Gardyloo #11

Book fuck-up-date

So we're still looking towards an end of August delivery of The Jerx, Volume One. The most recent delay came after looking at the page proofs. I was all about to give them the okay, when I looked again at my computer from a sharp angle and what I thought was a clean illustration now had a muddy yellowish tinge to it. What the hell was going on? I could only see it when I tilted my screen away from me. Otherwise it was pretty much invisible in InDesign or looking at it on a pdf.

So we had to go in and clean-up the illustrations which was sort of easy, but sort of hard because you couldn't see what needed to be cleaned up unless you were on a laptop with the screen tilted back. 

Hopefully it's only a setback of a day or two. And a couple hundred dollars to re-run the page proofs. But it's okay because it allowed me to make a couple changes to the text as well. And I want the books to be as clean as possible before you get them. Look, I'll leave it up to you to soil the book with your ejaculate and vaginal fluids. But until that time, you deserve a tight, clean product.

In Michael Murray's book A Piece of My Mind, there's an effect called Sublime Influence. It's an effect that I've always enjoyed performing. But there weren't enough opportunities to perform it in the wild, so I bought a set of these shot glasses.

If you have the book, then you'll understand why these work perfectly.

I set it up as if I'm going to do a numerology reading with Uno cards. "We need to invoke the elements," I say. What does that mean? I don't know. Here's the thing, after a spectator has agreed to a "numerology reading" you can say whatever the hell you want. They've already bought in. 

So I light a candle and then say, "We need a little water too." I go to my kitchen and fill up the shot glass with water. I sit back down with my friend and have her stare into the shot glass while I gently shake it causing the water to ripple. I tell her to concentrate on the rippling water while I count down from 10. 

So she's concentrating and staring at this thing that I will later claim influenced her, but she's not really seeing it because she thinks this is about the water. Then I go through the process with her to generate her "life number" or whatever. Only at the end do I bring up subliminal advertising and say this was an experiment in that. I prefer it that way rather than stating it up front like Michael does. Just a personal preference. I like the idea of getting them to think that there is one thing going on, then you flip the script at the end so they have to reorient themselves and you give them a big moment to demonstrate this different reality. "You thought you were on an alien planet full of apes, but really that planet is Earth, and that's the Statue of Liberty!"

Let's say you get the sense your friend genuinely wanted a numerology reading. Great! Now you can say, "Oh hey... do you want to try some actual fortune-telling with cards? Just as a goof, I mean?" And you can segue into an effect like that. (May I recommend Applied Cartomancy from The Jerx, Volume 1?) In this way you easily get to perform two effects in an organic way without resorting to some horrible "routining." (Routining should not be in the amateur's vocabulary. See Amateur at the Kitchen Table for more details on that.)

I'm bummed the video with images of magician's shushing people while palming a card is seemingly no longer available.

Maybe they'll re-upload it. Or make another version and include this beauty. It's Alan Rorrison in that hack pose. And, ironically, he's lecturing all of us to be more creative.

Here's an analogy I somewhat like, but ended up cutting out of the book. I was writing about what types of subjects I think make good presentations. And I was saying how it can't just be something interesting it really needs to be something fascinating. For our purposes, the distinction I was making was that a "fascinating" thing is an interesting thing but with some element of the unknown or mysterious to it.

That element of the unknown or the mysterious is a powerful thing. It essentially allows your audience the opportunity to view the presentation in a way that they find most appealing. It would be like parading a decent looking woman on stage in front of an audience of heterosexual men. Let’s say 65% of the men are intrigued by her and would like to spend time with her. But what if we put that same woman in silhouette? Ah, now maybe 95% of the men are intrigued by her. By withholding some information we are affording them the opportunity to project what they’re interested in onto this woman. Similarly, by offering a presentation that involves some element of the unknown, you are allowing them the opportunity to decide how much the presentation is meant to be taken seriously, and how much they WANT to take the presentation seriously.