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Topic: Most important personality characteristics performing mentalism
Message: Posted by: Delimbeau (Dec 21, 2016 11:44PM)
What are the most important personality characteristics for performing mentalism? Stress-resistance, agreeableness etc.?
Message: Posted by: ParaLabs - Thomas (Dec 22, 2016 02:12AM)
Be it!
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Dec 22, 2016 02:59AM)
Believe who you claim to be. If you don't believe it, don't expect anyone else to.
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Dec 22, 2016 05:46AM)
^ICW nailed it here. You need to find some way to believe it, kind of like the 'method' actors allow their performances to flow from their internal experience of the material. When I perform metal bending, the method is nothing, I believe it. The me who is performing turns a blind eye to the awkward necessities of methodology and instead sees the *reality* of the bends. One of the reasons I love binary stuff is because internally it feels so close to what I want the real mind reading to feel like, it makes this so easy. When I built my dictionary booktest Thumbscrews, I constructed it to allow myself a moment that felt real, standing on stage with nothing and *knowing* their word with nothing else to help by my own mind. There is a kind of truth to it that way, it's hard to explain.

Phill
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 22, 2016 08:23AM)
Also congruency in addition to what ICW & Phill have said.
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Dec 22, 2016 09:19AM)
Strange questions you ask!? Both your questions (on this thread and on the other) are about what one must BE, not about what one must DO.

Do you mean that, depending on the answers you get, you will change your personality??? :rotf:
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 22, 2016 09:39AM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2016, ParaLabs - Thomas wrote:
Be it! [/quote]

Succent and to the point.

Forget about who you were. Forget about your past. Become who you now want to be based on what you want to project.

Often we embark on new adventures, careers... with our past in mind. We over think what we are now based on our past. It doesn't help you to move forward in the new venture especially if the new venture is... New! Especially if it has nothing to do with what you've never done.

If you are professing to be a mentalist your are either going to be one who demonstrates what a mentalist may look like by performing experiments or you will be a mentalist by demonstrating your real perceived powers. These are two very different objectives.

Today I am the one demonstrating what it may look like if I was a mentalist. If I could read minds and predict the future. But the objective is in showing how this can be done by using influence, body language and some subliminal demonstrations. (Which are all real powers and phenomenons)

So, is it real or is it memorex?

That's all I have for now.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 22, 2016 04:32PM)
BOLDness
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Dec 22, 2016 07:35PM)
Personally, I like to see a person who is at least apparently possessed of above-average intelligence, is eloquent, and believably experienced in life and with people.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Dec 22, 2016 11:38PM)
I'm going to add one more thing, rather arrogantly, considering the caliber of those who have already responded.

I think it is essential that you actually like people and show it.

Paul Draper has said in multiple places (including here on the Café) that a real mindreader would be able to understand the person before him and in that moment of complete understanding, to love that person as he loves himself. This is very poetic, but perhaps harder to act out than I am up for.

Bob Cassidy has the remarkable knack of being offensive without giving offense. His words, not mine. I believe it is because his participants can feel that he is playing with them, but not being at all unkind to them. When I watch him on stage, he is having fun with the "volunteers" and they are having fun, too. I have seen performers who do not like or respect people enough to treat them kindly and the result is they leave feeling "used."

A believable mentalist would actually care about the people he meets, in my opinion.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Dec 22, 2016 11:42PM)
Oh, and if you want a wonderful resource for this, read Dale Carnegie's book How To Win Friends and Influence People. The title sounds sort of needy and manipulative, but if I were to put a new title on it, I would call it How to Show Others they Matter and Get Your Message Understood.

Great little book. Worth studying.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: Second Sight (Dec 23, 2016 07:21AM)
I completely agree with your last two posts, Mr. Woolery. Once you learn a bit about someone, you can start to genuinely find them to be interesting. And that allows them to start to find you to be genuinely interesting. But it has to start by caring and observing and asking interesting questions that yield interesting answers. For some people this comes naturally. For others, practice makes perfect.

