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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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GlennLawrence
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On Mar 7, 2019, Stewart wrote:
Koran opened his mental act with the Linking Rings and there were still plenty of daft people who thought he was the real thing. I have seen David Berglas close his mental act with a demonstration of pickpocketing of all things. I have seen Kreskin do magic tricks on stage. It can be done.


Oh yes, forgot about Kreskin- I've seen him twice, once in the 80's and again about 6 yrs ago. I can specifically remember him doing the linking finger rings the first time which I thought was a bit odd but it went over pretty well. He may have done other "magicky" stuff, I don't recall for sure.
IAIN
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I think the big names mentioned are valid, however, it's a very rare breed that can mix them... Very few can, and most ruin it...
Stewart
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I submit that very few mentalists whether they include magic or not can perform without boring everyone to death. So they ruin it anyway.
Robb
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On Mar 7, 2019, IAIN wrote:
I think the big names mentioned are valid, however, it's a very rare breed that can mix them... Very few can, and most ruin it...


True. I think we ruin it when we don’t understand the real effect of mentalism nor have a real process. It becomes too often a matter of “how did he see what I wrote”. Given that most mentalists rely on some sort of recorded information (billet, book, pad, etc.), and are not especially great at expanding and building upon the bit of fixed information, it doesn’t really achieve the full effect that mentalism is capable of. It’s just “another trick”.

That said, I don’t happen to be of the mind any longer that what distinguishes mentalism from magic is that “it might be real”. Depending on your performance style, there might be that feeling from some audience members, but it’s actually pretty rare and not a necessity to me. At the same time, magicians who crossover to magic but never really get the role they’re playing just produce boring, predictable mentalism.

I actually think that the mentalism trend will fade away soon as a lot of magicians are going to come to the conclusion that it IS boring and not engaging while never realizing that it was there own lack of understanding the effect that makes it so. Virtually self-working mentalism gadgets like electronics, Svengali pads, etc have made this even worse. It’s “easy” to add a mental effect to your repertoire, but *** hard to make it really play and get the response potential that is there. Eventually the novelty will wear off and they’ll move on to some other thing. Soon I hope!
JanForster
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On Mar 7, 2019, Robb wrote:
I actually think that the mentalism trend will fade away soon as a lot of magicians are going to come to the conclusion that it IS boring and not engaging while never realizing that it was there own lack of understanding the effect that makes it so. Virtually self-working mentalism gadgets like electronics, Svengali pads, etc have made this even worse. It’s “easy” to add a mental effect to your repertoire, but *** hard to make it really play and get the response potential that is there. Eventually the novelty will wear off and they’ll move on to some other thing. Soon I hope!


Quite my thinking... A mentalist can do a magic trick and still will be perceived as a mentalist. A magician who does a mental or mental magic trick doesn't become a mentalist. Jan
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dismany
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Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, Robb wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, IAIN wrote:
I think the big names mentioned are valid, however, it's a very rare breed that can mix them... Very few can, and most ruin it...


True. I think we ruin it when we don’t understand the real effect of mentalism nor have a real process. It becomes too often a matter of “how did he see what I wrote”. Given that most mentalists rely on some sort of recorded information (billet, book, pad, etc.), and are not especially great at expanding and building upon the bit of fixed information, it doesn’t really achieve the full effect that mentalism is capable of. It’s just “another trick”.

That said, I don’t happen to be of the mind any longer that what distinguishes mentalism from magic is that “it might be real”. Depending on your performance style, there might be that feeling from some audience members, but it’s actually pretty rare and not a necessity to me. At the same time, magicians who crossover to magic but never really get the role they’re playing just produce boring, predictable mentalism.

I actually think that the mentalism trend will fade away soon as a lot of magicians are going to come to the conclusion that it IS boring and not engaging while never realizing that it was there own lack of understanding the effect that makes it so. Virtually self-working mentalism gadgets like electronics, Svengali pads, etc have made this even worse. It’s “easy” to add a mental effect to your repertoire, but *** hard to make it really play and get the response potential that is there. Eventually the novelty will wear off and they’ll move on to some other thing. Soon I hope!


Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me as a "spectator" as well as a performer. I think the challenge is getting the role, and it is a challenge. I wholly different frame to work from as I have realized...but then again, I'm just a hobbyist so I'm not one of the people you're talking about. I quit magic long long ago professionally and now, coming back to only mentalism, changing my frame of mind completely while actually pursuing a different profession money-wise. I don't want to ruin mentalism with lack of understanding...I guess I felt similarly about magic but I'm never quitting again...mentalism is setting my soul on fire that it hasn't seen since I was last excited about magic. But you're right, it is a phase probably for many. I actually tried to "shake it off" when the bug bit me again 4 years ago, but the bite-wound grew and here I am, reading and practicing more than I ever had as a working magician.
CGould
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Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, dismany wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, Robb wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, IAIN wrote:
I think the big names mentioned are valid, however, it's a very rare breed that can mix them... Very few can, and most ruin it...


True. I think we ruin it when we don’t understand the real effect of mentalism nor have a real process. It becomes too often a matter of “how did he see what I wrote”. Given that most mentalists rely on some sort of recorded information (billet, book, pad, etc.), and are not especially great at expanding and building upon the bit of fixed information, it doesn’t really achieve the full effect that mentalism is capable of. It’s just “another trick”.

That said, I don’t happen to be of the mind any longer that what distinguishes mentalism from magic is that “it might be real”. Depending on your performance style, there might be that feeling from some audience members, but it’s actually pretty rare and not a necessity to me. At the same time, magicians who crossover to magic but never really get the role they’re playing just produce boring, predictable mentalism.

I actually think that the mentalism trend will fade away soon as a lot of magicians are going to come to the conclusion that it IS boring and not engaging while never realizing that it was there own lack of understanding the effect that makes it so. Virtually self-working mentalism gadgets like electronics, Svengali pads, etc have made this even worse. It’s “easy” to add a mental effect to your repertoire, but *** hard to make it really play and get the response potential that is there. Eventually the novelty will wear off and they’ll move on to some other thing. Soon I hope!


Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me as a "spectator" as well as a performer. I think the challenge is getting the role, and it is a challenge. I wholly different frame to work from as I have realized...but then again, I'm just a hobbyist so I'm not one of the people you're talking about. I quit magic long long ago professionally and now, coming back to only mentalism, changing my frame of mind completely while actually pursuing a different profession money-wise. I don't want to ruin mentalism with lack of understanding...I guess I felt similarly about magic but I'm never quitting again...mentalism is setting my soul on fire that it hasn't seen since I was last excited about magic. But you're right, it is a phase probably for many. I actually tried to "shake it off" when the bug bit me again 4 years ago, but the bite-wound grew and here I am, reading and practicing more than I ever had as a working magician.


I took interest in magic as a kid, it entertained me but never truly held my attention.

Mentalism on the other hand, I can't get enough information on. I don't ever plan to be a working magician or mentalist, I honestly just take a lot of enjoyment in learning more about the art or learning an effect for my own entertainment. I'm hooked on the learning aspect about it and find a mentalist far more entertaining for me to experience.
Mindpro
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Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me...


As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.

Plus, I don't know where you guys have been but he mentalism wagon has long left town. The boom of 1-15 years ago is long over.
CGould
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On Mar 7, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
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Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me...


As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.

Plus, I don't know where you guys have been but he mentalism wagon has long left town. The boom of 1-15 years ago is long over.




Must the wagon be present for someone to take interest in something?
Mindpro
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Nope, just making a point to a comment referenced earlier.
funsway
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On Mar 7, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
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Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me...


As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.


I have been silent on this discussion for some time since few seem to appreciate the opinions of one doing both conjuring and mental based magic before they were born --
but methinks this statement goes too far.

First off, any demonstration of inexplicable phenomena or what the observer considers to be impossible or even improbable is "magic." That is what the word means.
There may be good reason to avoid the term "magician," but you can't just pretend "magic" means something else to cater to your personal fears or wants.

Next, what matters is what the observer perceives and considers to be magic. Many here keep claiming to know what the observer thinks but never presents any evidence.
Does anyone actually feel that what an assaulted spectator says after a performance is a true representation of what they feel - then or now or later?
What is known by studies not run by performers is that the concept of magic is universal and possibly hard-wired in our brain. You can choose another label,
but every person is going to see what you do and call it something - and it will be the same for conjuring and mentalism magic and mentalism.

