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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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jonnyboy
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No worries, M. Tessler. Regarding what I'm saying about premise is not about coming up with something totally new in effect, but the premise or the theme of an effect. You can dress up a mentalism effect in myriad ways, simply by changing the premise. One can take the same effect and go spooky, or demonstrate telepathy, or superb memory. One can tell a heart tugging story to accompany an effect, evoking a past memory. To me, this is where much of the artistry in mentalism resides. Not in the quality of b*llet switches, or n**l wr*t*ng. Those skills should be a sine qua non of a competent mentalist.

And it seems I'm not being totally clear even now; I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or facetious (except for the Instant Mentalist crack) in tone. I was making a sincere effort to speculate why magicians are now drawn to mentalism. Frankly, I don't remember seeing anyone else attempt to articulate reasons why magicians are entering the mentalism (or at least saying they are) in larger numbers than before, and thereby increasing the risk of trivialization of mentalism.
M. Tesla
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Hmmm...not into b*ll*t switches and n**l wr*t*ng? What kind of mentalist are you? Those methods are the basis of everything...

J/K...I'm not overly fond of those either, although I think we're sorta stuck with the b*ll*t thing...I think there's other and perhaps better ways of accomplishing the same results...as for the n**l wr*t*ing I can hardly read my own writing as it is, let alone using that method...the only thing you'd read from me there, is chicken scratches...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
jonnyboy
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Sorry, I guess I'm being unclear. I have nothing against b*llet sw*tches or n**l wr*ters, and in fact use the first technique liberally. What I was trying to say is that the technical aspects are the fundamentals and basis for good mentalism, and that a good mentalist has those techniques down cold. That the quality of such techniques should be beyond reproach or detection. Then, for me, the artistry of mentalism lies primarily in the interaction with the audience and weaving of the spell, to incorporate those techniques so seamlessly and invisibly that they are never seen or suspected, and the premise of the effect is what leaves the impression on the spectator.

By contrast, I find most card plots rather uninteresting, but very much enjoy great card magic, when performed with technical brilliance. For card magic (and coin magic), the artistry lies in the physical technique (in my opinion), and not in the premise of the effect. Watching Tamariz, or Delgaudio, or Turner, or any of a number of great card men do their stuff, can be sublime. (That being said, I also love Tamariz's card plots and presentations. He is a major exception to the rule.)

I have a story regarding difficult to read n**l wr*t*ng. I was in Vegas a few years ago and was fortunate to see Kreskin perform in a good setting. At one point, he came up to me with his pad folio, and asked me to read the number he had previously predicted (actually, had just n.w.), and although I wanted to help him in the worst way, I couldn't read what he wrote. I wasn't sure that it was a 12 or 13. And I wasn't sure which number he wanted. So I did my best, and was wrong ("off by one"). Pro that he was, Kreskin simply corrected me, and said, "It says 12", and moved on. He was moving fast, so it wasn't like it was a huge reveal or anything, just one of many reveals. I felt terribly about it.
mastermindreader
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If your nw technique is lousy, you can just show them what you wrote, saying, "And look at what number I wrote- twelve!"

Or, better yet, put in the many months of practice required to use a nw properly.

Sleight of hand in skilled mentalism (as opposed to self-working store-bought mental magic) requires the same proficiency level and nerve required of a professional high-stakes card cheat working solo. For the cheat, accidental exposure can result in serious injury. In pure mentalism it will result in a complete loss of credibility and, if the performer is working "strong," derisive laughter and name-calling as well.

But when a magician drops his thumb-tip or accidentally exposes something, he can usually just blow it off with a funny one-liner. After all, the audience already KNOWS that he's just doing tricks.

While some magicians certainly use a far greater number of sleights, the mentalist's moves must be flawless and so natural in performance that they are virtually invisible and unsuspected.

So when someone tells me that classical mentalism is easier than magic, I know they're in for an embarrassing lesson should they attempt billet work or other skill-based techniques before a paying audience.

And, frankly, I think that fear of exposure, and guilt about claiming or implying telepathy or paranormal abilities, are just two of the reasons that many feel a lot safer doing mental magic as opposed to claim-based mentalism.

As I said during a PEA interview over thirty years ago, the three most significant attributes of the "Complete Mentalist" are showmanship, technical mastery and nerve.

And I'm sorry to see that so many newcomers don't seem to understand that.
MagicalEducator
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Quote:
On Jun 22, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Didn't you say in your previous post that he's remembered as a magician?


He advertises as a mentalist and the public still remembers him as a magician. Apparently to some it's the same thing despite what fancy labels we put on it. You can call it whatever you want but most people realize that mentalism still involves secret moves/psychology which is really just a sub genre of magic. People have asked what are magicians afraid of? Perhaps the question is what are "mentalists" so afraid of?

Jeff
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mastermindreader
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To "some," of course it is. And in the upper Midwest there are people who refer to all kinds of soda as "Coke." If you go into a diner and ask for a Coke, the waitress will probably ask, "What kind? Rootbeer, Pepsi or Sprite?")

