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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Can you be a magician and mentalist?? (127 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Decomposed
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On Jun 25, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
The >>>>>>>>> signifies two items are paired or parallel on a chart of believability.

Real, closed-eye psychic>>>>>>>>>>>>Real, practicing Occultist
Psychic charlatan>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Occultist charlatan
Psychic entertainer>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Magick entertainer?
Mentalist with disclaimer>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre magician with disclaimer
Mind-reading magician>>>>>>>>>>>>Realistic magician (Blaine-style)
Mental-magic-trickster>>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre-themed-magic trickster
Magician>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Magician

Also note: The times, they are a'changing. In the 19th/early 20th century, magic shows and science shows and spiritualist shows had the same mysterious tone, and a much larger percent of the audience--including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--found even magic shows more believable. Part of the "Magic Light" movement of Don Alan funsters probably comes from changing audience expectations.


That is a good list but you left out Paranormalist. Regarding the mentoring, I have friends who are magicians, not beginners. Okay they ask me questions etc about new products etc. So I do help them, not how to perform mentalism with whatever it is but about the product, or the basic routine. Then they tell me they tried it and its not for them, or it did not work well etc... I know in my heart of hearts they presented it as a mere trick. Call in mentalism, call it basic theatre, acting or whatever, I still meant what I said, you can kill something that is created by a mentalist by going out and watch this...turning it into a magic trick. I see mental magic as what the product is about not how the performer uses it. A prop comes out for a prediction effect and it includes a little magicky box and three preprinted cards. Mental magic. A trickster takes this after doing cups and balls and uses it, he is doing magic. Will someone afterwards ask him how he got his gift? Doubtful. Its what the spectators see, not what we discuss on the Café.

Perhaps taking a brand new beginner (empty cup) and training them in the art of mentalism and theatre has its merits and can be successful. Taking a person who has been performing magic for said amount of time and teaching mentalism? Difficult and lackluster results at best. Sure there are exceptions but once magic is ingrained, I see it very difficult to change one into a mentalist.
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On Jun 25, 2016, MagicalEducator wrote:


The quote given suggests a dated audience put down that some would argue isn't that funny but rather audience abuse. Surely magic and mentalism has moved passed this type of crass low grade comedy.


Actually, the line isn't old at all. It's original with me and I still use it when I get a heckler in a rough audience (or when a pretentious prig starts to get annoying).

As with my writings and advice, if you don't like my act, don't watch it.

I really couldn't care less.
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On Jun 25, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
C'est Moi!

I don't know why I bother either, because I really don't care if someone agrees with me are not. I just try to help newcomers understand the fundamental differences between magic and mentalism.


The bigger point many are asking is why Magical Educator bothers? It seems only to promote his intentionally opposing views and deliberately ruffle the feathers of Bob and the mentalism community. I applaud your patience, but most were lost long ago.

It's intentional challenging. After all that's been explained and detailed, for one to truly not see it is intentional or disregard. Also for anyone who actually performs mentalism, much of what you have been explaining quickly becomes easily recognized, apparent and understood....unless they're performing magic!
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On Jun 25, 2016, Slim King wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, IAIN wrote:
You would have thought grown men would attempt to live up to that title, rather than try and provoke and troll on a saturday night...but there you go!

You call anyone who disagrees with you a troll ... How cute!


It's apparently much easier than even considering an alternate position. Anyone who disagrees or dares question anything of the PEA mandated dogma is a troll. If one has a different experience then one is simply wrong and not a real mentalist. I do love Mindpro's parting comment that certainly sounds like a catcalling insult..."magician!" Do I have something better to do...good question for each of us to ask. I'm just quite interested in the topic. Silly me. I wonder why some people can com here and think and say what they like with impunity. Others get harassed, called out and insulted. It all seems very posturing and preening when grown men can't handle an alternate viewpoint. It's simply too much to consider. There are many inconsistencies in the mentalism not magic which is trivial argument. Unfortunately the Penny gang can't step outside their comfort zone even for a moment. Magic and mentalism are the same. That's why we're all at the Magic Café. That's why we mentalism is sold freely to magicians in magic shops. That's why even the trick of the year went to a PEA member who claims to be a mentalist. It's all very inconvenient but those pesky facts often are. If only we were all mentalists and we could agree with everything they say or do. Why is everyone so vanilla and feel the need to kowtow with the party line? What will happen if we consider, even for a moment, that maybe the Emporer isn't wearing any clothes? When did we stop thinking and asking question instead of just accepting the status quo? Probably easier to just shoot the messenger and ask what's up with that guy?

