The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The risk to mentalists and the brilliance of Derren Brown's disclaimer. (39 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
Suffolk
View Profile
Veteran user
400 Posts

Profile of Suffolk
Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 25, 2014, IbiMania wrote:
And Derren has done a good job of making vague claims so that he remains safe which in my opinion is brilliant.


I don't see how this is brilliant at all, when Derren or any mentalist use the whole "misdirection" or "gives the illusion of...." disclaimer or justification.

This is really saying you are doing magic. That you're mentalism and perceived mental abilities are fake. Why on earth would you want to do this to an audience of wannabe believers.

Sorry, I fail to find any brilliance at all.


This assumes your audience is a group of "wannabie believers".

I've won two real world (I.e. Not magic world or wedding supplier - actual arts awards) at the biggest & third biggest arts festivals on the planet, received many, many four & five star reviews from national newspapers & magazines by proper arts reviewers and made a very successful career out doing just that.

I think that Brown bloke has a minor following too Smile


I think some people forget that your job as a mentalist (or magician or comedian or any other kind of entertainer) is 1st and foremost to entertain. Not to convince people you have psychic powers.
Sealegs
View Profile
Inner circle
The UK, Portsmouth
2555 Posts

Profile of Sealegs
I think lbiMania makes a very good point and it brings to mind a particular incident I heard some years ago on the radio.

I was listening to a primetime program on BBC radio 4. It featured, among other guests, a mentalist. He gave a demonstration on the show of his abilities which involved one of the other guests selecting one newspaper from a choice of many; a page was selected and that was page was ripped into smaller and smaller bits until one small piece was left. The assisting guest then picked out a word from this scrap of newspaper and the mentalist told them what the word was…. He got it right but that didn't stop his world from crashing down around him…

The person that had been left with the scrap of newspaper was a 'newspaper man' and they commented that although the mentalist had got the word right the typeface of the print on the scrap of newspaper was not from the paper he had earlier selected. His years in the newspaper business meant he instantly recognised the typeface and identified it as being not from the paper he had selected but from a different newspaper, which he could also identify, and which was one of the ones he had initially discarded.

The mentalist was completely busted on prime time national radio. As lbiMania suggests might be the case in such circumstances, from that moment on this mentalist was a complete dead duck on that show. His credibility had been instantly destroyed.

Initially it was just embarassing and he had cut his loses there it probably wouldn't have etched itself into my memory the way it has…. but to make matters worse he couldn't just put up his hands and gracefully admit he'd been rumbled or bow out and fade into the shadows. Instead he stood his ground and tried to maintain a completely untenable position in the face of what was incontrovertible evidence that he was clearly not achieving the end result through the means he claimed (some extra natural ability). As a result he was pretty savagely and eruditely ridiculed during the rest of the show by both the guests and the show's host.

innercirclewannabe said:
Quote:
I think you are thinking too much about it

This is a phrase that is quite often used here on the Café and indeed it's a comment that's been directed at me a few times on various different subjects. Personally I choose to read this to mean, "you think about this more than me". Thinking in depth or obliquely about the different aspects and consequences of what we do as performers… analysing; what we do, why we're doing it and how we are achieving it, surely can't be bad thing. I know for sure I would rather be an over thinker than an under thinker.

Bob said,
Quote:
I just don't think of it as being as big a problem as you seem to fear it is

Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't get, from lbiMania's posts that he sees this as an especially big problem. If he does consider it an especially big problem then I agree with Bob's comment... but I do however think lbiMania makes a point worth considering. If such a consideration had been made by that mentalist on that radio show it may have caused him to think a bit more about what he was doing, how he was doing it and who he was doing it for… and as a result maybe he wouldn't have had such an awful time of it and had his credibility killed for the rest of the show. (and possibly career because I haven't heard of him since!)

(Post Script; Out of interest I googled the mentalist in question to see if he was still performing and it seems he is… I note with irony that on his website under, 'other appearances' it finishes with, "He has also appeared {….] on BBC Radio." Indeed he has!
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
innercirclewannabe
View Profile
Inner circle
Ireland
1562 Posts

Profile of innercirclewannabe
Innercirclewannabe said:
Quote:
I think you are thinking too much about it

This is a phrase that is quite often used here on the Café and indeed it's a comment that's been directed at me a few times on various different subjects. Personally I choose to read this to mean, "you think about this more than I can be bothered to". Thinking in depth or obliquely about the different aspects and consequences of what we do as performers… analysing; what we do, why we're doing it and how we are achieving it, surely can't be bad thing. I know for sure I would rather be an over thinker than an under thinker.


