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Mindpro
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I couldn't agree more. Beginners and those just learning have a tendency to want to talk too much during the period where they should be listening. Just be sure you're listening to the right people.

I really like and agree with the resources and the order you have suggested and have offer the same advice to many in this exact situation.

I only would add that much or your success will depend on your ability to be open-minded enough to understand that you don't know (and how much) that you don't know. You must open yourself up to the proper mentalities and thinking, or you will quickly become very restrictive and limiting in your process and evolution.

I strongly believe mentalism more than anything requires and understanding and mindset much different than magic or most other types of entertainment. To me this is the hidden "X" factor that many seem to miss, not understand or never comprehend which can be the most limiting and prevent you from every attaining the true understanding and execution (and ultimate rewards and benefits) or mentalism.
brehaut
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kentucky
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I wouldn't change anything. Not because I didn't make mistakes , etc. Its about the journey and I wouldn't want to change that
Dr Spektor
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Forget Cher... Michelle Pheiffer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPQQzJGKOvk
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
B. Morrison
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Quote:
On 2014-02-20 09:31, David Thiel wrote:
Okay. Honest answer. First I wouldn't start off by reading Annemann and Corinda and consider it my introduction to mentalism.


I'd agree regarding PME. While it does contain many of the primary methodologies used today, it doesn't provide much in the area of presentation, nor does it give you a comprehensive understanding of how the various aspects of mentalism fit together.

13 Steps is better in the respect that it does provide the reader with a good overview of the field, but the aspiring mentalist needs a *contemporary* view of what today's audiences require in the way of presentation, and that can only be had by watching today's professionals and reading theoretical treatments on presentation by seasoned workers like Cassidy, Osterlind, and Hilford, to name a few that spring to mind.

So, my advice to myself:

1) Read 13 Steps.

2) Read Cassidy's introductory books on presentation.

3) Watch as many other working pros as possible.

4) Determine what performing persona you will be comfortable with.

5) Choose routines that fit with Step 4.

6) Design two acts: one for personal performances, and one for group performances.

7) Get the !@#$ out of your armchair and do it.

My only caveat is that when I was first starting out, Step 3 was a challenge due to a scarcity of video of live performances, so my early impressions were based on mentalism being performed for studio audiences comprised of staff and friends of the company producing the instructional videos. It didn't take long, however, to realize that real audiences are a different breed altogether.
mastermindreader
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Seattle, WA
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Quote:
On 2014-02-19 10:34, Ben Blau wrote:
Perform for regular people for several years before hanging out with other magicians and mentalists.


That's exactly what I did. I didn't even meet any other mentalists until after I'd been performing for several years. I learned by reading books, watching other performers on TV and by putting on neighborhood shows with my brother Tom.
Doc Ben
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Ditto Medipro.....Perform more and more and more...even if it was the same routine from 1973 -74....done over and over!
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" (the original F. Baum)
cpbartak
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Don't listen to most mentalists offering advice. While they generally mean well, they tend to tell you what they would do based on their character, not what you should do based on yours.

Also, I'd have told myself to focus more on solidifying my persona right from the outset, rather than having bought everything that sounded interesting like a leaf blowing this way and that in the wind.
Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On , cpbartak wrote:
Don't listen to most mentalists offering advice. While they generally mean well, they tend to tell you what they would do based on their character, not what you should do based on yours.


And that can have a catastrophic effect on the developing mentalist's self confidence. I think one of the most important traits to develop is confidence in a performance. When confidence is shaken too early on, it can take years to overcome. I still battle with this. I attribute this to early experiences in trying to fit in with a particularly judgmental group of magicians and mentalists, who were more apt to tear down than build up.
mastermindreader
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I disagree. There are good reasons to listen to advice from experienced professionals. The problem is that there are entirely too many guys who get into mentalism and after a month or so start writing eBooks and telling others how to perform.

But why wouldn't anyone want to benefit from the experience others have gained over decades of performing professionally?
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On , mastermindreader wrote:
I disagree. There are good reasons to listen to advice from experienced professionals. The problem is that there are entirely too many guys who get into mentalism and after a month or so start writing eBooks and telling others how to perform.

But why wouldn't anyone want to benefit from the experience others have gained over decades of performing professionally?


The ones I spent time with had no desire to help me develop into the type of performer I wanted to become. While a lot of them were, in their own right, excellent performers, I found them to be judgmental and overly critical in a non constructive way. Socializing with them usually consisted of hearing them taking cheap shots at other performers I looked up to. Most of them had an irrational devotion to a particular well-known magic guru, and if you weren't a part of that particular cult, you were shown nothing but disdain and nothing you did was worthy of their respect. There was nothing resembling mentorship, nor was there any encouragement to pursue an individualistic vision of what you wanted to do. As being a peripheral member of this group, all that resulted was an insidious self-doubt that made me feel as if everything I was doing was stupid.

I had to separate myself from this particular group for years before my confidence came back.
Dr Spektor
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Hang out with creative types across many fields - especially theatre and performing arts. IMHO
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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A different view - as usual I guess;-)

the ability to entertain folks with Mentalism is based on believing that each spectator has some hidden desire to "be more than self" -- to have the ability to do something considered extraordinary or paranormal.

This is grounded in each person having some direct or trusted second hand experience with an event or two that fit this description. You cannot pretend at mind-reading if the spectator does not have some familiarity with that concept. You cannot successful predict anything unless each spectator has some prior experience with "fore-sight" or good guessing acknowledged by others as unusual.

If I turned back the clock I would spend more time converting that "believing" into "knowing -- to broaden my understanding of what others consider to be paranormal, and to explore my own abilities in those directions.

I also would not tell anyone what I was doing. Studying the "other than normal" side of things can lead to fear and rejection.

I would also spend more time with old folks like my grandma who could actually read minds -- and was wise enough to only reveal this skill under the guise of something else.

Today I have little respect for people saying, "Entertain me," when they are incapable of entertaining themselves. So, I don't perform publicly much -- and never "on demand."

I would rather use such "unusual abilities" as I may have to help others. Performing magic of all varieties has helped me learn much about myself. In a sense I have alchemically transferred "pretend stuff" into real abilities.

Nothing special - everyone is "more than able" in some ways relative to others. What I gained was the courage to do what is necessary in a timely fashion without much ego attachment.

Turning back the clock would allow me to do that sooner. I have wasted a lot of time being concerned over whether other people are "entertained" by what I did or not.

"who you are" is far more important that "what you 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
Logan Five
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Quote:
On , Dr Spektor wrote:
Hang out with creative types across many fields - especially theatre and performing arts. IMHO


yeah..me too.
Self concept is destiny..
Circusman
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Kent, England.
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I'd become a superstar in porn movies. (Wait a minute - last time I tried that I failed the medical).
mixman
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I would have told myself "Whatever you do, don't let her get away"
RichardShure
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Study even more. The broader your knowledge the greater your abilities to develop ideas and shows.
gijsbertjansen
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Moore study, more performing and taking things less seriously
sandsjr
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To the young kids and newer people...

1. Take your time, you don't have to go out and perform something the same day you start learning it.
2. Cut all the fat off your patter and gestures and learn them cold!
3. Keep things "natural" You can hide the dirty work in a bunch of places if you sequence it into the performance in a natural way.

I know books can be written on 2 and 3 above, but I hope this gives some food for thought for newcomers.
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