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Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, Slim King wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, IAIN wrote:
You would have thought grown men would attempt to live up to that title, rather than try and provoke and troll on a saturday night...but there you go!

You call anyone who disagrees with you a troll ... How cute!


no, I call you a troll - because you are... Smile
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On Jun 25, 2016, MagicalEducator wrote:
It's apparently much easier than even considering an alternate position. Anyone who disagrees or dares question anything of the PEA mandated dogma is a troll. If one has a different experience then one is simply wrong and not a real mentalist.


i disagree, you can do all of the above - but you can do it in a level headed, straight forward tone of voice...rather than a provocative one... and as this topic is about whether you can mix magic with mentalism, the answer tends to be NO. We can list all the very experienced and famous performers who do mix them, but then we also have to accept that we are not them...probably not as good or as driven or as talented either... and of course you don't have to agree with what I or anyone else thinks...

after a while though, no one is going to change their mind, you can read/see that a mile off - so why bother continuing on and on, back and forth arguing over something where there's no outcome other than both 'sides' see things differently? again, you're free to do that...but it takes two or more to do so in my opinion...that's why I said to bob "i don't know why you bother" - and then the very next post was phrased in a provocative manner that didn't really drive the conversation forward (do I have to keep saying IMO? isn't that the whole point of a forum, its always IMO?)

so yeah, ignore me, my posts, whatever - its ok...but I am allowed to chip in if I want to...same as you and anyone else here...


Smile Smile
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Jeff-

No. Magic and mentalism are decidedly NOT the same. They also have a hypnosis forum here at the Café. By your "logic," then, magic and hypnotism are also the same.

But forget about it. I'm done arguing with anonymous Internet "experts."
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On Jun 25, 2016, Decomposed wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
The >>>>>>>>> signifies two items are paired or parallel on a chart of believability.

Real, closed-eye psychic>>>>>>>>>>>>Real, practicing Occultist
Psychic charlatan>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Occultist charlatan
Psychic entertainer>>>[edit]PERHAPS PARANORMALIST OR SPIRIT THEATER GOES HERE
Mentalist with disclaimer>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre magician with disclaimer
Mind-reading magician>>>>>>>>>>>>Realistic magician (Blaine-style)
Mental-magic-trickster>>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre-themed-magic trickster
Magician>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Magician
--[edit]PERHAPS PLAY OR MOVIE MAGIC GOES HERE---

Also note: The times, they are a'changing. In the 19th/early 20th century, magic shows and science shows and spiritualist shows had the same mysterious tone, and a much larger percent of the audience--including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--found even magic shows more believable. Part of the "Magic Light" movement of Don Alan funsters probably comes from changing audience expectations.


That is a good list but you left out Paranormalist. Regarding the mentoring, I have friends who are magicians, not beginners. Okay they ask me questions etc about new products etc. So I do help them, not how to perform mentalism with whatever it is but about the product, or the basic routine. Then they tell me they tried it and its not for them, or it did not work well etc... I know in my heart of hearts they presented it as a mere trick. Call in mentalism, call it basic theatre, acting or whatever, I still meant what I said, you can kill something that is created by a mentalist by going out and watch this...turning it into a magic trick. I see mental magic as what the product is about not how the performer uses it. A prop comes out for a prediction effect and it includes a little magicky box and three preprinted cards. Mental magic. A trickster takes this after doing cups and balls and uses it, he is doing magic. Will someone afterwards ask him how he got his gift? Doubtful. Its what the spectators see, not what we discuss on the Café.

Perhaps taking a brand new beginner (empty cup) and training them in the art of mentalism and theatre has its merits and can be successful. Taking a person who has been performing magic for said amount of time and teaching mentalism? Difficult and lackluster results at best. Sure there are exceptions but once magic is ingrained, I see it very difficult to change one into a mentalist.


On my chart (just food for thought which needs revision), wouldn't Paranormalist or Spirit Theater be paired with Psychic Entertainer, on a higher believability level than acts with a disclaimer? Also, I think an even lower level on the list would be play or movie actors acting the roles of magicians, because at least magicians--even the ones cultivating the unbelievable tone of the funny trickster's "Magic Light"--are doing something real with psychology and can evoke an experience of the impossible.

