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Topic: What Do You Think Of When You Hear "Mentalist"?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 2, 2013 11:20AM)
As a performer or someone interested in Mentalism, I am just curious as to what type of performance you immediately think of when you hear "mentalist"? What does it mean or how does it apply to your immediate thoughts?

For example, when I think or hear of mentalism, I immediately and only think of one performer on stage in a theater or banquet setting. I know it means different things to each of us. To some it may mean readings, to others it may be walk around or street, and yet to others it may mean spirit or seances.

So without any thought what is you immediate or default thought when you hear or think "mentalist"?
Message: Posted by: Henry Becker (Feb 2, 2013 11:34AM)
Interesting question, Mindpro.

Really the first thought that comes to my mind is "Banachek"...
Strange, because he was not my first contact with nor my biggest influence in mentalism.
My first contact with mentalism was via a 16 yo mentalist who performed 5 psychological forces..which all failed..
He told us "they should have worked because..." And THAT was my trigger to find out more about mentalism (I was 13 at the moment, that is 15 years ago :) )
My biggest influence must be Derren Brown, although both my performing character and style don't even come close to Derrens.

I think the reason the first thing which comes to my mind is "Banachek" is because it is something quite positive to me.
I have met him a couple of times and I think he is a very nice and positive person. Someone who also has a lot of respect for his participants on stage!
And...I really like his books and DVD's... PS2 was actually my second book in mentalism (Building Blocks by Jermay being the first).

Maybe this is not really the kind of answer you were looking for or hoping for. :)
Message: Posted by: granterg (Feb 2, 2013 11:42AM)
With respect, I think Mindpro's question is not very useful because, as mentalists, our minds are polluted.

The question should be posed to lay people.

Just my opinion.

granterg
Message: Posted by: Crowslide (Feb 2, 2013 12:02PM)
Unfortunatly one of the first things to come to mind are the number of times I've seen a mentalist in a performance situation trying hard to make it look like what they are doing is difficult. Poor acting skills tend to ruin the fragile moments of suspended belief.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (Feb 2, 2013 12:14PM)
The first image that comes to my mind is a sort of a V-shaped "Stan Carlisle" type character, blindfolded on a stage and answering questions.
Message: Posted by: hypblake (Feb 2, 2013 12:19PM)
A tv show
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 2, 2013 12:46PM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-02 12:42, granterg wrote:
With respect, I think Mindpro's question is not very useful because, as mentalists, our minds are polluted.

The question should be posed to lay people.

Just my opinion.

granterg
[/quote]

That's exactly NOT what I am seeking by asking this question.

Thank Mike and Hypblake for answering. Once again to clarify, I am seeking THE TYPE OF PERFORMANCE you immediately think of when you hear "mentalist"? Not a person or performer, not the material, but the type of performance presentation.

I want to know what those here at the Café in the industry think, not lay people. What I am curious about has nothing to do with audiences, the public or lay people.

I think this is why so many threads here get derailed.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Feb 2, 2013 12:51PM)
A stage or platform mind reader.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Feb 2, 2013 01:00PM)
I have always thought of a Q and A.

And if I'm being VERY specific -- I think of it occuring in a 1930's style carnival tent in a style oozing mystery and all kinds of delicious undertones.

David
Message: Posted by: Shrubsole (Feb 2, 2013 02:02PM)
Yes we performers have very preconceived ideas of what a mentalist is - When I use that term to describe myself, it is nearly always responded to with "What's a mentalist?"

If I reply "Like Derren Brown" it at least makes for a quick exist and if I respond with a long explanation, then at the end they say "Oh what, like Derren Brown?"

Sometimes to win, one has not to fight.
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Feb 2, 2013 02:03PM)
The term mentalist used to conjurer up images of a Chan Canasta type character on stage or in the studio performing incredible feats of the mind and oozing charisma. Nowadays unfortunately, it brings to my mind Derren Brown wannabees trying to do what he does but without any of the conviction or charm and in no way being convincing. I've never given this thought before but that's the truth of it.

