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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mentalism Books and Resources (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Hakaput
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I am a hobbyist magician and desire to be a jack-all-trades and impromptu magician.

I have neglected mentalism so far and thus I am wondering what books and resources are out there for mentalism.
Ideally any resource I would get would be good for all ranges of experience. So that I could both learn the basics and some more advanced techniques.

I realize there are other threads on this topic, but all of the ones I saw were around 10 years old. I also realize that in most areas of magic the classics are older than then years old but I thought I would see if the recommended books from old threads are still recommend today.
Alexxander
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There is literally a thread like this every few weeks, if not more.

I have two questions for you:

Do you really want to be a jack of all trades? Seriously?

What interests you about mentalism?
Hakaput
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Alexxander upon further review you are correct that there are more recent threads on this. The either I do not know how to use the Café search feature well or it ought to be improved. I used the search feature rather than manually looking through the pages to see if this topic was done recently.

Yes I would like to be a jack-of-all trades. I know that that means that I won't truly master any branch of magic, but because I like Impromptu magic learning a little of everything appeals to me very much. That said I am currently by far a card magician and am just starting into Coin magic.

As far as what Interest me about mentalist. The fact that it can seem so powerful, most people know that you can do tricky things with a physical object, cards or coins ect. But for many the mind seems like something that cannot be effected or manipulated. Also because some mentalism can be done without a prob, or with simple every day things like pen and paper I could always be ready for some impromptu magic.
I am not a fan of the spooky or haunted or supernatural themed mentalism, though I assume that is mostly presentation style than anything else .
Tim Cavendish
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Here's the thing: If folks know you do regular magic, then nobody believes you're reading their mind. They know it's a trick, just like when you can find their card or float their dollar bill.

Mentalism isn't really powerful for the hobbyist who performs for friends and relatives, who know you, and know you don't have special powers. That's the real hook of mentalism -- that it might, just maybe, possibly be real. That's where its power comes from. But that requires an audience of strangers, which the hobbyist doesn't have available.
Marc O
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Quote:
On Nov 20, 2016, Tim Cavendish wrote:
Here's the thing: If folks know you do regular magic, then nobody believes you're reading their mind. They know it's a trick, just like when you can find their card or float their dollar bill.

Mentalism isn't really powerful for the hobbyist who performs for friends and relatives, who know you, and know you don't have special powers. That's the real hook of mentalism -- that it might, just maybe, possibly be real. That's where its power comes from. But that requires an audience of strangers, which the hobbyist doesn't have available.


Offtopic,

I am with you when you say that it will be more like mental magic when you perform magic tricks.
But if you choose your mentalism powers carefully then you can perform mentalism in front of friends and family.
Choose to go for memory skills, true/lie routines, influence of choices, CMR, pendulum routines,....
Mark Elsdon wrote about three different levels of skills, if you stay in level one you can pull it of in front of friends and family.

Ontopic,

Maybe the threads that where found where all 10 years old (although I doubt that), they will probably give you the same recommandations as the ones you will find in this topic.
Martin Pulman
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If you do not love mentalism as a separate and distinct art form, if it doesn't possess your creative thoughts, if you don't wish to delve deeply into its history and techniques in order to perform it well and do it justice, then do mentalism a favour -forget about it and stick to performing the magic you currently perform.
Hakaput
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Martin, I understand your concern. But without a starting point how am I able to develop a love for mentalism. I find when I watch magic acts a major part of my enjoyment is to be able to under stand a little of how it is done while being amazed by its execution and being puzzled when it goes beyond the basics. And for my own performance of magic I find pleasure in giving people an escape from mundane reality and giving them back the exited, joyful curiosity of their childhood. I'll admit that mentalism has never been my favorite form of magic. Neither was coin magic, but now that I have decided to learn some coin magic I am falling more in love with it as its own art and I am ever more entertained when watching performances. I believe that the same will probably be true with mentalism. But if after starting to learn some of the basics my interest in mentalism is not increased then I would not do much if anything with it, but I would at least have a good resource in case latter in life it pecked my interest again.
Mr. Woolery
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Hakaput, here's a very honest suggestion from someone who used to want to be a generalist and now wants to be a mentalist. Start by asking yourself what you want to do, specifically. Do you want to get "wow" moments from people? Keep doing what you are. Do you want to convince them you have abilities that are beyond just manipulative skill? Ah, that's something else!

