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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Being called a magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

NJJ
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How do hardcore mentalists feel when they are called a magician after performing?
Andrew Richmond
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It comes with the territory..

It's strange, sometimes you can do something so simple and almost magic based and they ask if you are using psychology or some natural instinct and you think "It was a card trick!" then at other times you can do something so pure like using a NW or doing a CT flawlessly and yet they call you a magician..

I personally think it's 30% the performer and 70% the spectator.. Many who I meet mention they think that Blaine has some strange ability beyond Magic or Sleight of Hand.. and this guy did spong balls on his second special?? Just goes to show it's not always what you do but sometimes how you do it and who you are..

A.R.
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"So I can find it."
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Graymatter_Fireworks
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I agree with Andrew as it more less comes with the territory.

It really doesn't bother me when I'm called a magician. I suspect it seems to be the most logical term for a spectator to use, even when they are grasping for straws.

One's performance can do a lot when it comes to reshaping the assumptions of your spectators on what exactly a magician is.

-Brandon
"The social world in which we live, determines our experience of what is real." - John Gager
Ken Dyne
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Take it as a compliment...magicians are nice people Smile
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Josho
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I would take it as a sign that you're presenting an ethical performance (that is, that you're not passing yourself off as truly psychic), and, thus, the only explanation left to the spectator is that you're tricking them.

--Josh
Fred E. Bert
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Keep in mind also that the lay public is not necessarily aware of the delineation between magic and mentalism. Reading someone's thoughts is magical...
sjdavison
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Exactly Fred. Magicians/mentalists are generally lumped together - indeed, most people when asked would call Derren Brown and Uri Geller 'magicians' (even though Geller claims he is 'psychic') It is simply a generic term used by most people.

'Magic' is a very broad term anyway, especially when the laity is involved. But I wouldn't worry about it - the spectators aren't (or shouldn't be!)

Si
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Gabor
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I met laypeople who think Copperfield has supernatural abilities though he never advertised himself as a mentalist, psychic entertainer, etc.

Gábor
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Lee Marelli
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Two of the sayings I have posted in my Mentalism room to remind me of what I am trying to do as a Mentalist, are applicable to this topic:

1. "If the audience thinks that you are just doing puzzles to be solved, you are not doing Mentalism."

2."Mentalism is not a magic show."

It is not a matter of ethics, it is a matter of how you are presenting yourself and your routines. Are your routines Mentalism or tricks (Puzzles to be solved)? If it is the latter, you will be percieved as a magician doing mental magic tricks.
Review your scripts with a critical eye. Perform for a friend who will give you an honest opinion and get feedback. Do not be afraid to change to achieve what you want, i.e. being perceived by your audiences as a Mentalist. Hope this helps. Lee
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
howdoidisconnect
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I agree with Fred's post, lay people do not see the difference, I know as performers we know the difference, but to the lay person unless you come out right and explain the difference poeple will lump you into the same category. And again its not nessary they see you performing 'tricks' but the tend to lump all performance into the same pot. e.g Musicians.. most lay people will say he is in a pop group, whereas the performer sees himself as progressive dance/ jazz and so on and so on.

I like the way Richard Osterlind puts it in his Mind Mysteries set, he explains he loves magic, mentions a magicain, then make statement about how they use cards, and then say he uses cards but differently. this give a clear view in the mind of the spec that he is difference from the magician.
Maybe as mentalism is growing more in the mainstream the difference will become clear to the lay person, but until then, they will judge you based on their own knowledge of what they are seeing.

Personally it doesn't bother me at all ( not that I am an experienced performer) but at the end of the day I like to entertain people.

kind regards

steve
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Stephen Long
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How can you possibly be perceived by your audience as a mentalist if they don't even know what one is? I don't think being called a magician has any real bearing on how successful you are as a "mentalist" (I despise that term). I recently had a group of people call some effects I had just shown them, "weird magic". I'm perfectly happy with that. I don't mind not being called something that my audience doesn't really even know exists.
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Scott Xavier
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I am happy when people notice me at all. As a wise mentalist said: Who cares what you call yourself, just get out there and do it!
Fred E. Bert
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I think Stephen is exactly right. Don't assume that your audience knows the difference between magic and mentalism unless you explain it to them, as Steve points out Richard Osterlind does. Most people don't even know what the term means, so one shouldn't put too much emphasis on terminology.
Tom Cutts
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I'd have to agree with Lee. If your audience is calling you a magician, you aren't doing your job. It is the performer's job to create the image that he wants to be called. If you don't care what your audience calls you, why should they?

The issue has many origins. One is magicians thinking they will do "mentalism" but still retain the magician frame of mind. Another is the word "mentalist".

Is it any wonder your audience doesn't know what to call you? Maybe a "Mentalist" is best described as "someone doing mentalism tricks". Mind Readers read minds. Theatrical psychics create psychic phenomenon around them. Mentalists do mentalism tricks.
Stephen Long
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Quote:
On 2005-12-05 15:16, Fred Berthelot wrote:
I think Stephen is exactly right. Don't assume that your audience knows the difference between magic and mentalism unless you explain it to them, as Steve points out Richard Osterlind does. Most people don't even know what the term means, so one shouldn't put too much emphasis on terminology.


Thanks, Fred. Although I'm still not sure it's even worth explaining the difference to an audience between magic and mentalism. First of all, we are assuming they actually care. Why should they? I wouldn't expect a singer to explain the difference between a soprano and a tenor before performing. Secondly, most people have never had first hand experience with magic before so they have no grounds for comparison. And if they have no grounds for comparison, then where's the sense in comparing?

I don't care what my audience calls me, as long as it's not rude.
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J ack Galloway
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I agree with Tom's posting and therefore Lee's also.

People have no problem remembering what I am.
If anything they are not to sure what I really am.

But they do know my name.

I also truly like the term Tom used Theatrical psychics a very good term.

Jack


H.O.A_X
Scott Xavier
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"The issue has many origins. One is magicians thinking they will do "mentalism" but still retain the magician frame of mind. Another is the word "mentalist". "

LOL. Who cares but a bunch of "Mentalists" on a message board who should be out doing Holiday parties LOL!
Tom Cutts
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Might be the word "mentalist" is part of the reason they aren't out doing parties but are sitting by the phone wondering why it isn't ringing. Smile
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