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Topic: Another Osterlind thread
Message: Posted by: Sven Rygh (Jul 1, 2005 03:43PM)

It has been a lot of heated discussions about TV shows and the "neccesity" of using pre-show work and stooges or confederates for these kind of things.

It hurts me to see that our good and always helping friend Richard Osterlind in these threads has faced a lot of disrespect for his opinions and experiences collected through an entire life in mentalism.

I wholeheartedly believe that the majority of these attacks come from non-, or less performing people and not from serious amateurs, semi professionals or professionals.

I for one can say that all the generous help and advices Richard always has been willing to give me has completely turned around my previous traditional thinking and has made me improve my performing significant.
(I know that for sure. My clients have told me so!)

I know quite a few out here that are just as grateful as I am about everything Richard has contributed with.

I'd be very interested in replies to a couple of questions of that matter;

[b]-How many of you have been personally helped by Richard Osterlind on The Magic Café either in the forums themselves or in private messages and emails.

-How many of you has Richard personally responded to and given advice to." [/b]

Please do not turn this thread into another discussion about the use of pre-show and stooges pros and cons.
This is about Richard and the respect for him, his experience and knowledge.

So let's hear it!

Message: Posted by: Thomas Rudolfo (Jul 1, 2005 03:57PM)
Hi Sven,

I just can second your post. I already wrote Richard a Mail about how helpful he has been to many of us.

He of course also helped me a lot with his thoughts and advices to improve some routines. Since I could establish myself as a good working mentalist in corporate shows here in VIenna (which is really not easy in such a little country) I honestly admit that Richard's work and advices take big part on this.

So I hope when everything came down a bit and heat is off that he decides to come back to the Café some times.

IMO there are few experienced Pro mentalists who can communicate such honest passion on mentalism and whoms many advices and tips are worth gold. And one of these is Richard.

I want to make clear that with this post I don't want to glorify Richard. That's truly not my style. Instead this is an honest compliment to an experienced Pro who always was willing to share ideas and help all of us.

Just my thgouths and thanks for all the shared thoughts on the Café

Message: Posted by: scott b. (Jul 1, 2005 05:14PM)
Definitely one of the more helpful guys on this thread (Must say along with you Sven). Helped me in past pm's and in just casual posts he is made.
Message: Posted by: burgerinc (Jul 1, 2005 05:27PM)
I absolutely concur. Regardless how helpful Richard has been to many of us (not to mention selfless in sharing his knowledge and personal act for free) I think there is a lesson that hopefully will be learned here. There are a great many here that can learn to be more respectful. This is supposed to be a forum about magicians helping magicians but all too often a thread turns into a personal snipe or who will be first to correct someone's grammar or spelling. (As to this last comment there is occassionally a funny mistake that might be worth commenting on as long as it does not turn into a personal attack)

Sorry to be a little off topic but I do feel strongly about learning a few more manners. There are those making it a contest of how fast can I p*** off the REAL performer enough to make him leave. This obviously does not apply to everyone who has had a disagreement but there are those that do make me wonder. This is actually not specific to the other thread but in general.

Not to glorify but to get back on topic. As someone middle aged, I never thought of performing before; I had very different career paths. A few years ago I took another look at a childhood passion, Richard inspired me in the mystery arts and helped me pursue a new career. Without his help I do not think I would have made the jump from doing afew effects for friends to leaving a succesful lucrative security blanket. In other words for me it wasn't only the effect or assistance I might receive but his love for the game.

Thank you Richard and thank you Café for letting me rant.
Message: Posted by: Tom DV (Jul 1, 2005 05:39PM)
I am a nobody in the field of mentalism - but I would not be the person I am without Richard Osterlind.

May he think whatever he likes about me, but I am in absoloute awe of him.

Message: Posted by: Scott Kahn (Jul 1, 2005 05:41PM)
I second Tom
Message: Posted by: Hypnotic Winter (Jul 1, 2005 06:07PM)
I owe Richard so much for all he has done for me. Due to all he has helped me with if he was in need I would drop everything to go to his assistance.

Message: Posted by: rumburak (Jul 1, 2005 06:08PM)
I second Scott and third Tom.

Seriously, Richard has an incredible amount of experience and very thought through performances. It is great to have the chance to benefit from his experience.

True, there may be times when different people with other styles don't find specific approaches useful. One can disagree with something. But that does not mean that other people will neither benefit from those opinions.

Yes, it boils down to good manners. Unfortunately, the internet does not always educate the manners to the same extend as the knowledge. This gives a single stupid kid the chance to spoil the fun for dozens of productive people ...
Message: Posted by: Kevvy (Jul 1, 2005 06:34PM)
Some have stated that they do not post at the Penguin forum for similar reasons.

