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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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Slim King
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On May 30, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Sleepymentalism-

Your question doesn't anger me in the least, but it is more than a bit frustrating.

By your own admission just a few months ago, you are pretty much a beginner when it comes to learning mentalism. The question you ask here has been discussed to death, and probably beyond, on this forum since its creation. You, yourself, asked it just a few months ago.

There are very fundamental and sound reasons why mentalists never mix the two unless they are already well-known as mentalists. And even they will rarely use more than a single brief magic trick. And when a magician tries to do mentalism in his magic act it will simply be perceived as another magic trick. (The fact that many magicians in recent years have started to do this is one of the basic causes of the "trivialization" that you've probably seen discussed at length in other thread.)

I'm certainly not going to write extensively on the topic here, because I've already written thousands of words about it in the Café over the years. I'm sure that this isn't the first time you've heard this, but here it is again- use the search function.

Sounds pretty dismal to me ... Very dismissive and demeaning.....
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
mastermindreader
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On May 31, 2016, SolidSnake wrote:
I'm sure I read a mentalist manuscript once that had card through window as an effect.


I wrote that. We're not talking about mixing material in books, but in performance. Nelson created the sponge bunnies routine, but he certainly didn't perform them as Dr. Korda Ra Mayne.

I've said often that I love magic. I just don't mix it into my professional act.
David Thiel
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When I was a kid they used to sing a song that went "The wheels on the bus go round and round." Just like this topic.

CAN a person be a magician and a mentalist? No. No. No no no no.

Nope.

Negative.

"Why not?" you ask. It's a reasonable question. The difficult part is trying to give the answer. (Again.)

Guys can talk until their faces turn color about how one magic effect nestled into a mentalism show converts the whole client perception from "Gee I wonder if this is real" to..."I see. It's a trick. Hmmm. So if that's a trick...the whole show must be tricks."

They can also talk about how the difference in INTENT of the performer is different. The magician presents puzzles and part of the fun is trying to figure them out. But very few people with an IQ bigger than their shoe size believe it's all real. But a mentalist challenges an audience's view of reality...leads them into a question about whether what they've just seen can POSSIBLY be viewed as real.

There are a dozen other fundamental differences between a mentalist and a magician with reference to show structure, worldview, props...methods...costuming...and so much more. But there is NO POINT in raising them again and again.

Here's why: The vast majority of people who have a true gut level understanding of the difference between mentalism and magic are the people who have actually performed MENTALISM. I'm not talking about the watered down version of "mental magic." And I'm not even talking about a "mentalism themed act." I am talking about literal, actual mentalism...performed within the context of a mentalism performance.

It is like trying to explain the color red to someone who has been congenitally blind...or what a peach really tastes like to someone who has no ability to taste.

You either GET the difference...or you don't.

Wheels on the bus...

David
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SleepyMagic
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Hi guys,
Thanks for your input on the topic....I think I will need to now chamge my opinion on this after reading the thread...but I'm not sure if I should stick to magic or mentalism

Also....apparently I've kind of came off as really obnoxious and big headed on this particular topic....and that is completely the opposite of how I want to be and how I intended to be perceived....I never wanted to "challenge" anyone I was just asking and stating my first opinion and I know it may have come off as me seeming like I know it all ....which I obviously don't.... And that was really the last I want my image to be....so if I acted "sickening" or big headed in any way I'm extremely sorry for what I mahhave come off as...

Sleepy
mastermindreader
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Sleepy-

No, you didn't come off that way at all.

No need to apologize.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2016, David Thiel wrote:
Here's why: The vast majority of people who have a true gut level understanding of the difference between mentalism and magic are the people who have actually performed MENTALISM. I'm not talking about the watered down version of "mental magic." And I'm not even talking about a "mentalism themed act." I am talking about literal, actual mentalism...performed within the context of a mentalism performance.

It is like trying to explain the color red to someone who has been congenitally blind...or what a peach really tastes like to someone who has no ability to taste.

You either GET the difference...or you don't.

Wheels on the bus...

David


Right. If you do not truly get mentailsm or the differences between mentalism and magic, or if you have to ask this question...you are a magician. You just answered it yourself. Now you either come to terms and happily accept it (nothing wrong with it at all) OR you decide you want to pursue mentalism and commit to the process, understanding it is a process, a process best achieved by leaving your magic mentalities behind as you do so, and that it's not a simple read or understanding.

I think many have, do ad will find, that it is magic that is most of true interest to them all along.
MagicalEducator
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On May 31, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
The famous mentalists who have done so were already firmly established as mentalists. That's the inconvenient fact that magicians who think the art forms can be indiscriminately mixed.

And I'd like to see JUST ONE example of my ever denigrating magicians. I've always loved magic.

I do see a lot of snide mentalist bashing here, though.


