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Topic: Corinda
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 25, 2014 12:39PM)
Hi I've been studying Corinda for a few years now on and off with other magic but I just started really working it and read it twice over and now on chapter four I think what's the point can someone shed light onto an otherwise dark moment in my eyes I am not sure how long to study this and what is the proper accompaniment of theory to simultaneously boost my repertoire or is corinda a sort of one stop shop I think most of these questions can be answered elsewhere but keep in mind I am young and paying my dues
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 25, 2014 12:41PM)
Click on the 39 Steps link in my signature below. That may well answer your questions.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 25, 2014 12:43PM)
You have I bought your book. Other people suggest it is important I've read it over and over at certain points thanks.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 25, 2014 12:45PM)
Then I don't understand your question. Just get out there and start performing.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 25, 2014 03:05PM)
...pick three effects that appeal to you, go out and give them a go...and be happy if it goes wrong, cos no one will have died (unless you decided on going postal before hand) - have fun, pick friendly nice people that you don't know and ask once politely if they'd like to see something fun and interesting...

it doesn't matter if you fail, blow them away, or mess it all up - you'll no doubt never see them again...don't worry about having some vast repetoire, just pick three things, a beginning, a middle and an end...then you will find your own little path, your own way, tweak things that you find work and don't work for you...

have fun...
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 25, 2014 04:45PM)
This is exactly what I was looking for thanks for the advice.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 25, 2014 06:56PM)
Corinda is where I started and he has never disappointed me. To this day, I continue to enjoy his text. You will find his writing humorous and informative.
Be sure to study the works of Cassidy, Osterlind, Annemann et al.. you will develop a deep respect for them all and you will learn a lot!
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Jul 25, 2014 07:04PM)
Thanks
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 25, 2014 08:28PM)
Go out an intentionally screw up. Not even kidding with that advice. I know when I first started I was scared out of my wits of the idea of messing up, and I was nervous and my hands shook and all of that. I decided to go out to an open mic night to practice and due to nerves forgot to do the dirty work and had no idea what I was doing. I tried three effects, each one failed harder than the last. Inside I was devastated. I ended with "Well, this has all gone terribly so I'll end with a joke. What do you call a mind reader flailing around like a fish out of water? My names Charles, and you've been a great audience."

You know what happened after that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I got a drink, sat with my girlfriend, we laughed about it and watched the other performers and everyone had a good time.

And ya know what? I felt great. I had failed. I had had the worst possible outcome happen to me three times in a row in one act, on a stage in front of a group of people I'd never met, in a place I knew nobody. And I had survived.

So, now I am far more confident when I perform because I have already experienced the worst case scenerio. So, while practicing and performing and studying are all wonderful suggestions, I whole heartily suggest going out and failing on purpose at least once while you're starting out. The sooner you get that out of the way, the sooner you'll realize it's not a big deal.

Sorry for the tangent, hope it helps in some way.
Message: Posted by: rickreation (Jul 26, 2014 01:44AM)
[quote]On Jul 25, 2014, Davidzajac wrote:
Hi I've been studying Corinda for a few years now on and off with other magic but I just started really working it and read it twice over and now on chapter four I think what's the point can someone shed light onto an otherwise dark moment in my eyes I am not sure how long to study this and what is the proper accompaniment of theory to simultaneously boost my repertoire or is corinda a sort of one stop shop I think most of these questions can be answered elsewhere but keep in mind I am young and paying my dues [/quote]


You have GOT to start using some grammar though... that's gonna be important in anything you do, not just mentalism.
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Jul 26, 2014 02:26AM)
[quote]On Jul 26, 2014, Chaz93 wrote:
Go out an intentionally screw up. Not even kidding with that advice. I know when I first started I was scared out of my wits of the idea of messing up, and I was nervous and my hands shook and all of that. I decided to go out to an open mic night to practice and due to nerves forgot to do the dirty work and had no idea what I was doing. I tried three effects, each one failed harder than the last. Inside I was devastated. I ended with "Well, this has all gone terribly so I'll end with a joke. What do you call a mind reader flailing around like a fish out of water? My names Charles, and you've been a great audience."

You know what happened after that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I got a drink, sat with my girlfriend, we laughed about it and watched the other performers and everyone had a good time.

And ya know what? I felt great. I had failed. I had had the worst possible outcome happen to me three times in a row in one act, on a stage in front of a group of people I'd never met, in a place I knew nobody. And I had survived.

So, now I am far more confident when I perform because I have already experienced the worst case scenerio. So, while practicing and performing and studying are all wonderful suggestions, I whole heartily suggest going out and failing on purpose at least once while you're starting out. The sooner you get that out of the way, the sooner you'll realize it's not a big deal.

Sorry for the tangent, hope it helps in some way. [/quote]

Hot contender for post of the month!

Great advice.
Message: Posted by: GaMind (Jul 29, 2014 08:08PM)
Gets my vote. Nice story David -- good to remember it's entertainment, not life or death. Unless you're Bob in a biker bar. Then it might be!
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 08:35PM)
Nah. It's only dangerous to the non-bikers who make the mistake of heckling. The bikers love me.:eek:
Message: Posted by: tpratt38 (Jul 30, 2014 12:59AM)
My first performance was in a biker bar and I asked for a geometric shape and got boobies. I continue used with square with in a circle ad lip psi force.

Next I did seven key to baldplate. And blind fold pocket reading etc. finishing with pool ball prediction. I had the forced ball in secret location. Got lost of free drinks and the bikers loved it because even if I missed I kept pushing through. I was very confident even though all but 2 effects worked correctly. The bikers still talk about my show. But it was also a benifit for a friend of the bar with illness and I donated my performance,
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Jul 30, 2014 06:47AM)
[quote]On Jul 26, 2014, MatCult wrote:

Hot contender for post of the month!

Great advice. [/quote]
Really. You surprise me.
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Jul 30, 2014 08:03AM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, Rolyan wrote:
[quote]On Jul 26, 2014, MatCult wrote:

Hot contender for post of the month!

Great advice. [/quote]
Really. You [b]surprise[/b] me. [/quote]

[quote][i]"*** everything but the circus! ...damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, *** everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy. That won't throw it's heart into the tension, [b]surprise[/b], fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence..."[/i][/quote]
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Jul 30, 2014 03:59PM)
I genuinely have no idea what your last post means. But getting back to reality, if you are seriously supporting the proposal that someone goes out and deliberately fails in front of an unknowing audience, then I'm surprised and also disappointed.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 04:40PM)
When you are first starting out, there is NO NEED to fail on purpose. You'll discover, as Chaz did, that it will happen sooner or later anyway. Just keep in mind that, when it does, it won't be the end of the world.

Besides, failing on purpose isn't something that you should be practicing.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 05:52PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, Rolyan wrote:
I genuinely have no idea what your last post means. But getting back to reality, if you are seriously supporting the proposal that someone goes out and deliberately fails in front of an unknowing audience, then I'm surprised and also disappointed. [/quote]


Sorry to Dissapoint you. I think there is a lot to be learned in failure, and while I didn't intentionally plan on failing in my story, I would suggest someone to do so when starting as I think there is a lot to learn in failure, and if you go out an intentionally fail in a venue and show that doesn't matter you have no risk.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 05:55PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
When you are first starting out, there is NO NEED to fail on purpose. You'll discover, as Chaz did, that it will happen sooner or later anyway. Just keep in mind that, when it does, it won't be the end of the world.

Besides, failing on purpose isn't something that you should be practicing. [/quote]


Not practicing, no, but get it out of the way early on. If you go out and fail out of the gate, you can nip that fear in the bud right away. I think it's better to fail early when you're unknown in a venue and show that doesn't matter and learn that it's no big deal than to fail in front of apaying audience and not know how to get out of it/being struck be fear. I wouldn't ever say go out and practice failing though. That's taking the idea a little too far.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 06:05PM)
You shouldn't be out performing for a paying audience until AFTER you've had plenty of performing experience (which will include a fair number of "failures")
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 30, 2014 06:09PM)
When I was fifteen I dropped a billiard ball on the stage.

Best wishes,


Scott
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 06:11PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
You shouldn't be out performing for a paying audience until AFTER you've had plenty of performing experience (which will include a fair number of "failures") [/quote]


I agree, which is why I suggest doing this when you first start out, and not when you're getting work.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 06:33PM)
I agree that it was a positive experience for you. But, as I understood your post, you didn't do it intentionally. It happened on its own, the way its happened to most of us.

I don't recommend doing it on purpose. When I learned to ride a motorcycle I didn't fall intentionally just to get THAT out of the way. :eek:

The only way to get good at anything is to try your best every time and later analyze and correct whatever may have gone wrong. There's nothing to be learned through intentional failure, ther than the fact that failure isn't the end of the world, which I think everyone knows anyway. Except, maybe, if it happens on a motorcycle.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 06:36PM)
The truth is you're going to fail even when you've been doing it a long time. We're human. If something can go wrong it will. All we can do is be prepared for all the eventualities we can think of, then let go of it... don't worry. I agree with you Chaz, a few embarrassing failures quickly teaches you there's nothing to worry about... nothing bad is going to happen to you. That is freeing and has a way of loosening you up.


This thread reminds me of an interesting quote that went something like...

...when you're young you worry about what people think of you...

...In your middle ages you learn not to care what people think of you...

...In your later years you realize, people aren't (and weren't) thinking of you.

Remember that one kids. :-)
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 06:53PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I agree that it was a positive experience for you. But, as I understood your post, you didn't do it intentionally. It happened on its own, the way its happened to most of us.

