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Topic: Close up mentalism material
Message: Posted by: stefo (May 8, 2011 04:35PM)
I have been messing around with mentalism for last few months watching DVD's and reading books and now I have a desire to go out and perform close up mentalism, however it's hard to find DVD that goes deeper in close up mentalism, so I would like to hear from experienced members what DVD's or books should I read on the subject.

Best Regards.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 8, 2011 04:39PM)
Ed fowler's second dvd is close up mentalism - he's a mighty fine person and mentalist...

if you google through the Café, you'll find info about it, and links...

docc Hilford's dvds are pretty much parlour and close up...

and simply psychic by ross johnson too...
Message: Posted by: Amirá (May 8, 2011 06:10PM)
Iain´s "Beautiful Lie" is a great compendium of ideas for close up mentalism
My own work is mostly focuses in "minimalistic" performances so is very compatible with close up performances.
If you take the Corinda and PME and tweak it a little, you can modernize a lot of the material in there and create your own "modern mentalism" pieces.
Cassidy´s as well in his books and eBooks has a LOT of strong material for close up performances.

Please don't get "This is Mentalism" DVD or " Modern Mentalism " DVD. Both are jamm with "mental tricks" and not really pieces for real mentalism performances.
Message: Posted by: dpe666 (May 8, 2011 06:58PM)
My new e-book, "Minimalism" will have a lot of close-up mentalism. :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 8, 2011 06:59PM)
I disagree with the original post. There are so many mentalism dvds and it seems most of them are based around closeup. Being someone that only performs stage I can't tell you how many times I buy a new dvd or dvd set and only one or two of the dozen or so effects could be used or adapted for stage, all the others are either closeup mentalism or card mentalism.
Message: Posted by: motown (May 8, 2011 11:19PM)
In the book Spectacle there's an excellent close-up mentalism routine by Ray Grismer called The Janus Predictions. Uses coins.

Max Maven's VideoMind set has a DVD with close-up material that's very strong. His book Prism has excellent material as well.
Message: Posted by: motown (May 8, 2011 11:28PM)
Peter Duffie's Miraculous Minds Scotland Goes Mental is worth looking into.
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (May 8, 2011 11:38PM)
I will second Max Maven's Videomind DVD (Vol 2)and his book Prism. I will also second Docc Hilford's MM DVD's. "Theater of the Mind" by Barrie Richard has some great close-up in it and so does "Quartet" by Jack Kent Tillar! Richard Osterlind, Bob Cassidy. . .the list goes on and on and on. . .
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 8, 2011 11:43PM)
Other than allowing for the size of the audience and visibility concerns, I don't really see much of a distinction between stage and close-up mentalism. I do mostly the same things close-up that I do in my regular performances.

Good thoughts,

Message: Posted by: voh002 (May 9, 2011 12:35AM)
Opening Minds DVD set by Colin McLeod has some good close up effects.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Cooper (May 9, 2011 02:39AM)
1. Decide what you want to be:
Supernatural Uri Geller?
Psychological Derren Brown?
Magician Derren Brown?
No explanation Richard Osterlind?

2. Decide what effects best suit that persona; for example I want to be seen as a psychological illusionist, so I open with a "Coin in which Hand" routine where I guess which hand the coin is in (duh). Then I later move on to other effects, and when I dare even permit myself the joy of a coin bend.

3. Find methods for the effects you want to perform.

4. Don't use the easy methods, use the best methods.

5. Profit???
Message: Posted by: stefo (May 9, 2011 04:18AM)
I want to be something between Banachek and Richard Osterlind.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (May 9, 2011 06:27AM)
Banalind? Osterchek?
Message: Posted by: parmenion (May 9, 2011 06:46AM)
Buy 13th step...........
It's becoming a running gag, sadly!
He has now experience at all , start by the beginning and stick with it could be the best advice...
Message: Posted by: haklia (May 9, 2011 06:47AM)
Richard Shaw? ;-)

So: Osterlind and Banachek DVDs. :-D
Message: Posted by: Jamie D (May 9, 2011 08:58AM)
If your just starting out, start with easier methods. It will keep your nerves more com at the begging of your venture! Besides, there's nothing wrong with keeping it simple, know matter how advanced you are ( just my oppinion)Banachek's work was a huge influence on me as I learned a lot from it, Ostrlind deserves some credit as well.

