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Topic: How to Stop the Trivialization of Mentalism
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Dec 13, 2015 12:20PM)
There are a handful of complainers who opine about the 'trivialization' of mentalism. They make comments about mentalism being performed all too often on youtube, or being performed by magicians who are not really mentalists, implying this somehow adversely affects legitimate performers.

Why is it that Derren Brown is not 'trivialized' by all of the new mentalists who have entered the field, either as hobbyists, casual performers, semi pros, or those endeavoring to become pros? Or Christopher Carter? Or Ted Karmilovich? All of these top-rated mentalists do very, very well - despite the many youtube performers, the hundreds of new mentalism ebooks released over the past few years, and most magic distributors carrying many mentalism books and DVDs.

Why is this?

It is because these top rated mentalists are master entertainers. They are highly successful mentalists as a direct result of being highly successful entertainers.

Does the youtube mentalist have Derren Brown's showmanship skills?

Does the youtube mentalist have Christopher Carter's monster entertainment capacity?

Does the youtube mentalist have anything close to Ted Karmilovich's seasoned complete package of master entertainment, honed from decades of performing at the top end of the market?

Of course not, on all accounts.

Learning a method or being able to put up a video on-line does not a mentalist make. These performers also do not - in any way, threaten those master showmen, those genius entertainers, who thrive as full-time performing mentalists.

The same is true with top-rated magicians. Are David Copperfield, Penn and Teller and Criss Angel threated at all by the youtube generation? Do they feel 'trivialized' by all of the magic shops selling the secrets of magic in Vegas?

Of course not. Because they are master showmen, monster entertainers, whom audiences flock to because of their unique ability to ENTERTAIN.

By the way, something else that all of the top performers mentioned above have in common: not a single one has written a book revealing the methods in their complete act. Can you imagine Derren Brown or David Copperfield writing a book, or producing a video revealing the methods to their complete act? They would never do it.

Some of the mentalists who frequent this forum have done so. Over, and over, and over again. Then they complain that mentalism is being trivialized.

If you have something special, such as a mentalism show you have developed and honed over decades of performance, why on earth would you write a book revealing the secrets of your act, then make that book widely available through magic dealers, and allow that book to be sold on Amazon.com, ebay and anywhere else?

Those who complain that mentalism has been trivialised really need to look in the mirror and consider how much they and their peers have contributed to their methods being revealed and widely distributed through hundreds of ebooks, physical books and DVDS that teach their very best material.

If you study disruptive innovation (see Clayton Christensen's books) what many call 'trivialization' is actually a well-known, well-documented phenomena that affects most markets eventually. If you are successful selling any product or service, including a mentalism show, others will jump in and compete, including many at the low end of the market. It's not new. Happens all the time, in most markets. The answer is not to complain and whine about it, but to out innovate the low-end disruptors, offering new products and services the low end entrants cannot or will not.

That's exactly what Chris Carter, Ted Karmilovich, Derren Brown, David Copperfield, Penn and Teller and Criss Angel do. They are all master showmen who provide a level of entertainment that is simply very, very difficult to copy.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Dec 13, 2015 12:43PM)
Https://www.google.com/search?q=derren%20brown%20theme%20park
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Dec 13, 2015 12:59PM)
Good points, although we should be careful to distinguish between inventors and performers (although there is some overlap).

Inventors publish, so that others will perform their creations.

As a performer, I have rarely created anything, so I am often reliant on the creations of others. I am thankful to those inventors who have graciously shared their efforts.

In the rare occasions that I have felt that I have created something original (which is usually actually a {hopefully} unique combination of other people's methods and works), I have only dared to publish it when it is no longer in my current performing repertoire.

Even the YouTube videos I have released have been routines that I no longer perform (although I maintain the copyright on the specific performance {e.g., script and presentation}).

I share my old routines in the hopes of inspiring other performers, who will hopefully create their own stories, or at least, modify my creations to suit their own personas.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 13, 2015 02:22PM)
I think the OP has a skewed perception of the trivialization that is often discussed as well as a different understanding of these he references.

First I know for a fact, after personal discussions with many of the people mentioned, they DO experience the backlash of the trivialization of mentalism. Living and performing here in Vegas I can tell you it's quite evident here as well. You are fooling yourself if you think the trivialization perception is limited to just this forum and members.

The OP is also wrong if he truly thinks the creators he mentions release their true token and best works and effects. They don't. Perhaps a "lite" variation of it or a previous "basic" handling. Truth be told most of the "names" are no longer releasing much any more due to just this reason. Bob has seemed to transition to creating, teaching and coaching as his priority so yes, he will be releasing his content. Osterlind, Docc, and others still perform but have found a way to create an additional income stream (not as much as many think in the overall picture) while serving and sharing the community. But Ted, Docc and Richard and the others will be the first to tell you they are not sharing their personal best. Richard has made it quite clear he will never share his signature effect, period.

So first is the separation if this misperception from true fact or reality.

Next, I do believe Derren (as did Nyman) did release some works earlier on in a lecture DVD and books.

Of course any real working mentalist or full-time performer experience the backlash from the trivialization regularly. From audience members (usually kids or the youtube kiddies) shouting something out in the middle of a performance claiming they know how its doe, to Googling during a performance, to writing it on a slip of collected billets or papers, to coming up to you following a show telling you "they too are a mentalist" or "I know how it was done."

It also happens regularly, daily at my agencies, that we hear of this from bookers - clients, other agents, event planners, and of course the performers. Minutes after something is performed on television it is exposed on youtube, in a quick-release pdf, or on a public forum. Comments are then posted following these youtube videos that seem to do the most blatant damage, all in an effort for these guys to say "look at me, I know how it was done." What even sadder, is more than often in their exposure, they really don't know how it was done but the damage and trivialzation has still been done.

It is for this reason that my companies will not book a mentalist that has anything to do with magic or being a magician. Never a street or closeup mentalist either unless specifically requested. We work hard to educate and position our clients to know the difference between a mentalist and a magician doing mental magic or tricks.

I think the whole street/ambush "mentalist and close up mentalist takes something large, huge and impactful and diminishes in down to a street magic level. So this is also part of the trivialization.

Why write a book and share something you have honed for decades? The answer to this is simple. To some this is their passion and their own personal successful journey and at some point they want to share it with the next generation and community. I have been doing this myself lately with my area of specialty which is entertainment business and operations. After four decades of performing and touring, which I still do, I have been sharing my experience and insight on the business of entertainment. It is the business where success is truly created. Anyone can have a good or decent show, but you'll be performing it in your bedroom or basement without the business behind it to monetize it. So I get the want to share and progress the industry. It's also a healthy way for some to give back to what has been their passion for their career. But again, just because someone releases something doesn't mean it's their best or everything they have to them.

I personally think the true mentalists leaders in the community need to take control of this and stop this on the top level. I have shared my thoughts on how to do that and I do think you are seeing some starting to do this in this direction. I agree about the low-end deterrants.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 13, 2015 09:13PM)
Btw, thanks for referring to those that care for this profession as complainers.
Message: Posted by: Paul S Wingham (Dec 14, 2015 05:53AM)
We live in an age where information is more freely available than anytime before and I think it is this combined to a lesser extent with magicicans performing mentalism in a magic set is what has marginalised mentalists and made it hard to claim to have any sort of "real" ability. I don't think you can stop the free flow of information unforunately so you need to keep on inovating to move ahead but rather pervesely, publishing said innovations surely just exacerbates the problem as that info easily slips in to the public domain.

In fairness to magicians performing mentalism in a magic set, for a community who rely on secrecy; we are very very poor as a collective at keeping secrets. Just the discussion in this forum gives too much information a lot of the time. Take the subject of billets. I bet just from simply piecing together a few threads you could completely determine what we do with billets. Perhaps not the actual method, but the gist of their purpose. try persuading someone who's seen that sort of info that you've got any sort of "power". It's impossible.

I don't think you can easily stop trivialisation but I do think that the more entertaining you are, the less people care about the method and any skills you may or may not be be claiming. Or at least you should still be able to entertain which is surely our primary job?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 14, 2015 06:13AM)
The other thing to address is the potential stagnation and suffocation of mentalism...without attempts of pushing things forwards or onwards, via presentations, methods and all things in between, you run the very real risk of things staying as they used to be but not in a positive and healthy way...

sometimes you need a bit of grit in with the oyster...

though saying that, oysters just look and taste like phlegm to me...

you get the idea though hopefully...

its a very difficult line to walk...

all art forms are living and breathing entities - the classic texts are classics for a reason, that doesn't mean though that others can't be added to them...

its all about quality, depth of understanding and ability.... and being open minded and honest about ourselves and our expectations...
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 14, 2015 06:58AM)
[quote]On Dec 14, 2015, Paul S Wingham wrote:
We live in an age where information is more freely available than anytime before and I think it is this combined to a lesser extent with magicicans performing mentalism in a magic set is what has marginalised mentalists and made it hard to claim to have any sort of "real" ability. I don't think you can stop the free flow of information unforunately so you need to keep on inovating to move ahead but rather pervesely, publishing said innovations surely just exacerbates the problem as that info easily slips in to the public domain.[/quote]
I do wonder sometimes who all these magicians are that people think are performing mentalism to such an extent that it affects mentalists.

Almost every single magician I know, including professional, semi pro and amateur, perform magic. They don't throw an odd bit of mentalism in. They may occasionally throw in a bit of mental magic, but even that's very rare. Most of the ones I know work very successfully and earn good money by performing magic, they don't want to change. Why would they?

Mentalism may be being trivialized but it may be more to do with whats happening in the community itself, rather than these alleged legions of magicians who everyone believes in now doing mentalism. Lets not forget that magicians doing an odd bit of mental magic has been around for longer than most performers on here were born. It's not a new thing. So although it's easy to sit back and blame the magicians, the trivialisation is probably something that needs controlling from within.
Message: Posted by: Paul S Wingham (Dec 14, 2015 07:30AM)
I don't think its the main reason for starters, but it must contribute to an extent. I'm referring to magicians who actually have some reach in the real world, so essentially tv magicians who often throw in some mentalism (in the UK I've seen troy, dynamo and others do magic and mind reading or at least mental magic in alongside magic). I'm not criticising, in fact I actually don't care because I think entertainment is the key and as long as you are entertaining, the rest is far less important. I don't try to portray an image of being some mystical guru with special powers.

I'm just making the observation that if you see your favourite tv magician do some mind reading alongside say an ACR, its hard to buy in to the concept that it is anything other than a trick. If you then go on to see a mind reader claimning they can pluck thoughts from your mind, you'll surely assume they are also just performing a trick? I don't think the majortiy of magicians / mind readers on here perform to enough people to fundamentally change peoples opinion, but I do think the tv magicians do. All that said, I still think it comes back to the fact that people are equipped to be well informed and subsequently its hard to portray real ability with a weight of evidence that suggests otherwise. Me and the mrs are constantly saying "lets google that" when we stumble upon something we are curious about. I'm sure the public do the same
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 14, 2015 08:30AM)
Perhaps you're right, although personally I don't think the public see it as black and white as some performers do.

For me, the availability of material to anyone who wants to pay, readily accessible through everyday shopping sites, justified by the argument that the author can publish any way he wants, does more damage than Troy. That availability, plus open access to secrets on here, plus the pretentious rubbish on you tube etc, is where the real problem lies.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 14, 2015 08:31AM)
To go off tangent a little, last year, there was twitter outrage over a photo posted, exposing a Dynamo levitation trick...people weren't angry at the photo, but that Dynamo was "cheating"...

Work that one out...
Message: Posted by: Paul S Wingham (Dec 14, 2015 08:52AM)
[quote]On Dec 14, 2015, Rolyan wrote:
Perhaps you're right, although personally I don't think the public see it as black and white as some performers do.

For me, the availability of material to anyone who wants to pay, readily accessible through everyday shopping sites, justified by the argument that the author can publish any way he wants, does more damage than Troy. That availability, plus open access to secrets on here, plus the pretentious rubbish on you tube etc, is where the real problem lies. [/quote]

I agree Iain, It's the fact that people can without any real cost, access a huge body of material that says "this is how this works it's not real". I also agree its not black and white and in fact irrispective of framing and presentation etc, I bet some spectators have always walked away from a mentalism show thinking "he did some cool tricks". The association is surely impossible to entirely eradicate; I just think its worse today for the reasons mentioned. It's an interesting debate.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 14, 2015 09:52AM)
As much as I despise the trivialization of mentalism, its amazing to me how so many magicians have just accepted the far more widespread trivialization of magic. If I were a magician, this would be of great concern. Magic used to be known for "its generations-old secrets" or "secrets handed down from generation to generation of magicians" (that's why claims of second, third, four or fifth generation of magicians was so impressive). It was widely known, understood and most of all respected by both the community as well as the lay public. If you were a magician of any type, you had inside knowledge and access, you had special respected skills and a level of prestige.

Today when the lay pubic hears "magic" or "magician" the immediately think some corny kids birthday party magician or David Copperfield-ish illusion shows (we know it's much more than that but not to most of the general public). The romance, intrigue and status is long gone from the perception of must of the public. Those in the community seem to understand this less. This is why when as a kid when TV magic cards hit the television, they made Marshall a millionaire, because it was everyone's (the public) first actual access to these great well-kept secrets.

Today magic is a joke when compared to it's former rich and protected history and legend. I would be much more concerned about this, but it actually also goes to prove my exact point that I for one don't wish for mentalism to be trivialized to this degree.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 14, 2015 10:42AM)
It feels in some ways that magic as entertainment is a natural paradox.

I mean, the root structure of the relationship between magic and entertainment is correlated to this question. Throw in the additional factor of "time" and you have a formula for what we all see happening.

If magic and mentalism are "secret" by nature (mentalism more so given its objective), then the simple fact that we want to do them on stage, on tv, closeup - is almost its own paradox. Unlike being an actor, a musician, a dancer - we aim to entertain but do NOT want people to know how its done. That on its own sets up a lot responsibility.

We want to project this art form as a skill - YET, ANY kid can grab a Svengali deck and blow the minds of the uninitiated. Who of us has NOT experienced the following - in a casual situation, someone in the crowd knows uncle joey's favorite card or coin trick, and then performs it...and the crowd IS amazed! it's happened to me. Poor performance, poor presentation, but the drunk crowd around you loves the trick because...well hey, its MAGIC! It's inherently interesting and can amaze, on its own, simply BECAUSE it is magic.

This is what we want to project as an art form, as a speciality...this thing that anyone can do a poor version of, once they know the secret.

Is it the same for acting, for dancing, for other art forms?

With magic's decline specifically, I think the reasons are too layered to iron it down to one thing. But I do think the failure to modernize has hurt it. Lots and lots of comments on the Café make it seem pros want magic to stay "classic." to me that another word for "old and too formal". I think the blaine's and brown's of the world are exactly what was needed.

The last indgredient, the one of time - this is obviously a catalyst in so many ways. With information being generated and spread at unparalleled speeds I just don't think we can protect magic and mentalism unless we collectively see it as something worth protecting. with so many performers wanting to make it about personal prowess instead of audience entertainment, I just don't see how we keep it from trivializing...

Lastly, I want to make the distinction between pros and amateurs. I think of it like staying in shape. From what I understand, its much harder to get a six pack then maintain one. lol.
Well the professionals are much more motivated to delay or halt the trivialization of mentalism than the rookies. The problem is that the rookies, in their quest to BECOME better - perform a lot the offending actions that trivialize mentalism. When I look back on my own journey, I cringe. There's so much damange I have to undo because I simply did not realize or respect mentalism as seperate from magic. Just couldn't make the connection.

Several years and some high profile performances later, I am SO motivated to distance myself from frankly magic and mentalism. I just want be so entertaining that people book me and don't know exactly what I'm doing up there - they just know they love it and are intrigued by it, and WISH they could do it themselves... I know SO much better HOW I want to be percieved and what is psychologically required for me to gain that perception...but how is someone new to mentalism supposed to understand all of that?

*end rant*
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 14, 2015 11:04AM)
[quote]On Dec 14, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
...
Today magic is a joke when compared to it's former rich and protected history and legend. I would be much more concerned about this, but it actually also goes to prove my exact point that I for one don't wish for mentalism to be trivialized to this degree.
...[/quote]

Love that, not the fact, but your words, it's what I am thinking since many years. Unfortunately. Jan
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Dec 14, 2015 11:06AM)
I'll throw in some perspective on one of the issues being discussed:

Information has always been power, but in the new age of the internet, where access to information has been democratized, there is a cultural lag in the morality of sharing information/'content.'

In the early years of music file sharing (late 90s), I witnessed a series of focus groups with younger music fans, gauging their behaviour and opinions on the act of downloading/using music for which they had not paid.
In general there was a knowledge that what they were doing was 'wrong' (at least from a legal standpoint), but there were two basic pieces of rationalization:
1. It doesn't hurt anyone (it's a victimless crime)
2. The 'music industry' is ridiculously rich and I have paid enough for other music.

FIlm industry research on movie downloading found similar results.

Even more interesting, when you question those who initiate the sharing (senders/uploaders), a different dynamic comes into play - they feel 'powerful' and 'influential,' as a result of their being able to 'share' content with the world.

Now, more than decade and a half later, as I once said on an industry panel, the horses are not only out of the barn with the door wide open, but there is an entirely new generation of horses born in the wild who don't even know that the barn ever existed.

While a much smaller industry, in many ways, magic has an even bigger problem, as sharing 'secret content,' produces even more powerful 'rewards' in the form of dopamine to the pleasure centers of the brain.

And here's the even scarier reality:
Despite every effort and millions of dollars spent on trying to curtail illegal downloading by the music industry (movies are a slightly different matter), their business model has suffered a death spiral in a frighteningly short period of time.

Yes, our 'industry' can make every effort to protect/encrypt/ID content, but finding a way out of whatever barn doors we use, is only a matter of time for those who are determined.

While this will be a constant threat for content creators, there are two ways in which we will never suffer the same threats as the music or film industries:

First: Those who have an interested in acquiring this information, represent a miniscule percentage of the population. And as we police our own, relatively small, community, we've made efforts to ostracize outliers.
Second: As performers, this presents an even more compelling reason to ensure that our performances are unique and not cookie-cutter. In other words, even if someone in the audience knows the secret to a method that is central to the effect (again I would emphasize that we are talking about a tiny group - relatively speaking), it is so well disguised that it flies past.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 14, 2015 11:43AM)
Excellent post
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 14, 2015 02:31PM)
All Trivia is now trivial.
Google proves there is no point in knowing obscure facts (Where is Tom Petty from?)

Robert Johnson used to play guitar facing the corner when he felt the burning stares of his fellow bluesmen.
Hiding the arcane is an eternal dance.
One we'll lose every time. If you can lose a dance?
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 14, 2015 03:02PM)
Information is freely available on how to play guitar. Or act. Or juggle. Yet, when people see a great musician or actor or juggler, do they jump on the web the next day to learn how they "did it"? No, not normally. I realize the analogy isn't perfect. After all, we mystery entertainers are purportedly doing something impossible so there is perhaps a peaked desire to know how we do what we do. Still, I think far the vast majority of folks, when they see a great magician or mentalist perform, they enjoy the show and let it go at that. People are busy.

