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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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MentalistCreationLab
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Antiquated really? Most of the new stuff your referencing is based on many of these antiquated theories although the origins where not sited by the newer creators.

While it is true general magic sales are much greater than those sold by the mentalist this is pointless and now a waste of my time...................................................................................................................
Mr Salk
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I'm probably guilty of trivializing; sometimes I do mash-up effects that don't clearly square in either genre.
If the spec thinks of a card, and I levitate their thought-card from the deck, is the effect Mentalism or Magic?
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IAIN
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Quote:
On Dec 18, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
I'm probably guilty of trivializing; sometimes I do mash-up effects that don't clearly square in either genre.
If the spec thinks of a card, and I levitate their thought-card from the deck, is the effect Mentalism or Magic?


100% MAGIC
Mr Salk
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Surely it's a Hybrid.

Thoughts, parapsychological phenomena and even the occult can be revealed with sleights and "magic".
If a ghost whispers the answer to me...I'm still free to reveal with elan. Pretty sure the ghost doesn't care.

There may be an argument that a magic-reveal cheapens the mentalism aspect, but it doesn't replace it.
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IAIN
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How you reveal something is vital though... you don't pull out a bunch of flowers with the card they "merely thought of" written on the petals and expect people to think that its in any way 'real'...

take real petals, cast them into a bowl of water, you answer a question the person is thinking of, that could be a hybrid, but would depend on context, character and everything else wrapped around it...

if you then took the petals out from the bowl of water, held them in your hand and the petals fused back together - that would then be seen as magic too...

context is king, shortly followed by the jester of consistency, and the queen of connections...
Mr Salk
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Amateurs like myself can afford to ignore dogma.
We have no public persona to defend or bookers to question our set. There is no competition in the parlor.
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DynaMix
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Mr Salk I think this is exactly the problem as perceived by those who need the distinction to survive - the pros are being affected by the amateur showing the world that it IS indeed all trickery. The amateurs simply don't realize this is what they are doing.

I'm an amateur myself and I also used to think that fooling them and entertaining them meant I was "doing my job". But what we are unknowingly telegraphing in your above example is that BOTH how we obtained the thought AND how we made it levitate - were done through trickery.

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is.
MagicalEducator
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On Dec 15, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
You're kidding yourself if you believe this. Just by our nature we immediately, by default, want to know and understand how it's done or "how he's able to do that."


A real artist provides the context for creating an experience where disbelief is suspended. This is in contrast to the rather low brow performer that creates an adversarial situation where's it's all about the HOW. I've seen many mentalists (and magicians too) that present feat after feat and the end result is one of...so what? You know what I was thinking or apparently predicted something after I went through some process. I know that the magic/mentalism is a trick and without any further meaning to the piece it becomes rather trivial.

jeff
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Robb
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Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off?
Mindpro
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Even in the greatest of context, which I agree is crucially important, others will always try to understand or want to understand how he is able to do it. If the abilities and perhaps a proper backstory isn't presented, convincing or accepted, it them becomes accepted as nothing more than a trick or puzzle justified through their typical default of logic.

Btw, this is why letting the audience "see the process" is so important. Nut all of this does little to stop or change the trivialization by those that do not understand or put forth such efforts.
mindpunisher
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I don't think you can stop it. Ive seen it in other markets. Whenever a larger number of people enter a market the service becomes valued lower. Sure there is always the odd operator who stays at the top and commands high fees but by and large the market suffers. And to make it worse with mentalism they don't even need to enter the market. All they have to do is find out the method then brag about it on social media.

Its not going to stop.
MagicalEducator
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On Dec 19, 2015, Robb wrote:
Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off?


Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?

I'm currently working on my version of the Sophie trick. I'm playing hide and seek with my 6 year old son Jonah and I keep finding him because he hides in such obvious spots. The narrative changes as my audience slowly realizes that he died in my arms a few years ago. The piece isn't for every venue or audience but it does give a direct example about the theatrical possibilities of a mentalist routine. Even one that's a fairly signature routine.

