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Topic: Beginning in Mentalism
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 8, 2016 01:40AM)
I'm a regularly performing magician and I'd like to work on some mentalist routines.

Could anyone recommend a book, DVD or download to start off with?

Thanks!

Ken Noesgaard
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Aug 8, 2016 08:08AM)
Henry Hay - Amatuer magicians handbook
Tony Corina - 13 steps to mentalism
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 8, 2016 09:02AM)
First I have to ask - what is your motivation behind this addition?

From your post and your profile pic I have to assume you're usually more of a classic magician/clown?

I am thinking maybe you're looking for mental magic rather than the likely significant amount of change to performance style that mentalism would require.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 8, 2016 10:23AM)
Couldn't agree more. My first thoughts were the exact same.

Perhaps the first step is to understand the difference between mental tricks and effects, and Mentalism.
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 8, 2016 12:16PM)
That is my current target audience, yes.

I'm looking to diversify. I get requests for gigs with adult audiences and I find the mentalism show is a very interactive genre. Classic magic is a bit more demonstrative and the interactive is more my style.

For children's shows I will stick to my tried and true clown magician/balloon twister shtick, but this would be a whole new act, new persona.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 8, 2016 02:50PM)
Ok! My advice is to start with Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals. Though you will get a lot of recommendations for 13 Steps, I look at that one as more of a reference volume. You wouldn't learn a language by reading the dictionary.

The big decision you want to make is: Are you doing mental magic, or mentalism.

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. They require distinctly different theatrical approaches to do well, and frequently the results will be drastically different as well. Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief.
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 8, 2016 03:40PM)
That's what I was looking for!

Thank you, I'll track that down.
Message: Posted by: gmeister (Aug 8, 2016 08:30PM)
[quote]On Aug 8, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
Over

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. . . .Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief. [/quote]

Nicely said.
Message: Posted by: dgcoates (Aug 13, 2016 02:28PM)
[quote]On Aug 8, 2016, Sean Giles wrote:
Henry Hay - Amatuer magicians handbook
Tony Corina - 13 steps to mentalism [/quote]

For me this is an easy one: Anything by Patrick Redford....his new book "Applesauce" is stunning. I see him often working the counter at the Wunderground Magic Shop, in Clawson, Michigan
Message: Posted by: dgcoates (Aug 13, 2016 02:37PM)
[quote]On Aug 8, 2016, gmeister wrote:
[quote]On Aug 8, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
Over

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. . . .Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief. [/quote]

Nicely said. [/quote]

But we must be careful to not abuse the ability to make someone believe and imply, either directly or indirectly, there are spiritual/mystical forces at work....See the foreword by Teller in PS1 by Bannachek
Message: Posted by: dgcoates (Aug 13, 2016 03:02PM)
I love to do mentalism for a variety of reasons: (1) as expounded upon by Max Maven; A wrong answer can be stunningly more profound and amazing than the "right" answer...once I was doing "Destination Unknown" by Ickle Pickle and gave the wrong answer and the spectator grew very silent and turned pale. He stated that's not what I chose but its really weird because I was just in "Hartford" for my father's funeral. This required some delicate and compassionate handling, of course. 2) Mentalism offers way more opportunities for amazing coincidences...was once doing the Dekram Deck for mother and her young teen age son...when she stopped on "my card" it was the six of spades. She asked if I could do it again for her son and when he stopped on "my card" it was the Seven of Spades..six and seven of spades. I really played that up, before revealing the card, and spoke of intense love and bonds between mother and son and how genetics can even influence thought. I just improvised as I went, like that was exactly what I had intended. Another strange coincidence was when I happened to have "Free Will" (by Corbuzier) in my pocket and, without any promoting from me, the conversation turned toward the religious thoughts regarding Calvinism (predestination) and Arminianism (free will)..guess what came out of my pocket?
Message: Posted by: dgcoates (Aug 13, 2016 03:03PM)
Prompting from me
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 14, 2016 08:23AM)
When I say "mentalism encourages belief" that does not mean belief in the supernatural.

Whatever you claim in mentalism, the performer is encouraging belief in that claim. If you claim to be a master of suggestion and influence, like Derren Brown, then you are going to be building your presentations around psychology, maths, etc.
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 16, 2016 02:41PM)
[quote]

But we must be careful to not abuse the ability to make someone believe and imply, either directly or indirectly, there are spiritual/mystical forces at work....See the foreword by Teller in PS1 by Bannachek [/quote]

We must always use our powers for good...
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Aug 16, 2016 03:00PM)
I'm not going to get into trying to tell you what's right and what's wrong, what is mentalism, and what it isn't. No point.

Have a look at Richard Osterlind's "Easy to Master Mental Miracles" series. Why? Several reasons.

First, you'll learn a good variety of some classic effects that you can master relatively easily. There is also more than enough material in this 4 volume series to build a show with. Even if you decide afterwards that maybe mentalism isn't your cup of tea, you'll still have learned some excellent effects that you'll probably use regardless.