The only thing that trivializes mentalism or magic is bad performances.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 14, 2015 04:25PM)
[quote]On Dec 14, 2015, Robb wrote:

The only thing that trivializes mentalism or magic is bad performances. [/quote]

I disagree. There are certain tricks that can be so over-exposed they are flat out broken.
There is no puzzle-aspect of juggling or music; just skill. Once a trick is "solved" it becomes trivial to non-magicians.
I know how bed-of-nails and fire-walking work. They no longer hold any interest or mystery for me, even though I've never done them.
I expect the same is true for most laymen and spoiled-magic.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 14, 2015 05:11PM)
The "puzzle aspect" is of course necessary for the mystery aspect of magic or mentalism, but ideally the audience should not think it those terms. They should be too entertained or stunned for it to even occur to them to analyze how it was done. If we focus primarily on "fooling" audiences, then the question of exposure of methods might indeed be of concern. But if we instead focus on compelling presentations and showmanship, you can dazzle and amaze an audience with the simplest of methods.

Honestly, I cannot think of one single magic or mentalism method that is truly commonly known by "laymen" so I have no idea what the concern is.
Message: Posted by: jonnyboy (Dec 14, 2015 05:51PM)
Robb, with respect, I think there are quite a few magic methods (and maybe mentalism) that are well known. For example, marked cards, trick cards, double lifts, trick coins, palming cards, sleeving. Linking rings with a gap in them. They know about equivoque, one of our favorite mentalism methodologies. And now they think electronics are the method behind many mentalism effects, including earpieces and such. That may be why many professional performers I've seen go out of their way to disprove such methods in their presentations. Many spectators are too polite to mention them, but quite a few of them know in general about such methods. But, as you point out, it is the entertainment that should matter the most, but I think it is critically important to achieve this with the most bulletproof effects with logically disconnected methods. We're just deluding ourselves, in my opinion, if we think that people aren't aware of some common methodologies.

John
Message: Posted by: The Mysterious One (Dec 15, 2015 12:44AM)
Unfortunately Robb, jonnyboy is correct in reference to non-magicians knowing a few magic methods. However, a skilled mentalists or magician can use this so called surface knowledge and use it to further fool an audience by using alternative methods. I have used this when doing mental magic with a deck of cards. A spectator once claimed that I was going to fo*** a playing card. I simply told the spectator that he has free choice and asked him to place his finger on the playing card and keep it on there. I then proceeded with an altered version of the card effect. After the effect was over, he was more amazed than anyone. I played off this spectator's knowledge to further do the impossible in his mind.

Even though I am a magician, I always enjoy reading over the years the thoughts of many mentalism professionals (Mindpro, JanForster, David Thiel, Bob Cassidy, and others) in Penny. I respect their passion and knowledge. I do not want to see mentalism being reduced and disrespected like the art of magic. Mentalism is truly about performance and scripting. It is the last art form within mystery entertainment that people do not view the practitioners as tricksters. I have watched enough mentalism throughout my life to witness laypeople refusing to believe a mentalist claims of not being psychic.

There is hope out there for mentalists. A case in point, my Harvard lawyer sister is one of the biggest fans of mentalism that one would ever meet. She loves watching Derren Brown, Keith Barry, and have borrowed my recordings of these aforementioned artists along with Alain Nu and Gerry Mccambridge. She has also viewed your TV magicians doing mentalism (Dynamo, Justin Willman, David Blaine). She has spent time trying to find out how "X" does A,B and C? She has even stumbled upon our beloved Café and has perused the site briefly a number of years ago trying to find out information. She didn't find anything out, but just by visiting the site is a little too close to comfort for my taste. Unfortunately, there are some members that openly discuss methods in an open forum (not pointing any fingers). She spent time researching methods but got bored due to the amount of time to do this and trying to translate the jargon. She represents a very small number of people that will spend the time and effort to discover how something works.

People are aware of more common methodologies in magic than mentalism. Yet, in magic, one can use different methods to execute the effect and make changes to the presentation to create additional layers of deception. It is so important for the mentalists to give thought and effort to original presentations to mask the method or to play up the impossibility of the stated method. A cookie cutter approach in any branch of mystery entertainment only handicaps the performer from truly astonishing an audience in today's information age. I would like to see mentalism as well as its cousin magic last for hundreds of years beyond 2015.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 15, 2015 03:29AM)
All these posts may be true but the simple fact is the internet has made it easy to get info. In the past publishing methods was no problem at all because only those who were serious took the bother to find out. The more popular mentalism gets the more it will be searched online. There will always be a percentage who really can't be bothered to search and are happy watching the shows. But those that do search will only increase.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 15, 2015 03:30AM)
Derren Brown Kieth Barry all have luxury of a team and budget behind them. Something most performers don't have. Im surprised they have lasted so long. I personally got bored by them many years ago.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 15, 2015 04:08AM)
They say the same about you! :)
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 15, 2015 04:25AM)
Interest in how things are done would diminish a lot if more performers would transfer by their performances that knowing doesn't mean being able to do. That again melts down to the fact that we need extremely professional and entertaining performers. Unfortunately there are not many. Mind sets have to change, live what you do, think about and reflect about it all the time and I mean all the time. Get a feeling for when you should not perform. Turn each stone around, plan ALL and try always to set things the best way to support you. Of course you have to know your stuff inside and outside. Do not show tricks, mental magic tricks or whatever, the mind set has to be I am a mentalist, not I am a guy who shows mental tricks. Jan
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 15, 2015 11:00AM)
Underscoring the above point, I bring up for the second time - mentalism's natural paradox.

We want people to respect an art form that is built on NOT knowing how it works.

Just stop being magicians and mentalists for a minute and think about what conclusions that leads one to. They can be dark places if you follow that logic out.

A an audience member in a play or concert rarely thinks "I can go up on stage and play that song or act that role just as well."

But many many audience members think they can do what we do "if only they knew the secret."

WHY IS THAT?

(rhetorical question)
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 15, 2015 11:20AM)
Exactly, Dynamix. But if your performance is superior, they don't bother with that question. And with all due respect to the guys who disagreed with me when I said that "laymen" don't know many magic or mentalism methods, I stand by that.

People have certainly heard of marked cards, but few have ever actually seen a marked deck or assume that one is being used.

A gap in one of the rings? That's just plain logic, that's not access to some secret method. It's what a rational person would assume without being convinced otherwise. Trick coins though? No, your average person has no awareness of that.

Sleeving? Just a magical cliche ("Nothing up my sleeves!"), but nobody (including most magicians!) has any real knowledge of the mechanics of sleeving. They would watch Rocco and have no idea what is happening (because he's a master or the technique).

Moving on to mentalism... Equivoque? NO, most people have zero knowledge of this technique. However, when done poorly any fool can spot what is going on. Done well and in the right context and it is invisible.

Electronics? Well, that is partially our own faults for becoming over reliant on mentalism technology but putting that aside, you need to create the logical disconnects and presentational touches that make it clear that you're not using tech even when you are.

In short, with all due respect, I think this worry about method exposure is unwarranted and focused on the wrong direction. What I fear will trivialize mentalism is not method exposure but poorly conceived and executed routines. If we want to prevent the trivialization of the mystery arts, then being the best writers and performers that we can be should be our focus, not worrying about what some kid is saying in the comments on YouTube.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 15, 2015 11:30AM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2015, IAIN wrote:
They say the same about you! :) [/quote]

I don't have a budget or a team no matter what they say Iain!

I haven't lasted that well either lol
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 15, 2015 01:15PM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2015, Robb wrote:
Exactly, Dynamix. But if your performance is superior, they don't bother with that question.

[/quote]

I agree with you 1000%

I also think that someone can't impress a crowd with a shoddy stand up performance or an amateur guitar solo.

But someone CAN impress a crowd with a poorly performed card trick. Cuz, guess what - some card tricks ARE very easy. And very fooling. And quite impressive.

That's why the majority of us probably got bit in the first place by the magic bug.

Not to sound defeatist, but when you really analyze what we do AT ITS CORE - I think you have to come to the conclusion that although magic or mentalism CAN be as skillful as music/comedy/dancing/acting - perhaps for the most part, it isn't. Or at least we have collectively let it be a lot less skillful. Or perhaps it is inherently less "needy" of skill than we like to admit. I don't know, just spitballing here.

I think the point is - don't overthink this stuff and focus on being the best you can be in terms of entertaining. Be the skillful performer who represents the artform well.

At the end of the day, a rock guitar player actually is up there doing that. A comedian really is funny.

A mindreader is not really reading minds. Something to think about.
Message: Posted by: The Jack (Dec 15, 2015 01:46PM)
And what if we try to be artists? what if on stage we have something to say, something to share? I think that way people do not care about methods or youtube or else... when an artist enters stage they can notice that and from then on everything it s about the unique thing he has to show them.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 15, 2015 02:00PM)
Yes! The Jack nailed it in just a few words.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 15, 2015 02:55PM)
You're kidding yourself if you believe this. Just by our nature we immediately, by default, want to know and understand how it's done or "how he's able to do that."
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 15, 2015 03:53PM)
Mindpro, no doubt people wonder that to some degree. My point is that they're not so motivated to find out that they're going to bother much. And especially so with a good performance. When people are entertained and delighted, they are less focused on the how. Seriously, you think after seeing David Copperfield or Derren Brown folks are running home to search the web for explanations of how they did what they did? I think that is absurd.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 15, 2015 04:06PM)
I've sat in theatres watching derren, there's always people around me putting up their best guess, some telling others how he does it "its that nlp stuff, innit", and also googling for answers... and that's just in the intermission...
Message: Posted by: The Jack (Dec 15, 2015 04:41PM)
There s always people that can t stop thinking about the method. But most of the time when they see an artist they confess they do not want to know and appreciate what they have experienced. To mention an artist and a great example, Rene Lavand. After 5 minutes audiences (real ones) didn t care about methods. And I think there are more examples but this one can be supported by anyone who has seen him performing for real audiences.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 15, 2015 04:46PM)
...yeah, but that's magic and poetry...people are kinda less bothered by that...(huge, huge fan of the late, great Rene Lavand btw)...they can sit back and enjoy it without wanting to delve deeper...

with mentalism, because of the plausibility and general belief structures (for good and for ill) - people wanna know far, far more...

when the persona transcends the subject matter, that's when people care less and are just 'in the moment'...
Message: Posted by: The Jack (Dec 15, 2015 04:49PM)
I agree with you Iain!!! but I think that s the path to avoid trivialization!!! it worth the try at least from my point of view.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Dec 15, 2015 05:05PM)
I think you can only trivialize something that is already trivial -- made so either by the treatment of the performer or the presentation of the effect. There will always be easy access to secrets. It's a fact of life in this new world. But concentrate on presentation...concentrate on entertaining them and being memorable...concentrate on connecting with your audience.

Do what you can to protect the secrets of the art. Of course. But don't spend precious energy looking over your shoulder to see what the rest of the world is doing. You're only going to create your own "art" when your eyes are firmly pointed forward.

There's nothing we can do about lowlife jerks on the internet. So get over it. Ignore them...brush them off the bottom of your shoe. In the broad picture, they just don't matter. Fretting about something you can't change will only make you nuts.

But understand that the REAL touch of "magic" in mentalism is hidden away in the connection a performer makes with an audience. Internet bottom feeders simply can't copy that.

David
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 15, 2015 06:09PM)
Awesome David! Great post and right on the money.
Message: Posted by: MysticJohn (Dec 15, 2015 06:15PM)
I have aways found it strange that some get into either magic or mentalism that have had no other desire or training in entertainment. Some seem to think knowing method is it.

I guess any art form would become trivial if you don't explore beyond methods. Drama, acting, blocking, stage craft, public speaking, perhaps a bit of local theatre wouldn't hurt. Lastly repect for yourself, if you plan on getting up on a stage without preparation and or doing an act you memorized from a DVD your nothing short of a cover artist and I use the word artist lightly.

I believe anything can become trivial if no repect to craft is paid.

My 2 cents :-)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 15, 2015 06:32PM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2015, MysticJohn wrote:
I have aways found it strange that some get into either magic or mentalism that have had no other desire or training in entertainment. Some seem to think knowing method is it.[/quote]

That unfortunately is part of the trivialization. It's knowing the "how" or method that is important to them. The false belief is that all effects are self-working - once you know the secret that's all there is. This is the actual trivialization. The problem today is that knowing or figuring it out, right or wrong (as in magic and now mentalism) is not enough, now they have to immediately make a youtube video or pdf and want to tell everyone that they know, how clever they (think) they are. I guess that is the whole point of the trivialization issue. It wouldn't be nearly as bad if it was a personal challenge and then with a devislish smirk, it was kept to themselves.
Message: Posted by: jstreiff (Dec 16, 2015 04:23PM)
I have no idea how I would present magic or mentalism as anything but art. To me the value of the presentation to the audience is the journey upon which we embark together. The effects become secondary to the emotional ride we share, and the methods become trivial technicalities in this context. If one does not seek to produce art, then all the prior comments above may apply. But if the journey is the thing and the audience emotions are tied to that journey, that is a completely different matter.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 17, 2015 11:01PM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2015, The Jack wrote:
There s always people that can t stop thinking about the method. But most of the time when they see an artist they confess they do not want to know and appreciate what they have experienced. To mention an artist and a great example, Rene Lavand. After 5 minutes audiences (real ones) didn t care about methods. And I think there are more examples but this one can be supported by anyone who has seen him performing for real audiences. [/quote]

Some would say that if your audience is only wondering about the method then you've got some presentational problems.

jeff
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Dec 18, 2015 12:45AM)
First off most of you have no idea what some of us were speaking about when it comes to the trivialization of mentalism. Apparently! Since some of you thought the discussion was about Brown and Angel. Which by the way, when the topic first started it had zero to do with performers and more to do with methodology. However some people seem to be obsessed with the who is who and missed the conversation in its entirety. Which may have been a good thing looking back in hind sight since it does serve to hide the our secret terminology. What some of us were referencing is the transformation from the principal methodology of methods employed by the mentalist to that of the methods employed by the magician. Wherein most mentalism these days is based on nothing more than mis-direction and not the creation of mis-belief as it was a number of years ago. One only need to look at some of the many disclaimers currently in use to see that statement is 100% fact.

The original situation can be found below that relates to the trivialization of mentalism.

“With magic, the performer employs mis-direction. Directing the attention of his spectators away from the operation of the mystery while his hands or mechanical contrivances operate. With the mentalist, it is mis-belief. He must cause his audience to believe something other than which actually occurs, or instill that reasonable question of doubt.” Robert Nelson 1944

Now I fully aware many of you have never read the book that that is found in. If you did and understood it this topic would have never mentioned some of the people it has nor would it have been focused on some people as if they where or where not to blame for the resulting issue. It would also be clear why mentalism is not magic although the mentalist at times my employ mis-direction as a secondary method to achieve the end result.

Apologies if the above sounds grumpy as it is intended to set the record straight as to the original conversation from which this trivialization started several years back that appeared on more than one forum and not to sound like a purist although there is a good chance that I am one.

In addition, please note the way mis- is spelled which is again another part of the earlier secret language of the mentalist that was used during the 1920s and 1940s. By the time the change in the trivialization of mentalism started to occur and the principal method employed by the mentalist began to change so did the spelling for both of these words within the mentalist vocabulary also started to transform. Mis-belief would become miss-direction and there would be no more doubt instilled in the mind of the audiences.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Dec 18, 2015 02:07AM)
Wow, I almost hate to put this out because I'm sure it might rile some. I'll start by saying that I sent it to someone else who had been discussing the changes that have happened lately. Mind you, this is just my opinion, but it is based on what I've seen happen in the last 7 or so years. Oh, well... here goes:

[b]I actually agree that the Magic Castle has turned into the Mentalism Castle. I stopped going there over two years ago for that very reason.

I first moved to Hollywood in 2000. I was a half a block below the castle on Orange. Used to go there practically every night. For about the first five years I used to be the only one consistently doing mentalism. Once in awhile maybe two or three others would come in doing mentalism... especially in the impromptu rooms. I even remember meeting with three other mentalists and having the other magicians kind of treat us like nerds. As if we were the outsiders.

In the beginning I didn't have to worry about repeating or doing anything others were doing in the Castle. Little by little I started noticing a difference. I had to check out the other rooms to make sure I wasn't doing the same thing. I would see a comedy magician suddenly do Sneak Thief... I would drop my routine that night. A card guy would suddenly do a book test... so ended my book test for the night. I even have a funny story about doing one routine and then going into the Palace and seeing the basic routine done by a comedy guy. The audience in there had just seen me do that and they all turned and looked at me. I actually said to them, "He's a friend. I had to teach him something."

So, I go there a few years back and what do I see: just about every magician that used to scoff at mentalism is now doing it. This is what I saw that night in the Museum room: a mentalism set followed by another mentalism set followed by another mentalism set then one guy did cards and coins then another mentalist then another mentalist then one guy did some cards & ropes then a mentalist... etc, etc.

My friends, not magicians, got see three guys use the same electronic dice in the same night and that happened first twice in a row. Also they got to see two guys use the same electronic pad and pen to get the info. And at least three Sneak Thief renditions.

That's one of the many reasons I've kind of left it all behind. I don't like to be in the mix of the "IN THING" to do. I left that night thinking they should change the name to the Mentalism Castle. Over the years I've seen all the magicians I knew now having something on their site like: ESP SHOW or MIND READING, etc. Some still offer just magic but they all at least have something on their sites that alludes to the idea they also do mind reading.

I was in New York when the Blaine fad started and didn't like that either. Suddenly everyone around me was doing ambitious cards and biting coins. I was a teen when Doug Henning was big. At that time everyone around me started dressing hippie-like and EVERYONE was doing Anderson's Newspaper Tear. I had been doing it before Doug made it so popular and I had to drop it because now everyone was doing it... and with the same patter.

It just depresses me to see a large group not have a mind of their own. They instantly become lemmings and follow the butt in from of them.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I merely lurk in the dark now, buy stuff that I'm curious about, and rarely even try to perform.[/b]

Hope you are doing well. Happy Holidays!!!

Greg
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Dec 18, 2015 07:07AM)
I once helped a juggler friend of mine who wanted to perform a mentalism effect for an event by teaching him how to do a basic three-phase "one-behind" effect.

Afterwards, I talked with some members of the audience, and most of them knew exactly how it was done, but didn't care, because the presentation was quite entertaining.

There's a well-known thought in theatre circles that if you do a performance of "Peter Pan" that it's important that the audience sees the wires, even though we have the technology to make them practically invisible. Thus the audience doesn't waste time trying to figure out how you make everyone fly, but instead engage their "suspension of disbelief" and enjoy the show.