Third, a spectator or unsuspecting victim will not know if you are a mentalist or con juror or juggler or priest except by what you claim to be.
They may have certain expectations based on your hype -- and that certainly can influence their response to what is presented.

a) a person expecting conjuring with physical objects may feel cheated if you only do mental based demonstrations.
b) a person expecting mental based demonstrations may feel dismayed by a lot of conjuring since they may seek validation of what the already feel about paranormal phenomena.
c) a person who has no clue as to what is about to occur or who I am cannot be either cheated or dismayed since they have no expectations.

Astonishment can occur in any of these approaches. Whether or not it is considered "magic" is based on their experience and expectations.
In the first two case "magic" will be the choice unless "never happened" or "divine intervention" does not override.

In (c) the fallback not "magic" does not occur at all. It does not matter of it is physically based impossibility or mental based improbability ,--
the observer will instead evaluate their definition and categorization of "impossible."
Not theory. I did exactly that more than 40,000 times in thirty years. Probably 80% would be consider conjuring by most of you here, and only 20% paranormal demonstration.

Yeah, and I did performance magic for entertainment too -- physical and mental as seemed appropriate.

Now we are expected to accept that "mentalism" is dead or dying. So what?

I will go out tomorrow and select the best approach for my audience, setting, culture, language and perceived expectations. No label supplied by another will limit that.
No shilly-shally of what magic means will make any difference.

I know that every stranger met has within the capacity for awe and wonder that can be kindled and appreciated.
Mostly I will choose to do nothing as I have no permission to invade their thoughts. But, given permission and respectful attention I am prepared.
That ability will not be dead until I am.

If someone says, "Are you a mentalist" I will refer them to one of you making a living with the pretense.
If they should ask if I am magician I will clarify their expectations before proceeding.
If they tell me a story of an experience they consider to be magic, I will follow in kind ...

By the way, I never charge any fee for the magic I orchestrate. A choice that maybe that sets me free --
or renders my opinions and experience worthless to you.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
dismany
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On Mar 7, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
Not me, man, I'm gonna keep practicing and keep reading and keep trying until I get it right, since I know that mentalism is the only kind of magic that excites me...[/quote]

As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.

Plus, I don't know where you guys have been but he mentalism wagon has long left town. The boom of 1-15 years ago is long over. [/quote]

I see it as something related but a very different framework, but thank you for your encouraging opinion. Is not really about the magic...our the mentalism...it's about the performer.so I don't think it's my view of whether mentalism is magical whether determines whether I get there, but me. The me that I present will be the one that maximizes the reactions. That will come with practice and time and faith. Thank you for your opinion though.
dismany
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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.


I'm glad you did argue and make your voice heard here, Bob. Thank God for all these pages of "opinions" from a a great as yourself, as you are now gone from this world, these pages - not to mention your books - are a great way to still find you and your heartfelt desire for newcomers to move in the right direction. RIP and thank you for all that you wrote, whether I like it or not. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the difference, not just mentally but practically in every way, and reading your comments are a blessing leading me in the right direction.
dismany
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On Mar 7, 2019, CGould wrote:

As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.



You're right, we should get hung up on the semantics of what I wrote and not the rest of my statement. Maybe you're right, maybe not having the right "word" or definition in my mind as I vocalize it will prevent me from making it actual mentalism. It is forever going to hard for me not to see mentalism as a subset of magic, or at the very least magical. One of my first 2 "magic" lectures that I went to as a teenager put on by Misdirections MAGIC shop was Docc Hilford, who definitely performed both mentalism and magic as the weirdist. Still some of the most fun I've had being fooled and taught at a lecture. So maybe since the fact of that connection (magic shop and mentalism lectures where the dude really appeared psychic) will never be wiped away, I am forever doomed to be a magician who wants to be a mentalist. Or maybe there is really how you view things, and lack of better words to explain yourself. But thank you for jumping at the most negative point you could have caught to give me a word of discouragement. Is that what you old pros with 10000 posts on here are all like?
Robb
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On Mar 8, 2019, dismany wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 7, 2019, CGould wrote:

As long as you keep seeing mentalism as a type of magic you are likely to never get there.



