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Terry Holley
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The late T.A Waters wrote about this difference in his work "The Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians" and he quotes it in his later work "Mysteries: Mental Magic For Magicians."

I don't have time to quote it right now, but if someone else has it, they might!

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Sealegs
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Neil,
I think your 'definitions' of Mentalism/mentalists and Mental magic/magicians are the best broad, succinct and emcompassing descriptions I have yet heard.

Where, though, would they place Derren Brown?

"Mentalism [...] is performed and perceived as a demonstration of psychic ability that just might be real."
Derren is unequivocally states in his shows that he has no psychic ability

"It [..] comes down to whether the audience perceives that the demonstrations might be real."
But his performances are such that sections of his audiences are still willing to consider this to be a possibility.

He performs as a mental magician but regardless of this still often comes across as a Mentalist!!

Maybe any good definitions, like Golden rules, always have an exception.

Neal Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Terry Holley
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T.A. Waters' definitions in the above cited works:

"MENTALISM: Often erroneously classed as a branch of magic, mentalism is a separate performance art; its roots are not in conjuing but (for the most part) in the spiritualistic and psychic demonstrations of the 19th century. It is often confused with MENTAL MAGIC, but the two arts are different in that mentalism seeks to create a dramatic reality of belief in the performer's 'powers,' while mental magic is designed to baffle and mystify the onlooker."

"MENTAL MAGIC: A branch of magic comprising demonstrations of apparent extraordinary or supernatural mental powers - lightning calculation, super-memory, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. Often included in this category are simulations of mediumistic phenomena, such as spirit slate writing or demonstration seances."

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
cupsandballsmagic
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The difference between magic and mentalism is about a grand a day!
Sorry... couldn't resist!
chuckm
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Not exactly the same topic....but you might find this page from my blog interesting concerning mentalism vs. magic. The blog entry itself is nothing new (it was written for the lay public), but the most recent response from a fellow performer will raise some eyebrows:

http://www.chucklmiller.com/chucksblog.h......8#topBox

Chuck
Chuck L. Miller
Magician/Mentalist
www.chucklmiller.com
IAIN
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Quote:
On 2007-11-13 15:53, Neil Tobin wrote:
Apologies, Abraxus, but I don't agree with your distinctions.

PK work is mentalism (if done believably) yet it's visual, and mentalism can absolutely be presented believably within a storytelling framework (which I do in every performance). Further, just because your audience of "real normal people" accepts and likes you doesn't mean it has invested belief in your performance.

Best,
Neil


you don't have to apologise!

everyone has their own definitions, and always will...for me, mentalism is an internal process, if I use PK as the example, I mean that it's either yourself "focusing", or the audience with you as the conduit (or anything inbetween) - and that internal focus is what I mean by saying mentalism is an internal process...for me anyway!

whereas magic, cup and balls even, is a story-driven, but more of a visual illustration of *whatever* you are showing...

if I may use OOTW as an example, I have a mini version I use, with 26 little cards, on the front is a word, and I tell a couple that these words are the results of a massive word association test conducted in the University of East London in 1978. These words, were the most popular results...

I ask the man to allow himself to get into a female state of mind, and as he looks at each word, he is to place them into either of two piles, I place down two other cards, one marked M for male, F for female...we stop around half way...

I'm sure you can all fill in the blanks from here...the woman takes over (don't they always!) and etc etc...

then for the finish, as the original Paul Curry one finishes, I turn over the sections of cards, and on the backs of each card, are marked M or F...and the couple, perfectly in tune with one another, and inuitively, have seperated all the words into the correct M/F responses...

now, for me, they went through an internal process to achieve that...

to quote the old faithful, what you define, you create...
I've asked to be banned
Sidney
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Quote:
On 2007-11-12 23:57, Turk wrote:
The differenece between mentalism and mental magic? Is there really one and, if so, what layman really cares? Laymen are not interested in these pi**ing contests between various "labelled" types of magicians. What the lay audiences really want (and desparately cry out for) is to be entertained.

Some of the great mentalists of all times had no compunction whatsoever about mixing and incorporating straight magic into their mentalist show. If they can mix in straight magic in with their mentalism, and if the audience is entertained, there is no need to label nor to decry something as mental magic in the perjorative sense. If the laymen do not care, why should we care? Why try to adopt an elitist attitude in the hope that by your self-labelling, you can think (and feel) yourself superior to a person whom you have defined as "outside" your circle of elitism?

Just, IMHO.

Mike



For those that know the differance, no explanation is necessary, and for those that think there is no differance, We'll they just don't matter.

