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mysticz
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 12:54, johnjnesbi!t wrote:
If people can't bear to have "anyone" know how something is done, then I would suspect that they have issues with self worth. Paranoia is not a becomming trait to a "Master".


Because mentalism is a craft that is based to a large extent on subtlety rather than extensive sleight-of-hand ability, its secrets are easily misconstrued and misused by those performers lacking the necessary presentational ability and proper understanding of the very important differences between it and standard conjuring. Unfortunately, allowing "anyone" (i.e., the average magical enthusiast) to be privy to the "real work" of the mentalist may not prove to be beneficial to the craft in the long term.

Running the risk of sounding elitist, the privilege of access to the "real work" should indeed be earned, not just given to whoever wishes to know. Even Burger wrote about the long-lost days of yore when learning the "real work" of magic was a similar privilege to be earned, not freely given. The truly interested individual can earn his acceptance to this selective group, but only through the necessary channels of study and experience.

While experienced, working mentalists will continue to read and comment on this forum, it is doubtful that any will share the important information (i.e., the real work) that must be learned through study, sweat, and experience.

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
TheAmbitiousCard
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I personally think that the mentalist area of magic has it much easier than the cards/coins/etc. for exposure.

No kids or uncle harry's (I'll call them 'lurkers') are going to just start doign mentalism and ruin the art, are they?

I find that most magicians that are serious start out with tricks, then realize the importance of misdirection, and psychology. Then they find mentalism as an application of the psychology.


The problem is more with the 'lurkers' thinking that they know how to do Crazyman's Handcuffs and just end up merely making it like a bar trick.

Or the 'lurkers' that love spelling tricks with cards because it's all they can do, boring the hell out of people so they never want to see magic again. And when they DO see you, they wonder why you're not performing with your big red shoes on.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
kou
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I ask this with genuine sincerity and in no way intend it to be hostile:

How can we measure when a student of mentalism has reached the point that he or she has earned access to "the real work"?

I would not dispute that there are a fair amount of people who come to forums such as these who simply want to know how a trick they saw was done. But I would also argue that there are quite a few people on this forum who, although they aren't working professionals, have such aspirations (or at the very least, a very healthy respect for the art and a sincere passion for learning it in a serious and methodical manner), and are looking for a forum where they can benefit from the wisdom and experiences of others.

Absent forums such as these, the major factor that will likely determine which students advance in their studies, and which ones don't, is money. That is, people with enough money to be able to buy the many mentalism manuscripts, audio tapes, DVDs and such that are for sale will have a much easier time becoming members of those "select groups" than do the "average Joes" with a sincere interest in the art, but no access to the kinds of material and guidance that a forum like this provides. [I am not implying that merely owning mentalism products will make one a better mentalist, but surely, access to such materials does give one a decided advantage in one's study and understanding both of the fundamental principles of mentalism and performance tips and techniques.]

As a practicing attorney, I very much understand the importance of keeping confidences (albeit, in a different context, where the stakes are much higher), but I also think there are practical problems involved in prematurely closing off avenues of study for those who have a sincere interest in studying mentalism. Not everyone lives in areas where there are organizations and societies through which one might find a mentor or teacher. For those of us who are serious about our "education", forums such as these are the best we've got.

So, I ask again, with utmost sincerity and repect, how does a student of mentalism, such as myself, prove he or she has earned the privilege of access to "the real work"?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 14:21, kou wrote:
So, I ask again, with utmost sincerity and repect, how does a student of mentalism, such as myself, prove he or she has earned the privilege of access to "the real work"?


Way before internet chat forums like this one existed, students interested in learning the fundamentals of mentalism went about their education the old fashioned way -- they earned it.

In my case, I began my education by means of learning, practicing, and performing magic (i.e., conjuring). During my growth as a magician, I came to know many older and more experienced proponents of magical entertainment, and their help and influences allowed me to grow as a magician and more importantly, as a performer.

