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Topic: Who's your favorate mentalist and why?
Message: Posted by: jdmagic357 (Dec 26, 2010 03:01PM)
I'm very partial to Richard Osterlind. For me no other mentalist has worked out his effects so completely and succinctly. He is able to better almost everything he touches and doesn't stick to just mentalism mixing magic into his performances. To be able to make this work his personality and charisma encompasses an audience like no other. Don't get me wrong there are some other good mentalists around, but to me he's the best. I'm honored to have met him and find his generosity a refreshing change from those just seeking profits. Who would be your mentor if you could pick only one?

Inquiring minds are dying to know?

Message: Posted by: Meng (Dec 26, 2010 03:14PM)
Favorite Mentalist

Favorite (could have been a) mentalist

Favorite mentalist performers

Why are they great?

Most Favorite Mentalist
Message: Posted by: numizmata (Dec 26, 2010 03:17PM)
One of my favourite mentalist is Mr. Maue for his excellent "outs".
The another is Mr. Cassidy. Why? :)
Message: Posted by: lostpoet (Dec 26, 2010 03:27PM)
Jeff McBride
Message: Posted by: psychicturtle (Dec 26, 2010 03:34PM)
For various reasons, I choose Max Maven as my favourite.
1. He is a genius.
2. He is the only performer I have seen who can act that way and remain likeable.
3. His stagecraft is as near to perfection that I have seen.
4. He is brilliantly entertaining, fun and mystifying.

My other favourites are:
Jeff McBride (yes, you read that right, Jeff is a truly excellent mentalism performer).
Derren Brown
Mark Spelmann
Ian Rowland
Drew McAdam
Richard Busch
Richard Osterlind
Philip Escoffey

I'm sure there are more I love to watch, but those are the ones that come to mind right now.

On 2010-12-26 16:27, lostpoet wrote:
Jeff McBride
Ahh, someone else who knows!
Message: Posted by: jamiesalinas (Dec 26, 2010 03:42PM)
For me it is Banachek! I saw him as a non-magician and he made me BELIEVE! Hell he fooled scientists so why not me too! Fortunately, I can also call him a personal friend.

Jamie Salinas
Message: Posted by: Euan4 (Dec 26, 2010 06:41PM)
Got to say Colin Mcleod for me! The reason I got into mentalism is Colin, so I owe him a great deal for opening my eyes to an amazing art! He's Absolute genius. His presentation is great and his comedy is also very modern. Also a great guy too.

Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Dec 26, 2010 08:43PM)
J.D. and Thom,

I like what you both had to say. I like Richard Osterlind for all of the reasons J.D. mentioned, and my personality/character is somewhat similar.

I appreciate Max Maven's contributions and love what he is able to pull off. I would not even try.

Also, I have never seen Rick Maue perform, but after reading The Road, I appreciate his approach to the craft. I love the way he thinks.

Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Dec 26, 2010 09:23PM)
Ted Annemann, because we have had some good conversations and he is a fun guy.

He was good enough to confirm the working of his last presentation for me.

But he allready knew I talked to the guy who helped him with it.
(Do not think he would have if I had not found the living key to the thing).

J im

Message: Posted by: Paul.W (Dec 26, 2010 10:09PM)
Lior Suchard
Made me understand that its not the effect its the performance.

Derren Brown, Just amazing!
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Dec 27, 2010 02:28AM)
1) Bob Cassidy = Directness of effect / Minimalism / Billet word / Wisdom

2) Satori = Wisdom / Direct effect

3) Max Maven = Creativity
Message: Posted by: OnTiltSoon (Dec 27, 2010 02:32AM)
On 2010-12-26 23:09, Paul.W wrote:
Derren Brown, Just amazing!

Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 27, 2010 02:41AM)
My personal favorite contemporary mentalists are (in no particular order):

Ross Johnson
Jon Stetson
Docc Hilford
Max Maven
Ken Weber
Michael Weber
Keith Barry
Honorable Mention - Kardor
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (Dec 27, 2010 03:17AM)
On 2010-12-26 16:01, jdmagic357 wrote:
I'm very partial to Richard Osterlind. Who would be your mentor if you could pick only one?

Inquiring minds are dying to know?


Funny you should mention Osterlind, Ive just re read his books on making real magic etc and I'm enclined to agree with you. Im still making my min up about his discussions on mystery though.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Dec 27, 2010 03:50AM)
Bob Cassidy
John Riggs
Derren Brown
Marc Spelmann
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 27, 2010 03:55AM)
I just realized that I didn't specify who I would have wanted for a mentor if I had been fortunate enough to have had one. Without a doubt it would have been Joseph Dunninger (and Lenny Bruce).

Good thoughts,

Bob Cassidy
Message: Posted by: entermagic (Dec 27, 2010 03:58AM)
Derren Brown and Gary Kurtz
Message: Posted by: jdmagic357 (Dec 27, 2010 06:04AM)
On 2010-12-27 04:17, Smoking Camel wrote:
On 2010-12-26 16:01, jdmagic357 wrote:
I'm very partial to Richard Osterlind. Who would be your mentor if you could pick only one?

Inquiring minds are dying to know?


Funny you should mention Osterlind, Ive just re read his books on making real magic etc and I'm enclined to agree with you. Im still making my min up about his discussions on mystery though.

Imnsho one of the must reads for anyone in our art, but unfortunately missed by most.

