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JoaoPedro
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The more I study and practice mentalism, the more I get unsatisfied and a little frustrated... Making a global analysis of all the methods we use to create "mental" effects I realized there are few or none absolutely impromptu. And when I say absolutely impromptu I mean using nothing more than you (without any props, gadgets or gimmicks) and the spectator.
I think that if we claim we have psychic powers such as telepathy, mindreading, telekinesis, whatsoever, people will ask for real mind reading situations, real things using only your mind and their thought.
I've been working hard on this subject, always trying to improve, discover and create some method to achieve this. In fact I truly believe that the essence of mentalism lies in the quest for a completely impromptu effect - an effect where you need nothing more than yourself and a "victim". You see what I mean?
So... after all this speech, I want to ask you 2 simple questions:

1. What do you think about this? Do you think it's relevant? Are you willing to spend the rest of your lives carrying a swami or a marked deck?

2. What is the effect or the methods you use to better accomplish this "perfect" scenario?

So far I think that the closest methods I have to achieve this is using NLP and Suggestion. The only way I see to "genuinely" read a thought it forcing it beforehand.

I know I've a lot more to study and to learn and I'm sure you guys have different opinions and methods on the subject. That's just what I'd like to hear from you!
I wanna expand my knowledge and be open towards new methods of achieving the "perfect" scenario - me and the spectator, nothing more than that!
João Pedro
tmoca
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Nice topic. But I have one question, you say no props, does that mean you can't grab a pen and bar napkin to write down something? Like a prediction?

I do "kind of" disagree with you that there aren't any totally impromptu effects out there. "Self working Mental Magic" and the "Encyclopedia of Impromptu" have a few. They may not be 100% but they are there.

Here are a few off the top of my head

Contact Mind Reading or Muscle reading
The old 37/35 trick
A psychological force of a card or any object for that matter
Any time you can peek/or over hear information, you can have a totally impromptu miracle.
Ken Dyne
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PK Touches, PK Time, suggestability tests, PK silverware

However I would like to add my true thoughts on this. I do not think it matters at all whether it is impromptu, or natural looking. What I do all appears logical and may very well appear impromtu, like I just thought about doing it there and then.

The effects we create are only magic and impossible in the minds of the spectator, it is for him you perform and are employed. Therefore if you appear impromtu to him then in my eyes you are successful.

For me, the major difference between mentalism and magic is the logic. Im mentalism you have logical motivation for much of what you do. In magic this is not so much the case. I realise this is a mass generalisation, but it lallows me to sleep at night.

This argument really depends on the definition of impromtu. Into all of jackets I have tpits and magnets sewn. So for me any effect requiring use of these devices is impromtu, io can do it anywhere and at any time. In addition to this there is always a deck cards, a NW, a stack of business cards and a pen in every jacket. So I have a show of about two hours on me at any one time. Does this count as impromptu?

By this I mean, even if I am down the pub with my mates there is a two hour set ready to go, should anyone ask to see anything. I think, if you put your mind to it then you are able to make impromtu exactly the same as planned...with the correct planning Smile

To my sectators I was in the pub one night and someone asked me to do some cool stuff and I did. All appears impromptu.

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
hemisphere
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Other thoughts on your questions:

>>1. What do you think about this? Do you think it's relevant? Are you willing to spend the rest of your lives carrying a swami or a marked deck?

One persective: Perhaps mentalism's seeming lack of ease of use in impromptu situations doesn't matter. A violist wouldn't say he has seleced a poor instrument because he can't perform anywhere at anytime. Perhaps mentalism is best kept for the stage or formal presentations, as an art rather than as a skill we can put on display at a moment's notice.

>>2. What is the effect or the methods you use to better accomplish this "perfect" scenario?
That said, I think a lot of performers have 2 or 3 effects they can do anywhere. (Lots of closeup magicians make a decent living performing 10-15 routines really well). I've had luck with center tears, instant stooges, equivoque and non-gimmicked card effects. A good classic force with convincing acting can melt minds.
Andrewdavidson12
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Derren Brown's "Pure Effect" is worth reading on this point. He makes the distinction between "visible compromise" (ie where the spectator can see a compromise in terms of pure mentalism) and "invisible compromise" where the audience see no compromise but the compromise is there (e.g. pre-show work).

I would agree with Kennedy that it makes no difference what the reality is as long as the audience see little in the way of props.