An early interest in bizarre magick (this would be in the late 1970s) led me to the works of Annemann and further investigation into what constitutes mentalism as opposed to mental magic. My growth as a performer of magick and mentalism allowed me to make strong friendships with working professionals, including a few professional mentalists. Our mutual interests and my ability to substantially share with them formulated bonds that led to an opportunity to apply and be accepted in the Psychic Entertainers Association (a recognized association of professional mentalists).
I worked very hard over the years to attain the knowledge and expertise needed to be successful in this field, and I am very fortunate to be able to share this kind of information and ideas with this wonderful association of peers.

In this age of internet forums, the Nailwriter is one of the finest of its kind and is the perfect situation to establish credibility and friendships with established pros. If you have the knowledge and ability to share, I'd advise applying for entry there to begin learning and sharing with the pros.

For the beginner in the field, read all you can and use the Magic Café as a forum for learning the basics of mentalism. When you are ready for the advanced phase of development, join a serious mentalism group (like the Nailwriter forum or even the P.E.A.).

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
John Nesbit
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David Blaine made a name for himself over the last couple of years (and a fair amount of money too !). Would it be true to compare him with Houdini,Dunninger,Anneman,or Kreskin (to name a few)? Wouldn't that be like comparing Eminnem to Carruso or Pavarotti and Mozart, because the medium is music ? David Blaine got a camera, and somehow network television, to put him among the "select" few. And I don't dislike him, or what he did. Why didn't CBS put Daryl or Michael Ammar or Paul Harris on instead ? I just don't think David B. is necessarily any better than those who've been performing/practicing longer, but just not on network t.v. Does "exposure" and "money" make one more worthy? Or does true "genius"
have no longer have a place in this world anymore? Smile
Luke Kerr
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Quote:
In this age of internet forums, the Nailwriter is one of the finest of its kind and is the perfect situation to establish credibility and friendships with established pros. If you have the knowledge and ability to share, I'd advise applying for entry there to begin learning and sharing with the pros.
When you are ready for the advanced phase of development, join a serious mentalism group (like the Nailwriter forum or even the P.E.A.).

i like the system of selection in the above mentioned forum(i've submitted and waiting hoping to be selected)where the member vote and coudl ask you something to decide.
I think that one problem (not being a pro) is have the chance to demonstrate that one have reached the necessary skill.
No-one ever thinked about creating a two level forum with a voting system to enter the second level(like nailwriter) and a first level forum that serve to "test" the applicant?
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I too went through learning the hard way I started at age 8 but never met another magician until I was 20. until then everything was book learn’t. But I do not see that we have to force everyone to go the hard way just because we did.

Is it not just a bit of jealsousy on our part?

Although we give the appearance that we are willing to help learners, do we secretly perhaps want to keep them down?

Maybe were a little scared that perhaps one day they will be our competition?

I know if I where completely honest I (being human ) have/do sometimes answer yes to these questions myself and have to make a conscious effort to combat these thoughts.

What about the rest of you?
Phillip
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spook
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As is is we can't discuss magic or mentalism on this forum; we can only hint at it. To do otherwise draws cries of exposure from those who favor the country club, rite-of-passage mentality stating that because THEY came about their knowledge the hard way future generations should as well. And now the suggestion comes that we should clam it up even further. What are we going to talk about? Goatee-trimming tips? I say if someone exerts several evening's worth of effort to dig through all the posts to find the juicy morsels (assuming a neophyte would even know the difference) then they've earned it! People aren't as interested in what geeks in goth garb have to say about tearing up slips of paper as we think they are. Can we just get over ourselves and talk about the things that interest us without worrying about who's listening? If I wanted secret codes and signals I'd have joined the Masons or the kids in the treehouse next door. Even expressing one's opinion, as I am doing right now and which has no ability to change your thinking, is suspect and must be cloaked in self-negating sentences such as this one in order to keep the easily bruised from thinking I am "sarcastic" or "a meany".