Since you all have shown me patience and kindness on the mentalism forums--even though my "cup is full" of mental magic and full of fear that mentalism might be against my religion--I will tell you a true story: I know what it feels like to be a mentalist.

When I was back in college, my Dad and I performed believable mentalism all the time: at parties, in classes, in bars, at the Waffle House, on the street, to Mormons who came to the door. It was mostly a c*** act we had made up on our own with a few other little things we had stumbled upon thrown in. The methods were simple and didn't really matter because we were acting as if it was all real. We said it was a genetic thing, alluding to others in the family being able to do things, which we effected now and then. I was usually the reluctant one who had to be begged to demonstrate. We had a big fat book by Dr. Rhine from Duke University that we would flash around. We were both heavy drinkers at the time and had no qualms about playing it up as real.

I am not saying we performed great mentalism or that what we did was right. I am just saying that I know how performing mentalism feels. Mentalism is NOTHING like "magic light" tricks. The chart is just my way of thinking through the differences and performance choices.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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On Jun 25, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Actually, the term "psychic entertainer" is simply an umbrella term that covers mentalists, bizarrists, hypnotists, readers, and allied artists.

The word "psychic, in this instance, is used to denote "of the mind."


Sorry, Bob. On the first scroll down, I missed this clarification in the barrage of drama. If I revise the chart I should replace the term with just "Mentalist."
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Alan- Did you miss my reply to your original post? I gave a detailed explanation there, but, basically, "Psychic Entertainer" is an umbrella term and doesn't belong on the list at all. The phrase was coined and defined by Tony Raven and the co-founders of The Psychic Entertainer's Association back in 1977.
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On Jun 25, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, Decomposed wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
The >>>>>>>>> signifies two items are paired or parallel on a chart of believability.

Real, closed-eye psychic>>>>>>>>>>>>Real, practicing Occultist
Psychic charlatan>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Occultist charlatan
Psychic entertainer>>>[edit]PERHAPS PARANORMALIST OR SPIRIT THEATER GOES HERE
Mentalist with disclaimer>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre magician with disclaimer
Mind-reading magician>>>>>>>>>>>>Realistic magician (Blaine-style)
Mental-magic-trickster>>>>>>>>>>>>Bizarre-themed-magic trickster
Magician>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Magician
--[edit]PERHAPS PLAY OR MOVIE MAGIC GOES HERE---

Also note: The times, they are a'changing. In the 19th/early 20th century, magic shows and science shows and spiritualist shows had the same mysterious tone, and a much larger percent of the audience--including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--found even magic shows more believable. Part of the "Magic Light" movement of Don Alan funsters probably comes from changing audience expectations.


That is a good list but you left out Paranormalist. Regarding the mentoring, I have friends who are magicians, not beginners. Okay they ask me questions etc about new products etc. So I do help them, not how to perform mentalism with whatever it is but about the product, or the basic routine. Then they tell me they tried it and its not for them, or it did not work well etc... I know in my heart of hearts they presented it as a mere trick. Call in mentalism, call it basic theatre, acting or whatever, I still meant what I said, you can kill something that is created by a mentalist by going out and watch this...turning it into a magic trick. I see mental magic as what the product is about not how the performer uses it. A prop comes out for a prediction effect and it includes a little magicky box and three preprinted cards. Mental magic. A trickster takes this after doing cups and balls and uses it, he is doing magic. Will someone afterwards ask him how he got his gift? Doubtful. Its what the spectators see, not what we discuss on the Café.

Perhaps taking a brand new beginner (empty cup) and training them in the art of mentalism and theatre has its merits and can be successful. Taking a person who has been performing magic for said amount of time and teaching mentalism? Difficult and lackluster results at best. Sure there are exceptions but once magic is ingrained, I see it very difficult to change one into a mentalist.


On my chart (just food for thought which needs revision), wouldn't Paranormalist or Spirit Theater be paired with Psychic Entertainer, on a higher believability level than acts with a disclaimer? Also, I think an even lower level on the list would be play or movie actors acting the roles of magicians, because at least magicians--even the ones cultivating the unbelievable tone of the funny trickster's "Magic Light"--are doing something real with psychology and can evoke an experience of the impossible.

Since you all have shown me patience and kindness on the mentalism forums--even though my "cup is full" of mental magic and full of fear that mentalism might be against my religion--I will tell you a true story: I know what it feels like to be a mentalist.

When I was back in college, my Dad and I performed believable mentalism all the time: at parties, in classes, in bars, at the Waffle House, on the street, to Mormons who came to the door. It was mostly a c*** act we had made up on our own with a few other little things we had stumbled upon thrown in. The methods were simple and didn't really matter because we were acting as if it was all real. We said it was a genetic thing, alluding to others in the family being able to do things, which we effected now and then. I was usually the reluctant one who had to be begged to demonstrate. We had a big fat book by Dr. Rhine from Duke University that we would flash around. We were both heavy drinkers at the time and had no qualms about playing it up as real.

I am not saying we performed great mentalism or that what we did was right. I am just saying that I know how performing mentalism feels. Mentalism is NOTHING like "magic light" tricks. The chart is just my way of thinking through the differences and performance choices.




Interesting, me mom worked at Duke 30 yrs. Last I heard, Sally Rhine (Dr RHine) the daughter was still at Duke....
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We never really knew anything about Dr. Rhine. We found the big, fat blue book at a yard sale in the 1980s around the time Ghostbusters came out: never read it, just used as a convincer. If I remember right it was full of symbols and formulas and scientific-looking statistics. We would allude to Dr. Rhine at Duke University to add credibility to our demonstrations but had no idea he had left there in 1965.

I more recently saw online that Dr. Rhine left Duke and established his own research center. (Not as great a convincer as Duke University!) I think I saw a YouTube video not long ago of a conference held in his name by maybe his wife or daughter and associates. Here's some history on the Rhine Research Center.

OK. Here goes a different, simplified believability chart (Thanks Bob and Decomposed!)

Psychics [real or charlatan--you decide]
Psychic Entertainers [real or an act--you decide]
Psychic Entertainment with disclaimer (Derren Brown?)
Psychic-themed Magicians (Amazing Kreskin, Eugene Burger?)
Mystical Magicians (David Blaine?)
Magician Tricksters
Play or Movie Magicians
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Wow, not to derail but check out this page at the Rhine site!:

http://www.rhine.org/what-we-do/current-......cts.html
New Mentalism Podcast:
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Decomposed
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Wow great info Alan and thanks Last Laugh, nice ESP website.

I thought of another today going to a gig....may have been already mentioned, psychological magician. Smile
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Rhine Research is the modern name of the original Duke Parapsychology lab. For awhile it was known as the FRNM, the Foundation for Research into the Nature of Man. Until few years ago Rhine's daughter, Sally Rhine Feather was Director. Today the lab is managed by the affiable and highly capable John G. Kruth. Rhine Research offers online lectures and continues to do research. John and his colleagues presented some of their more recent work recently in Boulder Co. at the joint SSE/PA Conference.
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I was especially intrigued by the PK studies they mention and the individual who can apparently do it repeatedly...
New Mentalism Podcast:
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Decomposed
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Wow more great info!
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On Jun 21, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
One can infer that he was ALWAYS viewed that way. Back when he was appearing on the network talk shows, hosts frequently made jokes about him as did sitcom writers. The exact opposite was true about Dunninger.

Not to forget that Kreskin, in his shows, goes out of his way to claim he has no special abilities or psychic powers. He spends most of his time name-dropping and telling stories about the old days on The Tonight Show, apparently wanting to establish himself primarily as a television celebrity.

I don't believe he ever established a credible back story, persona, or any sort of consistency in his effects or claims. Even though he appropriated virtually all of Dunninger's original show, he never came near the mind-reader persona that Dunninger perfected.

But the fact is that he is primarily booked as Kreskin.


When Bob posted this I couldn't find the advertisements Kreskin had all over the casino. I just did:

THE AMAZING KRESKIN: THE WORLD'S GREATEST MENTALIST

And inside the bi fold advertisement he is referred to twice more as the "world's greatest" mentalist. Wonder why the use of quote marks around world's greatest? But certainly clearly booked as a mentalist.
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Sorry for reviving a dead thread but I figured I could add something.
I can see a mentalist doing some sleight of hand (coins and cards) sparingly or casually. Reason why is to the audience - the two are completely different processes. The mentalist's methods are (assuming things are done right) invisible to the audience. Most magicians have a fixation with fancy out of the ordinary props.

The psychological mentalist might get bonus points because sleight of hand requires the understanding of psychophysics (sensational and perception psychology).

Used sparingly a mentalist could have some liberty to do some sleights.... If kept to a minimum and executed casually.
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Decomposed
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Good take. Some well known pros still performing both. Thanks 😆
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