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Topic: Seeing is Believing, So where is Mentalism?
Message: Posted by: Mr.Crebar (Oct 27, 2007 02:03AM)
On paper, that is in book form, Mentalism sounds deep, powerful, unbelievable! The philosophy of the whole thing from Annemmann, to Maven, seems brilliant. BUT... in the real world its just seems plain boring, trivial, and obvious at times. I love the idea of mentalism, but for every thousand comments on this forum about how strong and profound it is, or can be, I can;t find a single act, performance, or "trick" on youtube, good video, or any other video site where these things should be. Tons of people are doing mentalism, reading mentalism, working mentalism,so where's the evidence of its existance. Is it because its boring to watch. I realize mentalism is an intimate thing, that its power stems from the personal side of the spectator, but come on, anything would be nice to see. I would love to see video, or visual examples of mentalism. The internet is amazing, it is capapble of featuring acts, performances, and moments that would be rare for an average person to experience in a lifetime. IT JUST SEEMS LIKE ITS ALL TALK TO ME. don't get me wrong, I understand there are more resources now than ever before and that I can watch every Derren Brown episode with a click of the mouse, but I'm not interested in what I can doing with a casting crew and a brillant team of magicians. I want to see this stuff in action. I would love if some of you posted some classic effects or favorites, simply so I can see them in real life. I just need to see a little to believe. Is there any footage of Larry Becker, Max Maven, Bob Cassidy, Annemann, your neighbor, whoever, performing mentalism I can get a hold of. Thanks
Message: Posted by: entity (Oct 27, 2007 02:12AM)
Not sure why you're so dismissive of Derren Brown.

Are you saying that what he does is based upon a "casting crew" (whatever that is?) and a "brilliant team of magicians"? If so, you're spectacularly mistaken.

A lot of what Derren does is based upon classic mentalism, examples of which you're asking to see. Have you seen the videos of his live performances?

Almost all of DB's routines and performances are devised by Derren and Andy Nyman alone, and are based upon classic concepts of Mentalism.

Take another look.

- entity
Message: Posted by: v_alfano (Oct 27, 2007 02:16AM)
I'm with entity.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Redford (Oct 27, 2007 03:24AM)
I hear there's a guy on youtube who has a pretty decent show and isn't done with a production crew and a crew of magicians either.
Message: Posted by: Marc Spelmann (Oct 27, 2007 03:27AM)
I'd have to agree with Entity, Derren has achieved some wonderful reactions on television that highlight the moment that mentalism can create. He has also made some very fine television with no CGI, stooges or an army of advisors..

Gerry McCambridge was quite successful with his special which had a lovely PK touch routine along with other nice moments.. I actually think television producers like the big bang for their buck, if you say you are going to make the moon dissapear they can 'get' that, if you talk about mentalism and mind reading I think they find it harder to visualise..

David Berglas and Canasta had their own shows way back when and were both very successful with primetime slots and high ratings..

As I mentioned on another thread most arts have their Masters but also an aweful lot of pretenders..

Just my two cents

Spelmann
Message: Posted by: psychicturtle (Oct 27, 2007 05:23AM)
If seeing is believing then are all blind people skeptics?

It seems, Mr. Crebar, that you have already decided that mentalism is boring to watch, by asking 'is it because it is boring to watch?'.
Herein lies the problem. It is not boring to watch, it is just more intellectual than other forms of magic that are more visual. It requires more thought, as it is a more intangible art-form that is 'felt' by the participants and hopefully the audience.

Maybe it just isn't for YOU.

And by the way, like others have said, check out Derren's 'Messiah', 'Something wicked this way comes' and 'The gathering'. These are all excellent examples of what you are looking for, particularly the last 2 as they are live stage shows (that I went to).

And look for Patrick G. Redford on Youtube as well. He is awesome.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 27, 2007 07:28AM)
Mr.Crebar, it is probably you are not looking in the right places. Because the experts want to keep it packed up and gift wrapped nice and fresh. We don't want it to drippy all over the place. The non-professionals are the ones who would not mind letting it hang all out, those are ones you must be watching because they do not know what they are doing.

In order to enjoy mentalism you must enter both doors to our house. The first door is light and will be able to open with ease. A lot of people enter the first door on a regular basis. They think they are seeing everything dealing with mentalism. But they are not, everything seems boring to them. The second door is very heavy to open. We always keep it unlocked. But because of the force needed to swing open the second door, most people just give up and leave our house going back out the first door missing the fun in mentalism.