I was pleasantly surprised to see people like Richard, Max Maven, Banachek, etc. when I became a Café member. It is a shame because he definitely has a passion for helping others.

Some people just can't appreciate what they've got till it is gone.
Message: Posted by: Viano (Jul 1, 2005 07:07PM)
I met Rich some years ago. I was not doing Mentalism at the time, but I was impressed with the gentleman. As I moved into Mentalism, Richard and Banachek were my guiding stars. Both are truly gentlemen. I don't presently do any effects directly from them, but most of my present show evolved from the two of them. It is an honor to sit at their feet and listen. I hope neither of them are restrained by tricksters who do not understand Mentalism.

Message: Posted by: Drewmcadam (Jul 1, 2005 07:28PM)
I have much to thank Osterlind for. I hope one day to meet him, shake his hand and tell him how much I admire him. From what I can follow from this thread, the usual "idiots" have managed to upset the apple cart. Why is it that magic seems to attract these numpties?

For myself, there have been times when I've thought that I could do without all the know-nothing experts. The internet geniuses, who never actually perform, other than for their equally geeky friends, but try to enhance their own reputation by making everybody else look small (And the bigger the "name" the better.)

Thing is, when you look back over the years, these guys have come... and gone. Because they just don't "get it". They're probably on some other forum, dealing with some other topic, and doing exactly the same thing.

The good guys stay, because we've got nowhere else to go!

In answer to the questions posed at the beginning of this thread. ME. Definitely, me.

Best wishes,

Drew McAdam
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 1, 2005 07:38PM)
I second every positive thing that has been said of Richard Osterlind. Some people on here just don't get it. And I am sure what little performing they do shows it.

Message: Posted by: davybabybrazil (Jul 1, 2005 07:47PM)
I do not know Mr. Osterlind but watching his DVDs countless times and reading his essays ad infinitum- make me feel as though he has been here in my living room actually teaching me.

When I snap my fingers you will say the first word that enters my mind:

Message: Posted by: PsiDroid (Jul 1, 2005 11:40PM)
It was not the first time Mr. Osterlind reacted vehemently to others' opinions. If you look back to many other older threads he almost always reacted in excessive and rather insulting ways to many different people. He can be a pro but that does not mean he is the beholder of the absolute truth as some of you worship him to be. And because Mr. Osterlind is not the beholder of the absolute truth,you should consider with an open mind that other pros like him or even better than him don't necessarily share his views and beliefs about pre-show work.
Message: Posted by: entity (Jul 1, 2005 11:55PM)
No one in any of the threads ever questioned Richard Osterlind's contributions as a creator, teacher or performer in Mentalism. He is deservedly held in high regard by many on this forum and throughtout the world of Magic and Mentalism. His output of creative material is prodigious and of a high quality.

I was one of the people who disagreed with some of his comments, and, at his invitation, I tried to put forth my arguments in a respectful and honest way.

I am not a wannabe or a sometime performer. I perform for a living, and have done so for about 30 years. I have earned the right to have an opinion and to share it thoughtfully and sincerely.

Manners are important in all strata of life. They are as important for Doctors as they are for a shoe-shine boy; for the student as well as for the Teacher. Passion does not excuse bad behaviour.

I would ask that we each honestly examine for ourselves the behaviour of the parties involved, before passing judgement. I took no personal pleasure in ending my exchange with Richard in the way that I did, but I felt that it was an honest and appropriate response to the energy that was being thrown towards me and towards many others.

In the end, I hope that Richard continues to post and to reply to posts here, as he has a great deal to offer to the shared discourse.


- entity
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 2, 2005 01:33AM)
He has personally offered me advice here at the Café and I enjoyed his DVDs. Seems to be a great, down to earth guy.
Message: Posted by: MentaThought (Jul 2, 2005 01:37AM)
On 2005-07-02 00:40, PsiDroid wrote:
[quote]It was not the first time Mr. Osterlind reacted vehemently to others' opinions. If you look back to many other older threads he almost always reacted in excessive and rather insulting ways to many different people. He can be a pro but that does not mean he is the beholder of the absolute truth as some of you worship him to be.
From personal experience I must concur with everything written above.
Ironically -- as someone who, while enjoying his "magician-doing-mentalism" performing persona (even though it's not my preferred type of mentalism) and who'd previously complimented him in this forum -- I was rather dismayed months ago when, after voting for Banachek's video series (as opposed to Osterlind's series) as being best for a particular purpose, and later expressing an unflattering opinion regarding his spoon-bending method -- Osterlind unleashed what I (and others who subsequently PM'd and emailed me) felt was a rather petulant, unbecoming and ill-mannered rant against me.