Message: Posted by: haklia (May 9, 2011 09:10AM)
On 2011-05-08 17:35, stefo wrote:
I have been messing around with mentalism for last few months watching DVD's and reading books[/quote]
Tell us what you have watched and read. :)
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (May 9, 2011 10:59AM)

Here, for the umpteenth time, is the same advice I give anyone who is contemplating undertaking the transition from magic to mentalism (or adding mentalism to their repertoire) and that I wish someone had given to me when I was at the same point in my development. The great thing is that both my advice and the source material that I recommend are, for the most part, free. I know that regular readers are already saying to themselves "here he goes again," nevertheless it apparently bears repeating (since newbies rarely avail themselves of the Café's "search" function).

First, forget about watching videos, buying DVDs or the lastest mindboggling miracle for sale. Start at the beginning. Learn what mentalism really is, the basic effects and premises on which they are based, and the basic/classic methodologies employed. These are things that are best learned by READING BOOKS -- not watching others performing on videos/DVDs (the time for that should come much later, when you are ready to see the interpretations that others apply to THEIR own presentations).

Although others will be quick to refer you to the books by Annemann and Corinda, I strongly suggest that before you invest in any other books, DVDs, CDs or effects, you would be better advised to read Bob Cassidy's "The Thirty-Nine Steps: A Mentalist's Library of Essential Works." I believe you can still download it for free from http://www.mastermindreader.com/The39Steps.html or http://www.Lybrary.com. You will also find it in Cassidy’s “Fundamentals of Professional Mentalism” which is a downloadable manuscript available at http://www.Lybary.com. While “Fundamentals” is not free, at only $29 it is one of best bargains in mentalism and IMO there is no better preparation for further study of the genre. IMO there is more valuable "real world" information packed into the 88 pages of "Fundamentals" than any other single source I've found in my 60+ year association with the magical arts.

For someone who is really a "beginner" in the truest sense of the word, I would recommend 2 books. Like Bob, "The Amateur Magician's Handbook" by Henry Hay is at the top of my list. The second, although not on Bob's list, is "The Handbook of Mental Magic" by Marvin Kaye. Another book, just released in February 2011, which I highly recommend and have recently added to my list is Richard Osterlind’s “The Principles of Mentalism.”

Hay's book is step 1. It provides the broad based practical foundation in the psychology and techniques of magic that is essential for anyone before they even consider tackling mentalism.

Kaye's is step 2 and covers many of the essential basics of mental magic -- the precursor to mentalism -- from the layman's perspective, presupposes zero prior knowledge or experience, and introduces the beginner to the important fundamentals in a more contemporary context.

Osterlind’s is step 3.

IMO those who will be quick to bypass those and direct you first to the works of Annemann, Larsen, Nelson, Newman, Corinda, etc. -- all of which BTW are more than worthy of study and, in fact, are among the sources recommended by Cassidy -- are putting the cart before the horse because most beginners lack the foundation needed to really "get into" those pioneers of mentalism whose writing and presentations will seem dated to anyone lacking the knowledge base to recognize and fully appreciate the timelessness of the principles underlying their work.

I am a firm believer in the idea that one should first learn to crawl, then to walk and that only after lots of experience running is one ready to tackle a marathon. I know that seems like a long, slow and arduous process. It is, but if you really want to learn, you should read the books. Mastering the basics will give you the foundation on which to build. Once you have laid a proper foundation, you will be ready to graduate to the works of the contemporary luminaries of mentalism like Maven, Waters, Cassidy, Becker, Banachek, Osterlind, Bernstein, Brook, Nyman, Looch, Quinn and others.

But before you even order "Fundamentals" you should understand and bear in mind that although many consider mentalism a subset of magic, it also has roots in spiritualism and mediumship and IMO it is one of the most demanding type of performing and requires a totally different mindset and skill set than magic as it responds to the totally different mindset of the audience. So be forewarned that it is NOT an easy transition for most magicians to make and can be even more difficult for those lacking a solid background in magic.

Just my $0.02
Message: Posted by: gmeister (May 9, 2011 11:04AM)
They may only be 2 cents worth, but in Dick's case the coins are minted from gold.
Message: Posted by: oralroberts (May 9, 2011 12:26PM)
I want to be Nimrod Harel.
Message: Posted by: Rafael The Master Hypnotist (May 9, 2011 12:55PM)
Entertaining thread..............
Message: Posted by: stefo (May 9, 2011 02:30PM)
I have 13 steps to mentalism and I agree it's a great book. I will take a deeper look at the book and I hope I'll find solutions to my problems. And I know books are way better than DVD's especially 13 steps and Practical mental effects. Thanks once more for responses.
Message: Posted by: haklia (May 9, 2011 04:24PM)
"Whether you are a magician wishing to move into mentalism or are an advanced mentalist, you will find concepts and ideas within these pages that will startle you and force you into new dimensions."

