Story Mentalism

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

Postby Guest » 09/05/04 11:53 AM

If all you young and talented turks would let an old soldier squeese in here...

To you guys I am just plain Jim;
to the general public it's....

"J. JAMES, the AMAZING MR. G".
If you want you may call me 'mazin'.

I've been around many dozens (lots of dozens) of years - been doin' magic almost as many. I went compleatly mental in 1992 (let me reword that)- after seeing a lecture in Birmingham I started doing strickly Mental Magic - 'caust the Guy said you could make a lot more money in fees ("yea, hold on to that dream")

Anyway, I love Mentalism, I love comedy mentalism and most of all I love Story
Mentalism, especially if it is a funny story...

Which brings us to the whole reason for this post.

Below is a story sent to me today that is not only very funny, but (to me) just screams to be retro-fitted with verious effects of mental magic. I thought it would be fun for all of us to work on it together and share our thoughts as to what effects could go where and how to incorporate them into the story. So come on, jump right in and post you ideas - or if you wish, feel free to e-mail me personally. Lets just all agree that none of us have any commercal rights to same - Okay? Okay.

Can't wait to hear from all of you.
Jim.
(THE STORY IS BELOW - Enjoy)

Subject: Cinderella years later


Cinderella is now 95 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now dead prince, she happily sits upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front porch, with a cat named Bob for companionship.
One sunny afternoon out of nowhere, appeared the fairy godmother. Cinderella said, "Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years"?

The fairy godmother replied, "Cinderella, you have lived an exemplary life since I last saw you. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?"

Cinderella was taken aback, overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration, she uttered her first wish: "The prince was wonderful, but not much of an investor. I'm living hand to mouth on my disability checks, and I wish I were wealthy beyond comprehension.

Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid gold

Cinderella said, "Ooh, thank you, Fairy Godmother".

The fairy godmother replied "it is the least that I can do. What do you want for your second wish?"

Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, "I wish I were young and full of the beauty and youth I once had."

At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful young visage returned. Cinderella felt stirrings inside of her that had been dormant for years.

And then the fairy godmother spoke once more: "You have one more wish; what shall it be?"

Cinderella looks over to the frightened cat in the corner and says, "I wish for you to transform Bob, my old cat, into a kind and handsome young man."

Magically, Bob suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his biological make-up that, when he stood before her, he was a man so beautiful the likes of him neither she nor the world had ever seen.

The fairy godmother said, "Congratulations, Cinderella, enjoy your new life. With a blazing shock of bright blue electricity, the fairy godmother was gone as suddenly as she appeared.

For a few eerie moments, Bob and Cinderella looked into each other's eyes. Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most beautiful, stunningly perfect man she had ever seen.

Then Bob walked over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking chair, & held her close in his young muscular arms. He leaned in close, blowing her golden hair with his warm breath as he whispered.

>
>
>
>
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"Bet you're sorry you neutered me.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/05/04 01:18 PM

While I too am all in favor of stories. And read all kinds of things from comic books to texts on Semiotics...

That story brings to mind not mentalism but a want for a certain effect usually done with thread or rope.

I like happy endings.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 09/05/04 01:49 PM

Well Jon,
Don't just tell us what it could be about, show us how you'd go about adding it into the story line... please kind sir. Cone on Jon I know you have the imagination for it.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/04 04:35 PM

Jonathan:

You may enjoy "Circus and Culture". I believe the subtitle is "A Semiotic Approach."
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/05/04 05:15 PM

Originally posted by Rafael Vila:
... "Circus and Culture: A Semiotic Approach."
Serious book suggesting that our civilization might be glued together by the traveling circus, a sort of mirror, morality play and newsreel where the audience is invited to decode the messages while enjoying the medium.

Have you noticed how magic does or does not integrate with the rest of the circus acts? The clowns seem to like some of our toys. Maybe we need to work on our messages?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 09/05/04 05:57 PM

This string is getting way off its mark --
going from "Story Mentalism" down to "Circus social commentary.'

