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Topic: Mental?
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 12, 2014 04:27PM)
I'm curious, how many "New to Magic" are inclined to go the Mentalism route?

Or are most here sticking with straight up Magic?

Ever since I was young I've been fascinated with the Tarot, Pendulums, Oracles, Fortune Telling, Psychic Phenomena, and other metaphysical mysteries so it was a natural progression to Mentalism from early on. Being exposed to Kreskin and Uri Geller as a kid also made an impact, I loved watching those guys, wild stuff, and I wanted to be able to do what they were doing.

I'm also very big into Bizarre Magic.

Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 13, 2014 07:29AM)
Before I was a magician, I was a professional reader.

When I got into magic, I passed over pretty much the whole of mentalism, because it all seemed transparent; I assumed it would never go over without being busted and ripped to shreds by an audience.

In my case, I think I was right. At the time, I had the magic bug bad, and all of my attention was on learning technique. I would have sucked at mentalism, and done the art a great disservice.

Now I'm mainly focused on mentalism, but it took me learning that magic and the related arts aren't all about sleight of hand and "fooling them" to really get a start in it. It's a horse of a completely different color.

In fact, learning to be a mentalist has even made me a better magician. When I do straight magic now, people don't stare at my hands, they actually get into what I'm saying. It's become far more entertaining for all involved, and I enjoy it all a lot more.

Now, even on the rare occasions when I do readings for people (yes, some people still remember me from back then), it's better, if only because I'm better at managing people and talking to them.
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 13, 2014 08:32AM)
Thank you for the response.

No question that it's all encompassing and one thing inevitably helps the other.

I remember as a young actor all I wanted to do was act, read plays/screenplays, study the craft, I was completely involved in the art, and a very wise teacher told me to get involved with other activities as well, to not neglect my other interests like writing, magic, sports, music, my love of animals, etc, to get out there and live life because by experiencing life I would become a better actor.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 13, 2014 08:53AM)
That's the best advice anyone could ever give a person interested in acting at a young age. Without life experience, it's all just hollow mimicry.

Same goes for a lot of the younger readers I've met. It's hard to do anything worthwhile with it (or even really get what it's actually about) without a lot of life experience. And maturity. A lot of them don't even seem to understand that other people have feelings, and that those feelings are important.

On the same note, making myself do things other than magic helped me a lot with showmanship and learning to actually be entertaining. Watching movies, learning what the public actually thinks of things, meeting and talking to people and hearing about their lives has given me a lot of experience to go on. One can't be exclusively an insider in anything and do anything good with it, and living onstage can really be an isolating thing.

It's good to have the common touch, and important never to lose it. Connecting with people is really what all of our arts are about. It's the real secret of magic.

I think that anyone who chooses at the beginning to be a mentalist should focus on it exclusively for a while, and in real-world situations. Much the way getting out there and doing magic is the only way to really learn to be a real magician.

If I'd taken that route earlier, and skipped the hardcore sleight-of hand and prestidigitation, there's no telling where I'd be at with it now, but I can appreciate making the change. For me, it was a long time coming, but I feel like I've finally come full circle. My interest in magic all sprang from an interest in what mentalism is actually all about these days, anyway; I just never realized it.

That and all of my teachers and mentors did classic, straight magic. There was nobody to learn mental/bizarre from in my area, and I was influenced a lot by the ones who were willing to teach me.
Message: Posted by: Newsround (Dec 13, 2014 03:19PM)
I've only recently started pursuing my interest in magic. It has been all cards until recently, when I decided I might want to get into mentalism a bit. Strange thing is, it was my Grandad's funeral Wednesday, so met up with a lot of relatives that I hadn't seen in a long time. Got talking to an old guy, that turned out to be my nans brother- didn't recognise him at all. He tells me I remind him of his uncle, who happened to be the last person, in a long line from that side of the family, to do palm reading/fortune telling. This was before I told him of any of my interest in any such related matters. Maybe it's just meant to be?