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KiKi
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Quote:
On 2007-06-14 14:47, entity wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-06-14 02:59, KiKi wrote:

I think it`s a matter of taste. a lot mentalists use cards and a lot DON`T, because it adds to much "magic-trick" into it.


Name the top 6 Mentalists of this or any time in modern history. I'll bet you that most, if not all of them use playing cards from time to time. Even Geller uses playing cards at times.

In the end, it's not the instrument played that convinces people, it's the Performer.

- entity


yes, all of them use cards I think, but from time to time! I also use cards from time to time, I love cards, but not more than once in a performance!
kiki
salsa_dancer
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Best card advice: Learn how to do a sloppy shuffle.
ChuckHickok
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Name the top 6 Mentalists of this or any time in modern history. I'll bet you that most, if not all of them use playing cards from time to time. Even Geller uses playing cards at times.



I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, this is rarely true of TODAY's best mentalists. (Caution: Because a performer has them in a book or on a CD doesn't mean the performer presents them to a lay audience.)

Today's serious mentalist can't get by with the "props" of yesterday's great mentalists. Because Dunninger used card at one time doesn't mean cards are OK in today's modern, fast paced world.

I wasn't going to post this because I know some will disagree. But this is a place to help people learn.

I truely believe - all things being equal - an entertaining mentalist who doesn't use playing cards will be more successful (and more believable) in the long run than a mentalist who uses playing cards.

Playing cards are OK for the hobbist to present a few mental magic effects for friends. But if your goal is to be an entertaining mentalist, move away from playing cards as quick as you can. (It took me 12 months of performing professionally before I put my last playing card effect aside ... and that meant putting aside a darn good card magic effect.)

Chuck Hickok
Roger Kelly
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Wow Chuck - You do come out with some gems! (yep - I have your books!) I think I see where you are coming from and yes, I'm more of a (serious) hobbyist - but not far off a 'pro' performer. I'd have to argue though to "move away from cards as quick as you can." (Each to their own - and all that.) I do have a card routine that revolves ONLY around mentalism - (close up obviously) and have been lucky to have received some praise from the hardened cynics that I work with. But yes, performing for a larger (corporate?) audience - cards may not be the answer - but surely one must stay in there? I'd even argue that some may be 'disappointed' not to see one! Smile
entity
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Chuck: With respect, because I've found you to be a very kind and thoughtful gentleman...

I certainly respect your ability to judge for yourself what works best for you, and I believe you when you say that for your performances playing cards and Mentalism don't mix well. To suggest that that dynamic therefore holds true for any "serious" Mentalist is, in my opinion, a specious stance to take.

To imply that today's "best" Mentalists for the most part shun the use of playing cards, and that "serious" Mentalists wouldn't use them are purely subjective sentiments. You consider the use of playing cards to be passe, and so anyone who uses them must not be one of today's "best" Mentalists. In your opinion.

Who are the "best" Mentalists currently working? By best do you mean best known to the public? Best known to other Mentalists and Magicians? The ones making the most money? To me, the best Mentalists are the ones who have caught the public's imaginations and have developed a broad-based demand for their work.

Who are the best known Mentalists currently performing? My guess would be Derren Brown and Kreskin, at least in the English-speaking world. If you go out on the streets in North America or in Europe and ask strangers to name Mentalists, I suspect that those are the names you'll most often hear. While Derren's exposure to North American audiences has been limited, that is soon about to change. Both use playing cards in their work on television and in their sold-out theater tours.

While we can argue that there are lots of talented Mentalists who work constantly and successfully in all sorts of venues, the two that I've named are still undeniably the best known to the general public. And they choose at times to use playing cards in their work. To call playing cards the "props" of yesterday's greats is both disrespectful to these gentlemen, and in my opinion, flies in the face of the reality that they (and others) prove on a nightly basis: Playing cards can and do work extremely well in Mentalism. Perhaps not for everyone, and perhaps not for you, but for some of today's most successful performers they do.


