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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

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Marmen
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Yes, it is true that magicians are the worst of the lot where bloody exposers of mentalists are concerned. In fact it was magicians who helped Arthur Helliwell expose Fogel. Pretty disgusting actually. I still remember Al Koran complaining to me bitterly about the late Bill Stickland, president of the British Ring of the IBM coming in to nightclubs and explaining to the hostesses how all his trick were done. I should explain that night club hostesses in London of the old days were almost prostitutes that the clubs hired to sit with the customers and persuade them to ply them with overpriced alcohol. And what they do with the clients after work was their own business. I suppose Stickland was trying to impress them for other reasons. I do know Koran was furious about it.

I still remember when I was a kid just starting magic and I read a biography about the Piddingtons by I think, Russell Braddon. It described how Francis White, president of the Magic Circle tried to expose them. I was quite horrified by that and even as a kid I found it disgusting.

I don't believe for a moment they do it out of a social conscience as they claim. I suspect it is jealousy more than anything else although of course they will deny it. They really should mind their own business where this is concerned. Fogel said he was sad he was out of the country when everyone started trying to expose Geller. He said he would have defended him.
mastermindreader
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Very rarely do magicians attempt to expose mentalists for altruistic reasons. Normally they are just showing off or trying to get publicity for themselves.
morgaine_le_fey
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On Jul 28, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Very rarely do magicians attempt to expose mentalists for altruistic reasons. Normally they are just showing off or trying to get publicity for themselves.


I don't like 'em: but I'm biased because my dad make me practice for 1 hour a day (false shuffles, stacking, the whole bit), for YEARS.
Since then I've got a passionate dislike of cardicians. Almost none convey any sence of wonder, mystery and (dare I say it) magic!
I do some moves, but they're off radar...
For this reason I never present myself as a magician.
Marmen
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I am not sure the job of a cardician is to convey a sense of wonder although I do sometimes wonder why they bother. I am also not sure that it is their job to present mystery and magic either. That sort of nonsense should be secondary. They are supposed to be presenting ENTERTAINMENT. Just like mentalists in fact. And a few cardicians do. And so do some mentalists. I have actually seen a few VERY good cardicians who are entertainers as well.

They mystify and baffle but it really is their SECONDARY concern. The first is to be entertaining. I learned that a long, long time ago.
emptysafe
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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.

Is the 'IS effect' means something like floating ring? I'm not sure about what IS means
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Martin Pulman
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On Jul 29, 2014, emptysafe wrote:
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.

Is the 'IS effect' means something like floating ring? I'm not sure about what IS means


You are close with floating ring. "IS" actually means "Indigo Stool' and is a very silly effect where you psychologically force the participant to eat an entire tub of blueberries.
emptysafe
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On Jul 29, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 29, 2014, emptysafe wrote:
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.

Is the 'IS effect' means something like floating ring? I'm not sure about what IS means


You are close with floating ring. "IS" actually means "Indigo Stool' and is a very silly effect where you psychologically force the participant to eat an entire tub of blueberries.

LOL, I'm sorry. I mistook IS with IT. Never heard of this kind effect....
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Suffolk
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It's short for Indignant Stoat. You secretly cue a spectator by slipping member of the weasel family down their trousers.
emptysafe
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On Jul 29, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
It's short for Indignant Stoat. You secretly cue a spectator by slipping member of the weasel family down their trousers.

Ah....Really have no idea what you guys are talking about. I'm out.
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mastermindreader
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On Jul 29, 2014, Suffolk wrote:
It's short for Indignant Stoat. You secretly cue a spectator by slipping member of the weasel family down their trousers.


The discussion of major secrets like this in Penny is improper. It should be in the "Little Darlings" forum.Smile
jstreiff
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I think anyone who has experienced the Close Up room at the Magic Castle would agree that card workers do create a sense of mystery and wonder. The notion they do not would certainly be a surprise to the likes of Bob Sheets and Johnny Ace Palmer, among many others.
John
mastermindreader
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Have to agree with you there, John.
morgaine_le_fey
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On Jul 29, 2014, jstreiff wrote:
I think anyone who has experienced the Close Up room at the Magic Castle would agree that card workers do create a sense of mystery and wonder. The notion they do not would certainly be a surprise to the likes of Bob Sheets and Johnny Ace Palmer, among many others.


