Jan Cox Talk 2846


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Jan’s Posted Daily Fresh Real News

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June 3, 2002 © 2002: JAN COX

The youngster slipped backstage to see his father:
the magician, raconteur, and all around entertainer, and said to him:
“Tell me the secrets of your act,” and the elder sat him on his knee,
(a curious act itself), and responded:
“My boy, the whole thing is illusion — made possible by the fact that
no one in the audience knows what they will think next,
and thus have no accurate perception of true sequential linearity — har har! –
that is assuming that there be any!”
and he slapped the tyke quite heartily on his little back, which instantly tightened,:
“Loosen up, laddie — it’s just a joke………………………………………………….(maybe) — okay:
based on this peculiar physiology has come one of my most popular tricks,
(Ahhhh — at times I disdain calling them, tricks inasmuch as the audience so wants to perceive them as otherwise —
but you’ve seen me work — you know what I mean by the term, so okay):
one of my slickest maneuvers is The One Ahead Method of mind reading,
whereby I invite everyone in the audience to write down a question on a slip of paper, fold it up good and come drop them in a box on stage;
I then reach in and take out one of the folded slips, hold it to my head, squint my eyes in feigned concentration, then say:
‘Someone wants to know if the stock of XYZ corporation will move up or down,’
and I have a confederate planted in the audience who will vocally identify himself as the author, at which time I unwrap the slip and look at it as though to
validate what has just occurred, thus now I am reading one of the actual questions from a real audience member,
then when I take out the next folded slip and go through the mind reading motions,
I will give as its contents the question I secretively read on the first slip, and so on.
My answer to each question ostensibly on the folded slip I hold to my head,
and magically reveal,
being actually in response to the previous one:

I am always one step ahead of them!”
The father laughed vigorously again: “It’s barely believable how it never fails –
has never failed in more than six thousand years,”
and the boy objected: “But Pa Pa — how can that be
when you and the audience are part of the same…”and the elder instantly cut him off: “I thought you wanted to know how the tricks are able to work?!” —
the lad nodded that he did, and the father said:
“Then be quiet and listen until I get to the end,”
and after the elder caught his breath and calmed down, he continued.

“Okay, another crowd favorite, still derived from this quirk of the audience is
The Hopping Horse, wherein music is played as I crack a whip,
and make an equine hop around a ring on its hind legs in perfect time to the beat;
people are amazed to witness such talent from a dumb animal,
(no offense to you, my little one……nor to myself, for that matter — anyway, as I was saying):
audiences, having no observable awareness of how their perception operates
when it is not in its essential, instinctive mode,
believe that the horse is jumping to the beat it hears being played,
and at the behest of my whip cracking — whereas — just the opposite is true:
the band and I know from experience the only tempo at which the horse can hop
once upright, so we play and crack the whip to match its natural rhythm:
this is this grand illusion that thing A is following the direction of thing B,
whereas something entirely otherwise may be occurring —
right before your inner eyes — possibly even the opposite.”
The elder then whooped so boisterously with glee that the youngster’s stability on his knee was periled, but he maintained his position and was able to inject again:
“But Father — how is it possible that the audience can be so fooled
into perceiving something in reverse to how it is by you, when you and they are…”
— “Do you want a fully responsive reply to your original inquiry or not?”
and the tyke’s taken-aback-countenance was succeeded by the elder’s continuation.

“I always close the act with what most fascinates and captures the attention of all audiences, (we’re still speaking of strictly human ones, no slight intended for any present, of course),
when I lay aside props, stop the music, drop the lights,
and sit down on the edge of the stage and tell them a story.
But again, a certain twist in the constitution of mortal collections makes them unable, (or unwilling — who knows?! — who cares as long as they keep paying to see and hear me — anyway),
they appear incapable of distinguishing between what we in my profession refer to as: The Factual Zone and The Story Zone.

In The Factual Zone, everything is limited to the facts, to physical reality,
while in The Story Zone — anything goes;
they are quite separate matters,
yet when they are combined, their distinction to the audience becomes easily blurred.
In the Mind Reading Trick, they are misled by me visibly holding one slip of
physical paper and apparently discerning its contents
while the truth was that I was already mentally a step ahead of them,
and in The Hopping Horse performance,
the audience perceived a physical entity to be reacting to a preconceived mental plan by a man whereas the exact opposite was so,
and it gets even better when we come to my strictly verbal entertaining of the crowd.

They do not attend to hear me talk of matters in The Factual Zone,
(they go to technical lectures for that):
from me they expect words from The Story Zone,
but past the age of five, tales strictly there from are not sufficient;
adults need and insist on yarns that combine the two zones, for example,
I might tell them something like this:
‘Leaving during the intense heat of July, several years ago I boarded a dank,
and thoroughly disreputable tramp steamer in New Orleans for a stifling voyage across the turbulent south Atlantic sea, right in the middle of hurricane season,
down around the African cape to and back up to India in search of a
reclusive, Buddhist monk reputed to be the world’s greatest trainer of horses,
and after much difficulty dealing with an exotic environment & harsh conditions,
when I found him I discovered to my utter amazement that the man could fly —
and could actually read minds with no trickery,’ (or some such tale),”
and here, the elder chuckled more than spouting the guffaws of before.

“The interaction twix me and the audience is itself the true, breathtaking trick,
for once realized from the properly distanced perspective:
I am not the active one fooling them, nor they the passive ones being fooled:
this in truth is not a solo performance, but a team act;
just as you do not read a book,
but rather you read the thoughts that appear in your head from the reading;
so too do I and all my kin join hands in all we do for entertainment,
and dance harmlessly, but giddily & stupidly around the common may pole
that seems to be each person’s individual inner self.”


The most significant story telling for the few is in the ones they/their thoughts tell themselves —
and especially the ones concerning themselves.


That night when the old man was back home, the youngster asked:
“Why did some of our relatives seem so distraught when they learned it was just you dressed as Santa & The Easter Bunny?”


Note: The youngster, the father, and the audience are all features of general human mentation,
while the first’s, “slipping-backstage” is a special action undertaken/executed by the few in their individual thinking/ mind.