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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Is Magic and Tricks Dead? (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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I noticed the last month or so, the huge number of Mentalism effect being turned out.

It seems all the new products are mental effects.

Has actual Magic Tricks died?

Should we change the name of The Magic Café to The Mentalist Café?

The magic topics seem to have very quickly dried up.

Anyone know what is happening, are all the magicians so confident they no longer need a prop to speak in front of an audience?

Or, such good conversationalists that they can approach total strangers with nothing to draw interest and curiosity from the people being approached, as in a close-up environment?
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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As a person who greets a lot of the new members, I have noticed there are a lot of people joining a Mentalists and I've wondered about it myself. (I think it is all Magic and if you have people who claim to be one or the other list their repertoire, there would be a lot of crossover, but I digress). I think there are some reasons for the current trend (fad?).

There are some impressive Mentalists that are spurring a lot of interest.

In uncertain times I think many people are drawn to the supernatural so Mentalism is going over well in todays market.

Regular Magic is so easy to look up online and sadly, poor Magician's take a toll on our cool factor.

Mental Magic can be less clear as a visual and so even when people try and look 'em up on YouTube the explanation may be less interesting or understandable and Mentalist don't use brand names when they are performing (as some Magicians continue to do).

I think creative minds are nudged by exciting work done by others and right now a lot of good wok is going on in Mental Magic so it increases exponentially. Mentalism is reaping the benefits of the interest of young minds (building on the work of the Mentalist before them).

For a while it was IT that had the momentum. As More and more spectators run into the usual mix of good and bad Mentalists that will be more prevalent it may lose its luster.

Cheap knockoffs of prop magic may take its toll on producers of props as well. Why go into production if their will be a cheap knockoff stealing the market in no time?

That's my take.

I'd be interested to hear from people who have first hand info about this as well.

-Mary Mowder
MJE
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Quote:
On Mar 4, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:

It seems all the new products are mental effects.


Count your blessings. It COULD have been card tricks!
slowkneenuh
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I have been migrating to mentalism more than magic over the past several years. At first my reasoning was costs. However the secret to a good mentalism effect can be as costly as a magic prop so it is no longer cost savings. In my case, it is now the spontaneity and variety of effects that can be performed with little or no props to carry and the "props" you do use are typical every day items which don't draw the scrutiny of magic props. In addition they are not costly and can be purchased in any store.

That being said, I still enjoy magic with ropes, money, and the classic props but I just buy and perform less "magic" now.
John

"A poor workman always blames his tools"
Tim Cavendish
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Yes, there's a lot of good thinking being applied to mentalism right now.

But these are also very exciting days for the advancement of card magic thanks to the thinking of Dani DaOrtiz.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Quote:
On Mar 4, 2016, slowkneenuh wrote:
... typical every day items which don't draw the scrutiny of magic props. In addition they are not costly and can be purchased in any store.


Sorry, I don't understand this kind of thinking, as being a magician is an "actor" playing the part of a magician. He does not have any real magical powers, just pretending to have them (fooling them). Magic is prop based, and the unusual props is the cause for many of the miracles demonstrated. The props in addition draw interest, that is why they are pleasingly decorated.

The only magic that centers on the magician having powers is with manipulations and sleight of hand.

The point of being a magician is not to convince or declare that you are a true miracle worker, but to entertain audiences. Everyone knows there is a "trick to it", otherwise you would be called on to do real miracles.

In mentalism, there is nothing to assist the performer from drawing interest. You can't, for example, hold up a pad of paper, and say, "Look everyone, I have a pad of paper and it will do wonders." They will just laugh, and walk away.

If people join the Café to find real miracle magic, they will never find it. There is not such thing as miracles in the magician community. So stop spending your retirement money on ads that sound like you will becomes a true and real miracle worker.

The magic is in the performance of the person standing in front of the audience. Without him, there is not magic or entertainment.

With mentalism, you have to be one heck of a good speaker, with entertaining "patter" and a winning personality, that people would be interested in listing to for a period of time. Otherwise, they will leave.

Take account of your personal skills, then make your decision if you want to entertain with mentalism or magic.

This art is all about Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!!
wwhokie1
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Quote:
On Mar 5, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 4, 2016, slowkneenuh wrote:
... typical every day items which don't draw the scrutiny of magic props. In addition they are not costly and can be purchased in any store.


Sorry, I don't understand this kind of thinking, as being a magician is an "actor" playing the part of a magician. He does not have any real magical powers, just pretending to have them (fooling them). Magic is prop based, and the unusual props is the cause for many of the miracles demonstrated. The props in addition draw interest, that is why they are pleasingly decorated.

