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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mixing Mentalism & Magic on AGT (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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Tonight's performance by Collins Key on America's Got Talent was an example of what happens when a magician tries to perform mentalism. As judge Mel B. said, I'm confused, I don't know if it was real or not. Others disliked it, some didn't know what to think, Howard hated it.

I don't know why this kid has billed himself as a magician all along during the program yet has done mentalism each time he's performed. I thought some of his past performances were "lucky" and tonight's was an example of a magician trying to do mentalism...poorly. Because the audience knew and thought of him as a magician many immediately thought it must somehow be a trick. His performance, intentions and instructions were unclear, rushed and poorly executed.

To me either you're a mentalist and you want the audience to believe it's real or you're a magician and your are fooling and challenging the audience. I know some here will disagree. The result as seen tonight is a confused audience and a poor performance. He tried to do too much in territory where he didn't belong.

I predict he will not be going forward o the show.
PhilDean
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Sounds to me that you're just pushing your rules on him. He's admitted he's a magician. He seems to be a magician. He's not doing effects that are any different than ones performed by the likes of David Copperfield. And he's gotten himself on TV. Just saw his Twitter prediction bit with the judges. Very good.
Mindpro
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Not my rules but the point that the audience was confused and didn't know what to think or believe. Yes, some very good performers can perform both and pull it off well, but not everyone. To me it was an example of the performer thinking and performing form their own perspective and not the audience.

Plus as I have always contended, not everyone can convincingly pull off mentalism.
jamiesalinas
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One of the things I hate in any routine is process. This routine was confusing and made most not care what he was doing. He started off on the program with close-up magic and a fresh young face. He did fine with the prediction chest as it was straight forward for a lay audience but he was pushed beyond his limits and it showed.

Jamie
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The effect was all over the place and it seems that many, including the judges, suspected confederacy.

As Vernon often observed, if you can't describe an effect in one sentence, it's no good.
Rodney Palmer
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I agree that the effect was all of the place. And all of the Magicians that I know that have appeared on AGT did not like the show or how is was produced. But the thing is they got exposure and all of the Magicians that have been on AGT Good or Bad have went on to book more shows and some of their Careers HIT the Big Time just with the exposure. So if he is trying to get exposure and get work he will. At least he had the balls to go on AGT. So quit busting his balls and let him do his thing. He is a decent performer but AGT sets your Time Limits. Yes, he could have picked a more better routine and it should have been a Magic Piece. My personal feeling is that Magic and Mentalism not Mental Magic should ever be put together by the same performer in an act. Either you are a Magician or a Mentalist I do not believe that the two mix well at all.


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magicman29
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I didn't see the performance but did that ***** "rich ferguson" have something to do with it?. He seems to be posting all over Facebook about AGT.

Kieran
Martin Pulman
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I don't think anyone who is serious about the art of mentalism would touch these amateur talent shows with a barge pole. Just as no serious musician would touch them.

I simply don't believe that mentalism should be squeezed between singing children and dancing dogs. It denigrates the art.
magicman29
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Well said Martin!

Kieran
Cervier
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Rodney, I agree with you.
Martin, I can understand what makes you say that, but because of the exposure it gives, I believe "serious" artists will want to go there. For example, Xavier Mortimer, the most "magical" magicians I know of (and now withe the Cirque du Soleil) appeared on FranceGT.
I do agree it can be risky.

French pro mentalist Laurent Berretta went there too. He did ok --what kind of mentalism can you squeeze into a two minute frame?-- but didn't go any further. The only mentalism act that did well was a charming father and son telepathy act (the kid was 7!).
I believe no mentalist will ever win that kind of program. They want stuff that dazzle the eye or delight the ears ; mentalism causes more inner reactions, and requires more than 2 minutes to create the proper atmosphere.

The good thing, though, is it can make us think differently and try to make our acts more "spectacular". Because usually, the only person really involved is the spectator whose thoughts are being read (to put it simply). But if you had to design your act for an AGT kind of event, you would (or should) try to add movement, volume, you would try to involve more spectators, etc.
Please let me give you a quick example of a routine that type of thinking led me to. I tried it once and was amazed at how well it played! The general idea is this: have someone secretly pick an object among others. Instead of revealing what object that spectators has in mind, distribute all objects to the audience (thus involving more people), and find who share the same thoughts as the original spectator. It's simple and easy, try it! Smile
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parmenion
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Laurent Beretta is ABSOLUTLY NOT a mentalist and never ever claimed to be!
He never performed any mentalism routine on tv!
Please, please, talk about things you know!
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Mindpro
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I guess this then brings up the question then why are so many magician's choosing to attempt mentalism effects on these shows? Are there not any creative magicians that can spend their efforts on some type of classic magic theme but updated and contemporary for a theater/t.v. audience?
Greg Arce
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Because it's the IN-thing to do. If it was in Copperfield's time then he would be doing illusions with Genesis music. If it were in Henning's era, he would come out in rainbow outfits and do a newspaper tear. Lemmings. Many, many lemmings.

