What we can learn about: Al Koran-Ed Sullivan Act (Part I)

Today, we will reflect and observe one of the most fantastic performances in old school TV in my opinion, the great and unique Al Koran.

Did you know that in that "Ed Sullivan", he was following stage with "The Beatles"? 

First of all, you can see how relaxed he arrives to stage and his handshake with Ed Sullivan. He didnt use just one hand (which is fine) but he also add his left hand to the equation, and that in social dynamics is a clear example of taking control, but again, he did it in a very subtle way, without being harsh or authoritative, which is completely congruent with his first appearance.

Remember that people WILL make a pre-judgment in the first few seconds. Let them know that you are indeed competent, likeable and as Maurice Fogel said "...a charming commanding personality"

Influence people with a soft stroke.

I love his first line...it is a clear example of a "presupposition" used in an effective way in a Mentalism performance:

"Well ladies and gentleman, I read people minds but dont let that worry because...."

So, the idea that he can really read people minds is already implanted, but we dont need to focus about that!

Compare that to the normal, direct approach that tries to "convince" people:

"I can read minds so I will prove it..."

The chance to get critical resistance is much higher, so the core idea is not effectively communicated. 

After this complete line, observe how he just create silence to build the tension. This is SO important, and some performers dont understand it by their lack of knowledge and experience in theatre. You dont need to be an expert or take a full theatre course, just to be aware of all the communicational specific techniques that we can apply while we are onstage (and even during close up performances). Silence is SO important, and sometimes we forget it. We assume that talking is the only way to communicate, and that is far from the truth.

If you want to create a small moment of drama, interest and meta-communicate that you are competent onstage, sometimes you just need to SHUT UP! 

One of the concepts that he uses for his opener (Gold Medallion) is "pure psychology". It is interesting that he offers this idea, and a very intelligent approach to this wonderful prediction effect. He creates immediate interest in the use of apparent "psychology" to create his demonstration, which was not a popular theme in that era of Mentalism.

In "What we can learn about", secret methods are not explained, but if you know the core method of the "Gold Medallion", you can appreciate the natural motivation that he establish, while he was saying that the first number in a coin is "always a one", and a great simple idea to extrapolate to other routines which use this secret Mentalism technique. 

Notice who he asks for the 2nd and 3rd digit, and then he adds : "1870 could be...", which is completely congruent with his established concept of a "demonstration of pure psychology". In here we can see that he really gets the essence of the outer reality of this effect, and let people enjoy this real demonstration of pure psychology, influencing someone to NOT say a 0 as the final digit. 
Use concepts in your performances that really are around the main theme of your routine. If it doesnt have congruency of a clear association, just don use that concept.

Again, if you know the method of the "Gold Medallion", you can appreciate the beautiful boldness that Al Koran uses in the execution of a "move".
 He JUST does it!

Nowadays the mainstream invites us to buy the latest expensive gimmick that can do the same thing that Al did just with a simple and bold move, understanding the psychology of actions and focus. He was so sure that this is workable for real audiences, that he used in the "Ed Sullivan"! 

So, we dont need to buy more things, but to invest in ourselves.  

By the way, if you want a functional pendulum that also works great as  "Medallion", you can check our "Koran" at Arkanosophy

If you have the original instruction for the "Gold Medallion", you can again, hear the great boldness of Al Koran in his script. HE DIDNT use the script that he suggested in his book, and he used an even bolder one! (if you know what I am talking about, you can understand)

He was truly a master...

Finally, I love how he express happiness to the participant with a nice handshake, and as an act of celebration, he just throw the box into the air. 
A moment that communicates how much fun he has onstage, like saying: "Yeah...thats my lovely coin engraved..." while he shows a great smile. 

Lets continue next week! 


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