Now 'Mind Reader' makes me think of something else entirely. It makes me think of Canasta, Kreskin, Cassidy etc. and brings to mind the same images that 'Mentalist' once did, years ago.

best,
Sean
Message: Posted by: Mark_Chandaue (Feb 2, 2013 02:24PM)
Unfortunately (and largely thanks to the TV show I'm Alan Partridge) in the UK the word mentalist means complete and utter psycho. For example "I went out with some bird and she turned out to be a complete mentalist.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Feb 2, 2013 03:49PM)
My first experience with a known mentalist was seeing Duninger in 1958
and being very disappointed. Later I became friends with Arnold Furst who opened my eyes to potentials of magic in all forms,
especially the idea that the performer and audience can blend and produce something more.

consider ...

FUN d’MENTAL

there is a sea of lonely into which I might dip
a toe,
in hoping the welcome will be warmer than
before;
but I am of the shore – ever more
and less,
and they the laughing sunlight crest
of waves.

We all speak of an audience as if it is somehow
alive,
a feral projection of aspirations
unvoiced;
and a natural bonding of intentions
shared,
to shout as “We’ instead of “I”
today.

If I could but meld with each lost spirit one-on-one
alone,
I would be a better mentalist by far
and call;
and would change tears into crystal memories
of joy,
and conjure up a life raft from life’s
flotsum.

We play a game then, you and I and shadowed others
near by,
of mysteries that enchant heart and rationality
as one;
to give pause from boredom and hopelessness
ignored,
in an illusion that we might be living
once more.

I would offer open heart and hand beneath the bob
suspended,
and grant you choices masked as sealed packs
of joy;
if you will quit bobbing in a sea of such bland
sameness,
and dare to dance on these magic sands
with me.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Feb 2, 2013 04:19PM)
Kreskin.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Feb 2, 2013 04:48PM)
I tend to think of a cross between a Svengali type character and Chan Canasta. The very image would conjure up in my mind someone who is in full control, and has the ability to control the decisions of others.

BTW, Funsway, out of interest, why were you disappointed with Dunninger?
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Feb 2, 2013 05:26PM)
Annemann type in a blindfold
Message: Posted by: magic123 (Feb 2, 2013 05:47PM)
Kreskin OR some one that escaped a mental Hospital !
Message: Posted by: C.J. (Feb 2, 2013 05:49PM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-02 15:24, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Unfortunately (and largely thanks to the TV show I'm Alan Partridge) in the UK the word mentalist means complete and utter psycho. For example "I went out with some bird and she turned out to be a complete mentalist.
[/quote]

Ah-HAAAA!
When I was a kid and Knowing Me, Knowing You was airing for the first time, I somehow thought it was real. :blush:

Back to topic...
Message: Posted by: granterg (Feb 2, 2013 05:52PM)
OK, it's got to be KRESKIN.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Feb 2, 2013 06:19PM)
I always think of Dunninger. He was my greatest inspiration ever since I first saw his television show in the late fifties. Easily the boldest, most believable and charismatic mentalist I have ever seen.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Feb 2, 2013 06:30PM)
I wasn't going to respond to Innercircle's question publicly, but now I will -- because what Bob says may be true, but ...

it was a nightclub setting at the old Riverside Hotel in Reno, Nevada -- about 60 people for dinner and show. My friend Jeff and I had received special permission to be be there as minors.

Shortly after Dunninger had begun his show he spied us and loudly asked, "Why are those kids here?" Then he shrugged and went on at rapid fire pace.

He seemed impatient with anyone who did not instantly respond to his question or directions, allowing no time to absorb what was happening. There seemed to be no continuity from one presentation to the next. Several people left.

Suddenly he turned and told Jeff to come up front -- no request, just a command.

When he discovered that Jeff a crippled he shook his finger saying, "No - this will never do! I need a whole person."

I guess he forgot to bring his charisma that night.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Feb 2, 2013 06:48PM)
Yes, he could be rude and crude on occasion. But he was, nonetheless, the premiere mentalist of the forties and fifties and his influence exists to this day.
Message: Posted by: Alan M (Feb 2, 2013 07:18PM)
I think of mind reader.
Message: Posted by: John C (Feb 2, 2013 07:23PM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-02 12:42, granterg wrote:
With respect, I think Mindpro's question is not very useful because, as mentalists, our minds are polluted.

The question should be posed to lay people.

Just my opinion.

granterg
[/quote]

Most Café members are lay people. What kind of mentalist opens with, "I saw this trick on tv ... where can I get it?"

