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Arnon
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What is the mental age of most mentalists?

Creatively speaking, that is, at what mental age do you think mentalists are arrested?

Let me explain before the lynching comes…

Adam Gopnik wrote this in his article last month for The New Yorker magazine:

Quote:
"All grownup craft depends on sustaining a frozen moment from childhood: scientists, it's said, are forever four years old, wide-eyed and self-centered; writers are forever eight, over-aware and indignant. The magician is a permanent pre-adolescent. At least, all lives of magicians begin with a 12-year-old at a place like Tannen’s.” —Adam Gopnik, from “The Real Work – Modern Magic and the Meaning of Life,” The New Yorker, March 17, 2008, page 56.


And then a post from one of our own spurred me to read Peter Nardi’s survey of magicians:
Quote:
On 2008-04-08 15:38, Lemniscate wrote:
***
This link was originally posted on the Genii forum:
Magician's Survey
http://pzacad.pitzer.edu/~pnardi/magic.html
Peter Nardi
Sociology professor
Pitzer College
Claremont, CA


Following the link, I noticed that out of 227 magicians who completed surveys in the fall of 2007, 88 of those began their interest in magic between 8 and 12 years old – that’s 39.1% of them - the majority. The next most populous group responded that they had begun their interest in magic between 13 and 17 years old – that’s 46 of the 227, or 20.4%.

So… how old are we?
Nicholas
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I'm 6...doing a first grade show and tell (finger shopper using my teacher's finger.)
Arnon
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Smile

And how old is your audience, Nicholas? Smile

Do you also perform "Smash and Stabs" with your volunteer's hand?
chichi711
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My interest didn't start until I was 19 or 20. I often wish that I would have found it when I was 8-12.
entity
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27% of Magicians believe in Angels?

- entity
Jay Are
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...and leprachauns entity...

I'm 23...

I began performing magic when I was 12...

and mentalism became of interest to me when I was 15 ( thank you x files, and "In Search of...")

I began performing mentalism on a regular basis 4 years ago...

J
xxx
Zoran
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Old.
“When you can be your own best audience and when your applause is the best applause you know of, you’re in good shape.”LRH
MDantes
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No lynching Ala-non... You posted it, so... nobody to do the lynching... Smile

But on the subject...

Old, for real...

I feel you Z..

Old Spirits...

MD
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John C
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The problem with the research/surveys on magicians/entertainers is that we (not me!) inherently exaggerate, stretch, LIE about the truth.

We (not me!) can't help it. It's what we (again, not me!) do. So, to me the research is questionable.

John
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bevbevvybev
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4 (first magic set, which I had asked for specifically)
Chris K
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Ok, I'll go with 4.

My background is in science (math and biology specifically). I think I started really performing tricks for other people in 7th grade, prior to that I liked magic and read magic books, but mainly for the same reason I got into science (and auto shop): I have to know how things work. Initially, performing wasn't even the objective.

Wide-eyed and self-centered is certainly hyperbolic but not all-together far from the truth. I'd even go so far as saying that my initial performances (prior to 7th grade that is) were mostly to show off.

That got old pretty quick though, using magic to show off seems counter-productive but I got experience and realized I enjoyed entertaining people. I was lucky because I learned that early enough to take drama and get involved in community theater (not a LOT, mind you, couple plays a year for a few years).

I've got more to say on this actually but let's see what other people have to say first.

Lem
mindpunisher
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Any real creative artist or craftsman is never "arrested". Because the mental state that is creative is beyond time and space it knows no such constraints.

Creativity grows it doesn't stay the same. If it is "arrested" then it is no longer creative.

Associating an age and attempting to FREEZE a moment in time is just another limiting construct that really fails to do what the originator intended.

I think its flawed thinking. And the survey is useless.
kinesis
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First ever magic trick when I was 5. The bug bit when I was 13, that was 30 years ago. Smile
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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Drakmor Kain
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Quote:
On 2008-04-09 11:58, entity wrote:
27% of Magicians believe in Angels?

- entity


I'm thinking the numbers on that one and the Devil may have been upped by those who ranked themselves, 2-5 on the religion one and said, "Ya, I'm pretty sure that was what the pastor/whoever was talking about while I was sleeping/practicing the pass in church when I got dragged there."
Chris K
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Quote:
On 2008-04-09 13:05, mindpunisher wrote:
...
I think its flawed thinking. And the survey is useless.


Which can be said about anything, really. One of the first things you learn in marketing is that nobody thinks market research applies to them, yet following the research as if it applies to everybody works very well.

I take it that you don't do any cold reading? Many cold reading techniques are based on exactly the same sort of research. It'd be interesting if you accept surveys of one sort but not another because of your personal beliefs.

By the way, I am not saying the survey is good or bad, for me, what is most interesting is that this is what magicians were saying. I am not saying they were honest or that the survey is accurate, more that the way that people answer (whether lying or being honest) is information in itself. To say otherwise is a bit naive I think.

That sounds a bit harsh but it is not meant as so, just FYI. Just that dismissing a survey because you think people exaggerate or that the initial idea is unsound ignores all the other information you may be able to glean onto.

Lem
Arnon
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Quote:
On 2008-04-09 13:05, mindpunisher wrote:
Any real creative artist or craftsman is never "arrested". Because the mental state that is creative is beyond time and space it knows no such constraints.

Creativity grows it doesn't stay the same. If it is "arrested" then it is no longer creative.
***


DISTINCTION:

Creativity is boundless, BUT a major aspect of the creative performer's persona may be a throwback to a personality in childhood that later changed.

And that performing persona may have a heightened sense of wonder, drama, and ingenuous mystery because it is drawn from an earlier stage in the individual's development.

Being able to capture these (inner) child's traits (and "freeze them for the present") may be the very source of the adult performer's creativity and charisma.

Arnon
IAIN
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I came late...which is usually a bonus in life...

anyway, late twenties...27ish I think...36 this year...

I had a head start in that I'm quite nimble fingered from playing the guitar since I was 14, was always into creative stuff, painting, screen printing stuff like that...i was a music nerd before a magic nerd...

oh and I've always been quite childish...

I don't think it matters what time you start, or indeed finish, its the quality of the man/woman that counts...as it's all about "who" you are, the more charming and personable you are, the better your results...

a very brief example was last weekend in a bar, a belgian woman was bemoaning about london and its people, the barman was snooty, I was quickly pleasant and she invited me back to her table, we chatted for ten minutes, I did one quick effect with her permission, then made my excuses and joined the people I was with...she then came back over gave me her number and email and asked for us to meet again when she's over her in two months time...

it was a basic piece of swami work, but I revealed her boyfriend's initials to her as she was missing him...but she couldn't speak for 5 minutes...
I've asked to be banned
Nicholas
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Sorry for the long time in responding, Arnon. No...I didn't do smash and stab. I tamed it down to bolt through pencil. I'm 59 now, but I still remember how hesitant my teacher was, back then, to let me do my thing with the finger chopper (I even brought celery sticks with me to show how effective my little Adam's chopper was). Eventually, she got one of the other students to volunteer a finger. (Gosh, the things you remember as a kid...) Actually, I'm sorry I started so early. I've had to unlearn a lot of very deeply set bad habits. I learned a lot of tricks betweeen the ages of 6 and 12...the mechanics, that is. That's a bad way to start.
Mick Ayres
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Is there a category for "fossil"? If so, you'll likely find me there.

Best,
Mick
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scarnecky
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First of all- a very interesting thread.

A whole lot of introspectional thinking from these posts.

Personally I kind of feel like I am a hundred and fifty trying my best to be 35.

Progressively

Scar
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