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Topic: Radio Magic
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 13, 2002 05:52PM)
I will appearing live on a Toronto based Radio station in late September and will be doing about 10-15 minutes spread out with commercials of magic done with listners at home. I have a program already for this type of media, however I would like to expand my techinques in this aspect. Is there any books anyone can recommend for me. Also is there a thread about this subject already? I did a cafe search but it was to vague to direct me to any specific posts regarding this topic.

Thanks,

P.
Message: Posted by: Glyn Coy (Aug 13, 2002 06:11PM)
Peter

If you haven't already, I would strongly suggest you check out Banachek's Radio Magic CD. It has tons on workable radio material, all of which is demonstrated through live recordings of it being performed.

You can buy it from:

http://members.aol.com/swells4691/
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 13, 2002 06:35PM)
I heard about that, so you recommend it? I will check it out! Thanks. Any other suggestions will be appreciated!

P.
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 14, 2002 08:30AM)
Peter

I highly recommend SB's tapes... lots of bang for the buck!

I must ask something though... are you promoting yourself as a "Magician" in these dates or "Psychic/Mentalist"?

I have serious pet peeves when it comes to Joe the Magician "borrowing" from the mentalist's arsenal, when it comes time to do a Radio spot. In short, I'm of the type that thinks a "Magician" needs to bolster his/her image as a "Magician" and leave the psi styled material to those of us specializing in Psi/Bizarre performances... As I've stated all too frequently, too many magicians are exploiting top end mentalism technology to their advantage and in doing so, deminish the power of novelty behind said effects, when presented at a distance, away from the idea of a "Magic Show" by a Psychic Entertainer... to my understanding, that is why groups like the PEA came into being and retain a great deal of technology... so as to preserve our art vs. allowing it to be overly commercialized and raped.

Pardon, I do not mean to "attack" you on this issue... just using your circumstances as a soap box I guess. :hrmph:

REMEMBER... the first time Copperfield made a jet plane disappear for the public, it was on live L.A. Radio :rolleyes: (it worked very well... touch base with Glenn Falkenstien, he can give you some of the details.) The moral of this story is... give a strong narrative and you can make the listener believe just about anything is really happening. So you might consider going with the gusto! :bg:
Message: Posted by: Paul (Aug 14, 2002 06:28PM)
re;
The moral of this story is... give a strong narrative and you can make the listener believe just about anything is really happening. So you might consider going with the gusto!

My father tells me when he was young, one of the hit radio performers in the UK was a ventriloquist.

Being IN the studio rather than on a live link is better. I always thought Lorayne's Numero Uno (in his lecture notes)was a good one for the radio, the presenter finally counting out loud the cards you cut off the deck. Goldman's Mental Yarn can be done on the radio. I have used others but would rather not discuss them :)

Paul.
Message: Posted by: Yaniv Deautsch (Aug 14, 2002 06:58PM)
Well Peter,
Which tricks do you already use?
I might have some suggestions for you but i need to know first your level of exprience and knowledge in the area of long distance effects.

Yaniv Deautsch
Message: Posted by: Sid Mayer (Aug 14, 2002 08:07PM)
You might want to think about modifying one of the many card tricks that can be done over the phone. You can talk about having a friend named (whatever he needs to be named) who is particularly sensitive to your mental wavelength. Your "friend" will hear all he or she needs to know by listening to the broadcast.

Sid
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 15, 2002 12:37PM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-14 21:07, Sid Mayer wrote:
You might want to think about modifying one of the many card tricks that can be done over the phone. You can talk about having a friend named (whatever he needs to be named) who is particularly sensitive to your mental wavelength. Your "friend" will hear all he or she needs to know by listening to the broadcast.

