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Profile of gerard1973
My advice is to buy both the 13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda and Practical Mental Magic by Ted Annemann. They do not cost that much. Then go off by yourself and read them until you understand the "basics" of mentalism. These two books are your mentalism basics or foundations.

After reading and understanding those two mentalist classics you can then go off into many different directions with mentalism. You will probably have to ask someone here for advice after reading those two books. You cannot go wrong with Corinda and Annemann.

"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
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Profile of Osiris
On 2005-01-29 02:37, ChEeKy_MoNkEy wrote:
Mr. Wright - I too am new to this...I mean magic in general, not mentalism specifically. Initially my interest lies in close up, but I am intrigued by mentalism. I felt your post to Zac Vee was very helpful and informative, but I'm curious about one comment in particular:-

"...and leave behind the tired old peepers of the magician you, hopefully, no longer are".

Is mentalism generally looked upon as being more elite or superior to other forms of magic? I realise I'm focusing on "one" sentence from your post here, but it's a "feeling" I get from some of the many posts I've read.

I'd appreciate your comments.

As I said...just curious.

There was that Urban Legend from not so long ago that Mentalism was the proverbial icing on the cake when it came to a magician's career -- it was the crowning achievement towards which he would strive. Not because it is "superior" to traditional magic. In many ways Mentalism is far more limiting or "limited" than traditional magic. On the other hand, Mentalism is not crippled by some of the more negative elements allied with traditional magic... so you have your pros & cons. What creates the illusion of superiority is that the accomplished Mentalist MUST BE an adept showman.

Unlike traditional magic very little of what we do as Mentalists depends upon elaborate technique (a.k.a. finger flinging) e.g we are able to focus more on presentation and the finner nuances that transforms the revelation of what someone wrote on a small slip of paper, into a seeming miracle. In so doing, we completely remove, psychologically at least, any logical pattern that might lend to the patron some idea as to how we glean said insights.

Traditional Magic delivers illusions that appeal to the eyes and conscious mind. Mentalism on the other hand, involves but one single illusion -- the ability to enshroud oneself in a cloak of intrigue that alludes to the idea that you may be a mystic or something beyond the mundane. It matters not if your performance style is akin to Banachek's, Kreskin's or something upon the more surreal front such as what I and a handful of others do. The audience's perception is the key and no matter how large of print or bold of color your disclaimer may be, it's when they swear you are the "real thing" you know you're a genuine Mentalist. It's just that simple.

Yes, sad to say there are those in our ranks that can be rather arrogant. Some have been quoted as to say that they and others or their ilk, should never associate with the unknowns and ladder climbers of the trade. Fortunately, there are far more of us who are simply down to earth guys & gals that love to share and love to watch that sparkle in a young person's eye, when they finally discover how to fine tune their handling, and understand the diversity of this wondrous field.

Though there are those who will argue till the day Hades is frozen over, Mentalism is nothing like Magic. Once you can understand this, the rest seems to fall into place and the real miracles begin.

Best of luck!
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Profile of bloodkin

I started doing only mentalism 7 years ago. Not because I saw it as a higher level but simply because of the reactions I got. For me it's all about how the spectator reacts. "Cute trick" just didn't cut it for me anymore. But when crowds started forming around a table because I was bending things or making things move I knew this is where I wanted to go. But its much more than the effect that people will be reacting's you.
Tom Jorgenson
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Profile of Tom Jorgenson
As Alan tries to state, above: 13 Steps is THE book that will describe in detail all the tools and artifices of the field circa 1940's. That means, pretty much, all the tools of mentalism still being used today. The book was originally 13 $2 pamphlets, each on a different aspect/tool of mentalism. It is sort of the ABC's of the foundation of the field, and you will go thru many books and much money before you get that info as complete from other sources.

The niggling complaint 'Nothing Performable, no routines'is to be ignored. When you read all about NR's, for example, you use your knowledge and figure out FOR YOURSELF how to use them in play. Likewise for every subject taught in the book. This way you begin, at the beginning, to be original and yourself.

Keep in mind that advances in mentalism are of two kinds: Technical and method.
Not stated well, but what I mean is that there are materials now that didn't exist when '13 steps' was written. Lexan, Dry Erase, etc. Much of this technical advance in mentalism is rather useless for other than mental magic tricks (as is most all new tricks in mentalism).

METHOD advances in mentalism are only advances when they are lean, mean and elegant, such as Osterlind's Design Dupe System, or Rainbow Matrix, or one of the new Center Tears or Peeks newly available, for example.

The determination of what is practical and doable, is up to you when you get more familiar with the field. And, to get more familiar in the field, you need your basic understanding of what's possible IN the field: 13 Steps gives you that. Sort of like a Carpenter buying a book called "How to Build a House". After you know HOW to build a house, you can then decide the rooms, the color, the features. Your subsequent research.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
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