[quote]And because Mr.Osterlind is not the beholder of the absolute truth,you should consider with an open mind that other pros like him or even better than him don't necessarily share his views and beliefs about pre-show work.
Excellent suggestion.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 2, 2005 01:42AM)
Well, again..thats YOUR opinion and you are entitled to it! I haver re-read the thread in question and simply cannot see where Mr. Osterlind was "out of line" or inappropriately "ugly" with any of his remarks...Passionate? YES!

As generous as he has been...not just on here...but in releasing HIS act with HIS insights of working it in the REAL world...I think he deserves better. ANYONE is allowed to disagree... or indicate that their experience has been different in just as passionate terms...but it appears to me hes was attempting to point out how the ABUSE of preshow work and slick editing ruins OUR CREDIBILITY to our audiences (though obviously I do not speak for Mr. Osterlind). Is this such an extreme position to take??? Apparently some think so... But the real point is...I don't think he stepped out of line at all.
Message: Posted by: toonomads (Jul 2, 2005 01:48AM)
Richard Osterlind has always been generous and helpful here at Magic Café. I know I have learned and improved due to his love of magic/mentalism and openess to everyone that shares those feelings.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 2, 2005 01:50AM)
P.S.... Perhaps he got tired of "preaching in the wilderness"...
Message: Posted by: Traveler (Jul 2, 2005 01:53AM)
I don't know how many people realise how bad this is for the Café in general. This was a professional who was really giving advice, who replied to every question you asked. It was a privilege and some people just didn't see it.
Message: Posted by: munger (Jul 2, 2005 01:59AM)
Thanks Richard for all your help and very nice and friendly words.
hope to have the chance to meet you here for a long, long time.

Message: Posted by: Reuben Dunn (Jul 2, 2005 02:42AM)
Disagreement is part of a healthy debate, but when it gets personal and, frankly, insulting then the dialogue ends up in the toilet and whatever the original topic gets lost and is replaced with tripe and crap.

I am no boot licker/brown noser, and have no personal benefits in praising Mr Osterlind. Simply put I have found that his materials, the two three set DVDs I have, as well as some of his written material, to be of great value to me insofar as developing my rather basic knowledge/skills of the craft.

There might be occassions where we differ, as to mode/method/attitude/etc. However that doesn't make me any more "correct" than it does Mr Osterlind.

For me personally, and I do recognise that this is a rather limited list, in comparisson to others; I place Mr Osterlind alongside Bob Cassidy, Max Maven, Lee Earle and Richard Webster as those that I turn to for instruction and for ideas of both development of routine, as well as in presentation.

I am not seeking to become a clone of either of these men, although there is an inmate who has chosen to become a "mini-me" of Mr Maven; I am however seeking to learn from their presentation skills, their relationship with the public, and other skills to learn from, adapt, modify and work into something that is better suited to Reuben Dunn.

Those who enjoy a p***ing contect should feel proud that their HTT attitude has apparently turned away one of the few craftsmen to take the time out of their schedule to both answer questions, but, as in the recent case, take the time to initiate a dialogue.

Given the demands on his time, this insult to Mr Osterlind beggers belief.

Yes he will do his bit and make anothe appearence as a "Guest" but for me at any rate I see that this is a watered down and frankly a wasted opportunity, and as it now appears, to be his "swan song" here for us to speak with one of the "leaders" in the mentalism arena.

I wonder what Ted Annemann would have thought about all of this?
Message: Posted by: mindhunter (Jul 2, 2005 03:37AM)
I certainly cannot offer any more accolades than what has been posted but certainly would want my name addred to the "agree" & "kudos" list....

Message: Posted by: Tom DV (Jul 2, 2005 04:27AM)
If Richard has left, it is a VERY sad thing indeed for all of us.

Message: Posted by: PhilippO (Jul 2, 2005 06:44AM)
Richard responded to my pms - and he was very kind and very helpful. I really appreaciate that.

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 2, 2005 06:56AM)
He has always been cordial even when it seemed some were being harsh.
Message: Posted by: kcalB (Jul 2, 2005 07:12AM)
Richard has made me want to be a better man !
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Jul 2, 2005 08:48AM)
Richard helped me out a lot in the early days. I am sure he will continue to help people out that ask. Maybe he just felt it was time to move on.

He did promise to send me an ultra board though and never did. So I say let's burn him!!

Only kidding of course. I hope he still lurks around and continues to help people when they PM him.
Message: Posted by: Sven Rygh (Jul 2, 2005 10:59AM)

After having seen [i]both[/i] halves of the deck, everyone but one seem to have thought of the same high card!!
And only [i]one[/i] single person mentions the the card he [i]almost[/i] thought of!
:) :) :)

Anyone else who has received Richard's great help and advices??