A
J ack Galloway
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The way I see it a world class swimmer does something I cannot.
But when I see them at a social event I don't say how about we go out back
and you can give me a demonstration of your abilities in the pond.

You should not give a way what is of value.
Let the value of magicians in the publics eye be a warning I think.

Cheers

Jack
enriqueenriquez
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Impromptu is not a set of methods but a way of thinking. Just be aware of your surroundings and wait for the right opportunity. If you know your cards, your billets, muscle reading, etc... you will be able to create miracles.

Sometimes is as simple as overheard a conversation and be able to repeat it at the right moment.

But remember that the deception must go only one way. Deceive the other, never yourself. You can’t read minds, but you can make them think you do. Not because you are superior or smarter, or you have anything to probe, but because by deceiving them you will provide wonder, excitement and inspiration.
Juan D
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 06:27, JoaoPedro wrote:
The more I study and practice mentalism, the more I get unsatisfied and a little frustrated... Making a global analysis of all the methods we use to create "mental" effects I realized there are few or none absolutely impromptu. And when I say absolutely impromptu I mean using nothing more than you

Carrying a gimmick forever? No way!
Methods with nothing more than you? Well not an exact one, but something better, Something that cannot be learnt from a book, get enough practice from, nor obtain from a gimmick : Experience with people.
JoaoPedro
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Thanks for all your comments. Keep posting!
I agree that I can make a whole act apparently impromptu, using nothing but a pack of cards, a pen and some business cards. But I tend to explore the extreme situation in which I have nothing with me: only my mind! There are some effects I perform that almost fit - a psychological force using NLP and suggestion techniques. I'm able to successfully force a card or an object. Sometimes even a word or a letter. Subconciously they get the message and then I just have to "read" their thought...That truly amazes people and gets me closer of what I'm looking for. When I do mentalism with cards, using the classic force or whatever, people do believe I have some sort of mind powers but they're not tottaly convinced! Sometimes they ask me if I'm able to do that without cards. Then I answer like "Mentalism is a very complex thing. First we must start in a small universe of 52 choices...then we proceed to bigger goals...I'm just trying to know your mind a little better...I'm getting used to it and to your capabilities of transmittting me a thought." Something like this.. and people really buy it because of the atmosphere I've created but even that way...I'm still unsatisfied.
PK touches and PK subordinates work very well and that gets closer to what I want to achieve. Any more methods or effects you know?
I'd like to hear more comments...
João Pedro
J ack Galloway
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Perfrom improptu, and devalue your product. I know you guys don't like it but it is the truth and ignoring it does not make it so.

Leave party tricks to the magic boys!

Cheers

Jack
RickSilmser
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Except for close up magic in my home for family and friends...I never, ever, ever, do anything for anyone at their request when I'm "off duty" meaning not doing a presentation. I just don't believe in it. I have some very polite "outs" as well so the person is not let down.

~Rick~
bobser
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 06:27, JoaoPedro wrote:

"I think that if we claim we have psychic powers such as telepathy, mindreading, telekinesis, whatsoever, people will ask for real mind reading situations, real things using only your mind and their thought."

Unfortunately we can't do that. That's why we use tricks. (The word mentalist has been totally constructed... by US!) And believe me, you'll never be asked for 'a real mind reading situation'. Not if you're doing your job correctly, which is to appear as if you ARE doing a real mind reading situation.

Quote:

I truly believe that the essence of mentalism lies in the quest for a completely impromptu effect - an effect where you need nothing more than yourself and a "victim". You see what I mean?

Yes, but that's only your opinion. To be honest I don't think you could come up with one single argument to state 'why' you think that should be the case... unless it's linked with your own ego. Remember the client has no idea at any time whatsoever whether the trick (and that's what it is, a trick, not your mind!) is NOT impromptu. So unless you tell them, they'll believe it's ALWAYS impromptu, unless you're using actual props of course.

Quote:
Are you willing to spend the rest of your lives carrying a swami or a marked deck?

Personally, when I leave home I'd rather have a swami than an American Express card. And to be honest I simply don't know of any 'working' magician/mentalist who still uses a marked deck. They simply become far better skilled with the swami!


Quote:
I know I've a lot more to study and to learn and I'm sure you guys have different opinions and methods on the subject. That's just what I'd like to hear from you!
I wanna expand my knowledge and be open towards new methods of achieving the "perfect" scenario - me and the spectator, nothing more than that!

Just keep working and sharpening your skills, and please accept my words as intended. I am absolutely sure your intention is totally genuine, but I would suggest you learn 'performance' first of all, aided by 'stuff' to make it seem impromptu if you prefer.
But might I add that there is nothing wrong with a great mentalist who turns up with the words: 'I've brought along something to show you', and then WITH AN UN-IMPROMPTU PROP, blows them away with great mentalism.
Just some opinions...
All the best,
Bobser.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
J ack Galloway
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Thank God or who ever would like to listen. At least one other who is enlightened.

I refer to Rick.
And do do Like Big Bobs post also.

Cheers

Jack
bobser
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I understand Jack... honestly.
ps: am 'I' Big Bob'?
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
MR2Guy
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Great thread.

All effects have discrepancy, it's a performer's job to minimize and eradicate it from the spectators mind.

To approach the philosophy of performance by thinking "If I were a real mentalist, then I would just.... and wouldn't have to .....", can be an extremely helpful way to analyze the structure of the effect, but ultimately you have to deal with the discrepancies that inherently come with the territory.

Quote:
And when I say absolutely impromptu I mean using nothing more than you (without any props, gadgets or gimmicks) and the spectator.

This, to me, is a hypothetical question. I cannot think of a situation where this would happen. As pointed out in previous posts, there are always things at hand that can be used in an effect (paper, pencil, etc.), every situation has something at hand. Your goal should be to leave a spectator with the feeling that there was nothing more than you and him, be it true or not.

I don't see an issue with using anything to your disposal, including gimmicks.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in being able to perform without any props whatsoever, that is a different subject than how it appears to the spectator, and there are options.

I would recommend cold reading. Sum them up and tell them something about them that you could not have known.

Generally, the most favorite topic of almost any person is themselves. Use it to your advantage, and listen carefully to what they say. They will generally tell you what they want to hear about themselves. Wait a minute, and tell it back to them. They will be impacted. Name any month and tell them that you can tell it has significance, fish a little and you can stun them. Same with days of the month. And everyone has a scar on their knee from an accident. And, as TMOCA said, any time you can peek/or over hear information, you can have a totally impromptu miracle.

Jason
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
JoaoPedro
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On 2005-02-03 20:23, bobser wrote:
Quote:

I truly believe that the essence of mentalism lies in the quest for a completely impromptu effect - an effect where you need nothing more than yourself and a "victim". You see what I mean?


Yes, but that's only your opinion. To be honest I don't think you could come up with one single argument to state 'why' you think that should be the case... unless it's linked with your own ego. Remember the client has no idea at any time whatsoever whether the trick (and that's what it is, a trick, not your mind!) is NOT impromptu. So unless you tell them, they'll believe it's ALWAYS impromptu, unless you're using actual props of course.


Well...my argument is very simple - sometimes after my performance people come to me and say they are amazed but ask me if it would be possible for me to say the word they are thinking in that very moment. I politely say that I don't like to go for challenges and that I would have to spend more energy and time to do that...blablabla...and whatever comes to mind. They truly understand and get satisfied with the answer. However...that makes me think. What if you didn't need a deck of cards, a stack of business cards, whatever...? Wouldn't it be great if you developed a method to simply tell the person the word they were thinking of, the animal they were thinking of, etc...
I know I'm able to clearly amaze people, getting huge reactions and so on. But, there's always something missing. From the layperson's point of view everything seems genuine, everything is well structured and you really appear like reading thoughts. However we both know that their reaction would be much stronger if you genuinely didn't use anything. I mean...people always get suspicious about your deck of cards, your pen, your businnes cards, your everything! And even if they get amazed dutring the show, when they get home they'll stop to think "wait a minute...he always used some kind of object...maybe those objects had trickery...magicians are all the same...". End of story. People are not dumb! I've seen many people coming to me saying that's the 2nd time they see me and asking me if I would be able not to use any prop...wether it's a deck of cards or a simple pen - they really get suspicious! In my shows I like to give people the deck of cards, the pen and everything so that they can see there's nothing to hide! And the next 30-45 min are really intense, of pure mental show. And there is this effect that always gets the biggest reaction: a psychological force of any card I like (usually the 6 of clubs, the 5 of spades or the jack of diamonds - it depends...) and the dramatic revelatin of the only card in the table matching their thought. And why's that? Because I used almost nothing but their thought. I asked them to think of any card and thir thought matched my prediction which was on the table "all day long" and both me and the person were far away from the card...there was no chance! And I also get people to turn over the card themselves...it's pure mentalism! That's the kind of effects I'd like to achieve and that's why I think that the works of Kenton Knepper, Luke Jermay and even Derren Brown are the closest we can have to achieve that. Suggestion and NLP can be great weapons in mentalism and I'm starting to get the results I want...but that's just not enough...
Wat is the effect that gets you the biggest reactions? And do you know why? Why do people consider that effect to be the most incredible they've whitnessed? Think about it... and keep posting Smile !
João Pedro
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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A quick aside on carrying small props or 'supplies' at all times: considering I already carry two rings of keys; a wallet with IDs, etc.; a pen; and a pocket handkerchief, a packet of doctored business cards and an okito voodoo doll doesn't give me pause.
At the same time, I'm always armed with muscle reading and Kentonism if I'm in an odd situation.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
J ack Galloway
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Yes Bobser you are.
Sorry for the Americanizm.

Cheers

Jack
bobser
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Quote:
On 2005-02-04 06:19, JoaoPedro wrote:
I politely say that I don't like to go for challenges and that I would have to spend more energy and time to do that...blablabla...and whatever comes to mind.

Might I say that as a pro, although we might be experienced in handling situautions, we never have to; 'blablabla'. By that I mean we have precise wording, guaranteed to enable us to rebuttal any form of question or argument in a way that totally satisfies the client.

Quote:
However we both know that their reaction would be much stronger if you genuinely didn't use anything. I mean...people always get suspicious about your deck of cards, your pen, your businnes cards, your everything! And even if they get amazed dutring the show, when they get home they'll stop to think "wait a minute...he always used some kind of object...maybe those objects had trickery...magicians are all the same...". End of story. People are not dumb! I've seen many people coming to me saying that's the 2nd time they see me and asking me if I would be able not to use any prop...wether it's a deck of cards or a simple pen - they really get suspicious!

Ok, lets agree there. In that case may I suggest you don't give them 'your' business cards/pen deck of cards/coins/notes... but rather use 'theirs'. I'm sure you have the talent to do the same effects with 'their' props, thus disabling the arguments you 'believe' they use. I might add that as a young performer I too 'believed' that they would think that also. But whether they did or not I absolutely promise you that you'll find that those 'potential thoughts' are totally cancelled out by a great performance.

Quote:
In my shows I like to give people the deck of cards, the pen and everything so that they can see there's nothing to hide! And the next 30-45 min are really intense, of pure mental show. And there is this effect that always gets the biggest reaction: a psychological force of any card I like (usually the 6 of clubs, the 5 of spades or the jack of diamonds - it depends...) and the dramatic revelatin of the only card in the table matching their thought. And why's that? Because I used almost nothing but their thought. I asked them to think of any card and thir thought matched my prediction which was on the table "all day long" and both me and the person were far away from the card...there was no chance! And I also get people to turn over the card themselves...it's pure mentalism!

Believe me when I say that I and many many others in here do exactly the same effect. However the point I make is that in the mind of the audience there simply is no such thing as 'pure' mentalism. For them to have a conception of 'pure' mentalism they'd also need to know what 'unpure' mentalism was. And they don't, believe me.
I'd like to ask if you know (I believe you're Portugese?) the English saying.., "Can't see the wood for the trees". I'm simply suggesting that many younger performers (certainly true in my own case when I was younger) truly believe they see problems/challenges which are simply NOT there.
At the end of the day, 'perhaps' all mentalism is performed with words only.

Quote:
Wat is the effect that gets you the biggest reactions? And do you know why?

The answer is 'me'. Or 'you'. in other words the person gets the reaction,not the effect. And yes I think do know why. I would suggest you go see a good performer. Then go see a poor performance of the same effect by someone else. Betcha it's the preformer who gets/doesn't get the reaction, and not the keys/cards/TT...whatever.

Regards
Bobser
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
TheHelpingHand
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I recently learned a great "invisible crompromise" effect called Dream Signs, a no-anagram, no gimmicked system to discover a person's Star Sign.
- Dan the Man
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