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Topic: What do you call it?....HELP!
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 11, 2005 06:16PM)
Sorry for making the title of this thread sound like an episode from Trisha, but I need your help.

What on earth do I call myself and what I perform (mentalism)?

Now, it may seem like I've just answered my own question but let me continue. Here, in the UK, for those who do not already know a 'mentalist' is some one who is mad. Crazy. La la. Loco in the Coco! So calling your self a 'mentalist' here is not a good thing, unless you want half your audience gigeling behind your back.

There are many 'names' (or labels) that are used within mentalism by mentalists. I will offer my opinions (please not the are only MY opinions) on why they don't work for me. Otherwise you will just be confused by my question of what to call it, it being exactly what it is I perform and what that makes me a performer of.

Mentalist/Mentalism - is kind of off the cards due to the reasons mentioned above.
And also because, if your over the phone (an uncomftable position to be in) and state that you are a Mentalist, the person on the other end may miss-hear you and think your a reseptionist or some such. It could be very emmbaressing when you think youve been hierd to PERFORM at a large corprate gig, but actually they just want you to type up memos.

Mindreader - well I do like this one, mostly because of effect it has on some one. "Hello, I'm a Mindreader" can send a slight chill down someones spine which they didmiss with laughter, and then you prove it! (if you must). BUT, and as you can see, its a big 'but', it only explains half or part of what I do.

If I come out on stage claiming to be a mindreader, the audience have come to see (mabe even meet!) a Mindreader. When I start spazing about on stage with predictions and suggestion routines, they will be a little disappointed.
Another reason I am un keen on Mindreader is I saw Luke Jermay perform at the Fringe Festival, and what I feel was one of his weak points (sorry Luke, should you be lurking out there) was the promotional stuff called him a mindreader, but the only piece of 'mind-reading' he did was a quick fire Tossed out deck at the begining. Then he stopped his pulse, and donned a blindfold to tell us what was in front of him (logic indeed Mr. Corinder :)), I feel this confused the audience as they didn't know what to make of him.

I did think about calling myself a 'Mindreader and Suggestion Artist', but when I asked a few close frineds for their feedback, it was less than good.

Psychological Magic/Magician - I find this horrably 'twee' and cringinly bad. To many bad, and unwanted connotations to the word magic.

Psychological Illusionist - although more appealing than Psychological Magic, its still not for me. To see someone of my age and my 'style' calling themselves an anything 'illusionist' just doesn't quite gell. And illusion may have the same negative connotations as magic.

As you may have noted from above my personal choice is that of the 'Psychological Mentalist', but I am open to the idea that many 'believers' will want to believe in me as psychic, and I don't present my performance in such away as to make there belief in such things seem silly or stupid. I play to both audiences.

Of course there is Psychological Entertainer, which I like but again feedback wasn't good, as it doesn't really mean anything and one friend said it makes me sound like I might be some kind of weird clown!

So, guys and gals, I have a tough call, what the hell do I call myself and what I do?
Maybe I'm putting to many obstacles in my way where there needn't be any, but I am very aware of the fact that giving something a 'name' or perhaps more correctly, a 'Label' does suggest something about what it is.

So please, I ask for help, your thoughts and opinions, be brutal, be kind (take me roughly from beh..., ooops should stop there, my god is it really 15mins past midnite!)

I await your thoughts,
Message: Posted by: Allen Gittelson (Jan 11, 2005 07:16PM)
If you wish or feel the need to have a label that defines you, then you need to evaluate yourself and find the right label that works best for you. Understanding and identifying your goal and yourself will likely be very valuable aids in your pursuit. I wish you the best of luck.

Mental Wires,
Message: Posted by: Franmonet (Jan 11, 2005 07:20PM)
Psychic Entertainer or some people use Mystery Entertainer.
Message: Posted by: Mr Mindman (Jan 12, 2005 01:28AM)
I rarely perform, but magician and mentalist Steve Dela, starts his show by saying that he can't read minds, but knows what people think. Something like that anyway!
He calls his brand of "Mentalism" Visonary Thought Control.

Message: Posted by: Harris0n (Jan 12, 2005 02:50AM)
This topic has been discussed before:

Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 12, 2005 07:18AM)
Thanks guys for your imput.

