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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-03 17:01, todsky wrote:
I have the same problem when doing mind-reading stuff for friends and family: they know I've been a magician for many years, so they think it's some kind of trick (although a good one!). I can only pull off mentalism effects with people who don't know me.

Since you do study psychology at U.B.C., maybe tell them you are doing psychological tricks with their minds, rather than reading their minds.


I think one of the first steps for ANY mentalist to being taken seriously is to avoid the word "tricks" alltogether. Just an opinion.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
John C
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Rebecca,

Think about this to get started. Seek out Chuck Hickok's stuff. Take it from a "powers of the mind" vantage point. In other words, make it seem like you have worked very hard at performing difficult stunts with your mind (which you have really!) Let the audience know, however, that some of what you do are mental tricks and some you worked at very hard by engaging in enhancing some mental abilities.

Maybe that would work for you. Instead of bending metal and pulsing and that stuff go the other route (maybe you do already, I don't know!) where you only use paper, pencils, envelopes, magic squares etc.

I am going to PM you an anecdote I would rather not write here. I am also going to PM you my Mindcast routine. It may help you see what I mean.

Good luck!

J
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ToasterofDoom
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Dannydoyle, I agree that the word "trick" should be avoided in a performance setting, but here in the forums, it seems a trivial thing to pick wordings.
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Quote:
On 2006-12-03 17:07, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-12-03 17:01, todsky wrote:
I have the same problem when doing mind-reading stuff for friends and family: they know I've been a magician for many years, so they think it's some kind of trick (although a good one!). I can only pull off mentalism effects with people who don't know me.

Since you do study psychology at U.B.C., maybe tell them you are doing psychological tricks with their minds, rather than reading their minds.




I think one of the first steps for ANY mentalist to being taken seriously is to avoid the word "tricks" alltogether. Just an opinion.


Not necessarily. I believe using the word 'tricks' in conjunction with the word 'mind' is sometimes okay in mentalism.

Rebecca, maybe down deep you don't want people to think you really do have psychic powers. Maybe the rationalist psyche major in you is rebelling.
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Meng
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Quote:
On 2006-12-03 16:39, Rebecca Travis wrote:

I talk about psychology, intuition, suggestion, persuasion,body language: those things are real ( that's what they teach me at university now!) [...]

Still I am not taken seriously, for example even if I do contact mind reading for my friends, which is real body language,they still think about magic tricks! And I'm not even lying about the method!I cannot believe this. [...]



I agree with most of the opinions above.
The most important point is that your selected effects and your routines have to correspond with your persona! You talk about psychology, suggestion, body languageÖ. But ask your self: Are you perceived as a psychology or body language expert? Would a stranger believe that you are an educated expert on those fields? Are you behaving as a psychology or body language expert? Are you moving and talking like a psychology or body language expert? If you want to present mentalism in a more or less psychological context, the spectator has to understand, that you know the extra little bit more about the human psyche then him. The ďtricksĒ are secondary. Here is a pure hypothetical example. Letís suppose you wear mythic looking clothes, you are talking with a soft voice, perhaps you are not the tallest person on earth and you are shy by nature. Now you talk to your audience about the newest psychological discoveries and the possibilities of mind control and than you show them a prediction effect, before you bend a spoon. Consciously or subconsciously the spectators will notice, that something in this picture is wrong and they will not believe you.

You have two options, to be taken seriously:
1. You can train yourself to talk, act and move like a believable expert in your field. Then you choose tricks that fit this character. Drop every effect (even if it is your favourite) that not fits your logical line. For example, if you explain every effect with your psychological skills, donít bend metal!

2. Donít work on your character. Be your self! But donít do anything that does not fit your persona. If you are perceived as romantic person donít try to play the psychology expert. If you arenít fairly authoritative, donít try to do effects in a Dunninger or Brown style.

Remember, it is not the trick, it is you!

And of course you have to practice your effects. An audience will sense if you are an expert or a child doing tricks.
Dr Spektor
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Hi Rebecca..

As a 22 year old female, you are not a girl anymore - at least a young adult!

I'm older and no one takes me seriously Smile

Actually sometimes they do... here some some tips:

1) perfect the effects so that the technical aspects are almost done in your sleep

2) really focus on as others said context - but I would rather say a Frame - the key is acting acting acting - this is where it all really counts - presentation and attitude....

3) For point 2 - here are a few books that will help

a) MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT by Ken Weber - you must get this - this will help you 1000 fold - its all about honing the presentation and the little nuances etc.

b) WIN THE CROWD - although some say nay - I found it was excellent for certain gems of how to get the audience on your side - with that - they will help you be "real" and want to take you seriously, and bail you out of trouble - honest!

c) THE OSTRICH FACTOR - how to practice and put together the technical and the presentation factors in a real step-step manner....

d) As Looch said, Drew McAdam's book MAKING MONEY is great as well - but I think what you are really looking for is the above - although Drew has great points - like practicing venues etc to break in the material before going live in a serious situation...

