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RCP
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Two Minnie's in The Hell's Half Acre, The Republic of Texas
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I am surprised Alexander’s name hasn’t been mentioned. Perhaps more than any other lived in the two worlds.?
MentalistCreationLab
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Last Laugh

Let me say it this way. Not all of the mediums who were exposed were actually mediums. Some of them only became mediums after they were exposed. Got it. These mediums were a creation of the magician so that magician could gain exposure after busting them.

But the real reason all of this started was so that the magicians could get the mentalist off the vaudeville stages. This was because at the time “them mentalist” were the Kings of the vaudevillian stage and got the higher bookings and money when they did full shows.

During the time of vaudeville everyone (meaning vanity acts singers, trained animals, small bands magicians and mentalist skit troops, etc...) started out doing a variety shows. Yes, even those performers who were well known on the earlier theater circuit. If they were one of these types of acts they would now be just like all of the rest. Even if they had a good name. Here they may get better billing and would generally make it to the stage. That was before the rise of modern mentalism (which is not the crap being sold currently as mentalism) these new performers would get more vaudeville bookings. This was do to one main reason set up time and how long they could work without props. The magicians would need to set up the big illusions and were generally a pain in the neck of the the vaudevillian promoters, Which has to do with how vaudeville worked. The acts would show up before the show and were only paid if they broke a leg meaning stepped from the threshold of back stage to the main stage. Hence the term break a leg never meant good luck - “knock em dead” meaning leave them speechless with awe as it does now it back then meant good luck and get paid. This is because the stage owner or promoter for the show picked and choose the acts as the show was going on not before. Except for selected acts that required extra set up time or a headliner who may be hired prior. All others were picked as the show was in full swing. In most cases these acts would be setting up behind the curtain while another act was in front of the curtain doing there thing. Now lets look at this in terms of magic and mentalism.

The magicians began to fall out of favor with the promoters and theater venue because of the time it took them to set up. In vaudeville this was no good. Therefor many of these well known performers were not getting the bookings they once did. At one point they could go from town to town and find a variety act and a matinee solo gig or fulling evenings booking. Until the mind readers started to emerge on the scene. Think about it the house does not need to have extra stage hands on payroll for this type of show oftentimes the theater owner would pull the curtain. This meant more money in their pockets at the end of the night. Plus the magic acts were falling out of favor shortly before this time. Vaudeville gave them the money they needed if they could “break a leg”. Most of the magicians of the time were also hard to work with on several levels. This cause many of them to lose future bookings. Like Dante who would later pass the reigns to Blackstone. Both of these guys when it came to business where a bit shady Blackstone was known to have an opening act who also did magic and if Sr say a illusion he liked it would be packed on well lets say the wrong truck at the end of the night. One thing these guys were good at was having the show packed back on the truck as they were still on stage once off stage they were gone. The new act would be sitting in the audience watching the the show. Later when he went back stage to do the accolades he would notice something interesting. If not his whole act missing. Some of what I am speaking of in relation to the theater houses is this kind of drama which they did not have patience or time to deal with.

Mow the mentalist was always ready to go and carried everything he or she needed with them and would only borrow a stool or a chair from the prop department in the case of a two person act. Often it was nothing more than a stool usually one that one of the stage hands would sit upon backstage. This allowed the mentalist to work as a MC, behind or in front of the curtain and since they were ready to go at a moments notice the house would say you on after this act then give the location and how long they needed to be on stage. Other acts at this time cloud not always do this and hold the crowd. However the mentalist could and did. This is also where the war between magic and mentalism started. Remember what Nelson said about mentalsim and money.

Also I should point out most of the vaudevillian stages were an adult style entertainment while the magicians would draw more parents who would bring there children which even at a discounted ticket price would add revenue to the show which was split with the house. The houses did not care as long as the seats were filled. Seats equaled money and even a cheaper seat would be better than a unfilled seat.

Now when Alexander rose he would fill the house with adult tickets something the magicians could not do and hence one of the highest paid performers of his time. The magicians hated him. Mainly the group I mentioned above. Not only him they hated Baldwin, The Fays and many others who did this sort of thing as it was selling and selling well. As a theater house owner who would you book the act they will make less money or the act that would fill the house with premium ticket prices?

Now let's look at what was going on around on the street at one point every town had a fortune teller. In some of the larger towns they would have one on every block that had shops. Plus private readers who worked out of private homes. Many of whom at one point were mentalist not all but more than one would think.

Also guys like H. Carrington were filling the houses with this style of entertainment usually in lecture form. This later lecture style or talk has always been popular in the United States and during the early 1800s John Cleves Symmes Jr. (November 5, 1780 – May 28, 1829) would be one of the most popular of this type of speaker he also was one of the first if not the first. His topic was promoting a trip to the hollow Earth. Get ya some of that. He even had the support of a presided and several members of congress and the senate as well as a few know army captains etc... He was so popular he was always invited to the best parties, In Hamilton Ohio there is a Hollow Earth monument. His father was also well known for the Symmes Purchase. Which would acquire lands for the US.