I don't recommend doing it on purpose. When I learned to ride a motorcycle I didn't fall intentionally just to get THAT out of the way. :eek:

The only way to get good at anything is to try your best every time and later analyze and correct whatever may have gone wrong. There's nothing to be learned through intentional failure, ther than the fact that failure isn't the end of the world, which I think everyone knows anyway. Except, maybe, if it happens on a motorcycle. [/quote]

Yes, in my experience it didn't happen intentionally. If someone would have suggested that I go out an intentionally fail to get over the nerves and fear of failure though I probably would have taken that advice, based soley on the way I tend to approach new skills and learn. However I think the main point we disagree on is whether or not anything can be learned from an intentional failure. I believe there are good lessons that can be taught by failing, even if doing so intentionaly, beyond just "it isn't the end of the world". So at this point I'm inclined to agree to disagree, as I don't think belaboring my point will do this conversation any good. We all have our own notions and ideas, bore from our experience, and we're not all going to agree on everything all of the time. If we did this place would be boring as hell wouldn't it? :)

All the best
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 07:05PM)
You're right, but a LOT more is learned from unintentional failure. You don't learn what to correct and refine if you did it on purpose.

Besides, I've always felt that I owed EVERY audience my best, even when I was first starting out.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 07:06PM)
Chaz you said...

"if you go out an intentionally fail in a venue and show that doesn't matter you have no risk."



If the show doesn't matter to you, failing probably won't teach you much. It could in fact have the opposite affect and make you more nervous about failing at a show that does matter.

I don't think you can "force" experience. It just takes time. Work hard and let it happen.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 07:26PM)
That's what I mean- I don't feel that there are ANY shows, venues, or audiences that "don't matter."

And you never know who may be in any given audience.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 07:30PM)
Poor choice of words on my part. You should care about every performance, and it should matter. Let me try to clarify:

One of the biggest hinderances to a performer is the fear of failure, which can and does nag at the back of our minds taking attention and energy away from the rest of our internal processes going into the performance and at times even leaking out to be noticible by our audiences. In my experience one of the best ways to overcome fear is by dealing with it head on, and learning what the worst possible situation can be. Granted, there are some times this isn't appropriate, such as like Bob mentioned when learning to ride a motorcycle, but there are other times when it is useful such as picking up a tarantula.

Every show should matter to you, but the reason why it matters may be different. A show could matter to you as a learning experience, and not matter to you as a paycheck. When I said "fail in a venue and show that doesn't matter you have no risk" I meant more along the lines of the latter. If you are going out just to test run new material, try out a new line, etc, and are not making a paycheck or looking to get work off the back of the show then there is no risk from messing up or trying anything new. In a paid performance you want to be 100 percent on from the minute you take the stage. Out at the bar with friends, or at an open mic night where no one is going to remember your name in five minutes anyway though? I think you can take a few liberties. And at this point, you make the show matter not as a way to generate revenue, but as a way to generate experience.

As far as forcing experience, you gain experience by doing, even if you have to engineer the situation. Look at martial artists, who train repeatedly on what to do if someone tries a certain hold or grab. They are engineering the situation for that to occur, but are definitely gaining experience in dealing with that situation by putting themselves into the situation to begin with.

As I said though, this is just my advice. Not a hard pressed rule to live by or anything, and it can be taken or discarded at will. I just know from my experience that failing early on taught me a lot, and I am the type of person who likes to be prepaired for any eventuality and if that means failing on purpose so I can know exactly what my inner processes will be during a failure, that's what I'll do and I do think I would have gotten some benefit if someone had given me the advice I am now giving when I was still a scared little newbie taking any gig I could get.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 07:48PM)
You're overlooking one thing, and probably the most important- the audience. THEY matter, and I believe every performer owes them his best efforts.* And intentionally blowing a show is hardly that.

*I believe THAT'S one of the most important lessons newbies need to learn.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 07:58PM)
And, if you want to be the best you can be, you hold yourself to the highest standards possible EVERYTIME you perform... whether you're getting paid or doing an open mic as you say.

Chaz I understand your excitement at discovering mishaps aren't the end of the world, as well as your excitement to share that. However, I think people need to discover that for themselves. They will in due time.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 07:59PM)
I think that by knowing how you will process and react to a failure you are better armed to deal with it in the future, and thus are giving the audience your best effort because you are actively making an effort to improve your stage presence and show by going out and intentionally putting yourself in a worst case scenerio and developing a strategy to deal with that. So while it might not seem like it Bob, I think we both agree that we need to give our audiences our very best. It seems we simply disagree on ways to go about doing that.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:00PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
And, if you want to be the best you can be, you hold yourself to the highest standards possible EVERYTIME you perform... whether you're getting paid or doing an open mic as you say.

Chaz I understand your excitement at discovering mishaps aren't the end of the world, as well as your excitement to share that. However, I think people need to discover that for themselves. They will in due time. [/quote]

Indeed. All I offer is my experience and advice which may or may not help someone discover that and save some time in the process.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 08:02PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, Chaz93 wrote:
I think we both agree that we need to give our audiences our very best.... [/quote]

Accept for some audiences???
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:03PM)
"I think that by knowing how you will process and react to a failure you are better armed to deal with it in the future, and thus are giving the audience your best effort because you are actively making an effort to improve your stage presence and show by going out and intentionally putting yourself in a worst case scenerio and developing a strategy to deal with that."
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 08:05PM)
I think you develop a strategy for mishaps at home when you practice. You consider everything you can think of that could go wrong and you prepare for when and if those things happen.

What does a live mishap teach you except to show you one place you should have prepared for? (And of course that failing isn't the end of the world.)
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:09PM)
What is to be learnt depends on the person and the experience. I don't think a bullet list of lessons would do any good.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 08:12PM)
Chaz-

Sorry, but you are NOT giving an audience your very best by intentionally blowing your act. Your motive in doing that is to prepare yourself for failure. I understand that. But that is a self-centered motive. Your efforts should always be audience centered- and that means always doing your best.

And, like I said, you never know who's going to be in a particular audience, or what opportunities or breaks you might have blown at the same time you intentionally blew your act.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:14PM)
Bob,

I understand your point of view, which is why I am happy to agree to disagree on this.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 08:16PM)
I think Chaz is failing to get the idea that failing on purpose might not be a good idea. Are you doing that on purpose Chaz?

It's all good. :-)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 08:20PM)
I'd agree with you Chaz, but then we'd both be wrong.

The day I don't do my best in EVERY show, will be the day I know it's time to quit.
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:20PM)
I get that you don't think it is a good idea sandsjr. I still stand by my advice. For the guy who just got corinda and annemann and wants to get out there and start performing, I think it could (Could... not is) be valuable advice. I get that people disagree with me, and that's fine. I am happy to agree to disagree. I don't have much more to say on this subject that wouldn't just be repeating myself and trying to convince people to do things my way, and I don't think either of those are useful for a discussion.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 08:22PM)
No problem Chaz. No big deal man.


Bob I like that line!
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 30, 2014 08:26PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
No big deal man.

[/quote]


Finally something I think we can agree on :)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 08:30PM)
Yes, it is a useful discussion, because it goes right to the heart of what it means to be an entertainer and the obligation an entertainer has to every audience.

If I blew a show I certainly wouldn't sit back, have a drink, and decide that it didn't really matter because the world didn't end. OF COURSE IT DIDN'T.

But I'd be mad at myself and would do everything I could to analyze everything I did to find out what was wrong and needed to be fixed. That's what failure should do- motivate you to work harder, not to teach yourself that failure doesn't matter.

It's not about you, the performer. It's about what you give to an audience. Every time, from your first gig to your last.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 30, 2014 08:33PM)
[quote]On Jul 30, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Yes, it is a useful discussion, because it goes right to the heart of what it means to be an entertainer and the obligation an entertainer has to every audience.

If I blew a show I certainly wouldn't sit back, have a drink, and decide that it didn't really matter because the world didn't end. OF COURSE IT DIDN'T.

But I'd be mad at myself and would do everything I could to analyze everything I did to find out what was wrong and needed to be fixed. That's what failure should do- motivate you to work harder, not to teach yourself that failure doesn't matter.

It's not about you, the performer. It's about what you give to an audience. Every time, from your first gig to your last. [/quote]

If you're serious about what you do, I wouldn't take these words lightly!
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Jul 31, 2014 12:45AM)
Having read his comments I believe he still recommends failing on purposes in front of an unsuspecting audience, which I still find sad and disappointing. I just hope that the original poster doesn't take his misguided advice.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 01:28AM)
Don't be too harsh on Chaz. He means well because a complete failure will indeed convince a new performer that the world won't end because of it. The problem is that it's unfair to an audience and certainly not good for a performer's reputation- at least not at that venue, where he'll always be remembered as the wannabe mentalist who screwed everything up. And, as I said a few times, you'll never know for sure who'll be in an audience.

(I got one of my biggest breaks working for free at a Christmas party on Pier 40 in New York, back when I was just 22. [My wife's father worked in the baggage department there and asked if I would do a twenty minute set at the party.] Turns out that the entertainment director for Holland America cruises was one of the guests. As a result of that show I was booked for three years on the Holland America ships.

