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sebbyg
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Music for a Mentalism Show???

I have used background music in the past in my “magic” stage show to enhance effects that don’t require talking, to assist in punctuating applause cues, and for eliciting a particular mood for an effect. Perhaps no one has this more successfully then David Copperfield in our generation. Finding the perfect piece of music to complement a magic effect is a true skill.

Thus far I have not personally used any music during my mentalism shows for several reasons:

1) I typically perform my mentalism show for smaller groups and don’t require a PA system.

2) I want the mentalism show to not feel like a “Magic Show” but a different kind of experience (and I market it as such).

3) The way I present it, mentalism is clearly “only for entertainment purposes,” however with that said in the mind of the audience, mentalism is typically experienced as a real or quasi-real experience where the audience doesn’t know what to believe (despite disclaimers). Magic is the opposite it is typically performed with a wink and a nod. Like professional wrestling, the audience knows magic isn’t real but does not know the secrets. For a magic show, the lights, music and smoke enhance the drama and theater of the experience for the audience. Would it do the same do for a Mentalism stage show or would it make it look more like traditional magic and less unique????

I find myself facing several upcoming booking with larger crowds Smile. A microphone and PA will be necessary so adding music would be easy and the next logical step.
So the question I am posing to the collective is: can and should music be incorporated in to a mentalism show?

Specific Talking Points:

Do any of you currently use music with your Mentalism show?

Do you think music enhances or takes away from the unique nature of the performance?

Any suggestions on a particular style or artist that would fit well with a Mind Reading show?
Amirá
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Sometimes Music could trivialize your demonstrations, even if you are presented yourself as an entertainer and not sometimes more challenging.

In my "Time Machine" Presentation I use music in the moment of the visualization ( Pat Metheny´s Piece) , but that's it.

Sometimes music can be used as an anchor of yourself (and that can be good) , but is important to understand that Mentalism exists in Words... and if you have background music while you are trying to read someones minds and your participant say :

"What? I didn't hear you" music isn't very good for your performance.
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irishmagic
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I think the right music can add to any performance
Gatehouse
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In my opinion, music and it's application to performances of mentlism is often overlooked yet potentially, incredibly rewarding.

Of course, it entirely depends upon your stage persona and the style of your routines, so it would be an entirely personal thing... I believe it's Andy Nyman who uses a Kylie Minogue track in one of his Effects on the Get Nyman DVD.

You may find that your presentation is a more formal affair and would suit classical music or may be at ease using a more 'down to earth' soundtrack... in the end it's entirely down to your character and the way he presents himself.. the key is to be appropriate, I guess.
voh002
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I just finnish reading the book "Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber. Great book by the way. He wrote that he regrets that he didn´t use music more often in his mentalist shows, and he is an very experienced performer.
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nimrod
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I use music in my show. Begin with 3 segments: one for the beginning of the, one for the ending, and one for between effects (In Hebrew we call it carpet/rug music). Once you begin using music you won't understand why you hadn't before.
powerwords
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I use background music in my performance. It helps to get the attention and the focus of the audience.

I don't do it like David Copperfield. Loud volume at the start of the show (when I enter the stage) with a little help of the lighting. When I start speaking, low volume of course. I need people to hear what I'm about to say.

So far, it helps to create the atmosphere I want and it's easier to get the attention from the audience.

It works for me
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Steve_Mollett
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I use royalty-free music composed and recorded by Bill White:

http://www.billwhitemusic.com/index.php?......72b0aabf

Several of his compositions work well for mentalism.
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Dr. Eamon
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Music can ad so much extra to your show, but it´s not easy (and a lot of work) to choose the right music and find the perfect timing and balance.

Music can make a show much more professional but also more amateurish so be careful and take your time!
quicknotist
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I have a friend, a local producer of electronic music who has made his entire back-catalogue available for me to use.
Whenever I use it, it promotes his work too.
Look around locally. You might find someone similar.
Reg
Dr. Eamon
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I think you are lucky...
;)
godot
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I always say that if something doesn't add to a show it distracts, I find this to be the case with music or sound in general. If you want to highten emotion the right piece of music can be a great way of doing this, I tend to use if for 'darker' acts and obviously nothing that relies on verbal forces.

You can really manipulate people with sounds and music. For my Haloween 2011 show I'm working with a sound engineer on some really controversial and experimental use of sound in mentalism. So for me its a yes and no situation same with lights.
jcsum
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Music is a tool for any entertainment show. It is used to not just to enhance the show and add variety but aids in creating moods, adding texture and sometimes directing the audience where you want them to go (especially important in a mentalism show).

One should spend as much time thinking about the use of music (choice, music design, volume, placement in the show) in your show as he/ she would practising a particular technique that makes a routine possible.

In an entertainment show, good use of music will never dstract from a performance. All movies, whether a serious dramatic film or action flick use music as a tool. Not exploring music, IMHO, is limiting a tool in your arsenal that can stop a good show from being great.

To answer one question specifically, there are several places to use music in a mentalism show.

The most obvious choice is to use it as a soundbed for an effect to create suspense or a mysterious air. Marc De Sousa uses it effectively in his presentation of Dean's Box routine although one might argue that it is a mental magic routine and not mentalism.

So, you might use music during a divining process of thought-of-words and doing a selection process of different items. This sets the mood and covers the deadtime that often occurs during these expository phases of routines.

Another use of music to get things moving so that the show does not feel long. Lively music during audience selection when spectators are making their way up to the stage creates lifts in an otherwise serious show. It allows the audience to rest their minds between your routines. This naturally applies more to stage shows than close-up or parlour shows.

Music can also be used to accent a revelation, eg, the final revelation of a prediction. This brings the routine to a defintie climax and if it is the last routine of your show, it makes it different and signals that it is the grandest/ final prediction of the show. Care must be taken to introduce the music gradually (fade in) so it does not sound too produced and this use of music is best used when you use music in other parts of the mentalism show so it does not feel jarring since the audience is accustomed to the use of music in your show.
J C Sum

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Dr. Eamon
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I agree...
Dr. Eamon
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But it´s also very personal...
videokideo
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I use music throught the show, but its usually low key and low volume. Instrumentals, and sometimes stuff with a little beat. I don't consider myself a great speaker by any means, but do think I'm a decent actor. Acting can pass more smoothly with music. There are a lot of mentalists like banachek that can speak for hours and be very creative and intelligent. I play more into the routines and stay away from deep diologue often used to build credibility of intelligence in the scientific world.

Most importantly, music can set the mood if used right. Record yourself on video doing a routine..then when viewing it in a editing program, add some music behind it and watch the routine with and without. Timing of the music wont matter to get an idea.
Dr. Eamon
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Quote:
On 2010-08-15 01:45, videokideo wrote:
Record yourself on video doing a routine..then when viewing it in a editing program, add some music behind it and watch the routine with and without.


That´s a very good idea!
Dr. Eamon
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Even at low volume music can ad so much to your show...
mental4u
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Go for it. If you are asking the question, and you are, why not try it. If you do not like it, question answered, then get rid of it.

I bet you like it and more importantly, I suspect that your audiences will enjoy the extra theater and drama that music can create.

Let us know how it turned out. I can all ready hear the audience saying, BRAVO.

Gregg Lancaster
Mental Masterpieces
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