- entity
ChuckHickok
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Entity

Thanks for a thoughful response. There is something for everyone to think about in both of our postings.

Who are today better full-time performers currently using playing cards in their shows? I don't know. I'm sure there are some.

I do know several that do not use cards (Mark Salem, Banachek, Gerry McCambridge, Alain Nu - to name a few.) in their curent shows. I don't believe Derren Brown is curently using playing cards ... but he in one in 10,000 who could use them because of his persona and reputation.

I consider anything I use to demonstrate my "special powers" as a prop. My goal is to avoid props that cause people to think "magic trick" before I even start.

My main point: There are better props than playing cards for the mentalist who want to be taken seriously by today's lay audiences.

Chuck Hickok

Afterthought: I do not know a single mentalist who "returned" to using playing cards in his or her show after developing an act without playing cards.
espmagic
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This is a debate (over the use of cards) that will outlive us all! IMO, I believe that the secret lays not in the performer's ability to mold his or her performance around his or her props, but how the audience perceives what is being done.

In a recent lecture to magicians I solicited the names of five movies that included the character of a magician, and then asked them what about the "magician" that made him stand out. All of the replies were based on the icon of the magician, and how it is recognized by the public (which is why the magician, just like the good guy and the bad guy) is stereotyped. I then pointed out that this is exactly how the general public perceives us, and thinks of magicians: by the stereotypes that are presented in magic performances.

So, whether you use cards or not (regardless of how well you use them), or how deceptively you color their inclusion in your latest effect, you will still be thought of as a magician/trickster/gambler (depending on your presentation, right?).

Bob Cassidy (in Dreams and Devices) has a wonderful three-part effect, where the climax uses cards...he says the influence was a Stewart Judah(?) idea...and the whole "flow" of the effect is changed to include a gambling game, just to justify the use of cards. It is easy to say the explanation makes the layperson believe in mentalism, and forget about the "card trick" aspect, but who really knows what they think?

Do we take the chance that they think of us as tricksters? Do we care? As long as they're happy...

Lee
Roger Kelly
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Aha - yes, Bob Cassidy. Indeed, one of the greatest mentalism effects, and by him, is a 'card' effect - literally that - a ONE CARD effect. "Chronologue" and I would not be without it!
entity
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Chuck: Alain Nu uses his version of card at any number, both in his television work and in live performances at times.

Derren Brown is currently using playing cards in an effect in his live theater show.

Tim Connover uses playing cards, and he's one of my favorite Mentalists.

I consider myself one of the better full-time Mentalists around, and I use playing cards in my own theater performances.

As I mentioned, Kreskin is one of the most successful Mentalists around and he uses playing cards in virtually every performance.

Re: your comment about not knowing anyone who returns to using playing cards, I can't really speak to that, as I don't know who you are talking about specifically.

I am curious about your comment that a performing using playing cards is using old, passe tools as a Mentalist, and yet you don't feel the same way about something very old like The Magic Square, which I find archaic and something that many school children are familiar with.

Interesting conversation, though, thanks.

- entity
jakeg
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I don't know about other mentalists, but Dunninger's audience would have bought anything he did as proof of his mental abilities. It took a long time for him to build his public persona. Unfortunately, I'm not a talented as he is, I don't think that I could get away with it, so I watch the props that I use very carefully. If it makes me look like a magician's prop, or a prop that's out of place, I don't use it. (To use a small wallet on a stage makes no sense to me.
But that's my opinion. I hate book test that have the audience go through hoops to select a page. If you could read minds you have somebody open to a page in a book or newspaper, select any word at random and tell them what it is. Why would they have to cut the paper up or pick discs out of a bag? I don't understand. But the bottom line is that it's your act. Use whatever you want. I saw Kreskin open his act with linking finger rings, and it certainly didn't hurt his act.
entity
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Jake:

That's pretty much what I've been saying: Use whatever you want and what you find works for you.