I wonder what would have happened if I intentionally screwed up at that show?)
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 31, 2014 01:43AM)
I would say that if something doesn't go according to plan naturally in some way, within the first half dozen performances, then you're either extremely lucky or unlucky - depending on how you want to look at it...

something will go wrong, sooner than later...
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Jul 31, 2014 03:06AM)
While I agree that purposefully fluffing (especially in front of a paying audience) is not a good idea - I do think that the spirit of Chaz's post rings very true. There is something incredibly empowering and liberating about having been through a performance where things go very wrong. Not that we should ever become complacent about making errors - just that we shouldn't let fear of errors cloud our minds during performance. One way to get over that fear is to go through a f***-up and realise that the situation was potentially recoverable or at very least, nobody died and everyone went on with their lives just fine afterwards.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 03:11AM)
No one has argued with that point. My disagreement was solely with the assertion that it would be "good advice" to tell a newbie to fluff a show on purpose just to show that nothing bad will happen.

It would, in fact, for the reasons I've given, be bad advice. (regardless of whether the audience was paying or not)
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Jul 31, 2014 05:16AM)
Good point, well made. Point taken.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Jul 31, 2014 06:50AM)
Like Bob, I also have no issues with learning from failure. I've had an article published in the magic press about how to proactively prevent failure, and I've also led learning/training sessions with experienced entertainers where they brought along a routine, someone took a key piece out of it, and they had to then perform it. I've also run professional training courses for beginners and more experienced magicians. All great stuff and very valuable, and all covered failure and learning from it. But that is nothing to do with my strong disagreement with Chaz' recommendation to deliberately fail in front of an unsuspecting audience. That is not the place to do it, regardless of the type of entertainer you are, or claim to be.

As I say, hopefully the original poster will have realised that failing is not a disaster, but that planning to do so deliberately in front of a unsuspecting audience is ill advised, unnecessary and is disrespectful to the audience and to the art you perform.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 01:17PM)
I think the key distinction here regarding whether to fail on purpose or not is what the hang-up is all about. Clearly, if you're just lazy or unsure of your material or unpracticed in it, then those issues should be addresed and you should prepare yourself to actually give a great performance given logistical constraints in terms of time and effort you can reasonably invest into mentalism, given the level you find yourself at. I don't think Chaz93 or the gentleman who actually deliberately failed onstage recommnended doing poorly as *general* advice for *any* newbie, nor did their posts strike me as advocating for trivialzing mentalism or wasting any audience members' time.

I think the point that both were pointing to is that IF fear of failure in a performance context is chronically blocking a person from either performing or even fully committing/investing themselves to/in the art of mentalism (since they project an inability to perform given that fear into the future) enough to even consider performing, THEN it might be a wise choice to go out and deliberately fail to get over this hang up. This is a pretty standard psychological technqiue that can be quite effective in helping people get over performance hang-ups. See, you might learn enough from failure by accident wihtout having to fail on purpose, but if someone is so paralyzed by fear of failure or judgment in the first place to even do that then deliberately failing is actually one of the few routes open to them at all. I think that is being missed--how difficult it may be for some people to even get in that "flight time" that develops skills naturally. The point in deliberately failing then is not to actually learn how to improve one's craft, but rather to help someone get to the point where they can even start on that path in the first place.

The question of what is owed to the audience is a tricky one. Obviously, I don't think you should be doing this to a paying audience. Then again, if you are crippled by performance anxiety to begin with, it's unlikely that the audience you are failing in front of is a paying one. I don't think people who go to open mic nights are "owed" anything in terms of quality performance. The whole context presupposes that there will be a wide range of acts and skill levels. As for how that one performance will impact the image people have of mentalism...I don't think it will to any greater extent than any hack comdedian or wannabe popstar impacts their craft when they get on stage and do terribly, intentionally or otherwise. At the end of the day, you have to crack a few eggs to make an omlette.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 01:37PM)
That's a well thought out post Engali, but I wonder why people who are paralyzed by fear of failure in front of an audience would want to be in show business in the first place.

There is one compromise I would agree with, though. If you really need to find out that failure isn't the end of the world, just intentionally miss on one or two things in the act and learn that it doesn't affect your credibility at all. In fact it could enhance it.

But don't intentionally screw up an entire set just to prove to yourself that it doesn't matter.

And, yes, a performer owes something to every audience. Even in a free show that audience is giving you their time. You should really try to give them something in return.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 31, 2014 01:40PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
That's a well thought out post Engali, but I wonder why people who are paralyzed by fear of failure in front of an audience would want to be in show business in the first place.
[/quote]

Bob,

Jolson had to be pushed out on stage. (Of course, once there, you couldn't get him off.)

Best,

Scott
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 01:42PM)
I'm sometimes that way before a show as well. But when I walk, the fear immediately goes away. So why would I need to purposely screw up? That would do nothing to combat stage fright- it could even make it worse. Derisive laughter from an audience, etc. certainly wouldn't help someone who was insecure in the first place.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 31, 2014 02:02PM)
Agreed! No one in their right mind would intentionally screw up.

Best,

Scott
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 02:06PM)
Note- my last post should have read, "...when I walk on stage"
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 31, 2014 02:19PM)
To be perfectly honest, I have not been nervous going on stage since I was fifteen (tell you that story over drinks).

But, in all seriousness, I often ask myself prior to a performance if I'm in my right mind. That question isn't answered until after the show.

Best wishes,

Scott
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 03:19PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
That's a well thought out post Engali, but I wonder why people who are paralyzed by fear of failure in front of an audience would want to be in show business in the first place.

There is one compromise I would agree with, though. If you really need to find out that failure isn't the end of the world, just intentionally miss on one or two things in the act and learn that it doesn't affect your credibility at all. In fact it could enhance it.

But don't intentionally screw up an entire set just to prove to yourself that it doesn't matter.

And, yes, a performer owes something to every audience. Even in a free show that audience is giving you their time. You should really try to give them something in return. [/quote]

That's fair. I would argue that there are people who love mentalism (or whatever performance craft) and that their love for it may be very independent of their anxiety surrounding performance. I mean, this internal struggle is so common that it's cliche. The fact that you see this issue play out in literature, movies, and other media throughout time suggests that, far from being abberant, it's actually a pretty common occurence that makes up part of the human condition. This is especially true if we are to expand the conceptualization to what it really is: a struggle between desperately wanting to engage in some activity and the fear induced from the idea of performing of that activity. Sometimes this can speak to how *much* someone actually cares about something; there is plenty of psychological literature on the phenomenon colloquially known as "choking", where the overwhelming desire to perform well impedes performance of that very act (due to induced stress and the futile attempt at consciously controlling processes that have been "overtrained" or automaticized and should have stayed as such) or even to initiate it. So the *want* of being in show business does not necessarily have any relationship to fear about performing and, in some cases, the former can induce the latter.

Again, I don't think the point is to prove "it doesn't matter"--that is, mentalism or performance in general doesn't matter. The point is to demonstrate to oneself beyond a shadow of a doubt that the worse that can happen will not lead to the catastrophic consequences that are likely playing out in their minds as predictions of what will happen if they fail. Additionally, desenitization is one of, if not the most important aspect of cognitive-behavioral therapy as applied to anixiety disorders--making the failure a deliberate act is just an especially expedient form of it, which I would surmise is not only especially beneficial to, but perhaps even required for "hard cases". In my opinion, we can have some compassion for these people and give them the opportunity to fail, even if intentionally, so that they can *ultimately* contribute to their respective crafts once they get going...or we can hold them to the very standards that keep them immoblized and essentially condemn them to give up on their dreams. To me, the answer is obvious and if one set of audience members need to watch one crappy performance so that an otherwise earnest performer can get their footing and wow dozens more, then thems the breaks for that audience.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Jul 31, 2014 05:28PM)
Nope, still not buying it. If you need to desensitise, then do it in the right place, Which is NOT in front of your audience. Regarding your last sentence,then no, that's NOT the breaks for the audience, unless you are so self centred that you've completely lost the plot.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 31, 2014 06:19PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Engali wrote:
Additionally, desenitization is one of, if not the most important aspect of cognitive-behavioral therapy as applied to anixiety disorders--making the failure a deliberate act is just an especially expedient form of it, which I would surmise is not only especially beneficial to, but perhaps even required for "hard cases". [/quote]

Desensitization (cognitive-behavioral therapy), in my opinion, is NOT an effective treatment for anxiety problems. It's based on ignorance of causation and effective treatment.

Best wishes,


Scott
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 06:20PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Rolyan wrote:
Nope, still not buying it. If you need to desensitise, then do it in the right place, Which is NOT in front of your audience. Regarding your last sentence,then no, that's NOT the breaks for the audience, unless you are so self centred that you've completely lost the plot. [/quote]

Where would the "right place" be? The only sensible answer from a practical standpoint is actually in front of an audience, assuming you want the intervention to be effective. That is the stimuli that is triggering the state--how else do you expect to desensitize? Visual imagery is only the first step and it seems that it only helps in bridging to actually confronting fears in the real world directly.

Again, given the boundary conditions I have set forth (i.e., non-paying audience, open mic night, first time, etc.) it seems compeltely reasonable to have someone fail big to help that person with issues to get to a place where they can learn get on the path to mastering a craft they love. I mean, if they didn't care about it, why would they be willing to confront one of their greatest fears in the first place to be able to do it? Your commitment to the audience is admirable to a degree, but it seems misplaced given the fairly exceptional circumstances I have used to qualify the act of failing on purpose.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 06:21PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Scott Soloff wrote:
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Engali wrote:
Additionally, desenitization is one of, if not the most important aspect of cognitive-behavioral therapy as applied to anixiety disorders--making the failure a deliberate act is just an especially expedient form of it, which I would surmise is not only especially beneficial to, but perhaps even required for "hard cases". [/quote]

Desensitization (cognitive-behavioral therapy), in my opinion, is NOT an effective treatment for anxiety problems. It's based on ignorance of causation and effective treatment.