Here's a very good list by one of the few performers who nobody disputes can write a list of suggestions. Others of similar experience might change some of the items on this list, but it is still a very good representation of what you can call a foundation for mentalism. http://www.lybrary.com/the-thirtynine-st......-10.html

I really like simplicity. Take card tricks for example. You already have enough effects at hand to present yourself as a psychic. Just think out how you would do it. If you are into m*scle r*ading, which is a real thing, you can also fake it with a deck of cards. K*y card tells you what the selected card is, so this is no-fail. Make a long ribbon spread of cards, have your participant hold your wrist, eliminate parts of the ribbon, narrowing it down to 3 or 4 cards. One of them is the chosen card. If you are really paying attention to the hand on your wrist you may be learning MR as you do this (which means you can eventually move away from trickery altogether!). Okay, now here's the convincer. Get it wrong. You do know the right card, but from the signals you are getting, select the one right next to it. This is a very easy way to show that you have a skill/ability that is not just trickery and manipulation because if it were a trick you would have gotten it 100%. You will get credit for this when you are off by one. I mean, who's going to ask you "so what's the trick?" Dead simple to do, too. But you have to be able to act.

Getting into a mental routine when you are known to your audience for tricks might be the hard part. One suggestion I have seen on these boards (sorry, can't remember who suggested it) is to say "lately I have been trying to learn how to do these things for real. May I try something with you?"

What I think makes me love mentalism the most is that I find I like people more now that I am thinking of how people think and feel instead of how to fool them. For that reason, I am shifting heavily into doing readings as opposed to performances. Just another thing to consider.

-Patrick
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Nov 20, 2016, Hakaput wrote:
Martin, I understand your concern. But without a starting point how am I able to develop a love for mentalism. I find when I watch magic acts a major part of my enjoyment is to be able to under stand a little of how it is done while being amazed by its execution and being puzzled when it goes beyond the basics. And for my own performance of magic I find pleasure in giving people an escape from mundane reality and giving them back the exited, joyful curiosity of their childhood. I'll admit that mentalism has never been my favorite form of magic. Neither was coin magic, but now that I have decided to learn some coin magic I am falling more in love with it as its own art and I am ever more entertained when watching performances. I believe that the same will probably be true with mentalism. But if after starting to learn some of the basics my interest in mentalism is not increased then I would not do much if anything with it, but I would at least have a good resource in case latter in life it pecked my interest again.


From your answer above I genuinely think that mentalism is not calling you strongly enough to make it a good choice. Either for you, or for mentalism.

It's not an art for a jack-of-all trades approach.
Hakaput
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Patrick aka Mr. Woolery, thank you for your suggestions of using my card magic in a mentalist way. I have done that a bit in the past but never very often. Though I'll admit that I never though of purposely being wrong for the sake of making it seem like it is not just a trick. I'll have to ponder over that suggestion.

Martin Pulman, Your insistent view that someone in my position, or at least myself, ought not to learn mentalism intrigues me. I would like to hear more in depth your reasoning so I can ponder and make the decision that would be best for me and for mentalism. Your statement "It's not an art for a jack-of-all trades approach" also intrigues me for it seems to me that mentalism would almost be a essential for being a jack-of-all trades. That one would need to learn both sleight of hand and sleight of mind. So if you wouldn't mind I would love to hear more in depth what you objections are.
Martin Pulman
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Hi Hakeput,

Thanks for your question. I believe mentalism should be a stand-alone art/entertainment. I think you are doing it a great disservice if you see it as just another thing to be added to your magic act. I think it only really works when people dedicate serious time and effort to not only perfecting its techniques and methods, but also to developing a performing persona that can deliver those techniques believably.

Regards,
Martin.
Waters.
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Hakaput,

There are no gate-keepers. While mentalism is a performance craft and many methods (most) depend on a theatrical deception, this is really where the similarities end. In magic there is "something to see". Most mentalism is implicit and the effect is a canvas for which to paint. If this reality leaves you feeling a bit cold, then mentalism may not be for you. Where magic can be performed without any subtext, it is a bit harder to do so with mentalism. The reason for the furvor above, is a sincere desire to not see presentations and classic effects become watered down by oceans of people joining in with mentalism to "add a bit". If you have an interest in mentalism, good for you. You may just want to perform that one piece for people you don't know and see how that feels. You may decide that this is something for you. I agree with Martin that if this is for you, it kind of swallows you in. It's hard to sip mentalism.

Best Regards,

Sean
Check out my (soon to be released) ebook, WANDERER at..
www.experience-architecture.com
sam___
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I'll add what Marc Paul said in his lecture (IDK if someone said it before him). If you do straight-up mentalism, people can engage more and believe in what you are doing. But if you are also doing magic tricks alongside it, your spectators will only think your mentalism is just 'magic tricks' and the effects will be devalued.

The best way of decerning if it is for you is to think, Do I get the same kick out of watching a mentalism effect than a magic trick? Am I enthusiastic enough about the art to fully respect it and do it justice whilst I perform it? and more importantly, Why do I want to do mentalism? If the answer is just to add another skill to your set (be a 'Jack-of-all-trades), stay well clear of the art, its not for you

All the best,

Sam
Mindpro
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Great points Sam
sam___
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Thank MindPro!
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