I know about this because I left the house not opening the second door when I was in my teens. I made it through the first door by buyng a mentalist set. It seemed boring to me because I gave up trying to push open the second door. So I stayed with magic tricks. After I saw Max Maven perform last year it gave me the clue there was something very interesting on the other side of the second door. So I gave it another try. It took me a lot of force. But when I got it open, I saw a paradise. I always regreted I did not open the second door when I was in my teens.

So remember, we always keep our doors unlocked. But you must enter thru both doors on your own.
Message: Posted by: coupcoupdaddy (Oct 27, 2007 12:00PM)
For.
Message: Posted by: lostpoet (Oct 27, 2007 01:25PM)
Mr.Crebar check out Tim Conover's site for some clips to view. I find none of it boring myself.
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Oct 28, 2007 02:31PM)
Can't stand Tim Conover's persona (too nice & corporate for me). Check out Derren's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" live show (I found a DVD of it). No camera stuff, some real foolers, charming, laughs, etc.
Message: Posted by: Vincent.Lynch (Oct 28, 2007 02:46PM)
Mr.Crebar your completely correct, I couldn't agree more = ).

I'm a prime example of what your saying.. I don't deny it. its completely true :)

wish I could say more and explain, but I feel I would be exposing, both methods and my own personal mentalism style.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Dec 19, 2007 07:30PM)
Mr Crebar, Have you not seen Kreskin perform? To see him is to get glimses of Dunninger and Polgar...His Q & A..or more accurately "Tuning in on the thoughts of my audience" is mentalism in it's classic sense and drama. Watching the audience reactions will tell you they experience it as anything but boring... If you still view it as 'boring'..I would suggest you are viewing through the eyes of a magician...
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Dec 19, 2007 11:18PM)
Mr. Crebar, if you don't like mentalism, if you don't find it as entertaining as magic, etc... then don't do it. Stay away!!! Please!!! I beg you!!! Keep doing cards and coins and sponges... the audiences love it. Please, please, there's nothing good in this stupid field.

Greg
Message: Posted by: obijuan (Dec 27, 2007 01:28AM)
I bet mentalism plays much better in person such as trade shows, colleges, corporations, and other businesses where the dollar amount in higher but not so prestigious as TV.
Message: Posted by: Arnon (Dec 27, 2007 02:34AM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-27 03:03, Mr.Crebar wrote:
***
IT JUST SEEMS LIKE ITS ALL TALK TO ME.
***
[/quote]

Ironic that you said that in your initial post.

It's all happening in each participant's mind's eye...

The impact is from the personal experience each individual feels.

The way I "know" that I've performed mentalism well is by audience feedback, collectively and individually.

I don't believe all of that can be captured by video.
:cyclops:
Arnon
Message: Posted by: ThomasBerger (Dec 27, 2007 03:00AM)
The problem is that the answer lies somewhere in between.

If you watch a guy speak for half an hour, you might think he is boring.
It depends.

Listen to this guy talk about spaghetti sauce for half an hour--
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/20

Unforgettable.

Or listen to this guy talk about
sliced bread and other marketing delights--

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/28

Also unforgettable.

Ours is a non visual medium, we rely a lot on speaking.
It is similar to this.
We need to be unforgettable without a lot of tricks.

That's the crux of the matter.
Most people are not good performers.
Most people come from a magic background, not as speakers.
You need to be able to speak and be interesting.

So your criteria should be-- Who is the best in this field?
Who is making $ in this field?

The next point is that the "set-up" or preparation
in mentalism routines is boring.

Setting up the 3 envelopes in Cassidy's routine needs banter and
"charisma" that is fine live but will be boring on video.
That is the nature of video.
Attention span has decreased.
Visual stimuli particularly.

That's the next point.
Video and TV bear no relation to live performance.
Don't judge what makes good viewing as to what makes good live show.

Case in point is Derren Brown--
He is a master of TV.
Let's be honest and get real...much of his stuff is designed for this medium.
The Advertising Executive performance had a segment where the END was played in the FRONT of the performance piece.

His Paper, Rock and Scissors had the spectator(s) following/copying his last move 14 times in a row. And this is just from memory.

The HEIST was a massive gaff.
His live performances "cut out" his peek on video.
Taking nothing away from Derren, IMO he is the best performer out there (on TV)
Nobody is even close in second place.

But if you want to work a gig and film an exciting piece,
understand what you are dealing with with.
I just edited a 40 minute performance down to 6 minutes for my promo.
I looked at the show and thought it was boring too.

The medium doesn't support non visual performance
unless you can talk without doing tricks and people find you interesting.
That's the bottom line.

