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  1. #16
    Craig Browning's Avatar :: Elite Member
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    Actually, I do use the old line about focusing thought, pointing out that a Mind Reader can only discern "surface thoughts" vs. random bits of information; within the New Age circles I typically find myself in, this is very much acceptable and "logical" to the participants. I will also explain the concept of "Psychometry" and how, by them putting their energy into the word they write, they are placing a part of their own energy into the slip, which allows me to more readily connect with them. Typically I've done a demonstration of Psychometry prior to this or promise to show them more on psychometry following the billet routine. In either instance I typically rely on the Stuart Palm "Mao Tou Knows" pendulum.

    Speaking of Pendulums . . . in the Acidus Novus material sold through mevproshop.com you will find some interesting techniques in using the AN peek. I explain one of these methods in my routine THE READING which touches on some of Bob Cassidy's thinking as well.
    Last edited by Craig Browning; 02-10-2015 at 05:11 AM.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennethcmerrill View Post
    Hello all!

    I'm starting my journey in mentalism with some great material by Ted Annemann, and I'm super excited.

    I had a ton of billets cut out of index stock a week ago, and now I'm practicing palming and switching. I'm a little worried I had the billets cut too small, though... Annemann suggests 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 size billets, but I cut them 2 x 3 inches, since they would then fit inside a #1 coin envelope. I also read some people liked that size on the Magic Cafe, and I didn't think 1/4 or 1/2 inch would make too much of a difference, AND it's not too hard to find pads of paper that are 2 x 3 in. (in case I don't want to use a loose stack) and I want to use a uniform size all around.

    Long story short, I'm worried the billets are too small when folded, now. Palming and switching feel awkward, and I feel like I have to fumble because they're too small.

    Or maybe I'm just not used to handling them because I'm a beginner? I would love to hear if anyone has any opinion on billet sizing.

    On a related note, does anyone use alternate folds to what Annemann suggests?
    I prefer using standard blank index cards, unless I am using business cards. And I don't use the Annemann fold, as it is a bit long and skinny. Usually I fold it into quarters, whether I am doing a Center Tear or not. Don't think about billet switching too much in terms of sleight of hand, or thinking like a magician. A good mentalist can boldly do things in front of people with timing and attitude. You can by all means practice billet switching for hours, but I think it best not to get into that mentality. Keep it simple, and do things on the off-beat. Getting too attached to billet sizes is not going to help you. Mentalism with billets is so powerful due to how organic it is. You should be able to do effects with any kind of paper of any size, even bits of pages torn out of a magazine when it is impromptu. My 2 cents. Good luck!
    I am, therefore...

  3. #18
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Sacktavius has a good point. It's all well and good to have the billets you are comfortable with, but I think mentalism really shines in situations where it seems improvised. It's very much a magician's mindset to practice the physical movements of switching a billet, and making sure you have a specific paper cut to a specific size to do things. However, as Sacktavius points out, mentalism relies far more on the performance skills. Being confident and bold will get you very far. My fiancee is pretty well versed in magic and mentalism at this point and even she doesn't see the switches I use because I use them at the appropriate time.

    Instead of focusing on the physical properties I would recommend focusing on learning to direct attention away from the hands entirely so that you can do almost anything to switch ... well, almost anything.
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

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  4. #19
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    I agree with most of what sacktavius said, but I stick by this saying -- "Dabblers practice
    until they get it right. Professionals practice until they canít get it wrong."
    There have been times when I purposely haven't defined what I want a person to do for that very reason; boldness and improvisation. Sometimes you learn a lot by placing yourself in a difficult situation. I remember a specific incident where I wasn't clear in my instruction -- my victim was a skeptic and chose to hold onto the paper with a closed fist...so, a bit jarred by what was happening, I improvised with a bit of cold-reading until he let his guard down and placed it on a nearby surface (sigh of relief). As we were talking, I casually made the switch. That was a great learning experience. Bold and improvised. Another thing, don't be so worried about failure. At any moment I could have just chosen to give up and say "I don't know." Instead I chose to keep working with the situation. And I agree with Chris, don't worry so much about the physical properties of the paper.
    Last edited by MentalMark; 03-08-2015 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #20
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    I've had to step away from magic and mentalism a bit for the past few weeks do to work and life situations, but I was happy to see a few more replies to this thread when I popped in just now.

    Some very valuable advice all around. Thank you so much for taking the time to offer it. I am a very technically-minded person and a little insecure to boot, making me scared to do any performing unless the outcome is 100% certain. Obviously this is not the nature of magic in general and mentalism particularly; it's something I'll have to work on.

  6. #21
    ChristopherThisse's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennethcmerrill View Post
    I've had to step away from magic and mentalism a bit for the past few weeks do to work and life situations, but I was happy to see a few more replies to this thread when I popped in just now.

    Some very valuable advice all around. Thank you so much for taking the time to offer it. I am a very technically-minded person and a little insecure to boot, making me scared to do any performing unless the outcome is 100% certain. Obviously this is not the nature of magic in general and mentalism particularly; it's something I'll have to work on.
    Actually I would say that's one of the major differences between magic and mentalism - Most magic works 100% of the time (Because the arm chair magicians wouldn't buy it otherwise) and much of mentalism does not (because it's not tricks).
    http://www.ellusionist.com/boffo-pdf-by-christopher-thisse.html

    The HP Lovecraft of Bizarre Magic

  7. #22
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    Good advice guys!
    Thank you for sharing, I will use some of this.
    Jonah Egold

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