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TheNightBringer89
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Hey Guys, I've been doing magic for 3 years, have just been doing pure mentalism for only one year so far. I love mentalism much more, one thing I have noticed though. Most magicians seem friendly, willing to help, and very nice people. But a LOT of mentalists I have met or talked to seem to have a very arrogant, stuck up, I'm better than you attitude. That’s actually one of the reasons it took me so long to find out how great mentalism was, because I was so turned off by the attitudes of some mentalists. I sometimes miss that warm brotherly feeling magicians seem to have, when I converse with other mentalists, I get a cold feeling. Like I have to prove myself before they will even consider helping. Why is that? Also there seems to be so much more tension and conflict in this forum than the others. Basically I guess I'm just saying, cant we all just get along? Respect each other’s differences and opinions? And most importantly help each other out to further our loved art?
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

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Steve Dela
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This may be because there are technically (read that again before arguing!...Technically) less moves etc. in mentalism and it would be easier for you to catch up to their level of performance. (They are scared of you taking their work).

I have a lot of Mental friends that are always willing to help though.
This may be because my main interest is in the Magic side of our profession.

In Magic
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RickSilmser
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Hi ya,NightBringer...read some of the answers I got on my "Are you a Mentalist or what" posting...there you will find some of whom you speak of...the "I've been doing this for 5 years and me and my act walk on water" bunch. Don't let it bother you, brother.

You are you and just the fact that you notice they are out there means you aren't one of them. Personally, I don't hang out with anyone in the business, don't belong to any clubs or groups and don't go to conventions, it was advice given to me by a very wise person.

~Rick~
bootweasel
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The down-side of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you're pretentious.



Perhaps some of it is a money issue. Spending massive amounts of money on books and products often changes the way people value information. Sometimes this makes us forget to treat other people with respect.

It also seems like there is an unspoken understanding that the ingenuity of a methods directly represents the intelligence of the creator (and, by proxy, the performer's). So whilst it is possible to discuss the benefits of one sleight over another, criticising someone's new mentalism pad is like directly calling them a 'thicko'.

Mentalism is also quite theoretical so it can seem that you don't need to perform an effect in order to evaluate its merit. Everybody has an opinion. Not always a good thing.

There are a whole bunch of great mentalists about, but they tend not to shout the loudest.
David Numen
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An interesting topic as I would say my experience is somewhat different. When I was more into general magic and joined the local magic club, I felt very low in the scheme of things. Furthermore, as time moved on and as I grew older and wiser I realised that a lot of people were like me - socially inept and using magic to hide behind. Go to any magic club or convention and you will see an army of the socially inept.

I am also into a long-running sci-fi show in the UK and the same phenomena applies to conventions for that - an army of socially inept and insecure people.

I do think there is a worry that with the popularity of Mentalism attracting more and more new wannabes (look at this forum for one example) that Mentalism will become the same as Magic. Thing is, it can never be. Personality matters much much more and it'd be difficult to have any degree of success with Mentalism unless you have a personality - in magic it tends not to be so necessary! Don't get me wrong, I love good magic and good magic requires personality too BUT it is rarely demonstrated by the masses.

Anyone I have approached for advice or help in Mentalism has been extremely courteous and helpful - even people I disagree with strongly.

There is certainly a snobbish attitude with some - check out Maven's comments in early issues of Stan Allen's Magic Magazine about amatuer magi thinking it's their god given right to approach pros. In many ways he is right - why should we approach pros if we haven't reached a certain level?

The truth is a lot of the real pros are too busy working to hang around here and whilst we do have our fair share of pros here - who can all be helpful and great for advice - the reality of the situation is that their presence is usually connected to the number of products they have on the market. Smile

Regards,

David.
tmoca
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 04:47, Steve Dela wrote:
This may be because there are technically (read that again before arguing!...Technically) less moves etc. in mentalism and it would be easier for you to catch up to their level of performance. (they are scared of you taking their work.)

I have a lot of Mental friends that are always willing to help though.
This may be because my main interest is in the Magic side of our proffession.

In Magic
Steve Dela


WHAT!!!?? I TOTALLY disagree. I feel mentalism is much, much harder to perform than "magic".

You actually need a personality and need to be well spoken to perform mentalism on a professional level. For a mentalism show to work you have to entertain them with your words, not just visual tricks, which by the way, "just tricks", CAN hold someones attention. For a short time at least.

