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david12345
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Mentalism we know requires proper build up and stellar presentation. My question is do younger audiences require a different approach because of how Information and technology flows today? Do they grow impatient sooner having become accustomed to instant information etc...?
funsway
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Good question. One reason I joined the Café was to get a better feel of what today's audience appreciates and can comprehned, but after a year and a half I am no closer than before. Whenever a suggestion is made that younger cohorts may have less knowledge, fewer refined values or lessened interpersonal skills the post is met with attacts and deflection.

The "flow of information and technology today" in not as important as to how a person uses that process to build character, values and logic systems. With orler folks you are usually faced by a "person" -- with younger cohorts you are faced by a "persona."

So, yes -- Mentalism and conjury requires a different approach for younger audiences, but I can't tell you what that is. I could tell you what works for me, but that would not help you at all.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Maddened
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If kids can read a Harry Potter book for 5 hours straight, I see no problem.

Human nature is human nature. We are all drawn in by a good story.
Tom Jorgenson
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They haven't learned to make change or do arithmetic, so effects requiring those need to be babysat. Their attention spans are severely crippled in some cases, but that may be because so many are borderline ADD. The percentages are up.

The younger ones seem to be highly distractable if what you are talking about is NOT of interest to them. Come to think about it, that may be normal. It just seems to be more prevalant lately, in the last 10 years.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
david12345
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If their attention indeed impedes their ability to focus should a show be shorter or the effects be shorter?
In other words more in 45 minutes or turn 45 minutes into 30?
Rocketeer
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Well, first let me first apologize for making such a long-winded reply but I think it's important that we fully cons... Oh look! A bird!
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dmkraig
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I think there are too many variables to make any sort of accurate generalization. You don't give any ages, just a general "younger" set of people you might be working with. You don't say which effects you'd be doing. Some mental effects would work with some younger people. But without knowing the age and attention spans of the audience, nor the effects a person might do, I'd say it's safer just to work for older teens and adults.

If a mentalist is in such need of work that he or she has to hire themselves out to do a 10-year-old's birthday part, that mentalist should think of changing professions.
Decomposed
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I do parties of all ages and my shows are 95% mentalism. Most laymen have no idea what a mentalist means. You can tell them until you are blue in the face and they will still introduce you as a magician.

On younger audiences, I have no problems with it. I just remember they are young and my shows incorporate their parents as well. This markets my shows to other affluent markets. Besides that, its fun to me as well.

Lets face it, corporations are cutting back. Some of them are permanent changes. Entertainment is one of the first things to go. Private bookings may be the first to come out of the collapsed market of entertainment.

Decomposed
Rebecca_Harris
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I don't think attention spans are the problem, in my opinion, if you're loosing you audience's attention, who ever they are then it's the performers fault. The audience obviously doens't feel involved in what you're doing. Involve them, make your presentation interesting and there's no reason why you should't be able to hold the attention of any audience.
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2010-11-22 04:21, Rebecca_Harris wrote:
I don't think attention spans are the problem, in my opinion, if you're loosing you audience's attention, who ever they are then it's the performers fault. The audience obviously doens't feel involved in what you're doing. Involve them, make your presentation interesting and there's no reason why you should't be able to hold the attention of any audience.


Well said.............

Decomp
Dick Christian
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Rebecca makes a valid point; however, it presupposes that the performer is both sufficiently knowledgeable and experienced to understand the psychology (cognitive ability, level of understanding, thought process, etc.) of his audience(s) which will vary with age, cultural background, educational level, etc. and design his programs accordingly. It would be a serious mistake to think that every audience is the same and understands/perceives effects in the same way.
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david12345
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To clarify one point of discussion, the age group I had in mind is the 24 to 35 bracket.
Eshla
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The attention span of older people can be a problem, I did some work in a very posh retirement home recently... I had more than one problem with dementia and such; a few seemed to think they're thoughts could be heard aloud anyway. Poor souls, but still it was fun.

I perform mostly to 18-35 and there's never been a problem with attention spans for me. Maybe that's because I myself am young and I just naturally fit into peoples "timing" a bit better. For me, someone like Osterlind speaks frustratingly slow and I sit there watching his DVD's at 120% speed so he will talk at te rate I want him too.

Derren Brown and Banachek both speak considerably faster, and perhaps this is because they are both younger and (I think) play to younger audiences.
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Wravyn
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In the end of October, there was an article about commercials being cut from 30 seconds to 15 seconds. Not only was this to allow for more cost effective advertising but also due to shorter attention spans. With the way we are influenced through media and the 'fast food' mentality we encounter, the scripting for your show with the proper 'audience ride' will keep their attention. The sooner one is able to create rapport, the easier attention spans will be held.
Allow people to both relax and get excited.
Pakar Ilusi
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Make sure you get their attention in the first 30 seconds with something engaging.

It can be visual or just an idea spoken, but it must engage them to want to know what's about to happen.

Of course then back it up with something strong, or you'll lose them again.

My opinion on it... Smile
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Rebecca_Harris
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Good point, Dick but surely if the performer manages to loose her audience then that's down to the performers lack of preparation. You need to be aware of your audience and be prepared to change things if needed. The other week I found myself loosing and audience during a memory routine. I quickly wrapped the routine up and went onto something more interactive. It worked to get their attention back.
IAIN
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I think the probl...

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mastermindreader
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Pakar-

I agree with you. But, then again, what you say is is the rule I follow for ALL of my performances. If you don't engage them in the first 30 seconds the rest of the show is going to be an uphill climb.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Tom Jorgenson
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"I don't think attention spans are the problem, in my opinion, if you're loosing you audience's attention, who ever they are then it's the performers fault. The audience obviously doens't feel involved in what you're doing. Involve them, make your presentation interesting and there's no reason why you should't be able to hold the attention of any audience."


I respectfully disagree with Rebecca's statement, above. While it is not totally incorrect, it is simplistic, incomplete, and applies to only a small percentage of cases UNLESS you are including beginners to performing or the insipidly mediocre.

I guarantee I am not at fault for the number of ADD people in audiences today, nor is the show at fault for the nations' lessening of attention spans. To put this onus on the performer is more sound bite than fact.

I would suggest that Rebecca has not had the increasing circumstances of getting volunteers up, then realizing they are ADD, hyperactive or even borderline autistic.

"If you are losing the audience's attention, then it is the performer's fault."

That is a blanket indictment that ignores the real trend of shorter attention spans, and growing educational ignorance prevailing in America today.

A good friend, Ernie Guderjahn, does a Traveling Trivia Game Show at Fairs and has lamented for years now, the very subject of this thread. He runs thru about 600-700 people a day in his audiences, and his show is a sort of 1-on-1 thing. They can't think, remember, add, subtract or name the states, let alone the capitols. - etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. He's had to drop entire categories because of growing ignorance and inabilities to think.

Do you know how many adults and younger cannot use a dictionary? They don't know how, and no longer remember where the letters in the alphabet fall. I base my observation on the audiences of 10 years of 200-300 shows a year, depending on my season, and let me tell ya, kids, these folks are turning stupid fast.

And it ain't our fault.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
IAIN
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Did you know the average reading age of an adult in the UK is around 7-8 years old...

people don't even write letters to one another any more...its all a dying art unfortunately...i mainly agree with Tom, and a little with Becky...we do/should take responsibility from the outset - but if they lose interest during - we it is not always our fault...
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