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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
What do you say if someone says to you..." If you can really read minds, tell me what I am thinking right now..."
I haven't found a good come-back line that I like, so I throw this out there for TMF member's to ponder. My thoughts are that this is " telepathy " and the thought that the person is thinking of needs to be isolated. Thus, have them write the thought onto the back of the business card which goes into the peek wallet. I know that's not too great..but I don't know what to say.
What would you do? How would you respond?
Thanks,
MP-

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arthur stead

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If he’s a real wise guy and he’s with his wife, you can always say he’s thinking naughty thoughts about some other woman … Haha!


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chris w

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Reply with quote  #3 
Personally, I would probably look at him intently for a few seconds and then say "No."

But then, I am not particularly known for having the social graces.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 

My gut reaction would be to answer, "You're thinking I'm full of it", to which he probably would laugh and say, "Yeah, you're right!"

Obviously it would depend upon the situation.  Some might ask that question sincerely and you would proceed in kind.  If someone is truly trying to trip your trigger, don't let them.  Not worth it.  

I applaud your asking the question though.  Because it happens and you need to be prepared so that you handle it with grace, whatever the intent.

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Nathan_himself

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Reply with quote  #5 

I used to get that question all the time. I used to have this bit about how mind-reading is less about me picking up on thought and more to do with you sending a thought. I still use this line in professional settings. If it is informal will usually ask for payment [wink] Obviously, I say it in a playful way. But I do hate that question. 


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lopabrc

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Reply with quote  #6 
Not a direct answer to your exact question, but there is a nice article about "Inducing challenges" on Pitt Hartling 's Card Fictions. In the article he discusses about what triggers challenges on the mind of the spectator. Several causes are suggested. If you detect the cause then you could avoid challenges completely by removing that cause, or you could induce a challenge on purpose . It might be worth having a look.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lopabrc
Not a direct answer to your exact question, but there is a nice article about "Inducing challenges" on Pitt Hartling 's Card Fictions. In the article he discusses about what triggers challenges on the mind of the spectator. Several causes are suggested. If you detect the cause then you could avoid challenges completely by removing that cause, or you could induce a challenge on purpose . It might be worth having a look.


I think this is a great suggestion.  
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tommyellison

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Reply with quote  #8 
What if you always carried a business card in your wallet  or phone case that said "NO"

Ask him to "concentrate as I project one single word into your mind..." Continue with the NO/KNOW gag and reveal same from wallet.

As I write, this occurred to me. Like so many, I rarely go anywhere without my iPhone. I own the Digital Force Bag app. Here is my thought...

On a DFB list entitled "Common Thoughts of Man", have a list of 99 statements, all of them reading "[Your Name] is the greatest mind-reader in the history of the world" or some other outlandish, comedic claim.

Your DFB "target" statement says "You are thinking of this very number"

Perform as follows:

When asked to read their mind, look intently in the face of spec...

Hesitate and say - "Your thoughts are very complex, allow me to warm-up with a simple mental exercise"

Ask them to think of a number between 1 and 100...

Take out the phone and trigger the DFB app and ask them what number they were thinking...

When they reveal same, state that you actually had a premonition about this very moment and recorded the thought in a list you keep in your NOTES app on the phone.

Trigger their number as you open the DFB "NOTES APP" and reveal the list entitled "Common Thoughts of Man"

Remark that your list contains 100 popular thought statements...  but you chose the number "X"

Scroll down allowing them to see the replication of the self-serving claims of greatness and state, "Wow! Everyone seems to be in agreement with me on all of these except Number X - your randomly thought-of number... Read out loud No X for me please...

They read, "You are thinking of this very number"... 

Look at them and say something like...

"Oh well, I guess I failed to convince at least one person..."

or 

"I guess we will have to agree on not agreeing...



[TV Performance rights reserved] Just kidding! Good luck when you get to "Cleveland's Got Talent"



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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Great idea, Tommy! Along with Kenner's Rising Card app, DFB is killer and handy to have at one's disposal.

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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #10 
For a funny bit...  "You're thinking you zipped your fly..."

It at least catches them off guard and changes the focus.

Tom

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Zero

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Reply with quote  #11 
Classic maven  - 5 object equivoque. He's right, it's a brilliant solution to it.
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Peter X

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi,
I don't usually say mind reading when I do my tricks. I say that I am good in reading people's subtle emotions when I ask yes or no questions. This makes it less creepy when people know you can't really read their minds. I also sometimes intentionally make a mistake to show them that I am actually reading their emotions and they are trying to lie to me and I don't actually know the answers. 😉 This makes it more convincing.

-Peter X

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SethHoward

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Reply with quote  #13 
Great question. I actually use this question in the opening of my mentalism shows. Here is how I address it:

"When people hear that I'm a mind reader, their first question is "What am I thinking?. If only it were that easy. The human mind is a complex thing. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That's an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. If we continue to break it down, that is 42 - 55 thoughts per minute, or just a new thought every second! Even in this explanation, you have had a few new thoughts in the back of your mind. Let's try to get you to focus on something that is very distinct...."

In my show, I use my variation of Vincent Dalban's 'Mental Numbers'. If I was out and about on the street or in a bar, etc...I carry a Sight Unseen Case on me and am able to perform something on the spot.

Cheers!
 

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Steven Keyl

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Reply with quote  #14 
For the reasons listed above, I don't get this very often as I don't tend to set up an effect as a challenge, but more as a collaboration.  On those occasions where this has come up, my favorite response is gentle humor followed by a redirection to get this back on track, so I usually say,

"You're thinking that there's no way I could figure out your thought!!" Then I feign exaggerated success (with a fist pump, for example) and exhale loudly to show not only how successful I was, but how draining that process was. This typically gets a good laugh out of everyone, including the challenger, at which point I follow up with, "...actually, I'm not a mind reader, but a human behavior expert. If I do my job really well, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference. Let me show you what I mean. For example..." then I go into whatever routine I think will diffuse the situation the best.

