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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » What do you consider mentalism? (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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funsway
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In the Christmas Spirit I offer e free copy of "Furst Time" to any who requests it from gusarimagic@comcast.net

This is collection of Mentalism type effects and related stories based on my acquaintance with Arnold Furst

Most effects would be considered as Mental Magic by most members on this forum I think, but may inspire something more pure.

Back in the 50-60's Mentalism and Conjury effects could be freely mixed without a need for classification. Hypnotism too.

But, in orchestrating routines for performers like McGill, Arnold suggested having two separate parts of the show -- one focusing on Mental effects and the other on Physical impossibilities.

What I will try and do with my mentalism is open people's eyes as to abilities they already have, and to promote the courage to use them them to help others.

I think I read that you do not celebrate Christmas, Iain, but get a copy and snuggle up with a hot toddy
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Robb
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Funsway, you do have a point and I understand what you are saying. At the same time, Bob was right with his initial statement. Even without knowing the effects, if someone has to ask if they are "pure mentalism", then you must assume they are not. Not because of the effects, but because to perform "pure mentalism", you would have to know what that is! So the question is in a way self-answering. It's like someone playing a jazz song vs. a folk song and asking whether or not it's jazz. Well, no, because if you don't know what jazz is you can't play it!

See what I mean? I'll agree Bob got a little cantankerous there will his responses, but whatever. I think we can walk a line between being condescending or patronizing. If that's how Bob would respond to this guy "in the real world", then it's just who Bob is and he has earned the right to be who he is and many people love him for it.
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
Funsway

What I will try and do with my mentalism is open people's eyes as to abilities they already have, and to promote the courage to use them them to help others


Funsway,

I wonder if you would mind clarifying the above point a little. Which abilities that people already possess are you opening their eyes to through your mentalism, and how can they use them to help others?

Regards,
Martin
IAIN
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Uh oh...
I've asked to be banned
Rolyan
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2014, Robb wrote:
Funsway, you do have a point and I understand what you are saying. At the same time, Bob was right with his initial statement. Even without knowing the effects, if someone has to ask if they are "pure mentalism", then you must assume they are not. Not because of the effects, but because to perform "pure mentalism", you would have to know what that is! So the question is in a way self-answering. It's like someone playing a jazz song vs. a folk song and asking whether or not it's jazz. Well, no, because if you don't know what jazz is you can't play it!

Really. So if you (Robb) perform a piece of pure mentalism with playing cards, then it's pure mentalism. But if someone else performed the same effect and presentation (it can easily happen) its only pure mentalism if he knows it. If he's a beginner who's developed a great style, along with appropriate technique and presentation (yes I do happen to know a few beginners like that), if they haven't the experience to know what it is, then it can't be that. Your argument is flawed, not least because if you asked 10 mentalists what pure mentalism is you may easily get 10 different responses.

I doubt very much if the original poster is any further along his journey, having read all these sound bites about how what he's doing can't be pure mentalism. If nothing else, I hope he's learned to ignore the comment that mentalists don't do card tricks.
funsway
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Martin, Iain is probably right. This is not the forum for expanding on that these thoughts -- an least not today.

Happy to chat with you on at gusarimagic@comcast.net -- and perhaps start another thread. I'll let you decide if it is worth the effort.

When I queried as to whether or not pendulum work should be classified as Mentalism I got no responses. Check out my earlier posting on Smoke Pendulum.

I am content with Bob's decision that I am not a Mentalist because I don't do things for entertainment. I just want to know how to respond when observers call me a mentalist.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
mastermindreader
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92.16 wells Fargo

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41.86



"Mentalist" is a term of art within our business. The public's use of the word is based solely on what they hear in the media.

It's like the word "theory." It has an entirely different meaning in science than it does in common speech.

Roylan- I think if the OP followed the thread I suggested to him at the beginning of this one, he certainly would have a clearer understanding of what mentalism is.

But since some here seem not to have read what I wrote in that other thread- here it is again: (It's adapted from my book, Fundamentals, which goes into much greater dept on the issue.)

