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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mentalist vs Magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Allan-F
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Toronto, Ontario
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Let me just point out that there is a big difference between stating what "on average" is the difference between mentalists and magicians, and stating what one believes is "in principle" the appropriate way to classify these things. One can quite consistently claim that magicians on average present magic as trickery while not making any such claim about magic as an art form at all... one could even claim that mentalists are the "real magicians". Bizarre at its best has something like this perspective and views magic more from the mentalist's than the conventional magician's aesthetic (speaking "on average" again, rather than "in principle").

In actuality, I really believe there is no right answer to the issue of whether mentalism is a kind of magic or something else altogether. It is to the advantage of some performers and their performing style to convince their audiences the two are wholly separate, while it is to the advantage of others to present them as basically the same.
Allan-F

"What can be thought of or spoken of necessarily IS, since it is possible for it to be, while it is not possible for NOTHING to be." -- Parmenides
wayman
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England - Sunderland
587 Posts

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Quote:
You don't know the difference?! Unless you do, I would strongly suggest you refrain from calling yourself a mentalist, (if indeed this is the type of site you are creating)


I suggest, that he's not the only one who is unsure, as ALL the above posts reflect.

I think it's safe to say that this discussion will go around in circles forever and 4E4.......... and has in many other topics/post.
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
On 2002-12-07 21:35, christopher carter wrote:
Bottom line, if you show a respect for what makes mentalism unique, a desire for perfecting the small details and subtleties of the craft, and patience in earning your right to its secrets, you'll find even the most hardcore mentalist (initials P.A.) to be both friendly and generous.
But we're still very secretive.
--Christopher Carter


As always Chris,
Your eloquence excedes anything anyone else has posted. Brilliant as always and hits the nail directly on the head.
As always I remain,
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/Abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
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AllThumbs
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I've tried to avoid biting the bait, (so to speak) but it appears my post has been mis-read to such an extent that I need to clarify what it means.

The original poster is suggesting one of two things:

a) He is creating a site about himself, advertising as a mentalist

It's like someone saying "what's the difference between a carpenter and a joiner" because I want to advertise myself as a joiner. I cover myself with "If indeed you are making such a site" in case, quite possibly this wasn't the case.

b) He is creating a site about magicians and mentalists

In which case I would suggest he did a ittle research first (which isn't that difficult) or write about a topic that he has better knowledge about?

By keeping my reply short and to the point and not writing yet another over laboured, well argued response, I have been accused of being anti-social, etc, etc.

And Christopher... a great well observed post.

Anyway, life goes on...

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
John Smetana
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???? - 2009
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Quote:
On 2002-12-08 18:29, Thoughtreader wrote:
Quote:
On 2002-12-07 21:35, christopher carter wrote:
Bottom line, if you show a respect for what makes mentalism unique, a desire for perfecting the small details and subtleties of the craft, and patience in earning your right to its secrets, you'll find even the most hardcore mentalist (initials P.A.) to be both friendly and generous.
But we're still very secretive.
--Christopher Carter


As always Chris,
Your eloquence excedes anything anyone else has posted. Brilliant as always and hits the nail directly on the head.
As always I remain,
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/Abstagecraft

I can only second Pauls take on your post Chris. Absolutely "dead on" target.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
Lior
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Lay people like mentalism much more then magic. (Even mental magic will get more
reaction then magic)
That's why they pay at least 10 times more for a mentalist then to a magician.

Most of mental effects are very clear and the spectator can tell his friend later exactly what he saw.

Most of the magic tricks (not all....) are not that easy: well he took the card and put 3 on the side, then he said that they are canibals, then he counted them again and one was face down, then two and then it jumped to the top and changed to the 4 aces that were on the table in the zipper compartment of the wallet with the fire of the 4 coins.

I am ready for the attack Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
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wayman
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Allthumbs.

I was not and am not, accusing you of being
"anti-social, etc.. etc..." but mearly pointing out the fact, that IF a lot of Mentalist and Magicians can't elequently WORD the difference (between Magic and Mentalism) then how can a "possible" beginner like "jonnymaxx"

He never said he was creating a site about himself, or advertising as a mentalist.

Quote:

I am trying to setup a web site

Can someone please help me with the wording of what's the difference of Mentalist versus Magician?

Thanks


I think all this is asking for, is simply a proper definition in a clear and concise wording of the differences, and he chose to RESEARCH the answer to this question here on the Café.

No disrespect intended but a little courtesy would have been nice. Smile

Live Long and Prosper Smile
eize
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Mentalist ONLY performs effects about mentalism, magician performs every kind of tricks (included mentalism effects.)
Brash
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A Mentalist creates for his/her audience an experience of the power of the mind. ESP, precognition, telekinesis, etc.

A Magician creates for his/her audience an experience of the impossible using visual illusion and skill.

My opinion.
John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
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Good distinction, Brian. I'd only add that there are also psychological principles involved in magic but certainly, not to the degree to which mentalism depends on them.

One of the things I enjoy about both magic and mentalism is how much they reveal about us as humans: how we're perceived, how we reconcile incongruities, how we find patterns where there are none, how much our perceptions are constrained by our biases, how we formulate beliefs, under what circumstances we are willing to suspend belief. I learn these things as much about myself as about my audience.

And, honestly, I think good mentalism affords a greater opportunity to learn/experience these things than most magic.

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Brash
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I agree with you. My definition isn't intended to describe the principles, but rather the experience of the audience. I think any form of performance/entertainment is best defined by what the audience experiences rather than how it is done.
Sid Mayer
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Santa Fe, NM
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Has it occurred to anyone that the original poster may simply be trying to reach 50 posts?

However, allow me to submit that one fundamental difference is that serious mentalists, unlike all too many magicians, are not attracted by shiny objects.

Sid
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
cgscpa
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Ashton, MD
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As someone new to mentalism, I have read many of the classic books on mentalism suggested on this forum. I have also read Bob Cassidy's excellent e-book series, "Fundamental - A Guidebook to Mentalism" in which I found, for me, the best explanation of mentalist vs. magician. In it he quotes from Harlan Tarbell, "The Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume IV", Page 91 about the differences of magic and mentalism. Here it is:

"It should be noted that there is a psychological difference in the appeal, in the manner of presentation between what we call two branches of the mystic art - 'magicians' and 'mentalists'. While both accomplish their effects by trickery, the mentalist rarely admits it. There is an important reason for this attitude of the mentalist. His mysteries of the mind are impressive only when cloaked in an atmosphere of genuine phenomena. Long experience has taught the wisdom of this serious and earnest presentation. Ample proof of these statements will be found by observance of the leading professional artists - those occupying the topmost rung being accepted as genuine by a great majority.

Performers of mental and psychic mysteries usually preface their demonstrations with a statement of the effect that they make no claims to possession of supernatural powers, and that the presentation is solely for the entertainment and amusement of those present, who may draw their own conclusions as to the means or methods by which it is accomplished. However, the performer proceeds to do his act as though it were a genuine example of the unusual powers: - which, in fact, it is! If presented as mere tricks, the act would not command anywhere near the same interest and spellbound attention - if indeed, it didn't fall flat."
A l a i n B e ll o n
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I think this definition is quite clear.

I would add a few things to it, but mostly I like it.
cardguy
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I like that definition also. The most important part being that "both magicians and mentalists use trickery". So the truth is that neither one of them are "better" than the other. There should be no feelings of "elitism" by mentalists, because that would just be pompous and arrogant.

Lets face it guys, who are we fooling? We're all "tricksters", we just portray it differently. We should encourage each other, and respect the path that each of us take, whether you do comedy magic or read peoples' minds.
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
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