I saw him perform the trick a few times over the course of a couple days and the reactions were good. But the “here’s how you were influenced part” seemed to have the impact he was hoping for. It would get a sort of, “Ohhh… interesting” type of reaction. They were either buying it or pretending to buy it. I couldn’t really tell. And I didn’t want to step on my friend’s toes by asking them too many questions about how they perceived what they just watched.
Later, my friend did confirm to me that he was getting stronger reactions to the trick from people with a magic background.
This is something I’ve noticed with a lot of tricks I’ve performed with an “influence” type of presentation. Magicians love it, spectators…a bit less so.
I think it’s because “influence” is a very un-romantic premise. If a trick’s premise is that we’re traveling through time, or jumping across dimensions, or testing an ancient ritual, or harnessing sexual energy… these are all grand, fascinating topics. They’re romantic notions.
But if the premise of the trick is, “You put the cards down in the order of Red, Green, and Yellow, because these dots on the card case are in the order of Red, Green, and Yellow.”