The Swami??...again!!!

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Guest » 11/18/06 08:58 PM

I have read prior posts about the swami gimmick and did not find what I was looking for.

I just purchased the swami gimmick and am not interested in trying anything new right now. Could someone who uses the gimmick give me any advice on how to keep it popping out from under my nail. If I widen the space between the barrel (lead holder) and the piece that fits under my nail, it gets to loose and just falls off. But when I make that area tighter the gimmick pops out. Any suggestions?

Thank you

Steve V (the other one)
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Postby Guest » 11/18/06 09:59 PM

Since you are obviously using an "under-the-nail" type, try narrowing the area below the lead holder again, and then bend the "bow" that goes under your nail to conform better to the unique concavity of your nail. If you do that properly, it shouldn't pop out. Depending on your model, you may need to use a needle-nose pliers or other such instrument. Let me know if this works for you.

Also, you can always try the other types of Swami models. I urge you to do so anyway, so that you may find the one that works best for you.
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Postby Guest » 11/19/06 12:36 AM

A good manicure kit will help you shape the nail, both underneath and on top, smoothing the nail so that the "wings" of the writer have a better grip.

You should have several because you'll lose them. Practice is the key. I was once told that Connie Haden could do a headline prediction with one of ones he used to make, writing out the prediction as he pretended to read it off the paper. That's the level of skill to aim for.
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Postby Guest » 11/19/06 07:52 AM

Alright, I know many will moan but it's worked for decades... super glue!
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Postby Guest » 11/19/06 10:41 AM

Thank you for your time and comments. I will try your suggestions, Arnon,

Steve V (the other one)
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Postby Guest » 11/23/06 05:22 PM

I keep my swamii on my right hand thumb, in the right hand corner of the thumb (closest to the fingers) as i find it gives me clearer writing and is less prone to fall off. You really do need to wedge it under the nail and after a few tries you usually get the exact length to keep the nail. Trial and error will show you what works best for you.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
Selling unique mentalism world-wide
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Postby Guest » 11/24/06 04:20 PM

I am shooting a dvd now that teaches some swami secrets. try using a dab of magicians wax towards the rear of the swami behind the c clip and it should stabilize it for writing. In fact it makes writing a lot easier.

Any more advice email me...
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Postby Guest » 11/27/06 07:47 PM

Best advice I ever got for keeping a Dalal-type nailwriter in place: don't have the crescent part of the writer (the part that slips under your nail) bent CONVEX like your nail is. Make it CONCAVE so that the "wings" press upwards against the nail. Worked like a charm for me, really made all the difference in the world.

Richard Osterlind also highly recommends removing the flesh-colored paint from these types of nailwriters. His blog suggests using a stripper (he particularly recommends "Klean Strip" brand, which is carried in many hardware stores), spraying the nailwriter thoroughly, waiting 15-20 minutes, then, wearing gloves and using a toothbrush, remove all the remaining paint and wash the tip well. It becomes a dull brass color that's really just as invisible, and apparently the bare brass "grips" the nail far better. Haven't tried it yet, though.
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Postby Guest » 11/27/06 11:19 PM

A bit of iconoclastic irreverence:

When I was a teenager, I practiced for years with swamis of various kinds. I could write with both hands, quickly and legibly. Probably still could.

My point: I haven't used a Swami in decades. It's passe; you can acheive the same effects with simpler, more subtle and cleaner methods.

But it is a fun and neat anachronism to use, kinda like playing an antique piano.

I'll retreat back into my cave now,

John R
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Postby Guest » 11/28/06 03:46 AM

Originally posted by Brown Hornet:
A bit of iconoclastic irreverence:

When I was a teenager, I practiced for years with swamis of various kinds. I could write with both hands, quickly and legibly. Probably still could.

My point: I haven't used a Swami in decades. It's passe; you can acheive the same effects with simpler, more subtle and cleaner methods.

But it is a fun and neat anachronism to use, kinda like playing an antique piano.

I'll retreat back into my cave now,

John R
I enjoy Lincoln's Best Boon. Or are you talking about techniques beyond thumb writing in general?
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Postby Guest » 11/28/06 03:54 AM

Yes.

John R
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Postby Guest » 11/28/06 02:53 PM

Brown Hornet,

I'd love to read more about more sophisticated methods of reaching the same ends as a nailwriter. Any reading suggestions?

BTW, I tried the Klean Strip that Richard Osterlind suggested. Worked wonderfully. I'm still trying to dislodge the nailwriter from under my nail. Typing is difficult.

