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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How to Stop the Trivialization of Mentalism (91 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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seanksutton
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I feel like the main problem is mentalists on a MAGIC FORUM. This is the Magic Café, and many are getting mad at young magicians who do not know (or are too ignorant) how to get into mentalism and who also does not understand mentalism as an art form. Many of those who "trivialize" mentalism do so because they do not fully understand mentalism-they only know magic which is almost the polar opposite of mentalism (one you claim as "tricks" and one is real). Trivialization of mentalism will, IMO, never stop. The only way to cause it to slow down is to completely cut off mentalism from magic. Take away all mentalism products from magic websites, take down all mentalism threads on any magic forums, and only allow certain people to access mentalism information. Of course, this will probably never happen. Smile
Mr Salk
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What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic.
.


.
Mindpro
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I'm in. What I don't understand is why to they come to the Penny forum? I would never in a million years venture into the bizarre, gospel or clowning sections as they do not pertain to stuff I do. I would never have barged in there expecting to be a peer or an equal, and would never try telling experienced pros from these areas my inexperience, armchair opinions, and being unable to separate facts and experience with opinion. So why come here and do the same?
innercirclewannabe
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic.


You're wrong. It is all about perception.

Seeing as though you introduced the word "pretend", it tends to be Magicians who "pretend" to do Mentalism, IMO.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
DynaMix
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*sigh

Mr Salk - you seem to keep underscoring the point that any performer can do whatever they want or feel however they want to. While true, many of us are simply trying to make the point that its easier to believe in Mentalism if its presented as real.
When mixed with magic it isn't presented as real, and simply loses this characteristic. It doesn't lose "entertainment". It just loses the perception of being real.
If you want to argue what's better, worse, more or less entertaining etc - then sure those are fine debates for another day.
But have you performed pure mentalism and presented it as a skill set distinct from magic?

You should just try it (if you haven't) and see how it feels. It may color your opinion... About 2 years ago I sounded EXACTLY like you on this thread (but thank god I wasn't trolling like you are).

To everyone else, seanksutton is pretty spot on. You're not going to convince magicians of anything when they simply don't care. The BEST answer is to move your material towards non effect/conclusion material. do hypnotic effects, readings, tarot, bizarre stuff...things without a "trick" format.

I think that's the only way at this point.
Twisted Mentat
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic.

I once asked this question. In response to this, I picked up a box and gave the box a man who asked me. I suggested a competition.
If he opens the box and be able to show magic routine with a object in the box, I'll give him $ 10 and promise to always say that mentalism - it's just magic. No predictions. No mind reading. Only magic tricks - the disappearance, transformation, changing color, etc.
The duration of the routine - 15 minutes.
He can open the box now and the whole day, week, month preparing for competition.
He opened the box. He found nothing. It was just an empty box.
He said, "Well, no one can make magic with "nothing"
I said, "That's right"
Then I took the "nothing" out of the box, and entertained him with a 15 minute propless mentalism.
I think this is the answer to your question.
Munken
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Walter,

I actually agree with you on almost all parts, but it was the analogy I did not like. It did not make me think of recognition.

There are too many that strives for recognition rather than appreciation for the performance. Sadly, they will do that for free and public. It is the intention of performing that matters and the outcome will reflect your intentions.

I think the misunderstanding between magic and mentalism is from both sides. Magicians think that when a mentalist pick up a deck of cards, they do magic. Mentalists think if a magician pick up a book, they do mentalism. It is in the presentation. The inception and establishment of what you are doing, makes the difference. The effect could might be the same for magic or mentalism.

The performer makes or breaks the effect.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
What's the difference between a Magician and a Mentalist?
Mentalists pretend they don't perform Magic.


A great example of magician's thinking at its best. I've never been a magician, owned a magic kit or have anything to do with magic. There are many mentalists that have gotten into mentalism though ways other than magic. If you think mentalists are only doing magic it simply shows your limited understanding of mentalism. The more you talk, the more you prove my point and your limited understanding. You don't know what you don't know. Well done.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2015, DynaMix wrote:
*sigh

You're not going to convince magicians of anything when they simply don't care.


Right, exactly. But then why insist on coming to a mentalism forum and speaking of things they know nothing about or have no interest in learning? Then being an amateur and trying to speak intelligently on the same level as longtime working professionals that do care, work, and operate within their industry. Another example of a terrible use of access to information and yes, another example of the trivialization of mentalism. Perhaps magicians should focus on the many major problems within magic itself and it's much worse problem with trivialization rather than being concerned with the entirely different and opposite art of mentalism.
MagicalEducator
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Quote:
On Dec 23, 2015, WDavis wrote:
Jeff,

My two comments to you in response so not derail this thread again,

I never disagreed with you regarding the influx of performers selling their wares ( if you truly read and understood my application of the kinked curve model you would see your argument resides within mine). I am open to opposing opinions as long as it is thru CONSTRUCTIVE dialogue without disparaging comments, because is how people grow and learn.

Finally, stop taking my words and twisting them on a public forum to intentionally or unintentually taint my character and image. I said it politely, now I will be direct, you are treading on libel defamation of my person, by falsely accusing me by twisting my words as fact against me. I have proven you have done so prior and if you continue to do so, I will escalate to higher authorities.