Allen - Well I don't neseserly feel a need to label myself, just people will anyway. "So what do you do?" "Im a performer." "Oh, a musician?" "No, I perform mindreading and 'mind control' typr stunts" "Oh, so your like psichic?" "No" "Oh, well a mind reader then...." "Well sort of, I do other stuff to..." "Well, what the hell are you!"
It could be a very unpleasing convosation, mostly when looking to get a booking.

Franmount - good points, but 'psychic' is not a trap that id like to put myself and pthes in.

Jon - intresting. I have thought about comming up with almost my own name for it as my own premis is that I use mentalism but I'm not a mentalist. I don't mix magic with mentalism or anything like that. I wont describe it exactly coz it will more than likely throw people off topic.

Yaquensis - cheers for the helpful link.


Perhapes I am worrying to much about what to call myself and what it is I do. The main reason for my asking is not that of an identity problem but that of marketing myself.

My girlfriend (well ex-girlfriend, well.....you know. On a break! :)) said how about just Alex. Well actually Alex McAleer as that's my full name. And it did get me thinking, my promotional 'stuff' could just simple say "Alex McAleer - by combining Psychology, Mentalsim and Suggestin (thats my 'claim', for want of a better word, by the way and I call apon any one to prove it isn't 100% true! :) Alex can seemingly read, control and bend your mind"
Or words to similer effect.
But on bussiness cards it would be nice to have at least a 'tag line' under my name, like the great "The man who knows." or simply "Mindreader".

Message: Posted by: kinesis (Jan 12, 2005 07:58AM)
Performer of Mind Tricks. Paranormalist. Mental Illusionist. Manipulator of the Mind. Mind Magician. Exponent of the Paranormal. Thought Manipulator.

Use your imagination, You'll find something that fits. Good Luck
Message: Posted by: Tom Lauten (Jan 12, 2005 08:13AM)
Mind Magician
Psychic Magician
Thought Magician
Psychic Entertainer
Message: Posted by: art the magic guy! (Jan 17, 2005 01:23AM)
The mentalizer!!!! :)
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jan 18, 2005 10:31AM)

"Alex McAleer - by combining Psychology, Mentalsim and Suggestion Alex can seemingly read, control and bend your mind"

That's way too much copy.

Personally, I never cared for "mentalist." After Doc Shiels, my card when I did this sort of thing said "Paranormalist."

I also don't care for any of the wishy-washy names like "psychological illusionist," "psychological entertainer," and so forth. If you have a good strong show you can present it to mixed audiences and still let skeptics have a fun evening. There's no use apologizing in advance on your business card.

Maybe you have a phrase that is unique to you that represents your show that doesn't put a label on you. Here are some poor suggestions that you shouldn't use, but they can start you thinking:

"Wonders of the Mind"

"Beyond the Possible"

"World of the Psychic"

You get the picture.


Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 18, 2005 07:55PM)
Paul, thanks for the reply, I get what your saying.

Well a 'phrase' I like is "Psycho-Magic", from what little infomation we have on him, I belive this is what Corinda called his show.
that's not to say Im copying him but when I herd this and I cant for the life of me remember where or when, it just stcuk in my mind. It seems so perfect to me. It littraly means Mind-magic but with out the 'wishy washyness' (a very good way of puting it Paul.) and mabe a little edgie.

I also feel that it would also allow me to perform the 'other' things that I wish to perform, things that don't seem to be very in voge (sp?) at the moment, but still feel that it wont just confuse my poor audience.

But even as I write this, Im still not sure. Perhapes I should just let a 'name' for what I do grow around me, but that might mean more 'wishy washyness' of a different kind.

I am reminded of something the singer of a fav. band of mine once said (and I said in a similer post to this) "Let the music define the name, not the name define the music", I guess this could be applied to myself and what I do.
But people will always want to 'label' (give a name to) you and what you do, and I don't wish to be persived as a true psychic for many common and personal reasons.

I really have thought about all this before and since posting this (Ive been ill so Ive had the time!), and I think I have a 'solution' to what some might argue is a non-exsitent problem.
But still feel free to chip in any other thoughts.

All the best,
Message: Posted by: procyonrising (Jan 18, 2005 10:00PM)
Hi Alex,

Yours is a very real problem, and its solution will heavily influence your growth as a performer as well as a businessman.