I can't tell you how many stage (and close-up for that matter) magicians that I have met that do a silent act or an act with minimal speech and it's a GREAT show or set. But get those same introverted guys in a room and try to hold an intelligent conversation....forget it. And most of the cookie cutter magicians that are out there aren't performing at all. They are doing tricks. They can entertain for 5-10 minutes with those tricks, but I highly doubt they can pull off a 45 min show without any VISUAL stunts. While engaging there audience with the words they use.

IMO, mentalist don't appear to be as "open" about the subject because these are the guys that have been around for years and they don't (just as I don't) want to see this style of magic made as commercially available and trivial as traditional magic has become.
Ken Dyne
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With soem people I have spoken to of recent the reason they appear so unapproachable is because of their on stage personas. I for one would not like to meet Maven down a dark alley. Many of us mental types have a fearful persona. Unfortunatly that is how I began performing, I wanted to make my audience afraid of me. I now have a very different approach. I chnaged for a number of reasons. Primarily because I am a scary or serious prson and it is much more natural for me to be sarcastic and rather risque in my humour. Also, when Derren Brown hit the television netwrs of the UK people were saying that I was like him. Since he was bigger than me, and fanmous I did not wat to appear to be a Brown rip-off, so chnaged for that reason also.

Mainly, it was because I couldn't keep a straight act throughout andy longer. I had to let the real "Kennedy" out. Maybe I was hiding behind the scary, serious character while I got my confidence?

Best,
Kennedy
MR GOLDEN BALLS 2.0: https://mentalunderground.com/product/mr-golden-balls-2-0/" target="_blank"> https://mentalunderground.com/product/passed-out-deck/

BAIRN: Named 'Best Mentalism Product Of 2014 by Marketplace of the Mind is my collection of more than 40 mentalism routines in a beautiful paperback book: http://www.mentalunderground.com/product/bairn
ESP Guy
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 04:10, TheNightBringer89 wrote:
Most magicians seem friendly, willing to help, and very nice people. But A LOT of mentalists I have met or talked to seem to have a very arogant, stuck up, I'm better than you attitude.

The PEA MOTMs are nothing BUT sharing, helping, etc.

Thom
Dave1216
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Mentalism (and all magic in general) is a sword. It is a great thing that can hurt you if not handled properly. Think about how easy it is to lose control of your ego as a magician........you constantly have people telling you, "You are amazing"......."you are wondeful"......"I wish I could do what you do."

If you hear these statements enough times, you are bound to believe that they are true and that you are somehow "better" than other people.

I have always said that 90% of the magicians I know fall into 1 of 2 categories. Either (a) Nice, friendly, helpful people who truely "get" the gift that magic is and just wants to make the world a better place........or they are (b) some of the most annoyingly cocky people that you don't want to spend 2 minutes with. It is THESE people who do magic because "I know the tricks and you don't...ha ha ha ha"

Bottom line. Some people "get it" and some people "don't"
My new DVD ("The magic of David Corsaro") is now available from your favorite dealer. Watch the DVD that Daryl, Jon Allen, Shawn Farquhar, Boris Wild, Marc DeSouza, Asi Wind and Paul Green ALL ENDORSE.

Visit www.timetobeawesome.com to watch the new weekly Video Blog for magicians, "Time to be awesome."
chichi711
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 07:18, Kennedy wrote:
With soem people I have spoken to of recent the reason they appear so unapproachable is ebcause of their on stage personas. I for one would not like to meet Maven down a dark alley. Many of us mental types have a fearful persona. Unfortunatly that is how I began performing, I wanted to make my audience afraid of me. I now have a very different approach. I chnaged for a number of reasons. Primarily because I am a scary or serious prson and it is much more natural for me to be sarcastic and rather risque in my humour. Also, when Derren Brown hit the television netwrs of the UK people were saying that I was like him. Since he was bigger than me, and fanmous I did not wat to appear to be a Brown rip-off, so chnaged for that reason also.

Mainly, it was because I couldn't keep a straight act throughout andy longer. I had to let the real "Kennedy" out. Maybe I was hiding behind the scary, serious character while I got my confidence?

Best,
Kennedy


I have never understood the "fearlful" persona. It works for Maven, but to me a "fearful" persona comes across wrong to spectators (I am smarter than you are). Why is this becoming the norm when it comes to on stage persona's?

I am an Osterlind honk. Osterlind usually tells his audience that they can have the same skills if they would just devote time and practice etc etc. I think that actually opens the audience up a bit more.
enriqueenriquez
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When you are not clear about why you want to be a mentalist, you may tend to confuse people’s desire of being amazed with gullibility or inferiority. You read a method, so simple that you find it inconceivable, and when you perform it successfully in front of somebody, instead of being grateful about having the opportunity to make a connection with that person, you feel that you are superior. You are cool, a great guy. So cool that even when you “didn’t really try” you impressed them.