Message: Posted by: takeachance (Dec 27, 2010 06:26AM)
The most entertaining mentalist to watch for me are
Not in any particular order. these guys are just so polished as entertainers they do the arts proud. I prefer all 3 before Brown.
Message: Posted by: Psychologic (Dec 27, 2010 07:32AM)
My favorites would have to be:
Mr. Osterlind also
Derren Brown- been a fan of his thinking and performance style since 1999
Paul Brook - love his creatvity

Message: Posted by: The Baldini (Dec 27, 2010 09:37AM)
Tim Conover, he is very smooth and charming, he can control the entire audience with very believable effects.
Message: Posted by: apple123 (Dec 27, 2010 07:26PM)
Craig Karges is the one I like watch performing the most.
Message: Posted by: Eshla (Dec 27, 2010 08:54PM)
Me, because everyone else is doing it wrong.
Message: Posted by: lostpoet (Dec 27, 2010 09:45PM)
Then you should be a millionaire within the New Year. You should also write a book to tell everyone what they are doing is wrong and here is how to do it. I think it would really sell. Perhaps making you a multimillionaire within the New Year.

Here's to 2011! :drinkup:
Message: Posted by: Paul.W (Dec 27, 2010 09:56PM)
Eshla, Why don't you have a show in vegas?
and why don't I see you perform or on tv?
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (Dec 27, 2010 10:38PM)
My favorite performers are funny, charming and are almost irresistibly likable. I won't name one because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but my top favorites have these things in common.

My favorite creator? A man called Annemannassidy Osterbrookbanavallicleod.
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 27, 2010 10:40PM)
On 2010-12-27 23:38, Mike Ince wrote:
My favorite creator? A man called Annemannassidy Osterbrookbanavallicleod.

REALLY!!!!! you too!!!!!!!!.... *** I wish you didn't leak that out :)
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Dec 28, 2010 08:06AM)
Gary Kurtz for showmanship.

Graham Jolley for wit and overall entertainment.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 28, 2010 09:17AM)
Derren Brown for showing me that it's all in the mind.

Surprise! Copperfield! He has some entertaining Mentalism Routines.
Message: Posted by: Stefmagic (Dec 28, 2010 09:34AM)
Gary Kurtz & Derren Brown
Message: Posted by: LLL (Dec 28, 2010 12:50PM)
Derren Brown and marc spelmann.. think they have it pretty spot on.
And Bob cassidy for his thinking..
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Dec 28, 2010 04:04PM)
Tim Conover
Message: Posted by: Martin Adams (Dec 28, 2010 04:18PM)
Derren Brown
Colin McLeod
Marc Spelmann
Message: Posted by: wanda&viktor (Dec 28, 2010 04:46PM)
Derren Brown. For us the most credible and charming on stage.
Message: Posted by: mindguru (Dec 28, 2010 06:18PM)
Derren Brown for his amazing performances.

Max Maven for being amazing and being a bit scary at the same time.
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Dec 28, 2010 09:53PM)
Max Maven. The man is a genius!

Rick Maue. My favorite thinker.

Richard Osterland. Master of the classics!
Message: Posted by: Rocketeer (Dec 29, 2010 12:08AM)
I really respect Osterlind because of all he has taught the fraternity. Ditto for Cassidy.

However last summer I saw both Alain Nu and Banachek lecture at Tannen's. Banachek disclosed a technique that I have found invaluable. Alain Nu proved he has both talent and class.

Derren Brown kind of annoys me. It doesn't seem fair that one guy should have so much talent. Not only is he a great mentalist but have you ever seen his caricatures?

I'm also just a little bit suspicious about whether every single one of his effects is as clean as he claims or implies they are (no stooges, no camera tricks, and presumably no very selective editing). Still he did tour the country and astound audiences all over England with his live stage show, which is a lot more than you say about special effects technician Criss Angel.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 29, 2010 08:59AM)
On 2010-12-26 16:34, psychicturtle wrote:
For various reasons, I choose Max Maven as my favourite.
1. He is a genius.
2. He is the only performer I have seen who can act that way and remain likeable.
3. His stagecraft is as near to perfection that I have seen.
4. He is brilliantly entertaining, fun and mystifying.
That is why he is my favorite too. Plus all the comedy he uses throughout his show.
Message: Posted by: ELDEMONIO (Dec 29, 2010 09:11PM)
Derren brown for the fact that he understands his audience. He knows how to be charming, witty, and has an incredible understanding of our art. His success wasn't just luck but a real sence of magic and how to perform it. A read into his Absolute Magic made me pick him as my favorite mentalist.
Message: Posted by: ronzo (Dec 29, 2010 11:54PM)
Derren Brown. He's fast, he's meticulous, he does the unexplainable, he's smooth, he's well groomed.
Max Maven: He's smart, he's clever, he's super-mystifying, he speaks well, he sounds great, he's a little scary, he's super-smooth, he's well groomed.
Richard Osterlind: He fools himself, he fools others, he relaxes you, he's natural, he's well groomed.
Steve Cohen: He's figured it all out, he's flawless, he's very well groomed.
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Dec 30, 2010 12:49AM)
Jim Callahan for purity in mentalism

Bob Cassidy who is the reincarnation of Ted Annemann Yes of course, I check this statement with a few friends of mine who are Buddhist Monks and it has been confirmed. ;)

John Riggs makes the list for making the finest clipboards and other items that are things of beauty.