If they were firmly established as mentalists then the so called magic portion of their program would be inconsistent with their character. Perhaps instead there wasn't a real distinction between the two except a theoretical framework that's been added more recently. Maybe the armchair theorists are actually the so called mentalism purists that don't better know better than everyone else. Perhaps the rules they try to enforce aren't really rules as all. All of us play the character of a mystery performer which in itself has many manifestations. I can be a magician, a mentalist, or? In all cases I'm simply playing a theatrical role. It's all make believe and in that world the performer can create whatever reality they choose. These are called artistic choices. Dunninger made them, Derren Brown makes them and so do all other performers. Tired of people spouting off subjective be realities as gospel.

Jeff
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Mindpro
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It's not about the performer though. The performer can also be wrong.
mastermindreader
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Educator-

Where did you get the ridiculous idea that I'm an armchair theorist? Project much?

And where is the example I requested of me EVER denigrating magic or magicians?
Slim King
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On Jun 1, 2016, MagicalEducator wrote:
Quote:
On May 31, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
The famous mentalists who have done so were already firmly established as mentalists. That's the inconvenient fact that magicians who think the art forms can be indiscriminately mixed.

And I'd like to see JUST ONE example of my ever denigrating magicians. I've always loved magic.

I do see a lot of snide mentalist bashing here, though.


If they were firmly established as mentalists then the so called magic portion of their program would be inconsistent with their character. Perhaps instead there wasn't a real distinction between the two except a theoretical framework that's been added more recently. Maybe the armchair theorists are actually the so called mentalism purists that don't better know better than everyone else. Perhaps the rules they try to enforce aren't really rules as all. All of us play the character of a mystery performer which in itself has many manifestations. I can be a magician, a mentalist, or? In all cases I'm simply playing a theatrical role. It's all make believe and in that world the performer can create whatever reality they choose. These are called artistic choices. Dunninger made them, Derren Brown makes them and so do all other performers. Tired of people spouting off subjective be realities as gospel.

Jeff

That's the spirit!!!!
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Educator-Where did you get the ridiculous idea that I'm an armchair theorist? Project much?


Wow. Bob, thank you for your seemingly virtuoso patience and willingness to share your knowledge on here with those who appreciate it. At least your reputation is safe with those who matter. I'm just amazed that these other statements are the thoughts of someone that has set themselves up as an educator of future performers.
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MagicalEducator
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On Jun 1, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Educator-

Where did you get the ridiculous idea that I'm an armchair theorist? Project much?

And where is the example I requested of me EVER denigrating magic or magicians?


Bob,

I was speaking to your previously shared ..."Dunninger Man of Mystery" comments. As for the arm chair theorists I wasn't referring to you or projecting anything about you. Since you hint at projecting and I wasn't then...well let's just leave it as online miscommunication where all the subtleties of language can be lost. Similarly for Ray who suggests that I'm educating magicians/mentalists. While I have had some students over the years that is not my primary business. I've performed professionally for almost 40 years, teach theatre and am a lifelong student of the mystery arts. The point that I'm trying to assert is that too many people seem to be very willing to tell others what is the truth about something we all know is very subjective. Art is like that. Rather than prescribing or insisting on adherence to a particular dogma why not agree to disagree or discuss the merits of each position. Instead we get arrows hurled from both sides and tautological arguments that are self serving at the very least. Hardly ridiculous I should think.

Jeff
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mastermindreader
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What "Dunninger Man of Mystery" comments? I don't recall ever referring to him that way. I'm not saying I haven't, but I really don't recall that. But I've often observed that mentalism and magic are both forms of entertainment, neither of which is inherently more entertaining, or "better" than the other.They are just fundamentally different.

But I agree with you about on-line communication. I've frequently said that there really are no rules in mentalism, or in any art for that matter, that cannot be broken. But it's really important to understand the reasoning behind them before breaking them.

Bob
MagicalEducator
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On Jun 2, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
What "Dunninger Man of Mystery" comments? I don't recall ever referring to him that way. I'm not saying I haven't, but I really don't recall that. But I've often observed that mentalism and magic are both forms of entertainment, neither of which is inherently more entertaining, or "better" than the other.They are just fundamentally different.

But I agree with you about on-line communication. I've frequently said that there really are no rules in mentalism, or in any art for that matter, that cannot be broken. But it's really important to understand the reasoning behind them before breaking them.

Bob


I believe the Dunninger comments are from one of your teleseminars. I can't remember which one off the top of my head.

Jeff
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mastermindreader
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All I ever really said about Dunninger was to quote his famous remark, "Each time I add a prop my price goes down," which was said in the context of a discussion about the differences between mentalism and mental magic.

I fail to see how that is critical of magic or magicians in any way at all.

I went into a good bit of detail about my thoughts on magic and mentalism in my Guest of Honor week here in 2011.

This thread is a good example, although others touch on it as well:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=304

Bob
Slim King
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The Question remains .... CAN YOU BE A MAGICIAN AND A MENTALIST??

The answer is YES!!!

It's America .... You can be anything you want! Smile
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mastermindreader
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Slim-

Absolutely! You can pretend to be whatever you want. Whatever floats your boat. But it will always be everyone else's right to believe you or not.