My problem with Chuck's post was that he expressed the position that no Mentalist should use playing cards, and that they're not okay "in this modern, fast-paced world".

- entity
Malchat
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On 2007-06-15 16:54, jakeg wrote:
If you could read minds you have somebody open to a page in a book or newspaper, select any word at random and tell them what it is. Why would they have to cut the paper up or pick discs out of a bag?


The same questions seem to pop up in a lot of threads lately... why write it down? Why tear it up? Why use a book? Why use cards? etc.

They are always posed rhetorically, as if the consensus demands no answer.

Show me the guy who is able to ignore the internet for a few days, and actually sits down to answer these questions in an intelligent and theatrically satisfying manner, and I'll show you the next Kreskin.
“You are what you pretend to be.”
entity
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I think the answers to those questions must be an inherent part of the presentation each and every time such things are used or done.

But that's true in all Mentalism, not just for cards or having things written down. The premise, the process and the props must be believable for the purposes of the demonstration.

- entity
chris_johnson_au
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Quote:
On 2007-06-15 17:05, Malchat wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-06-15 16:54, jakeg wrote:
If you could read minds you have somebody open to a page in a book or newspaper, select any word at random and tell them what it is. Why would they have to cut the paper up or pick discs out of a bag?


The same questions seem to pop up in a lot of threads lately... why write it down? Why tear it up? Why use a book? Why use cards? etc.

They are always posed rhetorically, as if the consensus demands no answer.

Show me the guy who is able to ignore the internet for a few days, and actually sits down to answer these questions in an intelligent and theatrically satisfying manner, and I'll show you the next Kreskin.


The questions may be rhetorical but I bet that answering them (or not) through your own presentation will define you as a mentalist and performer.

All the best,

Chris
Chris Johnson
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www.thementalist.com.au
teejay
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Quote:
On 2007-06-13 16:36, entity wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-06-13 15:22, KiKi wrote:
use one cardeffect, that's enough. cards=magician in laymen eyes!
kiki

Please explain that to Dunninger, Chan Canasta, David Berglas, Kreskin, David Hoy, Derren Brown and me.
- entity


And Max Maven?
:)
TJ
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When it comes to playing cards on stage I use Osterlind's BCS (Breakthrough Card System). Close-up, I use the Brainwave deck. I'm still searching for the best effect that fits me with esp cards.

MFG, play with your own ideas you think fits you. That is the best way to challenge for the best.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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I don't perform "card tricks;" I perform magic with cards. Smile
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Dynamike
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Same here. I also perform mentalism with card.
HollyMental
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I do think playing cards make people think of magicians but I also think a mentalist can justify the usage of playing cards. Playing cards are well known and recognized and afford at least 52 possibilities for a selection. Most other effects can’t offer that many possible selections - at least not with any space economy.

I personally prefer ESP cards for mentalism. I do love magic though and I’m always on the lookout for a magician’s card trick that can be adapted to ESP cards. Koran’s Five Star Prediction is an example of a trick done with playing cards which I feel adapts very nicely to ESP cards. I use effects designed for ESP cards but I’m also always on the lookout for magic card tricks I can adapt.

As far as why to have people write things down, I can justify that. I tell people I have them write things down so they will focus on their choice. If you tried to read someone’s mind, it would be impossible unless they could focus on a specific word or whatever. Also, you can justify it because you need their written thought for verification of your reading. After all, a spectator could just lie about what they were thinking but if they write it down, you have evidence.

As far as the book test, you can justify that as well. You can say you want to try an experiment with something totally random. That’s why they draw a number. You could even do a book test with one person and a design duplication with another, saying you want to do something random with one person and something specific with another. As long as you can justify what you’re doing, no one will question it.

That’s just my opinion.


Holly
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tboehnlein
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I think Malchat said it well, I do not believe we have to justify why we are using playing cards or why we ask someone to write it down. Unless you are trying to please the magicians or the mentalist in the audience, I do not. the audience hinks like a layman we think like magicians.
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