Paolo Cavalli makes my list for pure brilliant mentalism.

Jerome Finley make the list because we think a lot alike at times.
Message: Posted by: RichardShure (Dec 30, 2010 09:30AM)
I’ve had the opportunity to watch a number of mentalists over the years, some at Conventions, some at theaters, some on video, and the rest in various other circumstances. One thing strikes me after seeing so many performers and many more than once, is that you can quickly see who actually performs and who just churns out a ton of material while sitting at the kitchen table thinking about it. It quite simply just comes into the light when they take to the stage.

The list below is the performers I have watched that I felt they were between OK and fantastic. Please understand that although I have given my critique of them, I still respect their abilities and contributions to the art. I also have left out a number of known and unknown performers I have seen because of their deplorable performance. I watched one well known performer attempt 4 effects, two of which failed and then he blamed the spectator on stage for the mishap. It was uncomfortable.

Below is my list of notables. I have left out about 6 because of their terrible performances.

Richard Osterlind: Probably this generation’s “Mentalist Teacher”. The sheer volume of his work is staggering. Even though I have already come across people who think his “13 Step” DVDs are his original work . . . his ability to mine out good effects from the voluminous amounts of mentalism material is noteworthy. I am not, however, a fan of his performances. I find his presentations dull and uninspiring. His script is usually just an explanation of what he is doing. ( I have only seen him on DVD)

Banachek: Another notable teacher of mentalism and his books on Psychological Subtleties will go down as classics or “must haves” in the mentalism world. I know he has fooled the scientists and has a marvelous reputation but I find his “Double-breasted suit” style to be a bit sanitized and tedious. (I have seen him in person more than once) His style is prodding and predictable, not very exciting from my point of view.

Alan Nu: Best spoon bend you will ever see… other than that he spends a lot of time talking about “energy that connects us”. I found his show to be unfocused and meandering.

Robert Cassidy: Another must read mentalist with an entirely different style. Sharp, biting, witty and direct, he gets his point across in his books and on stage. His book ‘The Art of Mentalism” is a classic. I (personally) do not like his style but he is a very good performer. You can quickly see that he has years of performing experience and it shows. He is also a very friendly and sharing person. A very good performer and one worth watching if you want to see a polished performance.

Max Maven: A strong performer with a brazen stage presence, Max can hold you spellbound with is scripting and careful articulation. However, his character is not likable and that can be a bit off-putting. Even Max will admit that his stage persona is not amiable, however it is interesting. And of course… he also has tons and tons of material that is well worth examining. I do enjoy watching him work even though I find his character a bit rude.

Ross Johnson: Very strong and experienced performer. His ability to control the stage and audience is worth studying. He demonstrates an older style of mentalism that might not excite the younger mentalists; however, they would be wise to watch his performance. He also has some very clever one liners that are unique to his character and performance. I enjoy watching him just to examine his stage craft.

John Stetson: Although comfortable and likable on stage, I find much of his material to be ordinary and his scripting a bit corny and used. Nothing stood out for me.

Keith Barry: Fast and furious, his stage control and audience interaction is very strong. I found his generous use of expletives to be gratuitous at best and irritating at the other end. He was fun to watch and there was much to learn watching him work. Something in the back of my mind said that in another 10 years this guy will be amazing. I just got the feeling he was searching for his character from time to time during the show.

Christopher Carter: Top notch working pro all the way. I was surprised how hip and fresh his show was. Not only did he fool me a number of times, his delivery felt organic and relaxed. He was one of the best shows (45min of more) of magic/mentalism I have seen. I would enjoy watching his show again and would easily recommend it to anyone studying how to perform with mentalism. A must see if you get the chance as most people do not know who he is.

Craig Karges: This is another performer who you can easily see works! I was not enamored by his style but it was easy to see that he is comfortable on stage and audiences like him. Personally, I did not like his jumping from one unrelated effect to the next without any continuity. However, it seems like this was not a problem for the audience. Definitely, worth watching again.

Christian & Katalina: I saw them at Bob Little’s and they got a standing ovation for a lecture! I have also seen them perform their very funny and uncomplicated style in a show. They find a way to be very comedic and yet keep the strength of the mentalism. They fooled me and had me laughing about it. The strongest comedy mental act I have seen.

Marc Salem: Watched him in NYC. He was comfortable on stage and the audience liked him. His show was unstructured and erratic. You never get to know him or his persona as he rushes from one effect to the next. Leaving the theater I never felt I knew who “Marc Salem” was other than some guy who could do some neat mind games.

Jamie Ian Swiss: Jamie spent more time trying to convince the audience that “paranormal events” are rubbish than trying to entertain them. Here is another performer who is comfortable on stage and seems to have mastered stagecraft; however, his interaction with the audience was much like a mother scolding her children. At one point he pulled a woman on stage, asked her if she believed in psychics and then chided her when she answered in the affirmative. He was interesting to watch but the audience did not like him at the end of the show.

John Riggs: An underground performer to be sure . . . strong scripting and very creative. Strong, solid stage persona makes watching him very interesting.

Now my number one favorite:
Derren Brown: Strong character, strong scripting and show premise. Enjoy watching his shows because I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride instead of let’s watch the next “effect”. Great use of emotional content and premise hooking in all his pieces. Strong stagecraft and always seems to flow right into the next thing as opposed to “stopping and starting” between pieces of the show.