Message: Posted by: dcullen30 (Jul 2, 2005 11:39AM)
Richard Osterlind has helped me so much this past year. He helped me put together my first show. He is a man with a big heart. He has gives great advice all the time and always has input. He always responds to every message. He was why I got into mentalism. Thanks Richard.
"Remember you are the one they are here to see. Walk out there with confidence and do what you love." -Richard Osterlind
Message: Posted by: art the magic guy! (Jul 2, 2005 11:57AM)
Though not directly, Mr Osterlind has truly inspired and helped me along my mentalism walk, from the moment that a friend of mine gave me a tape to check out--my first thoughts where --wow a psychic wanna be, this must be comical-- but after watching Osterlind's mind misteries I was hooked.

And from all his tips, insights and comments on the Café, one would always find something new to learn from him. It's aboslutely rare that a highly acclaimed performer like him gives time and a piece of his hard earned experience to the newcomers and others not in his caliber. Can you tell me of how many pro people offer such insight to the others like he has? is like Tiger woods going down to the local golf club and giving tips and advice to all that ask.

Mr osterlind, you have brought this art to a higher level, and one could never show the sincere thanks for your contributions. I just hope that the few bad apples that have showed its face here do not tarnish the chance for the majority of us that sincerely listened.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Jul 2, 2005 12:11PM)
Richard has provided invaluable advice in both the Café forums and in PMs. No doubt too that his performances have inspired many - not to mention his products; BCS etc.

At the Café you have the choice of taking advice from a highly sucessful professional or from someone who has picked up "Mentalism in 10 minutes", performed for the family, and contends that their opinion on mentalism carries as much weight as Richard Osterlind's.

I know which queue I'd be in - the very, very, long one in front of Richard.

Message: Posted by: Photofnish (Jul 2, 2005 12:28PM)
I never had occasion to PM Mr. Osterlind with any specific questions, but I always had the feeling that he would be happy to help me if the time ever came. I have learned so much from his DVDs, essays and posts here at the Magic Café. His absence will be a huge loss. Thanks for all of your guidance, Mr. Osterlind.


P.S. I saw something similar to this happen about two weeks ago on the one other internet forum I read. It's a fly-fishing board, and there was a long-time poster there who was also a very well-respected professional outdoor writer and a great help to anyone who sought his input. He was finally run off by a few bad apples...
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Jul 2, 2005 12:31PM)
If Richard has one iota of sense, then he won't give a jot what the armchair experts think.

Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jul 2, 2005 02:01PM)
There are just a handful of guys in mentalism that have inspired me and given me great ideas.... Richard is in that group.
I almost wished he had completely stayed out of this forum and making DVDs because I selfishly wanted to keep his ideas to myself.
I know I will continue to talk to him in other places, but it will still be a loss to many on this site. I can't help but feel that I would have loved to have had this chance to talk to someone like Richard when I was first starting out. Some people don't know how good they have it... until it's gone.

Message: Posted by: Corona Smith (Jul 2, 2005 02:39PM)
Before discovering this site I was fairly well read in the field of mentalism, so when I started posting and came across someone asking a very ill informed question I almost jumped in with a sarcastic reply, but Richard had got there first, his reply was courteous, dignified and practical.

He taught me a lesson there. Some other 'pros' and armchair snipers could learn a thing or two from that as well.

I pm'd Richard about the current debacle and he replied thanking me and offering his email adress if I wanted to contact him about anything mentalist related.

Not many people with his workload would do the same, and thus my point, maybe Richard needs a little break from this kind of headwork, I'm sure the door is always open to him.

Cheers, Corona.
Message: Posted by: Josho (Jul 2, 2005 03:19PM)
Richard has helped me in many ways:

1. Through his books, primarily;
2. Through his DVDs, secondarily (but no less substantially);
3. Through his public contributions here;
4. Through private messages.

In every instance, he has been generous, patient, humble, and extraordinarily helpful. I couldn't ask for a better teacher.

Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 2, 2005 03:33PM)
IT is only because of Richard that I ever considered the study of Mentalism as an Art. I mourn the fact that 21st century man has lost the respect and deference to a true master and teacher. In the past this could never happen. The perpertrator would be removed from the school in a fracture of a second. Thank you Richard for all ways speaking from the heart and from your experience.
Message: Posted by: espmagic (Jul 2, 2005 11:21PM)
You guys have missed the point: regardless of what happened in whatever thread it occurred, it is human nature to get cranky when someone else doesn't see the same world view that you do. The sad part is really that we, as professionals, amateurs, part-timers or simply newbees, cannot remember to withhold our venom, or if we cannot, and must unleash it, it should be done in private, so as to inhibit the addition of fuel to the fire.

I think there are a great many thinkers here at the Café, and I have seen many people spout off for no good reason other than a disagreement. When this happenes it recalls all of us to our grade school days - I am included here - when we would poke fingers and call names. Have we not grown past this yet?