Sid
[/quote]

Ted Lesley speaks of doing this in PARAMIRACLES and in my experience the is one of the best ways for a magician to gain advantage of Psi manifestations e.g. working with a local Mentalist... possibly as part of a challenge routine... say a two-person telepathy bit, or card identification or any one of a dozen other bits a "Team" can offer.
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Aug 15, 2002 11:55PM)
I agree with Craig about the magician borrowing form the mentalist for radio gigs. I recently told many magician friends of mine that in the middle of my act I don't appear doves nor do I dissappear a rabbit. I don't have silks appear and dissappear - so would they please stop doing mental stuff in between their illusions.

The room was filled with an icy cold and a dead silence Joh Edwards could't have warmed up. Will they stop - nah.

But I do think they should. ;)

Enjoy!
Rex
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 19, 2002 10:42AM)
Thanks to all suggestions by all who contributed. I am not going to ruin any part of our art nor would I steal someone elses routine. I just wanted the references for techineque for my program that I am already doing.... After everything I have contributed to the magical arts and after 19 years in the biz, I wish I would get a little more credit than that. Anyway again thanks.

:wavey:
P.
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Aug 19, 2002 12:44PM)
Best wishes for a great radio gig!

Enjoy
Rex
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Aug 19, 2002 09:56PM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-16 00:55, rex sikes wrote:
I agree with Craig about the magician borrowing form the mentalist for radio gigs. I recently told many magician friends of mine that in the middle of my act I don't appear doves nor do I dissappear a rabbit. I don't have silks appear and dissappear - so would they please stop doing mental stuff in between their illusions.

[/quote]

Gosh, have I missed something all these years? I thought mentalism was, in fact, illusions. Coin magicians can do card tricks; card men do coin tricks. Unless you really believe you are doing something OTHER than magic (read that as "bold deception") I guess I don't get your point. The magicians I know (and respect) make no bones about it: they deceive, and they do it in a way that entertains. The marvel is that people can suspend their disbelief. The spectators realize that what is essentially banal manipulation can produce an effect that mystifies. It is humbling and entertaining; magic reveals a lot about how we humans are put together. Why should it be any different for mentalists?

I think it would be just fine for mentalists to saw a woman in half as they read her mind... it might keep the whole thing in perspective.
:nose:
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Aug 19, 2002 10:04PM)
No I have real powers. I eat when I am hungry and I sleep when I am tired.

It's just a matter of mixing jenre's.

Enjoy!
Rex
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Aug 19, 2002 10:12PM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-19 23:04, rex sikes wrote:
No I have real powers. I eat when I am hungry and I sleep when I am tired.

It's just a matter of mixing jenre's.

Enjoy!
Rex
[/quote]

Not sure that satisfying physiological needs is analogous. I guess I missed the rule forbidding mixing genres in the magicians' handbook.
:nose:
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 19, 2002 11:26PM)
Well, I was avoiding the topic, because we've been down that road sooooo many times, but there's a distinctive difference between mental magic and mentalism, which I believe is what Craig and Rex are alluding to. I've written on this extensively, as have many others, including Bob Cassidy and John Riggs.

Since I'm not in the mood to type it all out again, I'm going to reprint an excerpt from my book, [i]Ramblings & Revelations[/i], for you to see my detailed thoughts on the subject. Enjoy :o)

[quote]A common mistake which many magicians make when dealing with mentalism related material is to ignore the fact that there is a huge difference between mental magic and mentalism. To understand what I'm talking about, let's start with a couple of easy definitions.

First, mental magic is quite simply a magic trick that simulates mind reading. When David Copperfield performs "Room Service", "Dream Vision", or "Graffiti Wall", for example, he's performing mental magic.

Mentalism, on the other hand, is the demonstration of what appear to be psychic powers without any apparent trickery (whether it is claimed as actual psychic powers or not is something I'll address later in this book). Some effects can be performed as either mental magic or as mentalism, while others are distinctly one or the other.

Mental magic can use unusual props or everyday objects (which is not to say that it should, but that’s another story altogether).

Mentalism, on the other hand, uses only everyday objects (excepting the occasional crystal pendulum or similar items, but these still fall somewhat in the category of everyday objects, albeit less common ones).