Let the flaming begin.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 30, 2010 11:19AM)
One cannot help but be impressed with Richard Shure's candid reviews and detailed analysis of the performances of 15 of the top contemporary working pros. I am proud to count many of those named among my friends and favorites and while I have not seen all 15 at work I have been privileged to have seen 8 of them in live performance and another 4 in videos. Although Richard and I may have minor differences when it comes to our personal stylistic preferences I find his descriptions to be largely "spot on" as our British friends would say. I would be particularly interested in seeing his comments regarding some of my other friends and favorites including: Tim Conover, The Evasons and, of course, Kreskin.
Message: Posted by: jdmagic357 (Dec 30, 2010 01:42PM)
So out of all the responses to this thread only 15 people were able to PICK ONE AND GIVE REASONS AS TO WHY.

There are many good and in fact great mentalists out there some you know about, some you don't but picking one is the hard part of the task at hand. It's like if you could only meet one person, and the make a wish foundation was going to be sure to make that dream come true.

So for those who didn't understand it the first time? Who is your favorite mentalist and why? Think in terms of who you would want mentoring you if it could be only one person. Who knows, your wish might come true right here on this board?
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Dec 30, 2010 02:43PM)
On 2010-12-30 14:42, jdmagic357 wrote:
So out of all the responses to this thread only 15 people were able to PICK ONE AND GIVE REASONS AS TO WHY.
So for those who didn't understand it the first time? Who is your favorite mentalist and why? Think in terms of who you would want mentoring you if it could be only one person.

The failure to identify just one is not necessarily a reflection of readers' lack of understanding of the question, but IMO rather like trying to eat "just one" potato chip. I suspect that like many others who actually perform (rather than merely watching others and fantasizing about performing) I have learned from many others and, as a result, my own style evolved as an amalgam of what I found to be the best traits of others that were also consistent/compatible with my own tastes and persona. It would be impossible for me to single out ONE person as my "favorite." I expect that others would say the same.
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Dec 30, 2010 02:57PM)
On 2010-12-30 01:49, MentalistCreationLab wrote:
Jim Callahan for purity in mentalism

Been along time since anyone considered me pure.

Message: Posted by: bobser (Dec 30, 2010 03:27PM)
I think that on answering this question a part of me wants to to imagine in my mind what my expectancy is of a mentalist; what a mentalist actually does, and another part of me seems to comfortably step in and say that Derren Brown does this (whatever this is) with ease. And I guess that's true.
I was watching Edward Norton in The Illusionist (again) the other night and I had that feeling again (of believability). I think I'm saying that he's as good as anything I've seen. And although he's only acting, that's what the best mentalists do. They act rather well.
I think my point is that we ever so slightly stick people on pedestals. I, like many of you in here, have had subjects gasping, scratching their heads, crying, and asking me to have babies with them. If male, then simply a casual relationship. Good actors, with honed skills become great mentalists.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Dec 31, 2010 07:12AM)
Max Maven; for making his words matter and for melding entertainment with intellectual provocation.

Derren Brown; for showing a new generation of performers that a very big hall can feel very intimate.

Ulf Bolling-Borodin; for some of the most amazing stories in all of Magic and Mentalism (and a special thank you to Bill Palmer for translating Borodin’s work into English).
Message: Posted by: bobser (Dec 31, 2010 09:40AM)
On 2010-12-31 08:12, panlives wrote:
Max Maven; for making his words matter and for melding entertainment with intellectual provocation.

Really? I'm not too sure if you've truly read Max's intention behind the presentation. I always thought he was a bit of a joker; 'just having a larf'.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 31, 2010 10:18AM)
Thanks for the kind words, panlives.

It would be very difficult for me to pick any single one of the mentalists that have been mentioned here, possibly because I know too many of them personally.

My favorite of all time was the late Ted Lesley. I watched him perform over a period of about 15 years, both in German and in English, and I saw how the strength of the human will could overcome immense handicaps, including Parkinsonism. His creativity was incredible. He had one goal in mind and that was to fool audiences in a manner that entertained them and enticed them into coming back to see him again. He was one of a handful of magical entertainers who could follow a line of topless dancers and not be hooted back off the stage!

Of the living mentalists that I have seen in live performance, I can't pick just one.
Message: Posted by: jdmagic357 (Jan 1, 2011 04:55AM)
On 2010-12-30 15:57, Jim-Callahan wrote:
On 2010-12-30 01:49, MentalistCreationLab wrote:
Jim Callahan for purity in mentalism

Been along time since anyone considered me pure.


Awwww come on Jim, you know nobodies got to you yet. Your still fresh as a daisy. LOL

Happy New Year.
Message: Posted by: mental4u (Jan 3, 2011 02:48PM)
Chuck Hickok is polished, professional,and easy to listen to. He is very believable with out being over the top.

Barrie Richardson for the same reasons mentioned above.

Gregg Lancaster
Mental Masterpieces
College Station, Texas
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Jan 3, 2011 05:13PM)
On 2011-01-01 05:55, jdmagic357 wrote:
On 2010-12-30 15:57, Jim-Callahan wrote:
On 2010-12-30 01:49, MentalistCreationLab wrote:
Jim Callahan for purity in mentalism

Been along time since anyone considered me pure.


Awwww come on Jim, you know nobodies got to you yet. Your still fresh as a daisy. LOL

Happy New Year.

No but I have gotten to allot of them!

