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Scott Xavier
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Inner circle
3672 Posts

Profile of Scott Xavier
Has anyone noticed how mentalism is trying to go more flashy and mind magic? I have to admit I fell down this path at first and soon realized the true power of mentalism. The power is in the performance.

I guess what I am trying to say is that most "performers" never really perform for a real audience. This means the fast moves and the hey look at me I can do PK style effects work for the casual encounters with friends but leave a lot to be desired by the paying audiences.

Keeping the attention of an audience is getting harder, as we usually have a minute at the most to attract someone's attention and hold it in some venues. While when the audience is exclusively there to see you as in college and corporate gigs, their attention span maybe able to be strung a little longer.

I have recently been using mentalism to strike a personal note in everyone I meet by making everyone's inner secrets slowly unravel and as such bring them closer to a friendship level to me. I can't explain how powerful this is! Try it. Please!

Restructure one effect to better get to know your audience. You'll be amazed what an impact it has.

So now for my question: What do you do to make your magic/mentalism more personal and powerful?
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935 Posts

Profile of R2
I let my groups tell me where they want to go? Think about it? It is far too easy to lay out a bunch of different sequences and assume that everyone wants to experience them because the last group seemed entertained by the engagement?

You must have sequences which will allow you the freedom for the above mentioned path of course?

~Only my dos centavos~
Fraternally, rr
Tom Jorgenson
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I have always found that there is a big difference in 'atmospheric intensity' whether or not the mentalism is inflicted ON the situation or whether it arises FROM the situation.

Just as there is a difference in intensity and expectation between a personal reading and a stage effect, the emotional 'buy-in' is far greater when it arises, than when inflicted. I am not sure what it is about stage presentation that minimizes the emotional effect, but I presume it is because the attention of a stage performer is distributed among many, while it is focused on one only during a personal reading.

Hence: There are many great stage effects that are weaker than a simple mediocre (or subtle) one-on-one effect.

I suppose any efforts to make the tests (assumedly) apply to real life, their own life somehow, would intensify their focus, and thus be touched more personally by the effect.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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IMHO, flashy and mentalism do not go very well together.

Here's why:

Flashy appearance, glitter, sequins, etc. all say - "performer" or "magician" to an audience. A mentalist wearing them may well damage his or her credibility, unless they are very careful of how they do that.

I have a selection of dress shirts that have a small applique of mirrored beads on the front plaquet, but they are understated and suitable for club wear. I have seen people wearing similar shirts in clubs all across the US and the Caribbean.

But wearing my all green sequined vest (bought for St. Patrick's Day as a gag), ruby slippers and a mirrored tie would be completely over the top. People would immediately think - "magician," regardless of how well crafted my material might be.

In mentalism, the old adage "less is more" as never been so true. if we look at the most successful mentalists throughout history - Anneman, Dunninger, Kreskin, the Piddingtons, Ross Johnson - we see people who dressed well, but not gaudily.

Even Max Maven goes for the understated black and lets his FACE talk for him, not his costume.

Perhaps there's a lesson there? Smile

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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