Name Badge

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

Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/08/02 07:44 PM

I don't do much mentalism. I wouldn't do any, except that I have a wonderfully charming little vintage prop on a mentalism theme. It's unusual, and I like to show it here and again.

I recently had occasion to present it at the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair. After making some mind-reading-related remarks, I called up a spectator for help with the trick, and as she made her way to the stage, I was thrilled to note that she was wearing a name badge. I would be able to begin my mind-reading demonstration by confidently calling this person by name. She crossed the stage and I greeted her with an air of warm familiarity. "Hi! Are you..." - I nodded knowingly and got the glance - "Volunteer #115?"

The effect I had anticipated was lost, but a witty exposure of the methods of mind-readers was obtained.
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Postby Guest » 07/09/02 07:41 AM

Any exposure to a lay audience is not witty but tragic.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.mindguy.com
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/09/02 09:14 AM

Oh, Paul, it was a hilarious moment all-round. Sorry you weren't there.
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Postby Robert Kane » 07/09/02 11:32 PM

Lisa, I think Paul made a good point on exposure, which you have just trivialized.

However, after a few readings of your first post, I am not sure that I understand its actual point.

What value should we glean from your original comments and experience? Or is this simply a humorous anecdote that you wished to share?

Thanks, Robert :)
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Postby Guest » 07/10/02 07:56 AM

Momentarily divining someone's name by way of his/her name badge is a bit of comic business, which became inadvertently more comic in this instance. Lisa was obviously using the term "exposure" loosely. Sheesh.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 07/10/02 07:58 AM

Come on, this doesn't sound like exposure. Look at it from an audience member's perspective -- it would appear that Lisa was making a joke, not exposing a "secret". In fact, if a mentalist were to call someone by name when they were wearing a name tag, and then act as if they had used supernatural abilities to divine the name, I've gotta believe that a large fraction of the folks who saw would think the mentalist was putting them on.
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Postby Guest » 07/10/02 08:07 AM

I KNEW Bill Mullins was going to write that before he did, and so I precognitively paraphrased him. (Hello, my name is: Member #514.)
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Postby Robert Kane » 07/10/02 08:13 AM

Ralph, it was not obvious to me. I was not sure if Lisa was simply making/describing a funny situation or discussing exposure. Hence I asked a question on a discussion forum. Sheesh yourself :D
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Postby Guest » 07/10/02 08:27 AM

I withdraw my sheesh, Robert.
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Postby Robert Kane » 07/10/02 09:02 AM

Touch...and I withdraw mine as well. :)
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 07/10/02 09:47 AM

I'll see you two sheesh!es and raise you a Gaaah! I thought it was pretty plain that trying to mentally divine a person's name while they were wearing a nametag was just a comic bit. --Mitch
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Postby Guest » 07/10/02 02:17 PM

Actually, one of the funniest routines I think I ever saw involved the magician picking a guy's pocket and telling him all this personal information, by holding the wallet just behind and over his head/shoulder... I guess it would be seen as the Mentalist's version of the old Paper Wad routine.

In this particular instance, I think what would have been funny is if the mark were wearing someone else's ID tag or several... but then, I'm used to Comic Book & Sci-Fi cons... Business types wouldn't get that silly... right? ;)
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 07/11/02 08:42 AM

This thread reminded me of something someone posted over at MagicTalk a while ago...I was able to find this anecdote in the archives:
By: "Big Daddy Cool"
This week I MC'd a banquet. After the show, a lady from Georgia was talking with me and as we talked I realized that I had a Georgia quarter in my pocket. Eventually the conversation turned to magic as she began asking about some of the routines I did. I secretly palmed the quarter and asked her if I might borrow one of hers. I offered to show her how magic worked. I took her quarter and noted that it was a regular one. I asked her if she knew how the new state quarters were minted, and she said no. I took her quarter in my hand, placing it in thumb palm and squeezed. I told her that the quarters were molded under tremendous pressure just like diamonds. Then I asked her what state she was from (it never occurred to her that her name tag told me). When she said Georgia I asked her to open her hand and I dropped the Georgia quarter in her hand and retained the thumb palm quarter. When she realized that I had turned a quarter into her state quarter she lost it. This was not just a trick, it was magic. In her hysteria I executed my pocket dump and clearly showed my hands empty.

I post this story to make all of us think about how we can turn an ordinary situation into a real magical moment.

It is these moments that distinguish us as magicians rather that tricksters.
Kinda cool, huh?

-Jim
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