Message: Posted by: Eddiep1960 (Jan 7, 2011 04:37PM)
1. Kreskin : Incredible energy in stage and in person
2.Derren Brown: Great charisma use of humor.
3.Bob Cassidy: Very intelling performer .
4.Max Maven: Unique artist.
Message: Posted by: wanda&viktor (Jan 7, 2011 06:22PM)
This is difficult to choose just one.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Jan 8, 2011 12:48AM)
Hands down my all time favorite mentalist is none other than the man himself, Mr. Larry Becker! Why? Well for starters his Stunners Plus book and all I learned from it. And most importantly to me all the hours he and I spent on the phone talking about the "performance" aspect of mentalism. I'm telling you this man is an absolute gem and I am so honored to know him. In fact I really must call him soon again. BTW his "Sum Total" effect is a beauty!

Good magic to all,

Message: Posted by: tom stewart (Jun 29, 2011 11:12AM)
I'm surprised no one mentioned David Berglass, his Tv programme from channel 4 in the UK is the first thing I can remember watching.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jun 29, 2011 11:32AM)
Marc Salem - Learned more from watching one of his shows than everything else in my library.
Single biggest influence on my act.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 29, 2011 11:49AM)
It's interesting when an old thtread comes up again.
Since last posting in it I watched and absolutely hated Brown's American thingy where he trained the guy to be a healer etc.
But across the board in general, not only is he the best thing that's ever happened to mentalism, but he is for me in a totally different league all on his own, with no one even remotely close to him.
I'm not happy writing the above by the way. It's simply true.
What is also true is that many performing mentalists don't understand how to perform mentalism. This is proven by the majority of the posters in this thread not even giving Brown a mention! Yet my milkman (Ernie)thinks Brown is the greatest and he doesn't even know what a TT is. Thus my milkman knows more about what makes a great mentalist than any of you lot. How bizarre!
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Jun 29, 2011 11:59AM)
Your milkman has probably only ever seen Derren.... Lets face it he is the only one constantly on TV.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 29, 2011 12:01PM)
In that case, Uri Geller is more famous world wide.

But I don't like him.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Jun 29, 2011 04:11PM)
Max Maven - He oozes Intelligence in his presentations & is an encyclopedia on the art.
Richard Osterlind - Makes everyone feel at ease, lots of charisma.
Banachek - As above
Derren Brown - Takes Mentalism into the future, while holding on to the many principles of the past.
Keith Barry - Because he's Irish!! He is a clever thinker of the art and realised early on that he had to change course to remain successful.
Message: Posted by: Travis Hawkins (Jun 29, 2011 04:42PM)
My vote would have to go to Richard Webster - He guided me in becoming the professional I am today. Between he and Bob Cassidy there is absolutely no reason for anyone to “fail” in this art if they really want to make it.
Message: Posted by: tincture (Jun 29, 2011 04:46PM)
Bob Cassidy and Max Maven's thinking has always been among my favorites.
As for the young up-incoming - Colin McLeod and Patrick Redford always fascinate my attention.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Jun 29, 2011 05:53PM)
Richard Webster writes some horrible booklets don't you think?
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jun 29, 2011 05:57PM)
As performers, either those I have seen live or on clips, the guys that stood out were Kreskin, Derren Browne, Keith Barry, Paul Bell and the Evasons.
Those whose writings have inspired me include Lee Earle, Larry Becker, Bob Cassidy, George Anderson, Jerome Finley, Paul Bell. They could all be brilliant performers as well; I just haven't seen them on stage.
If you include hypnotists, the best I have ever seen is Barry Sinclaire.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 29, 2011 06:06PM)
Yes. I would agree about Barry Sinclair as far as hypnotists go. He was one of the three best stage hypnotists I have ever seen. Two of them are now dead and only Barry is above ground at the moment. I suppose that makes him the greatest living hypnotist as far as I am concerned. Mind you, I haven't seen him work for decades. He might not be any good any more for all I know.

As for mentalists I have no idea. Paul Pacific would have been the best if he had tried a bit harder.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 29, 2011 06:07PM)
Darren Brown blows me away. Max Maven makes me smile. I have learned the most from Osterlind and Cassidy.

Message: Posted by: Travis Hawkins (Jun 29, 2011 06:11PM)
On 2011-06-29 18:53, bobser wrote:
Richard Webster writes some horrible booklets don't you think?

Richard Webster's work is phenomenal. It is thanks to him that I am able to "make it" in this industry.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 29, 2011 06:37PM)
I think Bobser was being sarcastic. Richard Webster has sold ten million books so I assume somebody must like him.
Message: Posted by: Travis Hawkins (Jun 29, 2011 07:01PM)
Mark, I believe you are right about Bobser's comment. Sometimes sarcasm gets lost on me when through the medium of writing. I owe pretty much my entire career to Richard. As far as the business side of things go anyway.
Message: Posted by: Erik L. (Jun 29, 2011 09:03PM)
I'd have to say Richard Osterlind is my favorite. His videos are one of the reasons that I got into mentalism in the first place.
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Jun 29, 2011 09:54PM)
I mentioned Osterlind, Spelmann and Archer in an earlier post, for me all three are more entertaining than Brown of late. I think he needs new advisors. His reputation has carried him of late. The one I didn't mention was Cassidy. Watching him perform in a rough workers environment that would make most cringe, is just pure magic. I mean how many perform in biker bars and have them totally in control. Brilliant!
Message: Posted by: gabelson (Jun 29, 2011 11:10PM)
I respectfully disagree, takeachance. Look at the final effect in Derren's "Enigma" (You can see it as Parts 7 and 8 of Enigma on YouTube.) I don't know that there isn't a better showman, period, in the world today than Derren Brown. I'll be bold here and say, in ANY of the performing arts.