Best wishes,


Scott [/quote]

Would you care to cite sources? To date CBT is the most scientifically supported therapy available. That is not a matter of opinion, but of fact based on empirical studies. With all due respect, your opinion matters little to the theory and practice of science.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Jul 31, 2014 06:36PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Engali wrote:

Would you care to cite sources? To date CBT is the most scientifically supported therapy available. That is not a matter of opinion, but of fact based on empirical studies. With all due respect, your opinion matters little to the theory and practice of science. [/quote]

Engali,

I going to do something that I try to avoid like the plague - behave like an arse!

I couldn't disagree more. Empirical studies don't mean s@%*! I've been around for over six decades. In that time I've seen scientific thinking change time and time again. Merely because there are studies and consensus doesn't mean that something is written in stone.

And, I'm going to say it again just in case you missed it the first time:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the psychiatric community admitting that they are ignorant of cause and do not have a genuine treatment that deals with root causes.

Believe what you will, but any science is an ever evolving field. As such, what is true today becomes obsolete tomorrow.

My opinion matters a great deal. My experience is extensive and base my thinking and conclusions on that.

It is that simple...

Scott
p.s. And, that is all I'm going to say about that. I'm going back to being polite.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 08:27PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Scott Soloff wrote:
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Engali wrote:

Would you care to cite sources? To date CBT is the most scientifically supported therapy available. That is not a matter of opinion, but of fact based on empirical studies. With all due respect, your opinion matters little to the theory and practice of science. [/quote]

Engali,

I going to do something that I try to avoid like the plague - behave like an arse!

I couldn't disagree more. Empirical studies don't mean s@%*! I've been around for over six decades. In that time I've seen scientific thinking change time and time again. Merely because there are studies and consensus doesn't mean that something is written in stone.

And, I'm going to say it again just in case you missed it the first time:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the psychiatric community admitting that they are ignorant of cause and do not have a genuine treatment that deals with root causes.

Believe what you will, but any science is an ever evolving field. As such, what is true today becomes obsolete tomorrow.

My opinion matters a great deal. My experience is extensive and base my thinking and conclusions on that.

It is that simple...

Scott
p.s. And, that is all I'm going to say about that. I'm going back to being polite. [/quote]

Science has been around a lot longer. I agree that it is ever evolving--that is one of the consequences of the scientific method. It just seems to me to be very unscientific to use bold assertions without any explication, evidence, or even rationale to critique a therapy that has helped a lot of people. I never said it was perfect or set in stone; it shouldn't be if it is to be scientific. My issue is that you provide no alternative, you don't reveal any of your logic, you don't even posit an explanation for why CBT misses the mark. And so you conveniently leave yourself safe from any critique or examination of your belief system regarding this issue. It's easy to cut things down and easier still when you refuse to explain your reasoning. I didn't miss your statement; I missed any actual theory about what is the "root cause" of anxiety order or any evidence to back it up.

Empirical studies in isolation do mean little, but in sum they provide evidence for the veracity or at least utility of certain treatments, laws, etc. Just because science continues to advance our knowledge doesn't mean it's all "s@%*", as you put it. It just means science is open to the possibility that there are better treatments and methods and seeks it out in a way that provides some amount of support for certain theories. Is it perfect? Again, no. But at least it's trying to reveal truth with increasing levels of evidence. I would wager on that being more likely to be the truth than something else grounded in...non-evidence. Btw, CBT did not grow out of the psychiatric community. Psychiatry and psychology are different disciplines with different emphases on addressing mental disorders and, more recently, helping people develop strengths.

You seem agitated over what I was enjoying as a lively, good-natured debate.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 08:43PM)
Engali, I enjoy a good debate too.

My guess is intentionally failing won't recreate the same physiological/psychological response as failing when you have something on the line and you're not expecting it.

In fact, I think the act of failing intentionally could have the unintended consequence of making your more fearful in the future of failing for real.

That said, there's one really fast way to find out...

Try it! :-)

If anyone DOES try it. Be sure and report back. I'd be curious to know how it worked out.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 09:04PM)
That's true Bobby. The real benefit to be derived from failure is discovering whether or not you are able to handle it by successfully ad libbing or improvising your way out of it. Being prepared to do that goes a long way to settle ones nerves.

As you mentioned earlier, it's very important to try to think of everything that could possibly go wrong in an act and how you would handle it when it does.

Just failing on purpose, to prove to yourself that the world won't end, seems pretty short sighted to me because it doesn't really resolve the problem of not being prepared to deal with failure when it occurs.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 09:19PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The real benefit to be derived from failure is discovering whether or not you are able to handle it by successfully ad libbing or improvising your way out of it. Being prepared to do that goes a long way to settle ones nerves.
[/quote]

Exactly. I believe in most cases you can only gain "real" confidence through experience and hard work.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 09:23PM)
Remember the Boy Scout Motto. "Be Prepared."
Message: Posted by: Engali (Jul 31, 2014 09:56PM)
Good points. I do think I already addressed this earlier, though. You see, sometimes the issue doesn't revolve around whether or not the person is equipped to handle failure. As you and Bob have pointed out, not being prepared to handle failure is foolhardy and I do agree that being prepared can go a long way to settle nerves for some people (I said as much in my first post). However, you cannot prepare for every contingency--that's simply impossible. Much of that ad-libbing is actually borne out of repeatedly running into the same snafu or mistake and systematically converging on the most appropriate response to that situation. In other words, you plan as much as you can and then you go out and learn by doing. You analyze yourself after each performance, try to learn from your mistakes, and further plan to respond in the best way the next time the situation arises. Even then, knowing what to say and being able to do so are two different things. The latter needs in-world practice and experience.

Some people are petrified of failure or it causes them severe anxiety such that they cope through experiential/emotional avoidance. In doing so, they prevent the overwhelming anxiety, but they also never actually engage in the activity or give it a couple of half-hearted attempts before giving up. Every mistake seems like a failure and they are made to feel ashamed--made bad--as a result of that mistake. Perfectionism, a performance-orientation instead of a learning-orientation arising from an entity theory mindset, whatever the reason, mistakes are perceived as threats to their sense of self instead of feedback about a skill set they are developing. In that frame of mind, failing when they put everything on the line would be likely devastating and counterproductive. That is why I wouldn't advocate for that nor would many who have severe anxiety be able to do so. It's for that very reason why failing on purpose can help them get over the hump of *starting*. Again, not saying this should be a regular practice, but as a way to get someone *started* on the road to mastering a skill set it is, imho, fair game. It may be difficult to understand from your mindset or Bob's mindset, but for others that view failure as a black mark on their character, indicative of not only their current skill but actually their potential to even learn, what would you have them do?

And as for your request for someone to go out, fail on purpose, and report back what happened: that's already happened. Chaz explaining how he did this is how this debate started. Clearly, it worked for him. Mind you, I don't want you or anyone assuming that everything I said applied to Chaz. I was merely using him as a conversational foil to make a point about why, under certain circumstances, failing on purpose may be justifiable.

And Bob, it seems equally short-sighted to me to say that it is never ok for an audience to sit through 5 minutes of a bad performance so someone can get over their fears and perhaps entertain and inspire many, many more audiences.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 10:08PM)
It's not at all short-sighted. I just feel that a mentalist owes EVERY audience his or her best. If you want to fail at something onstage why not go to a comedy club open mic night and do something you've never done before that you have no talent for whatever. Like playing a violin (If you've never played one before.) The audience might even think it's funny and you'll find that the world didn't end because you didn't know what you were doing.) Or just get up and tell bad jokes with no punch lines until you're booed off the stage.

Or better yet, play the violin AND tell bad jokes. Who knows, you might be the next Henny Youngman. :eek:

But Chaz DID NOT state in his first post that he went out and failed on purpose. In his case it was NOT intentional.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 10:34PM)
[quote]
Much of that ad-libbing is actually borne out of repeatedly running into the same snafu or mistake and systematically converging on the most appropriate response to that situation
[/quote]

#1 It wouldn't be ad-libbing in that case unless you're an idiot (or lazy). You'd prepare (I hope) for the next time by learning what to say or do. Then you'd be saying the same thing for the same snafu, that's not ad-libbing. However, you would gain some "ad-libbing" experience in having to do so the first time you ran into the snafu.

#2 You gain confidence in your ability to ad-lib only by having successfully ad-libbed. Your brain acquires through experience, a matrix of responses with which you can use to dead reckon out an appropriate response in a random situation.

Engali your whole second paragraph was a longwinded way of disagreeing with what you called good points in your first paragraph. ???

If someone is that incapacitated by fear, show business is probably a bad choice. There are too many very talented people who love mentalism or performing in any capacity for that matter, that aren't strapped by these issues. Who says you have to be a mentalist or a comedian or a public speaker? Find something you love that doesn't take 10 years off your life every time you go out to do it. Why torture yourself?

Now that said, if performing mentalism is something you absolutely can't live without, then go for it. Overcome your fears.

Right. I don't remember Chaz saying he failed intentionally. He liked the liberating feeling he experienced when he failed and lived. :-) Then he came up with that idea.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 1, 2014 12:22AM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
It's not at all short-sighted. I just feel that a mentalist owes EVERY audience his or her best. If you want to fail at something onstage why not go to a comedy club open mic night and do something you've never done before that you have no talent for whatever. Like playing a violin (If you've never played one before.) The audience might even think it's funny and you'll find that the world didn't end because you didn't know what you were doing.) Or just get up and tell bad jokes with no punch lines until you're booed off the stage.