Why not keep it lite?
Here we have a simple little story, "Cinderella @ 95". Cute story, funny story.... and all we asked was do you see anyway you could present this story as a piece of mental magic. Let me give you an example:
It wouldn't be to big a streach for me to wrap this story around Stephen Minch's mental masterpiech, "PLAGIARISTS" (from Mind Melds (c) 1984, Michael Hades Press). Get the idea? Please, lets not go running down a side street. Lets try to keep the main supject in focus for what could be a very interesting post - both entertaing and useful.
I know you will.
Lets go....
Good Thinking,
Jim
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/05/04 06:00 PM

Originally posted by Jim Grobe:
...Here we have a simple little story, "Cinderella @ 95". Cute story, funny story....
Yes Jim. I suggested using that story as patter while doing a cut and restored rope.

The punch line of the story sets up the magic moment where you restore the rope, and announce that you like happy endings.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Dave Egleston » 09/06/04 12:31 PM

Trying not to be a jerk but.....

That story was hilarious in 1970 - The first time I heard it in high school.

Mr Townsend came up with a premise immediately, but didn't give you specific routine that you could use tonight for a show

Problem is: what are you thinking? Why post this in mentalism? Why not in the general section - I think you are trying to be too limited in your request.

What did you come up with that would fit the criteria you imposed by posting in a limited topic?

I did find it interesting you referenced PLAGIARISTS as a starting point

I guess I am being a jerk - Sorry about that

Dave
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Postby Guest » 09/06/04 04:56 PM

DEAR FRIEND(S),

It is a shame, Mr. Egleston and Mr. Townsend seem to only want to intimidate and chase away the really fresh thinkers of our craft.

Thankfully I did invite readers to contact me at my e-mail address if they so wished. In one 24-hour period I have received over a half dozen, very clever ideas using the Cinderella Story as a platform for a short, but good, mental magic act.

As a full time professional in the psychological arts it has all but interested me how those who bring nothing to the party tend to want to tear it down a very disharmonizing psychosis indeed. As a first time poster at this forum I had hope to find common fellowship and interesting dissertation. Instead I was hit with a negative reply in the very first response.

The original question was what could be done with the story, not what couldnt be done with it. Likewise, how old the story is remains immaterial. This kind of thinking leads to a closet full of tricks which were played with once, put away in lew of whats next and whats new. Consequently this sort never gets his act together and never become a true performer.

Lastly, because it was asked, I choose to place my post of the Cinderella Story in the Mentalist Category primarily because thats the magic I like, its the magic I do, its the magic my audience expects of me.

No doubt the two mention above will come back with all sort of rational, but no matter. It appears their glass will continue to be half empty.

I do encourage those who want to continue even more fresh thinking on our original premise to do so by posting on my email. I promise a lively (and only positive) discussion which, in the end, you just might have a great mental magic story to perform. Please write me at;

Pjgrobe@bellsouth.net

One last thing-
Mr. Egleston, youre not a jerk, just a lost personality looking for a voice.

Sorry if I took up too much of your time. Lets move forward.

Thanks,
Jim Grobe
(For those who care,
Grobe is pronounced GROW-bee).
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/06/04 05:27 PM

Originally posted by Jim Grobe:
...It is a shame, Mr. Egleston and Mr. Townsend seem to only want to intimidate and chase away the really fresh thinkers of our craft. ...
I'm puzzled by that comment. Flattered to be in company of Dave, and confused about the mind reading as regards my intentions.

My thinking has been called avant guard, fly, out there, old school, inspired and extremely clever. I'll add intimidating to that list, thanks.

I envisioned a dry witted performer telling that joke and taking out the rope and scissors about when the wishes come up. Okay, the rope trick is not a mental magic.

Guess we're, back to semiotics...
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Tom Stone » 09/07/04 05:41 PM

Originally posted by Jim Grobe:
It is a shame, Mr. Egleston and Mr. Townsend seem to only want to intimidate and chase away the really fresh thinkers of our craft.
My language isn't english so I can't say this with certainty but I think that you read things in Jonathan's post that wasn't really there. After all, he suggested only an effect that would make sense in the context of the plot, and provided a good tag-line for a restoration.
I've just checked "Plagiarists" in Minch's book, and while it is a good effect, you can't really use it in the context of the Cinderella story if you want the effect and the punchline of the story happen at the same time. Either you have to stretch the story out, until it looses it's charm. Or tell the story first, and then do the effect. Neither is very good, if you want maximum response from both the plot and the effect.

