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funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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It is possible to practice various components of a performance: billet switch, pocket writing, reading aloud -- even the way that you walk and stand. But, how do mentalists rehearse? With conjury one can make a video or even have a "training buddy" observe and take notes, but with mentalism ...

just curious as to what you'all do
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
bobser
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In learning a new miracle, I do a full presentation to an empty room, not just mentally but physically. I even allow for laughter and applause and the occasional rebuttal. And I time it.
Then when driving or whatever I do the whole thing again, obviously NOT physically, as that might make me crash and hurt an innocent none magic person, and that wouldn't be right.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
S.WARD
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I do the same. I go through the routine in am empty room as if it was full of people.
ChrisWall
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Quote:
On 2010-11-23 09:55, bobser wrote:
...hurt an innocent none magic person, and that wouldn't be right.


You say that as if hurting a fellow mage is ok Smile

I rehearse alone to the room also but get one of my theatre friends to watch me and direct what I do.

What about practising psychological forces? How do people go about this?
"Have your cake and eat it... there's no other reason to have a cake" - Derren Brown
bobser
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[quote]On 2010-11-23 13:02, ChrisWall wrote:
Quote:


What about practising psychological forces? How do people go about this?


Hi Chris,
I want to be sure what you mean. For me, a psychological force is not in itself an act, although I can and do practice it as described above, I really want to practice PF's on live people in live situations prior to taking ot to a presentational performance level. Hope that makes sense.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
tiriri
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I practice the technical parts of a new effect alone at my house, and then I present them to a group of magician friends that meet each other once a week to talk about magic and mentalism, and to practice e little bit.

After they have seen it I usually perform the new effect for my students at the university who are always happy to see mentalism. That gives me a good practicing ground before doing it in a paid show.

That is also the way I practiced my hypnosis before I did it for the first time in a theatre and it was really good not only to practice but also to learn from practical experience.


Giovanni.
Brandon Queen
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What I usually do, Is after I feel comfortable with any technical aspects, and scripting, when all I need to rehearse is the interaction with an audience, and gauge the responses, I go to various open mic nights, and just perform my effect for those people.
It occured to me at once that love could be a great illusion, that makes fools of brilliant thinkers everyday
mastermindreader
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Here's an excerpt from my book "Fundamentals" that may be helpful:

Quote:
A Note on Rehearsal


I 'm often asked if it is wise to practice new material or effects before
friends or family. Generally speaking, it is a bad idea, for they will never react
the same way as a “real” audience. They “know” you are not a mind reader.
They “know” that your character is just an act. They usually will not respond,
therefore, to the subtle bits of psychology and stagecraft that are essential
elements of illusion-making. It is equally useless to practice before the local
magic club. Even if you were actually reading minds they would still be
convinced there was a gimmick.

“Who can I practice for, then?” you may ask. The ability to relate to and
communicate with people from all walks of life is a requirement of effective
mentalism. To develop that skill requires that you get out there and meet
people. The character you wish to portray on stage also has to get out and meet
people. He cannot be shy. He needs to try out new ideas on people who have
accepted him as a mentalist. Mentalism is not something that you can really learn
amongst family or friends or by staying at home.

The answer, then, is really quite simple. To find people to test your
material before, you simply need to go out there and meet them. Cultivate
friendships wherever you go. Not only will this enhance your performing skills
but it will later open up many venues for your performances.

A mentalist cannot let shyness or a tendency to introversion stand in his
way. The meek may well inherit the earth. None of them, though, will amount
to squat as performers.


That being said, I totally agree with Brandon's suggestion regarding 'open mic' nights.

Personally, when I am breaking in or testing a new routine, I usually insert it somewhere in the middle of my regular show. I never include more than one new bit in a given program - thus, if it bombs I will be able to recover when I return to my regular sequence.

Unfortunately, you can't really practice mentalism before a mirror. To a large extent it is really something that you must learn under fire.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Jheff
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I agree with Bobser and S.Ward, however I go further. Not only do I rehearse, but I try to plan out everything that will go wrong with the effect. Participants drop the paper, write a word rather than a picture, write something I can't understand, etc. The performer forgets the chosen word, forgets to load the gimmick, can't find the gimmick, etc.

I then do two very important things: First, I rehearse what I'd do in each situation (in an empty room). Second, craft the presentation to AVOID those things from happening in the first place.

Finally, you perform it with people and that's when you can fine tune each routine. Mastering a routine means you can do it subconsciously and unconsciously and you can rebound with any problem that arises.

-- Jheff
http://www.MarketplaceoftheMind.com
Marketplace of the Mind THE LAZY MENTALIST'S CARD TRICK is now available!!
mastermindreader
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Quote:
S.Ward wrote:

...I go through the routine in am empty room as if it was full of people.


I've had paid shows where I had to do that!

Good thoughts,

Bob
timski523
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Hi Bob
You have answered many question I had too!
Can you let me know more about your book that you took that bit from? I feel I could do with it!
Many thanks
Tim
Simon (Ted) Edwards
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Fundamentals
by Bob Cassidy

$29.00

More details, including full contents list, at: http://www.lybrary.com/fundamentals-p-56......b2d47cbe

T.
timski523
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Thanks Ted
aligator
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Like others, I like to rehearse in an empty room, speaking the words and so on as if there were an audience. This helps with scripting and when it is so familiar that I don't need to think about it, the comfort level becomes sufficient that ad libbing is possible. Like JHeff, I like to imagine every possible scenario that can deviate from the expected and be prepared for each. I do visualize positively after that, seeing and executing a positive performance.
Smoking Camel
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Write the script - play with words phrases etc until I'm happy with it - Then record the whole script... allowing ample time for the folks writing things down.

Then - mentally rehearse -

Close my eyes and go through the whole routine in my head - actions,blocking and spec reactions etc.

At first Ill play the script as I mentally think through the routine imagining every part of the routine - I find playing the script on record stops my mind from jumping ahead and I can mentally rehearse with the correct timing.

Then

Write down all the things that could possibly go wrong and mentally prep for those to, what I'm going to do and when.
I no longer smoke camel cigarettes.
ChrisWall
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[quote]On 2010-11-23 13:17, bobser wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-11-23 13:02, ChrisWall wrote:
Quote:


What about practising psychological forces? How do people go about this?


Hi Chris,
I want to be sure what you mean. For me, a psychological force is not in itself an act, although I can and do practice it as described above, I really want to practice PF's on live people in live situations prior to taking ot to a presentational performance level. Hope that makes sense.


No a PF is not an act but it can be part of an act or an important way of making an effect possibly stronger.

I do the same I perform for others informally but I was wondering if there was another way of doing this that I hadn't thought of.

Chris.
"Have your cake and eat it... there's no other reason to have a cake" - Derren Brown
Decomposed
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I try material out on family first. Then I move it on to the biggest skeptics, COPS. Next time you see a few Cops, walk right up and show them what you got. Be bold and confident and if you get a wow or lets say even a smile when you are done, you have succeeded. At worse you will be told to move on or a "if you don't..." statement.

Once that is done, you may or may move onto a biker bar.

Decomp
tpearman
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I like to practice any performances alone for several times before I even consider showing it to anyone else. I usually record it with my little digital camera and watch it take notes critique and revise the performance from there making adjustments in patter and practicing certain sleights or "moves" until smooth. I also time the effect or routine and work it out till I get it to my target time range. Then I will take it out to people and get some test feedback a few times before going to a larger crowd or paid show.
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