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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » For all mentalists claiming they have "powers"... (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Robb
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On Feb 12, 2016, StevenScott wrote:
Maybe even change THEIR life. I wish someone would have inspired me to pick up a book on spelling.


Let me play Devil's advocate here and say that I find this idea pretentious. I've seen some of the best magicians and mentalists on the planet. The only way they "changed my life" is by making me want to do what they were doing because it was fun, cool, weird, mysterious and entertaining. To think that our performances are going to "change lives" is what I would consider overreaching and might lead to some really bad mentalism.

Don't misconstrue what I'm saying. I think mentalism can and should be meaningful and even "deep", but "life changing"? That seems a bit too far in my opinion. I feel that if we want to change lives we should become doctors, politicians, counsellors, teachers, etc. If we want to give people a fun, entertaining and mystifying experience that's far from their humdrum daily lives, mentalism or magic can fit the bill quite well.

Usually when I hear this kind of thing, it's the performer who wants to change their own life and projects that desire onto the audience. Nobody comes to a magic or mentalism show expecting or wanting a "life changing" experience.

Please argue. ;-)
Robb
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Before the arguing starts, can I say that obviously it's not impossible that someone's life might be "changed" by one of our performances, however, as a general goal or expectation, it seems a little starry eyed.
Ben Blau
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I am an amateur, social performer. If I ever think that someone really believes I have special powers, I disabuse them of the fact.

However, I'm fine with them thinking that I have special knowledge (because it's true). And, in a sense, "knowledge IS power".

:)

-Ben
ALEXANDRE
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Some people claim Sai Baba performed tricks for his audiences on occasion, but they fail to understand that it was his philosophy, his teachings, his guru charisma that generated the following he received, not the "tricks" he may or may not have performed. The "tricks" were merely the cherry on top.

Look at all cult leaders ... it's their philosophy, their charisma, that is their true power, not "tricks".

You may be able to heavily impact someone in a small village somewhere in Africa where citizens have no access to computers, teachers, books, etc, they may even think of you as some kind of God, but in the Western world and elsewhere, your impact is seriously diminished. For the most part people believe what they want, or "need" to believe to get through the day, or for fun, or whatever other personal reasons. So ... I think most of you guys are safe from changing people's belief systems with your "effects", unless you're willing to work primarily on that interesting philosophy and turn up that guru charisma.
StevenScott
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"Before the arguing starts, can I say that obviously it's not impossible that someone's life might be "changed" by one of our performances, however, as a general goal or expectation, it seems a little starry eyed." Robb: My purpose in doing mentalsim is always to entertain. With that said, the first time I saw a public speaker have a room full of 30 people introduce themselves and then repeat our names back to us I was so inspired I ran out and learned a memory system that has paid off for me over and over again. 20 years ago I learned self hypnosis to quit smoking after watching an incredible stage hypnotist. My point really isn't that we are changing lives by what we do (that would be a stretch) but it could. It absolutley could. that's why I prefaced my statement with "who knows, you may" Such is the nature of consciousness. It is circular. An idea or inspiration gets planted and sends us on a course we never expected, which leads to further study and more ideas. I do realize now that "life changing" as I used it came across as hyperbole and perhaps a little conceited on my part perhaps. I just think any type of art has the potential to inspire if done correctly.
DocBenWiz
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Quote:
On Feb 12, 2016, Robb wrote:
Before the arguing starts, can I say that obviously it's not impossible that someone's life might be "changed" by one of our performances, however, as a general goal or expectation, it seems a little starry eyed.


On the dark side, that poor audience participant who had his hand slammed down and impaled on the spike within the wrong paper bag during a mishandled "Russian Roulette" type routine by an incompetent mentalist, sure had their life changed...at least for awhile, if not traumatized forever!
Smile Smile
"Pay no attention to that strange man behind the curtain" (it's only "Doc Benjamin from the Amazing Wizardelia Wagon")
StevenScott
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Yeah Doc, or the surgeon that amputated the wrong arm. That sure changed someones life. There is incompentent people in every profession. I can't believe any performer would use someone elses hand for "Russin Roulette". Accidents aside Im still trying to figure out how scaring the hell out of someone is entertaining.
funsway
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"someone's life"

It is readily apparent that the performance of the "mystic arts" in any form can have a profound affect on a person -- the performer. (and their families)

The "powers" of "presence," "organization," "willingness to work," "enthusiasm," "respect" learned and nurtured can influence every person you meet in everyday life.