If you keep going that way, the distance between yourself and others grows, because the only thing you want to make clear is that you are great. Buried under tons of forces, gimmicks, psychological theories and NPL methods, you forget that before being a mentalist, you have to be human.

It happens all the time.
Necromancer
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Why are established mentalists sometimes reticent to share with the new kids on the block? One word: protectiveness.

Many in the industry see the art of mentalism as an entertainment under seige. It used to be an area little-explored by performers of straight magic, who long-dismissed mentalism as "boring." This was fine, because to the public, the few who performed it were strange and rare.

But then along came Blaine and Brown, who put it on TV, made headlines, and woke up the magic crowd to the idea that maybe mentalism wasn't so boring after all. Instructional DVDs were quickly burned to capitalize on this discovery, which spawned an army of wannabe mindreaders set to scramble up the stone fortress walls of mentalism with the Easy to Master/Maven/Banachek/Nyman/Spellmann DVD series bulging in their knapsacks.

The philosophical divide between the performance of mentalism and the performance of most magic is quite large, despite the fact that both use similar deceptive techniques at times. However, this distinction is often lost on the magicians who recently started dabbling with mentalism and view it as just another pack of tricks -- and mentalists fear that the public will begin viewing mentalism the same way.

As if that weren't enough of a problem, many of the new hobbyists in mentalism and magic believe they are entitled to all the secrets, and don't consider the amount of study that serious performers have always invested in the art.

Little wonder, then, that professionals may shy away from hobbyists and presume them to be self-entitled magic junkies who just started playing around with that mindreading stuff; much of the time, they are. So perhaps it's only reasonable that to get into the confidences of a professional, you may need to demonstrate that you are one of them -- someone who respects the history, thought process, power and specialness of mentalism performance.

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
mike stevenson
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Beautifully said Neil.
tmoca
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Steve, you said and I quote "it would be easier for you to catch up to their level of performance. (they are scared of you taking their work.)"

So unless you are speaking in "code", again, I read your post and I disagree. As I am sure many here will.

I could care less about there being "technically less moves" as you stated, I am talking about pure experience, showmanship and audience management. This takes years of experience, so it has nothing to do with fear of someone taking work.
Hypnotic Winter
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I can't disagree with Neil. I'm one of the rare mentalists who did everything back words with out help. 11 years ago I learned cold reading and hypnotis(which are normall the last thing most seem to learn) Then as My performances went on I constructed my own very simple mentalism using hypnosis and my kid magic book I got in the 80's. when the Net got going and I got a credit card I was buying material aiming to simply enhance my psychic and hypnotic performances, then finally I decided to learn magic to enhance my mentalism skills.

I had an amateur magician here tell me that Annemann was terrible and that there was not one effect in it he could use and wanted what he called the real stuff from me, needless to say I was offended. I told him to reread Annemann. He called me every name under the sun for that advice.
I also met a guy interested in magic, mostly as he wanted to entertain kids. I recommended a magic set in a toyshop. I was amazed to find he actually bouight it and the learned every effect in the set, I was very impressed as he did some real hard work to learn all the effects even though they were not exactly spectacular but in his hands he made them great. So after that I ordered an excellent magic book I know for him through a friend of mine in my favourite book shop. He has totally baffeled me from time to time, I'm glad of that as I know I made the right decision in getting him the book as he has a genuine interest and worked hard.

Anyway, that's my few cents.

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
truthteller
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Most of the mind readers I know are really sweet guys. They would give you the shirt of their backs. They will help with any question I could have.

Of course, they also know they can trust me. And I have spent years getting to know them.

Many magicians have "instant gratification" issues. Must know secret now. Must do trick now. Must tell magic club how trick works so they know how clever I was for buying it.

True friendships often require years to cultivate. Too many magicians think that simply becasue they have an IBM membership that everything should be open and available. This is not true.

Most top magicians are super friendly, but most also have pet items they show no one but those they trust. Most amateurs don't know they exist, so they are not badgered by them. However, I'm sure many would clam up if questioned and be called "arrogant." Further, a lot of the top magic guys you run into at conventions have something to sell. Of course they are nice to you. You are a customer. (People may disagree with this, but I think there is more truth to this than we realize.)

Mind readers I think are just more protective. But fundamentally no different than the top level magi. Fewer have things to sell, so the need to glad hand is not there.

Ask a top mind reader for help with something YOU are working on, something of your own creativity and not inspired by someone's act or a Derren Brown special and I think you will find them most helpful.