I know this seems like a subtle distinction, and it can be a bit confusing, so let me try to explain it with some examples. The classic effect "Mental Epic" is, in my opinion, clearly a piece of mental magic. While it seems to demonstrate mind reading, it uses a big, odd prop that practically screams "gimmicked". There's something hokey about it that suggests to an audience that trickery could be involved.

If, however, you apply the same one-ahead method to an effect using just ordinary slips of paper, you have something that can be either mental magic or mentalism, depending on the situation it's framed in. If it's done as part of a collection of magic tricks, it's mental magic, but if it's done as one of a series of demonstrations of "psychic powers", it's mentalism.

For an example of mentalism that cannot work as mental magic, look at psychological forces such as what make up a lot of Pure Effect. For those not familiar with the term, a psychological force is when the performer gives a choice to an audience member or members that is structured in such a way that a vast majority of people will make the same choice. One familiar example of this is asking someone to think of a number from 10 to 50 in with both digits are odd and both are different. A vast majority of people will choose 37 (with 35 being a close second). Things like this can be used to good effect in a mentalism performance, because they seem like pure mind reading -- nothing's written down, something is just thought of and the mentalist reads those thoughts.

The big problem here, which is what prevents this from being usable as mental magic, is that it's not 100% failsafe. As a magician, if it doesn't work, it looks like you goofed up. As a mentalist however, there's a totally different atmosphere relating to the suspension of disbelief. Failing once in a while actually reinforces what you are doing -- it makes it seem more real. If you were using trickery, the audience thinks, you wouldn't make a mistake. Since you're making a mistake, you must be doing it for real! Pretty neat, if you ask me. As a mentalist, you can even structure your performance so that this failure doesn't even look like a failure. Done properly, it just passes as if nothing was meant to happen -- the routine is structured so that if the answer you want is given, you end up with a miracle, and if it's not, you just move on and the audience never realizes you meant anything to happen. If you tried this in a magic show, though, you'd be busted.

To summarize all of this, mentalism and mental magic each are different creatures, and as such each has different needs. There's frankly a lot you can get away with in a mentalism show that you just can't in a magic show -- hell, for all intents and purposes you could take a wild guess in a mentalism show and (given the right presentation) not have a problem if it was totally off.

On the other hand, mental magic is okay with (well, again this is a question of personal taste) "proppy" effects, ones that use unusual items such as special drawing boards a la Mental Epic, or ghastly metal blindfolds and other bizarre gadgets. In a mentalism show, however, these would feel "off" and totally out of place. It's incredibly important to define what you're performing so that you can effectively choose the right material for it.

That's it for this little rant, so think about it, and next time you talk about mentalism, take a second to see if that's what you're talking about, or if you really are referring to mental magic.[/quote]

(Note that I've edited some side discussions out of this article from how it originally appeared in my column at [i]Visions[/i] and how it appears in the book; my apologies if I've mucked up any of the clarity in making those edits, as I wanted to conserve space here on the board)

In other words, though, the problem is that the genres don't overlap as closely as some think; I think genre may not even be the right word. Mental magic is a genre of magic; mentalism, however, is a closely related but different art.
Message: Posted by: Sid Mayer (Aug 20, 2002 07:31PM)
You might look for Steve Shaw's "Radio Magic" volumes 1 and 2. It consists of two one hour audio tapes. Volume 1 covers "The Business of Radio Magic." Volume 2, called "Explanations," deals with a number of suitable effects and presentations of a mostly mental nature.

The copyright is dated 1989 by Scott Wells. It was produced by Magic Inspirations, 14506 Silver Lace Lane, Houston, TX 77070.

I don't know if this is still available.

Good luck,

Sid Mayer
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Aug 20, 2002 07:54PM)
Andy wrote:
[quote]
... but there's a distinctive difference between mental magic and mentalism, which I believe is what Craig and Rex are alluding to....