I think the same idea applies for some magic. By presenting something that's relatively easy to figure out, you allow your audiences to sit back and enjoy the real purpose of the show.

Of course, those performers who just present "tricks" with no meaning jealously guard the secrets (and do their best to conceal them), because that's all they have.
Message: Posted by: dsacks (Dec 18, 2015 07:53AM)
Thanks Greg
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Dec 18, 2015 08:09AM)
How to stop the trivialisation of mentalism... Stop doing it badly.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Dec 18, 2015 09:06AM)
“With magic, the performer employs mis-direction. Directing the attention of his spectators away from the operation of the mystery while his hands or mechanical contrivances operate. With the mentalist, it is mis-belief. He must cause his audience to believe something other than which actually occurs, or instill that reasonable question of doubt.” Robert Nelson 1944

Wow. Thanks, Bill. How many thousands of words have been written on this topic, which is settled with such a simple quote?

1944.

Perfect.

David
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 18, 2015 09:46AM)
Greg's perspective is something that really hits hard for me.

A friend of mine who is big in the NY improv scene told me that a lot of her colleagues come from magic. Another friend of mine who is making his way through the stand up comedy profession (quite successfully) has several comedian friends who do magic, which is why he knew to book me recently (having been familiar with what we can do given a stage and a great crowd).

There are of course exemplary performers in our field who really show us what mentalism can be at its finest. Thank god we have them.
But - I underscore the point yet again - maybe its time we recognize magic and mentalism for what they are. Very powerful arts that can be done very easily very poorly.

You can't do a poor singing performance and wow a crowd. But you can do a horrible 1 ahead routine that you learned in 10 minutes, and still fool some. If you get lucky you might convince them you actually knew what they were going to choose or say. All for very little work on your own part.

Perhaps there are so many dang copy cats as Greg mentioned because its a very easy thing to copy, with no real penalty.

I think we are all in agreement that performing badly helps trivialize mentalism. I DO think the logic needs to shift to the performer. Someone above complained about it shifting to the performer, but I think this is where it needs to go. I've read on the Café time and time again when a Darcy Oake or a flashy young newcomer hits the scene (this is more magic related) - "oh he only gets votes because he's young and hip," - just a complete DENIAL of how important things like aesthetic, look, style, modernization are.
We want to be on the level of actors and music performers yet we hold ourselves physically and stylistically to nowhere near the same standards.

There's room for everything, all demographics, ages, sizes of people. And certainly style/look comes second to skill. But I think one way to grow and embolden mentalism is simply to breathe new life into it via a respected, stylish, intelligent and TIMELY performer. For me, DB certainly counts. From what I read, Dunninger seemed to captivate a nation in part by being timely - debunking spiritualists (perhaps more relevant at the time), pioneering new forms of entertainment (magic on radio/tv) etc. There has to be a modern way to tap into all of the technology and distrust of government/surveillance etc - I think we need someone to bring mentalism to the forefront by making it relevant, cool, and charismatic. I think it all matters.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 18, 2015 09:50AM)
Sub-Cults are peculiar.

On one forum the Contact Jugglers are at odds with the Numbers Jugglers.
In the chess forums the Gambit players are mocked by the Hyper Modernists.
The yo-yo guys are flaming over which throw is the most Boss.

We are all floating in the same skiff, trading hats and arguing nomenclature.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 18, 2015 11:25AM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
There are of course exemplary performers in our field who really show us what mentalism can be at its finest. Thank god we have them.
But - I underscore the point yet again - maybe its time we recognize magic and mentalism for what they are. Very powerful arts that can be done very easily very poorly. [/quote]

That certainly is one perspective, but I believe in another. There are a small group or handful exemplary of performers that perform mentalism at its finest...they are mentalists. All others-wannabees, bad performing and magicians claiming to be mentalists are all in fact not mentalists at all, they are pretend, fake, pseudo wannabees, and nothing more.

That may sound harsh but its technically and unfortunately true. The problem today is simply this. In magic, any kid that gets a magic set or a self-working novelty store trick or sven deck of cards can claim to be a "magician." These are publicly available magic trick books and dvds that can allow ANYONE to learn and string together a handful of tricks and make the self-proclamation that they are a "magician." Cute. Now, today the very same approach is true of what they are claiming to be "mentalism."

First off, most of these guys truly do not understand what mentalism is, has been or should be. It's just an extension of their magic, and nothing more. This is true of some very well-established names in the business too unfortunately. Since they do not understand the differences and the true essence of mentalism, it therefore is what they "claim" to be mentalism. Hence, mental magic. Hence poor "mentalism" performances. Hence confused bookers and audiences.

There are no poor mentalists, they are magicians attempting to perform mentalism from a magic mindset, approach and understanding. And of course this is without anything other than self-proclamation - "I am now a mentalist!"

This is where the trivialization of mentalism begins. Then add the easy access through today's mediums and there you have it.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are millions of kids that learn or know a joke or that can read a joke book, but they in no way believe or view themselves as a comedian, why of course not, that would be ridiculous. Ludicrous. But read nearly every magicians bio. It either begins with or somewhere within is mentioned something to the affect of " I started in magic when I was 6 years old, 4 years old, 7 months old, in the womb..." It is preposterous. Now the same exact thing is happening to mentalism. Herein lies the the beginning of the trivialization.
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 18, 2015 12:22PM)
Kudos to what Greg and MindPro said... Greg's comment about three routines with "e" dice and the "e" pads points to something I've been feeling for awhile: "e"-mentalism is a big driver of the trivialization. Not the ONLY driver, but certainly a factor. Well, the truth remains though: those who are unique and not doing mentalism because it's "hot" or "easy" will still stand out and be the more memorable performers. There's no doubt about that. But the dilution of the title "Mentalist" is sad, disturbing and bad for the whole art. Can't wait until a hot new magic trend comes along and the lemmings move on...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 18, 2015 12:47PM)
It also is not just about the entertainment or performance or entertaining the audience (I hate it when members say that). It is about much, much more. Successful mentalism is about the proper understanding, mindset, approach, perception, execution, unique performance dynamics, theatrics, belief, knowledge, skills and the whole package. It's not plug and play entertainment. Then their is the understanding of the audience - perceptions dynamics, beliefs,etc. It is much more than just being "entertaining."
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 18, 2015 01:22PM)
I understand what you are saying Mindpro and I'm inclined to agree - however I think your definition of mentalism is a very precise one.

Ignoring "right or wrong," for a second (and I think the way you view mentalism is to be commended), there are so many that would argue mentalism can be presented without going for the psychic or "pure mindreading" approach.

I'm not 100% sure where you stand on the "physical mentalism" that is all so popular - maybe this watered down version version is also helping trivialize - but I think the fact is, people have found a way to make people think what they are seeing is "real" without doing magic [or "mindreading"] - what is this called? Is it not mentalism? Even the big names (as you mention) confuse the issue.

The deeper and deeper I dig, the more I realize that unless you are really reading minds, or MAYBE a hypnotist or tarot/readings based entertainer - you are trying to convince the world you are skilled at something that you aren't actually doing. On top of this, the technical aspect is fairly easy (but the presentational aspects are certainly a very challenging challenge) - where does that leave us?

Are we trivializing mentalism? Or is already something "small" that we are failing to build up and make bigger? Why isn't there the same market for mentalism or magic as there is for stand up comedy or acting? You mention the person who tells jokes vs the comedian...My earlier mentioned stand up friend is nowhere near famous yet he has a very successful stand up career (full time) and lives in a much nicer place than most of my finance friends in NY. The fees he gets for a stand up performance or MCing a wedding (a big source of income he tells me) I'm officially jealous of!

(Not saying it can't be done, I'm sure it is by yourself and others - just noting there doesn't *seem* to be as big a need for mentalists and magicians as other entertainment).
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 18, 2015 01:35PM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, David Thiel wrote:
“With magic, the performer employs mis-direction. Directing the attention of his spectators away from the operation of the mystery while his hands or mechanical contrivances operate. With the mentalist, it is mis-belief. He must cause his audience to believe something other than which actually occurs, or instill that reasonable question of doubt.” Robert Nelson 1944

Wow. Thanks, Bill. How many thousands of words have been written on this topic, which is settled with such a simple quote?

1944.

Perfect.

David [/quote]

Except in 2015 the modern mentalist also uses the same tools as the modern magician. Mentalists also use their hands to switch b*l*e*t*, perform CT, *e*ks and more. They use all manner of boxes for predictions, Q & A and more. My reading of this quote tells me that both groups use the same techniques of misdirection, stagecraft, blocking and more to create a sense of mis-belief. This simply isn't exclusive to mentalists.

I now predict that everyone who is a "real" mentalist while chime in that I'm completely wrong. They will also claim to be the ultimate authority on the topic which of course is a fairly self serving argument. This idea that mentalists are so much better than magicians is also simply wrong. There is as much trivialization in magic as there is in mentalism but why blame magicians? There are good magicians and there are good mentalists. There are also bad magicians and bad mentalists.

The mentalists complain about the easy access of secrets, e-products and yet it's these same "purist" mentalists who are flogging all manner of products to anyone who'll pay the price. To me, this is the real trivialization. Check out the bottom of their posts and you'll see the links to their precious secrets. Go to Amazon and you'll find more of their products being hawked. To me, this is extremely hypocritical and you can't have it both ways. Why not employ some barriers so that a common magician won't be able to buy your precious secrets? And the answer becomes clearer.

jeff
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Dec 18, 2015 02:06PM)
“Mentalism is a commercial-mercenary. If you wish. It functions only for
profit.” Robert Nelson also in 1944 and in the same book

Wherein he clearly states the function of mentalism

“ The mindreading act, whether on stage, radio, club or park lot is a unique ballyhoo for the sale of
something. Usually it is a book of Psychology, Astrology or other “ologies.” A horoscope, a dream
book, an alleged charm-something is offered for sale. The purpose of the act is not only to Entertain,
but to create a demand for the purchase of this merchandise. This revenue ofttimes far exceeds the
salary paid.” and again in the same chapter of the same book also from 1944

Wherein the purpose of mentalism is stated.

Bill Montana "purist"
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 18, 2015 02:19PM)
These are antiquated WWII theories on the separation of mind/magic.
Today I'm certain Magic-Effect sales dwarf those of Mentalism.

Nowadays the methods are so cross-pollinated the lines are too blurred to define.
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Dec 18, 2015 02:32PM)
Antiquated really? Most of the new stuff your referencing is based on many of these antiquated theories although the origins where not sited by the newer creators.

While it is true general magic sales are much greater than those sold by the mentalist this is pointless and now a waste of my time...................................................................................................................
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 18, 2015 04:04PM)
I'm probably guilty of trivializing; sometimes I do mash-up effects that don't clearly square in either genre.
If the spec thinks of a card, and I levitate their thought-card from the deck, is the effect Mentalism or Magic?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 18, 2015 04:17PM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
I'm probably guilty of trivializing; sometimes I do mash-up effects that don't clearly square in either genre.
If the spec thinks of a card, and I levitate their thought-card from the deck, is the effect Mentalism or Magic? [/quote]

100% MAGIC
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 18, 2015 04:56PM)
Surely it's a Hybrid.

Thoughts, parapsychological phenomena and even the occult can be revealed with sleights and "magic".
If a ghost whispers the answer to me...I'm still free to reveal with elan. Pretty sure the ghost doesn't care.

There may be an argument that a magic-reveal cheapens the mentalism aspect, but it doesn't replace it.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 18, 2015 05:04PM)
How you reveal something is vital though... you don't pull out a bunch of flowers with the card they "merely thought of" written on the petals and expect people to think that its in any way 'real'...

take real petals, cast them into a bowl of water, you answer a question the person is thinking of, that could be a hybrid, but would depend on context, character and everything else wrapped around it...

if you then took the petals out from the bowl of water, held them in your hand and the petals fused back together - that would then be seen as magic too...

context is king, shortly followed by the jester of consistency, and the queen of connections...
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 18, 2015 06:24PM)
Amateurs like myself can afford to ignore dogma.
We have no public persona to defend or bookers to question our set. There is no competition in the parlor.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 18, 2015 06:29PM)
Mr Salk I think this is exactly the problem as perceived by those who need the distinction to survive - the pros are being affected by the amateur showing the world that it IS indeed all trickery. The amateurs simply don't realize this is what they are doing.

I'm an amateur myself and I also used to think that fooling them and entertaining them meant I was "doing my job". But what we are unknowingly telegraphing in your above example is that BOTH how we obtained the thought AND how we made it levitate - were done through trickery.

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 18, 2015 08:15PM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
You're kidding yourself if you believe this. Just by our nature we immediately, by default, want to know and understand how it's done or "how he's able to do that." [/quote]

A real artist provides the context for creating an experience where disbelief is suspended. This is in contrast to the rather low brow performer that creates an adversarial situation where's it's all about the HOW. I've seen many mentalists (and magicians too) that present feat after feat and the end result is one of...so what? You know what I was thinking or apparently predicted something after I went through some process. I know that the magic/mentalism is a trick and without any further meaning to the piece it becomes rather trivial.

jeff
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 19, 2015 11:15AM)
Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 19, 2015 11:45AM)
Even in the greatest of context, which I agree is crucially important, others will always try to understand or want to understand how he is able to do it. If the abilities and perhaps a proper backstory isn't presented, convincing or accepted, it them becomes accepted as nothing more than a trick or puzzle justified through their typical default of logic.

Btw, this is why letting the audience "see the process" is so important. Nut all of this does little to stop or change the trivialization by those that do not understand or put forth such efforts.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 19, 2015 01:47PM)
I don't think you can stop it. Ive seen it in other markets. Whenever a larger number of people enter a market the service becomes valued lower. Sure there is always the odd operator who stays at the top and commands high fees but by and large the market suffers. And to make it worse with mentalism they don't even need to enter the market. All they have to do is find out the method then brag about it on social media.

Its not going to stop.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 19, 2015 04:07PM)
[quote]On Dec 19, 2015, Robb wrote:
Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off? [/quote]

Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?

I'm currently working on my version of the Sophie trick. I'm playing hide and seek with my 6 year old son Jonah and I keep finding him because he hides in such obvious spots. The narrative changes as my audience slowly realizes that he died in my arms a few years ago. The piece isn't for every venue or audience but it does give a direct example about the theatrical possibilities of a mentalist routine. Even one that's a fairly signature routine.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Ray Bertrand (Dec 19, 2015 07:09PM)
[quote]On Dec 19, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
[quote]On Dec 19, 2015, Robb wrote:
Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off? [/quote]

Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?

I'm currently working on my version of the Sophie trick. I'm playing hide and seek with my 6 year old son Jonah and I keep finding him because he hides in such obvious spots. The narrative changes as my audience slowly realizes that he died in my arms a few years ago. The piece isn't for every venue or audience but it does give a direct example about the theatrical possibilities of a mentalist routine. Even one that's a fairly signature routine.

Jeff [/quote]

Great post Jeff. Thank you for sharing so openly and eloquently. People should take notice of what you have to say.

Ray
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 20, 2015 07:39AM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
A real artist provides the context for creating an experience where disbelief is suspended.[/quote]
[quote]On Dec 19, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?[/quote]

These are the best words on the Magic Café. They provide a signpost for those paying attention without the condemnation for those that aren't.
Message: Posted by: Munken (Dec 22, 2015 03:46AM)
Is there anybody on earth that really believe Copperfield vanished the statue of liberty?
That answer brings the next question in play. Is there anybody believing in psychic powers?
If somebody is saying yes to these questions then perfect. For the majority it is a question about entertainment. Perhaps we know how it is done, but we do not care. That is if the performance is well executed.
This is not to say I don’t know, but I love a good performance anyway.
Do not say, my performance lacks because of peoples knowledge. No it simply lacks “magic”.
Now it is properly wrong to say mentalism lacks “magic” but metalize can be “magical”
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Dec 22, 2015 04:33AM)
Where is Bob, is he ok? Haven't seen him for a while and miss reading his posts.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 22, 2015 05:07AM)
I've been wondering the same thing. It's very odd not to have his contributions and insights on this topic and thread. I hope he's okay.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 22, 2015 09:53AM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is. [/quote]

I don't jive with this world-view, and neither do my specs.

Small time prestidigitators like myself don't blip the radar of the professional mentalists. The parlors of America are enclaves of scurrilous sleights and psychological anathema.

Our First Goal is to entertain; not uphold the dogma of a fraternity of which we are not members.
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 22, 2015 11:15AM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is. [/quote]

I don't jive with this world-view, and neither do my specs.

Small time prestidigitators like myself don't blip the radar of the professional mentalists. The parlors of America are enclaves of scurrilous sleights and psychological anathema.

Our First Goal is to entertain; not uphold the dogma of a fraternity of which we are not members. [/quote]


So you identify yourself a magician, per your word choice for self description. Furthermore, the amateur does affect the professional, who attends professionals shows-those same amateurs whom additionally a subset will attempt to explain and show how it's done (in a me too attempt). This activity cheapens the entertainment value for others and violates your own stated primary goal of entertainment first.

Of which I would like to point out some thoughts for your consideration on this idea of entertainment first?
Who's entertainment are you performing for?

Secondly, consider that psychologically this mindset of entertainment first is at it's extreme a form of prostitution for acceptance.
I highlight this, because if someone offered you $1 million dollars to throw yourself on the ground and flounder in the mud on the street for their entertainment, you would.
Now as entertainment is first- we can keep lowering this payment pricetag and you would still do it. Eventually, we get to $0 dollars, if entertainment is truly first you will still do it because you are driven to entertain first. If you don't then you must admit entertainment is not your primary goal.

On a sidebar note with your argument with Bill Montana, I think you missed the point Nelson was making. The sale of mentalism is for BOR products not the global sales size. Magic sales from a BOR perspective to the lay audience after a show is smaller. Especially when compared as a percentage basis for common comparison.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 22, 2015 11:25AM)
Beautiful!
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 22, 2015 11:39AM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
[quote]On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is. [/quote]

I don't jive with this world-view, and neither do my specs.

Small time prestidigitators like myself don't blip the radar of the professional mentalists. The parlors of America are enclaves of scurrilous sleights and psychological anathema.

Our First Goal is to entertain; not uphold the dogma of a fraternity of which we are not members. [/quote]

Fair enough, and I'm inclined to agree. Just pointing out the other side of the argument.

I personally struggle pretty often with establishing a character...those struggles really only started to occur once I started doing higher end gigs for higher end pay (and I'm still a small timer relatively speaking).

IF I show any traditional magic these days its basically for family and close friends - this is my personal answer to the compromise. Family and friends saw me come from magic so they have a hard time believing me as a mindreader - rather than force it, I do hybrids as you state, and its a nice compromise as well as entertaining to both myself and the viewer.

I just wouldn't risk that for someone who is booking me to read minds. Just a personal view.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 22, 2015 12:34PM)
"...entertainment first is at its extreme is a form of prostitution for acceptance..."

