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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How many actually got started the "right" way? (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The_MetalMaster
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Indiana
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I traveled around the world for 15 years as a pro wrestler before I got into mentalism! Lol
ashpryce
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I absolutely did not start the "right way" because I never intended to get into magic. In fact I still feel something of a fraud calling myself a magician or mentalist. Allow me to tell my story, sadly it won't be in the form of a musical number so bear with me.

My grandparents bought me a magic set when I was a kid and I was instantly, and completely... bored. It didn't interest me. magic held no deep meaning for me, I didn't get that sudden spark many get. I switched off when Paul Daniels or any other magician came on television. Some of the tricks were fun to play with but they never grabbed me, there was no epiphany moment where I suddenly realised I AM MAGIC! Scroll forward to about 7 years ago.

I'd been involved in theatre in various capacities for almost a decade and realised that I wanted to be on stage. moving to Edinburgh I did what most resting actors did and started working for a ghost tour. Still a believer in ghosts at that time I loved it, but the more I did it, the more I realised that there were natural and real world explanations for why people were experiencing things so I started trying things out- adding stories I'd made up to see if people would "experience" what I was telling them and they did. This lead to me starting a skeptically themed ghost walk drawing on scientific research and history, which then lead on to me starting a skeptical society (I'm no longer involved but its currently one of the most active local groups in the world).

Whilst helping to run that group I was required to introductions and on occasion step in to do talks. My area was the paranormal, having worked for a tour for two years and researched it extensively it seemed that was to become my specialist subject. I started looking beyond just ghosts and that naturally lead on to psychics which in turn lead to spiritualism, seances etc. I began doing talks about how mediums of yesteryear got away with their scams and how you too could replicate psychic claims, but the more I talked about it the more I realised simply talking wasnt enough, I had to give demonstrations. This meant learning some basic metal bending, remote viewing tricks and some other psychic demonstrations. Eventually I ended up with two full shows but they needed more so I delved deeper into the trickery behind them and the more I did, the more I noticed just how theatrical these spiritulaists were and how much actual theatre and acting was involved.

I had to know more. I had to be able to demonstrate table levitation, spirit slates, and I soon realised the best demonstrations were from the world of mentalism and magic. The deeper down the spiritualist rabbit hole I went the more and more I saw an overlap with magic and naturally I started gravitating toward involving it more and more- using magic and mentalism to punctuate my talks which quickly evolved in to a mix of comedy, magic and history. From there it was a very short jump into more "straight" magic without the Randi-esque debunking side.

My biggest bookings still come form my psychic trickery shows, in fact I had a gig tonight. I don't reveal "our" tricks, they are used for demonstration purposes, but I have used magic and carved myself out an odd little niche almost like some of the Victorian magicians whose shows would be aimed at demonstrating spiritualist tricks using magic. I do the occassional close up gig and straight magic shows, but my biggest earner comes from the skeptically themed shows. Its only in the last year I've started calling myself a magician - my books and teaching materials were not 13 steps or the wonderful Cassidy nor Jermay nor any of those- at first. I came to magic purely by accident, and I am now reading more and more into the right material, but I had well recieved sell out shows before even picking up a magic book. Nowadays those shows have evolved so much that they wouldnt be as entertaining, fun and enjoyable without the magic angle and learning more about magic has influenced them.

Its odd, all I planned to do was run a monthly lecture series and here I am, levitating tables, reading minds and magic cards vanish! I don't of course reveal magic tricks- that's a no no- butmagic is now the selling point of the shows, with the history the bonus.
Mindpro
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Seems to me many here seem to have the same or similar story - got a magic set as a kid, started in magic, perceive mentalism as part of magic and few are "real" psychic mentalists, few now do mentalism exclusively, few perform regulary enough to be considered professional or full-time. This is what some seem to think is the "right" way simply due to commonality.
bevbevvybev
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I was handed a copy of Banachek's Psy Subtleties in International Magic London by Jerry Sadowitz. The rest is history.
MagicalEducator
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There is no "right" way to learn mentalism. In the same light there is no one "right" way to perform mentalism. One doesn't need to present as a pseudo psychic to be considered a "true" mentalist. Some folk around here come across as radical zealots exolting the one true way. People who claim otherwise simply don't understand what it is to be a performing artist. My art is simply different from your art.

Jeff
Voted "Canada's Most Inspirational Magician"
www.MagicalEducator.com

Check out my column "Magic is Education" in Vanish Magazine
goatears
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I started with Corrinda and Anneman. They weren't all that interesting until I was exposed to other sources and I began to see how what they taught had an impact on mentalism.
Drewmcadam
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It was the "right way" for me. No interest in magic. Saw Geller in November 1973 doing a drawing duplication and a fork bend. One month later, I performed both at a youth club Christmas party. I just thought what he did was cool, and came up with my own "cheat" way of doing it. Geller, of course, was doing it for real.Been doing it ever since, because part 2 of the "right way" was to find mentors.
MysticJohn
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2016, MagicalEducator wrote:
There is no "right" way to learn mentalism. In the same light there is no one "right" way to perform mentalism. One doesn't need to present as a pseudo psychic to be considered a "true" mentalist. Some folk around here come across as radical zealots exolting the one true way. People who claim otherwise simply don't understand what it is to be a performing artist. My art is simply different from your art.

Jeff


I agree. The path is always different for each individual and their life, and performing experiences. That coupled with the concept that learning and education is an endless path.
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