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Phoenicis
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I'm an amateur, mostly card, magician who performs for friends at dinner parties. Over the past year or so I've been table strolling at a few of my company events and very much enjoy it. The reason for my post is that I've been asked to perform a short stage routine for my company to an audience of around 150 people in January. This excites me and terrifies me. I don't think any of my card effects would play in that setting so I'd be very grateful for your suggestions.
Gourmet
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2014, Phoenicis wrote:
I'm an amateur, mostly card, magician who performs for friends at dinner parties. Over the past year or so I've been table strolling at a few of my company events and very much enjoy it. The reason for my post is that I've been asked to perform a short stage routine for my company to an audience of around 150 people in January. This excites me and terrifies me. I don't think any of my card effects would play in that setting so I'd be very grateful for your suggestions.


What a thrill Smile

You know, what David Williamson can do to a simple "pick a card - here it is" type of routine?
He makes it play very big and peppers it with his own remarkable and hilarious presentation.

On the other hand : if you took that engagement and you do not know, what to perform, I think you're ****ed.
sorry Smile

Don't know what else to say Smile
Magical Dimensions
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If you have no idea of what to do, then simply you are not ready. There is hope, but that is for you to figure out, not us. Think simple and go from there.



Best
Ray
Phoenicis
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Thanks for your replies. I have some ideas that would work - a blindfold TV-screen image to mind effect (based on tele****) and I've also devised my own two-spectator drawing duplication. Having said that I'm not a mentalist and am just respectfully asking for your views on effects to give me some more ideas.
Martin Pulman
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I honestly think you would be better to stick to what you know. Mentalism is a completely different mind-set and skill-set from most card magic.

Check out Paul Daniels Bravura box set for excellent examples of how to make card effects play on stage for large audiences.

And break a leg!
E.E.
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A lot of card magic can be adapted to stage, just think about it a little bit and you'll find a way.
But I would say that you are not ready for that. You better turn down that show and practice until you are able to do a show without doubt.


I wish you luck in every aspect of your life.
I shall see you on the other side.
John C
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2014, Gourmet wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 28, 2014, Phoenicis wrote:
I'm an amateur, mostly card, magician who performs for friends at dinner parties. Over the past year or so I've been table strolling at a few of my company events and very much enjoy it. The reason for my post is that I've been asked to perform a short stage routine for my company to an audience of around 150 people in January. This excites me and terrifies me. I don't think any of my card effects would play in that setting so I'd be very grateful for your suggestions.


What a thrill Smile

You know, what David Williamson can do to a simple "pick a card - here it is" type of routine?
He makes it play very big and peppers it with his own remarkable and hilarious presentation.

On the other hand : if you took that engagement and you do not know, what to perform, I think you're ****ed.
sorry Smile

Don't know what else to say Smile



LOL!

I believe you said it all sir. Especially the ****ed part. Nothing more needs to me said.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
John C
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
I honestly think you would be better to stick to what you know. Mentalism is a completely different mind-set and skill-set from most card magic.

Check out Paul Daniels Bravura box set for excellent examples of how to make card effects play on stage for large audiences.

And break a leg!


Perhaps he should perform Fair Play ehhh Martin?

J
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Nov 29, 2014, John C wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 28, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
I honestly think you would be better to stick to what you know. Mentalism is a completely different mind-set and skill-set from most card magic.

Check out Paul Daniels Bravura box set for excellent examples of how to make card effects play on stage for large audiences.

And break a leg!


Perhaps he should perform Fair Play ehhh Martin?

J


I wouldn't recommend that. I would say it needs a strong mentalism presentation to hit hard.
doriancaudal
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Why ALWAYS separate magic and mentalism... ? They are very closely related.
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Amirá
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, doriancaudal wrote:
Why ALWAYS separate magic and mentalism... ? They are very closely related.


In their basic concept, yes. Both work with mysterious phenomena, but sadly in practice most magicians aren´t real creators of magic.
For that reason we separate with emphasis the difference. We still defend the inner power of properly performed Mentalism/Psychic Entertainment.


Best
Pablo
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Mentalism Center: The best online space to get quality Mentalism
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doriancaudal
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, Amirá wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, doriancaudal wrote:
Why ALWAYS separate magic and mentalism... ? They are very closely related.


In their basic concept, yes. Both work with mysterious phenomena, but sadly in practice most magicians aren´t real creators of magic.
For that reason we separate with emphasis the difference. We still defend the inner power of properly performed Mentalism/Psychic Entertainment.