Another point is that all rules can be broken because there ARE MANY MARKETS.
A performer in one market can do something that can't be done in another market.
The speaker market is different to the tradeshow market which is different to the college market wich is different to....
any other market you can think of.

Finally, what you judge to be boring is irrelevant.
Only the opinion of laypeople count.

Having said that, try to figure out why Marc Salem is the most successful all round mentalist of the last ten years. Or why Gary Kurtz can create full house evening theatre shows.

Look at people that LAYMEN talk about.
Not your opinion.
Time to think like a layman again.

Cheers,
Tom


Tom
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Dec 27, 2007 04:55AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-20 00:18, Greg Arce wrote:
Mr. Crebar, if you don't like mentalism, if you don't find it as entertaining as magic, etc... then don't do it. Stay away!!! Please!!! I beg you!!! Keep doing cards and coins and sponges... the audiences love it. Please, please, there's nothing good in this stupid field.

Greg
[/quote]

For
Message: Posted by: Looch (Dec 27, 2007 05:08AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-27 04:00, ThomasBerger wrote:
The problem is that the answer lies somewhere in between.

If you watch a guy speak for half an hour, you might think he is boring.
It depends.

Listen to this guy talk about spaghetti sauce for half an hour--
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/20

Unforgettable.

Or listen to this guy talk about
sliced bread and other marketing delights--

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/28

Also unforgettable.

Ours is a non visual medium, we rely a lot on speaking.
It is similar to this.
We need to be unforgettable without a lot of tricks.

That's the crux of the matter.
Most people are not good performers.
Most people come from a magic background, not as speakers.
You need to be able to speak and be interesting.

So your criteria should be-- Who is the best in this field?
Who is making $ in this field?

The next point is that the "set-up" or preparation
in mentalism routines is boring.

Setting up the 3 envelopes in Cassidy's routine needs banter and
"charisma" that is fine live but will be boring on video.
That is the nature of video.
Attention span has decreased.
Visual stimuli particularly.

That's the next point.
Video and TV bear no relation to live performance.
Don't judge what makes good viewing as to what makes good live show.

Case in point is Derren Brown--
He is a master of TV.
Let's be honest and get real...much of his stuff is designed for this medium.
The Advertising Executive performance had a segment where the END was played in the FRONT of the performance piece.

His Paper, Rock and Scissors had the spectator(s) following/copying his last move 14 times in a row. And this is just from memory.

The HEIST was a massive gaff.
His live performances "cut out" his peek on video.
Taking nothing away from Derren, IMO he is the best performer out there (on TV)
Nobody is even close in second place.

But if you want to work a gig and film an exciting piece,
understand what you are dealing with with.
I just edited a 40 minute performance down to 6 minutes for my promo.
I looked at the show and thought it was boring too.

The medium doesn't support non visual performance
unless you can talk without doing tricks and people find you interesting.
That's the bottom line.

Another point is that all rules can be broken because there ARE MANY MARKETS.
A performer in one market can do something that can't be done in another market.
The speaker market is different to the tradeshow market which is different to the college market wich is different to....
any other market you can think of.

Finally, what you judge to be boring is irrelevant.
Only the opinion of laypeople count.

Having said that, try to figure out why Marc Salem is the most successful all round mentalist of the last ten years. Or why Gary Kurtz can create full house evening theatre shows.

Look at people that LAYMEN talk about.
Not your opinion.
Time to think like a layman again.

Cheers,
Tom


Tom
[/quote]