Here : http://osterlindmysteries.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=46&zenid=gk3sfh9aio7o91ll6bjt2s05v4

I hope you have a lot of time in front of you to read all of these books. ;)
Message: Posted by: DT3 (May 9, 2011 08:50PM)
Protoplasm by Christian Painter is exclusively close-up mentalism and is full of great material by a pro who performs the routines often. Therefore they have been heavily road tested and polished.
Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (May 10, 2011 01:03PM)
As Bob Cassidy has noted, there is very little difference between close-up and stage mentalism. Most stage effects can easily be "scaled down" for close-up and most close-up can be "scaled up" for stage presentation.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (May 10, 2011 05:09PM)
I would say, that though the presentation/plot may well stay the same (or there abouts) there is sometimes (in my opinion) a need for a change of technique/method...not always...but some of the time...the same with the pacing of the piece too...so I can see why the question gets asked...
Message: Posted by: Dr. Eamon (May 10, 2011 08:55PM)
Message: Posted by: Dr. Eamon (May 10, 2011 08:55PM)
Hey that was my shortest post ever...
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (May 11, 2011 12:53PM)
Read Dick´s post.
Then read it again and grasp its meaning.
Then read all books mentioned that you can find.
As easy as that.... :)
Message: Posted by: R-U-D-! (May 11, 2011 02:28PM)
At least read Nicolinos new eBook Chance's Token and you're ready to do a miracle ;-)


off topic: Felx, 1 PR Dollar for me...! ;-)
Message: Posted by: Nicolino (May 12, 2011 01:42AM)
No Rudi, in this case I wouldn´t recommend your proposed procedure!!
At least not the dollar-thing.... :)

Honestly, I´m kind of happy and relieved that (at least in this very section of the Café) such a field-spanning question finds that many patient and sincere replies, although it admittedly partly reflects the prevailing naivety of the op in this topic (which, don´t get me wronmg, is [i]not a bad thing[/i] at all, but the past has shown that such inquieries have lead indeed to some annoying hint bashing ala [b]¨Use the search function and do your homework!¨[/b]).

Now: do your homework, mate! :)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 12, 2011 03:28AM)
Here's the correct link for my "39 Steps to Mentalism" that Dick so kindly referred to:


Good thoughts,

Message: Posted by: churken1 (May 13, 2011 01:27PM)
Most items that can be done in a parlor setting can also be done close up with a little thought. Confabulation, Magic Square, anything by Jon Archer - it can all be adapted. Maybe instead of using a big white board, you are using your business card, etc. - you see what I mean. I have adapted many routines that are designed for the parlor (such as John Riggs material) and use it all the time in my restaurant and private shows.

A great book to check out is Switchcraft. There are many posts about it on the Café. Billet work is great close up. Also, check out the works of Mark Strivings.

Just like your routining of a trick, use your imagination to work out ways to do stand up material in a close up setting. It is not that hard, given a little thought.

Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (May 13, 2011 02:04PM)
"The Handbook of Mental Magic" by Marvin Kaye doesn't appear many times on the book lists, I think it's underestimated. Although the ghost show part is very old-fashioned.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 22, 2019 11:13AM)
[quote]On May 9, 2011, stefo wrote:
I want to be something between Banachek and Richard Osterlind. [/quote]

[quote]On May 9, 2011, Mindpro wrote:
Banalind? Osterchek? [/quote]

Nah isn't that Jim Sisti? Or was it not Jim on Banachek's dvds? I have a feeling it may not have been...)
Message: Posted by: Ba Ba Booey (Jul 23, 2019 10:44PM)
Sisti is with Osterlind. Scott Wells was on the Banachek DVDs. Both mentalists have terrific close-up material.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 24, 2019 06:40AM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, Ba Ba Booey wrote:
Sisti is with Osterlind. Scott Wells was on the Banachek DVDs. Both mentalists have terrific close-up material. [/quote]

dang it - I was sure I was wrong just after I posted it....as in the next day when you replied! LOL :lol: