps an element of tension but in a different way. Personally, I think it's better than a "non-dangerous" Roulette style routine and the choices can all be free ones with the multiple variations that are out there.

    You could also substitute the money or "prize" in bank-night with the idea of a spectator winning back an item personal to them while destroying the other envelopes/containers which would also be a tension builder.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Draven View Post
    As for method you'd either have to force a cup each time on them, or control their choices somehow. Maybe having them place their hands over two cups, selecting a hand, and using a magicians force to narrow the field down to just 1. or Have them remove one, then you remove one back and forth so forth and so on until one remains. You'd just have to be able to know which cup is loaded at all times and there's a variety of different methods to do that.

    hope this at least somewhat helps.
    Right, I know a ton of different equivoque methods for doing it, I'm just wondering if there exists a way to have a spectator select something from a list of options without manipulative language.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by caitiecat View Post
    Right, I know a ton of different equivoque methods for doing it, I'm just wondering if there exists a way to have a spectator select something from a list of options without manipulative language.
    Some bank night routines use the PATEO force. Can be worth looking into. Hector Chadwick has some great work on equivoque in his book.
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    Depends on the kind of roulette routine you've talking about. . .

    I used to do a Poison Monte type bit in which 5 wine bottles were used, only one being safe. The helper made a series of choices and at the end my predicted choice is the one chosen and deemed safe.

    In another routine known as "Dinner with the Borgia" a similar plot; 5 goblets with only one being "safe" and yet a committee of 4 makes all of the decisions while you maintain total control.

    Aside from these I'd suggest that you study some of Rick Maue's idea like FINAL PICTURE and TERASABOS.
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    I'm familiar with TERASABOS but none of the others - can you give me some information on the stuff that doesn't belong to Maue?

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    There is a lot of discussion in Banachek's PS1 about the ABCD test and variations including Vernon's Five Card Force. Might even be some further discussion in PS2 related to stage performances- I'd have to check. Using traditional methods for knowing where the designated item is, Banachek's subtleties and equivoque as a last resort, you can construct a strong effect.

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    Why make things more complicated than they need to be? I do a six shot glass routine where one is filled with vodka and the others with nasty tap water. Just equivoque and use lots of showmanship. They will be making all of the choices, and if you present it correctly, they will perceive this.
    I am, therefore...

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    Raymond Singson's Avatar :: Lead Forum Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacktavius View Post
    Why make things more complicated than they need to be? I do a six shot glass routine where one is filled with vodka and the others with nasty tap water. Just equivoque and use lots of showmanship. They will be making all of the choices, and if you present it correctly, they will perceive this.
    It always irked me to see/hear people say, "Just do this method and use lots of showmanship," as if showmanship should come easily to a performer. I would argue that the vast majority of performers who believe they have showmanship chops aren't nearly as convincing (or entertaining) as they believe. Heck, I fall into this category on occasion, myself. Sacktavius, I'm not calling out your competence at all or even saying what you shared is untrue; I'm just saying that arbitrarily throwing out showmanship as an end-all/be-all answer, although arguably accurate, isn't very valuable advice. I just watched the screening to the upcoming documentary, Our Magic, and it's really inspired me to view magic in a wholly different light. There's a segment of the documentary that argues that magicians get a poor rap, because magicians don't respect what they do enough. I feel like I see that all the time on discussion forums, YouTube videos, and mediocre live performances at magic shops, conventions, and the occasional family restaurant... The documentary got me thinking about how we help one another as performers.

    But back to the original post, catiecat-- Luke Jermay and Colin McLeod both have some of the simplest, most powerful opening roulette routines I've seen. They both played with the idea of streamlining the roulette to a 50/50 decision. As you can imagine, that significantly simplifies the method but also increases the drama of the effect. It also enables the audience to make the very important decision, themselves.

    If you're after the more traditional Roulette plot, I've seen Marc Spelmann and Peter Nardi make use of the PATEO Force to facilitate the plot while giving the participant more leeway in making decisions. In addition to avoiding the danger in the effect, the performer is also able to predict the final outcome of the game due to the use of the PATEO. Pretty clever combination of principles.