It immediately diffuses things and allows you to resume whatever presentation you were planning on, AND it is all done in a matter of seconds, without a lot of mucking about.
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Bob Farmer

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Reply with quote  #15 

Here is a solution from one of my Flim-Flam columns.

SCAM TO THE FUTURE

I’m not given to rash statements but either he goes or I go with him
W.C. Fields

THE HOOK
I’ve written a prediction on this twenty dollar bill.

Only a real psychic can predict the future. Anyone else who makes such a claim, is a fraud.

Now, I’m either a fraud or a real psychic who can see the future.

If you’re right about me that twenty dollars is yours.

I’ve also written a second prediction on this fifty dollar bill, but we’ll come back to it in a minute.

THE BET
If you think the first prediction is right, then you think I’m a real psychic.

If you think the first prediction is wrong, then you think I’m a fraud.

So how do want to bet: fraud or psychic.

If you’re right, you win the twenty bucks, if you’re wrong you pay me twenty bucks.

THE OUTCOME
You lose, I win.

THE SECRET
I write the following on a twenty dollar bill and fold it in half: You will bet I am a fraud.


Though this appears to be a 50/50 win or lose proposition, you—the Mark—will lose no matter which way you call it.

If you say I’m a fraud, you’re saying the prediction will be wrong. But the prediction is right (I predicted you would pick fraud) and you’re wrong, so you owe me twenty bucks.

If you say I’m a psychic, you’re saying the prediction will be right. But the prediction is wrong (I predicted you’d say I was a fraud) and therefore you’re wrong (so you pay me twenty bucks).


THE SECOND BET
Here I remind you about the second prediction I made on the fifty dollar bill.

If that prediction proves to be correct, you will pay me another twenty dollars. If it proves to be wrong, I will pay you fifty dollars.

If you take the second bet, you will lose again. The prediction reads: You will lose the first bet.


EVEN SNEAKIER
I have performed my version by writing on two pieces of paper, “You will call me a fraud and your prediction will be wrong,” and “You will call me a psychic and your prediction will be right.” The spectator hands me either one to bet.

REFERENCES
This is a version of “Brainpopper” by Martin Gardner which appeared at page 577 of IBIDEM #23 (p. 516 of the Hermetic Press reprint). Martin’s version was much more abstract and cerebral (his prediction ran, “You will place the card I gave you, with the word ‘no’ written on it, in your pocket,” – yeah, my head hurts too). Martin didn’t use a second prediction.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #16 
That's great, Bob. 

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Medifro

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Reply with quote  #17 
Love it Bob. Really love it.

if it happens to me, I oblige only with one condition: Go to a corner, sign on a billet that he shall not speak of this experience to anyone, and then do class's name and place under test conditions, or any mental routine really.

You chose the battlefield and gain the upper level.

Failing that or if venue doesn't allow it, I just let them know I need to work up and perform a which hand, and take it from there.


-F
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #18 
It depends how you present yourself, and how you frame your effects. I've not had this issue myself, but I would be intrigued by the question. My response would depend on the person and the situation - as I do not believe in really being able to read minds, I wouldn't ever claim I could... that just opens the door to further challenges.

I guess it could be dealt with in many ways really. Humour would be key for me, also the use of body-language, gestures and linguistics.

A great way of dealing with such an issue would be to allow the person asking the question to read your mind, or discover what another spectator/person is thinking. Doing such a thing takes the emphasis off of you and your abilities, and makes the one who asked the original question the star of the show - for a moment at least.

That's my thoughts anyhow.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #19 
In one of my family card magic shows, after performing the Professor's "Out-of-Side; Out-of-Mind," one of my (evil) spectators asked me THAT devilish question (in front of the other spectators)...
I stared at him for three seconds... then I extended my arm toward him with the deck of cards as he tried to take it, but I drew my arm back and told him right away:
"You are thinking that I was going to give you the deck of cards, right?"
He said confused: "Yes."
So then, everybody laughed and forget about the challenge as I started a new card effect.
Obviously, the "evil spectator" wasn't satisfied, but it was a good way out, and I understood that I had to be careful with that spectator for my next trick.
I reckon that HUMOUR is the best "escape" for challenges like that, as Socrates said.
Bob Farmer's idea is an excellent idea that connect magic and humour in a brilliant way. And I appeciate a lot that he shared it we all of us.
Sometimes, because I (almost) only do card magic, I excuse some situation by saying that I can read a mind only if it is thinking in a playing card; it matches my habitual statement that, as a CARD magician, I can do magic ONLY if a playing card is involved in the show.

In other occasion, some "evil spectator" asked me a similar question after performing Tamariz's Mnemonicosis:
"If you can really read minds, why don't you just name the thought card instead of doing all that paraphernalia you did?"
I answered:
"Because it would be quite boring to just name the card you are thinking. A thrilling way to show the thought card is more entertaining, and that's why magician's prefer not to do that straightaway."

I believe that this answer could be a solution for that (dreadful) question.

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john c

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Reply with quote  #20 
I would go into my regular opening, It's not about simply jumping into your mind and pulling something our because obviously we all have many thoughts roaming around in there. Some are words, some images, some thoughts, so let's narrow it down and give me something to focus on....

Then from there do your fav billet, ipad, whatever else you do to plant a thought image or word.

Take it from there. If they want to challenge you, then take the challenge don't be afraid of it.

J
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