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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Can you be a magician and mentalist?? (125 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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As Bob always said, and actually left here over, it's the trivialization and disrespect of mentalism.
Mark Timon
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You can be both and be more entertaining than just being one. People just want to be entertained, no one is thinking about the difference between both.
Mr Salk
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2019, Mark Timon wrote:
You can be both and be more entertaining than just being one. People just want to be entertained, no one is thinking about the difference between both.


In a way I think you are correct.
Audiences will not think about differences between a performer's mentalism and magic-tricks. It's ALL magic-tricks.
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WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
It's ALL magic-tricks.


Respectfully disagree. It depends on how it's presented.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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Me too. For anyone to say this they may not have ever experienced a real mentalism performance and experienced the differences in audiences expectations, responses, and reactions. Entirely different from magic in many ways.

And it IS about much more than just being entertaining.
Mr Salk
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To be clear, I'm only referring to performances that mix magic and mentalism. The audience takeaway will be "magic-show".
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Mindpro
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I understand now, and I agree, thanks
Mark Timon
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
To be clear, I'm only referring to performances that mix magic and mentalism. The audience takeaway will be "magic-show".

I remember that Tamariz in one of his books says; That all magic is mentalism, because if you can bend forks , move objects with the power of the mind, make predictions, you could apply the same power to link rings, move card across. etc.. it is all about presentation.
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
To be clear, I'm only referring to performances that mix magic and mentalism. The audience takeaway will be "magic-show".


Oh - then yes, I agree.

Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, Mark Timon wrote:
I remember that Tamariz in one of his books says; That all magic is mentalism, because if you can bend forks , move objects with the power of the mind, make predictions, you could apply the same power to link rings, move card across. etc.. it is all about presentation.


With all due respect to Tamariz, I also disagree with this. Spiderman can't fly. Superman can't shoot webs. Just because someone can cause metal to bend with the power of their mind (Which, I would say, is frequently a magic trick and not mentalism anyway) does not mean they can phase one piece of metal through another. They're not the same power on display. Telekinesis/psychokinesis isn't teleportation, regardless of presentation.

Magic can get away with 'explanations' that are far more fantastical than mentalism can. The reason for this is that an audience to a magic show has agreed, by going to a magic show, to participate in a shared, alternate reality for a time. "We know this isn't real, we'll play along while you do your show."

In my personal opinion, it's not mentalism if the audience is thinking like that. Mentalism has to feel real. Not an alternate reality, but previously-unknown aspects of -this- reality. Whether the supposed power on display is supernatural like psychic abilities, or science-based like deducing information from observable information, it must feel like that's what the performer is actually doing.

That theatrical approach is the difference between magic and mentalism and they can't be mixed. If they are mixed, they default to being a magic show.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, Mark Timon wrote:
I remember that Tamariz in one of his books says; That all magic is mentalism, because if you can bend forks , move objects with the power of the mind, make predictions, you could apply the same power to link rings, move card across. etc.. it is all about presentation.



Here is the problem with this - it is all from a magician's perspective. You reference a magician, a magician's thinking on a subject he believes to be magic.

It is the same with this forum - it is all magician's talking from magician's perspective. Of course, they will only see mentalism as magic and no different. This is why it is so hard to have a legitimate discussion on so many related topics is because the typical thinking is very heavily skewed because of this.

Have the same discussions from most of the topics in this forum with mentalist's that do not come from magic or the magic perspective and you get entirely different discussions and outcomes. It's amazing.

Magic "self-claims" whatever it wants. It takes other legitimate disciplines and finds a way to make them "magic" and them simply claims it as magic. Memory is one great example. There are legitimate memory experts. There are legitimate memory competitions with professionals and amateurs who have committed to the art and science of memory work. They have put in the effort to excel in this skill. Yet magic finds a way through tricks, gimmicks, and it's own type of magic short-cuts to give the "illusion" of doing memory work. So instantly TO THE MAGIC COMMUNITY, memory is part of the magic arts. It's not. What is being accepted by the magic community is it's take, it's version of what looks like memory work via tricks and magic-based techniques.

If you talk to anyone from the memory community, they definitely do not see memory as anything to do with magic - period.

Same for hypnosis. Many here consider hypnosis part of the magical arts. Again, it is not. It is its own art and science with thousands committed to the profession. Ask them and they will instantly tell you it has nothing to do with magic and most despise the way the magic community diminished the science of hypnosis and the effect it has on the hypnosis community. Yet if you go into a book store to seek information on hypnosis, it is either in the Self-Help section or the Magic section. Again, what the magic community has done is taken something that resembles real hypnosis and created "magic-hypnosis" or "hypnosis for magicians" which in reality is nothing close to actual hypnosis, yet magicians believe otherwise from their default "magicians" perspective.

Perhaps some longtime respected works of magic such as Tarbel, Anneman or Corrinda mentions or includes memory, hypnosis, or mentalism and walla - it's now part of the magical arts. Everything from this point on is flawed understading and perspectives heavily slanted by magician's perspecives and mentalities.

It is for this exact reason it has been so hard to truly discuss any real mentalism here over the last years. All Psi is all but gone from mentalism here today because it's not needed or required for today's magic mentalism.

I guess no one wants to hear it and of course, certainly won't admit it, (and I'm the bad guy for addressing it to a room full of magicians) but most here claiming to be "mentalists" coming from these magic backgrounds and perspectives are simply magicians doing mental magic. I guess this won't sit well with many but whether you choose to accept it or not, whether you agree or not, it is the reality.