Who is more dynamic or riveting on stage? (Ok, maybe Springsteen). Whose performances look as effortless yet play as powerful... for THOUSANDS, as Derren's? What other performing mentalist doesn't have one "down" second in his show, especially with all the crowd work, wrangling of spectators, and positioning that Derren does. Yet, literally never a dull moment when he's live on stage.

All that being said? I have learned the most about the craft of mentalism, personally, from Bob Cassidy and Richard Osterlind.
Message: Posted by: Dreadnought (Jun 30, 2011 12:25AM)
Corinda and Anneman because they were my first reads and introduction to the field.

FBI Special Agents Robert Ressler and John Douglas for their work in profiling.
FBI Special Agent Anne Harris and Gerry Nobles for their work on Kinesic interviewing and interrogation.

Paul Ekman for his work in body language, especially micro expressions.

For actual mentalists, Drew McAdam because he has been the most help by answering the odd and sometimes stupid questions with care and enthusiam.
Message: Posted by: Aaron E (Jun 30, 2011 01:28AM)
Jim Callahan

No question.

His DVD "Tea with Alice and J ack" along with his performance on phenomenon, changed the way I viewed mystery performing. The guy has also given us "The Jinx Broadcast" that was filled with amazing thoughts and ideas, and it was free of charge. I have also been able to talk with him on the phone on a couple occasions. He gave me some great advice on my presentations and we talked for about an hour about various things. The guy is VERY generous with his time and knowledge.

I am off to watch Tea with Alice and J ack AGAIN!

Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Jun 30, 2011 02:10AM)
It is true what Gabelson writes, but the difference with Derren Brown and some others is, he makes his show more of a theatrical experience. I seen Engima earlier this year & it was exactly that. Thankfully for me, I knew how he was going to work one of his effects (Q & A) & I got to be part of the act during the show. Brown has brought the art to the masses, but as I stated earlier, he is doing it while holding true to the principles of Mentalism.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Jun 30, 2011 02:39AM)
I need to correct my last post. Not advisable to be writing post's with one eye on the clock & running late for work! Anyway, I didn't see Enigma earlier this year, it was of course Svengali & it was equally good.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jun 30, 2011 03:36AM)
Berglas - charm, presence, boldness, and 'that' voice and always looking smart and a fine selection of facial hair throughout the years

Canasta - charm, presence, boldness, the chances he took live on tv

Annemann - for his writing style, how he was so forthright in his opinions, his sheer inventiveness and love of mentalism, but also because of his nerves...just a massive shame about the booze and so on...

Riggs - charm, presence, boldness, inventiveness, the fact that he looks like he could crush your head in his hands, but is a very kind and gentle man, as well as a fop of the highest order...

Brown - charm, inventiveness, affable, and for the double-edged sword of making mentalism kinda mainstream again in the uk...there's things I disagree with that he's done, but I think he does genuinely care about those subjects and is well meaning...just, well - I could write for tooooo long about that...so I won't.

there's lots that I love, if I could some them up with one word, here's what I'd say:
maven/burger - voice (i consider the voice a very important part of mentalism)
cassidy - vigor (by vigor I mean a mixture of presence, command of the crowd and energy)
looch - everyman (by that I mean, when you meet him, he's so down to earth and straightforward and kinda calming in a way, then he does what he does and it messes with you even moreso because of his character)

I'll stop there with the mentalism/bromance talk...
Message: Posted by: krakhead (Jun 30, 2011 03:53AM)
Derren Brown
Colin Mcleod
Bob Cassidy
Marc Spelmann

But top spot has to go to (drum roll, bated breath....) Max Maven, the man who got me interested in all this mind-messery by terrifying me when I saw him on TV when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I honestly thought he must have been from another planet!
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Jun 30, 2011 06:29AM)
There was a time when I bought everything I could afford be it book, DVD or trick, read Pennies and Inner Thoughts on a daily basis and studied mentalism 2 hours a day. At times I had various favourites, often determined by what I was working on at the time.

At some point - I'd guess about a year ago, I stopped buying, reading, studying, visiting Pennies and Inner Thoughts, and constantly tweaking my show and just went with what really worked.

When I look back now, while I've been influenced by many performers and creators, one is far ahead of the pack - Bob Cassidy.

I appreciate his common sense (make your own props so you understand them and can fix them), I appreciate the simplicity and directness of his methods and I love his sense of humour.

I don't promise this will be the case, but I am quite confident I could perform mentalism for the rest of my life using just what I have learnt from his publications and web seminars.
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Jun 30, 2011 11:06AM)
I'm in the same boat as destiny. Although it was brown who got me back into Mentalism. Looch and spellman also inspired me also. Fresh thinking to subtle ideas. For the last year I've been looking at Jerome and Scott grossberg in a non stalking way. Oh and Anthony j for his work and ideas in hypnosis.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 30, 2011 11:51AM)
Katherine Anne. (Don't worry if you don't know her...)

For showing me that Hypnosis does not use stooges.
Message: Posted by: Lost in Thought (Jun 30, 2011 12:16PM)
Annemann, Cassidy and Fogel.