In order to enable those who have difficulty discerning a difference of opinion from intended cruelty, I will now give up one of my pet mental effects to show no hard feelings. I've used this one a lot. It uses cards, which might be a turn off to some, but I think the handling is so fair that it comes across as a genuine prediction.

The performer BORROWS a deck and turns his back for a moment. Turning around, he sets the deck on the table and asks the spectator to name a card. The performer asks the SPECTATOR to spread the deck and staring him in the face, reversed, is the exact card he named.

Method: This is an outgrowth of A.W.'s "B.T.F.D.T." effect as found on page 102 of E.T.D.M.R.M.'s. When you get the deck and turn your back, do a H.P.D. to secretly **** the deck. Later you will coach the spectator to name a high value court card by using P.D.'s 'S.B.D.' f**ce. As you have H.P.D.'d the deck, it is fairly easy to HL the first court card you come to and use it to *****the others. You can manouver the deck to display the even court cards by an I.L., so if he names an odd one just have him turn the deck over face up before spreading so that his specific selection appears face down. That's all there is to it.
John Smetana
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 19:34, spook wrote:
As is is we can't discuss magic or mentalism on this forum; we can only hint at it. To do otherwise draws cries of exposure from those who favor the country club, rite-of-passage mentality stating that because THEY came about their knowledge the hard way future generations should as well. And now the suggestion comes that we should clam it up even further. What are we going to talk about? Goatee-trimming tips? I say if someone exerts several evening's worth of effort to dig through all the posts to find the juicy morsels (assuming a neophyte would even know the difference) then they've earned it! People aren't as interested in what geeks in goth garb have to say about tearing up slips of paper as we think they are. Can we just get over ourselves and talk about the things that interest us without worrying about who's listening? If I wanted secret codes and signals I'd have joined the Masons or the kids in the treehouse next door. Even expressing one's opinion, as I am doing right now and which has as much ability to change your thinking as a fart in the wind, is suspect and must be cloaked in self-negating sentences such as this one in order to keep the easily bruised from thinking I am "sarcastic" or "a meany".

In order to enable those who have difficulty discerning a difference of opinion from intended cruelty, I will now give up one of my pet mental effects to show no hard feelings. I've used this one a lot. It uses cards, which might be a turn off to some, but I think the handling is so fair that it comes across as a genuine prediction.

The performer BORROWS a deck and turns his back for a moment. Turning around, he sets the deck on the table and asks the spectator to name a card. The performer asks the SPECTATOR to spread the deck and staring him in the face, reversed, is the exact card he named.

Method: This is an outgrowth of A.W.'s "B.T.F.D.T." effect as found on page 102 of E.T.D.M.R.M.'s. When you get the deck and turn your back, do a H.P.D. to secretly **** the deck. Later you will coach the spectator to name a high value court card by using P.D.'s 'S.B.D.' f**ce. As you have H.P.D.'d the deck, it is fairly easy to HL the first court card you come to and use it to *****the others. You can manouver the deck to display the even court cards by an I.L., so if he names an odd one just have him turn the deck over face up before spreading so that his specific selection appears face down. That's all there is to it.



Does it matter what color deck you use? Inquiring minds want to know.BTW the SPD f**ce that you mention is not PD's it's TK's.
Just want to keep the record straight.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
John Nesbit
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Thank you Spook, you Big ...... Meany!!!
I laughed so hard reading your last post, I cried ! Smile I only wish I could have said, what you did, so well. And thank you for that "effect", lol. You're "Hysterical" !
ps. I called a friend and read it over the phone, and we both "screamed" ! Good Stuff !
Keep em comming !
John N
AllThumbs
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Joe, well done for putting it less aggressively than I have done. Anyone who had been paying close attention to this thread pay special attention to what Joe has said. Joe, you have expressed what I feel also very succinctly and eloquently.