Second, Osterlind is a great Mentalist. He has a pleasant personality and will give you a great visual example of how this branch of Magic should be presented in performance. There are other approaches to be sure, but Osterlind's is good and solid.

If you're still interested and want to go further after that, there are many excellent resources available. A quick search here on the Café will give you more than ample information to take it from there.

Best of luck
Message: Posted by: B_man2012 (Aug 16, 2016 04:18PM)
I agree with Sudo,

EMMM is a great series that thought me the fundamentals of mentalism. Richard's likable personality along with his mastery of the art will give you more than you can hope for.
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 16, 2016 05:14PM)
Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

I have ordered:
13 Steps to Mentalism
Practical Mental Magic
Prism by Max Maven
Fundamentals by Bob Cassidy
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 16, 2016 05:17PM)
[quote]On Aug 16, 2016, Sudo Nimh wrote:

Have a look at Richard Osterlind's "Easy to Master Mental Miracles" series. Why? Several reasons.

[/quote]

Is EMMM a video series?
Message: Posted by: B_man2012 (Aug 16, 2016 05:21PM)
Yes, its a DVD set
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Aug 16, 2016 07:26PM)
Try not to bite off more than you can chew at first. Baby steps.
Message: Posted by: Nestor D (Aug 17, 2016 10:14AM)
[quote]On Aug 16, 2016, noesgaardk wrote:
I have ordered:
13 Steps to Mentalism
Practical Mental Magic
Prism by Max Maven
Fundamentals by Bob Cassidy [/quote]

That's a lot of dense material (most of it was not designed for someone starting in mentalism). I would also probably go to one of Osterlind's video at first (his setps on penguin cover a lot of ground).
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 17, 2016 10:33AM)
[quote]

That's a lot of dense material (most of it was not designed for someone starting in mentalism). I would also probably go to one of Osterlind's video at first (his setps on penguin cover a lot of ground). [/quote]

Okay! Probably a valid point.
I'll order the download from Penguin.
Thanks!
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 17, 2016 12:09PM)
Which Penguin video were you referring to?
Message: Posted by: B_man2012 (Aug 17, 2016 12:15PM)
Just type 'osterlind' in Penguin's search bar and it'll pop up.

Not sure if Nestor D is referring to Osterlind's steps or his covering of Corinda's.
Message: Posted by: Nestor D (Aug 17, 2016 02:18PM)
I was refering to Osterlind's step (not his redition of the corinda one) : in those he covers most of his material which includes work with cards, spoons, blindfold, billets, etc.

Some of his step are not perfect and quitte partial but, sticking to his work only, you will have all you need for a long time (if not forever). He is a great teacher and his material is especialy simple and direct, that's probably the best way to start :)
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 17, 2016 03:57PM)
[quote]On Aug 17, 2016, Nestor D wrote:
I was refering to Osterlind's step (not his redition of the corinda one) : in those he covers most of his material which includes work with cards, spoons, blindfold, billets, etc.

Some of his step are not perfect and quitte partial but, sticking to his work only, you will have all you need for a long time (if not forever). He is a great teacher and his material is especialy simple and direct, that's probably the best way to start :) [/quote]

I see at Penguin that Osterlind has done video series' on both 13 Steps by Corinda and Practical Mental Magic by Annemann.
I don't see anything else called Step. I did purchase Penguin's Richard Osterlind Live 1. We'll see what that's like.
Message: Posted by: B_man2012 (Aug 17, 2016 03:57PM)
Agree with Nestor - everything Richard puts out goes a long way. His materials will provide a jumpstart to any beggining mentalist.
Message: Posted by: Nestor D (Aug 17, 2016 04:45PM)
You can search for "Osterlind's 13 Steps" on penguin website and pick the steps on the subjects you want to explore. Here is the first one :
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5480

The complete pack can also be bought on Osterlind's website :
http://osterlindmysteries.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=102

His live video are also great (and contain most of the material) :)
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Aug 18, 2016 12:29PM)
While I will recommend the usual - 13 steps, etc. For you I would say that you need to figure out who you are. Character is probably the biggest weapon a mentalist has and unfortunately - a weapon that has been neglected for many. If you figure out who you are as a mentalist and as a person - you will be afforded much forgiveness when something goes wrong.
As for resources - read, watch, hear just about anything and everything Bob Cassidy has out but do not get into the trap of becoming a Bob Cassidy - work on you while you're learning from Bob.
Message: Posted by: noesgaardk (Aug 18, 2016 12:36PM)
Good advice.
Message: Posted by: Sudo Nimh (Aug 18, 2016 12:48PM)
This isn't really complicated. Just get a couple of videos (like the ones I recommended or similar), learn to do a few of them well, and go to it. Everything else falls into place with time.
Message: Posted by: Forty Six & 2 (Sep 4, 2016 10:14AM)
For me, memorizing a deck was my first introduction to real mentalism. By tweaking my presentation of the divination of a thought of card over the years I learnt the subtleties that really sell the illusion. May I recommend Mind Mysteries vol.2 by Richard Osterlind as well as the other videos in that series :)