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 03:10 PM

:eek: Wow I must say i was surprised with John R.'s post above. Although I,, too, am a fan of bold and subtle methodologies, I firmly believe the Swami is a fantastic tool which, when used effectively, simply cannot be equalled by any other methods.
I use the Swami considerably both on stage and during informal moments and I simply "don't leave home without it!"
I have used the Dalal undernail writers for some time and have found them extremely effective but I prefer the band-type writers far more! They are adjustable and allow for writing without having to bend the thumb.
Also they can be used on one's toe for some unique effects! (No, I'm not kidding) ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 05:59 PM

The spirit medium Slade wrote with his toe under the table. With both feet, from all accounts. He could also write with both hands, and write backwards, ie; mirror writing. But back then they had more time on their hands: no internet or television. :D

John R
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 06:02 PM

Lol John :) (fellow SYZYGY contributor) ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 09:31 PM

I agree with both the Barefoot Boy and with John R (Brown Hornet). I recently dug through my old notes and published my work on "Dr. B's" Telematic Prediction Box (as described by Al Mann in "Pandora's Box") which uses a nailwriter, but (in my opinion) complicates the prediction box by adding a tray beneath it. My reason for publishing my variations which get rid of the suspicious looking tray, and then get rid of the complicated arrangements I first devised to get rid of the tray, is because I have hit on a method to do away with the whole nailwriter device altogether.

So I figured I might as well publish my earlier work, because I no longer have any need of it, but I believe in passing ideas into the literature if the basic ideas are sound, so someone else might rethink them. It's how things get done in magic and mentalism. We stand on one another's shoulders and try to reach higher and further than our predecessors.

So, yes, I agree that the nailwriter may have had its day, but it is important not to lose sight of our past, because one never knows when the need will arise for it again.

It's like the gradual demise of the cigarette, which will eventually get rid of a whole branch of cigarette magic produced by our forebears... yet those same sleights can have other uses with other objects besides cigarettes. One those uses in fact, is applied with a nail writer substitute- the golf pencil. And so on it goes.
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 10:03 PM

I agree with you completely, Spellbinder. If the use of a Swami overcomplicates a prop or a routine then clearly it is problematic for that particular effect. All I know is that at the drop of a hat, I can whip out a pencil and business card and be able to perceive or influence someone's thought with (from THEIR perspective) absolutely nothing at all!
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 02:40 AM

Hehe... John brought up something I'd not really thought about in a very long time... I don't think I've used a Swami in a show since the 80s... I do use a stylist from time to time, if I'm doing my Poison Monte or something along those lines. But a good chunk of the time I'll Pocket Write if anything... maybe do some double writing here and there but a Swami just isn't something I've found a need for.

:confused:
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 10:11 AM

What can I say? I use it and I'm quite pleased with the powerful results! Pocket-writing and double-writing have their place but like I said, nothing compares to whipping out a pencil and a business card and picking up on someone's thought.
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 10:39 AM

:cool: ...and you know what else I perform all the time? The Centre Tear! Is that passe too now? Lmao! ;)
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 03:49 PM

I don't know that the center tear is passe, but I prefer a plain old billet switch and get the whole thing to read at my leisure, leaving them with a blank which they can burn up anyway they want.
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 04:15 PM

That's true, Spellbinder. A good switch is effective and, like anything else, a useful tool in the right environment! :)
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 09:21 PM

Since you have already revealed your name on another thread, I might as well use it, Paul. For those who don't know Paul Pacific as the barefoot wonder from Canada, here he is.

Anyway, I was wondering if you ever use a prediction chest in your act (any type, with or without a nailwriter). I'm sure the old Lloyd's prediction chest is passe, but is it just that particular method, or are all wooden chests for predictions going out of style, and if so, what seems to be replacing them?
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Postby Guest » 04/02/07 09:37 PM

The prediction chest is a prop which I have never used in my programs. I have not seen any of the "modern" Mentalists use one either but I would not be against the use of such a prop. The Chest just does not suit my particular style on stage but I see no reason why a performer can't dust one off and make good use of it!

Now, the trend seems to be leaning towards electronic predictions, recordngs and so forth... Personally, I'm simply a "pen and paper" kinda guy myself. Simple written predictions in full view is fine for me... I feel the need to "isolate"the prediction is too "propy", too "magician-mindsety", and to cap it all, it is quite unnecessary!
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Postby Guest » 04/03/07 07:58 AM

I think you're right, Paul. Chests are more geared to Wizard magic than mentalism. We Wizards are expected to have antique chests and goblets and things like that, but the modern mentalist would be better served doing a long term prediction in a plain sealed envelope sent to someone for safe keeping.