Kou, Its nothing to do with money. It is much more to do with having the right attitude, showing you are serious, and in a sense establishing relationships with the right people. You also have to, as Joe Z states, earn respect. Repect is not something that can be bought, it has to be earned. You DO know when you have reached that 'level'. The 'Real Work' is more about attitude and dare I say it, achieving a certain state of 'zen' than anything else. The 'real work' is what you discover within yourself and not really something you can explain. I appreciate this sounds a bit cryptic but I am sure there are some people here that understand what I mean.

Frank, although you might be right in that the mentalism area 'has it easy', this is changing more and more. You might have noticed that this forum has become more and more active. It is almost on a par with card magic, which I think says something. I know its a bit of an old topic here but do not under-estimate the effect that Derren Brown will have once he debuts in the US. He is not the be all and end all of mentalism but he will have a devasting impact on how 'Penny for your thoughts' will be like as a forum.

Although many of the working and knowledgable professionals are starting to refrain from posting regularly on the Magic Café. They are watching out for those who really do have what it takes: Creativity, subtlety, discretion, intelligence, professionalism. If you start to express yourself you WILL be taken seriously, you will start to understand the art of mentalism, are you WILL be welcomed. Those that show just a passing interest will be dismissed. Sorry, but mentalism is more important to us to be treated trivially.

I'm sorry that some treat this attitude as elitism. I personally don't think this is the case. Mentalists take themselves seriously, are a close knit bunch and have better things to think about than entertain the curiosity and whims of the merely curious. If you are here in all sincerity we are here to support you all the way. If you're not. Forget it - we don't really want to know.

As far as exposure is concerned - I think any PUBLIC exposure at any level is wrong. It is not right to even discuss the methodology of a particular effect in a public forum. Even though the recent "De Profundis" post does not describe the effect in detail, *take note*, bits of information can easily be gathered up to form a whole picture. De Profundis demonstrates one of the basic principles of mentalism, imo, think about what you have written - no matter what you say, it is revealing is some respects. Take note especially in how Ted Lesley responds to the post. It is very discreet and give nothing away except to those in the know. There is a big difference.

Saglasser, we've all made the blunder of restarting topics. The point I was trying to make is that its getting more and more common. Rather than being a mistake its more an issue of lazyness - not using the search facility to find previous posts on the topic.

Philip you do make a good point - I feel its hard to argue against what you have said. The people who look up secrets do not necessarily have a sincere interest. Performers have a very good reason for maintaining a discretion about what they do and how they do it. How can an audience revert to the 'infantile sense of wonderment' if they know that all they need to is type something in a search engine to discover the truth? I don't think it's is a case of being dishonest and making it appear that they are real (although some 'readers' will maintain what they do is very real to them - and what problem do you have with their system of belief? It is no less valid than those than follow mainstream religious beliefs). Most performers would rather the audience establish in their own minds what they have witnessed rather than be told outright that they are being tricked.

Spook, your post is entertaining. And yes I do understand your sentiment. However as many a mentalist is aware there is plenty more to discuss that specific methods. A large part is establishing new routine ideas for long established ideas. A mentalist can comfortably discuss an idea for a routine without the necessity of discussing method. For an example of what I am getting at read Fred Darevil's posts. He discusses new presentational ideas. The method of achieving the desired effect is not described. This is because the mentalist knows the thinking behind how to pull it off because he has put in the time and effort to educate him/herself in such matters. For a mentalist new twists and presentational ideas means a lot more than the exchange of secrets. Some presentational ideas are based on knowledge that's one or two hundred years old. It is the new ideas that brings the methodology up to date and increase the impact of an effect. It is what makes the art evolve.

I hope the above has provided some food for thought.

All the best,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
spook
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I stand corrected. John, you are so right. The SPD f**ce is indeed Tony Kardyro's. Paul Diamond simply popularized it when he added the machine-tooled shell.
Tony Razzano
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Joe Z,
Well put (both posts).

By the way, an anology.....If someone is intent on breaking into my house, they will find a way. But I still lock the door when I go out. if they want to break in, they will have to work hard before they can succeed.
best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 17:27, p.b.jones wrote:
I too went through learning the hard way... But I do not see that we have to force everyone to go the hard way just because we did.