I don't claim any powers - I just talk about the power of imagination... then go wild and let the spec's fill in the blanks.

Now for example, you could do that but as a 22 year old girl/young adult:

a) If you have had any near brushes with death (and about 80% of the population does) - that could have been the trigger for your powers

b) You are a wandering vagabond like Delirium from the Sandman comics and strange and wodnerful things happen around you

c) The feminine mystique - ala Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife - all women are witches/have magical powers...

d) the list goes on and on... and the key one is - have a character 95% like you really are - the 5% is the bit that will allow you to help you get into the groove to make the effects and you believable...

I bet you could do b above and it would work well - funny things happen like spoons bend, or you tell somone you are talking to you saw them in a dream last night and you know what they are going to say... or wow, that is odd... you had a flash of memories from touching someone's watch - play it as surpirisng to you as it is to them... and claim you have no idea what is going on... then you have no worries of claims and mentalist guilt Smile.... (or at least highly reduced)

PM me if you ever need help - as a fellow Canuck, I patriotically support you!

(Maple syrup PK, Inuit art golems, Ice Wine smash-the-bag effects)

All the best,

Dr S

(Have confidence in yourself, don't take the world too seriously, its all about the wonder of the magical moments)
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
adgnyc
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Look to Penn & Teller, Ricky Jay, and Derren Brown, among others. They're all very different and certainly bear no resemblance to you, but they're all great performers and they all, to a large degree, have stage personas that reflect aspects of themselves. One might even say that who each of them is onstage is himself writ large.

It must be frustrating as a woman in the field of magic/mentalism to have so few forebears to whom you can look for inspiration. Perhaps the key is simply learning as much as you can, performing as much as you can, discovering your strengths and weaknesses, and, along the way, asking yourself: Who am I? and What do I want to say? To quote an old saw: It's the singer, not the song.
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JohnCressman
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Rebecca,

I will agree with some of the other gentlemen: women DO have a harder time in the performing arena doing magic or mentalism. I work with an older woman who has been performing for YEARS. She's very talented, but she's commented many times that I can get away with so much more than she can. I'm not sure why that is, but apparently, it simply appears to be true.

That said... I would experiment with your premise. Remember the 5 W's?

Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?

Who are you? What is your performing character. You MUST have a character... because the real you can't read minds or do any of these stunts for real. But if you create a character, and you STAY in character, you can BELIEVE that the character you have created CAN do these things. It's subtle... but people intutively pick up on it.

WHAT powers do you possess? Just like most super heroes (or heroines in this case) have ONE major ability, one of the biggest lessons I learned at Mindvention this year was to narrow your focus. Very few people can do everything well and having too many abilities makes you seem unbelievable. After all, if you can read minds, see the future, bend time and space, move objects, etc.... why are you doing shows? Why aren't you ruling the world... or at least winning the lottery.

WHERE are you performing? Depending on your venue, you can get away with more or less, or may need to change your performing style. Figure out the believes of your demographic target audience and play up to those believes. If you live in a open community with a lot of spiritual believes... go with the flow. If not, come up with a plausible reason for you to have these abilities... near death experiences, your mother had them, etc.

WHEN? Ok... I really don't have anything for when. =)

WHY? Why do you do this. Why do you perform? If you could REALLY read minds... why would you be doing it in the fashion you're doing it in.... a show, strolling magic, etc. Seriously think about this, because chances are someone (probably many someones) out in the audience ARE thinking this. If you had such an extraordinary talent, why would you "waste" it on doing shows, etc. I always come from the standpoint that what I do is nothing that anyone out in the audience couldn't do with the right training. That we all have these abilities... but like a muscle we never exercise, they can't be used very well without training. I point out deja vu's as a type of unconscious premonitions, I talk about thinking about someone and them calling or emailing you, and I talk about people who know something bad is happening to someone they love (usually mothers) across town or across the country. These are all events that people have usually experienced first hand, or know people or heard of people who have done them. So, by giving creditability to those people (who they probably know and trust), you are gaining some credability yourself.

HOW? How do you do it. Again... what's your premise? Is it intuition? Psychic? Alien experimentation? Jason Alexander used the premise of Human Statistical ****ysis in his mentalism act at Mindvention. It fit in absolutely perfectly with his character... which, is... himself. A disadvantage of being famous is... people already know you, you can't develop a seperate "persona" for performing... or... are we all just actors... and is the world our stage.