It's a more direct route to a connection than trying to win people over by impressing them. Impressing them comes second. Caring about them comes first.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 23, 2016 07:56AM)
I agree with Mr. W too - but I don't think that is unique to performing mentalism - that should be for performances across the board.... magicians, hypnotists etc.

I would hope at least :)
Message: Posted by: John C (Dec 23, 2016 09:23AM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2016, Dr Spektor wrote:
I agree with Mr. W too - but I don't think that is unique to performing mentalism - that should be for performances across the board.... magicians, hypnotists etc.

I would hope at least :) [/quote]

Unique to life! :)
Message: Posted by: Yuan Moons (Dec 23, 2016 11:01AM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2016, Delimbeau wrote:
What are the most important personality characteristics for performing mentalism? [/quote]
ability to appear sincere and honest whist BSing to the max. Not easy as it sounds.
Message: Posted by: jstreiff (Dec 24, 2016 10:17AM)
Today, engaging, interesting and humble.
Message: Posted by: January (Dec 24, 2016 12:38PM)
My day job is a teacher, and I've noticed that what you guys say above applies to teaching as well: there's a balancing act of claiming to possess some sort of unusual abilities through the mind--whether it's supernatural, psychic, or just being psychologically savvy, extremely observant, or possessing knowledge others don't--and then at the same time not coming off as too smug, condescending, or uncaring to audience members. As a teacher, my students want me to know more than they do because it's my job, but they don't want me to condescend to them or belittle them. That's where the caring part comes into the equation.
Message: Posted by: Delimbeau (Dec 24, 2016 04:15PM)
Great responses, many thanks!

Through my daily job I got to know many 'captains of industry'. After all these years, I think that the number 1 success-factor for a board room position is stress-resistance (not knowledgeability or the like). Secondly, my brother in law is a successful actor. He often still has to throw-up before a show. Apparently that is quite normal. Does any of this has an analogy to successfully performing mentalism? Cheers, Luc.
Message: Posted by: Al Desmond (Dec 24, 2016 04:35PM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2016, Delimbeau wrote:
Great responses, many thanks!

Through my daily job I got to know many 'captains of industry'. After all these years, I think that the number 1 success-factor for a board room position is stress-resistance (not knowledgeability or the like). Secondly, my brother in law is a successful actor. He often still has to throw-up before a show. Apparently that is quite normal. Does any of this has an analogy to successfully performing mentalism? Cheers, Luc. [/quote]

That taint normal.

I've been a live stage actor since I was 14 year old and I have never seen anyone who had to throw up before a performance.

Now, I've know some audience members who wanted to throw up after seeing some performances.

I'm going to upset some of the more serious folk here, but I do a comedy mentalism act and I think the most important quality is the audience know that I'm enjoying myself along with them.

That quality breaks down all sorts of barriers.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 24, 2016 05:17PM)
To be authentic to yourself and what you believe in, authenticity in general...

to be interested and interseting in equal measure...

to be comfortable in your own skin...
Message: Posted by: Mindipulator (Dec 25, 2016 01:50AM)
All well said.

I feel sincerity, confidence without cockiness, empathy and appreciation for your volunteers and a desire to entertain will engage and gain trust.

A smidgen of eccentricity helps too.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all.

Dale
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Dec 25, 2016 02:34AM)
Dale! 50 posts! Welcome to the club! Someone should be by shortly to show you the secret handshake. ;)

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: mindmagic (Dec 25, 2016 03:59AM)
Be yourself.

Some years ago, on a cruise, I got talking to a well-known comedy magician who was about to try out a mental act for the first time. His comedy persona is deliberately OTT, including a wig, but he performed his mental spot as himself. Someone sitting with me said "What a nice man" ... and I was able to confirm that.

Barry
Message: Posted by: Max Hazy (Dec 25, 2016 11:27AM)
Answering the question: Engaging.

