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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Lonely Mentalist (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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granterg
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I am finding that in studying magic and mentalism, I feel very lonely.

The study of mentalism is a very solitary activity.

I feel like I am the only person in the world trying to know this stuff.

I look around me and everyone else just seems to be rushing through life doing the boring things that people do. They would never be able to relate to what I am doing.

In studying magic and mentalism, I feel very isolated from society.

Any thoughts?

granterg
Billy-one
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If you are really studying mentalism, you should be the least lonley person on your "block". I cant stress enough that you should be interacting with people, strangers, every single day. Make it a point to strike up a conversations with someone. Approach a lady (or dude) that is way out of your league and make it work. Your words are your weapons, keep them sharp with daily conversation!

Respect,
Billy

Everyday I try to make someone laugh, gasp, and I also try to touch someone (physically) daily. This includes an intimate handshake, a pat on the back, ect.
mastermindreader
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Billy is right. You can't really learn mentalism in a vacuum. The most important skills are interactional. Even if you don't think you are ready to perform yet, it is essential that you develop "people skills."

Make it a point to socialize, to people watch, etc. Develop interests outside of mentalism so that you will have things to talk about and, more importantly, that will round you out as a person.

Good thoughts,

Bob
theinternetguru
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Picking up on what Bob said, having the ability to connect with people is something that will enhance your performance as well. Being able to greet people, make them feel good, make them smile -- these are things that will make the effects you share with them even more memorable. Connecting with people, like everything else, is something you get better and better at by investing your time and heart in it.
backinblack
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The most people live boring lives - that's true.. but so what? go to goan-technos-partys, join political resistance groups, sex orgies or whatever - there are peoples with interesting lifes and individualistic attitudes also.. Smile
Billy-one
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Adding onto guru and Mr. Cassidy,

I really feel the reason magic and mentalism is low on the rung of the live performance ladder, is that many of the practioners of the art have the mentality of being lonley. I use jokes in my walk around magic such as, "This move proves I didn't go on a lot of dates in high school" (not sure who I stole that from) becuse people have the perception that magicians lock themselves away to perfect techniques, tricks, ect.....the truth is that I would never have had the chance to perform if I did lock myself away....becuse people wouldnt like me, hire me, or enjoy my company enough to have me back.

I would trade all my magic and mentalism knowledge, save 3-5 effects, for the ability to connect on a personal level with my clients, participants, ect....becuse that's what sells magic and mentalism.

On another note, I decided to start reading more, so I have more to offer my clients when they stop caring about "how I got into magic".

Respect,
Billy
Paul Shirley
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I couldn't agree more with everything that has already been said...

Learning some of the 'technical' aspects of mentalism is done in private... the REAL stuff is done, and mostly learned by interacting with others.

People watching... being interested in discussing other peoples lives and knowing more about human nature will help turn the 'methods' in to pure magic. both for you, and for others.

Get out of your bedroom brother.... and in to someone else's! Smile
granterg
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You guys are the best.

We got to party it up one day!

granterg
Paul Shirley
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Quote:
On 2011-12-11 23:10, granterg wrote:
You guys are the best.

We got to party it up one day!

granterg


MindVention 2012 brother!! See you there!
Mindpro
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I must say, I guess my thoughts are a bit different than those shared so far. I think the initial lonely concept is common and in my opinion a crucial, important part of the process, at least it was for me. There are many initial decisions that must be decided about yourself, your performance style. your character, your abilities, what you and your character can and will/will not do, etc. These decisions and self-perspective were very beneficial during the so-called lonely time. It really made me understand myself as the performer, my stage persona, limits, boundries, claims, and ultimately the basis for creating my show's foundation from which to build.

This was such an important time for me, that I make sure that I can still go back to that type of place and thinking regularly (once or twice each year) to continue to grow and progress.
mastermindreader
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Mindpro-

I agree with you and I, too, spend a good deal of time alone thinking, writing, practicing, etc. But working and creating in self-imposed solitude is not the same thing as being lonely. "Lonely" is when one yearns for companionship and the company of others.