Anyway, I'm tired and I'm sure I'm rambling, but hopefully, you can glen something useful from my meanderings.
Alex Linian
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Read books, watch movies, with characters similar to what you wanna be and see how they go about doing what they do...
psi-co
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Rebecca, perhaps the heart of your problem is the message you are conveying to your friends when you show them a "mind reading" stunt. Perhaps SHOWING THEM is the first place you should begin disecting the problem.

There is certain perception (and challenge) you will create in a group of friends of such a young age - and the perception is that you can do something they cannot. Your friends have to find a reason for this and they will oftentimes turn to the first LOGICAL explanation (and in this case the truth too..)... that you are doing magic tricks. Even if you perform something like muscle reading, which is essentially not an easy thing to do first time off, and you present it as such, your skills are obviously still far better than your friends would like. Your skills separate them from you. Factor in that young adults in the 20-25 age group are trying to find their place in the world and you should understand that this all boils down to a deep seated jealousy and an incapacity to accept something abnormal - ESPECIALLY when it is presented to them as a challenge. Your intentions may not be to overtly challenge them with your skills, but you are challenging their belief.

If you really think about it, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Other factors that have a bearing on your success will be age, persona, context, your personal belief and inner dialogue (which you will tend to convey unconsciously), your personal history, opportunity, etc.

To be a successful mentalist at the level you want at such a young age is not easy, but it's also not impossible. You have to re-define your character and persona. You may want to only do effects that can be dressed up as body language type effects - but then stick to those only. CONGRUENCY is the key here. Don't expect your audience to believe something when you haven't acted congruently to what you propose.

If you really want to be taken seriously I would even go as far as to say DON'T PERFORM. WAIT for the opportunity to present itself, and only then do something small. DON'T ASK FOR THE SPOTLIGHT or attention, let it naturally come to you. Allow everything you do to be in the peripheral, and then let your friends start their own stories about what you can do.

Where other people are concerned the way you present yourself will be the deciding factor. Since you have a history of performing magic you may be telegraphing the attitude of a magician: you might be "showey" without knowing it. Again, STOP PERFORMING. Wait for the opportunity to present itself and do only one spectacular effect. Don't layer effects on top of each other because then it will be perceived as magic tricks (as this is the mindset of a magician). This little bit of advice will also help you in thinking about CONTEXT.

Most of my strongest moments in mentalism have been with one or two people in attendance, and no other witnesses to the miracles. And that was because of CONTEXT and NON-PERFORMANCE.

EDIT:
One final thing, and perhaps the most important to be successful with strong mentalism, is to engage your audience on an emotional level. If your audience is involved emotionally they will be mis-directed (or rather re-directed) away from and won't be looking for the trick.

I hope this helps.

-Alan
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2006-12-02 09:08, leapinglizards wrote:

Look at your material... are you doing Mental Magic, Mentalism or Psychic Entertainment- They are very different, and will by nature, carry varying levels of "realness" in the eyes of the audience.

Mentalism/pshycic entertainment require a totally different type of presentation than does magic....


I agree with Leapinglizards. I'm new to mentalism also. I been doing magic for 31 years. I brought some mentalist props recently. I'm not performing like a mentalist yet, because I'm just performing mental magic.

If you try and perform mentalism with the talent of a magician, it can become boring for the audience because they are both two different arts.

Mentalism is not a door a person can just walk into and perform no longer how long that person's been a magician. It will take you time to become a mentalist just like it took you time to become a magician.

At first I was thinking about expanding my magic act with more mentalist effects. But that can be unpleasing to the audience because they were expecting a magic show. The best way is to put together a mentalist show and start performing it.

Dynamike
Posted: Dec 4, 2006 1:59am
On 2006-12-02 05:15, Rebecca Travis wrote:

Still, when I perform mentalism, the effects work well but people still think about tricks, even if they don't know me and I never performed magic for them! Those people have NO IDEA I am a magician: they are amazed but they still think and talk about magic tricks.

Which mentalist effects do you perform?
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-03 17:52, ToasterofDoom wrote:
Dannydoyle, I agree that the word "trick" should be avoided in a performance setting, but here in the forums, it seems a trivial thing to pick wordings.


To pick wordings? THAT IS EXACTLY what many mentalist feats depend upon! THAT is the point. The right word means everything.

You play the game the way you practice. Plain and simple.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Rebecca Travis
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Thanks again for all your great comments - one could write a book with the stuff above!

Well I guess Iíll have to take acting courses as well...

But still, I am not and will not pretend to be someone I am not:as I said I donít pretend to have mindreading powers or be able to bend metal etc. I talk about psychology, persuasion, intuition etc.

Just to give you an example, my contact mind reading routine is as follows: I talk about a common experience we all had, losing things we cherish;I share a true experience about a ring my mother gave to me, and I lost it a few years later, by the way still donít know how the #### it happened. I then run through the CMR routine and find the missing object for the spectator.