But here's something I wrote a long time ago, in somewhat different form, that might be helpful in understanding if one is perceived as a magician or mentalist, whether or not people could cogently explain the difference:

Quote:
HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE DOING MENTAL MAGIC OR MENTALISM:

What do people ask you after a performance? Do they ask things like:

“How is that done?:

“Can you show me another trick?”

“My five-year-old has a birthday coming up, what do you charge?”

If most people ask you questions like these, you are doing mental magic, which is best described as “effects with a
mind reading theme, which are, nonetheless, perceived to be magic tricks.” They do not create the illusion of the “real thing.”

If, on the other hand, you have succeeded in creating the illusion of mentalism, you will receive more questions like these:

“Did you learn that somewhere, or is it something you were born with?”

“How did you know that?” (as opposed to “How did you DO that?”)

“Do you give private readings?”


And what, by the way, are you suggesting mentalists are afraid of? And if you actually perform claim-based mentalism and think that MOST people in your audience believe you're just using secret moves and psychology, you're doing something wrong. When you're doing it right, a lot of them will actually argue with each other, after the show, over whether or not you're "real."
M. Tesla
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Quote:
On Jun 22, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:

As I said during a PEA interview over thirty years ago, the three most significant attributes of the "Complete Mentalist" are showmanship, technical mastery and nerve.

And I'm sorry to see that so many newcomers don't seem to understand that.


Ah...I totally agree with the above...there's some magicians that can learn from that too...the nw thing is mostly because my hands shake a bit and writing of any kind is becoming more difficult...I have PPS, which mimics the symptoms of ALS and MS, but at least it's not fatal...real pain in the *** though...I can write fairly well, but using a nw is a no-go for me...most other things necessary for a mentalist are no problem...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
Decomposed
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According to social media, Richard Osterlind just won PEA coveted award for mentalist of the year. I know Richard does some magic, heck I even have some of it.... Plus he is one of my favorite to watch. Just so dang down to earth with a great sense of humor. I think clients warm up to most with this persona.
Lou Is
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"What's your favorite color?"

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mastermindreader
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The PEA does not give a Mentalist of the Year award. The highest is the Dunninger Award for Excellence and Professionalism in the performance of mentalism, which was awarded this year to Max Maven.

Richard Osterlind received the Dan Blackwood Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Mentalism.

Your post creates the false impression that the PEA supports the contention that magic and mentalism can be mixed. Virtually every PEA member holds a similar position to my own.
Decomposed
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Quote:
On Jun 23, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
The PEA does not give a Mentalist of the Year award. The highest is the Dunninger Award for Excellence and Professionalism in the performance of mentalism, which was awarded this year to Max Maven.

Richard Osterlind received the Dan Blackwood Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Mentalism.

Your post creates the false impression that the PEA supports the contention that magic and mentalism can be mixed. Virtually every PEA member holds a similar position to my own.


I stand corrected, my bad Bob.
Decomposed
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Quote:
On Jun 23, 2016, Lou Is wrote:
"What's your favorite color?"


Wow....how did you know that? Is that mental magic, mentalism or plain ol magic? Smile
Decomposed
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Bob, I sent you an email....
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Quote:
On Jun 23, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
To "some," of course it is. And in the upper Midwest there are people who refer to all kinds of soda as "Coke." If you go into a diner and ask for a Coke, the waitress will probably ask, "What kind? Rootbeer, Pepsi or Sprite?")


In Atlanta, GA, they give you Coca-Cola no matter what kind of soda you actually order. ;-)
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
IAIN
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Over here, soda is just fizzy water, though we also say tonic water and indian tonic water..

If you ask for a soda over here, they will usually clarify "soda water?"
M. Tesla
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I'm originally from Ohio...in the upper midwest they call soda, "pop"...dunno where a waitress would ask you if you wanted pepsi or rootbeer when you ordered coke...Atlanta is Coke's home base...

Dr John S Pemberton invented Coca‑Cola on 8th May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia. He tried it out on customers at his local chemist, Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it proved so popular it immediately went on sale at five cents a glass.

The reason it was sooooo popular is that until the early 20th century it contained cocaine until the feds made it a controlled drug around 1902 or so...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
THB
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You can be anything you want. It's entirely YOIR choice.

Now if you crave peer recognition, that's another problem.
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2016, THB wrote:
You can be anything you want. It's entirely YOIR choice.

Now if you crave peer recognition, that's another problem.


DOH! Of course you CAN. No one ever said otherwise.

The question is whether you should.

And the answer has nothing to do with peer recognition
THB
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Yes, I understood the question right.

but wether you should or not is also YOUR choice and not the one of " your peers".

i mean its always the same old question, the same old debate, the same old answers...

define YOUR goal and based on that establish YOUR strategy, and if your peers don't agree with your strategy, so be it. maybe one day, you'll realize they were right, maybe not.... process.YOUR process...

Isn't it?
IAIN
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I kinda get your drift, but at the same time - you can't train as a butcher, open a butcher's shop and then say you're a carpenter...
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