So, how about a mentalist's version of "Sam the Bellhop"? You have a table full of objects, and some small paper bags. The audience put an object in each bag, randomly. Then the bags are put in random order, in a line.
Now, the mentalist opens an envelope, takes out a letter with the Cinderella story, and reads it. Here and there he stops and takes an object from a bag, in the order the audience has decided. And the object makes sense in the story! I.e:
-"Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid gold.." (object of gold is taken out of a bag)
-"her beautiful young visage returned" (Make-up kit from the next bag )
-"Cinderella felt stirrings" (an egg beater )
...
...

For the final line, bring out scissors from the final bag, look at it until the audience ALMOST gets it, and end the story -"Bet you're sorry you neutered me"

Would that work?

-Tom Stone
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Postby Guest » 09/07/04 09:38 PM

Boy Tom!
That is really a great Idea! Super, super, super. Now that's a real positive response. Good clear thinking with a professional eye for showmanship.
You might be interested to know I've had 19 other suggestions sent in privately via my E-address. Good ideas. Everything from a Cinderella Boot Test, to a full-fledge costume-changing stage version, to a version of "Confabulation" dressed-up in a Fairytale story line. Someone even suggested contacting Guy Hollingworth and getting him to update his "Once Upon a Time - Cinderella card story".
Not bad, not bad. My personal favorite so far is the "Four Envelope Test." - 4 sealed envelopes, each with a book inside are chosen at random by 4 members of the audience. Several other members secretly write down 4 random page numbers. From the four envelope holders, one is chosen by lot. He/she opens his envelope, takes out the book, and turns to one of the page number previously selected, and starts to read. Miracle upon miracle, it starts out with the beginning of the 95 year-old Cinderella story. The second person is chosen and he too takes his book from the sealed envelope, turns to the secretly selected page number and - would you believe it - the same story continues in perfect sync. -- And so on and so on etc. Pretty neat, huh? Remember, the audience chooses which envelope to open and which page to turn to. But how can this be. Clairvoyance? Deja vu? Precognition? Stay tuned. Send in those cards and letters cause only those contributing to this challenge will get the answer.
Once again if you would feel more comfortable writing me privately you may post at my
E-address, but please, only those with contributions to the challenge need write. Okay? Okay.

Pjgrobe@bellsouth.net

This is fun! Aint it a ripppp?
Jim Grobe
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Postby Guest » 09/07/04 09:45 PM

I don't like story magic alltogether in this context. Mentalists talk too much as it is.

Especially American mentalists. And US magicians too for that matter.

I once knew a famous master magician from Australia who is actually a historical figure in the world of magic. He once told me "American magicians are so long winded"
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Postby Tom Stone » 09/07/04 10:33 PM

Originally posted by Jim Grobe:
My personal favorite so far is the "Four Envelope Test." - 4 sealed envelopes, each with a book inside are chosen at random by 4 members of the audience. Several other members secretly write down 4 random page numbers. From the four envelope holders, one is chosen by lot. He/she opens his envelope, takes out the book, and turns to one of the page number previously selected, and starts to read. Miracle upon miracle, it starts out with the beginning of the 95 year-old Cinderella story. The second person is chosen and he too takes his book from the sealed envelope, turns to the secretly selected page number and - would you believe it - the same story continues in perfect sync. -- And so on and so on etc. Pretty neat, huh?
Yes, neat. But shouldn't the story be more essential to the effect? Here, it seems to me, it's possible to exchange the Cinderella story for any other story while the effect remains the same.
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Postby Guest » 09/08/04 06:24 AM

TOM STONE Wrote:
shouldn't the story be more essential to the effect?

You might be right, TOM. How would you make it more essential? By the way, I re-read your idea about using items collected in bags. Your idea is even better than first thought - and, it makes the story essential to the effect! WOW! I think youre on to something here TOM. Why not see if you can work out the details and then share you thoughts with us at this Forum or privately on the Internet.

