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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » A Cure To The Dichotomy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ibm_usa
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In Your Mind, Ky, USA
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I hate to seem like I'm beating a dead horse with this post but I'm sure many have had the issue of battling out two identities/passions - magic and mentalism.

I agree firstly that doing magic and mentalism creates a problem in the perception of audiences (magic implies trickery, gaff, gimmick, secret) and that can harm the realness of mentalism.

While I have no yet tried this, it sounds sound and anyone can feel free to comment on this but here is the cure - I'm more of a psychological mentalist, I mostly do propless demonstrations. If a prop is used, it's by no means gaffed or funky (usually borrowed items). I think the lack of props in mentalism can help clear up the confusion if magic is done in the same show.

Then again, I've said this before - most people don't know what a mentalist is - any time something occurs that goes beyond logical explanation - magic is the default explanation. I've found in my own personal experience is that even if you tell people that you're a mentalist - they often times refer to you as a magician. Laymen don't think the same way we do. It maybe just me but I've given up on trying to fight this, you can't change the minds of some 7 billion people or help them change their default biases in their brain.

Hope this made sense.

If you're passionate about both ends of the mystery spectrum want want to do both or do two separate shows - I say go propless on the mentalism.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
ibm_usa
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In Your Mind, Ky, USA
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P.s I maybe having this mental conflict because I'm in my off performance season ( I don't get booked as much in the winter months as I do spring, summer and fall) so I maybe just trying to justify a cognitive dissonance I'm having in wanting to expand the markets by getting into the bar scene - the bars here where I live are loud and I know for a fact mentalism doesn't work well in these venues but if I'm on to something or I am completely wrong - please share your thoughts.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
WitchDocChris
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I solved that dichotomy by creating a character that allows me to perform everything I like without muddying the waters. I don't call myself a "mentalist" or "magician" - I'm a Witch Doctor.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
ibm_usa
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Quote:
On Dec 1, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
I solved that dichotomy by creating a character that allows me to perform everything I like without muddying the waters. I don't call myself a "mentalist" or "magician" - I'm a Witch Doctor.

I should have mentioned in the OP that I no longer bill myself as magician or mentalist but as "psychological entertainer" or "entertainer / speaker" depending on the marketing I'm doing.
I am first and foremost a entertainer. My goal is to educate/inform and entertain. When I'm doing magic, just magic my main and only goal is to entertain, when I'm doing mentalism this is usually with a large audience and I'm entertaining and informing them on how to better themselves in various aspects from memory, attention, etc - putting my education in psychology to good use.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
Cervier
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If going propless when you do mentalism helps you solve that "dichotomy", that's fine Smile

But I strongly disagree that props weaken mentalism (I also disagree that "propless" makes it stronger, but even though it could look like the same topic, it's not).

What props are we talking about?

Of course, if one's mentalism requires sponge balls, rings and silks, then, granted, props could let the audience think they're looking at a magician, not at a mentalist.
Are we talking about playing cards? Ok, let's talk about cards. Well, I believe it's only if we perform "obvious card tricks", or if we use cards too much that the theme shifts from mindreading (or whetever theme one dressed up his mentalism with) to "cards, lots of cards" to "so that's magic".

What about... pens? Notepads? Books? Timewatches? Business cards? Index cards? Newspapers? Books? Are those "props"? Of course they are. But the right question is: does the audience view them as props? My bet is (my hope is Smile ) in their minds it registers as "everyday object".

Let's take this a step further. Why are "everyday objects" ok? Sticking specifically to mentalism, I'd say it's because mentalism is real, as in "real life", and it makes sens to use "real life objects". So really, the point is that those objects "make sense". Then probably, using ESP cards (that are not "everyday"!) would work? Then using a blindfold would be ok, if it makes sense in the performance? Black and white balls? Nails hidden in paper bags?

It boils down to props making sense with the routine (an advice experienced magicians gave me when I started magic, BTW, so I guess one could say it's not specific to mentalism Smile )


My point is not that propless is bad. My point is, "propless" is a style, a choice one makes from an artistic POV. Like one could choose to use wood props only. Or to dress in a white gown. It fits some characters. It can't be compared to "prop-with" in a "more convincing/less convincing" trial.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
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Marc O
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Quote:
On Dec 2, 2016, ibm_usa wrote:

Laymen don't think the same way we do. It maybe just me but I've given up on trying to fight this, you can't change the minds of some 7 billion people or help them change their default biases in their brain.



I think the problem is that far to many people who pose themself as mentalist have created their own believe of being looked at as a mentalist while the participants and spectators just look at them as modern magicians.
You realy have to be very, very, good in your job as a mentalist to also be seen as a mentalist by your environment.

People are so much smarter then they where 50, 40 or even 30 years ago because of television and the internet, that it takes a lot to convince them of real powers.
I think in percentage terms there are far more mentalist that believe that their audience is looking at real powers then there are laymen who believe in those powers.

By not calling yourself a mentalist anymore you have found a solution to the problem, just be whatever the audience want's you to be.
ibm_usa
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In Your Mind, Ky, USA
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Quote:
On Dec 2, 2016, Marc O wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 2, 2016, ibm_usa wrote:

Laymen don't think the same way we do. It maybe just me but I've given up on trying to fight this, you can't change the minds of some 7 billion people or help them change their default biases in their brain.



I think the problem is that far to many people who pose themself as mentalist have created their own believe of being looked at as a mentalist while the participants and spectators just look at them as modern magicians.
You realy have to be very, very, good in your job as a mentalist to also be seen as a mentalist by your environment.

People are so much smarter then they where 50, 40 or even 30 years ago because of television and the internet, that it takes a lot to convince them of real powers.
I think in percentage terms there are far more mentalist that believe that their audience is looking at real powers then there are laymen who believe in those powers.

By not calling yourself a mentalist anymore you have found a solution to the problem, just be whatever the audience want's you to be.


I've also gone a extra step by no longer billing myself a mentalist. My reasoning for this is simple - very few people know what a mentalist is plus calling yourself a "psychological entertainer" or just "entertainer" gives you more perceived value IMHO. It shows the public that you are first and foremost a entertainer. That is you should be. I have also abandoned and no longer say words like "mindreading", "esp", "trick" in my language patterns.

I hate to bring him up but he is a good example of this rebranding effort that a few of us are doing to separate ourselves from the stereotypes - there is a reason why Criss Angel came up with "mindfreak".

People have said elsewhere that the road to success is breaking the rules. Presented the right way - the two (mentalism and magic) can be present in the same show without creating confusion.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
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