Good bye sir,
Walter


I wish you only the best as I hold up a mirror to your most curious arguments. I'm sorry if this somehow "taints" your fine character. My opinion is that your argument has no context or validity when applied to mentalism. If you don't agree that's fine but put on your big boy pants or take your ball and go home. No one is attacking your fine character.

Mentalism is going to be just fine even if a few magicians try it on for size. Mentalism. Is just another branch or form if magic. Period. If it makes people feel better to think otherwise then that's just fine with me. In the end we're all entertainers. Perhaps this is why the PEA is know. As the the Psychic Entertainers Association. It's entertainment, theatre and hopefully art. In theatre I can play any role that I want. I can be a magician, a mentalist or even both.

Jeff

Ps. I find it curious that no one has chimed in on the selling of precious mentalism secrets to whoever wants to pay for it. Words are easy but I don't notice any of the real mentalists commenting on the mass sell off of their products. That would mean a lot more than mere empty words. If you really mean it then say it with your wallet.
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funsway
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I carefully reread all of the thoughts and arguments on this thread before wading in. All of them seem trivial in the sense that they have no where to go.

Why? Because they are based on an assumption that an individual must choose one camp or another, and must be limited by another person's definitions. This is sad.

A person can be a concert violinist and also a fine chef. A person can be an expert stone mason by day and white concerts at night -- and be acclaimed in both fields.

To even suggest that a person cannot be both great conjuror and world class mentalist is insulting to both arts and every intelligent and creative person.

More importantly, it is insulting the members of the audience upon whose perceptions both type of mystic art depends for success.
You are saying that a lay observer cannot appreciate both art forms, and derive from each personal pleasure, insight and hope that effects their lives.

Those coming to see a mentalist perform seek to have their beliefs validated by demonstration. They will remember that which supports and forget that which does not.

Those coming to see a conjuror perform seek a challenge to what they consider to be impossible. They too will remember ...

Yes, there are those who crave to be entertained and could care less about artistry or intent or what we all think about each other.

I am not considered a mentalist by most here because I do not demonstrate innate or extraordinary mental abilities for the purpose of entertainment.
I do not perform conjuring effect for entertainment either, but ...

I have given thousands of performances in which those seeking validation might call me a mentalist, and those finding challenge to what they feel is impossible call be a conjuror.

Both might think "magician" because that is what the concept means to them. No amount of quibbling here is going to change that. What does your audience expect? Can you deliver on the promise?

Yes, both forms (separate and combined) are trivialized because every value in our culture is being trivialized.

Performers of the mystic arts can provide a valuable service by never performing until they are practiced, polished and recognized the incredible power of being able to cause people to think.

Please do not trivialize yourself by claiming what another person can or cannot do -- or pretending to know what the audience thinks. Just be proud that the do.

How do you stop the trivialization of mentalism? Never say an unkind word to another person. Never buy from a spam ad. Never buy a knock-off or illegal product. Never lie to your boss or employees.

People want to be more than they are today. The same people want to overcome what they believe to be impossible in their lives. The distinction is trivial.

How about a New Year pledge to accentuate the 90% of sameness and minimize the 10% self-perceived uniqueness?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
morgaine_le_fey
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Game
Set
And match!!
Rolyan
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Nice one Funsway. A well balanced post that is thoughtful without attacking others and without claiming to be the font of all true knowledge.
Clifford the Red
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Much of this thread makes me feel if I don't laugh I will cry.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
JanForster
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I want to meet the great pianist with classical education complaining about the triviliazation of classic piano music as there are to many beginners playing the first beats of the popular "Flea Waltz" with two fingers only... Jan
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brehaut
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Thought it was ironic to hit "Penny for your thoughts" and see the first topic is "How to stop the trivialization of Mentalism" and the next topic is "Mentalism for picking up Girls"......
Mindpro
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Need we say anymore?
Waters.
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Most of the problem, in my simple mind, is that so much of the discussion focused on methods and techniques. These are challenges that can be overcome; innovate and keep quiet.

The larger issue is a lack of understanding of what creates an experience (I am not claiming expertise here). Wonderful experiences transport us and serve
to take us from the function and moves closer to a form. Original methods and more importantly, thoughtful approaches are answers, but not cures. It's our culture of entitlement that speeds the trivialization. People want the methods, fewer want to connect. Also, you have to think about the google searches before you choose an effect. You can't "search engine" the name of an experience, but you can an effect.
Follow the link...
www.experience-architecture.com
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 26, 2015, Waters. wrote:
Most of the problem, in my simple mind, is that so much of the discussion focused on methods and techniques. These are challenges that can be overcome; innovate and keep quiet.


The greatest differences and the root of the trivialization is the same root and problems between magic and mentalism in general, which is the foundational understanding of each, which are polar opposites. Methods and technologies become problematic and elevated when these pundational understanding are ignored.
Waters.
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Mindpro,

I want to make sure I understand. What you are talking about is context and presentational themes being fundamentally different, correct? That is the core of understanding, yes?
Follow the link...
www.experience-architecture.com
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