You're right, we should get hung up on the semantics of what I wrote and not the rest of my statement. Maybe you're right, maybe not having the right "word" or definition in my mind as I vocalize it will prevent me from making it actual mentalism. It is forever going to hard for me not to see mentalism as a subset of magic, or at the very least magical. One of my first 2 "magic" lectures that I went to as a teenager put on by Misdirections MAGIC shop was Docc Hilford, who definitely performed both mentalism and magic as the weirdist. Still some of the most fun I've had being fooled and taught at a lecture. So maybe since the fact of that connection (magic shop and mentalism lectures where the dude really appeared psychic) will never be wiped away, I am forever doomed to be a magician who wants to be a mentalist. Or maybe there is really how you view things, and lack of better words to explain yourself. But thank you for jumping at the most negative point you could have caught to give me a word of discouragement. Is that what you old pros with 10000 posts on here are all like?


Look man, you have to take what MindPro says with a grain of salt. It will *never* be truly positive or even helpful. He will only tell you what you don’t know, what you’re not getting right, etc. Ignore it. In fact, ignore all forms of negativity that might diminish or warp your passion for what you are working toward. Maybe in the end what you create would be accepted as “mentalism” by the self-proclaimed authorities but does it really matter? Nah, not one bit.

Have fun!
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On Mar 8, 2019, Robb wrote:

Look man, you have to take what MindPro says with a grain of salt. It will *never* be truly positive or even helpful. He will only tell you what you don’t know, what you’re not getting right, etc. Ignore it. In fact, ignore all forms of negativity that might diminish or warp your passion for what you are working toward. Maybe in the end what you create would be accepted as “mentalism” by the self-proclaimed authorities but does it really matter? Nah, not one bit.

Have fun!


Thanks Robb!
Chris K
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On Mar 8, 2019, dismany wrote:
Maybe you're right, maybe not having the right "word" or definition in my mind as I vocalize it will prevent me from making it actual mentalism. It is forever going to hard for me not to see mentalism as a subset of magic, or at the very least magical. One of my first 2 "magic" lectures that I went to as a teenager put on by Misdirections MAGIC shop was Docc Hilford, who definitely performed both mentalism and magic as the weirdist.... I am forever doomed to be a magician who wants to be a mentalist....Is that what you old pros with 10000 posts on here are all like?


Wow, a lot to unpack here. And I can do it all without resorting to even talking about the magician versus mentalist debate/discussion/argument/discourse.

1.) You made a very correct statement in saying "not having the right "word" or definition in my mind as I vocalize it will prevent me from making it actual". Unfortunately, I think you were being sarcastic. Are you familiar with the works of Kenton Knepper, specifically "Wonder Words"? If not, I think that is a good investment. Besides having direct relevance to improving the impact of magic, mentalism, work presentations, etc., you get a good idea of how labeling something impacts how a person feels about it. So yes, not have the right "word" is a huge effing deal and passing it off like this is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.

2.) It's all well and good if you think mentalism is a subset of magic. That's a labeling thing that you'll have to deal with yourself (see point 1 above). However, and maybe it's inexperience, I don't know, but both your understanding of set theory as well as subsets of fields/genre are a bit exposed here. Bizarre magick is a subset of magic, so are balloon animals and sponge balls. Is it possible to combine bizarre magick with sponge balls and balloons? Oh yeah sure. Could 99% of people pull it off and still have a convincing bizarre magick show? Absolutely not. Being a subset of the same thing DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE THE SAME THING. Basic set theory right there . To put it more bluntly, a white horse is a horse. A brown horse is a horse. A white horse is NOT a brown horse, so a race with WHITE HORSES cannot be run with a brown horse. <I feel a stupid magician joke from somebody about paint or something, just put the keyboard down>.

3.) Don't you love Joe and Misdirections? He's such a good guy and he has SO MUCH STUFF that is hard to get! Are you going to Chris' lecture this month?

4.) You are doomed to be what you expect yourself to be. Nothing more, nothing less.

5.) The thing about old pros with 10,000 posts is that they have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of people with 10 posts thinking they know everything. I think the bigger question here is how someone with such limited exposure/experience is so sure of themselves that they will literally talk smack about people with over 1,000 times as many posts as them. Everything else is a bit forgivable, that smacks of utter disrespect, ignorance, and arrogance. I need to be honest here, aside from the much better writing style, this would seem like the big rash of new Café members who seem an awfully like Senor Fabuloso. Again, your actual writing is much better so I don't actually think so at the moment, but you do share the same arrogance. I'd strongly advise checking yourself.

Why can't we mute or block people here, sigh...
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1.) You made a very correct statement in saying "not having the right "word" or definition in my mind as I vocalize it will prevent me from making it actual". Unfortunately, I think you were being sarcastic. Are you familiar with the works of Kenton Knepper, specifically "Wonder Words"? If not, I think that is a good investment. Besides having direct relevance to improving the impact of magic, mentalism, work presentations, etc., you get a good idea of how labeling something impacts how a person feels about it. So yes, not have the right "word" is a huge effing deal and passing it off like this is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.

2.) It's all well and good if you think mentalism is a subset of magic. That's a labeling thing that you'll have to deal with yourself (see point 1 above). However, and maybe it's inexperience, I don't know, but both your understanding of set theory as well as subsets of fields/genre are a bit exposed here. Bizarre magick is a subset of magic, so are balloon animals and sponge balls. Is it possible to combine bizarre magick with sponge balls and balloons? Oh yeah sure. Could 99% of people pull it off and still have a convincing bizarre magick show? Absolutely not. Being a subset of the same thing DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE THE SAME THING. Basic set theory right there . To put it more bluntly, a white horse is a horse. A brown horse is a horse. A white horse is NOT a brown horse, so a race with WHITE HORSES cannot be run with a brown horse. <I feel a stupid magician joke from somebody about paint or something, just put the keyboard down>.

3.) Don't you love Joe and Misdirections? He's such a good guy and he has SO MUCH STUFF that is hard to get! Are you going to Chris' lecture this month?

4.) You are doomed to be what you expect yourself to be. Nothing more, nothing less.

5.) The thing about old pros with 10,000 posts is that they have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of people with 10 posts thinking they know everything. I think the bigger question here is how someone with such limited exposure/experience is so sure of themselves that they will literally talk smack about people with over 1,000 times as many posts as them. Everything else is a bit forgivable, that smacks of utter disrespect, ignorance, and arrogance. I need to be honest here, aside from the much better writing style, this would seem like the big rash of new Café members who seem an awfully like Senor Fabuloso. Again, your actual writing is much better so I don't actually think so at the moment, but you do share the same arrogance. I'd strongly advise checking yourself.

Why can't we mute or block people here, sigh... [/quote]

First of all, just because I'm new here, doesn't mean I'm new. I'm new here because for years I didn't have an email address (or cared to) that was not a gmail account. I'm far from new to these pages nor am I a beginner in the magical arts. If you want to block me, do not respond to me, it's that simple. Just like MindPro didn't. He got it that I am being stupid and he can't block me but he can just not respond, which is fine. Again, you do not know me, and my writing style is a direct result from the fact I am not some newbie with no intellect or experience. I still am just not sure your differentiation here matters all that much, as long as the entertainment value and the mystery value is there. As far as snapping back at the veterans on here...you may not know me, but I know you and any bite of a remark I may have comes from years of reading. I do not live in San Francisco so unfortunately couldn't attend Chris Philpott's lecture...I'm sure it was incredible. Joe has known me since I was what you think I am, a young ignorant newbie. I'm not those things, and I don't have to agree with your belief about semantics to have the impact I want to have...or maybe I do, and in that case I will adjust my "subscript" as necessary with time and practice. I only bite back because MindPro's words were very harsh and final, as are yours. You both can bite me I'm not going anywhere.
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On Mar 1, 2019, Banachek wrote:

does not mean I mix magic and mentalism. I do not... it simply means that Mentalism is a subset of Magic. A section in a book on magic would contain mentalism. Mentalism is not real it is not psychic that is all it means. And yes you can indeed mix both. I prefer not to. Others do.


So eloquently said. From the World's Number One Thought Reader. Thank you for putting this to rest.
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Some will some won't. Those who Will are often wrong to believe their mixed-bag doesn't harm the integrity of mentalism.
Or maybe they don't care. Success doesn't require respect.
.


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