The need for consistency and plausibility are the real issues in this thread.
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I hope this explains what I see as the difference between a magician and a mentalist...over a thirty year span I did kiddie magic shows/restaurant magic/walk around/stage, etc., yet I always wanted to transition, and become a mentalist, but I never got around to it (tuit)...heh...so, I'm now out of magic and have been for about 10 years, and I decided to put an act together...I hope I can have it ready to go in about 6 months (and it could take longer), to do it right...you can't just rush out and throw a few "mental effects" together and call yourself a mentalist...the right mental effects need to be selected to project yourself as someone with psychic abilities...after selection, they need to be practiced, a script needs to be written, and marketing must be done, etc...

IMHO, a magician performs a "magic show"...he does "magic tricks" to amuse an audience...a mentalist provides a demonstration of extra sensory perception (ESP), also called sixth sense, psychic abilities...the demonstrations will fall into several categories: telepathy, clairaudience, clairvoyance, precognition, etc...if you need definitions of what those mean, please let me know, and I'll provide them...being known as a magician and mixing magic and ESP together, would be the death knell of an act as a mentalist...all the audience needs to do is think "how did he fool me with that trick?" and you've failed as a mentalist...your "act" (don't forget Robert-Houdin's famous quote about acting) must be clearly NOT magic...there has to be a line between the two...now, I may do a few "magic tricks," occasionally, but only for relatives and friends...and, I won't be using my own name even though it hasn't been used in a decade, as a magician...I still want to get away from any remembrance of me as a magician thus, a stage name, and one that I hope will become somewhat known, at least locally...I don't specifically need "fame and fortune," as I'm just looking for a few gigs here and there to earn a bit more income (social security is a b*tch, to get myself out of the house (my mobility problem is giving me cabin fever), and the greatest focus will be on entertaining others...there's something that is calling me to do this, I only wish I'd done it earlier...I hope to carry nothing but a briefcase, and a very small sound system (I have several: small, medium, and large) as I'm also limited in what I can lift...but the urge to entertain tops everything...so, there's my two cents about the difference between a magician and a mentalist...if I'm wrong, please correct me...
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MagicalEducator
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On Jun 2, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
All I ever really said about Dunninger was to quote his famous remark, "Each time I add a prop my price goes down," which was said in the context of a discussion about the differences between mentalism and mental magic.

I fail to see how that is critical of magic or magicians in any way at all.

I went into a good bit of detail about my thoughts on magic and mentalism in my Guest of Honor week here in 2011.

This thread is a good example, although others touch on it as well:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=304

Bob


Bob,

It's time for me to relisten to your tele-seminars again anyways and I'm determined to find that Dunninger quote.

Jeff
Voted "Canada's Most Inspirational Magician"
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"Magic is Education" @
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Slim King
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On Jun 2, 2016, M. Tessler wrote:
I hope this explains what I see as the difference between a magician and a mentalist...over a thirty year span I did kiddie magic shows/restaurant magic/walk around/stage, etc., yet I always wanted to transition, and become a mentalist, but I never got around to it (tuit)...heh...so, I'm now out of magic and have been for about 10 years, and I decided to put an act together...I hope I can have it ready to go in about 6 months (and it could take longer), to do it right...you can't just rush out and throw a few "mental effects" together and call yourself a mentalist...the right mental effects need to be selected to project yourself as someone with psychic abilities...after selection, they need to be practiced, a script needs to be written, and marketing must be done, etc...

IMHO, a magician performs a "magic show"...he does "magic tricks" to amuse an audience...a mentalist provides a demonstration of extra sensory perception (ESP), also called sixth sense, psychic abilities...the demonstrations will fall into several categories: telepathy, clairaudience, clairvoyance, precognition, etc...if you need definitions of what those mean, please let me know, and I'll provide them...being known as a magician and mixing magic and ESP together, would be the death knell of an act as a mentalist...all the audience needs to do is think "how did he fool me with that trick?" and you've failed as a mentalist...your "act" (don't forget Robert-Houdin's famous quote about acting) must be clearly NOT magic...there has to be a line between the two...now, I may do a few "magic tricks," occasionally, but only for relatives and friends...and, I won't be using my own name even though it hasn't been used in a decade, as a magician...I still want to get away from any remembrance of me as a magician thus, a stage name, and one that I hope will become somewhat known, at least locally...I don't specifically need "fame and fortune," as I'm just looking for a few gigs here and there to earn a bit more income (social security is a b*tch, to get myself out of the house (my mobility problem is giving me cabin fever), and the greatest focus will be on entertaining others...there's something that is calling me to do this, I only wish I'd done it earlier...I hope to carry nothing but a briefcase, and a very small sound system (I have several: small, medium, and large) as I'm also limited in what I can lift...but the urge to entertain tops everything...so, there's my two cents about the difference between a magician and a mentalist...if I'm wrong, please correct me...

Will becoming a mentalist mean you are no longer a magician?
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
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