This has to be one of the largest and most interesting leaps of "logic" that I've seen here at the Café. People pay performers to entertain them. I as a performer (hopefully) get to decide the terms and conditions of this performance. Sometimes I decide that I'm happy just perform for free for a particular group and so I can choose to give it away for free. Other times I get to say no to bookers brcause I don't want to do what they've asked for. In all of the circumstances I get to choose whether I entertain or not. Using your thinking are all business transactions a form of prostitution?

People can perform any type of magic, mental magic or mentalist that they like. Who am I/we to sit upon high and judge them? That kind of stuff happens way too much in this forum. The same people who do this are the same people that sell all manner of secrets to anyone willing to pay. Check out all those little for sale hyperlinks from those who claim that mentalism is being trivialized. Sounds like people complaining about their lack of success and blaming other people for it. Why take responsibility for yourself when you can blame others.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 22, 2015 12:36PM)
I hope my posts with Bill Montana did not have an argumentative tone; that was not my intent. I'm perusing Expert Card Technique, also published (coincidently) 1944, and much of it is prescient.

I posit that's its night impossible for an amateur (like myself) to maintain a convincing mentalist persona, so it's a waste of time to affect the trappings. I sincerely don't believe my lack of effort to create said persona trivializes Mentalism.

Just trying to be mildly-entertaining (without throwing myself in the mud).
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 22, 2015 09:53PM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
"...entertainment first is at its extreme is a form of prostitution for acceptance..."

This has to be one of the largest and most interesting leaps of "logic" that I've seen here at the Café. People pay performers to entertain them. I as a performer (hopefully) get to decide the terms and conditions of this performance. Sometimes I decide that I'm happy just perform for free for a particular group and so I can choose to give it away for free. Other times I get to say no to bookers brcause I don't want to do what they've asked for. In all of the circumstances I get to choose whether I entertain or not. Using your thinking are all business transactions a form of prostitution?

People can perform any type of magic, mental magic or mentalist that they like. Who am I/we to sit upon high and judge them? That kind of stuff happens way too much in this forum. The same people who do this are the same people that sell all manner of secrets to anyone willing to pay. Check out all those little for sale hyperlinks from those who claim that mentalism is being trivialized. Sounds like people complaining about their lack of success and blaming other people for it. Why take responsibility for yourself when you can blame others.

Jeff [/quote]

magicaleducator/jeff,

First please use my entire comment to quote me and not an ellipsised version that takes me out of context.

To clarify my point as it alluded you is this- when ones driving force is the entertainment of others at the expense of ones dignity or the dignity of others, it is the prostitution of said dignity for intially under my example financial remuneration followed by pursuit of acceptance( defined as the need to please others for ones own emotional/psychological needs) when the price tag becomes $0. HENCE, IN ITS EXTREME FORM.

Furthermore, let me clarify why I used the word prostitution. Prostitution is in denotation the exchange of sexual behaviors for financial compensation, this can also be used in a connotation as the providing gratification to another in exchange for a compensation of any type at the expense of ones self diginity.

And finally, in the business world, not all transactions are this way. As most transactions do not involve the violation of ones inherent dignity, the moment one compromises said dignity in exchange for compensation then yes they do become a form of prostitution.

Finally, as I read your last paragraph it contains a form of moral relativism-beyond the scope of this conversation so I won't address it. Though, this relativism is used to justify the trivialization.what has happened more accurately is described as the kinked curve model in economics.

Value is driven down as others jump in to make a buck but lowering prices forcing others to do the same to maintain market share as general magic/mentalism products all suffer from price elasticity of demand.

Walter
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 22, 2015 10:16PM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
I hope my posts with Bill Montana did not have an argumentative tone; that was not my intent. I'm perusing Expert Card Technique, also published (coincidently) 1944, and much of it is prescient.

I posit that's its night impossible for an amateur (like myself) to maintain a convincing mentalist persona, so it's a waste of time to affect the trappings. I sincerely don't believe my lack of effort to create said persona trivializes Mentalism.

Just trying to be mildly-entertaining (without throwing myself in the mud). [/quote]


Mr Salk,

I appreciate this post the most of all you have provided on this thread so far :-).

Though I do disagree with you as the ability to perform mentalism as an amateur and maintain character. What I posit is happening is you are wishing to demonstrate abilities without any possible connection to who you are as a person. You admittedly are a performer who does not drive his primary income from performing, I would suggest you take a tally of your personality, mannerisms, and interests. After this is done, take a tally of your effects you perform and the ability that is demonstrated (not based on personal opinion of effect or it's "coolness"). Now see which abilities and personality attributes can be connected. You will find that not all of ur abilities and effects mesh with who you are as a person. This dissonance is hat has led to your write-off of character. But of you link them and slightly exaggerate your existing personality attributes that support your effects that fit. Character comes naturally and so does believability and value (both thru self and others opinion)

Yes it's work, but not hard or difficult, but character development is important. Plus such an exercise allows you to be more cognizant of self and grow as a person- always good.

Walter
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 22, 2015 10:51PM)
Walter,

First off, I'm happy to quote that of your argument which is pertinent to the matter at hand. This practice is commonly noted by the quotation/ellipsised format shown and is fairly standard practice amongst the pseudo-intellectual set. I would quote more of your writing but a shovel and bucket would be required given the sheer volume of verbosity and pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Much of your post has tried to link the performance of mentalism to that of theoretical economics which quite obviously doesn't transfer to the topic at hand. Your somewhat contested theory applies to monopolies and not micro craft markets that would be mentalism. I should think that free market system is working quite well in these rather small markets.

I'd like to postulate another theory which may answer this question quite a bit more directly. I call it the Grow a Pair theorem. Rather than having a bunch of middle aged whiners sit around and complain about their lack of show success, access to markets, price they get paid for shows,etc. perhaps they could actually learn to take responsibility for their own shortcomings. I know that it's much easier to blame someone else rather than do anything about improving the problem. Can't afford a house...blame the immigrants who've jacked up the prices of homes in the neighbourhood and the list goes on and on. From housing prices, to jobs, to access to school and so much more. It's all the same argument for people not taking responsibility for their own circumstances. It's always easier to blame someone else for their perceived problems. In this case we blame the magicians for the trivialization of mentalism. here's a news flash...perhaps the trivialization or mentalism has to do with the lack of entertaining mentalists! Too many performers doing things in the exactly the same way. Too many "pure" mentalists hawking their treasured secrets to those very same magicians that "trivialize" their art.

jeff

ps. You've clarified the word prostitute and unfortunately I completely understand what the word means. My mother was a prostitute and so I know how to use the word correctly. You've used this very degrading description for a great number of people who may be new to the art of mentalism. This description applies to them why? Is it because it suits your argument? All very self serving and extremely convenient. I'm certain that they appreciate your welcome to the profession. Nice to be able to put things into neat little piles isn't it?
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 23, 2015 02:00AM)
Jeff,

Where do I begin with this...

First, you brought the ellipsis quote into play, now you say it's used by the pseudo-intellect. This is followed by alluding to my words as feces thru your shovel and bucket phrasing, but additionally you say I am also pseudo-intellectual? So are we peers? As you are using the pseudo-intellectual standard and you identify me as one also. What are you trying to saying here? Take your stance rather than insult me.

Secondly, all economics is theoretical! That said this model does apply to monopolies as well as oligopolies. Our niche market is an oligopoly where there are few dominant players who control most market share. This point was targeting the commercial sales of products within the community and not the sale of performance services to consumers.

Thirdly, small markets are vastly inefficient by nature. I won't elaborate this point as it is beyond the scope of this thread.

Fourthly, I agree with you on the importance of accountability for ones actions as well as inaction. Though I would prefer to clarify the topic of trivialization of mentalism.
This thread has multiple facets within it and people have mixed and matched. The trivialization of the niche market within performers has been addressed above, what is left is the term mentalism.

Most pure Mentalists feel that magicians performing mental magic and labeling themselves as mentalists cheapens the term mentalism. this situation is common among all specializations, the national association of social workers is fighting to protect their title now for decades as it implies a level of education, clinical training, professionalism, that you don't get from someone who's employer gives their job that title. It's a truth in advertising. Personally, I take umbrage when I go Into a bank and am asked if I want to talk with their investment banker. Why? because those people are investment advisors selling mutual funds, not the raising or providing of capital for institutional companies -I was an investment banker and know what that term means. And as such I still want to protect it.

I agree the cloning of performer style/patter/etc is a sad byproduct, but it has more to do with laziness. It's the laziness of the performer to create a persona and script that work for them that leads to trivialization. Most people don't care, because they don't care enough to do the work so they copy. It's easier that way.

I can't speak for others, but everything I've put out on the market I use and am willing to personally talk anyone who bought my products thru them, so they can use them effectively in a manner that fits them.

Finally, regarding the term prostitution, I didn't refer to anyone as a prostitute. I used the word prostitution in an example to highlight what entertainment as the primary driver is and at what point and how far is the person willing to go to satisfy that driver. I can read based off your replies, your not looking for a conversation but rather someone or something to attack. Hence, your liberal use of qualifying words, misrepresentations, and rudeness.

Have a good day sir,

Walter
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 23, 2015 02:35AM)
You can mask your intentions in all the double speak you like but the bottom line is that you accuse those new to mentalism or heaven forbid those that perform mental magic as prostituting themselves. When questioned about it you accuse me of being rude and not wanting dialogue. Again, why accept any responsibility for the current state of affairs when you can blame others. This kind of nonsensical dialogue does nothing to enhance the state of mentalism.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 23, 2015 03:05AM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
You can mask your intentions in all the double speak you like but the bottom line is that you accuse those new to mentalism or heaven forbid those that perform mental magic as prostituting themselves. When questioned about it you accuse me of being rude and not wanting dialogue. Again, why accept any responsibility for the current state of affairs when you can blame others. This kind of nonsensical dialogue does nothing to enhance the state of mentalism.

Jeff [/quote]

I will reiterate for you, I never called anyone a prostitute. If you take the time to reread what I wrote, I said (pasted below again for ease of reading)
[quote]

Of which I would like to point out some thoughts for your consideration on this idea of entertainment first?
Who's entertainment are you performing for?

Secondly, consider that psychologically this mindset of entertainment first is at it's extreme a form of prostitution for acceptance.
I highlight this, because if someone offered you $1 million dollars to throw yourself on the ground and flounder in the mud on the street for their entertainment, you would.
Now as entertainment is first- we can keep lowering this payment pricetag and you would still do it. Eventually, we get to $0 dollars, if entertainment is truly first you will still do it because you are driven to entertain first. If you don't then you must admit entertainment is not your primary goal.

[/quote]

Never in this statement did I ever call anyone a prostitute or that mentalists or magicians were prostituting themselves.Your posts tread very close to libel Jeff.

Have a good day,
Walter
Message: Posted by: Munken (Dec 23, 2015 04:12AM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, WDavis wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
You can mask your intentions in all the double speak you like but the bottom line is that you accuse those new to mentalism or heaven forbid those that perform mental magic as prostituting themselves. When questioned about it you accuse me of being rude and not wanting dialogue. Again, why accept any responsibility for the current state of affairs when you can blame others. This kind of nonsensical dialogue does nothing to enhance the state of mentalism.

Jeff [/quote]

I will reiterate for you, I never called anyone a prostitute. If you take the time to reread what I wrote, I said (pasted below again for ease of reading)
[quote]

Of which I would like to point out some thoughts for your consideration on this idea of entertainment first?
Who's entertainment are you performing for?

Secondly, consider that psychologically this mindset of entertainment first is at it's extreme a form of prostitution for acceptance.
I highlight this, because if someone offered you $1 million dollars to throw yourself on the ground and flounder in the mud on the street for their entertainment, you would.
Now as entertainment is first- we can keep lowering this payment pricetag and you would still do it. Eventually, we get to $0 dollars, if entertainment is truly first you will still do it because you are driven to entertain first. If you don't then you must admit entertainment is not your primary goal.

[/quote]

Never in this statement did I ever call anyone a prostitute or that mentalists or magicians were prostituting themselves. Your posts tread very close to libel Jeff.

Have a good day,
Walter [/quote]
This is a statement far out. You are saying that, if you do not want to work for free, you should get in another line of business. It is a job to entertain. Like being a cap driver is a job. You do not see cap drivers giving rides for free. And, yes everybody and everything has a price tag.
You should ask. Is my work making me happy?
Then you can put a price tag on your work after that.
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 23, 2015 08:59AM)
Munken,

Thank you for your comments, but I believe you have misunderstood me (I believe this the case as you may have not read all my posted comments in this thread and others regarding the business side of performing). I believe people should be paid for their work. Additionally, I believe the buyer will offer the lowest amount possible based on perceived value and the seller (entertainer) will only accept the amount and or type of compensation s/he needs to be satisfied for the work rendered.

What I was highlighting is when entertainment first overrides all other factors, as I said above AT ITS EXTREME, people would willingly humiliate themselves for acceptance (this can also be read as recognition).

Now as a monetary paid performer, you are providing a service of entertainment for financial compensation. This entertainers primary driver is financial compensation to satisfy living expenses and other obligations. This is done via a medium of entertainment. And entertainment of the audience is a secondary driver not the primary.

For the non-monetary paid performer, compensation comes from another means depending on the circumstance of the performance.

Finally, I agree with you about the importance of enjoyment of ones work, but disagree it is the first question. if happiness of ones work is the first question, then most people would quit their jobs as they are unsatisfied in the workplace.

Walter
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Dec 23, 2015 09:03AM)
Maybe we should stop worrying if we're entertaining, and instead worry about creating art.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 23, 2015 09:20AM)
There ya go, and preservation and rebuilding of our industry. In the process some will get crunched.

Some great insights here, but as you can see, many are simply incapable of understanding the greater picture other than only how it pertains to themselves. Isn't that where the trivialization really begins? The more these people speak, the more it only proves the point.
Message: Posted by: morgaine_le_fey (Dec 23, 2015 09:33AM)
My silence can be seen as my answer to the question...
Message: Posted by: Robb (Dec 23, 2015 09:40AM)
Well, the conversation was healthy for awhile... No longer.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 23, 2015 10:33AM)
Isn't it interesting how the OP hasn't responded or participated to the deliberate and intentional stirring up thread he started? Gotta love magicians.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 23, 2015 11:28AM)
If I can rudder this bucket back into the jet-stream...

Are there actually any working Mentalists who feel that amateurs are trivializing The Craft through incompetence, overexposure, hybridizing or other reasons?

And if so, how does Trivialization adversely affect their work?
What do you propose to do about it?

As the voice of a reasonable amateur, I can tell you we are relentless. Patronizing us on obscure forums will fail; you'll never chide us into classy. We are just ignorant flubbers with gaffes hanging out of our sleeves (and cash in our pockets) straining to hear your whispered secrets so we can impress girls and uncles.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 23, 2015 12:58PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
Isn't it interesting how the OP hasn't responded or participated to the deliberate and intentional stirring up thread he started? Gotta love magicians. [/quote]

Why? Do they all do what you're suggesting? And what is it that you're suggesting they do? What if one was to say "Gotta love mentalists"? as in they always know better than everyone else. How is that even possible? I guess that's what makes them mentalists.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 23, 2015 01:19PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
There ya go, and preservation and rebuilding of our industry. In the process some will get crunched.

Some great insights here, but as you can see, many are simply incapable of understanding the greater picture other than only how it pertains to themselves. Isn't that where the trivialization really begins? The more these people speak, the more it only proves the point. [/quote]

Is it defined as great insight because you agree with it? Is that what makes it great? Are people incapable of understanding or do they simply disagree with your flawed/self serving arguments? This impasse doesn't trivialize anything. The trivialization occurs when you dismiss all other ideas as inconsequential and make yourself the grand arbitrator of all things pertaining to mentalism. The same goes for Walter and his economic model of the prostitution of mentalism. When one doesn't agree with him they get told that they haven't read their previous posts correctly. Always the blame game from people who know better. My theory of the trivialization of mentalism is the great number of performers who sell their wares anywhere they can. If people were truly interested in changing anything that would be a place to start. Blame the magicians? Stop selling your precious secrets to them. Blame the Internet? Stop hawking your products and have a little more respect for the art you claim to value so much. Even esteemed members of that organization that is not to be named do this. You can buy their work on Amazon thanks to Marketplace of the Mind. You can't have it both ways and still blame magicians.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Dec 23, 2015 01:42PM)
Jeff,

My two comments to you in response so not derail this thread again,

I never disagreed with you regarding the influx of performers selling their wares ( if you truly read and understood my application of the kinked curve model you would see your argument resides within mine). I am open to opposing opinions as long as it is thru CONSTRUCTIVE dialogue without disparaging comments, because is how people grow and learn.

Finally, stop taking my words and twisting them on a public forum to intentionally or unintentually taint my character and image. I said it politely, now I will be direct, you are treading on libel defamation of my person, by falsely accusing me by twisting my words as fact against me. I have proven you have done so prior and if you continue to do so, I will escalate to higher authorities.

Good bye sir,
Walter
Message: Posted by: seanksutton (Dec 23, 2015 02:00PM)
I feel like the main problem is mentalists on a MAGIC FORUM. This is the Magic Café, and many are getting mad at young magicians who do not know (or are too ignorant) how to get into mentalism and who also does not understand mentalism as an art form. Many of those who "trivialize" mentalism do so because they do not fully understand mentalism-they only know magic which is almost the polar opposite of mentalism (one you claim as "tricks" and one is real). Trivialization of mentalism will, IMO, never stop. The only way to cause it to slow down is to completely cut off mentalism from magic. Take away all mentalism products from magic websites, take down all mentalism threads on any magic forums, and only allow certain people to access mentalism information. Of course, this will probably never happen. :P
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Dec 23, 2015 02:16PM)
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 23, 2015 02:19PM)
I'm in. What I don't understand is why to they come to the Penny forum? I would never in a million years venture into the bizarre, gospel or clowning sections as they do not pertain to stuff I do. I would never have barged in there expecting to be a peer or an equal, and would never try telling experienced pros from these areas my inexperience, armchair opinions, and being unable to separate facts and experience with opinion. So why come here and do the same?
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Dec 23, 2015 02:51PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic. [/quote]

You're wrong. It is all about perception.

Seeing as though you introduced the word "pretend", it tends to be Magicians who "pretend" to do Mentalism, IMO.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 23, 2015 03:42PM)
*sigh

Mr Salk - you seem to keep underscoring the point that any performer can do whatever they want or feel however they want to. While true, many of us are simply trying to make the point that its easier to believe in Mentalism if its presented as real.
When mixed with magic it isn't presented as real, and simply loses this characteristic. It doesn't lose "entertainment". It just loses the perception of being real.
If you want to argue what's better, worse, more or less entertaining etc - then sure those are fine debates for another day.
But have you performed pure mentalism and presented it as a skill set distinct from magic?

