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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Blueprint for mentalism show (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tedari
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Hi all. Thank you so much for your contributions to my questions.

If I am honest my interest in magic has been around since I was a child and I have performed magic tricks, card tricks, and betting tricks for family and friends for some kind. I enjoy it but my focus is on mentalism and mind magic. I would prefer to focus on mentalism and learn this as a core methodology. I understand that it is not ok to expose secrets, and that is the reason that I haven't done any performance to this day. If I was reckless and didn't respect the arts I would just go and do them, but I really want to get a solid foundation.

I will do as suggested though and learn some 'mind magic' effects and practice those first.

WitchDocChris: that is great advice and I love acting. I do it already so a little more focus on my acting objectives for theatre based magic is a good shout.

jstreiff your idea that I focus on magic first: do you mean parlour magic, card magic, children's magic? let me know what you think.

Mike: I've heard a few people recommend Fundamentals and that's where I will start for mentalism with Corinda's book, which I already have a copy of: just haven't used it extensively.
Looch
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Tedari, in a way I envy you...You are at the start of what will be a beautiful journey. You are stood at a crossroads and have to decide on which way to go. I am willing you to take the proper path, the road where you learn and understand what mentalism really is...its a journey that will take you a life time, but there are many many highs on its way.

Don't try to put on a mentalism show yet....

Read read read and digest, learn to question things and think for yourself then read and read again.

Bob Cassidys work is a wonderful place to start understanding what Mentalism IS...
My Mentalism Products: https://www.readmymind.co.uk/
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Slim King
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Blaze your own trail ... decide what you want to do and copy no one. Do your own deceptions. Don't be like everyone else. Don't just make some else's effect your own, although that's a good start .. BUT INSTEAD devise your own mental illusions that no one else does. Be Unique ,,,
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
John C
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On Feb 7, 2017, Slim King wrote:
Blaze your own trail ... decide what you want to do and copy no one. Do your own deceptions. Don't be like everyone else. Don't just make some else's effect your own, although that's a good start .. BUT INSTEAD devise your own mental illusions that no one else does. Be Unique ,,,


Darn... Now you tell me.
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SilasJude
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I would highly recommend tossing out the idea of a "show". Considering your circumstances and experience, I believe choosing a single, relatively simple, demonstration would work best. Take this single effect and put your life into it for a solid month. Learn how to sell an effect no matter how basic the method. Mike Ince recommended 'Maximum Entertainment' and I am fairly certain everyone on this forum would add their endorsement as well. Very little of the astonishment that you are looking to create will come from the raw "trick". Your build up and sell of what you are claiming to do will be the real meat of your act.

If you are dying to show someone what you are working on and are looking for critique, look for a magic club in your area or find other committed mentalists to work with. You definitely don't want to expose anything for the sake of the art.
Billy-one
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Tedari,

A problem (in my opinion) that you will find in this community is that everyone is worried about exposure. I say, learn a few effects you like and then start performing them. No matter how much you read at home you will be no closer to performing an show. You have to get out there and take your knocks. You will find what you like to do in time. Less reading more performing.

respect,
Billy
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Mindpro
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On Feb 7, 2017, Billy-one wrote:
Tedari,

A problem (in my opinion) that you will find in this community is that everyone is worried about exposure.


I think it's actually much more than that. If you attempting to perform mentalism and it comes off as unbelievable or magic tricks you will only ever be seen as a magician. I think the greater concern to many is that when you (or anyone) does a bad mentalism performance or a performance that is seen as magic, it hurts the entire community.

Mentalism, unlike magic is not plug and play, self-working or out of the box "do it." It is an understanding, a separation, understanding the role of performing mentalism (and responsibility) and the role of the audience - how it being received and perceived. This doesn't happen out of the box. Everyone knows magic is fake, a deception, trickery, not real. The opposite is true with mentalism. People want to believe it is real, they want to believe you have abilities, the want it to be real. With this comes a whole load of responsibility, unlike most other types of performers. There are many, many levels to performing decent mentalism. This can't be learned quickly. It is a process and the process requires commitment. This is why so many have said the things they have, not to discourage, but not to offer false hope, premise, expectations and with a concern for not doing damage to all of us and the industry and art.

