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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Psychics and Mentalists (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Cutts
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Is it true what they say, Doc? Do Mizzarists enjoy company? Smile
Sealegs
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Thank goodness I'm a comedian.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
yachanin
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Hi Tom,

Quote:
On 2008-03-09 22:05, Tom Cutts wrote:
Hi Steve,

My thoughts are: "If it fails to impress on even one audience member that what they saw was only trickery and illusion, then it fails as that which disclaims."


No disclaimer can meet that criterion. I assume, then, categorizing all disclaimers as "ineffective" by your statement, you think disclaimers are, at best, a waste of time. Is that correct?

Regards, Steve
entity
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Spektor: Your comment about avoiding exploitation seems a reasonable one. Thanks for your insights.

- entity
Tony Iacoviello
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In my view, "Psychic" like "Artist", is a label. A "psychic" can be a person with one or more of a wide variety of talents, skills, or abilities that are more developed or utilized by them more than in most people.

I abhor the use of the word "powers" that gets bandied around in these forums. That word is overstatement, and is usually used in a condescending manner. We don’t use that word when talking about musicians, artists, or writers. Nor when we hear that someone is an artist do we challenge them to paint the Mona Lisa, and when they decline or say that they sculpt and don’t paint, we don’t announce them frauds.

This group of threads that were started by entity, 5 just in the past week, if I’m not mistaken, one after the other, to me are polarizing and appear to be the soapbox of someone who seems to have an issue with people different than he. It is sad! (Again, my opinion.)

Slim King asked a question on the first page of this thread, can one be a psychic and a mentalist? Yes, why not. Can one be a mentalist and a musician? Can one be a cook and watch television? We are free to have as many interests as we wish. One interest does not exclude you from others, but one’s mindset may.

Tony Iacoviello
Tom Cutts
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Hi Steve,

No I think Penn and Teller have achieved this. They bill themselves as magicians but do some mental routines. People are entertained and no one believes they do anything but tricks. I'm basing that on feedback from those I know and those I over hear at their show. People have a great time, know it is all tricks and relax about that.

Then again, their staging is more intersting than their trickiness. I'm not sure that can be said of most mentalists. They rely awful heavy on the trick to get them by, to entertain. And I'm not sure the bombasticness of P&T would be a good fit for an all Mentalism show. Mentalism probably lacks the texture or diversity to keep up.

Disclaimer: the above is more thinking out loud than concrete thought. It is time for dinner and the last of the sunset. I love the time change when it is 60F at 8pm.

Tom
Dr Spektor
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Quote:
On 2008-03-09 22:22, Tom Cutts wrote:
Is it true what they say, Doc? Do Mizzarists enjoy company? Smile


Yep - but it depends on the company!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
magicusb
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Quote:
On 2008-03-08 22:27, entity wrote:
My understanding is that a Psychic is someone who believes he has special "psychic" abilities or powers that he or she might use in the real world or on stage, while a Mentalist is someone who uses specialize knowledge, illusion, suggestion, feats or memory, etc., for entertainment or theatrical purposes.
I'd be interested to know if others have thoughts on the distinctions between a psychic and a mentalist.
- entity

We might now know what a psychic is, and what a mentalist is,
but what is a Psychic Entertainer?
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Dr Spektor
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Somehow IMHO, a Psychic Entertainer falls is closer to a mentalist but will use various occult systems etc. that THEY BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES WITHOUT MENTALIST TRICKERY to incorporate into the entertainment - e.g. a card reading (oh, cold reading and warm reading are kosher if done in a healthy way IMHO - therapists do it all the time - I've seen many readers use cards for example as a metaphor and cue/triggering images to help a person make connections- and as I mentioned before, I just hope many are trained to help people explore and not exploit or tell people how to run their lives... no one has that power IMHO except the person themselves (maybe!))....oh also, psychic motifs may be used for mentalism effects but they are done in a way that it is clear it is for entertainment purposes of the engaged audience...

IMHO x999

The above is just my opinion!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
leapinglizards
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(My definitions only- with no desire to argue the point nor to convince you that I am right or you are wrong…)

"Psychic" is to "Artistic" as "A Psychic" is to "An Artist" Or put another equivalent way- "psychic" is to "athletic" as "A Psychic Reader" is to "An Athlete." If we are talking definitions.

That is to say, the word Psychic is used to describe certain abilities which some believe everyone has, others use synonymously with "intuition" and which everyone possesses (I believe) to one degree or another. "A PSYCHIC" or a "Psychic Reader" is one who uses their intuitive ability professionally. Professionally in this case could mean as a spiritual counselor, doing readings at fairs, helping friends out who have questions about life.

A Mentalist (again, these are MY working definitions only- there is no attempt to convince you that I am right.) is one who appears to read minds in a performing environment or demonstrate other "paranormal" appearing things for the purpose of entertainment. In my mind, the line drawn between mentalist and "Psychic entertainer," "Paranormalist" or other reframes is just that, one of frame of reference in the performers mind- and intent.

A Psychic Entertainer is one who appears primarily in entertainment environments doing what is presented as stereotypical psychic work. Here I think the distinction between Psychic Entertainer and Mentalist is A- How they are perceived, and B- How they present themselves. (Do they use a disclaimer or not? Do they make or imply claims or conversely allow the audience to draw their own conclusions as opposed to out right saying "This is illusion.") A psychic entertainer may or may not do readings (Ie Palm or Tarot) in an entertainment setting. Whereas a "Psychic" would be more likely to do private readings in the format of spiritual/ intuitive counseling. I tend to think of a psychic entertainer as using less literal disclaimers. Others who call themselves psychic entertainers may or may not agree.