Also to Mark's comment, audiences are only who we perform for and are not always the true indicator of what we do and how we are received and perceived. Unless you perform in theaters where the audience purchases tickets to see you perform (which most of today's "mentalists" do not, they perform at venues and events where the audience is not paying to see you) the level of success in what we do is determined by the person booking and paying you. Their perception and understanding is often different from the audience who is simply the end user. Often these audiences have no expectations and really don't know what they will be seeing.

For example, we have booked 14 mentalism shows in the last 9 days for 4 different mentalists (myself and 3 others). 8 out of the 14 calls specifically stated: "we do not want a magician, we want a mentalist." They DO see them as different. In many cases, they see mentalists as real with a completely different set of expectations than that of magic. Now we know that after they have booked us they start talking and saying things like "we have just booked a great mind reader (or mentalist) who will be able to read our minds and tells us things about ourselves...it will be really different...) They are setting a very specific and different type of expectation than magic. So guests and audience members that hear this will have a much different expectation than from a magician. Those that do not hear about it, will learn of this once at the performance and even with skepticism, their perception and approach will be much different than magic.

To see the true difference between mentalism and magic you need look no further than the business aspects and side of mentalism, as you will quickly see there is a difference in expectation and what one is truly interested in and paying for.

A while back many here used to be very interested in these aspects of mentalism - how it differs from magic and how that can be understood and utilized to their advantage. They were interested in learning the foundations of mentalism and the foundational differences. They wanted to separate themselves from magic. That is not here anymore and the accepted norm is now mental magic which the magic community now calls and self-proclaims as "mentalism."

There used to be such good discussions here on the art of mentalism and the true interest in trying to understand the differences. Today mentalism here is simply free for the taking by magicians, readers, and anyone else wanting to use it.
Bill Cushman
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I've been here for almost 17 years and the nature and level of discourse seems pretty much the same as it has always been.
Mr Salk
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Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
Today mentalism here is simply free for the taking by magicians, readers, and anyone else wanting to use it.


I appreciate your input.

I'm not an apologist, but the appropriation of mentalism, hypnosis and memory-work isn't necessarily done out of selfishness or ignorance.
The esoteric arts have significantly more cache and innate hipness than "tricks". It's only natural for a clout-obsessed society to gravitate towards the cool and edgy.
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JanForster
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It is true, this discussion I follow since many years, and we revolve always around the same point... it is tiring. I agree absolutely with the statements and observations made by Mindpro and WitchDocChris - although a big part of my work is in theaters. And I have an heavy and longtime magic background. So, I know and understand both "worlds". Still, I see (and feel and experience every day!) clearly the huge differences between magic (shows) and mentalism (shows), taking in particular also the perspective of recipients into account.

As much as I still love (good) magic, knowing how much I learned doing it on a technical level, still benefiting from it, today I do not mix anymore. But at the same time I am telling my audience (in long theater shows) about what I was doing in the past; it is no secret to them. Even sometimes I will show them a "magic trick" I learned long time ago, just to give my audience a lighthearted break. It (I am...) is authentic at least and doesn't disturb the perception I am striving for. Jan
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, JanForster wrote:
I have an heavy and longtime magic background. So, I know and understand both "worlds". Still, I see (and feel and experience every day!) clearly the huge differences between magic (shows) and mentalism (shows), taking in particular also the perspective of recipients into account.



I agree. And since most here are magicians, this should be the actual goal of anyone truly interested in performing mentalism. However, for most, they would rather argue about it, and find other like-minded opinions sharers, and disregard the actual issue. Well said Jan.
Chris K
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Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 27, 2019, JanForster wrote:
I have an heavy and longtime magic background. So, I know and understand both "worlds". Still, I see (and feel and experience every day!) clearly the huge differences between magic (shows) and mentalism (shows), taking in particular also the perspective of recipients into account.



I agree. And since most here are magicians, this should be the actual goal of anyone truly interested in performing mentalism. However, for most, they would rather argue about it, and find other like-minded opinions sharers, and disregard the actual issue. Well said Jan.


Great posts by Jan and Mindpro!
Sudo Nimh
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How is it that a person can misspell the surnames Tarbell, Annemann, and Corinda and all in the same sentence? If you're going to invoke their names, one would think that it's common courtesy and respect to at least spell them properly.

This argument goes nowhere - always has, always will. Why it bothers some so terribly about what others are doing is amusing to say the least. This is the MAGIC Café. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results each time is the very definition of insanity. Those that feel so strongly in their opinions and labels about what others are doing should go set up some elitist forum somewhere else and be all smug about it.

Not saying I agree or disagree with any one viewpoint that's been expressed here, just that the argument is tiresome, pointless, and a waste of time. And also, insane.
Magic which awakens and nourishes the divine spirit in man encourages the growth of true humanity, in contrast to the materialistic outlook which binds man to the earth.

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Elizabeth Brookes
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That would be an ecumenical matter...
Mr Salk
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On Mar 28, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
Not saying I agree or disagree with any one viewpoint that's been expressed here, just that the argument is tiresome, pointless, and a waste of time. And also, insane.


At least pick a position if you want to pop-in and call everyone boring and crazy.

This is an old, long thread with quite a few interesting nuggets and a fair bit of regurgitation.
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IAIN
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On Mar 28, 2019, Elizabeth Brookes wrote:
That would be an ecumenical matter...


QFT
Mr Salk
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A Question:

How should one present OOTW? Fantastic effect that straddles the line between magic and mentalism.
Neither discipline can claim ownership; it's defined by its context.
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