Or better yet, play the violin AND tell bad jokes. Who knows, you might be the next Henny Youngman. :eek:

But Chaz DID NOT state in his first post that he went out and failed on purpose. In his case it was NOT intentional. [/quote]

You are correct about Chaz. I had to go back and check and indeed he did not intentionally fail. Regardless, as I said before I used him as a foil to open up a discussion about how it may be justifiable to fail on purpose to get over one's fears.

Can you explain to me why it would be okay for someone to tell bad jokes or to play the violin poorly, but not to perform mentalism poorly on purpose to get over their fear?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 12:49AM)
Because I was joking. I thought the Henny Youngman reference established that.

But seriously (sort of), an intentionally bad comedy act actually has a chance of succeeding if it is well and truly bad. Imagine the boost your patient would get when he tried to fail but they liked him anyway. And if not, no harm done as he would have at least succeeded in failing.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 1, 2014 12:53AM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
[quote]
Much of that ad-libbing is actually borne out of repeatedly running into the same snafu or mistake and systematically converging on the most appropriate response to that situation
[/quote]

#1 It wouldn't be ad-libbing in that case unless you're an idiot (or lazy). You'd prepare (I hope) for the next time by learning what to say or do. Then you'd be saying the same thing for the same snafu, that's not ad-libbing. However, you would gain some "ad-libbing" experience in having to do so the first time you ran into the snafu.

#2 You gain confidence in your ability to ad-lib only by having successfully ad-libbed. Your brain acquires through experience, a matrix of responses with which you can use to dead reckon out an appropriate response in a random situation.

Engali your whole second paragraph was a longwinded way of disagreeing with what you called good points in your first paragraph. ???

If someone is that incapacitated by fear, show business is probably a bad choice. There are too many very talented people who love mentalism or performing in any capacity for that matter, that aren't strapped by these issues. Who says you have to be a mentalist or a comedian or a public speaker? Find something you love that doesn't take 10 years off your life every time you go out to do it. Why torture yourself?

Now that said, if performing mentalism is something you absolutely can't live without, then go for it. Overcome your fears.

Right. I don't remember Chaz saying he failed intentionally. He liked the liberating feeling he experienced when he failed and lived. :-) Then he came up with that idea. [/quote]

1) I said converging on the most appropriate response; I didn't say necessarily the same exact words each time. You build up mental schema from experience on *how* to respond in those situations so, while the words may vary, the form and function/intention of the response can be quite similar. And Robin Williams, many of whom consider to be one of the best improvisers of all time, admitted that he was that good *because* he wasn't really ad-libbing. He had imagined so many scenarios in his mind to respond to so many different situations that he always had something in his back pocket no matter what the situation. The rest was skill in delivery and repetition through experience.

2) You said in your point 1:

"It wouldn't be ad-libbing in that case unless you're an idiot (or lazy). You'd prepare (I hope) for the next time by learning what to say or do. Then you'd be saying the same thing for the same snafu, that's not ad-libbing. However, you would gain some "ad-libbing" experience in having to do so the first time you ran into the snafu."

How would preparing a response to a common occurrence be idiotic or lazy? I thought you were all about preparation?

"#2 You gain confidence in your ability to ad-lib only by having successfully ad-libbed. Your brain acquires through experience, a matrix of responses with which you can use to dead reckon out an appropriate response in a random situation. "

Right, you build up a schema of how to respond to a situation. That's great if you can get started in the first place. That is what you're repeatedly missing: some people can't "just" perform the first time around. By definition, the people I am talking about can't. These people exist and it's fairly common. If it were as easy as "well, just go do it", they would have done it by now and the whole discussion would be moot. Gaining confidence is great IF you can start on the path TO gain that confidence. There are people who find the endeavor very challenging, yet still want to live life, overcoming their mental blocks and growing in the process.


You wrote:
"Engali your whole second paragraph was a longwinded way of disagreeing with what you called good points in your first paragraph. ???"

Is this a question or a statement??? It's called seeing arguments from all angles and giving each stance a fair shake. The point you missed for the second paragraph, which you missed again, is that preparation doesn't solve anxiety in all cases and specifically not in the ones I am talking about. The point is that I already addressed what you said. The point is that "Just doing it" can seem insurmountable. The point of that second paragraph is that there are sincere people out there who want to do stuff in their lives and they may not think like you nor you them. The point is that you don't understand what it may be like to be in their shoes and helping you consider someone else's point of view may open your eyes to seeing things in new ways, ways that are very relevant to our discussion.

If someone is paralyzed by fear, yet they are willing to do what it takes to overcome it for the sake of something they love, then they should do it. Those are people I am talking about and those are the people I believe should be able to fail on purpose if they need to so that they can get moving. And frankly, those people probably don't want or need your career advice if they're willing to suffer through all of this to get to where they want to be.

I was incorrect about Chaz. I misremembered, but the points still stand.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 12:58AM)
The bottom line, though, is that most people aren't cut out for show business in the first place, and I'd recommend that someone with the extreme issues you speak of should consider another career that's not so much in the public eye.

Have you considered that someone following your advice may actually be devastated if the audience starts to heckle derisively? If he had self-esteem issues to begin with, throwing him into the frying pan may not be the wisest course of action

Mentalism is not, despite what the ads tell us, something that anyone can do well.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 1, 2014 02:20AM)
Engali:

let's revisit

#1 You're either foolish or lazy if you don't take the time to set up an out, or something to say, once you find a vulnerability in your routine. So, the second time you have a mishap at that same place, you're prepared with something. You don't want to ad-lib AGAIN.

#2 You ask if . ??? is a question or a statement. I could have been more clear. I was wondering why you thought the points I made were "good" points and then proceeded to describe why they were not in the second paragraph. I presume what you called good points were these...

[quote]"My guess is intentionally failing won't recreate the same physiological/psychological response as failing when you have something on the line and you're not expecting it. In fact, I think the act of failing intentionally could have the unintended consequence of making your more fearful in the future of failing for real." [/quote]
But then went on to recommend they do it anyway. I didn't understand the reasoning.


This is fun to talk about but is getting convoluted with all the back and forth and paragraphs of text. Too bad we can't all talk instead of having to type into these scrolling rectangles. :-)

I'm an optimist and believe anything is possible. If you have hangups of the type we talk about here yet are willing to do whatever it takes to surmount them, I wish you all the best! I say go for it!

But I remain a realist as well. Art should flow freely. Presuming your aim is to be competitive and earn your living doing it... If you are starting out having to set up artificial situations out of the gate plus having to tread lightly for fear of what lurks around the corner, you are at an extreme disadvantage and your time here on the big rock might be better served doing something else.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 1, 2014 07:36AM)
I'm not awannabe. I've been spending all my free time while balancing school to do magic and mentalism. Recently I made the switch. In order to remain in the community, I perform something for someone every chance I get. I keep a journal to keep track of my progress and I review that journal. I havnt been doing these things long enough to form a habit. I used to perform magic for my mom so I know when I'm doing a good job. I don't need to fail like you say. And unless there is a controlled environment I don't see how a survey of failures would benefit me at all.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 1, 2014 07:36AM)
I'm not awannabe. I've been spending all my free time while balancing school to do magic and mentalism. Recently I made the switch. In order to remain in the community, I perform something for someone every chance I get. I keep a journal to keep track of my progress and I review that journal. I havnt been doing these things long enough to form a habit. I used to perform magic for my mom so I know when I'm doing a good job. I don't need to fail like you say. And unless there is a controlled environment I don't see how a survey of failures would benefit me at all.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 11:17AM)
You'll never know if you're doing a good job because you perform for your mom and she says so.

Your mom will always love you. Paying audiences aren't quite the same.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 1, 2014 01:26PM)
K that's true but I also agree with you that I should do my best.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 1, 2014 02:26PM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, sandsjr wrote:
Engali:

let's revisit

#1 You're either foolish or lazy if you don't take the time to set up an out, or something to say, once you find a vulnerability in your routine. So, the second time you have a mishap at that same place, you're prepared with something. You don't want to ad-lib AGAIN.

#2 You ask if . ??? is a question or a statement. I could have been more clear. I was wondering why you thought the points I made were "good" points and then proceeded to describe why they were not in the second paragraph. I presume what you called good points were these...

[quote]"My guess is intentionally failing won't recreate the same physiological/psychological response as failing when you have something on the line and you're not expecting it. In fact, I think the act of failing intentionally could have the unintended consequence of making your more fearful in the future of failing for real." [/quote]
But then went on to recommend they do it anyway. I didn't understand the reasoning.


This is fun to talk about but is getting convoluted with all the back and forth and paragraphs of text. Too bad we can't all talk instead of having to type into these scrolling rectangles. :-)

I'm an optimist and believe anything is possible. If you have hangups of the type we talk about here yet are willing to do whatever it takes to surmount them, I wish you all the best! I say go for it!

But I remain a realist as well. Art should flow freely. Presuming your aim is to be competitive and earn your living doing it... If you are starting out having to set up artificial situations out of the gate plus having to tread lightly for fear of what lurks around the corner, you are at an extreme disadvantage and your time here on the big rock might be better served doing something else. [/quote]

1) "You're either foolish or lazy if you don't take the time to set up an out, or something to say, once you find a vulnerability in your routine. So, the second time you have a mishap at that same place, you're prepared with something. You don't want to ad-lib AGAIN."

Right. I said in the post you were responding to that one should be doing that, so you're arguing a point I already endorsed beforehand...? I don't see what you were disagreeing with besides the definition of ad-libbing, which I addressed in my last post.