You should just try it (if you haven't) and see how it feels. It may color your opinion... About 2 years ago I sounded EXACTLY like you on this thread (but thank god I wasn't trolling like you are).

To everyone else, seanksutton is pretty spot on. You're not going to convince magicians of anything when they simply don't care. The BEST answer is to move your material towards non effect/conclusion material. do hypnotic effects, readings, tarot, bizarre stuff...things without a "trick" format.

I think that's the only way at this point.
Message: Posted by: Twisted Mentat (Dec 23, 2015 04:00PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic. [/quote]
I once asked this question. In response to this, I picked up a box and gave the box a man who asked me. I suggested a competition.
If he opens the box and be able to show magic routine with a object in the box, I'll give him $ 10 and promise to always say that mentalism - it's just magic. No predictions. No mind reading. Only magic tricks - the disappearance, transformation, changing color, etc.
The duration of the routine - 15 minutes.
He can open the box now and the whole day, week, month preparing for competition.
He opened the box. He found nothing. It was just an empty box.
He said, "Well, no one can make magic with "nothing"
I said, "That's right"
Then I took the "nothing" out of the box, and entertained him with a 15 minute propless mentalism.
I think this is the answer to your question.
Message: Posted by: Munken (Dec 23, 2015 06:51PM)
Walter,

I actually agree with you on almost all parts, but it was the analogy I did not like. It did not make me think of recognition.

There are too many that strives for recognition rather than appreciation for the performance. Sadly, they will do that for free and public. It is the intention of performing that matters and the outcome will reflect your intentions.

I think the misunderstanding between magic and mentalism is from both sides. Magicians think that when a mentalist pick up a deck of cards, they do magic. Mentalists think if a magician pick up a book, they do mentalism. It is in the presentation. The inception and establishment of what you are doing, makes the difference. The effect could might be the same for magic or mentalism.

The performer makes or breaks the effect.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 23, 2015 09:03PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic. [/quote]

A great example of magician's thinking at its best. I've never been a magician, owned a magic kit or have anything to do with magic. There are many mentalists that have gotten into mentalism though ways other than magic. If you think mentalists are only doing magic it simply shows your limited understanding of mentalism. The more you talk, the more you prove my point and your limited understanding. You don't know what you don't know. Well done.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 23, 2015 09:11PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
*sigh

You're not going to convince magicians of anything when they simply don't care.[/quote]

Right, exactly. But then why insist on coming to a mentalism forum and speaking of things they know nothing about or have no interest in learning? Then being an amateur and trying to speak intelligently on the same level as longtime working professionals that do care, work, and operate within their industry. Another example of a terrible use of access to information and yes, another example of the trivialization of mentalism. Perhaps magicians should focus on the many major problems within magic itself and it's much worse problem with trivialization rather than being concerned with the entirely different and opposite art of mentalism.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 24, 2015 05:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, WDavis wrote:
Jeff,

My two comments to you in response so not derail this thread again,

I never disagreed with you regarding the influx of performers selling their wares ( if you truly read and understood my application of the kinked curve model you would see your argument resides within mine). I am open to opposing opinions as long as it is thru CONSTRUCTIVE dialogue without disparaging comments, because is how people grow and learn.

Finally, stop taking my words and twisting them on a public forum to intentionally or unintentually taint my character and image. I said it politely, now I will be direct, you are treading on libel defamation of my person, by falsely accusing me by twisting my words as fact against me. I have proven you have done so prior and if you continue to do so, I will escalate to higher authorities.

Good bye sir,
Walter [/quote]

I wish you only the best as I hold up a mirror to your most curious arguments. I'm sorry if this somehow "taints" your fine character. My opinion is that your argument has no context or validity when applied to mentalism. If you don't agree that's fine but put on your big boy pants or take your ball and go home. No one is attacking your fine character.

Mentalism is going to be just fine even if a few magicians try it on for size. Mentalism. Is just another branch or form if magic. Period. If it makes people feel better to think otherwise then that's just fine with me. In the end we're all entertainers. Perhaps this is why the PEA is know. As the the Psychic Entertainers Association. It's entertainment, theatre and hopefully art. In theatre I can play any role that I want. I can be a magician, a mentalist or even both.

Jeff

Ps. I find it curious that no one has chimed in on the selling of precious mentalism secrets to whoever wants to pay for it. Words are easy but I don't notice any of the real mentalists commenting on the mass sell off of their products. That would mean a lot more than mere empty words. If you really mean it then say it with your wallet.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 24, 2015 08:28PM)
I carefully reread all of the thoughts and arguments on this thread before wading in. All of them seem trivial in the sense that they have no where to go.

Why? Because they are based on an assumption that an individual must choose one camp or another, and must be limited by another person's definitions. This is sad.

A person can be a concert violinist and also a fine chef. A person can be an expert stone mason by day and white concerts at night -- and be acclaimed in both fields.

To even suggest that a person cannot be both great conjuror and world class mentalist is insulting to both arts and every intelligent and creative person.

More importantly, it is insulting the members of the audience upon whose perceptions both type of mystic art depends for success.
You are saying that a lay observer cannot appreciate both art forms, and derive from each personal pleasure, insight and hope that effects their lives.

Those coming to see a mentalist perform seek to have their beliefs validated by demonstration. They will remember that which supports and forget that which does not.

Those coming to see a conjuror perform seek a challenge to what they consider to be impossible. They too will remember ...

Yes, there are those who crave to be entertained and could care less about artistry or intent or what we all think about each other.

I am not considered a mentalist by most here because I do not demonstrate innate or extraordinary mental abilities for the purpose of entertainment.
I do not perform conjuring effect for entertainment either, but ...

I have given thousands of performances in which those seeking validation might call me a mentalist, and those finding challenge to what they feel is impossible call be a conjuror.

Both might think "magician" because that is what the concept means to them. No amount of quibbling here is going to change that. What does your audience expect? Can you deliver on the promise?

Yes, both forms (separate and combined) are trivialized because every value in our culture is being trivialized.

Performers of the mystic arts can provide a valuable service by never performing until they are practiced, polished and recognized the incredible power of being able to cause people to think.

Please do not trivialize yourself by claiming what another person can or cannot do -- or pretending to know what the audience thinks. Just be proud that the do.

How do you stop the trivialization of mentalism? Never say an unkind word to another person. Never buy from a spam ad. Never buy a knock-off or illegal product. Never lie to your boss or employees.

People want to be more than they are today. The same people want to overcome what they believe to be impossible in their lives. The distinction is trivial.

How about a New Year pledge to accentuate the 90% of sameness and minimize the 10% self-perceived uniqueness?
Message: Posted by: morgaine_le_fey (Dec 25, 2015 02:38AM)
Game
Set
And match!!
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 25, 2015 03:12AM)
Nice one Funsway. A well balanced post that is thoughtful without attacking others and without claiming to be the font of all true knowledge.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Dec 26, 2015 12:43AM)
Much of this thread makes me feel if I don't laugh I will cry.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 26, 2015 04:36AM)
I want to meet the great pianist with classical education complaining about the triviliazation of classic piano music as there are to many beginners playing the first beats of the popular "Flea Waltz" with two fingers only... Jan
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Dec 26, 2015 08:39AM)
Thought it was ironic to hit "Penny for your thoughts" and see the first topic is "How to stop the trivialization of Mentalism" and the next topic is "Mentalism for picking up Girls"......
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 10:11AM)
Need we say anymore?
Message: Posted by: Waters. (Dec 26, 2015 10:47AM)
Most of the problem, in my simple mind, is that so much of the discussion focused on methods and techniques. These are challenges that can be overcome; innovate and keep quiet.

The larger issue is a lack of understanding of what creates an experience (I am not claiming expertise here). Wonderful experiences transport us and serve
to take us from the function and moves closer to a form. Original methods and more importantly, thoughtful approaches are answers, but not cures. It's our culture of entitlement that speeds the trivialization. People want the methods, fewer want to connect. Also, you have to think about the google searches before you choose an effect. You can't "search engine" the name of an experience, but you can an effect.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 10:55AM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Waters. wrote:
Most of the problem, in my simple mind, is that so much of the discussion focused on methods and techniques. These are challenges that can be overcome; innovate and keep quiet. [/quote]

The greatest differences and the root of the trivialization is the same root and problems between magic and mentalism in general, which is the foundational understanding of each, which are polar opposites. Methods and technologies become problematic and elevated when these pundational understanding are ignored.
Message: Posted by: Waters. (Dec 26, 2015 11:07AM)
Mindpro,

I want to make sure I understand. What you are talking about is context and presentational themes being fundamentally different, correct? That is the core of understanding, yes?
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 26, 2015 11:10AM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, JanForster wrote:
I want to meet the great pianist with classical education complaining about the triviliazation of classic piano music as there are to many beginners playing the first beats of the popular "Flea Waltz" with two fingers only... Jan [/quote]

He or she would probably tap their foot and say "Love it!l It's nice to hear a "real" mentalist chime in with such a comment. Some folks seem to believe their own press and are just way too serious. I notice that Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame is now performing mentalism. He has an upcoming lecture on Penguin. I'm looking forward to hearing what a world class entertainer has to say as compared to some of the self proclaimed experts on this forum. It grows so old to hear them resort to such self serving arguments about how only they know best..
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 11:56AM)
Yes, as many here may remember I was part of Jason's mentalism show in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. However, knowing Jason (he isn't "now performing mentalism", he has for years) he will be the first to tell you he doesn't consider himself a mentalist and when it comes to our art he is far from a world-class performer.

It odd to me some of the perspectives some here seem to have. That somehow Jason's views would be more tangible or legitimate than ours here, Jan's, Bob's mine or any others here. We do this for a living. I would suffice it to say I probably have booked more mentalism performances than anyone here on this board, yet your personal digs of those here just being proclaimed experts is amazing and again only opinion. Why can't people here separate facts from option? But since Jan is the only real accepted mentalist here Bob, myself and others will let him speak for all of us if that makes you happy. Especially since he often comes from the same beliefs, mindsets and perspectives as all of us - full-time working professionals that care about out art and industry.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 26, 2015 12:54PM)
I think its a real shame that all non fulltime pro's get dismissed/talked down to, and also all get labelled with the idiot-brush...thats what causes some to not listen to what's being said at times...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 04:35PM)
No unfortunately that's what some of them do to the rest of you, two different things. Those that are true students of the art and are dedicated to both the learning and the process, get ruined by these that may in fact be idiot-brush (your words, not mine). As I said in an earlier post, you think these magicians have enough of their own problems to be concerned with and clean up rather than bringing it into mentalism.

The fact that those that don't do this exclusively for a living seem to think they have the same understanding of those that do is ludicrous. They can't possibly, so therefore it all becomes opinion and theory. Even watching mentalism is far different that performing and experiencing it. Sooooo many great longtime pros that have shared valuable information have been run off by these guys that talk more than they should listen. The reality is all are not on the same level. Experience is achieved over time and real world, hand-on experiences. It is this of which some of us here speak. The rest is just unsupported theory or opinion. Huuuge difference. I'm only sorry that some can't seem to understand that. Just because all can exist on the same forum in no way makes all equal.

So many here think this is a debate. It's not when some of us post it is for the sole purpose of sharing based on knowledge and experience.
Message: Posted by: mindpunisher (Dec 26, 2015 05:01PM)
Its because all levels can exist on a single forum and can all get access to the same material is really where the problem lies. Mentalism and magic was never really meant to be so accessible. The internet is the problem and the easy to find dealers. Amatuers or semipros don't need the experince or insights the full time pros are offering because they will never use it. They have a different agenda and motivation to be here. The problem lies within the ease of getting hold of material.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 05:08PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Waters. wrote:
Mindpro,

I want to make sure I understand. What you are talking about is context and presentational themes being fundamentally different, correct? That is the core of understanding, yes? [/quote]


Since you seem to genuinely be asking...

No. The foundational differences themselves of both mentalism and magic. Before an effect or ability is ever performed. In the way mentaism is both accepted/received and the way it is performed vs. magic.

Although myself, Bob and others have gone over this repeatedly here over the years, but here it is once again. Magic is the art of trickery, disbelief, illusion. The audience knows and understands this. They know it is not real, that it an illusion, trick, deception. They approach magic knowing and accepting this. A magician asks them to suspend their belief that it is not real and watch and buy into the illusion of a skilled performer to make it look real while completely understood that it is not. To be amazed at how well they were deceived and fooled. After a show they will often talk about how fooled they were and how it was done. A magician used to be admired for such clever skills. Magic is deception entertainment with a total and complete understanding that it is not in any way real. They are coming to be fooled, tricked and deceived. The only exception is small children with undeveloped minds and beliefs of what is possible. Hence why so many magicians begin and stay as only kids magicians. No offense, but it's quite easy to fool them. A novelty store trick can fool them just as easily.

Mentalism is exactly the OPPOSITE. Audiences want to believe it is real. Even if you tell them otherwise and insist, they still often believe it to be real. That this person (performer) has special abilities that allows him to do these incredible things that they can't and that they believe to be special and unique abilities. The performer executes in a way of demonstrating and proving to such claims. A good mentalist will tell them things and demonstrate things they couldn't possibly know which can only be validated in the audiences mind as somehow real through special unique abilities. It is believable (when performed and executed correctly, based on this principal foundation). After the show their mind goes to trying to understand the abilities and what it would be like to be able to do that themselves, NOT how the "effect" was done. They aren't trying to figure how the skill, slight or how they were deceived, but how it is to posses this real and amazing ability and how it must feel compared to how they are able to feel towards the same ability.

It's only when people feel deceived or that they are being tricked that mentalism is really ever questionable, which usually comes form mentialism being performed from a magic/magician's perspective of tricks, deceit, puzzle or fooling them.

Why do you think psychics like Jonathan Edwards, Sylvia Brown, Jennie Dixon and yes even the former Miss Cleo have such profitable and widely accepted careers? It's because of the foundational beliefs of the public/audiences. They want to believe! Even those that are skeptical, really want to believe and want to be proven otherwise.

One can not even begin to approach the art of mentalism without the foundational elements and understanding in place. Then, once in place it is an entirely different (actually opposite) way of then proceeding with such knowledge. It is then taking control of this knowledge and foundational information and understanding and learning to work and execute within this. This is which I was referring, not presentational, that comes much later.

Presentational themes are dictated by the audience's credibility and believability of the performer, which is dictated by the initial belief and perceptions of the audience, which is dictated by the understanding of the foundational beliefs and differences between mentalism and magic.

The foundational beliefs of the audience dictates both the performer and the presentational themes and abilities that the performer can get away with (demonstrate or possess). This is exactly why when a magician even beings to try or enter the realm of "mentalism" into a magic show, he almost immediately discredits himself as a "mentalist", the audiences intelligence and foundational beliefs (or wanna-beliefs) and the art itself I s threatened and/or compromised.

It's just like when a magician brings a spec on stage and says "I'm going to out you into a slight trance..." and then does a sven deck trick. No one in the audience (again, maybe a kid) for even a moment believes the magician actually really hypnotized the person, so therefore it was a trick. Even a joke. Period. This is their natural default. No thought or thinking effort is required. Why do you think so many hypnotists are appauld when a magician uses the facade of hypnosis? Only the magician themselves is fooled into believing they are somehow pulling it off or believable. Same for when a magician trying to bend silverware. Really?

Any performer must first understand and accept the existing belief system and credibility components before even thinking of presentational content. I hope that better clarifies what I was referencing for you.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 06:28PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, IAIN wrote:
I think its a real shame that all non fulltime pro's get dismissed/talked down to, and also all get labelled with the idiot-brush...thats what causes some to not listen to what's being said at times... [/quote]

So what the whole community must be brought down to this level to accommodate them?

Trust me, pros have to tolerate much more than the level of guys which you are referencing.

I think its a real shame that full-time pros get perceived as difficult or problematic when they are only trying to share while assisting and teaching others. Again, respect for the industry and those who have contributed and come before you, and as Mindpunisher said, easy access to info, is at the root of the problem. Trivialization begins with lack of proper understanding and respect.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 26, 2015 06:34PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Mindpro wrote:

So what the whole community must be brought down to this level to accommodate them?
[/quote]

nope, and I didn't say that, nor did I infer that...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 06:45PM)
Well then the real shame is that this exists. Perhaps if they acted more responsibly and respectably it wouldn't exist and you wouldn't feel that way? This is how we all did it and how it was done for generations. Acknowledging, identifying and addressing it is the first step, correct? It is a self-imposed perception and position.

If I had access to the plethora of valuable information and and direct contact to the knowledge of working pros offered here when I was starting, I would have made my first million a decade or two earlier.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 26, 2015 06:53PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
Need we say anymore? [/quote]

Yes, Specifically who is "we" that you are speaking for?

[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
Yes, as many here may remember I was part of Jason's mentalism show in Las Vegas a couple of years ago.[/quote]

Many don't, including myself. It may be because you're using a pseudonym. It was important enough for you to lead with it: What part did you play?

[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
As I said in an earlier post, you think these magicians have enough of their own problems to be concerned with and clean up rather than bringing it into mentalism. [/quote]
[quote]On Dec 23, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
Gotta love magicians. [/quote]

Either you see how divisive this is, and choose to use it anyway, or you don't. I might remind you that your entrance to mentalism came by a very narrow path, not the path of almost all those this board represents - through magic. The masses here, that come seeking knowledge AND context, arrived to mentalism by magic. Can you speak to them from their perspective? Or are your words for and from the few?

You haven't commented on the real secrets presented earlier. You've only repeated the battle cry about the trivialization of mentalism, while denigrating many that have given wonderfully of themselves towards the advancement of the art. Before 2010 or 11, there was only discussion of the trivialization of <i>magic</i>. Max Maven discussed it in 2002. He made compelling points worth looking up. I'm hoping you see the connection between Max, a mentalist speaking about the trivialization of magic, and this discussion today. He wasn't speaking only to straight card and coin magic people. He was talking to ALL of us. Those that practiced all branches of the art.

Around 2011, Mr. Cassidy used it to describe the same problem in his particular area of expertise. But it goes back much farther than even Max. No one denies the trivialization of magic (and I'm including mentalism in that category for now). Many people disagree on the <i>cause</i> of it, and how to fix it. But commenting on the 'causes' and the 'how-tos' means giving thought beyond blaming all those bad people out there besides you, and setting yourself up as a proud elitist, as you've written. And you do all that behind a pseudonym, which just isn't nice, OR verifiable.

Here's my version of your post:
I've been an entertainer for the last 42 years, and 33 of them are full-time. I was the entertainment director for 3 ships, a cruise director, a years-long member of IATSE with front and back of the house experience with a multitude of acts you have in your CD collection and well-known touring Broadway plays, a member of the Air Force Band of the Midwest, and on and on; and in the thousands of your posts I've read over the years, I rarely agree with you.