Actually I was trying to help the man with this comment, and not dismiss his remark as you've indicated. If you go into ANY show with the mindset that somebody might rumble you- then I think the term " self fulfilling prophecy" will ring true. Also, if this is your mindset, it would clearly indicate to me that you should not be putting on a show in the first place. For your information, I analyse every performance that I do, be it, stage, TV or indeed radio. However, I know that if all I did was analyse, I'd never get off the sofa!
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
IbiMania
View Profile
Regular user
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
108 Posts

Profile of IbiMania
I don't know why so many mentalists who read people's minds day and night cannot read what I mean to say? I would say it was my inability to communicate but a lot of responders do understand what I happen to say to the point.

I will make it as simple as possible,

"If exposure were to occur, the best defence would be a disclaimer and worst enemy would be an inflexible. Derren has done a good job of creating one"

It was just a remark that I had wanted to convey.

I did not say this happened to me.
I did not say this was a big problem for everyone else or for me.
I did not say Derren Brown was the first to use the psychology approach. (Though I admired the cleverness of his disclaimer).


I even used the word "On an OFF CHANCE" yet I was constantly told stuff along the lines of "It is not that common".
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12590 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
Nobody's trying to start an argument with you and we DO understand what you're saying. Apparently you are not looking for a discussion but simply want to make a single point:

A disclaimer is the best way to mitigate the negative effects of exposure.

Fine. That's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it.

Personally, I don't believe in explicit disclaimers. My manner of presentation and the fact that I work in a theatrical setting is disclaimer enough for me.
IbiMania
View Profile
Regular user
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
108 Posts

Profile of IbiMania
Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Personally, I don't believe in explicit disclaimers. My manner of presentation and the fact that I work in a theatrical setting is disclaimer enough for me.


You speak from years of experience and it seems true for your setting an audience.
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2973 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Hi Sealegs,

The Radio 4 incident sounds fascinating. Can you give us a little more info? I'd love to try and trace a recording of that.
Joe Atmore
View Profile
Elite user
Joe Atmore
422 Posts

Profile of Joe Atmore
Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, IbiMania wrote:

Now imagine if Uri said that "Some of my effects involve mind power others involve trickery though I will not tell you which is which", any effect of his that were to be revealed could be shaken off as "I told you I also involve trickery in my act".



Had he actually said that, he wouldn't have had a very successful career that has spanned decades. The best thing was Randi supposedly exposing him. Similar in the way that those tried to expose Dunninger, albeit in a much more limited fashion.
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12590 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
I agree. If Geller had ever said such a thing (and he NEVER referred to what he did as an "act"), I wonder if we would ever have heard of him at all.

The debate over whether or not he was real fueled his entire career.
Suffolk
View Profile
Veteran user
400 Posts

Profile of Suffolk
I'm not sure I agree that the exposure was what made Uri's career.

I think it's more a combination of him being the first famous psychic of the TV age, his personality & the exposure coming long after (relatively) to his initial fame.

There were others from the same period for whom exposure just meant they became a footnote in history - who remembers the guy in the Kung Fu pyjamas who blew at phone directories?

I also very much doubt that Uri would have been as big a success using the same premise in the internet age. I'm not sure people are as naive.

Also, as a man who has just done a national tour of a show in which a running joke depends on you knowing who Uri is I can tell you categorically that hardly anyone under the age of 30 who isn't a magician has a clue who he is. But they all know who Derren Brown is.
Joe Atmore
View Profile
Elite user
Joe Atmore
422 Posts

Profile of Joe Atmore
It was the incessant controversy that kept his name in the press. Randi did not harm him at all - in fact you couldn't have paid for better publicity. Randi was even keeping it up in Europe when his series was playing over there. And Uri's popularity was huge in Europe. The demographics of the series was very young in all the countries. They knew he he was. I witnessed it first hand.

Not sure if your audience questioning constitutes a scientific study with the correct demographic distribution. I don't think Hello magazine would recently publish an article about him if people didn't know who he was. Or Princess of Kent unveiling his new statue and getting BBC coverage. Or Shipping Wars covering the delivery.
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12590 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
The guy in bathrobe was James Hydrick, an ex-felon who pretty much faded away after his exposure. Of course he had NO charisma, no stage abilities, and didn't have Geller's good looks and charm. Geller had all of those things and I believe that's one of the reasons he only became MORE famous after the debunking began. (And it wasn't all that long after he arrived in the US that the skeptics started going after him.)

I disagree about the public being more naive back then. I find the opposite to be true.
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2973 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Quote:

For example Uri (Again, I know he did not call himself one but he essentially was) was exposed by James Randi. He had a claim that was not flexible at all, for him, it was his mind power and When james revealed a few of his tricks, everything else lost wonder. It did not matter how good he was, his claim was debunked.

Now imagine if Uri said that "Some of my effects involve mind power others involve trickery though I will not tell you which is which", any effect of his that were to be revealed could be shaken off as "I told you I also involve trickery in my act".

.