The point I am illustrating is this fringe style of entertainment has always packed the house. By the end of the 18th century and up through vaudeville in the 20s this was the stuff people wanted to see. At an earlier point magic was a big thing but that took several hundred years to gain serious consideration as when it began it magicians were considered in the same way as pick pockets, fools, beggars and other low brow style of entertainment was. This is all well recorded so I do not need to get into that aspect here to make my point. But I will say the anti spiritualist movement is not what you think either.... so do not get confused by mixing one thing with another. When Houdini started the so called psychic buster movement at SAM. It was more to get rid of the mentalist and get the people to quit paying to see this type of stuff more than anything else that you were told. When Harry offered his assistance to Bill Durbin the IBM was about to go under. It was only because Houdini lent his name to that organization which he did by starting an anti fraud league there. This would give notoriety and much needed attention to to this fledgling organization for magicians. For years the only mentalism that would be published in the Ring would be on the subject of exposure. Not once in the early days did they publish anything about mentalism that was shown in a positive light except for ads and seasons greetings which were paid for. Also after this stunt occurred Harry now had a private army of wanna be performers who would drink the kool aid and and therefor increase this whole psychic busting scam. The newspaper would be full of yellow journalism because scams, swindles and tales scoundrels sold papers. The fact is most of this sort of thing was staged in advance. Plus at this time you could expose a medium and they more often than not would get more sitters after the exposure. How does that work? Very well actually. The mentalist and psychics at one point up till “Black Friday” would cut deals left and right with magicians who were adversarial but only if they were known to be printed in the papers often. The mind types got extra money after the bookings which were often many times what they had before the exposure the magician got exposure. In a way they needed each other because mentalism only functions for profit according to Nelson in 1945.

Now some of the magician would teach some of these so called psychics how to do some of this stuff as part of the deal they would expose them as frauds. Which would gain exposure for one and money for the other. It was a good deal. Some of the bigger names had the stage hands or assistants do this training to keep a level of separation on the scam so it could not be traced back to the groups of magic entertainers who were running these exposure swindle on the public. If your name is in the papers the a few days or a week before in the papers the chances of a sell out show were higher. This is why a lot of these performers added how to spot fraud sections to their shows. Because when you think about it its just the reverse of the Symmes Hollow Earth lectures. Yet it's still fringe enough to sell tickets. Got it! A large amount of what was published is fake and was used for two the two “P” promotion and propaganda. Now you may notice I mentioned Black Friday above this is when it all changed on this day in October 1929 the stock market crashed and the great depression began and no one had money for entertainment type of activities. This is when most of the psychic parlors closed down not because of exposure but because no one had any money. Therefor no business. It had nothing to do with exposure because the exposure biz was booming.

Now what I teach in most of my work is what could be classified the other 15% of the methods were not taught in the magic books.I know I covered this stuff in various forms in my published works or audio programs with additional information. Some of my series audio programs such as Inside the seance mind and Inner secrets of the psychic fairs have more info on this subject plus a lot more. I spent years learning and creating methods for working in this type of market that when used in fringe markets are believable and often seen ass real unlike at of what was previous published. Plus I did the endless hours of research on this swindle aloe and its far larger than you would or could even imagine.
gmeister
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Thank you, Bill! I knew you couldn't resist!
Last Laugh
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That's very interesting, thanks Bill.
LL=MM
Maxyedid
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FASCINATING Bill!!!!!! The most interesting thing I ever red about the history of mentalism. MORE please!!
gmeister
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Quote:
On Jun 13, 2018, Maxyedid wrote:
FASCINATING Bill!!!!!! The most interesting thing I ever red about the history of mentalism. MORE please!!


Don't get him started! Smile
Matt Pulsar
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Thanks MCL!
Belief Manifests Reality.
Books and Things
My Book on Chinese Mystic Systems:
Pillars of Destiny can be found here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/matt-pulsar/pillars-of-destiny-foundations-in-the-chinese-zodiac-for-psychic-entertainers/hardcover/product-23295916.html

"Nebula" CT can be found here: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8517

Palm Star Zodiac Divination System: https://palmstarzodiac.blogspot.com/
Marko Ragnos
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Thank you, MentalistCreationLab. I also remember that Robert Nelson write some of his thought in Sphinx with title "Defence of mentalism"
You can find it on ask alexander, I believe.
Maxyedid
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I believe you mean “The Tops”?
Scott
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Bill,

Absolutely brilliant and absorbing stuff.

Thanks for sharing.

Scott
Scott Creasey - Mind Reader

Original Routines With A Mental Flavour

http://www.mentalmagicism.com/
Milo&Tock
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Bill, thanks for the great precis! Appreciate you sharing your wisdom.
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