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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Acknowledging it's all a trick (48 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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AndreOng1
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On Oct 6, 2016, The Hermit wrote:
There has been so much mental !@#$%^&*()_+ on this subject here and elsewhere it's gotten ridiculous. If you are a mentalist or a magician for that matter you are a mystery performer. The whole act must have an air of mystery. How you create that doesn't really matter. Once you explain a mystery or analogize it, it is no longer a mystery and no longer worth paying for.

You trash Uri Gellar. He made fame and fortune and always played it as real. What was wrong with that? He kept the mystery going for years. People went to see him because there was a dichotomy in their mind - he does miraculous things, no one can really do these things, how does he do it for real?, It's not real, but I don't know how it works, maybe it is real, it can't be. That is the basis for the mystery.

Once you take that away you are not a mystery performer or mentalist anymore. You're a hack pretending to do things. Who wants to pay for that?

If people don't think what I do could be real, they won't pay for it. Deceiving them is part of the bargain. Why disappoint them?



Well said, big part of why they coming to see you its that they want to experience the mystery, curiosity of the unknown.
Deliberate revealing it will kill the magic. I guess it really comes down to ethics as now you have set yourself up to be this "super human" individual.
With great power comes great responsibility .
Second Sight
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On Nov 12, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
Even if not admitting trickery, maybe it's good to acknowledge the effects are for entertainment, just like fortune cookies or professional wrestling--the reason being that the methods of the mystery arts can be and indeed are used for nefarious purposes.

When the performance is a show, the context may be assumed.

When doing telepathy or readings off stage (in bars, classrooms, streets, homes), the context of art or fun may need to be made clear.


These are interesting points. But it is worth noting that fortune cookies do not come with disclaimers. Neither do the horoscopes in the newspapers. What if someone based major life decisions on a fortune cookie? Come to think of it, I sort of do that. No big deal. Just a bit of fun.

Just because a magician is handy with a pack of cards and maybe even does pseudo gambling demonstrations, doesn't mean he is guilty of cheating at cards.

Mentalists engage in all sorts of ritualistic "play" which hints at all manner of things from divination to telepathy to super psychology, but it doesn't mean they are defrauding bereaved widows.
Second Sight
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And professional wrestling doesn't really come with a disclaimer either. I loved it as a kid. I heard rumors that it was fake, but I had a hard time seeing how all of it could be fake. I think that Geraldo Rivera even did an expose. But clearly it wasn't ALL fake. I mean, the physics were still real and laws of the universe weren't suspended. Clearly some of it HAD to hurt, for real.

I'm still a bit confused about what is and is not real, and it doesn't hurt me, and nobody cares. Mentalists worry a lot. I don't think that wrestlers do.

It's like Eugene Burger says in Magic and Meaning and his first Penguin lecture: Once the audience knows that the snakes are fake, then what's the point? What's the point?
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