Build trust, cultivate friendship, and I think you will begin to see these people for the wonderful human beings they are.
Necromancer
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And let me just say right now that Brad is a helluva guy.
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Scott Xavier
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I believe I have destroyed that concept of mentalism. Friendships!
Banachek
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Think of it this way, if someone on the street came up to you after seeing you perform a wonderful bit of magic and asked him to teach it to you, would you?

Such is the same as mentalism and magic, despite both suckling on the same teat and having the same mother, they are indeed different. Just as a magician and plumber are both human, they are indeed different.

Mentalism is indeed extremely hard to learn right. There are so many nuances, unlike magic it is much less about the trick and more about the performer. Many of the nuances can't be taught but can only be leant over time. As a result I doubt very much that someone can catch up just as quickly and be just as good. It is not like learning a 3 card monte. It is more like learning how to be funny, either you are or you are not and if not it takes a whole lot of adapting, learning and experience to become so. Such as it is for mentalism. This is partly the difference between mental magic and true mentalism, it is the performer not the trick (but this is another subject for another time and place.)

You will also find that most mentalists invent their own effects or take others effects and change them to suit them, more so than the majority of magicians. I would suspect the percentages of mentalists who do this vs. the magicians who do this is probably somewhere in the direct reverse correlation of each other (if that line made any sense Smile )

Sometimes aloofness is misread as attitude. They are not the same. Just because someone keeps their secrets does mean they have an attitude. In fact, is that not what magic is supposed to be about. Just because one is a magician does not mean that one has the right to knowledge that is not theirs. The old timers knew this and knew it well. One became an apprentice and one learned as they grew. Now a days so many magicians learn but do not grow, in other words their knowledge of the secrets fast outgrows their ability. This is a shame and leads to so much bad magic being out there. Mentalists do not what that to happen. I might offend someone here and sorry if I do but what makes ANYONE THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT to another performers ideas, effect or thinking behind anything they do? You only have the right to your own effects, think for yourself and this is what most mentalists want to see prior to sharing, they want to see and know you can think for yourself and that what they share will be adapted or changed as a result and hopefully improved upon and stylized so as not to look the same.

An example is something that has happened to me in the college market is that your originality is lessened by others doing your effects. Often the area I score lowest on is originality in the college market, this amazes me as I am performing my own effects most of the time. But if I perform PK touches and my silverware routine in my show, or one of my other routines, I am seen as doing that thing that they saw so and so do. As a result it becomes a ***ed if you do and ***ed if you don't scenario. ***ed if I don't share, ***ed in other ways if I do.

Another thing is that mentalists are often wary of who comes up to them. They do not know your skill level and therefore are more protective of their secrets till they do know you personally.

Another area is the fact that many mentalists do not believe that magic and mentalism should mix, therefore if you are a magician asking about a mental effect, why? You should not be. Again they are not being rude or having an attitude but simply applying the logic that goes with protecting their secrets from those who do not need to know and to them, magicians do not need to know.

When a magician or mentalist refuses to give you his or her secret, respect that and have respect for their protecting our art. Do not take it as aloofness or an attitude or that they think they are better than you simply because you did not get your way. I can assure you, such a person will rarely if ever ask you about your secret. Please excuse me if this post seems rude, but once you are in the mentalist community and accepted, once you have proved yourself I can't think of a nicer group of people and sharing people in the world. But you must prove yourself first and that responsibility lies with you. Find a mental routine, learn it inside out, show you can think about it, show you UNDERSTAND the subtleties inside out and not just can perform it and I can assure you, mentalists will knock on your door to accept you. Show you just want another trick and they will build a wall as quick as possible.

A good mentalist will not teach you a trick when he is ready to teach, he will teach you a miracle because he understands the subtleties behind each and every gesture so they happen naturally. The equivalent in magic was Slydini and is Tommy Wonder.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
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Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
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Steve Dela
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On 2005-02-03 12:31, tmoca wrote:

I could care less about there being "technically less moves" as you stated, I am talking about pure experience, showmanship and audience management. This takes years of experience, so it has nothing to do with fear of someone taking work.


I agree 100% that it takes years of dedication to be a mentalist as it relies heavily on showmanship and presenting ability... but in your statement you have kind of misenturpreted what I said... Technical does not mean showmanship... it means the technical skill involved.
therefore I wasnt talking about audience management etc...just the tec side of it.

I am yet to find someone that can tell me that it took longer to learn a good billet switch than an invisable second deal.

I do mentalism and Magic and love them both. I realise it is hard to be a good mentalist. but I know that move wise, slight of hand card stuff etc takes longer to learn.

Steve Dela
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