Greg
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Mindpro
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So frustrating...
Cervier
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Quote:
On 2013-08-28 06:14, parmenion wrote:
Laurent Beretta is ABSOLUTLY NOT a mentalist and never ever claimed to be!
He never performed any mentalism routine on tv!
Please, please, talk about things you know!


Oops! My mistake: I had Laurent Beretta in mind because he presented a magical show "Incrotable magieMagic" (Incredible magic) or somthing likethat.
The famous mentalist that was on "Incroyable talent" (that's the name of the show in France) was Frédéric Da Silva (now in Vegas!).

And of course, I should not forget to mention that you too, Parmenion, were on the show a few years ago. I can't say anything about your act, because they only aired a few seconds of it, and I'd be unkind to comment.
Please, please, stick to what you're good at, lol.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
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eSamuels
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Greg nailed it.
Mentalism is experiencing a surge in popularity and with it, as Bob correctly points out, a tendency to trivialize it.

e
dmkraig
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I agree with all that has been stated. I would just like to add 2 things:

1) I believe there is a big difference between mental magic and mentalism. Mentalism, by my definition (YMMV), involves creating the illusion that there might be abilities and powers that are not understood by materialistic means. Even if the performer begins by stating "this is nothing but a trick," audiences still believe it might be real because they want it to be real. Mental magic, again by my definition (and again, YMMV), is simply an effect that might be performed by a mentalist, but instead is offered as part of a magic show.

2) The problem with the performance on AGT was two-fold. First, the performer was unclear as to whether he was working as a mentalist or a magician doing mental magic. One of my beliefs about performance: "If you're unclear as to what you're doing, the audience will be unclear as to what you're doing." Second, due to time constraints, he had to rush the effect. He wanted to involve everyone but ended up not explaining what or why he was doing anything and being totally out of control over what was going on, his volunteers, and the audience. To my mind the worst thing a performer can do is not be in control of his/her show, whether that show is two hours or more with an intermission, or 90 seconds like AGT.
Mindpro
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I agree. I also think he thought by having multiple "layers" it would cover better and throw of reverse engineering it. Instead it became too, much overwhelming and his ego and having the girl there quite distracted him. You can tell he wasn't used to performing on a stage or real audience and spectator management. Add being rushed with the time constraints and, well we see the results.

More isn't always better. Stepping it up for the judges doesn't always mean more either. Why do these type of performers try to perform beyond their means and try new material they've obviously never done before? I'd rather see their efforts into something they know and are comfortable with but have stepped it up with improvements or taking it to another level.

I know many disagree with me, but to me this is damaging to mentalism because to audiences it appears not real and reduces it to another level, that of just another magic trick. When audiences are confused nobody wins.
parmenion
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Quote:
On 2013-08-28 11:49, LCervier

Oops! My mistake: I had Laurent Beretta in mind because he presented a magical show "Incrotable magieMagic" (Incredible magic) or sometinhs likethat.
The famous mentalist that was on "Incroyable talent" (that's the name of the show in France) was Frédéric Da Silva (now in Vegas!).

And of course, I should not forget to mention that you too, Parmenion, were on the show a few years ago. I can't say anything about your act, because they only aired a few seconds of it, and I'd be unkind to comment.
Please, please, stick to what you're good at, lol.


Da silva is not a mentalist... Even if he calls himself like this.
To the last fism where he did the same magic trick he did on FGT people called him: the agony of mentalism" with reason...
Besides few years back he was a bad copycat of Lance Burton
One more time don't really understand why you talk about things you have no idea.
I'm not. Rude here, just ****ed to read ********.
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
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<BR>
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Cervier
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What have Da Silva's skills (or supposed lack of) got to do with what I wrote?

Parmenion, parmenion! I told you I was beginning to have some respect for you, now you act as if you were jaleous "France has got talent" showed his act whereas they made fun of yours! Even though you were trying to sound like Albert Dupontel and used his lines.
So, what's new copycat?
rotfl Smile)

I find all this funny. But a bit sad too: really, I don't dislike you and I have no intention of harming you in any way. If I did (?), I'm willing to apologize and you can pm me so we can discuss calmly.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
Telemos the peek envelope, on SkywardMagic
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