2) Because the good points I was referring to were the points you and Bob made about preparation--note that I opened that paragraph stating that I thought there were good points raised and proceeded to delineate the points you, Bob, and I agreed with. It's just that I already addressed them and qualified my statements already. Read the second sentence of that post. The point is, it helps, but it doesn't help everybody and not the people I am referring to.

As for: "My guess is intentionally failing won't recreate the same physiological/psychological response as failing when you have something on the line and you're not expecting it. In fact, I think the act of failing intentionally could have the unintended consequence of making your more fearful in the future of failing for real."

The point of the second paragraph that you call longwinded was to address what I just quoted--which I did not think was a good point. This was a separate paragraph--sorry if that wasn't clear. The point is: doing that may be devastating to someone who is having issues with the idea of failing in this context in the first place. Like I already said, it's obviously an important part of the learning process and building confidence if you're not already in an unhelpful mindset, but getting there may be an issue for some people getting there in the first place.

And no, I don't have these hangups. Just an ardent student of psychology. I think art should flow as well, but sometimes people just need something to get them unstuck. It isn't necessarily the case that this crippling fear will only go away slowly. Given the right intervention, it could resolve itself with just this one act. Obviously learning will need to take place and confidence built and nerves will still probably be present at points, but not to the immobilizing degree hold that it once had on someone before they did what they feared.
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 1, 2014 02:42PM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The bottom line, though, is that most people aren't cut out for show business in the first place, and I'd recommend that someone with the extreme issues you speak of should consider another career that's not so much in the public eye.

Have you considered that someone following your advice may actually be devastated if the audience starts to heckle derisively? If he had self-esteem issues to begin with, throwing him into the frying pan may not be the wisest course of action

Mentalism is not, despite what the ads tell us, something that anyone can do well. [/quote]

That's unfortunate because it suggests that you have an entity theory mindset about performance skills; you don't think most people can develop into performers? In your view, would you say "some people have it and some people just don't?" Do you feel like "natural talent" should dictate who goes into what profession or even hobby?

As I mentioned in my previous post, it's only extreme in the reaction, but that doesn't necessarily indicate that the issue is insurmoutable and may even be quickly resolved given the right intervention.

I have considered the consequences of what I have been talking about. I was offering a perspective on when it may be justifiable to fail on purpose. I believe these types of interventions should be at least planned, if not monitored live by a psychologist. And I think the consequences, in terms of lowered self esteem from people heckling, would actually be more likely if that person were to do what you have suggested: go out and put everything they had into the performance. I think failing on purpose gives the person the actual experience of what is feared (failure and unfavorable reactions) without the negative implications to their self-worth because that wasn't on the line in the scenario. In effect, they are learning that failure isn't always about who they are because they failed big when their "self" wasn't on the line, and so anything negative comes out of that cannot be about who they are. Alternatively, if they fail as you suggest (i.e., putting everything they have into it), it would feel like their "self" was responsible and made bad by the failure or that it indicates they are bad, cannot be good, and should give up. Now, again, this type of learning is important to build *confidence* (or self efficacy) once someone is actually on the road to learning a skill set and in the right frame of mind, but with the people I am talking about doing that would be not only quite devastating, but likely improbable to even do since they are hung up on failing in the first place.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 02:56PM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, Engali wrote:

That's unfortunate because it suggests that you have an entity theory mindset about performance skills; you don't think most people can develop into performers? In your view, would you say "some people have it and some people just don't?" Do you feel like "natural talent" should dictate who goes into what profession or even hobby?

[/quote]

Yes, that's exactly what I think. Except for the hobby part. What's unfortunate is the trivialization of the art that has resulted from the erroneous belief that anyone can do mentalism. And, unfortunately, they often do.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 1, 2014 02:58PM)
Engali, I'm sorry you took my post to mean I was inferring you had these hangups. That isn't what I meant. I assume you are a counselor of some kind and help people in this type situation, no?

If a person is just beginning (hasn't invested countless hours) and must get psychological help just to take the initial step, I think looking at a different path might be a better option. It would be akin to a couple just meeting and having to see a councilor to help make their dates manageable. Alarm bells should go off in your head. Why force something when you can be in harmony with something else?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 03:00PM)
I get the impression, Engali, that you're an academic rather than a professional performer. Am I correct?
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 1, 2014 04:04PM)
In the spirit of being helpful, a suggestion might be to join Toastmasters. I know people who have done that to work on their speaking skills. Here is a quote from their site:

[quote]
A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.
[/quote]

here's the link...

http://www.toastmasters.org/

Hope this is helpful to someone.
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 2, 2014 02:09PM)
I think that anyone can do anything. With that being said I performed today. It went good. I performed a trick while waiting for my car repair. she was very responsive and I'd say she enjoyed it. I set up an out and it was really free flowing. I had a script which I stuck to strictly. Bob, is it bad that I knew everything to say in my head? In the spirit of being helpful. Yes you are very helpful. I called a local assembly last week when I was planning all this.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 2, 2014 02:31PM)
Not sure what you mean by "anyone can do anything."

That may be, but it doesn't mean they can do it well.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 2, 2014 02:41PM)
[quote]On Aug 2, 2014, Davidzajac wrote:
I called a local assembly last week when I was planning all this. [/quote]

Are you talking about Toastmasters?
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 2, 2014 06:01PM)
That's true. Yes toastmasters.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 2, 2014 06:26PM)
Great. Good for you David!

Perform as much as you possibly can for people you don't know. It gets easier every time you do it. Continue to think about what it is you want to say and more importantly WHY you are saying it as you work on your effects and develop your scripts. Don't forget... guys who take this seriously can spend weeks on a single effect before they go out and perform it. No need to rush.

I recommend you pick yourself up a copy of Maximum Entertainment and apply all of the great stuff you find there. That's a book you'll want to keep reviewing for the rest of your life. It's like having a golf coach if you're a professional golfer.

Keep up the good work!
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 2, 2014 06:34PM)
Cool. I Take it seriously. Performed all day and cant wait for more opportunities.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 2, 2014 06:35PM)
Good man.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 3, 2014 03:14AM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, Engali wrote:

That's unfortunate because it suggests that you have an entity theory mindset about performance skills; you don't think most people can develop into performers? In your view, would you say "some people have it and some people just don't?" Do you feel like "natural talent" should dictate who goes into what profession or even hobby?

[/quote]

Yes, that's exactly what I think. Except for the hobby part. What's unfortunate is the trivialization of the art that has resulted from the erroneous belief that anyone can do mentalism. And, unfortunately, they often do. [/quote]

Largely because I don't like them, I have attended exactly five mentalism conventions in the 20 years or so I have been interested in mentalism, four of them since becoming a full time professional. I would estimate that circa 60% of the people who attended (and 10% of those lecturing!) those conventions do not have what it takes to perform for paying audiences. I see no harm in them enjoying it as hobby.

I think it's worth saying that that I didn't realise that at the first one I attended and only had the perspective to see it about three years into this being my job.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 3, 2014 12:53PM)
I keep bringing up Sturgeon's Law. But it remains applicable.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 3, 2014 01:07PM)
Suffolk,

I think your percentages sound rather generous! I think very few mentalists indeed have an actual talent for mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 3, 2014 01:36PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I keep bringing up Sturgeon's Law. But it remains applicable. [/quote]

You are a much revered creator Bob. You can get away with saying 90% of people who purport to be mentalists are deluded.
I'd appear arrogant and people would whinge at me.

[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Suffolk,

I think your percentages sound rather generous! I think very few mentalists indeed have an actual talent for mentalism. [/quote]

Well... So do I but see above..... ;)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 3, 2014 01:50PM)
I don't think they're deluded. My application of Sturgeon's Law simply means that ninety percent of mentalism is crap. But, then again, ninety percent of everything is crap.

I don't, however, believe that ninety percent of mentalists are deluded.

I am certain some are, but there are many who are, at an inner level, aware that their presentations are crap. And they are the folks I have hope for and are part of the audience for whom I write.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 3, 2014 02:11PM)
90% of everything is crap.

I think that with mentalism in particular, those that become interested are overlooking the most critical bits.

Mentalism is much more than performing an 'effect' for an individual or a group. If you purchase a 'trick' or a book or DVD and perform it out of the box, you're really missing the point.

It is much more than trying to fool someone.

A mentalist (once again, whatever that means to you) is telling a story, either implicitly or explicitly. I believe that essentially, mentalism is a form of theater.

For instance, no one (I hope) would believe for an instant that memorizing the lines to a play and simply reciting them on stage is acting. Obviously, the art of acting involves much more; such as conveying emotion, the way in which one handles their body and voice, their appearance, the way in which they establish and build rapport with the audience, etc.

Why would anyone think that mentalism is any different? And yet, watching many mentalists perform is as painful as watching the auditions for American Idol.

Performing mentalism well involves a whole host of skills. And yet, this obvious detail appears to elude a large percentage of those drawn to the craft.

End of my rambling...

Best to all,


Scott
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Aug 3, 2014 03:43PM)
I think you are quite right, Scott. Just to add to your thoughts on acting, the most important thing by far in an acting performance is that the actor is performing actions, by which I don't mean physical actions but psychological actions. The great acting books, such as Respect For Acting by Uta Hagen, outline this discovery of Stanislavski's in simple understandable terms. It would be well worth a read for any aspiring performer. Even though they are probably unaware they are doing it, the great mentalists from Dunninger to Brown are all adept at performing "actions".
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 3, 2014 03:54PM)
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 3, 2014 04:49PM)
A large part of my lectures has always been about persona, consistency, etc. And always a lot of stories. Sometimes I even discuss a few routines.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 3, 2014 05:02PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]

You're probably right. But why wait for a convention? All through my life, if I wanted to know something I would attempt to get it directly from the horse's mouth.