Just my 2 scents!

J
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Feb 2, 2013 08:43PM)
I think spending too much time on this forum corrupts the image of a Mentalist for me. We get people posting questions as John mentions above and then next thing you know they've visited Promystic and are calling themselves mentalists ;)

best,
Sean
Message: Posted by: granterg (Feb 2, 2013 08:50PM)
It sounds like perhaps Dunninger could be rude at times.

Kreskin, on the other hand, is one of the best people you could ever meet.

Trust me.

I saw his show once at a hotel, and an hour or so after the show I was hanging out in the lobby.

Kreskin happened to walk by and it was very late at night.

Anyhow, Kreskin started talking to a night shift worker who was by himself cleaning the place.

I could tell Kreskin put a huge giant smile on the guy's face!

Please understand that Kreskin had no reason to approach and talk to this guy.

granterg
Message: Posted by: Rodney Palmer (Feb 2, 2013 11:48PM)
I think of a Psychic on the phone giving a reading.

RP
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Feb 3, 2013 05:17AM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-03 00:48, Rodney Palmer wrote:
I think of a Psychic on the phone giving a reading.

RP
[/quote]

I can't agree with that. Way off!

That's a Magican's perception, Rodney.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Feb 3, 2013 05:19AM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-02 21:50, granterg wrote:
It sounds like perhaps Dunninger could be rude at times.

Kreskin, on the other hand, is one of the best people you could ever meet.

Trust me.

I saw his show once at a hotel, and an hour or so after the show I was hanging out in the lobby.

Kreskin happened to walk by and it was very late at night.

Anyhow, Kreskin started talking to a night shift worker who was by himself cleaning the place.

I could tell Kreskin put a huge giant smile on the guy's face!

Please understand that Kreskin had no reason to approach and talk to this guy.

granterg
[/quote]

"Anyhow, Kreskin started talking to a night shift worker who was by himself cleaning the place.

I could tell Kreskin put a huge giant smile on the guy's face"! :eek:
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Feb 3, 2013 08:36AM)
Its interesting to know who says Kreskin as its like me saying Columbo as a reference and the young adults of today stare at me saying "huh?"

IMHO

Mindfreak is more known a term than Mentalist thanks to social media etc. heck, you can find a mindfreak doing popcorn commercials....
Message: Posted by: David Numen (Feb 3, 2013 10:09AM)
Personally I think of Kreskin but in the UK it's a term that means a nutter so I wouldn't advocate it's use.
Message: Posted by: RichardShure (Feb 3, 2013 10:39AM)
To me personally, It usually means a boring and long winded performance of an effect that we already know how it will end....

OK, I kid a little. But seriously, I think there are many different types of mentalist performances...but I usually think of a Q & A act, drawing dupes, predictions..etc.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 4, 2013 06:51AM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-02 12:20, Mindpro wrote:
As a performer or someone interested in Mentalism, I am just curious as to what type of performance you immediately think of when you hear "mentalist"? What does it mean or how does it apply to your immediate thoughts?

For example, when I think or hear of mentalism, I immediately and only think of one performer on stage in a theater or banquet setting. I know it means different things to each of us. To some it may mean readings, to others it may be walk around or street, and yet to others it may mean spirit or seances.

So without any thought what is you immediate or default thought when you hear or think "mentalist"?
[/quote]

I just see david berglas' face...not him on stage...just his face and I can kinda hear his voice too...

but if I imagined a situation, have you seen the Tim Roth film where he plays Hanussen? the scene with the leather armchairs on stage...something a little similar to that...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Feb 4, 2013 07:36PM)
The essential image that I have always had is a performer who is able to tell members of the audience personal things about themselves that he could not possibly know by normal means.

The key word there is "personal." Other effects- card revelations, book tests, etc.- are just window dressing to the core impression.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: joesquire (Feb 4, 2013 08:01PM)
I think of a "plausible" mind reader. Something like Patrick Jane of the TV Show "The Mentalist"

I think of someone who can read your body language and know when you're lying, know when you like someone, know when you hate someone. Someone who can read microexpressions

I also think of someone who can subtly influence you to do certain things. Someone for whom "random" doesn't exist - someone who knows the patterns of humans.

I think of Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Babbitt (RainMan) rolled into one.