Great post Thomas!
Message: Posted by: CALENIG (Dec 27, 2007 06:24AM)
Well said Looch! I am not a pro when it comes to mentalism, but I do come from a performance background and appering in front of an audience. IMO I believe no matter what art form we practise the important point is to remember that we are all "ENTERTAINERS"!
Good on you Looch!
Message: Posted by: CALENIG (Dec 27, 2007 06:29AM)
Well said Looch! I am not a pro when it comes to mentalism, but I do come from a performance background and appearing in front of an audience. IMO I believe no matter what art form we practise the important point is to remember that we are all "ENTERTAINERS" so many called performers in all art forms forget this. You either have it or you haven't! Wise words Looch!
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 27, 2007 06:53AM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-27 03:03, Mr.Crebar wrote:
On paper, that is in book form, Mentalism sounds deep, powerful, unbelievable! The philosophy of the whole thing from Annemmann, to Maven, seems brilliant. BUT... in the real world its just seems plain boring, trivial, and obvious at times. I love the idea of mentalism, but for every thousand comments on this forum about how strong and profound it is, or can be, I can;t find a single act, performance, or "trick" on youtube, good video, or any other video site where these things should be. Tons of people are doing mentalism, reading mentalism, working mentalism,so where's the evidence of its existance. Is it because its boring to watch. I realize mentalism is an intimate thing, that its power stems from the personal side of the spectator, but come on, anything would be nice to see. I would love to see video, or visual examples of mentalism. The internet is amazing, it is capapble of featuring acts, performances, and moments that would be rare for an average person to experience in a lifetime. IT JUST SEEMS LIKE ITS ALL TALK TO ME. don't get me wrong, I understand there are more resources now than ever before and that I can watch every Derren Brown episode with a click of the mouse, but I'm not interested in what I can doing with a casting crew and a brillant team of magicians. I want to see this stuff in action. I would love if some of you posted some classic effects or favorites, simply so I can see them in real life. I just need to see a little to believe. Is there any footage of Larry Becker, Max Maven, Bob Cassidy, Annemann, your neighbor, whoever, performing mentalism I can get a hold of. Thanks
[/quote]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKeWKf3jmAs :)
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Dec 27, 2007 07:54AM)
I think Tom hit the nail on the head. It takes showmanship to make mentalism memorable, and its the part of my show where I need to continually work on it. I read somewhere that real performances are the only place where you can truly practice.

Bobby
Message: Posted by: coupcoupdaddy (Dec 27, 2007 08:16AM)
Feeling is believing.
Message: Posted by: RLFrame (Dec 27, 2007 08:31AM)
Another factor to add to what has already been written: I believe it was Dunninger who said something like, "Mentalism is magic for grownups."

While this appears to be insulting to magicians, I have always taken this another way. Many Children are at an age when they are not quite sure if these amazing things are happening for real or not, and so their sense of wonder is at its height. Mentalism touches on that same 'wonder' in adults with paranormal phenomena, is it real or not?, which is why disclaimers are so controversial. A lot of the enjoyment plays upon that wonder and mystery.

That said, there is no 'wonder' on that level for me or Mr. Crebar, when I am watching a psychic entertainer. I wonder "How he did it?" But that other type of wonder is missing and its hard to go back to and see things as a lay person would. Ultimately, that is how a mentalism performance is to be judged.

ON a side note, I have always appreciated those moments such as where Jack Galloway says, "I can remote view for real. There will be an experiment this weekend and I will prove it." In those instances, I get to experience a flicker of the wonder that I am trying to elicit, even with a simple billet peek.
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 27, 2007 08:58AM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-28 15:31, Jerskin wrote:
Can't stand Tim Conover's persona (too nice & corporate for me). Check out Derren's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" live show (I found a DVD of it). No camera stuff, some real foolers, charming, laughs, etc.
[/quote]

That's why he's successful in the corporate world. ;)

John
Message: Posted by: Arnon (Dec 27, 2007 02:05PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-27 03:34, Arnon wrote:
***
The impact is from the personal experience each individual feels.
***
I don't believe all of that can be captured by video.
:cyclops:
Arnon
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2007-12-27 09:16, coupcoupdaddy wrote:
Feeling is believing.
[/quote]

Well put!
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Dec 27, 2007 05:19PM)
Then there was KRESKIN.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Dec 27, 2007 07:23PM)
It's well established that traditional, or mainstream magic is far more visual a performance medium than mentalism.

And to emphasize an excellent point made several times in this topic, (while not intending to criticize mainstream magicians), a magician with marginal communication/presentational/performance skills, can still carry an audience with the visual aspects of magic (props and flourishes), far more easily than someone with a pen and pad of paper, can.

Presentational skills are paramount to Mentalism. And presentational skills don't always translate well to video; particularly video that is marginally produced. I've seen corporate/motivational speakers who have stunned a room of 2,000...but the resulting video is invariably distant and missing the 'being there' factor.

To that end, Derren Brown is a master of modern mentalism; understanding and exploiting the opportunities presented by television.

And one final soap box tangent.....recognizing that TV (and video) is treated in our society as the epitome of performance, it is in fact, more often than not, a weak reproduction of our most powerful medium - imagination. Well performed, mentalism speaks to the imagination far more effectively than the carefully edited video screen.

That said, I own a 65" TV!
Message: Posted by: DT3 (Dec 27, 2007 07:27PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-27 09:16, coupcoupdaddy wrote:
Feeling is believing.
[/quote]

Yep.

Could not have said it better myself,

If you truly believe in yourself then do it for real,

Seriously just try. If you seriously believe in yourself then youj will surprise yourself. Promise.

Cheers;

Don