Get in touch with someone that successfully does what you admire and invite him/her out to lunch. You'd be surprised at how many people are generous and willing to share.

You'll meet some very interesting people, receive a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints and learn a great deal in the process. If you're lucky, the meal may even be good.

Best wishes,

Scott
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 3, 2014 05:11PM)
It was more a general comment really!

i am very much anti spoon-feeding (unless for the infirmed or babies)...just found it interesting that you don't very often see it on a lecture roster...

i would have thought (over here) getting a tax person in for a half hour chat would have been both easy, and free!
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Aug 3, 2014 05:11PM)
I have always avoided conventions,& I have never been to a lecture, for similar reasons to the ones stated by Suffolk. I would break that rule though to see Bob Cassidy, or indeed Richard Osterlind lecture if they were nearby.
I may not get to see them in person, but, there is always the upcoming Penguin event to look forward to! :D
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 3, 2014 05:20PM)
I have found the lectures and events I've been to, to be eye-opening on many different levels...some people have gone down massively in my estimation because of their behaviour, some up - been lucky to see some brilliant people, docc Hilford, mr berglas, its not often you get to see people of that class give their time to listen... or even line up to go to the loo...

especially if you go into the loo after them and you need a sit down and the seat is still warm...

and the social side is great, you get to learn a lot about people that way... strange to think that I've been in the pub with banachek, docc h, a really grubby pub with david berglas and talked about his son and him being the inhouse magician for Arsenal (football) for a while...all that kind of random yet every day thing - loved all that...

seen some very bad behaviour, rude stage whispery stuff too, especially during lectures...didn't like that..and more besides...i don't like that kinda thing..

i have seen a nice venue tucked away in london that would be great to hold something in, there's even a section with a stage which would be great....one day of lectures and chatting, next day can be the dealer dem side, a brunch or something and maybe a final lecture, then open the doors and have a ticketed event for the public....
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 3, 2014 05:27PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I don't think they're deluded. My application of Sturgeon's Law simply means that ninety percent of mentalism is crap. But, then again, ninety percent of everything is crap.

I don't, however, believe that ninety percent of mentalists are deluded.

I am certain some are, but there are many who are, at an inner level, aware that their presentations are crap. And they are the folks I have hope for and are part of the audience for whom I write.

Good thoughts,

Bob [/quote]

Hello Bob and Sandsjr.,

I have taken the past couple of days away to reflect on our discussion. I have enjoyed it *immensely* and am quite glad it hasn't devolved into ad homiem attacks and straw man arguments like it usually does in other parts of this forum. Coming back to this thread, I feel like I have gone off on a tangent far enough for it to be on the brink of derailing the thread and I think I have belabored my point, so I think that this shall be my last post. I respond to the quoted post because I feel like it illustrates my last points.

But before that, to answer your question about who I am...what does it matter? Academic, counselor, psychology student...it is irrelevant in a debate and I can only imagine it devolving into a attacks on my experience/character/etc. because no answer will suffice. In a debate, the logical arguments should stand on their own without appeal to authority and I believe I have made my case. I also believe we have run the course of the debate because I find I am repeating myself. We have essentially run into the point where the issue revolves around a difference of values. If you accept my premise that the bulk of scientific evidence points to systematic desensitization being effective and failing on purpose being a particularly effective form of that for people with certain types of performance anxiety (which is, in fact, true), then the question I originally posed and the one we have finally gotten to is whether or not doing so is justifiable. In your (Bob's and sandsjr's) eyes, it seems like the answer is a resounding "No" because the audience is valued above all else, that they deserve the best a performer can give each time. I would contend (and have) that it is justifiable for an audience to bear a few minutes of bad performance so that a budding mentalist may be able to get over their hang up and perhaps entertain and inspire many more audiences that they would not have otherwise, so that they can eventually give their best instead of giving nothing at all. A difference of values is what it is.

Another major point of disagreement is whether people can learn to perform well. I believe a lot more people can learn to perform well than I think you two (or at least Bob) thinks can because I don't think talent is as bi a deciding factor in task performance as many people are want to believe. Even more relevant to our discussion, I don't think having an anxiety issue about performance is in any way an indication that a person is automatically and necessarily not cut out for mentalism or lacking in talent/potential. The anxiety issue could have resulted from any number of circumstances and isn't nearly predictive of performance or indicative of "talent" in regards to mentalism as say psychological abilities or traits (e.g., general cognitive ability or "intelligence" and conscientiousness being the big two). So no, I reject the idea that having anxiety is an indication of a lack of talent in mentalism, that one is not "cut out" for mentalism, or that these people somehow are automatically future failures in mentalism. I think the aforementioned psychological traits/abilities and hard work is way more related to future performance ability in mentalism as they have been found to be the strongest predictors of performance, particularly complex cognitive performance, across a wide array of disciplines and contexts.

As for Sturgeon's Law, it's really only true in the sense that "crap" and what is deemed excellent is completely relative. If you dig deeper into the law, the whole point should be obvious that the bottom 90% is not necessarily "objectively" bad (although it can be and the lower end probably is), but rather bad *relative to the top 10%*. In other words, if everyone in mentalism doubled in their performance ability overnight, yesterday's "best" would be part of today's 90% crap. It effect, the law states the obvious without actually making any point. I have never really seen the utility of the law besides pointing out that only the current best is...the best. I'm sure it certainly does feel good if you feel you are part of that elite, though.

In conclusion, in regard to both science endeavoring to reveal truth and people trying to live out their dream, including performing mentalism and despite the naysayers that think they don't belong, this Theodore Roosevelt quote seems apropos:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Thanks for the food for thought. It was fun.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 3, 2014 05:41PM)
The only reason I asked if you were primarily an academic rather than a performer is because that was the impression I get from your writing.

(But, then again, it's no secret who I am or what my background is, and I like to think that it has at least some relevance to the opinions I express. For example, I'd like to know if the guy who gives me medical advice is actually a doctor.)

I objected to the implication that ANYONE can be a successful performer and/or that talent isn't required.

That's simply not true.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 3, 2014 05:57PM)
Bob, as your intergalactic bong advisor, I recommend you inhale deeply at least twice a day...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 3, 2014 05:59PM)
Iain-

I will consider that recommendation because I respect and acknowledge your experience in the field. :eek:
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 3, 2014 06:20PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:

i have seen a nice venue tucked away in london that would be great to hold something in, there's even a section with a stage which would be great....one day of lectures and chatting, next day can be the dealer dem side, a brunch or something and maybe a final lecture, then open the doors and have a ticketed event for the public.... [/quote]

Iain,

I would like to know more about this venue.

Thank you,

Scott
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 3, 2014 06:24PM)
Iain,

I wasn't thinking... pm the details if you have time.

Best,

Scott
Message: Posted by: Engali (Aug 3, 2014 11:54PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
The only reason I asked if you were primarily an academic rather than a performer is because that was the impression I get from your writing.

(But, then again, it's no secret who I am or what my background is, and I like to think that it has at least some relevance to the opinions I express. For example, I'd like to know if the guy who gives me medical advice is actually a doctor.)

I objected to the implication that ANYONE can be a successful performer and/or that talent isn't required.

That's simply not true. [/quote]

Sorry to go back on my word, but I never implied that anyone could be successful or that talent was required. I implied that talent is overrated , that people can in fact learn how to be better performers, and, more importantly, having an anxiety issue is NOT indicative of a lack of "talent", of not being "cut out" for mentalism" and does not *necessarily* speak to their ability to do well in mentalism.

You can feel free to re-read my earlier posts at you leisure and see that I never implied that *anyone*, as you say, can be a performer. In fact, the people I was talking about from the beginning were people who have said anxiety issue, whom you dismissed out of hand as being ipso facto not cut out for mentalism. Ever since then I have defended the position that *these* people are not necessarily lost causes since this is not necessarily related to *talent* per se in mentalism and that talent is not *as important* (not unimportant) as you think based on the science in task performance and the empirically supported predictors of success in cognitively challenging tasks.

And this is why it is pointless to continue because I am now repeating myself. I don't know how many asterisks I need to use or how plainly I can say what I mean to get my point across, but whether intentional or by accident it seems that my very specific and nuanced points are being misinterpreted...and now are devolving into straw man arguments which I didn't want.

But you can read it however you want.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 4, 2014 12:15AM)
Engali-

You wrote earlier:

[quote]...That's unfortunate because it suggests that you have an entity theory mindset about performance skills; you don't think most people can develop into performers? In your view, would you say "some people have it and some people just don't?" Do you feel like "natural talent" should dictate who goes into what profession or even hobby? [/quote]

The obvious implication is you believe the opposite.

But thank you for your Internet diagnosis of the unfortunate "entity theory mindset" that you believe underlies my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 4, 2014 12:30AM)
At the risk of getting sucked back in...

Yes, call it whatever you want, talent or motivation or factor x, it doesn't matter: most people cannot develop into performers.

Best wishes,


Scott
p.s. Bob, look at that sentence. I should stop kidding you about English lit and brush up on my writing skills. :)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 4, 2014 12:36AM)
I would have used a dash or semi-colon rather than a colon. :eek:
Message: Posted by: Scott Soloff (Aug 4, 2014 12:44AM)
Thank you. :)
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 4, 2014 01:26AM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2014, Engali wrote:
...talent is overrated , that people can in fact learn how to be better performers, and, more importantly, having an anxiety issue is NOT indicative of a lack of "talent", of not being "cut out" for mentalism" and does not *necessarily* speak to their ability to do well in mentalism. [/quote]

Engali, in what way is talent overrated?

