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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » You want propless mentalism? (21 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RedDevil
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Okay, all. I got a real treat this morning that I have to share. Peter Turner offered to help me with something this week, and I had the opportunity to spend an hour with him on Skype this morning.

First, I have to say that in real life, Peter is exactly as you see him. Enthusiastic, helpful, gracious, and patient (especially with bald 41-year old hobbyists!). Besides being extremely helpful to me on the project I am working on, he also gave me the gift of allowing me to be spectator to what he does best, and D#@n it!, he fried me. At one point, I just threw a card at the skype screen and turned around in delight.

Did he guess my PIN number, YES. Did he guess my childhood friend's name on the first try. YES! Did he guess my star sign...YES. Did he then share some subtleties for my own thinking and allow me to think and grow a bit this morning. YES!

And then it happened. I was debating whether to ask him, but I couldn't resist. I told him I was a sucker for ACAAN, and I had to ask if he would demonstrate for me. Remember, this is on Skype. He's never met me in his life. He tells me to get my deck of cards, and he does it not once, but twice.

The first time, I name the number 17 and the 3 of hearts. It's there. He then tells me to shuffle and then says if I were to give you a card like the 2 of clubs, I want you to use your own intuition: tell me what number you think the 2 of clubs is located.

I think (remember I shuffled the deck after the first time), and I say 15.

Peter smiles and says, "Okay, count down 15 cards face up."

I'm telling you, this is as real and sincere as it gets. It was the 2 of clubs, and I threw the card at him.

I'll tell you (and I told him), I have been watching his youtube Acaan for months trying to engineer a solution, and I had all kinds of theories. All of them went out the door.

I think this art has a gem in Peter. In just a few short minutes he added a brilliant subtlety to my project, and he also has the ability to make you feel like you are talking to a long-time friend. I can see why he is so successful, and it makes it very easy to cheer on his success.

Thanks, Peter...Robert C
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John C
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Soooo, where .... what .... why .....
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RedDevil
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Hi, John. I was just sharing a moment of impact about my experience as a spectator with propless mentalism, as it looks to be a timely topic in the past few days. I also felt led to just share how truly generous Peter was this morning with his time.

Of course, I am not weighing in on what is better or not (props vs. no props). I have no right to weigh in there.

I do think, and I speak only for my own personal experience, that after personally experiencing some of the effects that Peter has refined and made a name on, that my "delight" factor is significantly higher than when I see, say, a big chart of numbers on the stage or some other type of mentalism.

I also think the dichotomy between props and no props may be like debating about how many angels are on the head of a pin. I can do pyshokinetic time, and technically I have a prop (the watch). I use my wallet for a p#@k, and I am using a prop. I use an envelope on stage, etc...

But anyways, I was just sharing an example of the sheer joy from experiencing the feeling that we all aim for in mentalism in a spectator's minds. It made me feel like a kid again, and I only wish I had the same ability.
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sandsjr
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2014, RedDevil wrote:
Hi, John. I was just sharing a moment of impact about my experience as a spectator with propless mentalism...


What do you call the cards? Smile
RedDevil
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Yes the cards are props...:o)
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sandsjr
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RedDevil,

I just want to comment that it's interesting you illustrate exactly the point I was making in the other thread about certain things flying under the radar and not being considered "props." It's almost as if the cards weren't seen! They are an aside. Just like a billet, pencil, notepad, envelope etc. Here you were commenting on that thread and it STILL flew by you. I think that's great for ALL of us.

I do understand what you are saying and prefer myself "seemingly" prop-less mentalism. Also, I want to say how much I respect Pete's work. It must have been an exciting experience for you.

All the best,

Bobby
RedDevil
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Well, I will meet you half way on this. Maybe the issue is more with my communication here than anything.

I don't think it flew by me at all. The bulk of what Peter did this morning was propless. The acaan was not propless, but I do want to point out that they weren't "his" props. Peter can skype an act of mentalism (ACAAN) in a padded room in a straight jacket using objects on my person without touching them.

This is like the difference between God using the Jordan river to show a miracle by parting the waters versus his bringing a bucket of water to Jerusalem and saying, "Look what I can with this water I brought in this bucket." Is this the difference we are really talking about when talking props vs no props? In one effect, God just shows up and makes things happen. In another, he brings his packet trick with him. One is definitely more impressive in my book.

Or are we just talking about mindreading here between two people when we have this debate, which is only a small piece of mentalism's total sum?

All of this is rhetorical of course. How many angels can fit on a pin?

Of course, not even Peter goes completely propless in his own performances, so I suspect this is a discussion he would not even think applies to even him. Firm dichotomy belief systems usually get wars started and only aids in us missing complexities in life.

Because I mixed the two effects Peter performed together, I can see where you are coming from, however..

