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daffydoug
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Right off the bat, you are probably thinking what th *** is "mentalism comedy?" I don't know! I was just writing to find out if any body that you know of has ever succesfully mixed mentalism with comedy.

Now before you think I am off my rocker, understand what I am conveying...I am not talking about STRAIGHT comedy, played purely for yuks, but rather, I'm thinking about mentalism presented by a performer who has a natural penchant for making people laugh out of his personality...(not sight gags, or jokes, or any of that) just natural laughter arising out of situations presented. Ideally, a good mix of astonishment tempered or lightened with humor is what I am saying. In other words, does a mentalism act have to be all serious to be effective?

Perhaps the question is dumb, and if so, I apologize..but the only way to learn is to ask, and so that is what I am doing.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Parson Smith
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Daffy,
I do not think that it is a dumb question.
As a matter of fact, I think it is a critical question that has often been poo-pooed by people who really know little of what they speak.
So many would-be mentalists have an image of Ted Annemann with his hand to his head in such a serious pose.
It is much like the idea that preachers had in the early 20th century(and beyond) that "good preachers" ended their words with the ah sound. ie., "Godah wants youah to be savedah."
It is natural to find someone who has been successful, and emulate him/her.(This is another rant that I will post later.)
The problem is that the imitators will never be as good as the original.
There are some who think that they should do it like Max. Still others think that Banachek is the one to emulate. In the next few years there will be dozens of RO imitators. But none of the imitators will ever come up to the real thing.

What I am saying is that each of us needs to create our his/her own character. Different people have different amounts of humor in their lives. Your character needs to reflect the image of the person that you are portraying.
I portray a humorous person who just happens to be able to do mysterious things.This gets me as much work as I can handle.(Now, if I was trying to make it as a full-time pro, I might think differently.)
Our first task is not to be mysterious, but entertaining. True entertainment runs the gamut of emotion.
So to answer your question, concerning mixing mentalism with comedy… yes it can be done. And it can be done very successfully. If there is not SOME laughter in a presentation, then it is not being done as well as it could be.

This is just my personal opinion.
I feel certain that someone will have a different opinion.
Peace,
Parson
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Blackwood
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Mind-Play
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Daffy,

The question has been debated here quite a few times (there may even be active threads on the topic right now.)

The general consensus is that mentalism can be quite successfully combined with humor, if that fits your style and personality. For those who are not very adept at humor -- don't blow what could be a good serious presentation by grubbing for a few laughs.
Ola
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Max Maven & Richard Osterlind (just to mention two) both use humour in their acts to great effect.
You laugh because I'm different. I laugh because you are all the same...
Brian Turntime
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If you're a funny fellow, you're going to make for a funny mentalist. If you're serious, that will also be reflected in your act.

Kreskin often goes for the laugh, and makes sure to produce it whether or not the audience finds his comment humorous...

Richard is a naturally funny guy, and almost every effect has at least one humorous aside on the way to the expressions of surprise.
------

Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
sjdavison
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Indeed. We must remember that we are in the business of ENTERTAINMENT. People very rarely want to sit through a show that is totally serious, as a successful performance needs texture. There should be moments of high drama, light moments, serious thinking, and other moments of theater.

Of course, it will depend on the persona of the performer. If you are not funny, do not try and force it. I cannot think of a more cringeworthy thing to see than an unfunny person trying to crack jokes - it ruins the rest of the performance.

Si
Simon, 32, UK



www.sidavisonmagic.com
daffydoug
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Well, I guess I'm on the right track, because I'm usually pretty funny...so adapting it to mentalism should be fairly easy.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Bill Hallahan
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Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
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