Osterlind is in the top three professionals that I consider to be a worthy source of information, talent, creativity and friendship (although I am sure he does not know me). And I have thought this way since my first exposure to him some twenty years ago...a long time to have inspiration and creativity in one's life.


Message: Posted by: gumbimagic (Jul 3, 2005 03:20AM)
Richard Osterlind is a master of the art and a gentleman! With that said, I am outraged that people would have the audacity to not just sit back and listen to a master, or possibly just humbly ask questions for understanding. How many more elite masters of the art do we have to lose from the Café' before we learn to bridle our egotistical tongues? How much more free instruction from a master, that would cost thousands of dollars, do we have to lose before we can let our egos go?

Who's next on the vanishing act, Max Maven, Banachek, Scott Alexander? Just take a look at the VIP list of the well known professionals who post regularly on the Café'.

There has been some very mean spirited conversations in the Café' lately, much of it from the unknowns or hardly knowns, toward the elite. Some of the nastiness that I have seen directed toward the elite masters could have possibly made me stop visiting the Café' as well if I were one of them. I guess one could just not dignify the ignorant and presumptuous few, a response to their comments.

Now to answer the questions!

Richard commented on a post I made. It kind of surprised me that someone with Richards notoriety would even read a post of mine on the Café'. His comments helped me to realize that I don't communicate my thoughts very clearly. He helped to clarify a comment I had made about a product.

Scott Alexander has also responded to some of my posts. He gave some great insight into some of the difficulties in performing in Las Vegas. I am glad he was not offended by some of my feeble questions that could have come off as slightly confrontational, now that I look back on it, but he, as Richard is a professional and a gentleman.

What a shame to lose such an asset! I hope he re-thinks his departure.
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 3, 2005 08:26AM)
They say the key to learning is to listen twice as much as you speak. We were fortunate to have someone worth listening to. OH well, those who can listen to a masters wisdom will excell as a performer and the others will only excell as a critic without a foundation to stand on.
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Jul 3, 2005 09:21AM)
Richard Osterlind has to be one of the most generous mentalists I can think of. Generally mentalists keep their pet effects and routines for themselves, or a few close friends. Richard opens his heart and mind and generously shares his most intimate works. In my short career in the realms of mentalism, Richard has been an inspiration and a great influence.

I hope that someone close to Richard will coax him to read this thread and convince him to stay around The Café a little longer. I look forward to sharing his thoughts when he is the special guest at The Café later this month.

Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Jul 3, 2005 09:44AM)
With due respect Kinesis..why would you want someone to coax him to take some more "punishment" other than for personal reasons? Bit like coaxing your kid to go back to school if they are getting bullied. As I said, I'm sure he has more sense than that, let the man go..there are plenty of other forums (some he already frequents). If people aren't willing to listen to the advice of a master that's their loss. Its just systematic of the whole ethos we have in schools nowadays ..noone wants to learn ..I suspect some of the perpetrators on here are only just out of short pants (many still in them). Disappear Richard . Lifes too short .

Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Jul 3, 2005 01:51PM)
As most here seem to agree, Richard has been very cordial and helpful to me also. I admired him fom afar for many years, and was ecstatic when I saw his accessibility at The Magic Café.

If any of you remember a certain poster who showed up every so often under various names (and one who took me to task at least once), you might be interested to see what he has to say about Richard Osterlind on another board. I quote:

"... his thinking and ideas impress me greatly. He could even be the Anneman of this generation."

Something to think about!

My other 2 cents in regards to all the pre-show, off camera work for TV mentalism: I just don't enjoy it. When I read Richard's thoughts on it, I felt he made some very good points.

Message: Posted by: kinesis (Jul 3, 2005 03:02PM)
Howard, I appreciate where you are coming from and would fully understand if Richard no-longer frequented The Café. However as a regular diner here I'd hate The Café to lose someone that has so much to share, just because of a couple of other customers. I hope his passion for the progression and development of mentalism will bring him back to The Café, that he may continue to share his knowledge.

But, hey Richard the (crystal) ball is in your court!
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Jul 3, 2005 03:50PM)
I agree..and it is Richards choice.
Message: Posted by: Ola (Jul 3, 2005 05:15PM)
What can I say that hasn't already been said??? All 8 of the Osterlind dvd's are the most watched in my library. It always amazed me how such a star could be so accessible. It just shows what a gentleman he is.
Richard, I highly valu your opinion and when a pro like you speaks.... I sit up and take notice.
Message: Posted by: Turk (Jul 3, 2005 07:31PM)
Thank God that we have Richard's videos and written materials to fall back on. The amazing thing about Richard is the fact that I NEVER viewed any of his material as having been released as a means of making money. His dedication and love of the Art is apparent in all of his released materials. I always felt priveleged to have been able to watch and learn from him (albeit if only in the "second-hand" manner of books and videos).