I'm just trying to keep up with modern mentalism trends while maintaining my Wizard status in the antique world of Wizards. Notice how I capitalize "Wizard" and not "mentalist?" I must get over that.
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Postby Guest » 04/03/07 08:12 AM

Lol!! Spellbinder! :)
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Postby Guest » 04/04/07 10:06 PM

Spellbinder! I need the advice from a Wizard such as yourself. If I were to write a book, have you got any suggestions as to what I should call it?
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Postby Guest » 04/08/07 04:14 AM

Nice to see that the good old Swami generating so much heat and dust.There is lots of good and practical advice but let me add my two penny bit.Grow your nail and file it once a week and dont depend on your wife's nail file..invest in one.On second thoughts Sam Dalal should send a nail file with his nail writers.I dont need to bend the nail writer to conform to the curve of my nail..leave it straight or atleast the concavity is less than that of the nail.
Apart from all the yes and noes about Swamis ,I still say that it is one of the best 'outs'.If everything fails or even one force fails, the Swami might just be able to bail u out.I would recommend keeping a sealed envelope with a 'big window'just for emergencies(with a couple of Swamis in your pocket)!
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Postby Guest » 04/08/07 06:19 AM

I'm quite pleased to see that most of you grossly underestimate the Swami gimmick! :) Those of us who are using this versatile little tool have a weapon that can't be equalled! On other forums I have sung the praises of the Swami and I'm quite surprised that people feel that they need an "easier" method. When the spectre of hard work begins to materialize before some magicians they tend to run in the other direction. The Swami is worth the hard work needed to become comfortable with it. It is a GEM of a tool for a mind reader!! When Eric Mason said of his Swami that "it's the greatest little gimmick in the world!" he was dead on in describing all secret writers!
As Corinda voiced in the Thirteen Steps, "I will conclude with my personal feeling which is, to me, a Swami Gimmick is worth fifty pounds! What it's worth to you - is what you make it!"
Paul Pacific
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Postby Guest » 04/08/07 06:59 AM

Paul: There's just one name I can think of your your book: Footnotes!
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Postby Guest » 04/08/07 07:11 AM

When I was a lad I was quite versatile with the swami. I can write with both hands, with thumb or forefinger, quite legibly, numbers, words and sentences. I taught a workshop on its use when I was a member of the PEA, available on my Secret Writing DVD. I used it for about twenty five years, I suppose, and will occasionally show off with it when I hang out with mentalists (rarely these days). I've told people for years that it takes months, sometimes years, of practice to fully master the swami. A lot of people seem to think it's easy to learn to write with a single digit, without looking at the writing. If people put in as much practice with a swami as they do with say, a double-lift, they would produce perfect Spencer penmanship.

Far be it from me to disagree with an authority such as Barefoot Boy, but I abandoned its use several years ago in favor of other techniques that I developed that accomplish similar ends. Some of these techniques appear scattered in my writings; others will appear in Gods With Feet of Clay Volume V: Secreter Writing (shameless plug). Still others are in my vault of "Dirty Tricks I Keep Between Myself and Alain Nu." :p

Peace,

John R
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Postby Guest » 04/08/07 10:37 AM

Spellbinder, THAT is the perfect title!! :) Thanks!
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Postby Guest » 04/11/07 01:07 PM

I was going to suggest that you just leave it untitled and NW it in later.

Best,
Neil Tobin
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Postby Guest » 04/11/07 01:16 PM

Lol, Necromancer!!! :)
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Postby Guest » 04/11/07 10:51 PM

I have never liked the Swami. Is anyone here familiar with the "Diamon" Gimmick? Fogel showed it to me years ago at a BMS meeting in Birmingham, and I have used it ever since. Although it is harder to master, it has the advantage of not needing to hold anything in your hand when the "mischief" occurs. It really is fantastic, and I am only aware of a very few mentalists using this. A pad of paper can be 9 feet away from you! JR
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Postby Guest » 04/13/07 11:57 AM

With regards to the BMS meeting in Birmingham, I'm not quite sure what the M stands for, but I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE what the BS means!
I have NEVER heard such a load of over-cooked ravioli in my life!!!
Diamon Gimmick?

BALDERDASH!
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Postby Guest » 04/13/07 11:57 AM

With regards to the BMS meeting in Birmingham, I'm not quite sure what the M stands for, but I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE what the BS means!
I have NEVER heard such a load of over-cooked ravioli in my life!!!
Diamon Gimmick?

BALDERDASH!
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/13/07 12:03 PM

With regards to the BMS meeting in Birmingham, I'm not quite sure what the M stands for, but I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE what the BS means!
I have NEVER heard such a load of over-cooked ravioli in my life!!!
Diamon Gimmick?

BALDERDASH!
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Postby Guest » 04/13/07 03:47 PM

So are you saying Jolly Roger has knowledge beyond yours Barefoot one?
Steve V <--honoring ML
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Postby Guest » 04/13/07 05:19 PM

what is a 'diamon' gimick? or where is it described or cited?
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