[quote]A common mistake which many magicians make when dealing with mentalism related material is to ignore the fact that there is a huge difference between mental magic and mentalism. To understand what I'm talking about, let's start with a couple of easy definitions.

...

Mentalism, on the other hand, is the demonstration of what appear to be psychic powers without any apparent trickery (whether it is claimed as actual psychic powers or not is something I'll address later in this book). Some effects can be performed as either mental magic or as mentalism, while others are distinctly one or the other.
...

Mentalism, on the other hand, uses only everyday objects (excepting the occasional crystal pendulum or similar items, but these still fall somewhat in the category of everyday objects, albeit less common ones).

I know this seems like a subtle distinction, and it can be a bit confusing...

...
[/quote]

On the one hand, you say the difference is huge; on the other you say it is subtle. I have trouble reconciling those concepts. I think the difference you describe is not enough to classify mentalism as a field outside of magic. Your distinction between mental magic and mentalism seems to be how subtle your deception is, how normal looking your "props" and how good your "outs." Sounds like magic to me. If you want to distinguish, I guess that's OK. Cardmen also distinguish between "the real work" and gaffs. One might require more talent and practice, but they are both magic. I think there is a danger that we might take ourselves too seriously. We are, after all, simply fooling people in an entertaining way (and with their implied consent). That's all. Some do it with double lifts; others do it with a center tear and sleight of mouth. I think it would be fine to do it with all of the above.
:nose:
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 21, 2002 04:41PM)
[quote]
Your distinction between mental magic and mentalism seems to be how subtle your deception is, how normal looking your "props" and how good your "outs." Sounds like magic to me.
[/quote]

You're really just describing the difference between good and bad magic. The difference between mentalism and mental magic is far more substantial.

I'll follow Andy's lead here and quote myself from "Theories and Methods":

[quote]


Both mentalism and mental magic are forms of entertainment. Neither is more inherently entertaining than the other.

Pure mentalism looks exactly the same as what I would call “pure magic” (best typified by the performances of David Blaine,) that are very direct and seemingly impromptu. They tend to defy logical explanation and actually appear to real magic. In both cases, many members of the audience may believe they just saw “the real thing.”

Mental magic and most theatrical magic are also indistinguishable. Both are obviously illusions or special effects, which are visually or intellectually interesting, but nonetheless are generally perceived to be tricks by even marginally intelligent audiences.

HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE DOING MENTAL MAGIC OR MENTALISM:

Pay attention to what audiences generally ask after seeing you perform. Do they ask things like:

“How is that done?’
“Can you show me another trick?”
“My five year old has a birthday coming up, what do you charge?”

If your answer is “yes,” you are doing mental magic, which is best described as “effects with a mind reading theme, which are, nonetheless, perceived to be magic tricks.” They do not create the illusion of the “real thing.”

If, on the other hand, you have succeeded in creating the illusion of mentalism, you will receive responses like these:

“Did you learn that somewhere, or is it something you were born with?”
“How did you know that?” (as opposed to “How did you DO that?”)
“Get away from me, man. Don’t be messin’ with my head!”

Mentalism and mental magic, then, are different forms of entertainment. Both elicit different perceptions and reactions from an audience. The mentalist, therefore, has an ethical responsibility unknown to the conjuror or mental magician, for he is in a position to make people believe in, and rely upon, to their detriment, his alleged powers.
[/quote]

Best Regards-

Bob Cassidy
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 21, 2002 08:11PM)
:eek: Did I stumble into a philosophy class? :rolleyes:

Love your thinking Bob! (Andy already knows what I think of him )
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 21, 2002 11:45PM)
Hmm. I wonder if I could pull off a directed study course for my spring semester here at Emerson--"Philosophy of Mentalism". Cassidy, Brown, Corinda, etc. could be the texts. Heck, I could probably even scam them into letting me use my own book as a text. This might have potential ;o)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 22, 2002 12:31AM)
[quote]
On 2002-08-22 00:45, Andy Leviss wrote:
Hmm. I wonder if I could pull off a directed study course for my spring semester here at Emerson--"Philosophy of Mentalism". Cassidy, Brown, Corinda, etc. could be the texts. Heck, I could probably even scam them into letting me use my own book as a text. This might have potential ;o)
[/quote]

Now we're talking, Andy! We could work out a kickback on the texts and go for the big bucks! :)

Seriously, though, we're not really talking about philosophy here. We're discussing audience psychology. (although that could be a profitable course as well!)