Jeff
Voted "Canada's Most Inspirational Magician"
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"Magic is Education" @
www.VanishMagazine.com
Ray Bertrand
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Quote:
On Dec 19, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 19, 2015, Robb wrote:
Nicely stated, Jeff, and I fully agree. Adding meaning to our routines is crucially important as well as challenging... It's hard to do right. Just adding some hokey story, as I've seen done to so many magic tricks, is *something* I suppose, but we need to go well beyond that. When it comes to mentalism, this is especially true. Meaning doesn't need to be heavy handed or too detailed, but without it, what are we doing except showing off?


Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?

I'm currently working on my version of the Sophie trick. I'm playing hide and seek with my 6 year old son Jonah and I keep finding him because he hides in such obvious spots. The narrative changes as my audience slowly realizes that he died in my arms a few years ago. The piece isn't for every venue or audience but it does give a direct example about the theatrical possibilities of a mentalist routine. Even one that's a fairly signature routine.

Jeff


Great post Jeff. Thank you for sharing so openly and eloquently. People should take notice of what you have to say.

Ray
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Keith Raygor
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Quote:
On Dec 18, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
A real artist provides the context for creating an experience where disbelief is suspended.

Quote:
On Dec 19, 2015, MagicalEducator wrote:
Stop sharing tricks and start sharing yourself. No one else in your market can be you. These are the things that occupy my time and thinking. How can I reveal more of me through my performances? What story do I get to share and do so with integrity and passion?


These are the best words on the Magic Café. They provide a signpost for those paying attention without the condemnation for those that aren't.
Munken
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Is there anybody on earth that really believe Copperfield vanished the statue of liberty?
That answer brings the next question in play. Is there anybody believing in psychic powers?
If somebody is saying yes to these questions then perfect. For the majority it is a question about entertainment. Perhaps we know how it is done, but we do not care. That is if the performance is well executed.
This is not to say I don’t know, but I love a good performance anyway.
Do not say, my performance lacks because of peoples knowledge. No it simply lacks “magic”.
Now it is properly wrong to say mentalism lacks “magic” but metalize can be “magical”
Sean Giles
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Where is Bob, is he ok? Haven't seen him for a while and miss reading his posts.
Mindpro
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I've been wondering the same thing. It's very odd not to have his contributions and insights on this topic and thread. I hope he's okay.
Mr Salk
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On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is.


I don't jive with this world-view, and neither do my specs.

Small time prestidigitators like myself don't blip the radar of the professional mentalists. The parlors of America are enclaves of scurrilous sleights and psychological anathema.

Our First Goal is to entertain; not uphold the dogma of a fraternity of which we are not members.
.


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WDavis
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Quote:
On Dec 22, 2015, Mr Salk wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 18, 2015, DynaMix wrote:

One of those IS possible - guessing a thought. One is simply NOT possible - levitating.

Mixing the two isn't the hybrid you think it is.


I don't jive with this world-view, and neither do my specs.

Small time prestidigitators like myself don't blip the radar of the professional mentalists. The parlors of America are enclaves of scurrilous sleights and psychological anathema.

Our First Goal is to entertain; not uphold the dogma of a fraternity of which we are not members.



So you identify yourself a magician, per your word choice for self description. Furthermore, the amateur does affect the professional, who attends professionals shows-those same amateurs whom additionally a subset will attempt to explain and show how it's done (in a me too attempt). This activity cheapens the entertainment value for others and violates your own stated primary goal of entertainment first.

Of which I would like to point out some thoughts for your consideration on this idea of entertainment first?
Who's entertainment are you performing for?

Secondly, consider that psychologically this mindset of entertainment first is at it's extreme a form of prostitution for acceptance.
I highlight this, because if someone offered you $1 million dollars to throw yourself on the ground and flounder in the mud on the street for their entertainment, you would.
Now as entertainment is first- we can keep lowering this payment pricetag and you would still do it. Eventually, we get to $0 dollars, if entertainment is truly first you will still do it because you are driven to entertain first. If you don't then you must admit entertainment is not your primary goal.

On a sidebar note with your argument with Bill Montana, I think you missed the point Nelson was making. The sale of mentalism is for BOR products not the global sales size. Magic sales from a BOR perspective to the lay audience after a show is smaller. Especially when compared as a percentage basis for common comparison.
Mindpro
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Beautiful!
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