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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Problems to be solved in mentalism? (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Delimbeau
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May the magic be with you
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What are the most important problems still to be solved in mentalism?
Alexxander
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There are countless problems I have with mentalism...

One of the things most mentalism lacks (in my opinion) is the element of surprise.
Many effects are too predictable and the audience gets ahead of you.
I am still trying to find a way to incorporate surprises in my routines...
Cervier
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Girls. We still don't attract them as much as singers or guitar players do.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
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Telemos en Francais sur TheMysteryStore
WitchDocChris
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Speak for yourself Cervier. Smile

In my opinion the problem to be solved is in making it consistent, and making the whole thing engaging and interesting. I see a lot of mentalism performed that is just "Think of a word, mix up the letters, that word is *blah*"

Like magicians telling the adventure of the props, mentalists often just contrive a way to say a word. I do not personally find this very interesting.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
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Cervier
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Quote:
On Dec 16, 2016, Cervier wrote:
Girls. We still don't attract them as much as singers or guitar players do.

ERRATUM: my wife just told me that wasn't a problem, not one that must be solved anyway...
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
Telemos the peek envelope, on SkywardMagic
Telemos en Francais sur TheMysteryStore
bofx
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Smile
My mentalism books: Mental Sweets 1 - Mental Sweets 2
Mindpro
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Lol
E.E.
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A problem I see is that there far more magicians/mental magicians pretending to be mentalists nowadays.
I shall see you on the other side.
ed wood
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Creating a genuine dichotomy between magic and mentalism in the eyes of the general public.
A start would be if greedy mentalists stop selling and advertising their tricks directly to the magic market. If you're as successful as you claim go make your money performing not selling your weekly version of a pin number revelation as a 10 dollar download through penguin. We are in no position to complain about magicians trivialising mentalism by performing such in their shows if mentalist make their products so readily available.
In my opinion even the very best have only 1 or 2 books of material in them over a lifetime so when I see supposedly respected mentalists releasing new ebooks, videos and tricks on an almost weekly basis it makes me question how how our art form has sunk.
P.s. I'm sitting in the car park of Stevenage novotel with 3 hours to go until my next show after driving out of central London in rush hour after a lunchtime show and am feeling very cranky!! Rant over.
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
Creating a genuine dichotomy between magic and mentalism in the eyes of the general public.


Not trying to start an argument or anything here, but what would this achieve?
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Dec 16, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
Quote:
Creating a genuine dichotomy between magic and mentalism in the eyes of the general public.


Not trying to start an argument or anything here, but what would this achieve?

It might bring back the air of genuine mystery that used to surround mentalism.

But you might as well try to catch the wind...
WitchDocChris
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How would it do that?

I think the creation of an air of mystery is down to the performer, not the label they attempt to give themselves.

And as I've said in another thread, we can't control how the audience labels us, really. Mentalist, magician, whatever - as long as they're entertained the label doesn't really matter. Derren is called a variety of things by laymen and he's one of the most successful magic-type performers in the world currently.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
Martin Pulman
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So you don't think the choice of material has anything to do with creating an air of genuine mystery?

I think even Derren might lose some of his believability if his set consisted of Hippity Hoppity Rabbits, Multiplying Bottles and a finale of the Zig-Zag girl illusion.
WitchDocChris
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And that is a choice that has to be made by the performer, vis-a-vis character and such.

What I'm saying is, it doesn't matter what you call yourself, and to some degree it won't matter what label the audience chooses to call you. You could take material that has the potential to be very mysterious and wreck it, or you could take otherwise mediocre material and make it wonderful.

The trick is not necessarily mysterious in and of itself. Revealing a name that was written down can be boring or incredible or somewhere in between, depending on the skill of the performer in engaging the audience and creating a theatrical experience for them.

I don't see how defining the difference between magic and mentalism will have any effect outside of the magic world itself. We care about these differences but in my admittedly limited experience, I don't think audiences really do.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
sbays
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What's lacking in mentalism - Showmanship.

And as far as mystery goes, I think "mystery" goes right out the window when guys go the whole NLP / Body Language route. To pull that off, you better be one hell of a showman. I have only seen a couple that can do it well.

I have heard a lot lately when "mentalists" say they don't want to tell people they are reading minds or give that impression. Erm ... ok well there is an easy fix for that problem. Don't do mentalism. This is where you fall into mental magic or magic. Mentalism IS reading minds as far as I am concerned. If you don't want to give that impression, well there's always the ambitious card.
"Opportunity may only knock once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
Martin Pulman
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So, you think hippity hoppity rabbits can be presented as mentalism as a choice "vis-a-vis a character'?
WitchDocChris
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Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I never said hippity hoppity rabbits can be presented as mentalism. I'm saying the individual performer has to choose material appropriate to their character, and then that performer has to make it mysterious.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
Martin Pulman
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The main problem in mentalism is that mentalism effects are now being performed en-masse by magicians, or as casual amateur tricks, with the inevitable loss of believability of the effects themselves.

And without the air of believability and genuine mystery, mentalism will be irreparably damaged.
IAIN
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The logic of it doesn't quite fit (in my opinion)...

if someone does something badly, with a magician's POV, or a casual amateur trick - then it gets seen as, and treated as a trick, right?

so it'll be seen as a magician, doing a magician's trick...

so if a mentalist takes the same thing, and does the "right" thing, does all the things other people who profess to being a true mentalist does, and knows how to perform it properly - then it won't even for a second be seen or thought of as a trick, right?

we have a magician doing a trick and a mentalist sharing a mystery...

so how can the trick damage the mystery?

devil's advocate kinda question I suppose...
I've asked to be banned
WitchDocChris
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I agree with Iain.

Respectfully, I don't agree that poor performances are ruining magic or mentalism. They may be, at most, making good performers work a little harder. I don't think that's a bad thing.

I am willing to bet we have all seen a "good" trick done so poorly that it didn't entertain anyone and possibly gave away a clever method. I am also willing to bet we have all been thoroughly entertained and/or fooled by methods that are fairly common but were used in a clever or unique way. I am further willing to bet we have had both of those experiences with the same trick done by different performers.

It is the performer's job to make their method deceptive and their performance entertaining. Laymen don't obsessively remember methods like we do. Even if they have seen a poor performance a particular trick, that same trick can still be done in an interesting and unique way that will entertain the audience.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
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