Light On kivlincv

reduce any suspicions, J leave them with people after I'm done. While I realize these props may seem somewhat eon-Irivod, I haven't discovered more commonplace items to substitute for them.

1 absolutely avoid using anything that looks "magical", or any item that a magician commonly uses.

Key Point: I can't control what audience members think as thev watch mc perform. And I want them to believe that whai they are seeing is real.

Corporate audiences are mildly suspicious to begin with. Audience members make judgments as they watch me perform each demonstration. If 1 use a prop they saw David Coppcrticld ¡.or any other magician) use, some audi ciVw-e .ncnibeiN will instantly Liiink <:magic Irick." Tiic.>c people will quickly suspend their belief in my mental abilities. Likewise, if the Fox Network ever exposes any of the items or methods I now use. 1 will immediately eliminate that item from my act.

For many reasons, I no longer use playing cards in my ac" Ever, when playing cards are introduced and justified as "52 different and easily identifiable items," Pin afraid many people will still categorize what I'm doing as a card trick, f can't stop some audience members from making that connection.

And if this occurs. 1 am no longer helping them explore the untapped powers of the mind: I'm doing a magic trick. That's not what I want my audience to think! And that's not why I was hired.

Recently, I have noticed more and more full-tame men lalist.s moving completely away from playing cards in their corporate acts. In my opinion, this is a move in the right direction tortile art of mentalism. And finding less suspicious substitutes for playing cards is not that difficult to do. (See "Slate Of Mind" and "Mega-Memory Miracle" in Chapter Twelve).

Once again, ihere are no absolutes. Here's one exception. I occasionally perform I .arry Becker VCasi no Royale" for audiences who have seen me previously. This Cleveland entertaining routine uses several items found ir. a ca sine». In this routine, the gambling theme makes the playing cards seem natural.

Recently. I have been avoiding using any electronic or computer-rclaled items in my act. liven if Ihe items are ungaffed. using such ilems may cause some people to suspect I'm using electronic gimmicks. . and suspend their belief. And led Lesley, the wonderful German mentalist. once warned me that anything electronic will break sooner or later. Ted's prediction came true within ten days of our phone conversation.

f inally, avoid overusing any one prop. I can perform five diJlcrent demonstrations that use gaffed ur ungaffed postcards. Yet, 1 use postcards only once during an act 01 show. To use postcards more than once in an acr would cause people to become suspicious.

Quick Check:

• What items or props are you using in each demonstration?

• Will any of these props appear unnatural or suspicious to your typical audience'? What could you substitute for these props?

• lb what extent do you allow people tu examine any suspicious props during or after your act?

• What items or props do you use more lhan once dining your act?

Guideline Seven: Maximum Impact

For each demonstration to have its maximum impact.

cvorvone :n the audience should he able to see and hear

«f each moment of amazement clearly.

Mentalism packs small. All the props for my corporate act will fit inside a small carrying case.

But mentalism doesn't always play big. 1 have seen several mentalists fail to impress their audiences because some audience members couldn't understand or hear what was happening at the critical points of a demonstration.

Success a> a mentalist is directly related to the performer's verbal communication skills. To win ihe ad miration and respect of a corporate audience, a mentalist needs to:

Men ta! ism. fnrorpor, tied

• Create presentations that capture and hold the attention of audience members,

• Possess (or develop) a pleasant speaking voice and use proper grammar,

• Present each demonstration in a clear, understandable, and convincing manner, and

■ (îive absolutely clear verbal instructions to rite people from the audience who help with demonstrations.

Success as a communicator begins with the careful development of a script lor each demonstration. Frequent practice, and feedback from other entertainers, will accelerate your development as a corporate entertainer. In fact, many-full-time mentalists seek out the assistance of communication professionals tin theater, public speaking, etc.) to develop their capabilities as communicators.

In addition, to achieve the maximum impact from each demonstration, be sure that:

1) F.veryonc can hear everything you say. A good sound system is a must. 1 use a wireless lavahcre microphone. This frees my hands to gesture and handle my props naturally, and 1 can still be heard. Other menuilish use a hand-held wireless microphone. Try both and decide which works best for you.

2) Everyone can hear the verbal revelations of audience members. My preference is to allow the people who help me with a demonstration to remain in the audicncc. 1 believe audience members arc more comfortable staying in their seats than coming on stage.

However, comments made by people in the audience arc hard for everyone to hear. When working with people who remain in the audience. I always paraphrase what people say so the entire audience knows what was said. Another option is to have an assistant with a hand-held mike in the audience.

When I do bring people on stage. 1 have an additional microphonc (on a stand) for them to use.

3) Even written revelation can be easily seen. Pre dictions and revelations should be as large as possible. Consider this example: In my mental influence demonstration :ipie influence"), I call attention to a rolled-up banner. I explain that the banner contains the three choices I will attempt 10 influence. I then force items on three different people, lb see if I was successful ill influencing their choices, I slowly unroll the banner. The lettering on the banner is eight inches tall. Everyone can read the printing. Everyone can see 1 was successful.

Compare thai ending to one in which the three choices are written on an S'-' by 11 -inch piece of paper and handed to an audience member at the start of the demonstration. At the end of the demonstration, the person is asked lo read wlial's written or. the paper.

The impact of this demonstration will be reduced in two ways, f irst, 1 am dependent on that person's reading and speaking ability. Second, only that person can see and understand that 1 was corrcct. Lvcn if the person shows the piece of paper to the audience, only part of the audience will know 1 was correct.

Maiiaiisw. incorpoi oU xi

Thai's the one weakness 1 sec in the classic mental ism effect, "Confabulation." At the end of the routine, very few can see that the mcntalist's written premonition was accurate.

Visibility multiplies believability. li takes planning and creativity to make each revelation and prediction as large as possible. But if audience members can't see it, they are less likely to believe it. And if they can't see it, it may be less entertaining.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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