I think this illustrates where our points meet in agreement though: the debate about props is not an either/or, I think, but about how much of a presence they are in the effect. This is what I was trying to illustrate with PK Time. There "is" a prop, but it could have been their own watch in many cases. But it is, after all, just a watch that 80 percent of western civ is wearing. So for the spec, it was more about the miracle than the prop.
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sandsjr
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Guess I misinterpreted the point of the thread. It happens. Smile
Adrian Tugui
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There must be a worldwide conspiracy going on. This can't happen. People pay 1000$ for methods that rely on multiple decks, multiple outs and electronics then this happens.
Tony Iacoviello
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My thoughts are, use whatever it takes to provide the best expeience you can for your audience.

Tony
Amirá
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2014, Adrian Tugui wrote:
There must be a worldwide conspiracy going on. This can't happen. People pay 1000$ for methods that rely on multiple decks, multiple outs and electronics then this happens.


isn't the fun of this doing the impossible/improbable/mysterious?
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Richtofen
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2014, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
My thoughts are, use whatever it takes to provide the best expeience you can for your audience.

Tony


I agree with Tony.
I don't care about propless mentalism, the most important things is are you believable?
IAIN
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Agree with tony...

its great if you can do things propless, but if you can't present something properly, and entertainingly, then what's the point of "any of it" - unless you can do that?

things that require zero technical skill can hit just as hard if presented correctly...

so just do what suits you, and don't worry about whether its propless or not...one isn't better than the other...just whatever suits the individual and how you present things...

stage psychic mediums do not have chairs, blindfolds, books and baskets on stage...maybe there's a reason for that? maybe a question to ponder is, don't emulate how those people work if you are anti it...because if you aim to go 100% propless, there's a chance you might be perceived as (kind of) the same...(dependent on what material you perform)...
C.J.
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2014, IAIN wrote:
stage psychic mediums do not have chairs, blindfolds, books and baskets on stage...maybe there's a reason for that? maybe a question to ponder is, don't emulate how those people work if you are anti it...because if you aim to go 100% propless, there's a chance you might be perceived as (kind of) the same...(dependent on what material you perform)...


This is where I stand. Because of my own spiritual beliefs, I'm uncomfortable with being compared to a medium or hypnotist. It helps that my background is in Drama, and therefore my perception of the art is very theatrical. I love my props. I delight to see beautiful staging, such as Todd Landman's, or even your own little close-up rug, Iain. I like to maintain the visual side of performing arts in my pursuit of mentalism. But as I've said before, I won't begrudge anyone for having an alternative style any more than Mondrian, Warhol or Pollock would say they had a monopoly on "true art".
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Jeff Wassom
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On Jun 24, 2014, IAIN wrote:
so just do what suits you, and don't worry about whether its propless or not...one isn't better than the other...just whatever suits the individual and how you present things...


The more I study mentalism , the more I agree with this.

'Propless vs. Props' is asking the wrong question IMO.

Peter Turner is amazing because he's Peter Turner, not because he sometimes does things propless (even in the famous Portugal video a deck of cards played a large role in the routine).
IAIN
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Taken from here - http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Dr._Jaks

"Dr. Jaks spoke German and French fluently and occasionally would grope for words when speaking English, "How is it you say it?"

Eventually he started performing mentalism routines and put together his "Curiosities of the Mind" act which he performed at supper clubs with success. His biggest feature was the blindfolded duplication of anyone's signature, while writing upside down and backwards. He carried his magic props in a big red leather book that he called "The Book of Mystery". The front contained pages of autographs of famous people for whom he has performed. After these pages, it contained compartments from which he removed his props for his routines. He also used the book as a close-up mat (the back side being black)."

i for one, would have loved to have met this man, and also be entertained by him and his book of mystery...personally, I find that far more interesting and mystifying than most other things... isn't it better to see someone unique? it is in my book...

sometimes I feel some people look in the wrong direction with mentalism, they want to impress, rather than entertain - some do both, but I get the impression that some just focus on the former, and ignore the later...

being memorable and leaving people happy and contented for a while, that's a good thing...
Jeff Wassom
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Apparently props can assist in creating legends too...

Great post Iain. =)
IAIN
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Don't get me wrong. It has to be very carefully thought about, and can cost a fortune in time and money.
Jamie D
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2014, IAIN wrote:


so just do what suits you, and don't worry about whether its propless or not...one isn't better than the other...just whatever suits the individual and how you present things...



I agree, it just seems as tho that this is what's popular at the moment, propless performances. Yes, many have been doing it for years but I feel some (not all) are just jumping on the bandwagon. I remember a short while ago hypnosis was all the rage but that seems to have calmed down for a bit.
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sandsjr
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At the end of the day all that "really" matters is if YOU are happy with your art. That could include many things i.e.; the way you're perceived, the amount you perform, who you perform for, how much $$ you make and on and on. Nothing else really matters, right?
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