For everyone else, I believe the answers are in your act and the way you treat others.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 26, 2015 07:21PM)
The point is, is that there exists the full-time working professional performing mentalist...

then there's everyone else...

when you pop onto a forum such as this, you see some of those pro's (whether or not they actually are full timers, I don't know, I can only go by what they themselves say to a degree, not privy to any other info) - talking about "everyone else" like there is only one other level...

again, not saying all pro's do it (far, far from it), but you do see it...and its that kind of thing that sometimes (again, can't quantify it) that can cause a bit of a backlash...

that backlash is not because the "other" disagrees with what is being said, but maybe how it is delivered, and how it makes that "pro" come across...and the person reading it thinks "hmmm, hang on a minute - please don't talk to me like I'm some kind of crazy fool who is mixing sponge balls in with a colour and shape psyche f*rce..."

that's why what mindpunisher is so pertinent...its very, very easy to tar everyone with the same brush, and it causes misunderstandings, arguments and sometimes resentment too...

i know enough performers who make a very good living from mentalism (gigging), who are beyond ok/competent, but happen to NOT do this full time...again, I'm sure they (and i) understand the differences in pressure (for starters) of what it is like as a full timer, and having no other income other than your gigs...they do not do it full time for their own reasons, and I wouldn't like to put words in their mouths...

then there's those who only perform socially for friends and friends of friends, and have zero interest in anything else...and amongst those, its just a fun little hobby...there's those that are gripped by mentalism fever and want to take it further and don't know how...etc etc etc

there's far too many variants to list...

so what often happens is that we personalise what is said on a forum, because afterall, that's kinda how it works to a degree, we read something, it passes through our own personal life-filters, and we react to it...pro's do it, everyone else does it, bees do it...

for me, the respect you mention is a two way street, rather than a cul-de-sac...it should always be human being first, job second...

if I had a time machine, I would love to have met richard Burton - but imagine if I had met the sarcastic, drunk, vitriolic Burton, instead of the thoughtful, articulate and engaging one? that would make me not feel the same when watching Equus or The Medusa Touch...it would spoil the experience...but if I'd met the engaging one - then I would buy him booze and he would tell me stories, do impressions, maybe even recant poetry...

not saying all working pro's need to be "on" and never annoyed, that would be ridiculous... I'm just saying that a lot of us do listen and try to understand things, however, not all of us do a psychological f*rce with a red sponge ball - and maybe its fair to be spoken to like we have a modicum of intelligence and thoughtfulness...rather than being accused of all sorts of things just because we might want to experiment in some way, or attempt something that's maybe against the norm - and its not done out of ignorance or ego, but because we are excited and have our own 'vision' to follow...don't take it as an insult if we're getting something wrong... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSz5prkhZng
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 26, 2015 08:20PM)
I guess reality and the truth is something that doesn't want to be accepted here. Just as in any other profession there are different levels from enthusists and amateurs to working pros to those that are the industry elite. Seems everywhere else this is honored and accepted.

It really a shame that one gets chastised for trying to protect the art and industry that they live every day of their lives, especially when seeing and identifying a problem or trend that is or can be damaging. Perhaps it's kill the messenger, I'm not sure. It does affect those that do this for a living and their livelihood differently that is does those on other levels. Again, same as other industries.

To complain about the way advice, insight and experience is offered is amazing to me too. So it's not enough that pros come here, tolerate all of these opinions, arm chair perspectives and disrespect, but now they expect the information to be delivered with fairy dust, pretty wrapping paper and a big bow on it presented on a sliver platter. This is more than absurd.

Keith, I must say I am surprised and will reply to your post when I can. The show must go on.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 26, 2015 08:24PM)
Yup, typing in that tone and ignoring all the points made is exactly what I'm on about...
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 26, 2015 08:29PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
I think its a real shame that full-time pros get perceived as difficult or problematic when they are only trying to share while assisting and teaching others. [/quote]

That's not what's happening here. You include yourself as a full-time pro, and you want us to take your word for it, because you don't allow anyone to know your true identity, but your own words say otherwise. You may be a full-time working pro, but you are not a full-time working mentalist. And that matters to the discussion if you want us to take your words seriously. As a result, you represent only your point of view, not that of real full-time working pro mentalists.

Quite a few people have pointed out your difficult and problematic words and phrasing and taking others to task in ways that are unsavory to many of us that take mentalism seriously, and even perform it seriously. Assisting and teaching? No, that's not what's happening here.

How you treat others, and improving your act will slow down the trivialization of mentalism, which is a branch of magic, which is the type of forum you're anonymously writing on.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 27, 2015 12:36AM)
To complaining about the way advice, insight and experience is offered is amazing to me too. So it's not enough that pros come here, tolerate all of these opinions, arm chair perspectives and disrespect, but now they expect the information to be delivered with fairy dust, pretty wrapping paper and a big bow on it presented on a sliver platter. This is more than absurd. (Quoted from Mindpro)

You ask for respect (reverence really) and do so by being condescending and disrespectful yourself. Your own behaviour tends to trivializes the art you claim to respect. Imagine that....people expect to be treated with respect. Read your very own words "...tolerate all of these opinions..." The arrogance of this comment is quite remarkable. Here's a thought for you to consider...maybe other pros don't agree with you. What a concept. You expect everyone else to come here with an open mind and to learn and why would you practice what you preach. Instead it's much easier to ignore other views completely and claim that you alone are the supreme arbitrator of these matters.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 27, 2015 02:26AM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, IAIN wrote:
Yup, typing in that tone and ignoring all the points made is exactly what I'm on about... [/quote]
Exactly, but Mindpro will never see it unfortunately. He'll certainly never understand that he contributes to the trivialisation himself.

Keith's posts are much more valuable, not least because he has credibility as a full time working mentalist who is prepared to say that others on here don't speak for him.
Message: Posted by: Waters. (Dec 27, 2015 06:44AM)
Thanks Mindpro. I understood the (seemingly) real vs. not real distinction.
Message: Posted by: Paul S Wingham (Dec 27, 2015 08:49AM)
Mindpro; I'm not sure how you can say words of a full time pro hold more weight than say a regular performer who has a day job without putting your real name behind that statement. Perhaps others do know your performing name, but I don't and you wouldnt be the first person on the Café to boast of being a full time pro. I'm not saying you arent but why not use a real name?
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 27, 2015 08:55AM)
I have to say I think part of the problem is that the distance from A to Z (beginner to pro) is much smaller for our art from than others.
I know it hurts to consider that point.

I'm only referring to a technical level. A pro is going to do far more with his toolbox than an amateur. But an amateur can still amaze with half of that toolbox. And be put on par with a pro (by the public). I bet everyone in this room has been told by a friend "that's the same trick you do!"

It just isn't like that with athletes, actors etc.

I do think there is an unfortunate sense of "I'm a great mentalist even tho I'm not a pro" among people these days.

What I'm positing is that this is a structural deficiency of this art form. A built in component.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 27, 2015 10:22AM)
DynaMix, I think it is the same with actors, musicians and even plumbers. I'm not sure it's exclusive to magicians and mentalists. There will always be pros with more or less talent, or technical skills, or experience than the guy working down the street. There are different types of venues and services. For example, cover bands, local theater, touring regional bands or theater shows. You'll find amazing performers standing next to someone who's still figuring things out.

With actors and musicians and magicians/mentalists, an audition process exists for advanced gigs that can help separate the abilities. It is true that technical abilities give us a wider selection of tools, but at the end of the show, it will be the audience reactions that tell the story and the truth about shows presented to audiences. And I believe that originality, talent, experience, personality and conviction will lead to the desired goals alongside technical abilities.

This need to break it all down to a box that one is either inside or out is so counter-productive to the furthering of any art.

Anyone reading Penny for a few years already understands the distinctions (and similarities!) between magic and mentalism - a thousand times over. The point is made regularly, and sometimes said differently than I would say it. But OK, we get it already. We know how some feel about it. Now, what's the next step? Continued humiliation for those that don't know the answers? I don't know any people in real life that talk that way to each other. In a place that brings LOVERS of the art together to question, answer, and celebrate.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 27, 2015 11:02AM)
Rolyan, Thank you. I'd like to clarify that I am not a full-time performing mentalist. I know of only very few that fit all 3 descriptors at once. I also perform close-up magic among other hats.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 27, 2015 11:48AM)
Hi Keith. I love your posts and even if I don't agree completely on all points I absolutely believe in the spirit and positivity of what you are saying.
Great stuff.

My point was that a uniqueness exists with us vs actors etc because what we do is secret. The information itself is part of the "power" so to speak.

When a cover band etc performs it is understood they aren't on the level of the mega rock stars.
*how* they are doing it isn't really part of the equation.

With us, the public doesn't know how we do what we do. It's vital to the perception of us being entertainers. So often, we incorrectly equate knowing how it's done with being equal to the top guys in the game. Beginners especially do this.

I would argue that one of mindpros central points is worth heeding - that too many people focus on the how - whereas the "why" is often what distinguishes Mentalism from mental magic or magic.

With the broader field of magic, the *how* is so closely guarded that gaining the knowledge is mistaken for *having the skill*. That's what I meant in terms of being a structural issue.

Trivialization of Mentalism aside, wouldn't you agree that an average person might not realize how much greater a pro is at (let's say) cutting the four aces than I would be?
I feel like the majority of specs absorb the effect, because the process of what we do is hidden.

I feel like that doesn't happen with actors or musicians etc.

I could absolutely be wrong on this, it's more of a gut feeling type of thing. I defer to those with more experience.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 27, 2015 02:46PM)
[quote]On Dec 27, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
I have to say I think part of the problem is that the distance from A to Z (beginner to pro) is much smaller for our art from than others. [/quote]
Wrong - and it is this misbelief that makes too many people perform far too early... Without spending the necessary time for rehearsing, thinking, rethinking, studying, putting in consideration expected perception by the audience in contrary to factual perception (which means being able to think abstract on a high level/meta level, seeing themselves through the eyes of their audience...)turning each little stone upside down, knowing stage craft, many technical aspects of our work a. s. o. Knowing a secret is for many enough to perform which cumulates to the fact that the only difference between the performer and his audience is the fact that he knows something which his audience doesn't know yet.
And the audience feels that, getting a totally wrong impression about this "art"... Which leads to low reputation. They do not know better and seldom can compare. In music e. g. they can as they are confronted with music everywhere and all the time gaining a sort of competence.

As I studied 8 years piano and musical notes do not look like flyspots to me, I really can compare and love to compare the working attitude of musicians with he laziness of many of us. Jan
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 27, 2015 03:03PM)
I was going to stop posting on this thread, however - I felt compelled to say this...

look at how jan expresses himself and then look at how mindpro does it...same message, expressed in a completely different way and in no way does he talk 'down' to anyone, or tries to belittle anyone...

i've worked in a few different areas, design, teaching guitar, running clubs, dj'ing, and a couple more - most experts, or people who are vastly experienced AND talented - they tend to not feel the urge to mention that too often, because they can still say what they need to, in a way that is understandable to others...

jimi hendrix was once asked by a reporter "what's it like being the best guitarist in the world?" and he replied "i dunno, go ask rory gallagher..."

as I said earlier, human being first, your job second...
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 27, 2015 04:12PM)
[quote]On Dec 27, 2015, JanForster wrote:
[quote]On Dec 27, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
I have to say I think part of the problem is that the distance from A to Z (beginner to pro) is much smaller for our art from than others. [/quote]
Wrong - and it is this misbelief that makes too many people perform far too early... Without spending the necessary time for rehearsing, thinking, rethinking, studying, putting in consideration expected perception by the audience in contrary to factual perception

Knowing a secret is for many enough to perform which cumulates to the fact that the only difference between the performer and his audience is the fact that he knows something which his audience doesn't know yet.
And the audience feels that, getting a totally wrong impression about this "art"... Which leads to low reputation. They do not know better [/quote]

Hi Jan. If you keep reading you will see this is the exact point I was making. That knowing the secret gives people the "right" to perform or consider themselves on par.

What I'm trying to figure out is WHY this happens. My theory is because of the nature of magic itself vs something like music. With magic, the HOW is secret, almost a "prize" of sorts.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 27, 2015 04:50PM)
We understand how a guitar works by strumming the strings. This doesn't mean we can play it nor should we be charging money to hear us do it. The same applies to magic or mentalism. Many people perform once they know how something works. Knowing how is the most basic understanding. Some people are content at this stage and never wish to move forward. They have no idea about scripting, character, staging and so much more. This isn't exclusive to magic but also mentalism. We can all organized vide anecdotal stories on both sides. As I continue to study and grow I find myself a lifelong learner that always has something to work on.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 27, 2015 07:46PM)
True, learning and improving never should stop... If all would acknowledge that and behave according this insight our little world would be much better and we would discuss such themes far less than we do here. Instead we would talk more about the art itself and less about its state. Jan
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Dec 28, 2015 12:46AM)
Why do so many performers spend so much of their time obsessing about what other people are doing? What possible advantage is there to all this hand wringing?

If you're worried about trivialization, apply all this energy to making yourself into the kind of performer who can't possibly trivialize the art because they are the absolute best they can be. Throw away labels like 'full time pro' and 'hobbyist.' They are meaningless. The only thing impacting a performer is the performer's performance. That's it. Everything else is just noise.

I learn from performers who are better than me. This doesn't mean I copy them...it simply means I learn from watching them work. I also learn from crappy performers. Learning is evolving. Evolving, transforming feeling, experience and knowledge into an expression of art is what good performers do.

Mentalism and the performance of mentalism is an art. Work on making yourself unique. There's only been one Pollock. One Rembrandt. One...well you get the idea, right? But there have been a pile of imitators of both of them.

Be you and let them sweat being...well...them. What they do or don't do has nothing to do with you. It's just dust carried away by the wind.

David
Message: Posted by: Harry the magic man (Dec 28, 2015 04:08AM)
Become greater than everyone else so you are not dragged down by everybody else.
Message: Posted by: CharlieThomms (Dec 28, 2015 11:46AM)
Hahaha
Thread sunopsis
Mindpro: I am a working pro operating at a higher level than most of you

Keith: So whats your name anyway?

Mindpro: ...

Others: yeah man, who are you?!

mindpro: its sad that people don't want the truth!!

Iain: we kind of do though... So who are you then?

There are ao many people who want us to believe they are great but hide in the shadows building up their little legends One guy who won't be named recently finally released a video of himself performing and his little legend just sort of evapurated.

Love to see a clip of Mindpro next.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Dec 28, 2015 12:18PM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2015, CharlieThomms wrote:
Hahaha
Thread sunopsis
Mindpro: I am a working pro operating at a higher level than most of you

Keith: So whats your name anyway?

Mindpro: ...

Others: yeah man, who are you?!

mindpro: its sad that people don't want the truth!!

Iain: we kind of do though... So who are you then?

There are ao many people who want us to believe they are great but hide in the shadows building up their little legends One guy who won't be named recently finally released a video of himself performing and his little legend just sort of evapurated.

Love to see a clip of Mindpro next. [/quote]

You might want to learn how to spell before you start hurling insults around. Your post does nothing to advance this subject. It is my understanding that Mindpro is indeed a professional. His ebook on writing a press release, etc is testament to that.
You might want to purchase it if/when he re-releases it. Well written, concise, and grammatically correct. You might even pick up some tips.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 28, 2015 12:22PM)
Yes, please, do not get personal here. Although personal might be occasionally a mild description for insulting. Jan
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 28, 2015 01:44PM)
There are many rooms in the house of mentalism. What makes one room better than the other? I appreciate the wisdom that others bring to this forum, purchase their materials and still disagree with some of their positions. Each of us bring our own unique performing experiences and these can be shared much more respectfully. I know that this is something that I can improve upon moving forward. It would be nice for us to acknowledge our peers in the same way we would if we were to be talking in person instead of anonymously from behind our computer screens. if I choose to make a decision about my performance of mentalism it is extremely insulting for someone to chime in and say that what I'm doing is trivial or trivializing the art form. Just because it doesn't match with your performance experience doesn't make it so. We all have come across material that we immediately know won't work for our character or performance situation. That doesn't make one person right and the other person wrong. I've had the distinct privilege of studying with some of the top names. Sometimes they will make suggestions for me but these just don't feel right or work for me. They show me the way that worked for them. I need to find what works for me as I seek my own magical vision. Their teaching is informative not prescriptive. Another important part is that it's always given with great care and respect.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 28, 2015 04:21PM)
I kinda agree, I kinda don't... right now, there is a definition of mentalism that is "classical", by that I mean a display of one "power/gift/ability" and a stage show to display and share it all...the character must be consistent and there should be theatre at play, as in drama, moments of intensity, maybe some humour, all of it is defined by the skill/power and mixed in with the performer's personality - and its those things that drive what you present, how you present it, and why you present it...and that's before you aim it at a certain audience, or try to slowly build up your own niche in the market...how far you are willing to adapt without affecting "you" negatively, is a sliding scale, maybe too commercial might bring more money, but you might feel slightly hollow because you are not expressing your own personal artistic vision enough...or it could be you can't find the tipping point (and a few other choices)...

accessibility and being relatable also come into it...

however, some people (who are successful) also show us that it doesn't have to be that way...however, what gets overlooked by some, please note SOME, and not ALL - is that they already have an audience and a market and are usually very experienced performers...

so the last derren brown stage show, if a new guy came on here and listed all that was in that show - he'd probably be told he was wrong, and has no respect for mentalism and that he was basically doing a magic show, with some "mental magic" thrown in...

others would no doubt descend upon this imaginary person because at one point with gnashing teeth and claws because they tell everyone that they will levitate someone live on stage, having previously told people what sweetie they were eating...

however, if derren came on here and told the entire thing, certain people would be rolling around on the floor and washing his feet....

there is a certain level of sycophancy here at times, and some people will never, ever say something about a "hallowed name" - because they want to be seen on par with them, or chummy.... despite all evidence to the contrary...

everyone is human, we all mess up from time to time, we all get angry over things that aren't important enough...i do it, everyone does it...

my main gripe is the way some talk down to others, and also how their view (however successful) has to be the one and only answer...when its not...because you can disprove it by looking at tv shows, stage shows and listen to regular people....

i think when bob cassidy talks about it here, its pretty clear - he has a clearly defined explanation of what classical mentalism is...if you wanna do something that doesn't follow those rules, then that's fine - but don't call it mentalism, because to him, it isn't...and his clearly defined explanation is there for all to see...its easy...

however, there are people out there, who aren't full timers, and don't want to perform stage mentalism - that do, believe it or not, know their own market and audience, and have spent ample time learning what they want to support what they want to do and how to express it the way they want to, too...

these are not amateurs in the derogatory sense...not one bit...

and on top of that, life has changed...its easy, and maybe even more appealing to some to deviate, and the wider our skillsets and interests are - the more we want to do...

would you tell Ronnie Wood that he isn't a full time professional guitarist in the stones, because he also paints as part of his living? or would you say that david bowie shouldn't have been in The Labyrinth because he's a musician and therefore shouldn't come along stealing actor's roles? grow up...come off it...

passions are passions and you are certainly allowed more than one...and some people are superb at more than one, too...

save the anger and the finger pointing for those who are stealing, ripping off, exposing... not a kid who is just testing the water...shout at people who are being arrogant for no reason, and are stating opinion as FACT when its just a choice... don't tell experienced people their job from your armchair because you're on a forum despite never saying hello to a girl or had a series of gigs... ask questions, listen and go away and think about what they've said...be polite, you've been given some free advice, at least have the decency to listen and think, never be rude...

workers - don't shout at someone for no good reason, don't sneer and treat everyone the same...check your ego, if you wanna use a forum, don't assume some throne of power as if its your right - if you're playing the pro card, great - but let us know who you are if you're gonna bring it up a lot, otherwise we won't understand your points of reference...if you wanna remain anonymous - that's fine too, but expect to be treated just like everyone else...the internet is full of liars and scammers, its nice to know who we talk to...

overall, the trivialisastion starts with the online magicshops and pro's selling their work with blatant advertising without any care of who they sell to...online magic shops blatantly show images of devices that should be secret...they do it to sell the item, and because kids demand a photo...pro's who don't vet who they sell to have zero come back when the old argument of "this book isn't for the merely curious!", its "this book is for the merely curious with the necessary money to buy it, I don't care!"...i can give examples...they are on here and elsewhere...

we want to give enough sizzle, to enable people to sniff it, salivate and then buy it...but we also don't want bad reviews, or people with zero experience reviewing it, and if we say "you don't get it", you get told you are being precious...

we need to question one another a little more, POLITELY....and we need to be open and honest with each other, not just as mentalists, but as human beings...it won't happen hahahaha....

seriously, it won't....we SHOULD...but we won't, because ego, one-upmanship and trolls get in the way...

so enjoy what you can, however you can legally and without hurting or stealing from others, avoid those that are just here for the bad stuff...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 28, 2015 04:37PM)
I'm gonna have to go on for a little while longer..

you DO need to educate yourself, and invest the money to do so, not just on the techniques and methods - but also character building, learning how to handle and interact with people, the routine is not the beginning and end, its just the pebble you drop in the water and the waves and ripples are everything else that happens to create that authentic experience...

without the sound, the ripples, the texture and the weight of it all, it would NOT feel like a pebble being dropped into the water...

its a long slog at times, you fail more than succeed, you learn from that more than getting it right...go buy Hamlet, read it out cold, then go watch Richard Burton inhabit it...

go tune a guitar to an open E chord, play You Really Got Me by The Kinks, then watch Dave Davis play it and listen and see the differences...

read an M.R. James ghost story, then try and write one yourself in the same amount of pages...

it doesn't stop with good reactions, that's the beginning...

scripting gives you the backbone, so it doesn't feel like scripting, you learn to inhabit it...

there are so many things that go into what can make mentalism such a strong experience, and even more that will make it weak...

