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David Thiel
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I just reread this thread because it’s fascinating. But the whole notion of the “Best Propless Mentalism” whatever is flawed. Here’s why: what flies with one audience falls flat with another. Given that “Best” refers to “best received” ... “best” is something that will have to be tailored for that group on that particular time.

A pendulum effect will blow some people away close-up, because they feel the ‘magic’ taking place in their hand — or they see it happening right next to them. But a pendulum effect is very difficult to do well on-stage without significant AV. Things like col* read*ng nearly always work if the performer has the ability to do it properly...but it’s something that requires a lot of hard work — and frankly also requires a willingness to fail a LOT in the initial learning stages.

Cent** Tea*s (and yes, in this context I consider paper effects to be candidates for ‘propless’) are devastating — especially when twinned with a dollop of solid col* readin*.

Conta*t Mind Readi*g is also very powerful — but it really requires hard work to get right...and there’s that willing to fail thing.

Here’s my suggestion: have four or five different METHODS at your fingertips...methods you know well. Make them methods you are comfortable with. Then you have a variety of different options to draw on, combine or blend. As you play around with them, you’ll find that what you’re doing can be perfectly designed for an audience...and that what you’re actually performing transcends someone else’s routine and becomes your own.

Hope this is helpful.

David
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Mark Timon
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Professional mentalists know that propless mentalism is boring and uninteresting, It might be used to enhance other effects in the show but never as the only resort for a routine. You all should read the chapter -Size Does Matter- in the book by Florian Severin, What lies inside.


Regards
Mark_Chandaue
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Quote:
On Mar 19, 2019, Mark Timon wrote:
Professional mentalists know that propless mentalism is boring and uninteresting, It might be used to enhance other effects in the show but never as the only resort for a routine. You all should read the chapter -Size Does Matter- in the book by Florian Severin, What lies inside.

I think this is a sweeping generalisation that is far from true. I think one thing pro’s do know is that whether an effect is propless or not matters little. How it fits in the show and the impact it has on the audience is far more important than whether or not it is propless. PK touches is one area where a propless effect is neither boring nor uninteresting. Likewise I have seen some extremely good completely propless Q&A’s. The Evason’s Do practically an entire propless act (not counting a blindfold) that is one of the most entertaining Mentalism shows I have seen.

I very much doubt that many pro’s specifically care whether or not an effect is propless, this is something that I think occupies the minds of those looking for the next best thing. On stage props can be a good thing as they add a visual element to the show. I don’t mean flashy sparkly boxes with rabbits and hats on, something as simple as a large pad for a reveal is a prop, a chair is a prop.

Laymen care less about props than many of us do, in many cases the props we use are psychologically invisible so from a layman’s perspective there is rarely a difference. Laymen care about whether you are engaging, entertaining and credible rather than whether your pk touches is entirely propless or uses a hidden gimmick.

Mark
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gabelson
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Quote:
On Mar 19, 2019, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 19, 2019, Mark Timon wrote:
Professional mentalists know that propless mentalism is boring and uninteresting, It might be used to enhance other effects in the show but never as the only resort for a routine. You all should read the chapter -Size Does Matter- in the book by Florian Severin, What lies inside.

I think this is a sweeping generalisation that is far from true. I think one thing pro’s do know is that whether an effect is propless or not matters little. How it fits in the show and the impact it has on the audience is far more important than whether or not it is propless. PK touches is one area where a propless effect is neither boring nor uninteresting. Likewise I have seen some extremely good completely propless Q&A’s. The Evason’s Do practically an entire propless act (not counting a blindfold) that is one of the most entertaining Mentalism shows I have seen.

I very much doubt that many pro’s specifically care whether or not an effect is propless, this is something that I think occupies the minds of those looking for the next best thing. On stage props can be a good thing as they add a visual element to the show. I don’t mean flashy sparkly boxes with rabbits and hats on, something as simple as a large pad for a reveal is a prop, a chair is a prop.

Laymen care less about props than many of us do, in many cases the props we use are psychologically invisible so from a layman’s perspective there is rarely a difference. Laymen care about whether you are engaging, entertaining and credible rather than whether your pk touches is entirely propless or uses a hidden gimmick.

Mark



Agreed. It is a well-known fact, certainly among mentalists and psychics, that what people care to hear about most is themselves. With that in mind, perhaps the LEAST boring effect you can do for someone is a reading. Or, as Mark mentioned, a propless Q&A.
Radoslav Sheytanov
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I have a anagram type think of a card trick without psychical cards . You can PM me for more information Smile
"A good magic effect should easily be described in one sentence."

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Stunninger
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It was here at The Café that I read in numerous threads over and over again, "learn a system" for giving readings. I took that advice to heart, and learned the core concepts of numerology, cartomancy and palm reading. The time invested in learning these systems was fairly minimal to grasp the basics. The real learning takes place when you start USING the systems.

Once you master a system for giving readings, you can introduce, anytime you choose, a reading aspect to your mentalism. Learning a system is incredibly powerful. And all three I've mentioned can be used entirely proplessly. For example, even with cartomancy you don't have to actually use playing cards, simply have the spectator use their intuition imagine one or several playing cards. Even if they are not familiar with playing cards (and some people are not), you can guide them, explaining the four suits, the number cards and picture cards.

"learn a system" for giving readings may be the best advice I've read here. At the very least, on the short list of best advice.
Elizabeth Brookes
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Elemental Manipulation
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Matt Pulsar
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2019, David Thiel wrote:
I just reread this thread because it’s fascinating. But the whole notion of the “Best Propless Mentalism” whatever is flawed. Here’s why: what flies with one audience falls flat with another. Given that “Best” refers to “best received” ... “best” is something that will have to be tailored for that group on that particular time.