The only magic that centers on the magician having powers is with manipulations and sleight of hand.

The point of being a magician is not to convince or declare that you are a true miracle worker, but to entertain audiences. Everyone knows there is a "trick to it", otherwise you would be called on to do real miracles.

In mentalism, there is nothing to assist the performer from drawing interest. You can't, for example, hold up a pad of paper, and say, "Look everyone, I have a pad of paper and it will do wonders." They will just laugh, and walk away.

If people join the Café to find real miracle magic, they will never find it. There is not such thing as miracles in the magician community. So stop spending your retirement money on ads that sound like you will becomes a true and real miracle worker.

The magic is in the performance of the person standing in front of the audience. Without him, there is not magic or entertainment.

With mentalism, you have to be one heck of a good speaker, with entertaining "patter" and a winning personality, that people would be interested in listing to for a period of time. Otherwise, they will leave.

Take account of your personal skills, then make your decision if you want to entertain with mentalism or magic.

This art is all about Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment!!



I have always thought this idea of needing to use everyday items for magic was unnecessary. I like the appeal and attention of unusual items. Props, even obvious magic props are not the problem in my opinion. The problem is props that look suspicious or gimicky, or just bad looking or outdated looking props. Even with everyday items like coins and cards, the reaction of many people is "its a trick deck" or "its a trick coin". Which is not a bad reaction, it just indicates that what they saw seemed impossible otherwise. Some props just scream gimicked, others don't. Just use good quality props, interesting props.
MJE
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Quote:
On Mar 5, 2016, wwhokie1 wrote:
[I have always thought this idea of needing to use everyday items for magic was unnecessary. I like the appeal and attention of unusual items.


So, I guess there is at least one person who I can sell my milk pitcher and color-changing 45RPM records to someday.
Payne
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Seattle
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Quote:
On Mar 5, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:

With mentalism, you have to be one heck of a good speaker, with entertaining "patter" and a winning personality, that people would be interested in listing to for a period of time. Otherwise, they will leave.



I would argue that ALL the branches of the Conjuring Arts require these skills. Not just Mentalism.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Payne
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Seattle
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Quote:
On Mar 4, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:

I noticed the last month or so, the huge number of Mentalism effect being turned out.



The March Edition of MAGIC contains 20 reviews for tricks. Only one of them is a Mental Effect.

Genii's March edition has 14 reviews for Tricks, books and Videos. One of those is a Mental Magic Effect.

MUM features Seventeen outstanding reviews and leads the pack with four of them being mental effects.

I don't get the Linking Ring. So perhaps that's the journal that has all of the Mental Magic Effects in it's reviews.


Quote:
It seems all the new products are mental effects.


This hasn't been my experience. There seems to be a wide variety of magic to be found out there.

Quote:
Has actual Magic Tricks died?


No. Not even the prodigious amount of YouTube only crap pitched at the gullible guerilla magic set has yet to do magic in.
Should we change the name of The Magic Café to The Mentalist Café?

Quote:
The magic topics seem to have very quickly dried up.


No, they've just moved off of this antiquated sight and gone to Facebook and other social media.

Quote:
Anyone know what is happening, are all the magicians so confident they no longer need a prop to
speak in front of an audience?


That would be a good sign. But sadly no. There are still plenty of magician's out there hiding behind their props.

Quote:
Or, such good conversationalists that they can approach total strangers with nothing to draw interest and curiosity from the people being approached, as in a close-up environment?


Sadly, no. Most magicians are still lacking these most important of social skills. This is why they are magicians.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
wwhokie1
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Quote:
On Mar 5, 2016, MJE wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 5, 2016, wwhokie1 wrote:
[I have always thought this idea of needing to use everyday items for magic was unnecessary. I like the appeal and attention of unusual items.


So, I guess there is at least one person who I can sell my milk pitcher and color-changing 45RPM records to someday.



Never liked the milk pitcher. But had a routine for 45 rpm records that people absolutely loved. They rarely see them anymore, and younger kids don't even know what they are. But with the right routine a quality color changing 45 routine goes over very well. And yes, the age and fact that it is not used anymore made a great addition to the routine. It is all in the presentation, and 45s actually made a more interesting presentation than color changing cds. The fact that you have to explain what something is, gives a lot of interesting opportunities and directions to take the routine. Love it. In fact I started with buying a color changing CD, which had great handling (no sleeve). But decided I preferred using 45s so I went to the flea market and bought some old 45s to intentional make a color changing 45s because it worked better with the routine I wanted to do. Got better responses as well. Interesting and educational for the very young, nostalgic for the older. CDs are just everyday and blah.