Howling Wolf did an album with a bunch of white hippy dudes, and you can hear him talking to the engineers about what he liked and didn't like about the take...that's the collision between the traditional and the new guys...if the new guys just did it the same way as the traditionalist, you would not have anything new, however, you don't get anything new without first exploring and understanding the traditional and classical approaches...

a very silly example is this - even now, when I make an error typing, I tend to keep my finger on the DEL button, rather than clicking back to the single error...because I was brought up with a 48k spectrum...
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Dec 28, 2015 05:02PM)
Although I am not involved in mentalism, I will chime in to speak to a few aspects of the conversation because they are not specifically aimed at being a mentalist, but rather to the overall conversation:
First, with respect to the "trivialization of mentalism", I believe it is fool hearty not to consider the potential impact it may have on ones career. As pointed out earlier in the discussion, this happens in all walks of life. I am in medical school. When I get out, there will be many (and a growing number) of "mid level providers" (nurse practioners and physician assistants) doing what only doctors could do a few years ago. To not appreciate what this means to me is nothing short of ignorance. That does not mean I can change reality, but I can better plan my career in a strategic way in order to remain relevant and comand top dollar. This of course is happening in mentalism as well, as access to the market has become much easier, for many reasons. If one does not recognize and appreciate reality, they cannot adjust their longer term strategy accordingly. If you choose to live day to day, that is your prerogative, but don't belittle those who look a bit further down the road of life.
With respect to Mindpro, I have come to know and respect him via his contributions to the "Tricky Business" section of TMC. There, I believe his persona serves this community well, because he has an exceptional understanding and respect of the entertainment business. Being anonymous, in his particular case, actually brings a unique aspect to his posts that I greatly appreciate. It allows one to focus on the value of the post entirely, without concern over looking for a chink in his armor. I believe this is an aspect of TMC few appreciate, but wouldgreatly miss if it were not here. I don't believe that was Mindpro's original intent, but a fortunate by product.
If I were to pursue mentalism as a pro, I would think it very valuable to understand Mindpro's perspectives. I have encountered many personalities of those who are in the education field, and I never let any of them get in the way of me taking advantage of the value they can offer. I believe to do so is self limiting.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 28, 2015 05:37PM)
I agree with you charliecheckers...

it strikes me as sadly humorous though, that part of that knowledge is about understanding your audience and their expectations...so that would include HOW you communicate in the best possible way to get your message across, right?...

yet sometimes, mindpro demonstrates the exact opposite by delivering his knowledge in an aggressive or belittling way - you would have hoped that someone with all his experience would know how to deliver his knowledge in the best and most impactful way - without getting other people's backs up...and without thinking its always "their fault for not getting it"...

can anyone tell me WHO exactly listens and considers all points made by an angry sounding person? I am excluding married people and hostage negotiators....if a stranger starts shouting at you on a train or a library, what's the most likely result?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 28, 2015 07:28PM)
Wow, so I see this has now been completely derailed and is somehow now about me. Thanks innercirclewannabe, Jan, charliecheckers and the any others who've defended me, I appreciate it but don't need the defending. I can take this silliness and skewed perceptions. Those that know me know very well about who I am and my accomplishments and contributions to our art and live entertainment. Those that don't just show their lack of knowledge or level in the industry and truly don't know what they're talking about pertaining to me (not intended as an insult but rather a simple fact). Some of the things offered about me as facts or information are nowhere near any truth. Again, be careful who you listen to.

All of this nonsense and person attack on me, my level of experience and who I am is all only derailing the topic of the thread of which my posts have been addressing. Entertainment is not just my career, and those that have my materials, have heard me speak or have taken my personal coaching knows very well, it is my passion. From the local kids performers to top celebrity entertainers, my passion is the entertainment business on all levels. Both the show and the business. The big picture.

Identifying the problem is the first step to finding a solution (of the trivialization, remember the topic?). Perhaps this hits too close to home for some of you, but that's okay, I get it and keep it in the right perspective. Hate the messenger. The problem isn't creators releasing information, this has been done by the best for generations and worked out just fine for centuries. The problem today lies 100% in the magicians today (and their attitudes) in the magic community combined with the fact that anyone can now release their works in a booklet or dvd. Who's doing it? Magicians. Who's buying it? Who's exposing it? Beginner, amateur and perhaps even semi-pro magicians. Too bad if this hits too close for home but it is the truth. Remove these two elements and the problem is gone. Doesn't exist.

The reason I am here is because I was asked to be (invited) due to my unique position in the industry and my credits. My reputation is and has always been direct and call it like I see it. No sugarcoating and I call people out on their BS. Blunt, perhaps. Deal with it or don't read my posts. I would venture to say other than perhaps Cassidy, I've yet to see anyone here share more valuable, long-term useful professional insight and information for all level of entertainers that both advances their performances and income (for those that are professionals on any level, and not just mentalists)...for free! Getting hung up on the packaging and hurt tender feelings here is not the point or my concern. It is the message that you are choosing to miss. Many here hear what they want to hear and miss the point completely. Just like my views on the impact of European Mentalists and performers have had on the industry. Very few, still get my points and perceptions and have taken the time to understand it. It has now become an ongoing joke, that I gladly play along with that "I don't like European mentalists." It's hilarious to me. Is it the truth, no not at all. Those from over there that do get it have no problem and find it amusing. But those that don't and the kids that get all ruffled have accepted it to mean something I've never said. Actually far from it. The same is happening here.

My history, accomplishments and experience are outlined in my books, courses and training, which unlike much of the materials we are talking about are only available to accepted and qualified inquiries agreeing to the specific terms and conditions. It is the real-world goods that directly makes a difference if understood and applied. If you are unaware of me or who I am it is because perhaps you haven't looked into or invested in these materials. It really doesn't matter to me, I'm not trying to sell anything, but since several people have brought it up I thought I'd address it in the right perspective. Yes, I love to help those that want helping, assistance or evolving. Many are in fact magicians. I don't dislike magicians (contrary to popular misinterpreted belief here), only their current impact on mentalism.

The bottom line is this...Most entertainers have difficulty understanding the most important bigger picture. They only minimally ever think beyond themselves. Most give minimal or only secondary thought to the audience and their true realities, and even fewer to the needs, interests and necessary elements and perspectives of the talent buyers. Very few do this properly to the level required. Almost no one ever thinks about the industry and how each and every one of their own personal choices and decisions impacts the industry (the bigger picture). The vast majority of performers, beginners or otherwise, almost always, with only rare exception, only think as far as themselves. Only their skills, their material, their show, their bookings, their ego and their satisfaction. Most of the commentaries towards me in this thread also come from these personal perspectives.

Anyone performing publicly or now days on youtube have an impact on the industry.

My perspectives are much more vast than that due to my positions in the industry (I'm sure some will misinterpret that as well). Perhaps this too is where much of my directness and misunderstanding originates as on many of these levels hand-holding and worrying about others interpretations are not of any serious concern. Some will get it and keep up, others likely never will. Again, I understand that (just a reality), surely not meant to hurt or demean anyone in any way.

Participating here using a user name, (which is perfectly acceptable and in accordance with the rules and policies of the Café and my right to personal privacy) allows me to share my experience without crossing over, affecting or conflicting with my business associates, clients and followers from my other separate ventures.

There have been a handful of people that have tried to expose this before due to lack of personal respect and Café privacy and operational rules which were quickly banned from the Café (I'm sure some of you know who they are). I was told it wouldn't be tolerated.

We don't need metaphors or reference to other industries, that has nothing to do with what matters to our industry. We need to look at the bigger picture and understand that it can be stopped and turned around, once people start looking beyond themselves to the bigger picture.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 28, 2015 09:21PM)
From time to time we read about minor celebrities or other "entitled" folk who always know better than anyone else. They expect to be treated royally while at the same time treating everyone else like crap. When this approach fails they often come out with the always reasonable "Don't you know who I am?" Of course the real answer is no one really cares. No one is going to listen to you if you're rude and talk down to people.

jeff
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 28, 2015 09:35PM)
These unfortunately are just your opinions andperceptions and are not all the reality. Also this has nothing to do with the topic of this thread once again.
Message: Posted by: WitchesHat (Dec 28, 2015 11:44PM)
[quote]Entertainment is not just my career, and those that have my materials, have heard me speak or have taken my personal coaching knows very well, it is my passion.
[/quote]

Unlike all those other performers, professional or amateur, who obviously only do it for the steady income and secure future.


[quote]
From the local kids performers to top celebrity entertainers, my passion is the entertainment business on all levels. Both the show and the business. The big picture.
[/quote]

So you're a jack of all trades type? What about the passion?


[quote]
Identifying the problem is the first step to finding a solution (of the trivialization, remember the topic?).
[/quote]

Yes, but you don't. The original point of the post was that the idea that mentalism is being trivialized is stupid.

[quote]
Perhaps this hits too close to home for some of you, but that's okay, I get it and keep it in the right perspective. Hate the messenger. The problem isn't creators releasing information, this has been done by the best for generations and worked out just fine for centuries. The problem today lies 100% in the magicians today (and their attitudes) in the magic community combined with the fact that anyone can now release their works in a booklet or dvd. Who's doing it? Magicians. Who's buying it? Who's exposing it? Beginner, amateur and perhaps even semi-pro magicians. Too bad if this hits too close for home but it is the truth. Remove these two elements and the problem is gone. Doesn't exist.
[/quote]

To get rid of bad magic products we have to get rid of bad producers of magic products. To get rid of bad performances we have to get rid of bad performers, brilliant! Masterful in it's simplicity. This could be applied elsewhere.

There's no problem with institutionalized racism in the police, we just have to get rid of racist policemen. There's no problem with the sharing of wealth in society, we just have to get rid of the greedy people. There's no problem with education in our country, we just have to get rid of bad teachers. There's no problem with healthcare in our country, we just have to get rid of the bad doctors.

My God! I think you've just found the solution to all social and economic problems, can I humbly ask that you post again? Maybe next you can wipe out all disease.

[quote]
The reason I am here is because I was asked to be (invited) due to my unique position in the industry and my credits.
[/quote]

You may have been invited on this forum, but no one invited you onto this thread. No one currently reading these posts asked you to be here. You're here because you want to share an opinion, same as everyone else.

[quote]
My reputation is and has always been direct and call it like I see it. No sugarcoating and I call people out on their BS. Blunt, perhaps. Deal with it or don't read my posts.
[/quote]

I'm always happy to ignore you, but what if I (or others) read your post, disagree with it, and then want to express that opinion? Would that be allowed?

By the way, just to let you know, you're not allowed to disagree with me. Deal with it or don't read my posts.

[quote]
I would venture to say other than perhaps Cassidy, I've yet to see anyone here share more valuable, long-term useful professional insight and information for all level of entertainers that both advances their performances and income (for those that are professionals on any level, and not just mentalists)...for free!
[/quote]

Yes, you and Cassidy are often mentioned in the same breath. WHO ARE YOU?

[quote]
Getting hung up on the packaging and hurt tender feelings here is not the point or my concern.
[/quote]

But listening to your opinion should be other peoples concern?

[quote]
It is the message that you are choosing to miss. Many here hear what they want to hear and miss the point completely. Just like my views on the impact of European Mentalists and performers have had on the industry. Very few, still get my points and perceptions and have taken the time to understand it. It has now become an ongoing joke, that I gladly play along with that "I don't like European mentalists." It's hilarious to me. Is it the truth, no not at all. Those from over there that do get it have no problem and find it amusing. But those that don't and the kids that get all ruffled have accepted it to mean something I've never said. Actually far from it. The same is happening here.
[/quote]

Sorry, I chose to miss that part.

[quote]
My history, accomplishments and experience are outlined in my books, courses and training, which unlike much of the materials we are talking about are only available to accepted and qualified inquiries agreeing to the specific terms and conditions.
[/quote]

In other words, your history and accomplishments are ONLY recorded in stuff you've written. That's comforting. I think you may be the first real world performer who's shy about advertising their accomplishments.

[quote]
It is the real-world goods that directly makes a difference if understood and applied. If you are unaware of me or who I am it is because perhaps you haven't looked into or invested in these materials.
[/quote]

Good for you, I always want to pay someone before I find out if their work has value.

[quote]
It really doesn't matter to me, I'm not trying to sell anything, but since several people have brought it up I thought I'd address it in the right perspective. Yes, I love to help those that want helping, assistance or evolving. Many are in fact magicians. I don't dislike magicians (contrary to popular misinterpreted belief here), only their current impact on mentalism.
[/quote]

And no one here hates you, only your impact on their tired eyes from reading all this.

[quote]
The bottom line is this...Most entertainers have difficulty understanding the most important bigger picture. They only minimally ever think beyond themselves. Most give minimal or only secondary thought to the audience and their true realities, and even fewer to the needs, interests and necessary elements and perspectives of the talent buyers. Very few do this properly to the level required. Almost no one ever thinks about the industry and how each and every one of their own personal choices and decisions impacts the industry (the bigger picture). The vast majority of performers, beginners or otherwise, almost always, with only rare exception, only think as far as themselves. Only their skills, their material, their show, their bookings, their ego and their satisfaction. Most of the commentaries towards me in this thread also come from these personal perspectives.
[/quote]

If that's the case why are you hating on the amateurs? Care to name one of these selfish pro entertainers. I know you like to call things as you see them in a blunt manner, and it's not like your profession would suffer given your anonymity.

[quote]
Anyone performing publicly or now days on youtube have an impact on the industry.

My perspectives are much more vast than that due to my positions in the industry (I'm sure some will misinterpret that as well).
[/quote]

Well my perspective is even vaster, it's like, ten times vaster than yours. All other perspectives are dwarfed by my perspectives mighty vastness.

No I won't tell you what my position is, it's too vast for you to comprehend, respect my privacy.

[quote]
Perhaps this too is where much of my directness and misunderstanding originates as on many of these levels hand-holding and worrying about others interpretations are not of any serious concern. Some will get it and keep up, others likely never will. Again, I understand that (just a reality), surely not meant to hurt or demean anyone in any way.
[/quote]

Don't worry, that's not your concern anyway.

[quote]
Participating here using a user name, (which is perfectly acceptable and in accordance with the rules and policies of the Café and my right to personal privacy) allows me to share my experience without crossing over, affecting or conflicting with my business associates, clients and followers from my other separate ventures.
[/quote]

Do you know what else is perfectly acceptable and in accordance with the rules and policies of the Café? Amateur, hobbyist and professional magicians posting in the mentalist section.

[quote]
There have been a handful of people that have tried to expose this before due to lack of personal respect and Café privacy and operational rules which were quickly banned from the Café (I'm sure some of you know who they are). I was told it wouldn't be tolerated.
[/quote]

Good, wrap it up with a threat, keep it classy.

[quote]
We don't need metaphors or reference to other industries, that has nothing to do with what matters to our industry. We need to look at the bigger picture and understand that it can be stopped and turned around, once people start looking beyond themselves to the bigger picture. [/quote]

Your bigger picture seems to be, 'There are people performing and writing books who are bad.' Stunning insight.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 28, 2015 11:51PM)
Unfortunately I'm not alone in these "perceptions". There are a handful of people on this thread who don't find your comments, tone very respectful. Rather than consider this for even a moment you life in your own little world where everything is fairies and elves and you get to eat all the cotton candy you want.

At the end of the day mentalism is an art form. You seem to be of the opinion that this art form can be practice/created in only one way and to do otherwise "trivializes" it. I wish you luck convincing people of that.

jeff
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 29, 2015 04:34AM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
These unfortunately are just your opinions andperceptions and are not all the reality. Also this has nothing to do with the topic of this thread once again. [/quote]
The topiic of the thread is the trivialisation of mentalism. The fact that you believe and have stated that the cause/blame is 100% the fault of magicians demonstrates clearly how everything you write is coloured by this opinion.

The main problem is that you can't even recognise or accept that it is your opinion and nothing more. It's not a fact, regardless of how much you insist it is and regardless of how much you insist that if anyone disagrees then it's their fault.

You're not the only person to have this over inflated ego and I've been around too long to be bothered by self proclaimed experts who dismiss all other opinions as having no worth. The only disapointment is that you probably do want to help, but you cant see that your arrogant and dismissive opinions mean those that could benefit will be put off listening. If that truly doesn't bother you, then it says a lot about why you post the way you do.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 29, 2015 08:34AM)
This thread is not going in a positive direction at all.