That's the most important characteristic a mentalist should have.

Think about it. Everything a mentalist do requires some kind of connection with the participants. When he tries to influence them or interpret them, etc. How will the mentalist be able to convince people that he can do this or that, if he isn't able to connect with people? Even the anti-social types will need to be good at engaging when they do what they do (an archetype that comes to mind is Sherlock Holmes). So to me, be engaging is clearly the most important characteristic a mentalist should have. In fact, that's the biggest difference between a magician and a mentalist. A magician usually can perform for himself while practicing... a mentalist usually can't.

If you need connection to do what you do, you need to be good at connecting with people. The more the better. If you can connect with people, then you will get them on your side... and once they're on your side, everything you do will be 10 times better and stronger when they talk about you. So to me the answer to this question is clear: Engaging. The 2 main characteristics that enhance the potential of engagement to me are Charisma and Showmanship, regardless of how serious or funny you are. The rest will be personal to each of us, but you have to have some kind of magnetism to people, that's the key imo.

Max Hazy
Message: Posted by: Al Straker (Dec 26, 2016 03:21PM)
I think the number one requirement to work with other people in any occupation is love and I mean a real love for others that transcends all other considerations and drives a genuinely connected exploration of your time together that really counts in both of your lives as a great experience.

From a performance point of view a mentalist will benefit from characteristics that build interest in 'the special ability' being show such as eccentricity, mysteriousness, lightness of being, elegance, intelligence, and charm but I feel any of these play best as a natural extension of your own genuine personality. Sure a good actor can fake it for a while but the true master performer entertains using the best traits natural to their 'self' and discovers how to expose and extend their own natural 'self' in performance.
Message: Posted by: Rafael The Master Hypnotist (Dec 26, 2016 06:23PM)
Be Able to Lift only One Eyebrow

....
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Dec 27, 2016 07:17PM)
You must sell your soul to Satan himself in order to do mentalism the right way, that is the only way.

All jokes aside, to be successful IMHO and I'm sure others will agree to this... Be an authentic person.
THere is a positive correlation between how people see you and how you believe in what you are doing. Science calls this the placebo effect.
Show that you are an intellectual person with a passion for learning.
learn to listen.
Figure out what you are all about and stick with it, don't be a shotgun mentalist who reads minds, predicts the future, does problem solving equations and bends metal, keep what you are doing consistent and congruent, 3 abilities should be your max but we prefer that you keep it to less than two.

Separate yourself from the magic crowd - I'll explain why in a second... Okay second is up. Many magicians are not that socially skilled, many rely on magic as a crutch. You however, as a mentalist know how to connect with people. Sharing a meaningful moment with people should be your top priority above and beyond your ability.

The book that should be on your reading list is "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. I'll even throw in some of the founding fathers of the self-help genre, Napoleon Hill and John C. Maxwell.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Dec 28, 2016 09:10AM)
A few keywords springs to mind when reading the OP question:

Sincere
Genuine
Interesting
Likeable
Intelligent
Charismatic

At the same time, whatever you want to be seen as by your audience, you should strive to see those characteristics IN your audience members. Some performers don't realise that being genuinely 'interested' in your audience is half the battle so to speak. You can't fake it... it must come from you as a person.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 28, 2016 09:29AM)
So much of it you can't fake, such as sincerity, interest, humbleness, experience and oh yeah, talent.

For most, seeing a mentalist is a rare, special and exciting thing. We as entertainers must first and foremost remember this at all times and live up to or exceed this expectation.
Message: Posted by: Djin (Dec 28, 2016 08:58PM)
This brings to mind the classic George Burns quote. "Sincerity. If you can fake that you've got it made."

Seriously though. The book mentioned by a couple posters "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie is one of the greatest books about communication ever written. It should get an award as the horniest title in the history of forever. I strongly recommend it to anybody in any walk of life.