It is more than an "inspiration" from a demonstration of some alleged "extraordinary ability" that will give people cause to reflect, it is the "example" you set (or should).

The moment you show the willingness to stand up before a crowd of strangers and put yourself at risk you are "other than ordinary."

It is certainly probable that every person observing a good "pretend at the impossible" will ask, 'If he/she can conquer the impossible, why can't I?"

To the extent that a Mentalism show serves to verify a person's a priori beliefs about paranormal events or abilities it will certainly have an affect.

If a person's life can be swayed by a couple of "likes" on FaceBook or Twitters from strangers, surely a person can be changed by an artful experience. That is part of what art is, right?

Another way of looking at it is, "If you are not planning to have an emotional and cognitive impact on each observer leading to a long-term memory, then why perform at all?"

remember Billy Joel?

"I am only competent, but in a world of incompetence that seems extraordinary."
"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
StevenScott
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Wow Funsway. Terrific post.
Robb
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On Feb 14, 2016, StevenScott wrote:
"Before the arguing starts, can I say that obviously it's not impossible that someone's life might be "changed" by one of our performances, however, as a general goal or expectation, it seems a little starry eyed." Robb: My purpose in doing mentalsim is always to entertain. With that said, the first time I saw a public speaker have a room full of 30 people introduce themselves and then repeat our names back to us I was so inspired I ran out and learned a memory system that has paid off for me over and over again. 20 years ago I learned self hypnosis to quit smoking after watching an incredible stage hypnotist. My point really isn't that we are changing lives by what we do (that would be a stretch) but it could. It absolutley could. that's why I prefaced my statement with "who knows, you may" Such is the nature of consciousness. It is circular. An idea or inspiration gets planted and sends us on a course we never expected, which leads to further study and more ideas. I do realize now that "life changing" as I used it came across as hyperbole and perhaps a little conceited on my part perhaps. I just think any type of art has the potential to inspire if done correctly.


Yes, I agree, and I think I qualified my statements to reflect what you're saying.
StevenScott
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Rob: you also insinuated that I probably want to change my life and project that desire onto my audience so no, I doin't think you were getting what I was saying. I would love to agree with you about the purpose of mentalism but there is no sense in both of us being wrong. You must be doing it wrong?.......... Just messing with ya buddy.
Robb
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On Feb 14, 2016, StevenScott wrote:
Rob: you also insinuated that I probably want to change my life and project that desire onto my audience so no, I doin't think you were getting what I was saying. I would love to agree with you about the purpose of mentalism but there is no sense in both of us being wrong. You must be doing it wrong?.......... Just messing with ya buddy.


Oh, that's absolutely certain! ;-)
StevenScott
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Robb: Glad to see you have a sense of humor abouth these things. I truly was joking in my last post. I also should have made something more clear. I do more readings these days then mentalism performances. I read palms and I answer questions using tarot. It's something I take very serious when I'm sitting with someone because I've come to learn that SOME people take what I say very seriously. The focus of every reading I do is to provide encouragement to the person I am reading for. Someotimes all we need is hope and encouragement, and If that encouragement comes from someone the person believes has something more going on mentally than the average person (me the psychic in this case) then the sitter is more likely to believe in themselves. That is just my personal set of ethics and It may not be for everyone. As far as not using disclaimers...well I just don't want to look at someones hand and tell them they have the ability to always pick themselves back up and move forward no matter what happens, a good overall indicator of life success, and then follow it with "by the way I'm fake and this is all bull...t. I have to agree with you that my version of fourth dimensional telepathy is not going to change anyones life but I do think readers whos hearts are in the right place can do a lot of good for others. My fault for not being more clear on the type of mentalsim I choose to pursue but I really didn't want to open a whole new can of worms considering the OPs original post.
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