If you are on this thread I assume you see the watering down of mentalism occuring, right? How can anyone performing magic in the modern era come to any other conclusion?

If that bothers you, then all opinions should be welcome. As much as I have disagreed with any one person over the years, I never want them to stop offering their viewpoint, especially when they have industry experience. I understand the presentation of that opinion is offputting, but I still think the content is important, *** near required right now.

Everytime a Martin Pullman, Bob Cassidy, or Mindpro stops posting, this place loses something special.

My thinking on Mentalism is VASTLY different than it was 2 years ago. it is improved. This is PURELY because of the portion of the Café that puts mentalism on the pedestool that seems to bother so many.

To the major point of this thread: I'm curious how many people here have transitioned from magic to pure mentalism. And how many people still mix the two. My thinking on mentalism NEVER progressed until I MADE THE DECISION to stop doing magic and present it "as real." For me personally, the SECOND that people started giving me credit (falsely, of course) for having a genuine SKILL, I was HOOKED. It made me ALL OF A SUDDEN super self conscious about bringing out a deck of cards, or having a prediction that was TOO perfect, or suddenly realizing my patter was TOO scripted, etc. I suddenly became obsessed with the idea of maintaining that illusion, of recieving that credit for as long as possible. But ALL in the name of entertaining and hopefully inspiring people to feel wonder.

My point is this - if you have attempted to feel that, and decided its not for you - more power to you. I get that not everyone will like that. However if you've never attemped to go for "the real thing", just TRY IT. GIVE IT A SHOT. Perform a small mental set for someone who has NO IDEA who you are or what you do. don't present it as magic, don't get it 100% right off the top, struggle with your divination, actually TRY to be the real deal.

I'm sure EVEN IF you decide its not for you, you will come to the same conclusion as most mentalists. That its AT LEAST worth maintaining the distinction between mentalism and magic for as long as we can. I get that its not for you, but how can you NOT want that distinction to survive? How can you NOT be concerned with it being watered down (aka trivialized)?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 29, 2015 09:31AM)
Again, its not the content, its how it is delivered...ultimately, we are talking to strangers and acquaintances...

Labelling it as telling it like it is, blunt, whatever..is really just a lack of manners...

And yes, I have tried the full on psychic delivery, I didn't enjoy the sensation and what came with it...so I tried something different and it feels better and more appropriate for me...

This means I am not a mentalism or psychic entertainer because of the rules...

I am not an idiot, nor am I trivialising anything...dont tell me otherwise thank you, I care, I study, I might even know a thing or two...i don't think I deserve to be clumsily bundled in with the entirety of magic or mentalism...and there are plenty of others who do and feel the same...
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 29, 2015 10:07AM)
To be clear, I was not aiming this at you or anyone specifically. I quite enjoy your contributions Iain!

I simply want people who *don't benefit* from the distinction to consider the importance of maintaining mentalism as separate from magic.

It is quite obvious (to me at least) that you have made that journey many times over - this is why I listen to you on the subject with great appreciation. Same with Mindpro and others. I can put up with the rough delivery as long as its not personally attacking in nature. It just doesn't bother me...I think because I'm more interested in learning and discovery at this point of my own journey.
Message: Posted by: Rolyan (Dec 29, 2015 11:36AM)
Dynamix - the problem is that many on here DO get the differences and distinction between magic and mentalism, and have a lot to contribute to the discussion on the trivialisations of mentalism. But Mindpro's refusal to accept any opinion other than his, which is that magicians are 100% to blame for the trivialisation of mentalism, stops any discussions or learning.

I believe there are many contributory factors to the trivialisation, and to blame it all on magicians is simply ridiculous. Mindpro's insistence that magicians are solely to blame, that no other opinions are worth holding, and that he's indifferent to how his comments are received, tells me a lot about why and how he posts the way he does.

If you get a lot from him, and learn from him, then that's commendable, but many recognise his simplistic view for what it is. The fact that he is more interested in stirring the pot, than genuinely attempting to move things forward, is both sad and disapointing.
Message: Posted by: MagicalEducator (Dec 29, 2015 01:06PM)
"It ain't watcha write, it's the way atcha write it."

Jack Kerouac
Message: Posted by: CharlieThomms (Dec 29, 2015 01:56PM)
I think both matter? What about when things like this happen again and agani but get forgotten? Trivialisation occurs when material is recycle and sold as new.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=501044&forum=303

And still their legends grow
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 29, 2015 04:10PM)
Things that can cause the trivialisation of mentalism:

big egos
online magic shops exposing gimmicks via photos
limited edition works but with zero vetting process
youtube bedroom 'performances' (not like that, dirty minded person you)
giving away methodology via online conversations - this can happen accidentally and deliberately
not educating yourself with the classics
not understanding the classical mentalism approach
thinking that a clever method is the only thing needed
that scripting doesn't help you in any way shape or form
not having a clearly defined skillset or ability/gift
not having an act/set/routine that clearly backs that up
and a whole load of other things...

they all go together to make up your specific blueprint...

the reason why I personally believe that they can all add to the idea that mentalism is being treated in a trivial manner, is that some people, because its an accessible interest these days, as in - anyone with google and a debit card or paypal can buy so many things these days, that they can literally consume it...and what happens when you consume something? probably burp, then pass it out a couple of hours later, and then you wanna consume more...

that is not solely down to magicians, its some people who are interested in mentalism too... because they are not devoted to it, or care about it - it is just a hobby and they have no interest in going any further with it - so they are not going to spend their time learning and thinking deeper about it...that is not entirely their fault...

its kinda their responsibility - but hey, there's lots of irresponsible people out there...no one on here can individually or collectively address that and fix it...

its probably too late, and things will continue, THAT is why having a goal, some kind of character driven artistic vision/goal is the most important thing in my eyes...be and say something different from all the rest...

so if we are looking to blame someone, something, some group... its a pick and mix of a variety of things...

i mean, you can type in "mentalism" into google right now, and you'll get a big definition of it, links to a wiki page, a couple of exposure sites, some big online magic shops, some videos, people looking for free stuff, pdfs, all sorts of things...you'll see all sorts of things...

so, where do we go and what do we do? if we go to a forum and ask for help, do we deserve a smack for being wrong? what happens when we smack people online? it tends to escalate and people smack back...do we think that it works?

maybe sometimes it does - maybe the person disappears? doesn't mean they suddenly see the light though does it...

and I'm not saying be extra chummy and repeat yourself over and over again...want to contribute in a positive way?

set up a single blog page, work collectively to expand upon the sticky we have here, maybe put together a free PDF that links to it -the PDF doesn't have to contain much, just enough to explain what classical mentalism is and what it isn't, and in a neutral or engaging tone...do something collectively and once and once only...you can only contribute and try...that's all...

maybe the full timers could do this and the rest of us support it by farming it out? just an idea...
Message: Posted by: CharlieThomms (Dec 30, 2015 01:36PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
What's the point?

it seems like you are intentionally touting or flaming of topics and members for no apparent reason other than to ruffle features. You've done this in several different forums here. What's your point or agenda? Just to start pitting other members against each other? For your own amusement? Or is there some other purpose?

This is quite deliberate and unusual behavior. Why?

Are you even a mentalist, hypnotist or performer of the forums in which you are posting this? I'm sure I'm not the only one curious about this. [/quote]


...he said on another thread with a strait face...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 30, 2015 01:53PM)
What seems to be the problem CharlieThomms? Every post I've made is about the topic of addressing and making suggestions to identify and correct this issue. Seems like you too are simply flaming the fires, touting and also starting to deliberately try to sir things up based on your last several posts. Completely uncalled for and unnecessary. And yes, both here and there with a completely straight face.

Now dragging one thread into another for no other purpose? The trivialization continues...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 30, 2015 04:11PM)
In an attempt for a more rational approach, It is easy to agree that bad magicians and bad mentalists hurt all serious performers of the mystic arts.

But "trivialize" does not sit well considering the earlier history of those successfully combining both conjuring and mental-based feats.

Long ago I posted a reference to Ormand McGill and received no comments. He believed that ALL performers should engage in both.

we can look to a performer like Ormand McGill to see how conjuring and “psychic magic” can be combined. His book on Psychic Magic is based on articles from 1937 and republished many times since – even 2008. He combined conjury with psychic magic in his shows with great success and encouraged all magicians to do likewise. In his post WWII USO performances, however, on the advice of his booking agent (Arnold Furst) he presented only conjury before the intermission and “mentalism” after words, believing that the former prepared the audience of the later mental demonstrations. He noted, “there is wish-fulfillment here; an underlying hope that somewhere deep within the mind there may be some mysterious powers that will in some measurable help in the mastery of countless problems that constantly perplex in the hazardous art of living.”

It is easy today to say what he did was “mental magic” rather than “pure mentalism,” but demonstrated that a performer can satisfy both those in an audience seeking to be deceived and those aspiring to paranormal abilities. His teaching of this material was based on a belief that a “magician” is the best person to support the paranormal abilities of humans in contrast, saying, “I have demonstrated how physical laws can apparently be defied for your amusement. Now we shift to demonstrations that the human mind is capable of many things generally considered impossible.” Thus, under the guise of “entertainment” people can be encouraged to experiment along the lines of personal genuine psychic powers. Taking this approach there is not ethical conflict.

He notes that Psychic Magic is “Magic portraying Magic.” and “It is in the simulation of those supernatural forces that Psychic Magic has its origin, and the more perfect the simulation, the more perfect the presentation.”

“So, we will pursue in our studies as a matter of the production of genuine psychic occurence together with the simulated psychic occurence – for it is in the skillful blending of the pseudo with the authentic, that is found the real basis for Psychic Magic’s rightful place in the art of entertainment.”
.........

So, for a magician to do Mentalism may be unwise from a "confuse the audience" today there is no "trivialization" going on.

Will most performers today work at doing both well and faithfully? I doubt it -- but that is a problem of a different sort.

What I do know is that I can do mentalism effects that most performers today cannot or will not do. I can also do conjuring effects that most will not or cannot do.

Why? Because I wasn't mentored, taught or conditioned to think it is an "either/or" factor.

I also know that these negative post and posturing do not encourage people like me to share what I know.

Why not work at encouraging folks to be better Mentalist or better Magician rather than looking for something to blame?
Message: Posted by: Julie (Dec 30, 2015 04:46PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2015, funsway wrote:
...He notes that Psychic Magic is “Magic portraying Magic.” and “It is in the simulation of those supernatural forces that Psychic Magic has its origin, and the more perfect the simulation, the more perfect the presentation.”

“So, we will pursue in our studies as a matter of the production of genuine psychic occurence together with the simulated psychic occurence – for it is in the skillful blending of the pseudo with the authentic, that is found the real basis for Psychic Magic’s rightful place in the art of entertainment.”
.........

So, for a magician to do Mentalism may be unwise from a "confuse the audience" today there is no "trivialization" going on.

Will most performers today work at doing both well and faithfully? I doubt it -- but that is a problem of a different sort.

What I do know is that I can do mentalism effects that most performers today cannot or will not do. I can also do conjuring effects that most will not or cannot do.

Why? Because I wasn't mentored, taught or conditioned to think it is an "either/or" factor.

I also know that these negative post and posturing do not encourage people like me to share what I know.

Why not work at encouraging folks to be better Mentalist or better Magician rather than looking for something to blame? [/quote]

Very well said. Perhaps this is a maturity issue (not chronologically) as opposed to a contrite posturing, philosophical discussion...

Julie
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Dec 30, 2015 05:55PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2015, Julie wrote:

Very well said. Perhaps this is a maturity issue (not chronologically) as opposed to a contrite posturing, philosophical discussion...

Julie [/quote]

Bingo.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Dec 30, 2015 08:26PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2015, funsway wrote:
It is easy today to say what he did was “mental magic” rather than “pure mentalism,” but demonstrated that a performer can satisfy both those in an audience seeking to be deceived and those aspiring to paranormal abilities. His teaching of this material was based on a belief that a “magician” is the best person to support the paranormal abilities of humans in contrast, saying, “I have demonstrated how physical laws can apparently be defied for your amusement. Now we shift to demonstrations that the human mind is capable of many things generally considered impossible.” Thus, under the guise of “entertainment” people can be encouraged to experiment along the lines of personal genuine psychic powers. Taking this approach there is not ethical conflict.

He notes that Psychic Magic is “Magic portraying Magic.” and “It is in the simulation of those supernatural forces that Psychic Magic has its origin, and the more perfect the simulation, the more perfect the presentation.”

“So, we will pursue in our studies as a matter of the production of genuine psychic occurence together with the simulated psychic occurence – for it is in the skillful blending of the pseudo with the authentic, that is found the real basis for Psychic Magic’s rightful place in the art of entertainment.” [/quote]

There's a lot to think about there. I appreciate the connection to history and that it aims at the foundations of presentation. Thank you for sharing it.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Dec 30, 2015 08:50PM)
Interestingly I haven't seen a lot about the opposite situation - doing "pure" Mentalism and then segueing into some mental magic.

That for some reason has been working for me lately a little better than the opposite... If I do any sleight of hand or card material at all.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 31, 2015 05:41AM)
This information has also made me question the wisdom of combining effects like metal bending or penetration with mind reading or farsight.

Say that we accept that an audience coming to see a Mentalist holds beliefs that some paranormal abilities exist and that these beliefs/bias can be verified or enhanced by demonstration.

Say that we agree that an audience coming to see a conjuror type magician expects to be entertained by guile, trickery, artifice, etc. as demonstrations of what magic would look like if it existed.

The expectations of each audience is different. Without suitable framing or sequencing the magician risks confusing their audience by failing to meet their expectations. But, properly presented a mental baed effect can enhance the entertainment,
and condition the audience as to what "impossible" means.

When a Mentalist performs a demonstrations that "stretched believing too far" they also risk confusing or even betraying their audience. If trickery enters the picture the trust is shattered.
A Mentalist must be better practiced in their trickery since any detection can be fatal. Why take the risk with something that some may consider trickery?

Thus, IMHO, a magician can perform mental based impossibilities as "moving beyond" trickery, while a Mentalist cannot perform conjuring without "moving back" from audience expectations.

A problem might arise in an audience with unknown expectations, i.e. it is not known if the expect a pretending of impossible or a validation of impossible -- or care either way.
I feel that any demonstration of "mental based" impossible conquering will never be received as a Mentalist desires. It is a poor choice.

I have no problem with a limited number of performers desiring to restrict "being a Mentalist" to a pure and distinct art form, but that is based on having an audience with the right expectations and bias.

But, they cannot restrict "mentalism" or "mental magic" for other performers or audiences in general.

If I go to see a proclaimed Mentalist I do not want to see conjuring or sloppy trickery or have my intelligence insulted.

If I go to see a proclaimed Magician I do not want to see any "Now I am a Mentalist" effects any more than I want to see juggling or sand painting even though they are magical for some.

If I go to a variety show for family entertainment I would enjoy a mix of performances, e.g. conjuring, mentalism, juggling and sand painting -- but not by the same person.

Thus, if there is any trivialization of the mystic arts it comes from not relating to or appreciating ones audience expectations.

The problem today is that we cannot well judge the expectations of a general audience with lazy shotgun approach to entertainment adopted by many.

The attitude of any performer of, "I'll try this because it seems to work for someone else" must lead to failure in the long run. Unfortunately, audiences seem to thrive on failure and confusion.

Now we learn that more and more people crying "entertain me" are chemically addicted to being in entertainment mode, and what we do as performers may be secondary to the excitement and thrill self-induced.

As Paul Valary quipped a century ago, "The trouble with today is that the future isn't what it used to be."

Me -- I am just going to make sure that what any audience expects and what I provide are aligned. Anything else would be trivial.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 31, 2015 05:49AM)
[quote]On Dec 31, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
Interestingly I haven't seen a lot about the opposite situation - doing "pure" Mentalism and then segueing into some mental magic. ...
[/quote]

Derren Brown, sort of... @ funsway: You are right, it is a question of expectation, self positioning and marketing. I wish more people would think about it... I have the pleasure to work in a program with a magician next week ... he told me already (not that I asked him, I do not care...) that he starts with the "Vanishing Coke Bottle" and then moves into a mental trick routine around a "Mental Board"... (his words)... We see, weak thinking, if at all, is everywhere. :) Jan
Message: Posted by: The Urban Entity (Jan 12, 2016 07:50PM)
I know I'm quite late to the party but I don't think people who perform bad mentalism trivialize it. Even if its some sort of reveal by being a bad performer. I'll go as far as to say even the reveals don't hurt mentalism. Sure, some people will pick up on it. But those who want to know the methods, probably just want to be "in the know".

I've seen this happen countless of times, many people who find out how the trick is done, so to speak, forgets. Why? They don't practice. They have a million and 1 things in life to do than to practice or even remember a trick. They may recall it. But they may remember. If they do, a good performer is good enough to slay them.

I think trivialization of mentalism actually happens.....NEVER! If you know what you are doing, you are going to rise to the top. If you don't know what you are doing, no one is going to be interested in you. People will subconsciously weed out the bad performers themselves, because they are not interested in their work.

Years ago, Valentino went and broke the proverbial code. People watched it. They still do today. Has that actually stop good performers from working and making a living? No. I would say that Valentino conned much of the public when he did his "reveals". Some of the stuff were real methods, most of it was illogical.

People want to be entertained. They want to be fooled. If anything, exposure showed me that the only ones who truly care about exposure are magicians. And the general public could care less about who exposed the trick.

Magic and Mentalism are a discipline. If you love it, you will keep at it. If you are just curious, eventually you will give up. The general public wants to be fooled and not be performers.

Like pro wrestling, we know of it today as "sports entertainment". There has been so much "exposure on techniques", companies like the WWE continue to thrive. Sure, fans most of the time have a working knowledge of whats going on technique wise, in ring psychology wise, and even the storylines are very predictable, yet its the showmanship that sells.

Someone like Peter Turner, floors with his skills. I have almost all of his material. Have a working knowledge of it, and I'm willing to say that I can't pull it off like him.

I have to "be my own man" and use my material that works for me. I hate to keep on rambling but, I just think we, as performers and creators, "overthink".
Message: Posted by: davidzajac1991 (Jan 16, 2016 03:56PM)
I think that creativity is something some people don't have and that's a problem for everyone when they expose. The solution as a mentalist is to always be creative. Don't be so critical of people who blow off steam by complaining when somebody ruins their show. I think that these people do have a lot of material that doesn't get named and they have the credentials to show for it. Right?
Message: Posted by: Michael Mindreader (Jan 20, 2016 11:10AM)
The same applies to public as well as magician/mentalists. Even on this forum people hinted each others method in a 'clever' way. It's just the nature of people when they see things they cannot explain and try to act smarter. I think as a part of the business, the best way to handle this is to live with it.. passive but hey..