If Uri had said that at the start we would not be debating him on here forty odd years later. In fact, no one would have heard of him.
Suffolk
View Profile
Veteran user
400 Posts

Profile of Suffolk
Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, Joe Atmore wrote:

Not sure if your audience questioning constitutes a scientific study with the correct demographic distribution. I don't think Hello magazine would recently publish an article about him if people didn't know who he was. Or Princess of Kent unveiling his new statue and getting BBC coverage. Or Shipping Wars covering the delivery.


Well I sold 8,543 tickets across the tour. Assuming a audience make up that follows the broad demographics make of the UK witk approximately 35% of the population under 30 (it's probably higher as my show tends to appeal to a younger audience - my core demographic is 18-35) that's a sample size of 2,990.

When I worked in advertising and used to commission research anything over a thousand was considered an extremely robust sample.

63% of the readership of Hello Magazine is over 35.

Reckon I'm probably right.,....
IbiMania
View Profile
Regular user
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
108 Posts

Profile of IbiMania
Quote:
On Jul 26, 2014, Suffolk wrote:

Assuming a audience make up that follows the broad demographics make of the UK witk approximately 35% of the population under 30 (it's probably higher as my show tends to appeal to a younger audience - my core demographic is 18-35) that's a sample size of 2,990.

When I worked in advertising and used to commission research anything over a thousand was considered an extremely robust sample.

63% of the readership of Hello Magazine is over 35.

Reckon I'm probably right.,....


As a student of PR and Advertising, it is refreshing to see someone use the knowledge in an online forum.
Joe Atmore
View Profile
Elite user
Joe Atmore
422 Posts

Profile of Joe Atmore
Maybe, may not. Your sample is limited to only those that attended your show and thus the data may only hold for that sample. It would be interesting to see whether that limited defined sample set result would hold for the entire population.

I bet everyone knew who you were in your show due to the restricted sample Smile
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
lukecoburn
View Profile
New user
13 Posts

Profile of lukecoburn
Quote:
On Jul 25, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Early in his career, before TV ruined him Smile , Derren performed an IS effect to a friend of mine. It quite ruined his mystique in my friend's eyes and cast doubt on everything else he'd seen (and he'd just witnessed 'Reminiscence'!) So it's not only hecklers and journalists who can destroy the performing persona-mentalists can too. That is why I am opposed to IS-ing in all its manifestations.


Derren says he does that effect very differently now a days..without the ISing
Marmen
View Profile
Regular user
157 Posts

Profile of Marmen
How very odd. A strange psychic coincidence has happened in this thread. Ibimania said this in a previous post on this thread.

"Now imagine if Uri said that "Some of my effects involve mind power others involve trickery though I will not tell you which is which", any effect of his that were to be revealed could be shaken off as "I told you I also involve trickery in my act".

I actually used to do precisely this!

I don't do mentalism so much any more since I prefer nowadays to say outright that I am a magician since it makes it far easier for me to make a living. Contrary to the rot often expressed that mentalists make more money than magicians the fact is that most of them are starving since although they might make more money per gig there are less gigs to do. I don't suppose too many mentalists do kiddies parties despite the success of Jon Tremaine in this area. The other problem is that I am very well known as a psychic reader and oddly enough being a mentalist affects this in a negative manner. My psychic reading clients will accept me far better as a magician than as a mentalist. To explain this would take a whole other thread.

However, when I was active (and I am still quite happy to do a bit of mentalism in a magic act) I used to say precisely that. I opened my act with a very odd disclaimer explaining that I used to be a magician so some of what I was going to show was illusion and some of it was reality. I would go on, "so some of what I do is real and some of it is not so real. I'll let you figure out which is which. Let me start with something that is not so real". And then I would do the Baby Gag because I am a very odd sort of mentalist.

Oddly enough I once did a show in Mexico and was accused by a member of the audience of both scenarios. I do pseudo psychometry in my act. After I did the show she came up to me and astutely noted to my great irritation. "I know that you fake part of your act. For example I am quite sure your envelopes are marked in some way but at the same time I know you have real psychic ability" This is because I am an expert cold reader and always give a psychometry reading to each participant from the item of jewellery in the envelope. This is actually even stronger than identifying the correct participant. In that case it seemed to support the notion that hinting at trickery can get you off the hook if you are exposed. Alas I have not become as famous as Uri but at least have not had to go through the constant pretence of going through life pretending I have psychic powers when I haven't. It must be a hell of a strain to go through life like that.
IbiMania
View Profile
Regular user
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
108 Posts

Profile of IbiMania
Marmen that is interesting, I am sure that as a magician you did not find the need for any such disclaimers. Am I right?
Marmen
View Profile
Regular user
157 Posts

Profile of Marmen
I only used to use that disclaimer when performing mentalism.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The risk to mentalists and the brilliance of Derren Brown's disclaimer. (39 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.25 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL