Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.
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Postby Pyrrhomatic » January 9th, 2015, 11:34 am

Apologies if this is in the incorrect place, but seeing as though the craft of mentalism seems to require a lot of thought into the psychology & subtleties of a given effect, I thought this would be an appropriate home. First post too so, not quite in the full swing of things yet!
I am just intrigued if a dialogue can actually happen on such a subject (:

A quick look into the term 'Meta'.

From the Oxford English Dictionary:


With sense ‘beyond, above, at a higher level’.
(a) Prefixed to the name of a subject or discipline to denote another which deals with ulterior issues in the same field, or which raises questions about the nature of the original discipline and its methods, procedures, and assumptions.


Essentially, in this case... a look into the psychology of tiny & grand movements and words we use to form a beautiful deception. Would be nice to categorise these topics into hierarchies so we can really dig deep into the murky depths of detail.

“The ingredients of psychological deception are pretense, disguise, implication, misdirection, prearrangement, simulation, dissimulation, anticipation and all other resorts and stratagems calculated to lure the unsuspecting spectator along a path of ultimate victimization. But the magician must accomplish his objective with great skill and cunning because, as has been said before, his spectators know in advance that he intends to deceive them.” Dariel Fitzkee – ‘Magic By Misdirection’

A quick example of the kind of thing I think I'm getting at, have been using this cheeky one since I heard it a while back (from Ollie Mealing I believe).

A card is chosen. As soon as they can see it you say something to the effect of, “Make sure you look at it with your eyes”. When you ask your participant to do this, it gets quite a funny reaction, telling someone to consciously use their eyes for a task which clearly requires them. This slightly odd request reminds me of memory training to a degree, but slightly covert. Your reasoning in this case is to make sure the image of the card is imprinted and memorised for practical use. As well as this, the slightly boring task of memorising a card is also associated with this reaction. The reveal I would hope is then much more of an interesting one.

In order to memorise information efficiently, we all know of the age old Greek methods which encourage the development of associative recall through a mostly abstract & hierarchical association. I guess in this situation it would be more of a Transderivational search, whereby the participant gets pulled out of the general rhythm of the situation to work out the meaning of a rather strange request.

How else could this be applied?
Has anyone else used/heard of similarly methods?
Do you think these subtleties actually make a difference?

Best of the best,

(Apologies again if this is in the wrong section or there is another topic on this subject)

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Meta-Magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 9th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Pyrrhomatic wrote:Apologies if this is in the incorrect place, but seeing as though the craft of mentalism seems to require a lot of thought into the psychology ... I guess in this situation it would be more of a Transderivational search...

From leaves in the forest to tree searches? Agreed - not useful to confuse-self amusement regarding methodology and audience response to effect for hypothetical audiences. Useful meta comes long after expectations based upon experience. Is that glassy stare coming from belief shattering perception, confusion or boredom? For a working example see Hofzinser's Recalled/Forgotten card item in the Hofzinser Genii Magazine issue. From there you can guess why he explored using blank cards.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Alan Wheeler
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Re: Meta-Magic

Postby Alan Wheeler » February 19th, 2015, 6:35 pm

Probably "meta-magic" would actually be magic tricks based on the theme of magic tricks, just as meta-fiction is fiction about fiction. Ortiz in Designing Miracles correctly identifies magic as one of the interesting frames or themes available for magic presentations.

As I perform often for psychology and English classes at a local college, I find meta-magic a useful concept.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Meta-Magic

Postby Joe Mckay » February 19th, 2015, 6:38 pm

I always thought this P&T trick fit that idea.

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