A pendulum effect will blow some people away close-up, because they feel the ‘magic’ taking place in their hand — or they see it happening right next to them. But a pendulum effect is very difficult to do well on-stage without significant AV. Things like col* read*ng nearly always work if the performer has the ability to do it properly...but it’s something that requires a lot of hard work — and frankly also requires a willingness to fail a LOT in the initial learning stages.

Cent** Tea*s (and yes, in this context I consider paper effects to be candidates for ‘propless’) are devastating — especially when twinned with a dollop of solid col* readin*.

Conta*t Mind Readi*g is also very powerful — but it really requires hard work to get right...and there’s that willing to fail thing.

Here’s my suggestion: have four or five different METHODS at your fingertips...methods you know well. Make them methods you are comfortable with. Then you have a variety of different options to draw on, combine or blend. As you play around with them, you’ll find that what you’re doing can be perfectly designed for an audience...and that what you’re actually performing transcends someone else’s routine and becomes your own.

Hope this is helpful.

David


Just quoting because this is great. David, your comments are always valuable and well thought out. Thanks for writing this.
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Aaron Vlack
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aabc
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Proteus-Phedon Bilek-Just incredible mentalism that is relatively straightforward and hits really hard. Also, any psychological forces or equivoque can be very successful for me.
A Magic Cafe User
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Quote:
On Apr 2, 2019, aabc wrote:
Proteus-Phedon Bilek-Just incredible mentalism that is relatively straightforward and hits really hard. Also, any psychological forces or equivoque can be very successful for me.

Have you purchased this effect? I was wondering the level of skill needed for this effect.
- Just my humble opinion

The more you know, the more you know - Brainpop
aabc
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Quote:
On Apr 2, 2019, A Magic Café User wrote:
Have you purchased this effect? I was wondering the level of skill needed for this effect.


Yes! Very doable, but it will be different for each performer. BMWGuy rates it as 2/10 (for difficulty!) on his review here: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=4814
countrymaven
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For me, frankly, the best propless mentalism is to use a prop of any sort and then to make it diminish in importance to absolutely nothing in the spectator's mind. Then I can do a fake propless mentalism effect that rocks. Seriously, I am just not cut out for propless. I like direct acquisition of knowledge, through artifice, lies, or devilish trickery. Then I can pretend it is propless. They believe it is so, so what does it matter. I apologize for not fitting in well with the mentalist community. The same way I fit in with the magic doers.
Sudo Nimh
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Don't apologize. Wear your individuality and ability to not succumb to "group think" like a badge of honor.
I'm frequently hit with enlightening in the middle of a brain storm.
countrymaven
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Dear Sudo,
That is the first compliment for a different approach that I have received. I am very thankful for you!!!
MateosSpain
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Peter Turner and Fraser parker for the magicians
But my favorites are hypnosis and cold reading
Luciole
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It all depends on what you mean by "propless". If borrowing a piece of paper or a business card does not fit your criteria, then you will find your happiness in CMR, progressive anagrams, hypnosis, cold reading, downsing, tells...
Otherwise it is possible to perform real miracles with a simple p**k or CT. You are surefire and the impression left for your audience is an impromptu effect.
Finally, there are effects that seem propless but are prepared. I'm thinking of using a n**l wr***r for example.
252life
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I’m impressed with PropNess (13Souls) and would absolutely recommend it
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adgnyc
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Quote:
On Sep 2, 2017, Looch wrote:
The best propless piece of mentalism I've seen is Train Tracking... and that's by a LONG shot.

There are other interesting propless approaches but I often feel they should be peppered into other, more classical routines to create a well rounded hybrid approach.


I think that this two-year-old suggestion by Looch is right on the money. I am by no stretch of the imagination a professional, but I was asked to perform a piece of mentalism at a friend's dinner party recently and, requests such as this being few and far between, I, of course, said yes. I did a routine that combined a propless not-sure-thing with one of the oldest sure-fire tricks in the book.

I began by explaining that there was no trick to what I was about to do, that I would be doing exactly what I claimed to be doing, which was getting someone to think of a card that I wanted them to think of by mere suggestion. I asked for a volunteer who believed that this was possible. For the woman who volunteered, I did Derren Brown's 3 of Diamonds psychological force from Pure Effect. She named the 3 of Spades, which was a miss but not bad.

I then said that I was a glutton for punishment and would try something even more difficult: using suggestion to get someone to think of a card over the phone. I asked the woman if she knew someone who would almost certainly pick up if she called. When she said, "Yes," I said, "This is someone with whom you feel a deep connection." This was a pretty reasonable assumption, given that she was sure this woman would lick up, but she gasped nonetheless (an easy freebie). I then tried, over the phone, to (not that subtly) force the 7 of spades on her friend. She ended up choosing the 4 of spades. By luck, I happened to have a deck of cards with one, and only one, card reversed...

The reaction was huge, and these were smart, sophisticated people. I'm convinced that the propless attempted force that I started with made the second effect land with more impact and took the heat off the inv***ble deck. Speaking of which, a brilliant and very experienced mentalist gave me a tip re the inv***ble deck, which was to make sure that the deck had been closed, boxed, and put away before revealing the card. I'm sure that this would be second nature for some of the more experienced members on here, but, for me, it was a lesson in paying attention to all the details.
Adam Green
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snm
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