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Topic: Branching out
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 6, 2018 07:28PM)
I'm interested in branching out into Mentalism -

I would like to start with 3 effects, but I'm so overwhelmed - from all the books, videos etc -

I would like 3 effects

A reading minds, a project thought and speak w/ dead...

Read minds - A c@nt@r t34r ?
Project thoughts - Out of this World
Speak w/ dead - Slate Immortality?

Book tests are pretty much off limits due to poor eyesight- -

Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated -
Message: Posted by: marc_carrion (Sep 6, 2018 07:48PM)
It seems that you are open to cards (OOTW), so you can do the three effects with cards

Reading minds - Any card control/peek/force and presentation
Project thoughts - OOTW if you are already familiar with it
Speak w/ dead - Haunted deck, or force and eerie reveal
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 6, 2018 09:31PM)
Marc_carrion -

Thanks for the help. I have all three of the tricks you mentioned in my arsenal. I was dusting off Haunted Deck as Halloween is coming -

Sticking with cards doesn't feel like 'branching' out too much from my regular bag of tricks. I left OOTW in because that was as close to a Mentalism presentation as I had. But if I change the presentation of the others, then it does change things quite a bit.

I'm still interested in learning some of the billet work - I work with coins quite a bit and love the sleight of hand involved, and some of the billet sleights intrigue me.

And again the Slate Immunity really intrigues me -- simple - but some good stuff there.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 6, 2018 10:34PM)
Just gonna say if your eyesight isn’t good enough for reading a book, deciphering sloppy handwriting in a CT is going to be brutal.

If you read Step 1 of Corrinda, you can do all three of your proposed effect categories.

Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 6, 2018 10:39PM)
Personally I say ditch the cards.

Reading Minds - Peek wallet like Blink or impression pad like the ParaPad.
Project Thoughts - Free Will by Corbuzier/Elmwood, or maybe Dream Lock by Alan Wong
Speak with Dead - Honestly, my first instinct is to say you're not ready to play this particular game. But perhaps something like Vox Dominus or a spirit bell of some sort. This is basically its own branch in itself so I'm not sure how to suggest anything useful.

But I also think you're just thinking about this backwards. You need to figure out your character and then from there you can decide what that character would do.
Message: Posted by: John C (Sep 6, 2018 10:44PM)
Go slow.
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Sep 6, 2018 11:27PM)
[quote]On Sep 6, 2018, Ironjim wrote:
I'm interested in branching out into Mentalism -

I would like 3 effects

A reading minds, a project thought and speak w/ dead...

(singing) One of these things is not like the others....
Message: Posted by: Smoking Camel (Sep 7, 2018 06:01AM)
Learn to read the Tarot or palms then learn the A-Z system.

Far more entertaining and intriguing then tricks.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 7, 2018 06:15AM)

get a grip on persona and presentation first...everything else is secondary...

Who do you wanna be, what's the skillset and WHY?

B*ll#t work and an I'm* pad will sort the rest out...
Message: Posted by: Jamie D (Sep 7, 2018 07:32AM)
I agree with Iain and take it slow. I have booked gigs with just a simple card reveal! whether it’s based off a for*e/control or with a mar*ed deck, it’s the presentation that makes or breaks it. Doing such things will help you practice because if you’re comfortable with cards, this will allow you to work out presentations and make what you’re doing seem real. You can’t go wrong with some of the suggested material above but start out with what you’re comfortable with, work on your presentations and go from there
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 7, 2018 09:31AM)
Thank you for all the comments -

Some of the bigger pieces I'm taking away from this is to find the character and let the effects fall in line with the character.

Eye sight is a limitation - but, I'm aware of the limitation and can work around it. In the past I've played up this weakness, and nobody ever thought I would be able to peek a card ;)

I've also noticed some concern with the speak w/ dead part - eh, to each there own I guess. Where do you draw the line on Extra Sensory Perception? Does that piece crossover to Bizarre too much? I'll keep thinking about that...

Again - putting together the character and the rest will follow.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 7, 2018 09:51AM)
Use the weakness as a strength, bad eyesight meant you appreciated sounds more and thinking time...you've how to truly listen etc
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 7, 2018 11:13AM)
Claiming to speak to the dead will cause all manner of reactions among the magicians out there. That's not really my concern, though - My concern is that it doesn't fit.

Reading minds and influencing thoughts is one thing - speaking to the dead is another.

There are many ways to play the part of the medium, but I think it's generally agreed that if you're going to try to do it convincingly you have to commit. "Is the card you're thinking of the Jack of Hearts? Yes! Excellent ... WAIT! I'm getting a spirit message from your aunt Mildred ..." - doesn't really work. Unless you want to be a caricature.

My concern is also that it feels like you're just treating this stuff like another set of tricks. That's not how one creates an effective mentalism performance, and definitely not how one creates an effective mediumistic performance.

In short - I suggest a lot more research before just deciding to do a routine where you appear to speak to the dead.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 7, 2018 01:38PM)
[quote]On Sep 6, 2018, Ironjim wrote:
I'm interested in branching out into Mentalism... [/quote]

I am curious as to why? We hear magicians by the dozens say this, but rarely do they ever give the reasons why or the reasons for their interests. So if you don't mind, what is attracting you to mentalism and why? Whats the reason, purpose or point for you?