Annemann and Bob Cassidy for some of the best routining out there - check out "Test of the Tiber", "Whim of Tituba", "Fourth Dimensional Telepathy" (Bob's especially) and "Name/Place" - these are masterclasses in how to structure an effect, and to make it play for a large audience. Their published acts are both worthy of serious study as well.

Maurice Fogel for sheer testicular fortitude. Anyone who solves two conflicting commitments by calling in a bomb threat is on a different level than the rest of us.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 30, 2011 05:05PM)
Maurice Fogel for sheer testicular fortitude. Anyone who solves two conflicting commitments by calling in a bomb threat is on a different level than the rest of us.

I knew Maurice. That "different level" wasn't an asset. It was actually a weakness. Recklessness was quite a speciality of his. Having said that he may well have been the greatest mentalist of all time rivalling even Dunninger. He was certainly the greatest I have ever seen, at any rate.
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Jun 30, 2011 05:33PM)
Steven King the author.

He confirmed for me that what I thought was possible is
and proved it by a personal interactive demonstration.

Also Anthony Hopkins, (Actor) for his help on how to let others see
what you do. Or make others interested in seeing you see what they cannot.


Message: Posted by: DekEl (Jun 30, 2011 05:38PM)
Marc Oberon and Derren Brown. I know that Marc is primarily a magician, but I've always liked his style, charm and the completeness of his performances (plus he created Bang On).

Derren Brown because his shows are brilliant (Hero at 30,000 feet), because he's an extremely competent and smooth performer, uses a variety of tactics (at least he says he does) to accomplish his ends, and because he excudes intelligents, not just wittiness.
Message: Posted by: Lost in Thought (Jun 30, 2011 06:15PM)
On 2011-06-30 18:05, Mark Lewis wrote:
I knew Maurice. That "different level" wasn't an asset. It was actually a weakness. Recklessness was quite a speciality of his.

I can well believe that. There's a chap I'm working with at the moment who seems to have a similar disregard for common sense or societal norms... the lows can be pretty low, but some of the places we end up (metaphorically and literally) are pretty amazing.
Message: Posted by: innermind (Jul 1, 2011 12:03AM)
Over 20 years ago, after watching Lee Earle perform the Musing Box routine and then needing to wipe a tear from my eye and clear a lump from my throat after his amazing performance, I would have to say that Mr. Earle is at the top of my list!

Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jul 1, 2011 01:38PM)
Orson Welles, for his conviction and ability to suspend disbelief.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jul 1, 2011 02:20PM)
From everything I have heard about Maurice Fogel (including the touch of lunacy) he is my type of guy. A legend. Common sense is over-rated.
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Jul 1, 2011 03:17PM)
On 2011-07-01 14:38, Steve_Mollett wrote:
Orson Welles, for his conviction and ability to suspend disbelief.

Yep I should have had Orson, on my list also.

When he was a young man he created things that would last forever.


Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 1, 2011 03:48PM)
Actually, jim's earlier post reminded me of a big influence of mine - one I've had for so long I don't even conciously think about him...

clive barker - the ***ation game, imajica and the great and secret show especially... he was the guy who inspired me to write short stories...
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Jul 1, 2011 04:42PM)
As of this morning, Fantastic Fig & Cat
Message: Posted by: Giacomo Moretti (May 6, 2014 04:15PM)
Derren Brown.

Message: Posted by: gabelson (May 6, 2014 04:36PM)
[quote]On Dec 27, 2010, looch wrote:
Bob Cassidy
John Riggs
Derren Brown

I couldn't agree more with these three, Looch. Although you should have included yourself! Bob Cassidy, to me, tops the list. I would also add two people: Richard Osterlind, for the simple reason that I don't think there's a better TEACHER of mentalism. I'd also add Peter Turner, as I truly think he has taken mentalism to a different level.
Message: Posted by: Mark_Chandaue (May 6, 2014 05:12PM)
My favourites are

Bob Cassidy
Richard Osterlind
Pete Turner
Atlas Brookings
Derren Brown

Message: Posted by: Stunninger (May 6, 2014 09:52PM)
Bob Cassidy # 1. Brilliant thinker, superbly skilled, polished performer, prolific author and living legend who helps others.
John Riggs for his devious and ingenious creations.
Banachek for being the most believable, convincing thought reader I've ever seen.
Agree Richard Osterlind may be the best teacher of mentalism of our time. His DVD sets are invaluable.
Derren Brown...amazing...
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (May 7, 2014 12:48AM)
Derren Brown, Bob Cassidy and Michael Weber + Marc Spelmann are tops in my Mental book - and I love watching Docc.

I like learning from guys like Luke Jermay, Peter Turner or Looch but don't relate as well to their performance styles.
Message: Posted by: MrThomas (May 7, 2014 04:51PM)
To me it's Derren Brown on one hand because of my limited familiarity whith other (I suppose magnificient) mentalists. On the other hand, first and foremost because I like his approach on adapting old phenomena and presenting them with a nostalgic charm as well as his incredible ability to blend method and effect by showmanship (his "red herrings").