I agree, having an anxiety issue is NOT indicative of a lack of "talent", of not being "cut out" for (insert occupation). A perfect example is Van Cliburn. He had to stop touring for a long period because of his nerves. You're not going to find too many pianists in the history of the world who are as talented as he was.

However, my opinion FWIW, if you are considering going into a field and must seek professional help to take the first step, you might reconsider. That's all I'm saying. Now, if you are IN LOVE with what you want to get into, GO FOR IT! Yes a person can overcome. In fact, those are the kind of stories that make me very happy to hear about.

I still disagree with your idea of failing on purpose. I don't think that's the answer. But it's just my opinion. Try it and tell me how it works out. I think a better idea would be to join Toastmasters as I stated in another post.

Talk is talk though. So like Nike says, JUST DO IT!
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 4, 2014 06:45AM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]

That's because the vast majority of people that go to conventions aren't really interested in that aspect of their hobby. In terms of the business side it's really only pros that care about tax, PRS, PLI, etc and there are so few of them (there is a Facebook group for genuine professional mentalists to discuss this kind of thing that requires proof of status to get in. It has five members.......

I absolutely agree that lectures on stagecraft, persona etc would be tremendous value at conventions but again, in the world of mentalism at least, there are very few people qualified to lecture on the topic and very little appetite from the average convention attendee.

Of course persona & stage craft is of very little use if your main audience is your friends and the folk down the pub. What you need is a steady stream of new tricks.

Based on what my experience tells me verses what I've seen lecturers say, I would stake my mortgage on the percentage of lecturers I've seen at mentalism conventions who perform more than three stage shows a year in a ticketed public (I.e. Non magic club/magic world associated like The Magic Castle) venue at less than 20%. Real world experience is thin on the ground.

I've just remembered another convention I attended run by Gary Jones which was about doing corporates.
There were three lectures:

Chris Dugdale did a talk on the psychology of the performer which was moderately useful.

Marc Paul did a proper grown up presentation (which I believe you can buy a DVD of) on how to launch a trade show business which was outstanding.

Seth Kramner & Michael Bailey both lectured some tricks and told some anecdotes about corporate bookings they had. Which was of little use.


The latter two lectures were the most popular with the attendees though. Of the ones I know/knew none of them went on to become pros. Quelle SuprisŤ.
The same guy who sits at the front row of every UK lecture with his glasses on a chain asking far too many questions was there, obviously. You know who I mean.
He represents a caricature of the average conference attendee. They go because for them it's fun and it's their hobby.

Michael Bailey
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 4, 2014 06:46AM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]

That's because the vast majority of people that go to conventions aren't really interested in that aspect of their hobby. In terms of the business side it's really only pros that care about tax, PRS, PLI, etc and there are so few of them (there is a Facebook group for genuine professional mentalists to discuss this kind of thing that requires proof of status to get in. It has five members.......)

I absolutely agree that lectures on stagecraft, persona etc would be tremendous value at conventions but again, in the world of mentalism at least, there are very few people qualified to lecture on the topic and very little appetite from the average convention attendee.

Of course persona & stage craft is of very little use if your main audience is your friends and the folk down the pub. What you need is a steady stream of new tricks.

Based on what my experience tells me verses what I've seen lecturers say, I would stake my mortgage on the percentage of lecturers I've seen at mentalism conventions who perform more than three stage shows a year in a ticketed public (I.e. Non magic club/magic world associated like The Magic Castle) venue at less than 20%. Real world experience is thin on the ground.

I've just remembered another convention I attended run by Gary Jones which was about doing corporates.
There were three lectures:

Chris Dugdale did a talk on the psychology of the performer which was moderately useful.

Marc Paul did a proper grown up presentation (which I believe you can buy a DVD of) on how to launch a trade show business which was outstanding.

Seth Kramner & Michael Bailey both lectured some tricks and told some anecdotes about corporate bookings they had. Which was of little use.


The latter two lectures were the most popular with the attendees though. Of the ones I know/knew none of them went on to become pros. Quelle SuprisŤ.
The same guy who sits at the front row of every UK lecture with his glasses on a chain asking far too many questions was there, obviously. You know who I mean.
He represents a caricature of the average conference attendee. They go because for them it's fun and it's their hobby.

Michael Bailey [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Aug 4, 2014 06:48AM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]
There was a lecture at the Northern Magic Circle Convention several years ago on exactly that, the business side of table hopping. it was called 'Table Hopping with both feet On The Ground'. It was all about the business side, how to run the business, close the deal, increase fees, approach tables, etc etc etc. Apparently it was as well received as those by John Archer and Greg Wilson!

Those types of lectures (and the accompanying lecture notes) are very few and far between, but seem to go down REALLY well when used. I only wish more convention organisors would do them, the attendees certainly seem to like them.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 4, 2014 06:51AM)
Apologies. Writing this on an iPhone has made my above post look weird. It should read:

[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]

That's because the vast majority of people that go to conventions aren't really interested in that aspect of their hobby. In terms of the business side it's really only pros that care about tax, PRS, PLI, etc and there are so few of them (there is a Facebook group for genuine professional mentalists to discuss this kind of thing that requires proof of status to get in. It has five members.......

I absolutely agree that lectures on stagecraft, persona etc would be tremendous value at conventions but again, in the world of mentalism at least, there are very few people qualified to lecture on the topic and very little appetite from the average convention attendee.

Of course persona & stage craft is of very little use if your main audience is your friends and the folk down the pub. What you need is a steady stream of new tricks.

Based on what my experience tells me verses what I've seen lecturers say, I would stake my mortgage on the percentage of lecturers I've seen at mentalism conventions who perform more than three stage shows a year in a ticketed public (I.e. Non magic club/magic world associated like The Magic Castle) venue at less than 20%. Real world experience is thin on the ground.

I've just remembered another convention I attended run by Gary Jones which was about doing corporates.
There were three lectures:

Chris Dugdale did a talk on the psychology of the performer which was moderately useful.

Marc Paul did a proper grown up presentation (which I believe you can buy a DVD of) on how to launch a trade show business which was outstanding.

Seth Kramner & Michael Bailey both lectured some tricks and told some anecdotes about corporate bookings they had. Which was of little use.


The latter two lectures were the most popular with the attendees though. Of the ones I know/knew none of them went on to become pros. Quelle SuprisŤ.
The same guy who sits at the front row of every UK lecture with his glasses on a chain asking far too many questions was there, obviously. You know who I mean.
He represents a caricature of the average conference attendee. They go because for them it's fun and it's their hobby.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 4, 2014 07:32AM)
I thought that guy was some kind of audience interactive spectre...
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 4, 2014 07:43AM)
New act. Right there ;)
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 4, 2014 08:45AM)
Here's an update. I've now performed several times. They were all great. Thanks for all the support from this forum. P.s. My one friend who I met in a coffee shop couldn't stop laughing historically he said that's scary good. And it's because of all you wonderful mentalist that I have elevated what I do from tricks to something greater. I'm taking all your advice seriously and I intend to practice some new tricks over my somewhat short summer break. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Aug 4, 2014 12:54PM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either... [/quote]

That's because the vast majority of people that go to conventions aren't really interested in that aspect of their hobby.

Michael Bailey [/quote]
You would be surprised how many ARE interested, given half the chance (see my post above). If more organisors did it the more they would realise how popular it was. I gave Michael some feedback on this re the Minds convention and he's giving it serious consideration for next year.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 4, 2014 01:24PM)
Roylan - I've offered to lecture on this before. No one was interested
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Aug 4, 2014 04:46PM)
[quote]On Aug 4, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
Roylan - I've offered to lecture on this before. No one was interested [/quote]
I blame the organisers and their shortsightedness; many 'normal' performers would be pleased given half a chance.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 4, 2014 05:34PM)
The sad fact is that, outside of the PEA, most people that go to mentalism gatherings want to learn "new tricks."
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 5, 2014 08:14AM)
What is PEA?
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 5, 2014 08:20AM)
It's a kind of legume.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 5, 2014 08:23AM)
Same in magic.

Some people call some magicians,
Lay people with a business card.


Sewiously yours.

Harris
Formerly known as
The Phoenix. 70's
The Mime over Matter - 80's
Nearly Normal Magician - 90's to 00's
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 5, 2014 08:35AM)
[quote]On Aug 5, 2014, Davidzajac wrote:
What is PEA? [/quote]

The Psychic Entertainers Association- the oldest and largest society of mentalist in the world.

http://www.p-e-a.org/
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Aug 5, 2014 10:13AM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I've always found it a bit weird that you never get lectures at conventions about how to run "you" as a business successfully (tax, accountants, what you can and can't claim for, worth joining equity and so on), and you never really get any on stagecraft or persona either...if you're lucky, you get some on the philosophy behind that particular person's persona/performing criteria, you tend to not get many stories in the field as it were either...you get some, but not many...

i have access to enough "stuff" already, I think lectures in how to raise yer game, how to take the next step, agent vs no agent, managing the advertising side of it all...that's what would make conventions and so forth a bit more interesting... [/quote]

There was some of this at MagiFest in Columbus, Ohio, this year.

But, as someone else has mentioned, conventions attract a lot of the hobbyists, who want magic, magic and more magic. Richard Osterlind has a book about the business side of magic.

Bobby
Message: Posted by: Davidzajac (Aug 5, 2014 11:59AM)
That sounds interesting. I think membership has definite perks.