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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How to keep from being scary (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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stashu
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Jonathan, I UNDERSTAND EXACTLY what you mean. Basically, lets forget for a second that you are a performer, NO ONE LIKES an ego maniac! In sales we always say " I don't care what you are selling, if I don't like YOU, ill buy from someone else!" And you cant get people to like you by being an ego maniac, that is why no one at my work likes my boss, he is a threatening charachter with a huge ego and it really puts people off.
ttorres
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Jonathan, I think I get what you are saying. To use two strong personalities to illustrate (what I think is) your point. Richard Osterlind is a great example of someone who has a none threatening personality yet due to his showmanship he is able to present an effect with optimal impact. Whereas Max Maven’s character is a bit on the lager than life side. Which could be perceived as scary. Is that correct? If so may I surmise that only one of these completely different performers is correct with there presentational style while the other is not?
...the magic that creates Memories!
Jonathan
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I think a better comparison would be Richard Osterlind vs Derren Brown. Richard is very likable whereas DB is more powerful. Two different approaches. I remember my dear mother seeing Richard after having seen DB and she said "I like him a whole lot better than that Derren guy, I didn't like him". I was really surprised. Sure, it's an older lady's opinion, but it opened my eyes.

Derren is very intimidating! But, he is powerful in his persona and presentation and extremely talented/entertaining. Is there a way to be that powerful while being non-threatening and likable?

As for Max, I've never cared much for his act to be honest. I don't know quite how to place him. He almost seems like an over-the-top character and I don't think people take him seriously. Almost like a parody. I have no idea how audiences take him, I really don't. I wouldn't have the arrogance to say anyone's style is "incorrect" as long as it is fully formed and consistent.
TonyB2009
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I believe in keeping it light. I have replaced the creepy Omen music with the circus march to come on, and I have lots of comedy.
So does Derren Brown, who has been listed here as a scary performer.
The most successful psychic entertainers at the moment are the fake mediums, and most of those play it light, particularly in Britain. Just because you are laughing doesn't mean you can't be impressed. Tony.
WDavis
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That's a great idea of keeping it light tony with circus music. just hope people who watch you don't have a phobia of clowns.
Waters
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Quote:
On 2009-09-07 17:43, Jonathan wrote:
I think a better comparison would be Richard Osterlind vs Derren Brown. Richard is very likable whereas DB is more powerful. Two different approaches. I remember my dear mother seeing Richard after having seen DB and she said "I like him a whole lot better than that Derren guy, I didn't like him". I was really surprised. Sure, it's an older lady's opinion, but it opened my eyes.

Derren is very intimidating! But, he is powerful in his persona and presentation and extremely talented/entertaining. Is there a way to be that powerful while being non-threatening and likable?


Interesting points, and ironically I mention both Richard and Derren as people who care about their audiences (in the "DC Technique" essay). I believe charm is what allows one to get away with being a bit ominous. While their styles are very different, I think they both are people who endear their audiences.

With Derren, in particular (since you mention a slightly more menacing nuance), I think there is a playfulness about his darker side, that intrigues more than intimidates. I think this is difficult to do well, but obviously he pulls it off wonderfully.

I think their stage personas are very likeable and people will allow them to "sell" their performances (in the metaphor used above), because their audiences know they are being tended by someone who cares. I would imagine they are that way in person, as well.

Sean
Natural Mystic
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My mentalism shows are designed to inspire, entertain and,hopefully, facilitate behavior changes. Using mentalism to scare people is misusing a very powerful tool.

One Love.
"You never change the existing reality by
fighting it. Instead, create a new model that
makes the old one obsolete."
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baggins321
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This mentalism is as unscary as it gets:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM-3pjbMhzM

On a more serious note derren brown in his blog recommends The Happiness Hypothesis book which I am about to get. It's not about making mentalism less scary but you all may find use with the positive psychology. Personally I tend to use positive messages when it comes to mentalism like positive cold reading and predictions etc.
Mark Rough
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That's unscary?!?!?!?
What would Wavy do?
Paul R
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Is there anything in your script that's scary? Can you soften it?
Or can you add somthing to remove the scaryness?
I've seen Luke Jermay throw confetti in the air if he thinks someone is scared("Everything's less scary with confetti!").
What are you doing at that moment where the magic happens?
My advice would be be friendly and smile, reassure people and make them feel comfortable, Derren is very good at that without breaking the tension.
Richard Osterlind
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Quote:
On 2009-09-07 22:56, Natural Mystic wrote:
My mentalism shows are designed to inspire, entertain and,hopefully, facilitate behavior changes. Using mentalism to scare people is misusing a very powerful tool.

One Love.


Could you elaborate a bit on the "facilitate behavior changes" goal you mentioned?

Richard
JAlenS
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Uh Oh! The master has asked a question Smile




I don't think mentalism is misused if it is presented as scary. It's inherently a little scary anyway - to think that a stranger can look at you and know your inner most thoughts and what you did. Even during a 'scary' presentation I think it's up to us to reassure the audience that their secrets will not be told to everyone else in some form or fashion.
Richard Osterlind
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JAlenS,

You are right; mentalism is by nature a scary thing. People believe their innermost thoughts to be a very private sanctuary. Any intrusion into that area can be quite intimidating which is why your presentation has to be tempered with humor and friendliness.

As for Natural Mystic's question, I am always interested in what a performer's driving force is, hence the question.

Richard
JAlenS
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Oh I know. I wondered myself about changing someone's behavior through mentalism. Hypnosis yeah, but mentalism as used to change behavior? Interesting but I don't really understand the why of it.
mindshrink
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Osterlind ends every effect with a disarming smile..leaves you with a sense of 'awe' or bewilderment.
Max ends his effect with a raised eyebrow....not exactly scary but its not like Osterlinds disarming smile.
Havent seen enough of Derren to comment.
(Opinion based on DVd wtached)
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