None of these things should be confused with a "Fraudulent (insert term here)" that is someone who uses Psychic Claims, Claims of being a Contractor, Insurance Scams, Fake FBI credentials or any other guise, to defraud people. Ie- in my head, a “Fraudulent Psychic” is very different from a "Psychic." In my definitions (and again ONLY mind no need for you to agree with them) there is and can be a difference- just as their could be fraudulent magicians, fraudulent plumbers, fraudulent charismatic leaders etc... I realize for some people A = B.

That was my two cents.
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entity
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LL: Thanks for your respectful and thoughtful input. I find your definitions reasonable and compelling.


Quote:
On 2008-03-09 22:43, Tony Iacoviello wrote:

I abhor the use of the word "powers" that gets bandied around in these forums. That word is overstatement, and is usually used in a condescending manner. We don’t use that word when talking about musicians, artists, or writers.
Tony Iacoviello

Musicians, artists and writers don't claim to have genuine "powers". Some psychics do. Geller does, and he's Psychic numero uno to many. Perhaps your issue is with what "psychics" claim, and not with those who quote them.

- entity
John Nesbit
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Some creative input.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xquT2g01Jx4&feature=related
Sums things up for "musicians, artists, writers, psychics and mentalists. (Even magicians).
bdekolta
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Thanks John that was a fun clip.
Bill Hallahan
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I agree with Dr. Spektor's well-written post.


Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
Mentalists apologize for their actions to cover their own guilt. Psychics do it for legal purposes. Smile


entity wrote:
Quote:
Mentalists sometimes use disclaimers out of respect for their audiences.

- entity


Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
Possibly, but more often it appears they use them for the reason I have stated above; and for the reason you have stated elsewhere, a theatrical purpose, not a disclaiming one.

Tom, although you used a winking graphic in your first post, your second response indicates that you really believe guilt is why some mentalists use a disclaimer.

What do you see that makes you believe that? It seems highly likely that entity is correct.

To be sure, people who do wrong often will feel guilty afterwards, but that is rarely the primary motivating factor that stops people from doing what they believe to be wrong. Most of us follow our value systems, not because of guilt, or any other penalty for that matter.


More significantly, whether you're right or not is totally irrelevant as to whether it's right to use a disclaimer, or not. By analogy, someone might feel guilty if they were to rob a bank, and you could state that the only reason they don't rob banks is because of the guilt they would feel, but that wouldn't change the fact that robbing a bank is wrong.

Attributing attributes to people is not a weak supporting argument, it's generally not an argument at all. (You did not do either of these, but the same can be said of labeling people, and name-calling).

Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
Why is there nothing to do about that? I see it as a simple question of where you draw the line. If people ignore a disclaimer I would say it is ineffective. If some people ignore a stop sign, what is the consequence?

If some people ignore a disclaimer, then it is ineffective for them. If others pay attention, and trust the performer, then the disclaimer clearly will have an effect. If the goal is sending a message, then clearly reaching some people is better than none.

I agree, any message a performer wishes to convey should be clear, and usually concise, and ideally it should reach everyone. While I reject the notion that people's beliefs are always invariant, I do acknowledge that some such people exist. They are a minority with respect to most of these types of beliefs, and just because they exist is no reason to avoid a disclaimer for those of us who's belief systems are more malleable.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Virungan
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There is now a thread called MENTALISTS a thread called PSYCHICS and a thread called PSYCHICS AND MENTALISTS and several others with much the same content, and in all of them the same issues, questions, claimers and disclaimers, bunkers and debunkers are revolving with the predictable inevitability of a pair of socks in a tumble dryer..

Let's blow this popsicle stand...
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
Bill Hallahan
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You're right Virungan. I was responding to Tom's post, but it has been beaten to death.


The Merriam Webster dictionary, which contains the definitions that laypeople would use, has the following entry for the word mentalist.
Quote:
mind reader

That's the only definition. The term mentalist has certainly come to mean more than that today among performers.

The definition of the word psychic as a noun is:
Quote:
1 a: a person apparently sensitive to nonphysical forces b: medium 2 : psychic phenomena


And the definition of the word psychic as an adjective is:
Quote:
1 : of or relating to the psyche : psychogenic 2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force 3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding

psychically - adverb
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
revolving with the predictable inevitability of a pair of socks in a tumble dryer..

Yes, but which sock will go missing?
Dr Spektor
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Mentalist: Pick ze col-air

Participant: Bwoo!

Mentalist picks up a pant trouser - a blue sock! "Oui, Moi Magnifique!"

Participant: Wait a second... lift the other trowsa weg!

Mentalist picks up other trouser leg - a red sock! "Toot alors! Wait! Before vous said blue... you tinked of red ... oui monsouir????

Particpant: Well.... yeah.... but whats with the socks????

Mentalist: Eh? These are how they come - I have another pair just like these at 'ome!

Machine gun fire roars out and destroys entire stage for the sheer madness of it...

Cri$$ appears "BAH! I did that before! And I wore two Elephant Guns on my legs... 2 FRIGGIN ELEPHANT GUNS PAINTED BLUE AND RED... the ULTIMATE SOCK MENTAL EFFECT... two weeks before this post...."

Girl: wait a second... isn't that a sock on your head!

Cri$$: You betcha! You wanna know the difference between a mentalist, psychic and etc are versus the MINDFREAK?????

Girl: Sure!

Cri$$: I can do breast augementation WITH MY FRIGGIN MIND....
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Virungan
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Then Criss pulls up his pants leg to reveal an elaborately stitched legging depicting a medieval deer hunt...

Girl: What's up with the sock Criss, you big old hunk of magic man..?

Criss: That aint no sock... It's a TAPESTRY I tell ya...
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
Dr Spektor
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Oh yeah! We iz on a roll!!!! Props, Damien!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
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