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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Beginning in Mentalism (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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noesgaardk
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I'm a regularly performing magician and I'd like to work on some mentalist routines.

Could anyone recommend a book, DVD or download to start off with?

Thanks!

Ken Noesgaard
Sean Giles
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Henry Hay - Amatuer magicians handbook
Tony Corina - 13 steps to mentalism
WitchDocChris
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First I have to ask - what is your motivation behind this addition?

From your post and your profile pic I have to assume you're usually more of a classic magician/clown?

I am thinking maybe you're looking for mental magic rather than the likely significant amount of change to performance style that mentalism would require.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Mindpro
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Couldn't agree more. My first thoughts were the exact same.

Perhaps the first step is to understand the difference between mental tricks and effects, and Mentalism.
noesgaardk
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That is my current target audience, yes.

I'm looking to diversify. I get requests for gigs with adult audiences and I find the mentalism show is a very interactive genre. Classic magic is a bit more demonstrative and the interactive is more my style.

For children's shows I will stick to my tried and true clown magician/balloon twister shtick, but this would be a whole new act, new persona.
WitchDocChris
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Ok! My advice is to start with Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals. Though you will get a lot of recommendations for 13 Steps, I look at that one as more of a reference volume. You wouldn't learn a language by reading the dictionary.

The big decision you want to make is: Are you doing mental magic, or mentalism.

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. They require distinctly different theatrical approaches to do well, and frequently the results will be drastically different as well. Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
noesgaardk
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That's what I was looking for!

Thank you, I'll track that down.
gmeister
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
Over

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. . . .Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief.


Nicely said.
dgcoates
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2016, Sean Giles wrote:
Henry Hay - Amatuer magicians handbook
Tony Corina - 13 steps to mentalism


For me this is an easy one: Anything by Patrick Redford....his new book "Applesauce" is stunning. I see him often working the counter at the Wunderground Magic Shop, in Clawson, Michigan
Dennis George Coates
dgcoates
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2016, gmeister wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 8, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
Over

Magic is related to mentalism but they are not the same thing. . . .Personally, I think the best way I can sum it up is saying that magic encourages the suspension of disbelief, whereas mentalism encourages belief.


Nicely said.


But we must be careful to not abuse the ability to make someone believe and imply, either directly or indirectly, there are spiritual/mystical forces at work....See the foreword by Teller in PS1 by Bannachek
Dennis George Coates
dgcoates
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I love to do mentalism for a variety of reasons: (1) as expounded upon by Max Maven; A wrong answer can be stunningly more profound and amazing than the "right" answer...once I was doing "Destination Unknown" by Ickle Pickle and gave the wrong answer and the spectator grew very silent and turned pale. He stated that's not what I chose but its really weird because I was just in "Hartford" for my father's funeral. This required some delicate and compassionate handling, of course. 2) Mentalism offers way more opportunities for amazing coincidences...was once doing the Dekram Deck for mother and her young teen age son...when she stopped on "my card" it was the six of spades. She asked if I could do it again for her son and when he stopped on "my card" it was the Seven of Spades..six and seven of spades. I really played that up, before revealing the card, and spoke of intense love and bonds between mother and son and how genetics can even influence thought. I just improvised as I went, like that was exactly what I had intended. Another strange coincidence was when I happened to have "Free Will" (by Corbuzier) in my pocket and, without any promoting from me, the conversation turned toward the religious thoughts regarding Calvinism (predestination) and Arminianism (free will)..guess what came out of my pocket?
Dennis George Coates
dgcoates
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Prompting from me
Dennis George Coates
WitchDocChris
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When I say "mentalism encourages belief" that does not mean belief in the supernatural.

Whatever you claim in mentalism, the performer is encouraging belief in that claim. If you claim to be a master of suggestion and influence, like Derren Brown, then you are going to be building your presentations around psychology, maths, etc.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
noesgaardk
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Quote:

But we must be careful to not abuse the ability to make someone believe and imply, either directly or indirectly, there are spiritual/mystical forces at work....See the foreword by Teller in PS1 by Bannachek


We must always use our powers for good...
Sudo Nimh
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I'm not going to get into trying to tell you what's right and what's wrong, what is mentalism, and what it isn't. No point.

Have a look at Richard Osterlind's "Easy to Master Mental Miracles" series. Why? Several reasons.

First, you'll learn a good variety of some classic effects that you can master relatively easily. There is also more than enough material in this 4 volume series to build a show with. Even if you decide afterwards that maybe mentalism isn't your cup of tea, you'll still have learned some excellent effects that you'll probably use regardless.

Second, Osterlind is a great Mentalist. He has a pleasant personality and will give you a great visual example of how this branch of Magic should be presented in performance. There are other approaches to be sure, but Osterlind's is good and solid.

If you're still interested and want to go further after that, there are many excellent resources available. A quick search here on the Café will give you more than ample information to take it from there.

Best of luck
Luke 21:25 - And there shall be signs in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
B_man2012
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I agree with Sudo,

EMMM is a great series that thought me the fundamentals of mentalism. Richard's likable personality along with his mastery of the art will give you more than you can hope for.
~ The Croatian Mentalist ~

>PM me if you need help with anything graphic design related!
noesgaardk
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

I have ordered:
13 Steps to Mentalism
Practical Mental Magic
Prism by Max Maven
Fundamentals by Bob Cassidy
noesgaardk
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Quote:
On Aug 16, 2016, Sudo Nimh wrote:

Have a look at Richard Osterlind's "Easy to Master Mental Miracles" series. Why? Several reasons.



Is EMMM a video series?
B_man2012
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Yes, its a DVD set
~ The Croatian Mentalist ~

>PM me if you need help with anything graphic design related!
Sudo Nimh
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Try not to bite off more than you can chew at first. Baby steps.
Luke 21:25 - And there shall be signs in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
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