When you compare Richard's unselfish contributions to the Art with others who seem to release a DVD/effect per week for the sheer monetary benefit of releasing the material, well, there is no comparison. (Does the name of anyone on Penguin Magic ring a bell?)

On top of that, Richard has made himself totally and unselfishly accessible to ANY that asked for assistance. I have always marvelled at how giving and caring and yes, loving, that Richard has always been to all of us and to the perservation and betterment of the Art. All this despite his busy work and performance schedule.

It seems that the culture in the States (if not in the entire world) has become one of instant gratification, lack of respect both for "elders" and those who have earned the right to that respect. Its easy to have an opinion. Opinions are like a*******, every one has one. But to disagree and to PUBLICLY put down the opinion of a Master just seems sooo disrespectful and unthankful. Whatever happened to PMs or to asking for clarification on publicly expressed opinions with which you might disagree? These days, manners and respect just seem so foreign a concept to many.

IMHO, just because you have the ability to cast a contrary public opinion does not give you the right to do so. Lost today is the concept that one must earn the right to do certain things. And, for your opinion to have equal weight and [i]credibility[/i], it must have been forged through the tempering fires of experience and knowledge.

Again, just IMHO. (Your mileage may vary.)

Message: Posted by: entity (Jul 3, 2005 07:54PM)
Manners and courtesy are important for EVERYONE. Even those you idolize.

Mike said: <IMHO, just because you have the ability to cast a contrary public opinion does not give you the right to do so.>

Last time I checked, your country's Constitution said otherwise. While I might not agree with or like many of the things said in this forum, unless the writer becomes repeatedly rude or abusive I feel that they all have the right to express their opinion. And I have the right to disagree.

To make assumptions about a writer's experience or knowledge without having full knowledge of their background might be unwise. It is certainly unfair. I've learned a great deal from the wise postings of some people I've never heard of before.

Even experienced and knowledgable people can sometimes behave in ways that are counter-productive. To allow such behaviour to go unchallenged does a disservice to everyone involved, including the person who is behaving badly.

Just my opinion, forged or not.

- entity
Message: Posted by: Roki (Jul 3, 2005 09:01PM)
Many a nation has been forged this way.
Message: Posted by: Turk (Jul 4, 2005 12:38AM)
On 2005-07-03 20:54, entity wrote:
Manners and courtesy are important for EVERYONE. Even those you idolize.

Mike said: <IMHO, just because you have the ability to cast a contrary public opinion does not give you the right to do so.>

Last time I checked, your country's Constitution said otherwise. While I might not agree with or like many of the things said in this forum, unless the writer becomes repeatedly rude or abusive I feel that they all have the right to express their opinion. And I have the right to disagree.

To make assumptions about a writer's experience or knowledge without having full knowledge of their background might be unwise. It is certainly unfair. I've learned a great deal from the wise postings of some people I've never heard of before.

Even experienced and knowledgable people can sometimes behave in ways that are counter-productive. To allow such behaviour to go unchallenged does a disservice to everyone involved, including the person who is behaving badly.

Just my opinion, forged or not.

- entity


I, of course, was not talking about a LEGAL right and the context of my post indicated as much. I was talking about a SOCIETAL right (i.e., manners and deference and coutesies). It is precisely because a person wishes to insist upon (and fall back upon) his [i]constitutional right[/i] to act like a boor that societal norms sometimes get trampled in the process. Lots of times, its not what you say but how you say it that brands your response for what it is. (And you proved it in this case.)

If you feel a major name (like Richard) might be going off the deep end on a particular post or point, why not have the common courtesy of FIRST sending him a PM and privately discuss your "bone of contention" BEFORE publicly giving the guy a verbal broadside and trying to "prove" your superiority or parity with him? Contrary to your postiion, persons of Richard's caliber do NOT lose their entitlement for respect because they deigned to come on the Café and posit some pieces or advice, some performance tips or presentation theories for all to ponder.

But we can agree to disagree. I'm from the Old School where common courtesies and respect for those, who have earned the respect, get the respect they deserve. This includes respect in the manner one responds to public posts of the respected person. You apparently are from the New School where "anything goes" and let it all hang out--courtesy and respect be dam*ed!! If a person is dumb enough to publicly post something, he becomes "fair game" as he opens himself wide open and he gets what he deserves.

Sad. So very sad.

And again, just IMHO. (your mileage may vary)

Message: Posted by: entity (Jul 4, 2005 03:37AM)
Turk: Then let's agree to disagree. You make a number of assumptions about me and put a lot of words and concepts into my mouth that I've never said or intended. The context of your post re: legal/societal right was not apparent and was not stated clearly. You made a statment about the who should be allowed to voice a contrary opinion; I respectfully disagreed.