Best


Or most mentalists are not real creators of wonder and amazement (write this here, hummm I see, I see, a dog!)... you can say it this way also. That is why both magic and mentalism HAVE to be LINKED.

Most people who say "We cannot mix magic and mentalism" don't know what they are talking about, and generally don't have a real audience to perform for. This false "debate" is only seen from the perspective of magicians and mentalists, who have a pre-conceived idea about magic or about mentalism, which they oppose without realizing that other approaches exist. Magic and mentalism are intimately mixed, and I think that people who say magic/mentalism have to be separated lack a lot of imagination in order to create an alternative, which is quite sad imho.
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Amirá
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, doriancaudal wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, Amirá wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 30, 2014, doriancaudal wrote:
Why ALWAYS separate magic and mentalism... ? They are very closely related.


In their basic concept, yes. Both work with mysterious phenomena, but sadly in practice most magicians aren´t real creators of magic.
For that reason we separate with emphasis the difference. We still defend the inner power of properly performed Mentalism/Psychic Entertainment.


Best



Or most mentalists are not real creators of wonder and amazement (write this here, hummm I see, I see, a dog!)... you can say it this way also. That is why both magic and mentalism HAVE to be LINKED.

Most people who say "We cannot mix magic and mentalism" don't know what they are talking about, and generally don't have a real audience to perform for. This false "debate" is only seen from the perspective of magicians and mentalists, who have a pre-conceived idea about magic or about mentalism, which they oppose without realizing that other approaches exist. Magic and mentalism are intimately mixed, and I think that people who say magic/mentalism have to be separated lack a lot of imagination in order to create an alternative, which is quite sad imho.



Dorian:

Of course that other approaches exist. At the end of the day, every person has a different approach of what they want to do and how the achieve that goal. I do my own work, you are doing your own, but we can establish some basic concept, and at the core of that basic concepts Magic are Mentalism has similarities but also different aspects.

Surely in a show of a competent performer Magic and Mentalism can be together, but in my opinion, not mixed in terms of understanding the differences between them.

Best
Pablo
Performer and Author

Mentalism Center: The best online space to get quality Mentalism
www.mentalismcenter.com

Arkanosophy: The Boutique for Mystery Performers
www.arkanosophy.com
Martin Pulman
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Of course you can mix them, if that is to your taste.

I mean, you can have ice cream on your pizza if you want. They're both food after all.
doriancaudal
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Well, I would not compare magic and mentalism with pizza and ice cream...

In the literature, in movies, etc, you will find many examples where characters have mixed magic-mentalism powers. Imho it's not good to be stubborn and "only on one side : magic OR mentalism", both can be / live together in the way we perform our Art.
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Martin Pulman
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Of course they mix in literature and film. They are fiction. In the 21st century the vast majority of people in "civilised" society no longer believe in magic. They do not believe the lady has been sawn in half; they do not believe the coins have actually transported through space; they do not believe that David Copperfield can fly.

But many of them do believe that psychic powers exist; many do believe that people can read minds; many do believe that behaviour can be influenced; many do believe that the future can be predicted. It is in that shadowy area of possible reality that mentalism exists. If you mix in effects that the audience know for certain are not real, they will assume everything you do thereafter is also not real. And the power of mentalism as an art is lost.

But as I say; put ice cream on your pizza if you wish. Maybe you are culinarian enough to make it work. I think it ruins the flavour of both.
doriancaudal
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I am french, so very culinarian Smile but not enough to mix pizza and ice-cream though... !
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Gourmet
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Elsewhere, Craig Browning put it this way :
"Magic suspends disbelief but mentalism INVOKES belief. "

I guess the op can perform as much and as strong as he wants, he will be perceived as doing" just" magic tricks.
mastermindreader
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Dorian- Magic and mental magic are very closely related- they're the same thing actually.

I've written my views on the never ending debate so many times, that the best I can do here is quote myself. The following is adapted from my book, "The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy, Volume 2: Fundamentals."

Quote:
The first thing that an aspiring mentalist needs to know is that there is a very real difference between mentalism as presented by mentalists and mental magic as demonstrated by magicians. While their methods and devices are often similar, the mentalist is able to employ certain psychological techniques unavailable to the magician.

It is a well known fact, for example, that if you speak to someone they will generally look at your face. If you are a public speaker or a standup comedian, this is almost always true because there is no compelling reason to look anywhere else.