Unlike magic, when this is done properly in he right sequential order, exposure rarely exists. (I'm saying much of this because Bob is not here to offer such advice, as you know he would.)
Billy-one
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Mindpro,

I don't disagree but no matter how much home study one would get it still never prepares him for real world work. So, lets say that you find an effect or two that you like. Then, you practice the mechanics. Next, get a little script together. Finally, hit the road with it. Do it often and everywhere. That is the best way to learn how to be a mentalist....not reading the steps over and over(imo). But that's assuming that you know yourself (dude is 33) and you have some speaking chops (maybe more important in mentalism then mechanical chops) and you are ready and willing to understand mistakes and overcome obstacles.

I think the fastest way to become a performer is to perform. I think **** performers are worse for the industry then exposure ever will be.

respect,
Billy
Mindpro
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I agree that in the field, real world performance is a must - when one is ready for this. As you say, once those certain things are in place, yes, it is part of the process. It is actually the most beneficial, yet hurtful, yes encouraging, yet discouraging, yet ultimately rewarding part of the process. You have to have place to perform, a place to be bad, a place to hone your skills. Open mics are great for this.

My point is doing this prematurely or coming off as magic from wanting to hurry to perform before certain layers are understood and in place, can lead to him say doing an open mic, claiming to be a mentalist, coming off as only a magician doing tricks, then it becomes hard to ever convince an audience to believe any of your mental claims or abilities once such damage has been done.
Billy-one
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Mindpro,

I fully agree.

Yet, it seems like the time and reading that was given as advice is excessive in my opinion.

The hardest part is going out there.

I would never advise a formal show for how "new" he is but I don't think the OP was referring to a formal show.

Also, when someone is perceived as doing magic vs mentalism then they see a "real" mentalist I don't think the audience associates the two.

Either way, I think we are on the same page but perhaps not the same timeline.

respect,
Billy
Alexxander
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Quote:
On Feb 7, 2017, Mindpro wrote:

Mentalism, unlike magic is not plug and play, self-working or out of the box "do it."




In fact, magic isn't self working either. Or any performance art, for that matter.
Al Straker
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Tedari, Thanks for sharing so honestly where you are at, I like your attitude and willingness to seek out guidance and listen carefully to it.

Here are the goals I would set for myself if I was you....

1. Market yourself as a magician and find a regular venue to do walk around/close up for a few hours a week or more. Aim to perform a minimal number of routines but do them better than anyone else and think through every aspect of them, timing, pacing, adding tension & drama etc etc until you are garnering some BIG reactions to these routines. Each routine you feel you wish to master requires at least 160 high quality performances to become 'unconscious action' and perfectly absorbed in to your permanent memory. Enjoy each performance and aim at connecting with the people more so than performing for them.

2. Work on your acting & scripting more than your magic/mentalism - as an aspiring performer it's the acting that is critical to success.

3. Introduce a small number of low risk mental magic/mentalism effects that require the simplest of props and gradually work these in to your walk around sets. Again refine and hone these until the responses you are getting move from "How did you do that?" to "How did you know that?" Once you are regularly getting the second type of response regularly you know you are starting to come across as possibly 'the real deal' to an extent.

4. Working from your strengths and considering a main 'theme' that works for your character, piece together a short parlour style mentalism show (15-30 mins) from the best material you have developed and rehearse/develop this show until every aspect of it is second nature and the effects move seamlessly from one to the next with common binding themes and ideas being consistently presented. Try to give the show some context, meaning and an over-arching message that keeps being re-enforced by all the show's artistic elements.

5. Aim to get a couple of 'non-critical' bookings for this show and use these to make a full video of the show. Examine these with a highly critical eye thinking in terms of what would a 'top grade' entertainer do to improve on this - make notes and go about refining and polishing your show. From here it's a lifetime commitment to improving each performance you do.

Sounds like your commitment is strong so I wish you well in developing a successful pathway to becoming the performer you want to be.

Best,
Al
Al Straker
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(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

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