I try to treat others respectfully, untill they become repeatedly abusive and disrespectful to me. Then it's only healthy and reasonable to establish a boundary by letting the person know that you would like them to stop. That's what I did on the earlier thread.

If you'll read my posts, you'll see that I've avoided personal attacks, despite some rather harsh rhetoric being thrown my way. I did point out Richard's behaviour on a previous thread, since the moderators seemed too timid to intervene. I've since been told that I should have spoken with them first. I am happy to do that in the future. I took no pleasure in making that post, but I felt that it was an honest and appropriate reaction to the energy being thrown around at the time.

That quote about opinions being like ***holes is always meant to be demeaning and derogatory to those whose opinions you disagree with. That might not be the best way to create a common ground for a discussion of courtesy and good manners. To accuse someone of boorish behaviour simply because they've chosen to publically disagree with one of your idols seems not to be a very promising basis for constructive discussion either.

If you've read the posts involved, Richard ASKED me to find fault with his arguments. When I did (in what I and many others thought was a respectful way), he became upset and the rest, as they say, is history.

Speaking of history, I'm from a very old school of behaviour, too: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I wish you well, but I can see that we will have to agree to disagree.

- entity
Message: Posted by: sjdavison (Jul 4, 2005 04:52AM)
I must say, Richard will be missed.

I agree, Ola, that his videos are phenomenal, and I watch them regularly - his perfomances show how mentalism should be - amazing, varied, engaging, and above all entertaining - he is a pleasure to watch, when so many DVD's on mentalsim can be dull.

I am astounded by the amount, not to mention quality, of material that he releases. I know, when buying a new product, if it is by Richard or endorsed by him, tht it will be a quality item and something I will USE. Unlike so much stuff out there, yo can guarantee that you are only getting the best.

I hope you reconsider leaving, Richard,

Message: Posted by: Hexagon (Jul 4, 2005 06:51AM)
I think that all of Mr. Osterlind's material is great, and he has contributed a great deal to the art of mentalism, I don't think that anyone would say otherwise. But, I think what Entity is saying is that this is a DISCUSSION board, which is all about voicing opinions on the topic in question, be they opinions from new voices or old, experienced or inexperienced, we can learn from all the comments. The main basis of mentalism is communication, and when we do not listen patiently to the points others have to make, then we miss out on a great many things. I was quite shocked as to the way the Pre-show thread, rather than branching out and discussing the many different viewpoints on this subject (and learning through that experience),became a stalemate. We are here to respect the opinions of others (amateur and professional) and discusss them, not shoot them down in flames. And what is it with all this labelling, just because someone isn't registered under their actual name doesn't neccessarily mean that they are an 'Armchair Expert'.

just my thoughts (if they mean anything),
Message: Posted by: Matt Andrews (Jul 4, 2005 09:42AM)
I have been on holidays for ten days and I'm glad I didn't experience what happened here.

I'm a nobody in this field. I perform for family and friends and am slowly enlarging my audience circle.

But I would never done all of this without Richard's indirect (DVD, e-books) and direct (Posts and PMs) help.

Richard Osterlind is a great help on the café and I really hope he won't be leaving.

Richard, please stay.
Message: Posted by: entity (Jul 4, 2005 10:41AM)
I forgot to wish all of our American friends a happy Independence Day!

- entity
Message: Posted by: Richard Busch (Jul 4, 2005 04:08PM)
This is really a sad situation. I've never had the pleasure of physically meeting Mr. Osterlind, but I know him through the body of his work, e-mails, phone calls, etc. The guy is a mensch (a really fine, admirable human being), and a professional's professional. He's also a musician with an artistic component. I respect that too in him and sort of feel I understand him more than just a little.

I think some here misunderstand this "opinion" business of endless back and forth chatter, where the opinions are often fired off at a record pace by unknown people on a public board who happen to have a computer and an interest in magic. Believe me, a giving, sharing pro like Richard doesn't want or need to encourage blind faith in him or automatic agreement on everything he says. No, not at all! That isn't his style or need. What I think understandably wore him out (in part anyways) is that he wasn't understood or respected. He's not your peer! He had something to offer, to share. Understand it with a little respect and genuine gratitude. Imagine you were at a Richard Osterlind lecture for $30 or a small private group at $75 a pop. Or imagine you were paying him hundreds of dollars to study with him privately. A certain free and open informed dialogue would naturally be encouraged, of course, but one rooted in respect for a masterful teacher. Remember, he's not your peer. If a loud mouth got out of hand, the others would say "shut the heck up. We paid to come here to learn from the pro, not you."