"Mentalist" as a term is not very descriptive. I secretly believe most people use the term out of ego--to satisfy some need to make a living as a "mentalist"--or for the sake of ethics, since it bypasses the ethical hazards of "psychic" (or some related term, like "clairvoyant" or "seer" or "medium").

The problem with "mentalist" is that it requires a definition. Thus, you'll constantly find yourself needing to explain what you do. Though this may seem like a good thing, it's actually not, since (usually) this type of tactic tends to prevent market penetration (a good example is of someone who is looking for a reader. Now, you may do readings, but calling yourself a "psychological illusionist" or any other permutation of "mentalist," doesn't really convey that in the marketplace).

However, ALOT of people have done well with calling themselves "mindreaders" or "mentalists." Therein lies your other problem: how do you define yourself among other pros--especially when most mentalists tend to draw upon strikingly similar material? Difficult.

Another angle to this is to define a market niche which hasn't been touched by many mentalists. A guy on this board, Enrique Enriquez, once gave a brilliant suggestion for someone to aim for the rave scene. Someone's going to pick up on that one day and make a nice little living...

For something like that, since your competition is limited, would welcome your using "mentalist."

If you're going to do something more traditional, like associations and meetings, then you're going to have to come up with something. You're going to be in a tight market. And, you're right: (1) you should let your performance define you, and (2) you should decide on that definition first before someone defines it for you (personally, when I'm put in this position, I start off thinking "I should call him a bitch...")

I don't recommend mentalist if this is what you're thinking about doing because (a) the market is going to be difficult to penetrate with something like that and, (b) you can bypass all that by defining a new term, and placing yourself as the LEADER of a new category--albeit a category that's highly related.

That's all I can offer right now, especially since I don't know you or what you do or what you're capable of. However, I wish you the very best.

Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 19, 2005 07:50AM)
Many thanks for the great reply procyonrising (its copyed and pasted!).

My 'claim' (silent script) is that I use Psychology, Mentalism and Suggestion, as I said above, mabe if I difine what those mean to me, I may make myself a little clearer.

Basicly, some people choose to combine menatalism with...magic, or some combine it with Hypnosis, I on the other hand combine mentalism with suggestion and psychology.
That may sound like Im mad and rather pompass but its just the way I do it.
Perhapes if I explain a little more it may make more sence, Psychology, to me, is the study of the human mind, wich is true, and I don't just mean, every so often I ask people to think of a number between one and ten and hope they say seven! as some might belive. (NB: those who think that magic, mentalism or anything similer requieres No psychology of any sort are either bad performers or don't understand what 'real' not pop. psychology is.)
But also on the other side of this 'Psychology' coin, it means that in performance I can perform things such as 'mind over matter' type stunts (i.e. the human pin cusion, holding my hand over a candel for TO long, stoping my own pulse, etc.) and they still sit comftable in my vision.

Ill get to my 'definition' of Mentalism in a moment.

Suggestion to me is MORE than just MY word, tone and gestures SUGGESTING ideas in to peoples minds, it also means to me ANOTHER PERSONS verbal and non-verbal signels SUGGESTING ideas in to MY mind. This is in part how I can, or seem to, read minds. And its true think about Eye Cues, Muscle Reading, the Clues or Cues you look for when doing Cold Reading or using a fishing system.

Mentalism, is ofcorse the main back bone of my performance, but how I define it to people makes all the difference, to me it is 'the study of 'psychic' skillls and techniques' (in a similer way to how Psychology is the Study of the human mind).
From this premis it opens up a hole bunch of other doorways that 'psychological illusionists' cut themself of from. And when all 3 are combined (just like I claim) it can even open up doors for things that even those who claim psychic powers may have cast aside.
Now, I don't go in to big speal when performing about what mentalism is or means, I simply state or suggest, in a few effects that ive 'studed the skills and techniques that 'psychics' use.....', I then show them this to be true, often by bending a spoon.
I don't "expose" anything, I just do it. And I put a lot of acting 'as if' it where real in to it, so sont start shouting at me!

Im sure ive just anoyed and infuriated many. Well good, no one ever got any where by doing what other people thought they should or should not do.

By the way, procyonrising, Enrique's idea about the rave scene sounds good, some one will make and absolute killing. But it wont be me, its just not my kind of thing, my taste in music is more of the Nu-Metal, punky rock type stuff, and most of the people ive met who enjoy the rave scene are not my kind of people. To put it politly.

