Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.


Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2003, 5:10 pm

Hey guys here's an interesting question. When I'm reading a book and find a trick that I really like I write it down in a little notebook of tricks that I like. But what do you do if say you're reading the books of wonder and you encounter an interesting theoretical idea? Ultimately my question is how do you go about noting and applying theory and psychology and all of that good stuff.

Noah Levine


Re: Theory

Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2003, 7:18 pm

When you are sitting in a classroom taking notes as the teacher is "lecturing" on a subject, what do you do then? You write it down as notes and then later, you re-write them while "paraphrasing", which not only puts it into an easier language, your own way of speaking, BUT you also reinforce the "memorization" of the piece you just wrote down. Then you take the piece, fold it in half, then fold it once more in half and.......Oops,Leave it to a mentalist to write that last part - justifying your writing things down, folding it and tearing it.

Anyway, the first part WAS serious though. Hope it helps,
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft
Unique Mentalism World-wide


Re: Theory

Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2003, 9:11 pm

Fixed it.

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Re: Theory

Postby mark » August 23rd, 2003, 9:24 pm

Noah, it might depend on why the theoretical notion appealed to you to begin with. If you feel that the idea has some merit in relation to a given effect or routine, find it in your notebook and notate accordingly. If you find that it speaks to you as a performer and you have a book dedicated to your character development, add it there. If you are a disorganized sort, jot it down and throw that note in the note drawer. If I made notes from the Books of Wonder I would probably have paraphrased the whole set - I was really inspired by them.

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2200
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Theory

Postby Pete McCabe » August 23rd, 2003, 10:44 pm


This happens to me a lot. Many of my tricks are essentially created by combining two different ideas, theories, move, techniques, or methods each of which complements, or in some cases cancels, the other.

The onlly way I know of to think of these ideas is to keep a lot of individual ideas in your head, and think a lot.

To make this easier, when I read an interesting theoretical idea, I try to analyze exactly how or why it works, or what the most precise definition of the theoretical point is, or even just why exactly it interests me. This effort gives two rewards. First, this mental concentration helps to fix the idea in my long term memory. And second, because I remember it by way of its specific points, when I learn another idea that revolves around those same points, it'll remind me of the first one.

I've found that any time you can put two ideas together that have some unusual aspect in common, that axis of commonality can be used to make a deceptive trick. The more surprising or unusual the specific area of overlap is, the more deceptive.

Often you can find two ideas that multiply each other, rather than just adding to each other. That's another frequent avenue to a good trick.

Also, reread the Books of Wonder every year or so.

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