For sure, but I wasn't refering to this league of gentlemen - because they actually DO something with the classics.
It's a bit like jazz I guess: you need to be able to play 'in' before you can go 'out'.
And (and this is my take on things, so not the gospel) that's what most common (card)magicians lack: they're curious about how a trick works, they buy it, feel stupid because it was way too overpriced and ultimately the method turned out to be composed of something they already could do, perform it on youtube within the safety of their living room or other make believe stage and expose it. Moving on to the next PayPal assault.
Whereas great (card)magicians, indeed and I totally agree with you on this, take some easy effect like that, jazz it up and voilà: magic happens.
Ricky Jay is someone like that (his cups and balls for instance).
Mentalism, at least the kind I wish to master, is not something you can perform without, well, actually performing it. It's not your average out-of-the-box-into-the-show kinda thing.
Does this make sense to you?

xxx Morgaine
mastermindreader
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Makes total sense. The illusion of mentalism can really only be achieved before an audience of strangers. (Preferably paying ones.)
morgaine_le_fey
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There are enough guys (sorry, most ARE male) already who pretend to be performing before a 'live' audience, even big names, that stage the whole thing. They use the same volunteers (mostly the only variation is whether they sit on the left or right side of the performer), and you can just SEE that the surprise is not genuine.
Bob, it took your Fourth Dimension about two months of weekly 'live' finetuning to get it right. And the errors I made, well I consider that for every new effect I perform live I will have to pay dues. The audience by the way never once showed any sign of disappointment. I was, but they weren't.
I got Atlas' Train Tracking: I already know I'll not only need to know the book by heart, but I'll need to understand how this can be part of MY vocabulary. And sure, I'll derail. But I'll love every step of the way!

xxx Morgaine
Suffolk
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I agree with Bob.
I can't understand why anyone would try to perform mentalism for friends & family.

They KNOW you're not psychic/a master of psycology.
morgaine_le_fey
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My son knows all my misdirection moves by heart - toughest audience in the world Smile
I remember my father getting mad for the same reason: he tested every show he did on my mother, brothers and me and we invariably took the whole set apart, like a reverse Ikea, commenting afterwards. It drove him nuts Smile
But it meant that he needed to work harder and the solutions he came up with bettered him.
mastermindreader
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Suffolk- That's really why Charlie Reynolds and I once agreed that there really is no such thing as "amateur (meaning hobbyist) mentalism."
Scott Soloff
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On Jul 29, 2014, morgaine_le_fey wrote:

Mentalism, at least the kind I wish to master, is not something you can perform without, well, actually performing it. It's not your average out-of-the-box-into-the-show kinda thing.
Does this make sense to you?

xxx Morgaine


Two points: Mentalism, unlike magic, cannot be practiced in front of a mirror. And, yes, in order to be truly good it CANNOT be out-of-the-box. The performer has to bring something to the table. If not original routining, then at the very least an original 'voice'.

This concept of original 'voice' has been the most difficult thing for me to convey when I attempt share here.

I was watching Haim on Youtube the other day. If you were to make a list of do's and don'ts for a mentalist, in theory Haim would never cut it. The reality is another matter altogether.

Haim is sweet and charming and engaging. There is a book somewhere (no names) that gives very sound advice on how to structure your act and so on. Haim breaks most of this rules, if not all. And yet, he is wonderful to watch.

My point is simple. Haim has found his 'voice'. Everything other element to performing comes second.

Best wishes,


Scott
p.s. Haim, please forgive me for using you as an example. I did genuinely love the performance I saw on Youtube.
'Curiouser and curiouser."
mastermindreader
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Yes- in a very real sense, WHO you are as a performer is far more important than WHAT you do.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The risk to mentalists and the brilliance of Derren Brown's disclaimer. (39 Likes)
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