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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » What is a mentalist? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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SpAgHeTtI
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Ruben I totally agree with you!

Pls post more often! Smile
MrCyNic
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On 2005-02-20 00:23, ruben padilla wrote:
if you are putting forth that your effects are begin accomplished with your mind, and the audience BUYS it, and by your procedure it makes sense logically, then it's MENTALISM. If, on the other hand, you don't make such an claim, or if an audience believes (perhaps with your help) that there is "something else" in play (be it gimmicks, tricky props, secret information, etc.)then you're doing MAGIC.


Hmm... I'd actually say that this definition would rule out a number of the top mentalists in the field, who make no claims of "genuine" paranormal ability. As always, Derren provides a convenient example in that he openly admits using trickery in his effects.

The category of performer being described here is more like "fake psychic", surely? Unless, of course, you're talking about a temporary and willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience.

I'd like to believe that the distance between fake psychic and mentalist is greater than that between mentalist and magician.
SpAgHeTtI
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I know that:"....

As a performing art, modern mentalism evolved during the period spanning the latter half of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twentieth...It was a theatrical response to the public's fascination with spiritualism,thesophy,hypnotism and eaarly psychical research...

...moreover the first 'mentalists' did not have conjuring backgrounds......"

Is it correct?

Derren is very smart and is not complet to say that he admits he uses tricks in his effect....It is clear to every body that he suggest that the way he does that think is suggestin ,body language, hypnosis, psicology and so on...he speak about magian tricks only for avoid that disclaimers can break his b---s..... Smile
MrCyNic
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On 2005-02-20 06:23, SpAgHeTtI wrote:

Derren is very smart and is not complet to say that he admits he uses tricks in his effect....It is clear to every body that he suggest that the way he does that think is suggestin ,body language, hypnosis, psicology and so on...he speak about magian tricks only for avoid that disclaimers can break his b---s..... Smile


Actually, Derren is quite specific about his use of magic. He openly lists the techniques he uses as follows (this list being a direct quotation from his "Messiah" special, in which he uses precisely these techniques to investigate why some people take on paranormal belief systems without applying critical thought):

Magic
Suggestion
Psychology
Misdirection
Showmanship

Nowhere in this list is there any hint that he's using "genuine" mind powers, and yet most of his work is still considered to be mentalism (as shown by the amount of space devoted to him in this area of the Café). Perhaps I've misunderstood what you're saying...
SpAgHeTtI
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MrCynic here is only one among several concret examples that I can give to you:"
....

....In the same programme, a boxer and a woman (Brown's assistant) face each other. He places his hands under her arms, hoists her easily into the air and returns her to the ground. Next, Brown stares into the boxer's eyes and defies him to lift the woman, having apparently sapped his strength. The boxer finds it impossible to lift her off the ground.

Previously, Brown had said in narration: "Some athletes use the mind to try to improve stamina and strength. Can I use my mind to take it away?", clearly implying that this is a psychological effect - presumably, the power of suggestion..... "

......

Dear MrCynic here another good example for you:"....So why is this a big problem? Let's take an example. In one television show, Brown starts by exposing a simple card trick, then states that the rest of the show will be different: "That is the only trick you are going to see in the next hour," he says. "These are not magic tricks. This is mind control."...."

Hope this help...... Smile

I could do a lot of other examples in orther to understand what a mentalist of course with a lot of ather famous performers( famous with laypeople not with magician...)....but I think this is enough...
Alexander Marsh
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Quote:
On 2005-02-20 09:36, SpAgHeTtI wrote:
MrCynic here is only one among several concret examples that I can give to you:"
....

....In the same programme, a boxer and a woman (Brown's assistant) face each other. He places his hands under her arms, hoists her easily into the air and returns her to the ground. Next, Brown stares into the boxer's eyes and defies him to lift the woman, having apparently sapped his strength. The boxer finds it impossible to lift her off the ground.

Previously, Brown had said in narration: "Some athletes use the mind to try to improve stamina and strength. Can I use my mind to take it away?", clearly implying that this is a psychological effect - presumably, the power of suggestion..... "

......





Yeah but if he said;

"Some athletes use the mind to try to improve stamina and strength. Can I use the fact that if you relax your arms when someone TRYS to lift you, they wont be able to, to take it away"

Would that not be crap!
SpAgHeTtI
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What is a mentalist?
Of course he is a charlatan...

The difference between a magician and a mentalist?
The mentalist is smarter...

What is a mental magician?
He is a mentalist with problems of conscience...

N.B.
I'm only kidding!!!!! Smile .....

Mentalism is an entartain art.....
MrCyNic
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Quote:
On 2005-02-20 11:44, SpAgHeTtI wrote:
Mentalism is an entartain art.....


Well, here at least is something we can all agree on.

It's certainly interesting to compare the language Derren used in his earlier TV work with what he uses today. I remember a number of discussions here and elsewhere about the way he was presenting himself, including a harsh review by a scientist who complained he was misrepresenting the field of psychology. I don't recall Derren ever claiming to be psychic, though (quite the reverse). Suggestion, as I understand it, is not generally considered a paranormal ability, although hypnosis is still apparently quite difficult to pin down scientifically.

Back on topic: as I've stated a few times before, the arbitrary lines people draw in the sand between magic and mentalism are neither helpful nor interesting to me. The only real distinction I'd make is between legitimate practitioners of a valuable branch of performance art, and what I would regard as fraudulent psychics who degrade and misrepresent the nature of that art.

That's a purely personal opinion, and not intended as an attack on anyone on these boards. I love being fooled by a well performed mentalism act, but I'd hate being lied to by a fake psychic (I've been lucky enough never to have met one yet).

Cheers,

Cy.
SpAgHeTtI
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I'm on the opposite side.....I have seen 20 seconds of Uri Geller and even if I know that he is fake It was the most exciting performance I have ever seen...

now I hope to find more to see from him....

We are different in opinion and this is a good thing otherwise It will be a boring word.... Smile

Emm....perhaps world....-_-'....
Alexander Marsh
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On 2005-02-20 13:50, MrCyNic wrote:
.........The only real distinction I'd make is between legitimate practitioners of a valuable branch of performance art, and what I would regard as fraudulent psychics who degrade and misrepresent the nature of that art.


Without meaning to go horablie off-topic;
You make a very VERY good point, as this is, I feel whats really at the very core of the issue about disclaimers.
What is NOT at the core is non-sence about 'Magicians Guilt' which was once a buzz word here on the Café. There is no such thing, there is simple HUMAN GUILT, and even then it is not what should be labeled as 'guilt'.

The ONLY 2, valid reassons I can see for having a disclaimer is a desire of the PERFORMER to dissaccosiate himself from the horrid, ugly world of fraudulent psychics. (Personally I think this goes further than just those "Psychics" who swindle people out of there money. I think, and this is ONLY my OPINION, but I think it can also exstend to those who claim its entertainment, but the main reason for doing that 'entertianment' is to get bookings for readings. Now ive upset a few people here, I shall shut up on the subject.)

The other reason is that of a 'presentational ploy' of sorts. Almost like a hook.

Banachek has, in my opinion, the most honest claim/disclaimer on the planet.
On the subject of Derren, yes he now uses a claim similer to Banachek's in style but.....Banachek didn't always claim this, he grew as a performer as he grew as a person and so did his 'claim'. Derren is the same. It is no different, yet we don't go on about Banachek in the same way some people go on about Derren. It drives me MAD!

Fin.
Jim Reynolds
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Magic = 90% effect, 10% presentation
Mentalism = 10% effect, 90% presentation

This is not to say magicians do not put a lot of effort into presentation. It's just that from an audience perspective, the mentalist is the product. Not the effects.

jr
chicagoman
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"Magic = 90% effect, 10% presentation
Mentalism = 10% effect, 90% presentation"

Sorry, but this is just so wrong. All magic is 90+% presentation.

And "performers" who experience magicians/mentalist/human guilt are simply not magicians. They're operators executing acquired secrets.

(I'm sounding harsher, aren't I? Sorry about that.)
muzicman
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What I have discovered is Mentalism relies heavily on the performers ability to convince the audience that he/she is able to acurately predict future events, read someones thoughts, or use their mind to move, bend, alter a solid object.

There IS a difference between "Magicians" and "Mentalists". There is a HUGE difference in my opinion. I have seen magicians perform, and I must admit, I never felt as though they were doing anything more than using slights and gimmicks to trick me, (which they did most often). I spent 3 hours with Banechek last Thursday, and I must admit, I didn't feel he was using slights or gimmicks to fool me. I really felt he was able to peer into anyones thoughts, as well as predict a future event. I have never felt that way about a magician. Even the most famous ones, the ones with the best chops and props. With magicians, I always felt the magic happend as a result of some sort of visual trickery.

What I experienced with Banechek, could not be explained as there was no visual trickery. "Think of a card" he would say. He would then look at your eyes, your body, and explain with his words why you mentally selected a specific card. he didn't use a gimmicked deck, or force a card, or a prop. He used his mind. mentalists use props, but sometimes the audience is totally unaware of it so there is no problem. It's not like having a Zig Zag illusion on stage.

There IS a difference between a magician and a mentalist. To argue about which is better is pointless. Each entertains. Personally, I believe a mentalist has the ability to prove certain "powers" easier than a magician. Simply because they don't use a prop (that they see)and the audience is clueless how they were fooled.
chicagoman
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There is also a HUGE difference between ropes and cards.

The concept that mentalism uses less props is simply because a mantalist is trying to prove he is only using his MIND.

But a good rope, card or coin magician will also so well disguise his "props" that you will be totally baffled at what occured. That is afterall the goal of magic: to make it seem like MAGIC.

It could be the method of expressing quick thoughts out here on the internet, but one should not generalize as to what kind of magic seems fakier than another.

It is really easy to blow mentalism, with or without the use of propy gimmicks.

Both traditional magic and mentalism have great challenges: how to present it convincingly so that it seems like magic.

(And by the way, look how David Blaine raised the intensity of traditional coin and card magic to make it seem like MENTALISM--or maybe, he just made it seem like MAGIC!)
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