Is it not just a bit of jealsousy on our part?

Although we give the appearance that we are willing to help learners, do we secretly perhaps want to keep them down?

Maybe were a little scared that perhaps one day they will be our competition?


I for one welcome serious students of the mystery arts (magic, mentalism, divination) and find the diversity of thought to be stimulating and inspirational. I harbor no jealousy for anyone who respects our craft and wants to excel by making the requisite effort to learn and grow through study, practice, and practical application.

While the "tyros" of today may indeed be the competition of tommorrow, this is a fact of life and should not be seen as a threat to the experienced professional. The real benefit of dedicated students is the viable continuation of our craft into the future.

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
Mr Amazing
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Frankly, I don't see why anyone has such a hard time accepting possible elitism and exclusivity.

So what? Anyone who want's to take the first step towards being "let in" - just do it!.

Any magician who comes to a mentalist and asks "how" will be recommended some books.

If that person is fascinated enough by it, and if he is willing to put in the work to perform, make friends, think, discuss, and gradually gain respect then within some years he'll probably be in.

Actually, it's pretty much like breaking in to any social group.

(...only this little society is much hotter Smile )
mystic1
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It is time to close the public forum of Mentalism here on the Magic Café.

IF there must be some area of the Café devoted to mentalism, make it open only to those who are principally mentalists...not the public...not magicians interested in mentalism.

And test admission by 3 or 4 tough questions which change with each logon.
Socrates
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These posts on 'The Café and mentalism - a growing concern' are probably only creating more and more interest in the area of mentalism.

If you make something seem exclusive then people are going to become even more interested in it and try even harder to find out the 'so-called' secrets.

Mentalism is like anything else in life and when you learn about such things you tend to realise that they're not as special or amazing as you first believe.

Perhaps that's why there is a need to maintain the secrecy.

Who knows?

Take it easy.

Socrates

'Everybody lives by selling something' - Robert L Stevenson Smile
E-Leoni
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If anyone here is interested on seeing how this kind of forum is damaging to metalism, you had only have to watch the "Family Channel" this weekend. I'm not saying for sure that he got the information here, but it sure seemed like he was directed by someone/somehow to a series of effects, and spent a weekend practicing them.

This guy with long hair, doing a bad imitation of David Blaine, proceeded to do every posible kind of mentalism ,....very Bad. A blind fold, fork breaking, fork moving, needle through the arm,...etc, etc,..This guy through the kitchen sink in . I don't remember the guys name, I had to turn the chanel, my stomach could handle it any more.
This guy was one of those people that hang themsleves on fishing hooks, (which he demonstrated) who decided to learn some quick tricks/metalist type effects, and perform them on the street. It really made my stomach turn. Who is this guy.,,,.?
How did he get a show ?

E-Leoni.
Bambaladam
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The thing that really offends me is seeing this guy "Guest" reading the different forums.

Could we not at least demand that people take the time to register?

/bamba
Chris A.
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Quote:
On 2002-11-18 09:52, E-Leoni wrote:
I'm not saying for sure that he got the information here,
No, but you're obviously willing to imply it in the very next sentence...

Quote:
but it sure seemed like he was directed by someone/somehow to a series of effects, and spent a weekend practicing them.
*sigh*


Quote:
...proceeded to do every posible kind of mentalism ,....very Bad. A blind fold, fork breaking, fork moving, needle through the arm,...etc, etc,..
Whilst I'm not for exposure at all, pray tell us which of the above effects (needle thru arm, Fork Moving, blind fold) are not available to the public at large via books or magic stores?

Quote:
Who is this guy.,,,.?
How did he get a show ?
It's a done deal. And guess what? You can't do a darn thing *unfortunately* to prevent something similar from happening in the future. Exposure isn't a good thing, but take a look at WAM. They were pretty much totally ineffective from stopping fox or others from putting out these exposure shows. Smile
AKA Chris A.
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