Good thoughts,

Bob
DrTodd
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Developing interpersonal skills is a given, but I think observation and memory are crucial. When in public, it is helpful to spend a lot of time observing people and learning the non-random aspects of their lives. Set yourself the task to do profiles and 'readings' in your head when in public.

Be on the look out for any details that stand out and that can be categorised. In performance mode, from the planning to the formalities after your appearance you should be tuned in to as much as possible. Remember everyone's name, remember small details about them, and work your material with them, not 'at' them.

As for the solitary/scholarly work, all tasks or skills require what the jazz musicians called 'wwodshedding'...for example, Charlie Parker's first outing ended in disaster. He literally took a record player and a stack of vinyl to a cabin and worked on his own to the point that he no longer needed to think about what he was doing. I think Bob's essay on jazz mentalism is analogous: have many well practiced and experienced tools that you can deploy in a modular fashion in performance. Like Parker, who after his year of self-imposed exile, your solitary study is work that needs to be done.

The combinaiton of that hard work plus performances will allow you to develop to the point of being 'unconsciously competent' in what you do. Mid performance, a particular method I was using had completely failed, but I was on stage with a participant at the climax of the show. My solitary study included an alternative method that carried with it more direct risk, but did not rely on anything like my preferred method. So, mid performance, I shifted gears and used the riskier strategy and prevailed.

So, like the others here, I see our work is an interaction between solitary study, observation and private thoughts while in public and then lots of interaction.

I hope these observations help.

Dr Todd
Sean Giles
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Quote:
On 2011-12-11 22:05, granterg wrote:
I look around me and everyone else just seems to be rushing through life doing the boring things that people ši



It can seem like that from the outside looking in but under the surface people can be very interesting. The rat race is just a facade and it's finding what's underneath that's fun and even the dullest people can be fascinating if you look a little deeper.

All the best
Sean
Paul Shirley
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Quote:
On 2011-12-11 23:36, mastermindreader wrote:
Mindpro-

I agree with you and I, too, spend a good deal of time alone thinking, writing, practicing, etc. But working and creating in self-imposed solitude is not the same thing as being lonely. "Lonely" is when one yearns for companionship and the company of others.

Good thoughts,

Bob


Ah yes... "I don't want to be lonely.... I just want to be alone"

One of my favourite lyrics of all time. (Silver Chair's song 'The greatest View' if anyone is interested)
parmenion
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Only the cow-boy are lonely , lol
This post is funny, I want more funny things like that Smile
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kinesis
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Go out and interact with people first then base your persona around how you interact with people. Are you a control freak? Are you more submissive? Do you joke a lot in company? Are you the quiet one at the party? Are you strong and self opinionated? How you react in the company of others will help you discover who you are.

Derek
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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mastermindreader
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Derek-

It might be dangerous to suggest that one base his persona on how he behaves in social settings, particularly if he is the type who enjoys getting drunk and exposing himself. Smile

Other than that, though, I generally agree with you.

Best-

Bob
IAIN
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Go do some kind of charity work... a) you'll do a good thing, b) you'll have to communicate with others, c) you'll meet people you wouldn't necessarily meet otherwise...

doesn't have to be anything major..just helping out somewhere once a week if you're able...

the solitude is a good thing in many ways, to shut off from everything else - focus on what is needed...the key is to have other outlets too, write, draw, act, music....something...too much of any one thing can become detrimental to your 'self'...

EDIT - I don't say the charity thing in a glib way, I do it myself either weekly or monthly, as time allows...
I've asked to be banned
StJohn
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Quote:
On 2011-12-12 02:59, parmenion wrote:
Only the cow-boy are lonely , lol
This post is funny, I want more funny things like that Smile


Me too. If only more 'mentalists' were lonely and stayed at home.
Tony Razzano
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Quote:
On 2011-12-11 22:42, Billy-one wrote:
Adding onto guru and Mr. Cassidy,

I really feel the reason magic and mentalism is low on the rung of the live performance ladder,to have me back.


Respect,
Billy


I disagree that mentalism is low on the live performances ladder, unless you come off as a magician. My clients are fascinated by what I do because it isn't magic.

Anyway, Granterg, are you in an area where there are other mentalists? perhaps, if so, you can get a group together.
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
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