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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Issues as a Young Mentalist (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jonblood
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I'm a 21 year old college student who does card magic, some mentalism, and as far as coin magic goes I only have a short muscle pass routine. When I perform mentalism for my friends they are almost certain there is no 'magic' involved. They believe that somehow I read what they wrote (which of course I did) and there is no convincing otherwise.
How do I get taken seriously as a mentalist? I don't want to seem like a mind reader, because that isn't believable. But how does a mentalist become believable? Especially, when I'm performing for my parents, family, etc.

Also, I use one billet routine on Osterlind's Easy to Master Miracle's DVD. He asks the spectator to write a question about their future, and that's what I've been doing. The questions have been, "What street will I live on in 30 years?" and "Where will I be in 10 years?" Any suggestions for a different premises?
mastermindreader
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Quote:
I don't want to seem like a mind reader, because that isn't believable.


I wish I'd have known that nearly forty years ago when I started billing myself as "The Master Mind Reader."

No wonder I haven't been successful and no one believes me.

Oh well.

Good thoughts,

Bob Cassidy
robwar0100
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Well, Bob, you live and you learn.

You could have been a contender.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
DekEl
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Believability so to speak, doesn't come with age so much as it does the personal aura you give off (for lack of a better word Smile ) as an individual, as well as your setting and audience. If you are at school or with friends who know you, they aren't going to buy that you're a mind reader. If you look like what YOU feel a mentalist should look like -- no stereotypes really matter-- , and are performing on stage in front of people who don't know you, you are now a person who could actually posses some form of power.

Age definitely helps, mainly because it makes you look like someone who quite possibly could have studied mystical arts for some time, honing their powers so to speak.

So again the primary things are setting and audience.
You can purchase my works at: http://www.GetMindTricks.com
Sid Helkule
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Quote:
On 2010-11-21 19:51, jonblood wrote:
I don't want to seem like a mind reader, because that isn't believable.


That mindset is your biggest problem. My father literally believes I can read minds, and he's known me for a few years now Smile
Tom Cutts
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Stick to magic. It can be creative, beautiful, wonderful, inspiring... But doesn't have performers questioning the "real or not" premise.
kambiz
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I never read minds..... I read souls....

Kam
If I speak forth, many a mind will shatter,
And if I write, many a pen will break.
.....and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!
tincture
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Study, study, study. The answers will come in time.
Rebecca_Harris
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You say that you want to be believable when performing for friends and family. The problem here is that your friends and family know you, they know you can't read minds or body language. They also know that you do card tricks so will naturally view anything you do as a trick.
Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2010-11-21 19:51, jonblood wrote:
I'm a 21 year old college student who does card magic, some mentalism, and as far as coin magic goes I only have a short muscle pass routine.


You didn't mention acting. It might help you to take some acting lessons. When you act like the kind of mentalist you wish to become, you'll start becoming one. You'll need to plant seeds of belief in those who know you; start discussions of odd supernatural experiences you have been having lately (NOT leading up to a trick, but just in conversation). Perhaps you could then work your way into an effect by describing a dream you had recently and you just want to see if it is real or not. Act as if you have doubts about your "powers" and let others convince you that they must be real.

Oops... did I give away too much? I'm sure no one here in this forum would be so crass.
Professor Spellbinder

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Eshla
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It depends on the type of work you do. If you perform some brilliant slight of hand and then do an ACAAN routine where you deal the cards, no one will believe for a second that you are actually reading minds.

However if you make it clear that each part of the show is seperate, and you're no longer using slight of hand or magic trickery, and then you perform something like Alain Nu's "Any Card..." then you look miraculous.
I come from the future to culture you poor sods with fire.
Paul R
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Ok, so you like Richard Osterlind, Magic, and Menalism, but having issues with people believeing what you do is real. Hhhmm.

Have a look at Richard Osterlind's essays "Making Magic Real" and "Making Real Magic".

Good luck, let the journey begin...
BryanKelly
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Quote:
On 2010-11-23 01:48, Rebecca_Harris wrote:
You say that you want to be believable when performing for friends and family. The problem here is that your friends and family know you, they know you can't read minds or body language. They also know that you do card tricks so will naturally view anything you do as a trick.


I totally agree. I hate performing for friends and family. If you want really strong reactions with your magic you have to be, what David Blaine calls, the "Mysterious Stranger". You simply can't be the mysterious stranger around people who actually know you.

edit: make that TO people who actually know you
IAIN
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Balloon magic...but use condoms instead, it adds to your respectability...
Axel
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Hi jonblood!

Actually I think there are some practical approaches you can take to solve your problem. On one hand it is true that age definitely helps in selling mentalism. On the other hand I think that there are a few steps you can take to improve your credibility immediately.

There are a lot of things you can do which genuinely don't use any slight of hand of the kind your friends would expect you to use.
I am thinking of psychological forces, suggestive effects (have a look at the "you get sleepy" forum), muscle reading effects (see "13 steps") etc.

Even if they might not work a 100 % each time, they will help you to establish a new way of how your friends perceive your mentalism. And if you start with some genuine muscle reading (like which of two objects they are thinking of) it is easy to go then into some fake muscle reading card revelation.
Just don't do any flourishes at that point! Smile

Also there are some easy effects you can buy which in my experience play so strong that people really don't know what to make of them (like i.e. "Esperfect" by Peter Nardi).

And don't take yourself to serious in the beginning. Your friends will probably not believe that you got hit by a lightning last night and hence became supernatural.
But they might believe that you are a big fan of "Lie to me" (great show) and picked up a few tricks of Cal Lightman/Paul Eckman...

Good luck with your mentalism!

Best,

Lexa
cakit
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I may not be a master of mentalism, but I believe most magicians who wanted to be a mentalist fails to see that when you shift to mentalism, you need to leave your magic for a while. When I say leave, try to unlearn your magic mannerism and learn mentalism as if learning from scratch. I have friends who are learning mentalism but is still performing magic and even XCM. When I made the transition, I left magic for a while then hibernated while learning mentalism. Doing so, my friends see me perform less magic and at some point, I try to infuse psychology in our topic (good thing I took up psychology during college). when I was ready to show them my mentalism, I just said "I was so fascinated with psychology that I took time to study it further". one thing I like about mentalism is that I do not need to hit every time. There will be time I try to miss it so that I can still say I'm not a mind reader and I cant seem to get a feel read on their body.

Age may really matter, but what most of these guys are saying about mindset and how you project yourself is definitely true. Try to look for mentalism performance videos rather than tutorials and see which persona you feel more comfortable to adopt. One you have your base, create your own.

Hope my post did help. Cheers!
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