Sid
gabelson
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I think there's a distinction between magic and mentalism, but mentalism and mental magic? Quibbling. Linking rings and chop cups are clearly different than Q & A, yet BOTH involve trickery. If one does mental epic with plain business cards, does that make it more "true" mentalism than using a board, which would be "mental magic" since a prop is involved? Is it any more "pure"? I wonder. The end result is the same. If you can do a decent DL, you can do epic with business cards, yet a DL would be considered a card man's move- a magician's move. A classical violinist is clearly different than a heavy-metal guitarist, but at the end of the day, they're both musicians. We're all illusionists, friends. Whether we're doing propless mentalism, psychological forces or the Zig Zag lady, we're all in the deceptionary arts. There's an expression used in certain rooms: "terminally unique". It's how we all view ourselves; when in fact, we're all the same.
tmoca
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Quote:
On 2007-11-12 19:51, Vincent.Lynch wrote:
My definition is; if he says he's a mentalist, 19 times out of 20 he's a mental magician.


HAHA! Truedat
kriskraze
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Tearing up paper, playing cards, envelopes, locked chests, magic wands and bunny rabbits all indicate "mental magician".
psychicturtle
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Playing cards do NOT equal 'mental magician' Kris, I have to tell you that you are totally wrong. And that is a not a debatable point, it can be proven.

How? Well, here is the proof: Hoy's Tossed out deck.

Ok? Argument over.
:)
kriskraze
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There's exceptions to every rule. All I can say is the vast majority of effects that use playing cards scream of 'magic'. A good presentation (which I've not seen many of in regards to the Hoy Tossed Out Deck) can save a card trick... but it can also elevate a good trick/method to greatness.

Incidently original Hoy version is one of my least favorite variations on the TOD effect.
Lord Of The Horses
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Quote:
On 2007-11-13 18:47, Terry Holley wrote:
T.A. Waters' definitions in the above cited works:

"MENTALISM: Often erroneously classed as a branch of magic, mentalism is a separate performance art; its roots are not in conjuing but (for the most part) in the spiritualistic and psychic demonstrations of the 19th century. It is often confused with MENTAL MAGIC, but the two arts are different in that mentalism seeks to create a dramatic reality of belief in the performer's 'powers,' while mental magic is designed to baffle and mystify the onlooker."

"MENTAL MAGIC: A branch of magic comprising demonstrations of apparent extraordinary or supernatural mental powers - lightning calculation, super-memory, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. Often included in this category are simulations of mediumistic phenomena, such as spirit slate writing or demonstration seances."

Terry


Bob Cassidy also has shared a similar view on Mentalism.

And for my money, I agree with T.A. and Bob. Why? Because they are right.


Of course... the best post here was the one Sidney wrote... Ah! Ah! Ah! I wholeheartedly agree!
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
gabelson
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Quote:
On 2007-11-16 02:27, kriskraze wrote:
Tearing up paper, envelopes... all indicate "mental magician".


Tell that to Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, etc...
Turk
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I find it very ironic that those who wish to be known as "mentalism purists" and who wish to set themselves above the "masses" attempt to do so by attempting to definitionally exclude all others from their pre-conceived (and arbitrary) definition of "mentalism", and then, in the same breath, they then use the very same methodologies that they decry for being used by the "lesser" magicians and "mental magic" magicians. And, in some cases, they also have the chutzpah to publish "mentalism books" that involve magic and mental magic methodologies(including book tests, chair predictions, Russian Roulette routines, etc). A classic case of "Do as I say and not as I do".

As I suggested before, the lay audience doesn't care or give a hoot what you or I call something. All they want to be is be entertained. These feeble attempts at artificial definitions are self-serving and accomplish nothing (with the possible exception of the declarant feeling better about himself for having placed himself in a self-limiting "class").

For those less charitable than I, they might wish to paraphrase Sidney's above condescending "blow-off" comment and state: "For those that understand this concept, no explanation is necessary, and for those that cannot understand this concept, well, they just don't matter."

At the end of the day all that matters is this: However you accomplish it, keep on entertaining your audiences.

Just, IMHO.

Mike
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Lord Of The Horses
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Quote:
On 2007-11-16 15:04, Turk wrote:
I find it very ironic that those who wish to be known as "mentalism purists" and who wish to set themselves above the "masses" attempt to do so by attempting to definitionally exclude all others from their pre-conceived (and arbitrary) definition of "mentalism", and then, in the same breath, they then use the very same methodologies that they decry for being used by the "lesser" magicians and "mental magic" magicians. And, in some cases, they also have the chutzpah to publish "mentalism books" that involve magic and mental magic methodologies(including book tests, chair predictions, Russian Roulette routines, etc). A classic case of "Do as I say and not as I do".