Quote:
...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 word “mentalism” originally referred to a monist philosophy that held reality itself to be a mental phenomenon. For our purposes, though, it shall be defined as a performing art in which the mentalist entertainingly demonstrates mystifying “powers of the mind.”

Unlike most magical effects, the illusion of mentalism is not primarily visual. (The exceptions, of course, are “mind over matter” effects such as bending or moving small objects by apparent psychokinesis, etc.) While visual aids are often employed - i.e. the performer exhibits a book from which a word is selected, or a spectator draws a picture which the mentalist attempts to duplicate – the actual illusion takes place in the viewer’s mind.

Imagine, for example, that you are vacationing abroad and see a mentalist on television. Imagine that he is speaking a language completely unfamiliar to you. It is likely that you will have no idea what he is doing - he could be a game show host for all you know.

If you were watching a magician, however, you would quickly recognize that he was performing magic and would probably understand what he was doing regardless of the language barrier.
But in mentalism, the illusion itself cannot be created without effective verbal communication and misdirection.

Mentalism, to be effective, must appear to be an actual demonstration of some unusual ability. Its plausibility is inversely proportional to the number of abilities claimed. In other words, the more unusual abilities you claim and demonstrate, the less believable you will be. Before you can begin to select effects and develop a presentation you must first create a plausible subscript – a detailed description of your stage persona’s powers, how he got them, how they seem to work, and what his limitations are.


http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=15
Martin Pulman
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On Dec 5, 2014, funsway wrote:
Martin, Iain is probably right. This is not the forum for expanding on that these thoughts -- an least not today.

Happy to chat with you on at gusarimagic@comcast.net -- and perhaps start another thread. I'll let you decide if it is worth the effort.

When I queried as to whether or not pendulum work should be classified as Mentalism I got no responses. Check out my earlier posting on Smoke Pendulum.

I am content with Bob's decision that I am not a Mentalist because I don't do things for entertainment. I just want to know how to respond when observers call me a mentalist.


Funsway,

You are, of course, completely at liberty not to answer my question. But it does rather force me to draw the conclusion that your earlier post castigating Bob for not answering your questions was not written from a -shall we say- particularly principled standpoint?
funsway
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Wrong conclusion Martin. I said that I would be happy to explain and discuss -- when the time is right. Nobody "forced" you to do anything.

This thread was stated by a person seeking answers to questions about what HE was doing -- not me. He may still be looking for helpful answers.

Neither did I "castigate" Bob by pointing out that he was selective in what questions about Mentalism he chose to answer. I asked him and others because I respected their opinion.

Perhaps he will answer when the time is right.

I thought you were asking a legitimate question that would require some thought and organization -- to which I will respond. Where is another matter.

Now I wonder why you asked for clarification. Do you wish to learn or to argue? What is your "particular principled standpoint?" Do you wish the information or to see your name one a post?

I have previously written material I can send you. It cannot be sent from this forum. That is why I requested that you contact me at an address where this is possible.

If you are not willing to review what I have already posted on the issue, what is the point?

I notice you have not requested by Christmas gift either. That will provide some clues as to my thinking and formational background.

I will begin gathering material together in case you really are serious about this information. Please read what I have already offered.

I will value any experiential information you can provide on the issue when I clarify the ideas further.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Robb
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Rolyan, that's a pretty qualified point but a valid one. I *suppose* someone could quite by accident perform mentalism without realizing it just like they could accidentally perform jazz without realizing it... But since both styles are fairly (but not absolutely) delineated, it seems improbable to me. Obviously you could paint a scenario where anyone could be performing in any style without explicitly knowing it. If we want to talk about outlier cases then sure, anything is possible, I'll agree with you there. But *generally speaking* you would have to know what is and is not mentalism (broadly defined) in order to perform it. Sorry if I was speaking in absolutes, it was a generalization. There are always exceptions.
Martin Pulman
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Funsway,

You made your statement on this forum; I asked you a question about your statement on this forum; you've chosen not to answer on this forum. I'm not really interested in private emailing or receiving items. Just interested in discussing mentalism on a mentalism forum. If you only wish to discuss mentalism on your own terms and only through private emails, I'll leave you to it.
Rolyan
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Bob - I'm hoping that the original poster followed your link. I also hope that he will follow what I've done which is to own and read every single book you've ever published! But sometimes beginners need a basic, simple response and that's what's been missing here. A lot of 'clever' answers but not much practical help.