Not so for the magician. People know in advance that a magician performs tricks, and since everyone imagines that they might see “how it’s done” if they watch closely, their attention will go back and forth between the magician’s face and his hands (or the particular prop he is using). The magician, therefore, must employ misdirection to insure that attention is directed appropriately.

If a magician includes a mental effect in his act the same requirement applies. Even though he may state that he is about to demonstrate a phenomenon of the mind, audiences are well conditioned not to believe anything that a magician says and will continue to look for trickery.

It stands to reason, therefore, that if an audience has any reason to suspect that a performer is performing sleight of hand or “magic tricks,” his words and actions will be subject to far more scrutiny than those of a public speaker. (Unless, of course, the speaker is running for office.) This is why mentalists can effectively employ methods that would be transparently crude and obvious if used by a magician.

Harlan Tarbell once observed that the mentalist should seem to possess an “unusual power.” Note that he merely advocated that the performer attribute his effects to some “unusual power.” This claimed “power” needn’t be paranormal. One of today’s most successful mentalists claims to be an expert on body language and non-verbal communication. Many similar approaches are available to the imaginative performer who does not wish to claim or imply psychic abilities. The important point is that effective mentalism cannot be presented as mere magical trickery.

Upon witnessing a mentalist totally dumbfound an audience with bold and simple effects, some magicians, who, due to lack of talent or aversion to practice, often decide to “get into mentalism.” No psychic ability is necessary to accurately predict what always happens when they foist themselves upon an unsuspecting audience.
It isn’t pretty.







...To understand the art of mentalism and many of the debates that surround it today, nothing is more illuminating than a brief review of its early history. As a performing art, modern mentalism evolved during the period spanning the latter half of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twentieth. It was a theatrical response to the public’s fascination with Spiritualism, Theosophy, hypnotism and early psychical research.

The first “mentalists” did not have conjuring backgrounds, although they did, unquestionably, make use of sleight of hand, gimmickry and misdirection to accomplish their feats. Without exception, however, all claimed to possess – either explicitly or implicitly – genuine paranormal abilities. All were subject to attacks and exposures by magicians and skeptics and, as a result, many careers were short lived. Only a select few were able to survive the onslaughts and controversy to enjoy successful careers as public performers.

A Few Members of the Original Cast of Characters


Anna Eva Fay

In the mid 1870’s, Anna Eva Fay had established herself as a stage medium. Her most famous feat was a spirit cabinet routine she called “The Cotton Bandage Test.” (The feat is still performed today, most notably by “Falkenstein and Willard”.) Later, she added a question answering routine utilizing waxed pads to obtain secret impressions of spectators’ written queries.

In 1875 she hired Washington Irving Bishop to be her manager. In 1876, Bishop wrote a complete expose of Fay’s act and began his own career as a mentalist. His performances included an expose of Fay’s “fraudulent” tests and, later, demonstrations of his own “genuine” thought reading abilities.

In 1889 she publicly mocked Bishop in the press.


John Randall Brown

In 1872, as a reporter assigned to covering séances, Brown invented the thought reading technique now known as muscle reading. (Based on detecting what is now referred to as ‘Involuntary Muscle Response’, or ‘IMR’.) Taking to the stage, he billed himself as ‘The First and Original Thought Reader’ and began a successful career in mentalism.

In 1877 he taught his technique to Washington Irving Bishop.



Washington Irving Bishop

In 1877, after learning muscle reading from Brown, Bishop added it to his act and became the most successful practitioner of the technique. He went to England where he billed himself as ‘The First and Original Thought Reader’ and drew the attention of the magician John Neville Maskelyne, one of the first of the magician/exposers to attack stage mentalists.



Samri S. Baldwin and John Neville Maskelyne


Bishop, hastily leaving England to avoid the enforcement of a court judgment obtained against him by Maskelyne, returned to the United States. Brown, in the meantime, was no longer calling himself ‘The First and Original Thought Reader” but, instead, had become ‘The First and Original White Mahatma’ (in response, apparently, to the growing popularity of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical movement.)

Unfortunately, the title was already in use by Samri S. Baldwin, the apparent originator of the one-ahead system, who responded by calling himself “The REAL and Only Original White Mahatma”.


And that is basically the way it was. They claimed to possess real paranormal abilities, while attacking and exposing the competition and stealing each others billings. In the meantime, they defended themselves against, or did their best to avoid, attacks against themselves by magicians and skeptics.

Not much has changed.
davidmag
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Bob very well written...All magicians should read this. It's sad thing that some of them just don't get it. I guess Dorian is one of them...
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