Further, I can highly relate to his thoughts on the appeal of magic (from his book Absolut Magic).
Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (May 10, 2014 06:41PM)
Derren Brown - polished, excellent audience management, great persona, stage shows themed. Colin Cloud (McCloud) excellent persona, approachable character, wonderful presentation...and Scottish!
Message: Posted by: D.J. Ayur (May 11, 2014 01:42AM)
Marc Spelmann is also fantastic!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 12, 2014 12:36AM)
My favorite is still Max Maven because of the comedy he adds.
Message: Posted by: MagicBrain (May 12, 2014 05:20PM)
Anneman - my first book ever read on mentalism 'Practical mental magic' ans still my inspiration
Robert E Nelson - old but still a learning process
Max Maven - for his style
Richard Osterlind - magic and mental magic
Gary Kurtz - first mentalism I ever met in person many years ago
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (May 12, 2014 05:58PM)
Is it okay to say that I derive great inspiration from professional comedians? I don't use "comedy," per se, in my performances, but I admire how certain comics create the illusion of spontaneity. For example, I think Sarah Silverman is a MASTER of this technique. Her shows don't seem "prepared," although I am quite sure she puts a great deal of effort into making it seem that way. They seem extemporaneous. I try to do the same thing in my performances, despite the fact that I laboriously write and rehearse scripts for my major performance pieces.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 12, 2014 06:20PM)

Sure it's okay to say that. I learned to be a performer by watching and working with stand-up comedians and singers. Timing, stage presence, microphone technique, etc. aren't things that you can really learn from books.
Message: Posted by: magician304 (Oct 24, 2014 09:34PM)
Max Maven and Derren Brown
Message: Posted by: Honest Deceptions (Oct 24, 2014 09:41PM)
All of them...They all have something to contribute...
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 25, 2014 10:41AM)
[quote]On May 6, 2014, Enotskcalb wrote:
Bob Cassidy # 1. Brilliant thinker, superbly skilled, polished performer, prolific author and living legend who helps others.

Yes! Bob Cassidy! No question. For the above reasons and more...

Message: Posted by: JayFredericks (Oct 25, 2014 12:31PM)
David Hoy - Cojones like coconuts.
Message: Posted by: Mr. F (Oct 25, 2014 09:35PM)
Too many influences to name...but here are a few: Richard Osterlind, Bob Cassidy, Peter Turner, Atlas Brookings, Michael Murray, Luke Jermay...
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Jul 31, 2016 08:23PM)
Bobser stated years ago how its funny how some threads come back up after some time. He is right! I performed Sum Total by Larry Becker last night to a wonderful round of applause. Its been about a year and a half since I performed this gem. So after all these years I'm still a huge fan of Mr. Becker and Sum Total! And I've added another name and piece of mentalism to my list. Mr. Martin Lewis and his What-Sat book test using SAT style cards. This is a great and I mean great book test. I've been fortunate enough to meet this man and his mind is one of the sharpest in mentalism and magic! But this test is such a wonderful piece of mentalism that I could not recommend it more. Sum Total and What-Sat will always be in my go-to drawer and I know it will continue to garner the applause we all hope to receive.

But beyond the above statement let me just say Mr. Becker and Mr. Lewis are two very fine examples of men who dedicated their lives to our Art and have made it much better by their contributions and improvements. And they are truely truely wonderful men to know. I am very honored to know them.

Good magic to all,

Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (Aug 5, 2016 12:47PM)
I wouldn't be performing without the help of Corinda, Annemann, Cassidy, Maven, Becker, Brown, Osterlind, Riggs, and so many others listed here.

But I will always have a soft place in my heart for Barrie Richardson. I love his writing style, theory, approach, kindness, and generosity. I am so glad he wrote the books and made the videos before he passed on.

Message: Posted by: Giannim (Aug 5, 2016 01:35PM)
Max Maven
Derren Brown
Message: Posted by: Twisted Mentat (Aug 5, 2016 01:47PM)
Luke Jermay.
I think he is an aristocrat among modern mentalists.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Aug 8, 2016 12:38PM)
Chan Canasta for having the balls to do what he did on live TV... and being able to get out of it so well when it went wrong.
Message: Posted by: B_man2012 (Aug 8, 2016 04:25PM)
Derren Brown for being a constant inspiration, and a major reason that brought me into mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Aug 8, 2016 09:09PM)
Let's not forget Tommy and Liz Tucker. One of the greatest Duo's of all time.


Message: Posted by: ashpryce (Aug 9, 2016 10:51AM)
So many to chose from.

I really like the work of Luke Jermay, Bob Cassidy obviously. I like Banachek quite a bit. Rich Ferguson some may argue isn't a mentalist, but to be honest I got a few routines from him that have served me very well and got some amazing reactions. Corindas work is of course vital

As someone said earlier, Colin Cloud is an influence and the first mentalist I saw that made me want to persue the art form.

But I gotta go cliche and say Derren Brown. He brought mentalism into the mainstream in the UK, and I imagine he is a big factor in people being drawn toward the art in recent years (again in the UK). I'm not keen on his more recent self help type stuff - in fact since the Lottery I think only one or two of his specials have appealled, but his live work is brilliant and I regularly watch his pre-2009 output.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Aug 10, 2016 12:31PM)
Ross Johnson and Marc Salem. Because they perform real world mentalism that is entertaining and mystifying and they deliver it with the utmost style and appreciation for their audiences. And both are unique in a world of copycat perfomers.
Message: Posted by: Forty Six & 2 (Sep 4, 2016 09:26AM)
Hello everyone. For me Id have to say It's a tie between Richard Osterlind and Bob Cassidy. Without these two I wouldn't be half the performer I am today.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 4, 2016 09:42AM)
I think the same can be said for most of today's mentalists