However, I suppose we've all learned a little, which is no bad thing.
funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Funsway,

You made your statement on this forum; I asked you a question about your statement on this forum; you've chosen not to answer on this forum. I'm not really interested in private emailing or receiving items. Just interested in discussing mentalism on a mentalism forum. If you only wish to discuss mentalism on your own terms and only through private emails, I'll leave you to it.


Fine -- I will open a new thread on this forum to explore these issues. Just as I said I would. I have chosen not to respond on "this thread."

I thought that a couple of examples and even stories might help with your understanding. There is nothing "private" - you could share anything you thought important on any forum.

The key is "discuss mentalism." I don't see much discussion going on in this thread at all.

I look forward to the opportunity.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2014, Robb wrote:
Funsway, you do have a point and I understand what you are saying. At the same time, Bob was right with his initial statement. Even without knowing the effects, if someone has to ask if they are "pure mentalism", then you must assume they are not. Not because of the effects, but because to perform "pure mentalism", you would have to know what that is! So the question is in a way self-answering. It's like someone playing a jazz song vs. a folk song and asking whether or not it's jazz. Well, no, because if you don't know what jazz is you can't play it!

See what I mean? I'll agree Bob got a little cantankerous there will his responses, but whatever. I think we can walk a line between being condescending or patronizing. If that's how Bob would respond to this guy "in the real world", then it's just who Bob is and he has earned the right to be who he is and many people love him for it.


In the real world I'd probably respond in a lot more depth.

The problem is that this topic has been discussed to death here over the last several years. In fact, if you go back to the week I was the "Chef's Special" here I answered questions like this for a whole week. It's all still there at:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewf......=304&370

But I do admit that when the same questions come up repeatedly I can get a little cantankerous.
Robb
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Anyone would, Bob, anyone would...
ummer21
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First of all, I would like to apologize for not being more clear in what card tricks I perfomed. Also, I would like to thank everyone on this thread who has been so thoughful to put not only their expertise, but their energy into typing so honestly. From reading this thread I conclude I am in no way a mentalist just beacuse I have performed a few tricks that contained a prediction of a card or guessed someones number etc etc. I brought this topic up beacause when I perform people always ask what kind of magician I am. I don't want to admit I am a mentalist if I am not, and possibly insult those lifetime professionals.


I enjoy doing tricks mostly for students in my school, teachers, friends, family and ocassionaly a party, fundraiser or xmas party. For instance, today I performed a trick for my students where I pour water into a cup and switch them around on the table. After they find the water I switch the cup and pour it into another one. On the last switch they guess the cup and the water us gone from all three cups. That is not mental magic. I am not sure what that is perhaps close up magic.

Now for my definition of mental magic or mentalism I believe that a trick involving a book test or predicting a future chosen card would be considered a mental effect because it involves using ones mind or thoughts to get the effect. Form the argument on the board it seems there are various disagreements about what a mental effect is by nature.

Thanks for your input, but I will be performing my tricks to get a laugh out of my audience and that is about it. I enjoy it and whatever its called in professional terms really doesn't impact me because I am not trying to sell it. Not in the near future at least.
ummer21
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I think Bob summed it up in his thread. Maybe I am more of a "trickster" than a mentalist. So can mental magic be trickery? I think that was a better to put it in my original post?

Thanks once again Bob. I am honored to have had you respond.
mastermindreader
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You're welcome ummer21.

Good luck on your journey.

Bob
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