I disagree. It's not a book test or a chair routine who makes you a "mental magician" (or a Mentalist) but the frame you put around it or around your whole show.

Heck... Gerard Croiset (a famous psychic) basically was the father of the "chair routine" plot and Olof Jonsson (another famous psychic) was basically using playing cards to do marvellous AND convincing feats of mind to mind communication...

As for Book Tests and the various kinds of work with billets, they have their roots among the old time psychics and spiritualists, not among magicians. Magicians just stole those ideas and "improved" them.

So - it's not a single routine per se that class you as one or the other - but rather your biases, your beliefs and other things in your thinking that make the distinction.
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
Turk
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Quote:
On 2007-11-16 15:10, Lord Of The Horses wrote:


I disagree***

So - it's not a single routine per se that class you as one or the other - but rather your biases, your beliefs and other things in your thinking that make the distinction.


Paolo,

I certainly agree with that observation, and, it is preciesly a particular person's "biases and beliefs and other things" that make his/her definition soooo subjective and, in the end, the definition of "mentalist" and "mentalism" works out (for him or her) to be exactly what he/she subjectively has "determined" it is or should be.


For instance, some "mentalists" decree you cannot use playing cards in any mentalism effect; others, do not. Some will want a Mental Epic effect to be performed without using the Mental Epic magic prop; others will not have such feelings. Etc., Etc., Etc.

There is certainly not one fixed or objective definition of "mentalism" or "mentalist"; if there were, we would not even be having this discussion.

Just, IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

Mike
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Lord Of The Horses
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Quote:
On 2007-11-16 20:42, Turk wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-11-16 15:10, Lord Of The Horses wrote:


I disagree***

So - it's not a single routine per se that class you as one or the other - but rather your biases, your beliefs and other things in your thinking that make the distinction.


Paolo,

I certainly agree with that observation, and, it is preciesly a particular person's "biases and beliefs and other things" that make his/her definition soooo subjective and, in the end, the definition of "mentalist" and "mentalism" works out (for him or her) to be exactly what he/she subjectively has "determined" it is or should be.


For instance, some "mentalists" decree you cannot use playing cards in any mentalism effect; others, do not. Some will want a Mental Epic effect to be performed without using the Mental Epic magic prop; others will not have such feelings. Etc., Etc., Etc.

There is certainly not one fixed or objective definition of "mentalism" or "mentalist"; if there were, we would not even be having this discussion.

Just, IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

Mike


I agree on that.

And, all of us, make (or have made) some exceptions. But strictly speaking as a "rule of the thumb" I rather believe that people believe more (sorry for the pun) the thing could be real if you just use some scraps of paper rather than a flashy Mental Epic board...

Or to mention one of my many routines... I don't believe that people watching me perform Chairvelopes really believe I accomplish that thing thru psychic powers (well, some may still believe that) but if I am in another setting, with a group of people, and I propose an experiment with three or four empry chairs and some piece of paper they give me... then the thing is much more geared toward having them believe I accomplished that thing thru some sort of real precognition.

At least - that has always been my experience.
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
lumberjohn
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I see it more as a continuum rathern than strictly distinct categories. An example of someone solidly on one side would be a performer doing an impromptu reading with no props or other flourishes. An example of someone solidly on the other side would be a performer dressed in a flashy suit who, having just completed a dove act and a sprited version of cups and balls, whips a satin sheet off a large mental epic board and goes into that routine. Few of us perform all our material on either extreme. I would venture to guess that most of our acts fall somewhere near the middle. I suspect it would be difficult to work an entire act around effects on the far mentalist side, and to keep up the intensity required. On the other hand, an act in which all "mind" effects fall far on the other side may not have the impact one wishes. So a blend of styles may be best for most people.

An act centered entirely upon what most of us seem to roughly agree to be "mental magic," furthermore, is in my opinion not going to play as strong as one in which more traditional "mentalism" or other types of magic are worked in. Mental magic suffers when isolated because it is not particularly visual and is generally better suited for close up performances. So if you stick to only "mental magic," you give up the visual appeal of more traditional magic effects and the mystery element of mentalism. I think true mental magic is best used to punctuate performances using more traditional mentalism or more visual forms of magic.
entity
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My feeling is that it is the Mentalist that people believe in, not the effect. Once the audience believes the Mentalist is who he says he is, he can present just about any effect in the guise of Mentalism and the audience will accept it.

However, I think that the WISE Mentalist would resist the temptation to push the boundaries of this acceptance.

- entity
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