It is not what we're actually doing that classifies our work as mental magic or as mentalism. It is how the audience perceives our work. The "Holy Grail" here, if you will, is the ability to actually control that perception.And without a firm understanding of the psychology of deception the "quest" is doomed to failure.

For those interested (ad time!), part three of "Fundamentals" deals almost entirely with the psychology of deception in general and mentalism in particular. Part three will be released by the end of this week.


Best-

Bob Cassidy
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 22, 2002 09:08AM)
:mad: Bob... I hate you!

You're cruel in how you tease us with your wisdom.

The college course idea however could work in a very frightening way... I may have lent the spark to a new market and career direction (and Andy was concerned about the competition... just invent a new niche where there is no competition.) :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 22, 2002 11:05AM)
Just to clarify, I was referring to a self-study (known as a directed study) DIY course that I could take during my spring semester; alas, much as I wish I could find enough people to take a class....wait a second, I don't want that, that would result in tons of competition...eek!

In all seriousness, though, I [i]am[/i] working to see what I can do to do a self-study course on psychology as applied to mentalism through an advisor of mine (I'm a psychology minor). If I can pull it off, I'll keep you updated :o)
Message: Posted by: Luke Kerr (Aug 22, 2002 11:45AM)
In addition(in my humble opinion) I think that mental magic and mentalism also depend on the performer's character.

If one that does card magic,looks like a cardician, or so on do a mental trick or use psychology he is doing mental magic ,because his character keeps him away from the mentalism effect,mentalism effect is in the way the specs look at you and if you look like a trickster they don't believe that you could read their minds also if you are an X-MAN with this mutant power REALLY!!!!
How the people feel the effects is more important than how the effect is done...and the way they fell depends strongly on your character,so I think that it's not good for mentalism in genre and for the performer too ,to do some very effective mentalism tricks with a "trickster character" or in the middle of an esibition of sleight...
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 22, 2002 04:32PM)
Wow! Im sorry for causing such a huge disturbance in the Force! Maybe next I won't bother asking for suggestions. Btw thanks for those great references Sid.

:)

P.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Aug 22, 2002 09:58PM)
Peter, there's no reason to be sorry or to not ask for suggestions in the future. This discussion grew out of what you asked into a broader discussion. The answers aren't specifically aimed at you, and shouldn't be taken personally.

That's how these message boards usually work; one person asks a specific question, and in the process of answering said question, the discussion broadens and is answered on a more general level.

--A
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 23, 2002 11:15AM)
Peter

Andy is right... forum threads, like a Fantasy Role Play Character, always take on a life of their own and mutate... sometimes we manage to get back on the original thought train... most of the time we don't.

Another "problem" with these things is understanding implication... I'm terrible for using the "wrong words" or "wordage" or even leaving bits and pieces of info out of things and it gets me reamed (at least once a week). Writing out pov's don't always translate "right" in the mind of those reading the material and too, it can be misinterpreted based on the reader's attitude & frame of mind at the time it's read... the list of "why" things go astray is staggering and just about as bewildering as paranormal manifestations ;)

Hang in there!
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 23, 2002 05:21PM)
I was Joking guys...LOL! I know how the boards work LOL. Thats why I left a little happy face. I do appreciate all the suggestions I have recieved from this post and others. I have a lot more important things to think about than that.

Talk to ya later,

Best,

P. ;)