Agreement in a discussion that is rooted in respect is a bonus when it happens. But without a feeling of being basically understood and respected with or without 100% agreement, well, why bother? This is in part why so many big names visit a group, hear enough from really just a very few that ruin it for the rest, and a light turns on and says, "why bother with this?" That's sad. I don't know, maybe it's the anonymity of the computer. I've received dozens of phone calls from all over the world. People who have a question based on one of my works. It's always a pleasure to share and I do my best to help a sincere reader with a real name and identity. The only problems I ever hear about are on the internet where "Capt. Yahoo" is telling a pro this or that, as if they are peers. The pro bolts and the inevitable pattern completes itself. He tried to give away so much for free, because he loves the art, and his readers, and what did he get?

I feel bad for Richard and feel bad for the vast majority of respectful, interested Café members who understand what I'm saying here and know how to listen with respect, offer their opinions with respect, and everything is fine. Most of you guys and gals are just great. And so is Richard Osterlind. ... rb
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Jul 4, 2005 04:29PM)
Mr Busch, I think that sums it up very nicely. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Jul 4, 2005 06:04PM)
Thanks, Mr. Busch, for those comments. Well said, indeed. I am among those who will greatly miss Richard Osterlind's comments in these hallowed halls. He was a great inspiration, and helped me and many others through PMs and insightful posts, and he's one of the very few whose books and products are consistently the highest quality. Let's hope he decides to return at some point!

Message: Posted by: travisb (Jul 4, 2005 06:48PM)
I think Osterlind's stuff is amazing, and I have a lot of respect for him. Reading the original thread, I think it's fair to say that he overreacted. I was a little surprised, and thought that a couple of his posts crossed the line.

It looked to me like most people (not all) were offering sincere opinions, and trying to back them up (FWIW, I'm not a performer but I think I agree with Osterlind's point of view on the subject of TV shows and stooges--that is, I think his argument throughout that contentious thread was the superior one). Why he felt it necessary to come down so hard on people who were apparently not trying to cause him any offense was puzzling--maybe even a bit childish.

Everyone has their moments. Maybe he can shake it off and put it behind him. I certainly don't think any less of him for his (pretty mild, really) outburst.

Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Jul 4, 2005 07:58PM)
Thank you My. Busch for typing my thoughts so succunctly. Of course I expect nothing less than from another master teacher. Kudos and great respect go out to Messers Osterlind, Busch, Banachek and others that I don't know who have given so freely to help raise the quality of learning and of our great PERFORMANCE ART!!!

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 5, 2005 12:52AM)
Travis needs to read Mr. Busch's post and truely absorb it.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Jul 5, 2005 01:08AM)

And what makes you think I haven't?

I found Mr. Osterlind's argument more compelling than the others put forward. It would have been equally as convincing without the harsh rhetoric. Why is it so hard to accept that he may have been a bit rude? I don't judge him for it, I don't think it's a big deal, and I also don't try to rationalize it or shove it under a rug.

Message: Posted by: Piers (Jul 5, 2005 01:37AM)
Is this another one of those posts where people simply need to agree to disagree ?

Then we can all move on..... to thinking about Mentalism and Magic again ?!

Message: Posted by: Ken Dyne (Jul 5, 2005 04:15AM)
I have said this before and I am going to say it again as I feel very very strongly about it.

Unlike many of the members of the Café Richard Osterlind as a workign professional performer, who makes his living from performing. However he has spend substancial amounts of time responding to people here on the forum and masses of time in replying to his ever full inbox here at the Café. Richard makes no money, nothing from taking time out and listenign to people, helping them toward a better understanding of the art of mentalism and magic as a whole.

He could have spent this time creating and marketing, but he didn't. Hew could have spent that time with his family, but he didn't. He spent it with a group of stangers who then turned round and bit him in the back.

Whether or not you agree with Richard's opinions regarding anything at all, he deserves respect. He is a real world performer and not an armchair analyst. He has been there and done it in the real world. He therefore knows what plays well with audiences and what simply goes down the pan.

He has chosen to share his experience with us, and for that I know I for one am truly indebted. Can you imagine if a wannabe singer could meet Anastacia and take advice from her? Wuld they not be greatful, I am pretty sure they would not treat her like some have treat the perosn at the top of our "tree".

Richard is the cream of the crop when it comes to mentalism, and many of us know that. However he never speaks down to people, he respects the people for as long as they respect him. He understands that age does not equal wisdom, but has experiences he would like to share with us, at no cost.

They are just my thoughts.

Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Jul 5, 2005 09:12AM)
After taking a few days to cool down (and travel far too many miles) I can finally add my comments, which are:

(1) Richard Osterlind aided and counseled me, and improved my magic (and at least one personal concern in my private, non-magic life) both via his published material and in private. That he opened up as freely, as completely as he has done on these boards is unbelievable. That he hadn't been attacked so brutally prior to this is amazing. It may be because he'd never opened up quite as completely as he did with his last thread; he quixotically hoped he'd be able to stave off bad mentalism.