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AttnPls
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One last point.

I think if this effect were performed as good mentalism, the reaction of people watching would be, "Oh, I want to try that. Do that with me now!".

After watching mental magic, I am not left with that feeling. In fact, I am left with the opposite -- if I saw it done again, I would feel like, "Oh, yea... I've seen that trick before."

That is why I secretly wish that people would NOT post these types of videos on youtube.
VernonOnCoins
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Interesting you mention, "being accosted by a salesman". You do find this aggressive, used car salesman persona among many a magician (not Tommy Wonder or Fred Kaps Smile) but you'll also find the salesman among many a mentalist. It's a performance quality that is difficult to overcome and one which typically separates the great from the not so great.

I can see how the performance you posted would irritate the seasoned mentalist, but I can also see how it would irritate ANY performer, or human being for that matter, with a more refined sensibility.
AttnPls
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LOL! Your critique was even harsher than mine!

We can all immediately identify a tacky infomercial just by the speech pattern of the announcer ("but wait, there'es more!). There is also a certain voice quality that performers often adopt, whether magician or mentalist, that immediately screams, "I'm an Entertainer and I'm going to Entertian YOU!".

It drives me crazy.

Similarly, the 'radio announcer' voice also drives me insane. Some people like Blackstone Jr do develop great voices, but in general, these 'announcer' and 'show time!' voices are completely devoid of any real human emotion. When I hear them, I instantly go into "ignore" and, if possible, "RUN!" mode. Who wants to be "entertained" by a robot? Actually, that's not fair to the robots. Robots usually have talented voice actors behind them that would never sound that bad.

They all sound the same... and not in a good way.

A performers unique humanity is what will make them successful, not pretense. I beg performers on this forum to really strive to be themselves and avoid the "salesman" trap. Your mother may tell you you're wonderful, but I'm here to tell you that nobody else really enjoys it. Or remember you afterward.

I would very much enjoy meeting YOU when you perform, not some "creation". I can also assure you that it is all of your flaws and imperfections, and your odd and unique point of view, that makes me like you. Embrace them. Be unique. Be memorable.
VernonOnCoins
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Quote:
On 2013-09-20 09:21, AttnPls wrote:
LOL! Your critique was even harsher than mine!


Yes... it's a pet peeve of mine. I see it all the time. I even catch myself doing it, especially in loud venues where I have to yell. I know Im doing it when my spectators eyes start to glaze. But I instantly shift gears, take on a more intimate tone, and they immediately become intrigued again. It's really quite amazing to watch.
Bard
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On 2013-09-20 08:41, VernonOnCoins wrote:
Interesting you mention, "being accosted by a salesman". You do find this aggressive, used car salesman persona among many a magician (not Tommy Wonder or Fred Kaps Smile) but you'll also find the salesman among many a mentalist. It's a performance quality that is difficult to overcome and one which typically separates the great from the not so great.

I can see how the performance you posted would irritate the seasoned mentalist, but I can also see how it would irritate ANY performer, or human being for that matter, with a more refined sensibility.


Sometimes, especially with older performers, this "air" around a person comes from how show biz works and the idea of being a showman; Kreskin can come off this way but at the same time, if you were to meet Marvin Roy (Mr. Electric) he's seem a mirror image of how Mr. K approaches you. I've seen the same thing with many a performer that knew popularity in the 40s-early 70s and their protegee, but it is far more common in Magic over Mentalism with the exception of Hypnotists, they tend to have that out going and strong personality because it's needed -- they have to dominate the participants but in a kind way, so this is the path many take.

The "Problem" with the current generation is the Guerrilla tactics so many of them use -- ambushing the laity which is wrong on so many levels. They come off pushy and pressure people into participation. I have experienced sales people that do this same thing (especially on car lots) and I find it one of the worse examples of professionalism, regardless the occupation in question.
Mindpro
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I agree as it also often takes away from and diminishes the entertainment factor
bdekolta
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Blckstone Jr. was a radio announcer prior to magic.
Bard
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On 2013-09-22 12:11, bdekolta wrote:
Blckstone Jr. was a radio announcer prior to magic.


I'm not understanding what that has to do with the topic???

Harry was quite an amazing guy with many talents & interests. Most important though, he was a true showman, the sort many of today's up & coming types should learn to emulate. The last time I saw Harry perform was about a year before he passed. On stage he was the dynamo we are all used to seeing and then, as the curtains dropped and the show was over, you saw him transform into that "older" and "challenged" reality that he was. . . still cordial as could be, but withered.

This is the kind of showman I grew up around, which is probably why I've been so willing (determined) to do shows when my ribs were wrapped from a break or even when my foot was in a cast. . . THE SHOW MUST GO ON as they say.
MatCult
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Quote:
On 2013-09-24 09:42, Bard wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-09-22 12:11, bdekolta wrote:
Blckstone Jr. was a radio announcer prior to magic.


I'm not understanding what that has to do with the topic???


The thread contains various references to performers using a "radio announcer" voice. It also contains comments praising Blackstone's vocal delivery.

bdekolta's comment unites these two disparate strands of the discussion in a beautiful singularity.
"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
AttnPls
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Yes, I was the one who first mentioned Blackstone's voice. Like Max Maven or Eugene Burger, I think he had a great voice. Although it was clearly trained and "showman" all the way, it fit him. I thought it was exciting. I never got the feeling of detachment that often comes when people try to create a persona for stage.

I'm not here to insult anybody or name names, but I do think there are a LOT of "mentalism voices" working today that I belive actually detract from their presentation. I would always suggest that performers be careful and choose "genuine" over "stagey" unless they REALLY know what they're doing.
mastermindreader
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In my books I've referred to the guys who sound like Veg-O-Matic pitchmen. (And often look like them as well, wearing head set mics.)
Bard
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On 2013-09-24 14:47, mastermindreader wrote:
In my books I've referred to the guys who sound like Veg-O-Matic pitchmen. (And often look like them as well, wearing head set mics.)


No, no. .. not the modern "Head Set" but those wonderful old harness systems that hung around your neck to hold a hand-mic. . . now that's a pitchman!

When it comes to "the voice" I must admit that I emulate the DJ side of things when I work, mostly for sake of clarity. It's a bit more casual than what we find in the Radio announcer in that I have a voice tone that's quite similar to Mark Wilson's. . . more of a high pitch than that baritone or base that works so well.

Annunciation I think is the key however and so few people in today's world take pride in how they say words -- sadder yet is the fact that school teachers no longer teach kids how to properly pronounce words and to learn how to do so (those silly things called "Dictionaries" actually break down words and show you what sounds to make phonetically. . . such an alien concept, it would seem).

I find it peculiar, an art form that is so word dependent having so many neophytes in it that are lazy in how they speak or in knowing how to effectively communicate in every day life let alone on stage.
Scott Soloff
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The animosity of magicians towards mentalists may be that mentalists command a higher fee.

Conversely, mentalists may resent magicians presenting mental effects in their act (and therefore are naturally just tricks).

Just a thought...

Best wishes,


Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Mindpro
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There many level it the differences. Unfortunately you must understand both levels are or least have and awareness of these differences to understand the differences.
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