Well Im not sure if I'm comftable with posting MY OWN and VERY PERSONAL 'Vison', wich I have spen SO much time on creating, but I know most will dislike it and/or it wont make sence to some.
I think 'Psycho-Magic' is for me, as I can be, as you said, the LEADER of a new catagory.
"Alex McAleer's Psycho-Magic", I like it, thank you. Lets hope no one nicks it!
(NB: some of you may now be thinking, "well he 'nicked' it from Tony Corinda", well although your right, your also wrong.)

Be lovely to youself and each other,
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jan 19, 2005 09:03AM)
You're putting a lot of thought into this, as you should. "Psycho-Magic" might very well work, but if you say "Psycho" to me in a word-association test, I see knives in the shower, lunatics in hockey masks at the door, that kind of thing. Perhaps "Mind Magic" gets you off the hook here.

Go get 'em!


Message: Posted by: Harris0n (Jan 19, 2005 09:49AM)
Also be aware that 'magi' is the plural of 'magus'.
So unless your username is PsychoMagi because you 'are many', I'd seriously consider looking into ALL aspects of your chosen title before you decide upon it.
Afterall, this is something that could make you or break you in the future.
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 19, 2005 09:50AM)
I see your point Paul.
It is a bit odd me saying one of the reasons I don't like to use the word 'Mentalist' is because of its connections to Madness!

But I think with Psycho-Magic there may still be a few smerks and comments at first such as "Is he just going to be a magician who, half way thru a card trick, stabs you in the chest shouting, 'King of HEARTS, KING OF HEARTS! HEARTSsssss!!!!!!!'"
Im sure it wont be that extrem, but you get my point.

I guess I like it because a) it induces an intrest and makes people want to find out more, and when they look to find out more they will soon understand what it means, so to speak, and b) I like to credit my audience with intelegance (thats not to say that you don't but as Im sure you know many performers don't seem to, at leats not whe there on stage) and I would hope that there all intelegent enough to know that 'PSYCHO' was a brillient film by the Alfrid Aitchcok, (wich then remade really, really Badly!) and that 'psycho-' means 'of or relating to, the Mind'.

Plus the slight unerving taste to it appeals to me for some reasson :)

I shall have to see how its reseved.

Again, I thank you for your time and post,

Well I didn't know that 'yaquensi', I took it to be a 'shorted' version of 'Magician', from times past (you know when I mean, if someone was called a Magician, such as Merlin, he wasnt thought of as, "Oh god that Guy who pulls coins out from behind your ear at King Arther's X-mass party.").
Im very sure Ive read it used in that context. In fact I think the '3 wise men' who did come to visit the baby jesus baring gifts where/are reffered to as 'Magi' but then again that could have been 'Mage'.

Anyway, its only a username I choose a while bcak when loging in and I don't think you can change it, can you?

Message: Posted by: Harris0n (Jan 19, 2005 10:23AM)

The three wise men are sometimes referred to as magi but that's because there were three of them. Individually though, each one was a mage.
Message: Posted by: Steve Dela (Jan 19, 2005 01:41PM)
Jon, was right when he commented on my opening, I word it a bit differnt though.

My poster for my Visionary Thought Control show say... " I can not always read your mind, but I can tell you what your thinking"

I say that I do visionary thought control, which involves planting thoughts into other peoples minds via suggestion techniques. but my audience always know that this is for entertainment! I never lead them too far down the garden path, just incase they don't want to come back!

In Magic

Steve Dela
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 19, 2005 01:45PM)
I still like Max Maven's old bit "Thought Thief"
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 19, 2005 01:52PM)
Yaquensis, I am sorry, I didn't mean to offend, I was merly stating what I belived to be the case.
I am however sure, on this very bored people have reffered to themselves and other magicians as a 'magi', and thtas where I found it. I must have presumed wrong or others may have I don't know. Its probably me.
Besides, its just a username.
Message: Posted by: Harris0n (Jan 19, 2005 04:09PM)
PsychoMagi, no offence taken. Just wanted to point out the importance of knowing exactly what it is that you're selling. All is well. ;)
Message: Posted by: Alexander Marsh (Jan 19, 2005 05:58PM)
Good, good yaquensis. :)