    RS.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Singson View Post
    It always irked me to see/hear people say, "Just do this method and use lots of showmanship," as if showmanship should come easily to a performer. I would argue that the vast majority of performers who believe they have showmanship chops aren't nearly as convincing (or entertaining) as they believe. Heck, I fall into this category on occasion, myself. Sacktavius, I'm not calling out your competence at all or even saying what you shared is untrue; I'm just saying that arbitrarily throwing out showmanship as an end-all/be-all answer, although arguably accurate, isn't very valuable advice. I just watched the screening to the upcoming documentary, Our Magic, and it's really inspired me to view magic in a wholly different light. There's a segment of the documentary that argues that magicians get a poor rap, because magicians don't respect what they do enough. I feel like I see that all the time on discussion forums, YouTube videos, and mediocre live performances at magic shops, conventions, and the occasional family restaurant... The documentary got me thinking about how we help one another as performers.

    But back to the original post, catiecat-- Luke Jermay and Colin McLeod both have some of the simplest, most powerful opening roulette routines I've seen. They both played with the idea of streamlining the roulette to a 50/50 decision. As you can imagine, that significantly simplifies the method but also increases the drama of the effect. It also enables the audience to make the very important decision, themselves.

    If you're after the more traditional Roulette plot, I've seen Marc Spelmann and Peter Nardi make use of the PATEO Force to facilitate the plot while giving the participant more leeway in making decisions. In addition to avoiding the danger in the effect, the performer is also able to predict the final outcome of the game due to the use of the PATEO. Pretty clever combination of principles.

    RS.


    Ok, perhaps "use showmanship" is a bit vague. Yet equivoque is probably the best way to go. Pick up a copy of "multiplicity" by Max Maven which actually explains HOW to use showmanship and make it convincing, and he shows you how to get rid of the arbitrary feeling that accompanies equivoque when not performed well. To be convincing, the spectator must have the impression that there was a deliberate selection procedure the whole time.
    I am, therefore...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Singson View Post
    But back to the original post, catiecat-- Luke Jermay and Colin McLeod both have some of the simplest, most powerful opening roulette routines I've seen. They both played with the idea of streamlining the roulette to a 50/50 decision. As you can imagine, that significantly simplifies the method but also increases the drama of the effect. It also enables the audience to make the very important decision, themselves.

    If you're after the more traditional Roulette plot, I've seen Marc Spelmann and Peter Nardi make use of the PATEO Force to facilitate the plot while giving the participant more leeway in making decisions. In addition to avoiding the danger in the effect, the performer is also able to predict the final outcome of the game due to the use of the PATEO. Pretty clever combination of principles.

    RS.


    I'm familiar with Jermay's routine, but I didn't know Colin had one. Where can it be found?

    Why make things more complicated than they need to be? I do a six shot glass routine where one is filled with vodka and the others with nasty tap water. Just equivoque and use lots of showmanship. They will be making all of the choices, and if you present it correctly, they will perceive this.
    Because I'm comfortable with making things a little more complicated in order to have the outcome fit the presentation and routine I'm aiming for.

  14. #14
    Raymond Singson's Avatar :: Lead Forum Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by caitiecat View Post
    I'm familiar with Jermay's routine, but I didn't know Colin had one. Where can it be found?
    I believe Colin's routine is found in his book, Divine. Ellusionist carried it, but it's currently out of stock. You can still check out the trailer to the book at http://www.ellusionist.com/divine-by-colin-mcleod.html. The book is still widely available at most magic retailers.

    If you're already familiar with Luke Jermay's rendition, Colin's is essentially the same-- it's just linguistically tweaked, and the reveal is different onstage. He wheels out two cardboard boxes. The audience "unequivocally" selects one to eliminate, and it is violently beaten down with a sledgehammer. The audience is takes part in the energy and laughs at the comical elimination of the box, but is surprised and ultimately relieved after one of Colin's friends/assistants pop out of the remaining box.

    RS.

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