I'm not saying you need big bulky props, or need props at all. But just because something is obviously a prop, or because something is an out of date object doesn't mean it is bad. Interesting items can be used to make people interested. Also, if we are supposed to be magicians, what is wrong with a magical prop? Shouldn't we have magical items that can perform magic? As long as the item doesn't look gimicked or can be shown to not be gimmicked (whether it is true or not), then I can declare this prop to have magical abilities. That is what magicians are expected to do.

Granted, a lot of props are bad and unconvincing. But I have no problem using a good, well designed prop.
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Payne, I don't want to argue, but it easier for a kid to buy a trick and show it to their parents, then to buy a mental effect and try to get it perfect the 1st time.

Magazines are a poor measure of current trends. They are 3 to6 months behind on what is current. Look at the ads in Latest and Greatest Topic. Look at Penguin Magic and Murphy Magic for current trends. To many to count.
drmagico
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I believe many amateur magicians and hobbyists have migrated to mentalism because they feel that it is easier. They do not have to learn sleights, "misdirection", timing, body movement, creating a character or theme. They just want to go out and do "mental miracles". What most of them fail to realize is that it still takes a lot of those aforementioned qualities to do effective and amazing mentalism. They still end up being rather boring to watch and listen to.
elmago
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There has been a sharp increase of magicians performing in the hat and hare pub and the museum at the magic castle doing mentalist acts over that last two years. Mentalism is very much on the rise.
"Excellence is not a single act; it's a habit" Shaq quoting Aristotle after winning NBA MVP.
natmagic
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Should we really care? As long as the performers are out there doing a great job then its all good for the art. Most things in life have trends so if mentalism is hip right now so be it. Personally rather have my mind read impossibly than watch someone do the same old trick every other guy is doing. So although I don't think magic tricks per say are dying its more seeing the same old stuff being performed that people get tired of so in that respect leaning towards a mentalism trend is a good thing if it freshens p the publics view of magicians
Jonathan Townsend
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Magic has to have a strong reliance on our mental model of reality. It's not just about perceptual hacks but about trickery. The uncertain area bounded by perception, expectation and belief is not the only area we work in though. Look at the basic Rhetorical form of ethos (one of us), pathos (whom we should treat with sympathy) and then logos (what they claim to be true).

The larger counter to the argument of the OP is pretty well stated in the movie The Matrix as regards a bending spoon. Right back to Descartes and Plato's allegorical cave ... but so what if we contrive that some useful shadows act strangely? We know they are but shadows and of limited use. Without the illusions of free choice and causality we ...
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2016, natmagic wrote:
Should we really care? As long as the performers are out there doing a great job then its all good for the art. Most things in life have trends so if mentalism is hip right now so be it. Personally rather have my mind read impossibly than watch someone do the same old trick every other guy is doing. So although I don't think magic tricks per say are dying its more seeing the same old stuff being performed that people get tired of so in that respect leaning towards a mentalism trend is a good thing if it freshens p the publics view of magicians


That is a different topic and discussion, Magic for magicians verses magic for lay audiences.

As I have stated several times, when you decide to become a magician you give up seeing magic performances through the eyes of a spectator. You will never see magic the same again. Thus, a magicians need to see constant new tricks that fool, when in fact, you can rarely if ever be fooled again in your life. Even if you are, you come to the café to find out where you can buy it and learn the secret.

Magic is not about the trick, it is about the entertainment value given by the performer, a person playing the part of a magician, and how he presents the magic trick.

You can see this in Close-up magic, the production of tricks solely for the magician to buy, because it is considered new. They are filling that need like never before in magic. Close-up magic has been turned into big business these days.

It would be nice to see some new stage magic created or re-issued, speaking from a performer's view, but with the trend to pack small and play big, I do not see that happening in the near future. What is old is new again to those not having ever seen it.
gilbreath76
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Youtube doesn't help, that's for sure.
n361128
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Lytham
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Most people love magic - when it is presented properly - learn it as an art - a true artist who knows how to perform will always draw interest - mentalism is the current popular effect due to it being on tv a lot (and the skill of those performing it). Like music - magic will never die - beware of simon cowell though - people should never think they can become a great artist over night - hours of practice and performing (and making mistakes) makes a great performer - Great performers will never let their art die
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