Who else has any ideas that would contribute to TOMS concept? Or, do you have a different thought of how to use the Cinderella Story in a Mental Magic routine?

(By the way TOM, your English is just fine)

SAMMY HAYDEN Wrote:
Mentalists talk too much as it is. Especially American mentalists. And US magicians too for that matter.

SAMMYS has a point. As Mentalist we should be able to stand in front of an audience and just THINK. and, the audience would get it. Ill work on that SAMMY. (?)

This is turning out to be a really fun project.
HELLO to Duane, Bill and Don of Hville. See you at the Lecture on Monday Nite.

Alcanza quien no se cansa,

Jim Grobe
(..a simple fundaMENTALIST)
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/08/04 06:52 AM

Cinderella...

In the movie and short story... the fairy does it all with a wave of her wand. Just like that.

What does it take to learn to give just the right thing? Of all things... which is right?

Here are a few things. There is the wand. Who wants to try out for Godparent today? Yeah Okay the word fairy has gotten a bad rep these days. Let's pass on the wings, glitter and frilly costume for now, and see who's got the right stuff to do magic for others. Or perhaps the magic is in the wand? Care to try it?

Here is X, who is looking for Y. Let's see what we can do for them. You do the honors. Can you find the right Y for X? No? How about if you use the wand?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Guest » 09/08/04 07:30 AM

Not bad JON, not bad at all. Just keep working on it.
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Postby Tom Stone » 09/08/04 05:54 PM

Originally posted by Jim Grobe:
You might be right, TOM. How would you make it more essential?
I don't know really. But neither books nor envelopes has an essential role in the story, so that problem needs some thought. Either modify the story, so the books and envelopes makes sense in the context of the plot, or change the props to things that are already inherent in the story.
(In fact, I don't quite understand the purpose of the envelopes. Would it not work smoother to just have the books?)
Or change the effect to something that makes use of the story's plot:

Show five different books of childrens stories, and drop them in a big paper bag. Reach down into the bag. the audience hear you tear out a page from one of the books, but they can't see which book. You show the page, and its heading is "Cinderella". This inspires you to tell the joke about the older Cinderella.
Give the page to a spectator, and start to refer to the spectator in respectful terms, and call him "The Prince", and try to guide him to act as a royalty.
Take the five childrens books and place them in a row. Tell the audience that the Prince now will demonstrate the same uncanny ability that once led him to find the girl to whom the glass shoe fit - by finding the book to which the torn page fits.

The Prince decides on one of the books, and sure - that is the book from which the page was torn.
(Perhaps better to use a process of elimination to better build the effect).

Give the book as a gift to the Prince, and conclude: -"May you two live happily ever after!"

I don't know. Perhaps not a great example, but that's what I could come up with on this short notice - but I think that it illustrates what I meant earlier. The plot of the story and the effect should be more integrated.

By the way, I re-read your idea about using items collected in bags. Your idea is even better than first thought - and, it makes the story essential to the effect! WOW! I think youre on to something here TOM. Why not see if you can work out the details
Thanks! I'm flattered that you liked the idea. However, I'm not a mentalist, so I would not gain much from making the effort to invent the necessary methods. I thought that you just needed help to find a suitable effect for the Cinderella story, and since you seemed to be frustrated that the response didn't suit your framework of ideas, I thought that I would try to help out a bit.

I hope that you don't take this the wrong way, Jim. It's probably just a cultural or linguistic difference - but it feels like you are trying to act as a coach or drill instructor, and expect me to act as a participant in some kind of competition, and that makes me feel a bit awkward. I'd prefer a more relaxed discussion on equal terms.
(Since my grasp of the english language isn't complete, I might read in things between the lines that isn't really there. If so, I'm sorry that I misunderstood you).

- Tom Stone
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Postby Guest » 09/08/04 06:52 PM

I believe you have stumbled upon the only justifiable use of the venerable "Ding Dong."

Just kidding!

By the way, neutering only removes the testacles, not the, uh, well... gimmick. --Asrah
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