I will have to try it on somebody who doesnít know me, to see the reactions. My friends think about "tricks" because they know Iím a magician.I didnít try it on paying audience yet because I canít make it work 100% (I mean it works 100% with some friends, and never with others, no matter what I do).

Anyway thanks again to everybody for your comments!

Bye

Rebecca
Meng
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Quote:
On 2006-12-03 16:39, Rebecca Travis wrote:
Still I am not taken seriously, for example even if I do contact mind reading for my friends, which is real body language, they still think about magic tricks! And I'm not even lying about the method! I cannot believe this.


Quote:
On 2006-12-05 04:58, Rebecca Travis wrote:
But still, I am not and will not pretend to be someone I am not:as I said I donít pretend to have mindreading powers or be able to bend metal etc. I talk about psychology, persuasion, intuition etc.

Just to give you an example, my contact mind reading routine is as follows: I talk about a common experience we all had, losing things we cherish;I share a true experience about a ring my mother gave to me, and I lost it a few years later, by the way still donít know how the #### it happened. I then run through the CMR routine and find the missing object for the spectator.



Just to be sure.
You tell your audience an emotional story about a lost ring (which, btw, thematically has nothing to do with contact mind reading) and moments later you are talking about psychology and the workings of muscle reading?
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I think you're garbling, Meng. All seems safely consistent to me.
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Dr Spektor
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Isso Has Spoken!!!!

(I still think you'd make a good Delirium, Reb)
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Rebecca We as men also have disbelievers and just have to take the good with the bad. Its all about believeing in yourself that counts. Best of luck Paul T

Quote:
On 2006-12-03 16:39, Rebecca Travis wrote:
Thanks a lot for all your indications!

Salsadancer, I didn't understand your ironic comment on the training time ("the future of magic"), but I already answered you in that other thread.

Yes I know young age (Looch, I'm 22 now) and being a girl don't help,BUT I'm not pretending to be something I am not. No witches, no psychic, no supernatural powers. I know the Georgia Magnet "superpower" stunts, and don't like them. I talk about psychology, intuition, suggestion, persuasion,body language: those things are real ( that's what they teach me at university now!). And people often talk about women having more intuition than men so this made sense to me.

Still I am not taken seriously, for example even if I do contact mind reading for my friends, which is real body language,they still think about magic tricks! And I'm not even lying about the method!I cannot believe this.

I have been doing magic since my childhood so as Quinn said maybe my manners convey "magic"... this would be a very big problem because I don't realize it and can't do anything about it. This is very frustrating because I am more interested in mentalism than magic now.

Anyway thank you again for all your indications and references!

Bye

Rebecca
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Dannydoyle
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Really the thing most miss is entertainment value for what you are doing.

You would be suprised how much leeway you can end up with when people are genuinely entertained by what they are watching.

The most important point is to be engaging.
Danny Doyle
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JeffMac
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First I'm more a magican than mentalist, I use my magic performances to develop my mentalism. I am using very simple effects that are more than obviously magic tricks (predidcting a forced card). But in doing this it makes it much more difficult to make the audience belive that I am reading their mind. Which I feel is going a long way to teaching me the differences in performance. More and more people are starting to belive that I am mind reading.
The difference I find I am using is when I perform magic tricks there is a confidence in the performance that it's going to succeed. When I'm dealing with reading someones mind there should be more of a chance of failure. There should be more things that can go wrong. I fake missing slightly and fix as I go.
Some of the things I've done that are working for me. hope they help you.
I think when they others are talking about character it is not so much you be come the Amazing Rebeccaini but the development of your staged reactions to outcomes of effects. Although you know exactly what you are doing if each step seems mundane to you they will seem the same to the audience
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-05 13:35, JeffMac wrote:
First I'm more a magican than mentalist, I use my magic performances to develop my mentalism. I am using very simple effects that are more than obviously magic tricks (predidcting a forced card). But in doing this it makes it much more difficult to make the audience belive that I am reading their mind. Which I feel is going a long way to teaching me the differences in performance. More and more people are starting to belive that I am mind reading.
The difference I find I am using is when I perform magic tricks there is a confidence in the performance that it's going to succeed. When I'm dealing with reading someones mind there should be more of a chance of failure. There should be more things that can go wrong. I fake missing slightly and fix as I go.
Some of the things I've done that are working for me. hope they help you.
I think when they others are talking about character it is not so much you be come the Amazing Rebeccaini but the development of your staged reactions to outcomes of effects. Although you know exactly what you are doing if each step seems mundane to you they will seem the same to the audience



I always find the notion that some things should go wrong when you are reading peoples minds interesting.

IF your readign their mind why exactly should things go wrong? It is kind of counterintuative. To the people "if your reading my mind, your reading my mind". Just curious is all, maybe it is another thread sorry.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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