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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
"It is important as a mentalist to notice small things about people... little things such as being able to tell if someone is right or left handed by looking at which way their belt is pointing. Looking at a book of matches will tell you if they are right or left handed by the side the matches are removed.... It's important to notice these things because the more you do, the more you will realize that each person has little psychological nuances that tell you a lot about the individual. Doing so will tremendously sharpen your skills." - Banachek, Psychological Subtleties

As magicians we are in a unique position. We get to learn a lot about people and how the human mind works, but only if we are mindful... the Banachek quote above applies equally to magicians as it does mentalists. When we take the time to really pay attention to those we are performing for we begin to understand what magical thinking truly is.

How many of you guys apply this kind of thinking to your magic?
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #2 

These kinds of detailed observations, and other related topics such as body language, are things I wish I had paid more attention to when I was performing.  It would have benefited me not only in magic, but also in other aspects of life.


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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #3 
Yep, something to be aware of and a valuable skill. But mostly and without realising it, everybody does this instinctively everyday, to varying degrees. I don't play cards anymore, but the old "poker face" thing is a classic of this kind.
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #4 
When I got into coldreading I got Alexander Thomas's tape & book called Initialtions.

One of the exercise's in the book was just to go out and "watch people", which I did at a food court in a local shopping mall, and then ask yourself.." what type of job does he or she have ?" Do they have kids ? If so, how many? " Things like that, you know?

I was working at Zales Jewelry at the time and started doing this as the customer's who would walk in the store, I noticed that I was more then cold reading them, but my impressions of them would be right.

I have never thought to do this with a magical performance. This is an example of "thinking out of the box ", which is something I need to do more of.

Rick-

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
Again, you bring forth a very interesting topic, Soc.

I would say that I use a bit of audience analysis when I choose volunteers.  I have a "type" I'm looking for.  I want someone pleasant, that won't try to "steal the stage" yet be able to be involved and not just "window dressing".

Sometimes it is a fine line.  I mentioned this in another thread, but on the occasions where I realize I've made a poor choice, I work out a way to tactfully dismiss the volunteer or volunteers and later I choose another.

I typically choose women and that seems to be the norm at least if you watch magic videos.  Sure, they will also use men, but in many situations, women just work out better.  Perhaps it is by contrast.  I don't know.  By the way, as a dude, I'm saying this as it pertains to myself.  Female magicians might choose male volunteers, who knows?  Each performer has to work out their own criteria.

I always attempt, when possible to strike up a conversation prior to performing.  In fact, when I used to do corporate coctail parties I would mill around and most didn't even know I was the performer.  I would go out of my way to just be friendly and then when they asked if I worked for the company or whatever I would, say, "No, I've been hired to entertain you with some intimate close-up magic.  I hope you'll join me.  I'll begin around 8:00."  Or something like that.  Generally, they would go out of their way to work their way over to the chairs and I would already know their name so we had an immediate rapport. 
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #6 
“Magic makes you more observant than an ordinary person.”

Dai Vernon.

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