My follow-up question would be - what do you see mentalism as? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 7, 2018 06:56PM)
Chris - Your absolutely correct, I did begin by thinking of this as another set of tricks. I'm trying to open my mind and listen to the above advice, and develop a character and allow the effects to come from that. And I'm going to be challenged on the Speak w dead- It may be a whole character by itself. ESP is a broad category ---- take the sixth sense "I see dead people" ... I don't have a great answer for it, I dig that stuff -- However, I am listening to all the advice - and I see the red flags around that concept - I would like to explore it a bit... maybe it fits my character, maybe it doesn't. One of my favorite performers is Eugene Burger, so a little dark is good to me.

Mindpro - Great question. Just as an example - I can watch a mentalist perform a trick. And man they really 'milk' the presentation. I can watch someone else perform the same trick - and it's one and done. (and believe me this is a gross over simplification and not meant to offend anyone.) And maybe I'm wrong, but really adding to the presentation. I think adding character to the presentation should be in there also.

As to your follow up question, I see Mentalism as taking the presentation a step higher. Also, the effects really hit home on some people. Just good stuff to me. And none of this is to say that you can't have a great presentation with magic. Sure, I could do 'mental magic', but I don't know, just exploring some options right now.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 7, 2018 07:45PM)
Thanks for the honest explanation of your thoughts and approach.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 8, 2018 12:31AM)
I find that most magic is effect without cause. Bizarre magic, broadly speaking, is stories where the magic is the illustration. But most magic is lacking a reason for the impossible to happen. Why do the rings pass through each other? What is the theatrical purpose of the little balls multiplying? Why does the coin move from one hand to the other? If someone could really alter the fabric of the universe and make impossible things happen, would he really waste it on sponge balls and egg bags? Therein lies the real problem with conventional magic, I feel.

Mentalism has a cause in the premise. I’m psychic. I know psychology that lets me figure things out. My brain works differently from most. I’ve trained my brain. Perhaps I hear dead people. Regardless of what your presentation is, the fact that there is a premise, a reason for what you do, a process, a purpose, this gives an explanation for the effect. Human beings are big on cause and effect and most magic is a bit disappointing because pure effect with no cause leaves us uncomfortable. It is easier to dismiss a performance as “just tricks” when there is no cause for what happens. Mentalism has an implicit cause, therefore is potentially a more believable performance art.

That’s what I think, anyway. I also think that too many efforts at mental magic are without a clear connection to cause. The performer says “I’m gonna psychically influence you to pick a card, the card I want you to find.” Then he f*rces the card and never explains how there was any influence at all. The trick is fooling, but not convincing. Because the cause isn’t really there.

Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 8, 2018 12:39AM)
Basically all I'm saying is do your research and be prepared for the possible reactions if you plan to delve into serious seance/mediumship kinds of presentations. When seance/mediumistic performances are down well there is a strong potential for extreme emotional reactions. Be prepared.
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 8, 2018 12:39PM)
I'm really glad I posted here first. Thanks for all the advice- I do appreciate all the red flags- and I'm taking those serious.
Message: Posted by: Mac_Stone (Sep 8, 2018 12:57PM)
Theres an ebook available at lybrary.com written by Bob Cassidy titled Fundamentals, start there.
Message: Posted by: ProfessorMagicJMG (Sep 8, 2018 11:22PM)
Before you become a mentalist, watch the old black and white movie “Nightmare Alley.” Seriously. Then just spend some time with your imagination, and imagine what it would really be like if you started experiencing paranormal phenomena in your life. Occasionally at first, then more often. What would your REAL emotional reactions be? How would you react? Who would you tell, and why? What would be happening? Watch the show “Shut-Eye” on Hulu, it’s just about the best depiction of what sudden psychic awareness would be like. Very clever show. Intuition is a very right brain thing. No words, lots of pictures, smells, sounds, symbols.

Maybe contacting other minds directly triggers your endorphins and you have become addicted to it which is why you started performing. Maybe you promised a psychic relative you would carry on the family tradition, but for you it is an embarrassing or even a begrudging burden, and you’re waiting for them to die so you don’t have to do it anymore. Maybe you’re a scientist testing a new experimental drug protocol for the military on an unsuspecting public. None of your audience will ever know your fictional backstory but it will put you in character and motivate everything about your reactions and your performance. Maybe you are a member of a LARP group who role play being mentalists for real audiences and then go out for pizza afterwards to laugh about it. Make up a good story about who you are and what is happening and why you are performing for the public and THEN start looking for mentalism that fits. I totally agree with Mr. Woolery, great comments.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 8, 2018 11:47PM)
This is great advice but most interested these days in mentalism here these days have little interest in psy, paranormal, ESP or actual mental abilities.
Message: Posted by: Ironjim (Sep 9, 2018 09:57AM)
@ProfessorMagicJMG - That movie suggestion was fantastic. It really hit the nail on the head. The act started with x-ray vision, then the audience lead it to speak w/dead. Great cold / hot readings as well. Really good movie, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

@Mindpro - I relate it a bit to coin magic. When I do a false take, if I believe the coin is in my empty hand, so should the spectators. I believe I feel it in my empty hand so that conveys over to them as well. Does that translate to mentalism? Do you 'believe' your reading minds even though you know the effect/method?