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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Mentalism Definitively Defined (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sven Rygh
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Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, Max Hazy wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, RCP wrote:
Cassidy and Osterlind are magicians. You don’t have to believe me let’s look at Richards own words.

“If you're looking for new, cutting-edge ideas in magic and mentalism, you've come to the right place!”

http://www.osterlindmysteries.com/

Do your own research for bob, I’m tired of casting pearls before swine.......,


OMG... Cassidy a magician... and he was the greatest defender of mixing things = different perspectives.

I was going to talk about marketing strategies of including the word "magic" when promoting or being known as something before doing something else, but reaching this point, it became a waste of time. The topic, the discussion, the complainers... pretty much helpless.


Cassidy was absolutely not, but Osterlind indeed is
It is enough to have a look on the "things" he markets and his performing style to understand that

- but by all means, magicians can be cool people too!
RCP
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On Oct 28, 2017, Sven Rygh wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, Max Hazy wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, RCP wrote:
Cassidy and Osterlind are magicians. You don’t have to believe me let’s look at Richards own words.

“If you're looking for new, cutting-edge ideas in magic and mentalism, you've come to the right place!”

http://www.osterlindmysteries.com/

Do your own research for bob, I’m tired of casting pearls before swine.......,


OMG... Cassidy a magician... and he was the greatest defender of mixing things = different perspectives.

I was going to talk about marketing strategies of including the word "magic" when promoting or being known as something before doing something else, but reaching this point, it became a waste of time. The topic, the discussion, the complainers... pretty much helpless.


Cassidy was absolutely not, but Osterlind indeed is
It is enough to have a look on the "things" he markets and his performing style to understand that

- but by all means, magicians can be cool people too!


Count the number of times magic or magician is used.

http://www.magicana.com/news/blog/take-two-9-bob-cassidy

Bob was a great performer. There were a lot of magician mentalist especially early on. They worked both sides, With instant news its harder to be both (a true mentalist) now.

These discussions started 3 or 4 threads ago about ethics in mental-ism. You don't have to take my word, lets see what the greats said?

"As a mentalist, you must become accustomed to perpetrating outright swindles without so much as a twinge of conscience...”
Tony Corinda.

“Mental-ism is a commercial-mercenary. If you wish. It functions only for
profit.” Robert Nelson

The notion of "for entertainment only" or I am using "psychological tells and muscle reading" had nothing to do with being ethical. Municipalities passed laws against fortune telling (tellers) these and using religion were shams to get around being arrested while plying the trade.

There is nothing wrong with being a magician. There is something unnatural about trying to be something your not.
Mindpro
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On Oct 27, 2017, Sealegs wrote:
Mindpro, on the previous page of this thread you took a partial quote from the definition I offered: "...suspension of disbelief for mind based illusions..."

Your clarification was as to why this is a magicians definition was, "This is what I [Mindpro] was referring to. "Illusions" says fake, unreal, pretend, pseudo, deceit, etc. - Magic!"

Illusion does indeed say fake, deceit etc but your jump to that being, 'magic' doesn't make any sense to me. We are discussing a definition of mentalism not how magicians and mentalists promote themselves.

The methods of Cassidy, Osterlind et al are the means by which they create the fake/unreal/pretend/pseudo, illusion of genuine otherworldly phenomena or abilities that are presented as not being fake unreal pretend, or pseudo. Unless you are claiming Cassidy and Osterlind didn't/don't use methods in their work your position, that utilising some form of illusion must result in 'magic' rather than anything else, would make Cassidy and Osterlind magicians and not mentalists.

You seem to be treating the offered definition at it as if was a description someone might give of themselves in their publicity materials. This is (to my mind) a bizarre leap to make. The two things are not the same.





In many of your posts you seem to cross the line back and forth between us as in the community and the public/lay meanings and perceptions.

As I said, I operate from an industry perspective of providing buying and selling mentalism for the consumption of a public or lay audience, not mentalists, magicians or “the community.”

Yes, I referred to promotional materials, as I stated, that we receive at our agencies. But it also applies to how we present ourselves as well. Most mentalist's promo materials are based on exactly as the see, explain and position themselves, so yes, more times than not they are the same thing.

The point is the word “illusions” used in any type of our such performance context connotes “magic” to most laypeople (perhaps even deceit). I have sat in an audience where a well known mentalist asked me to come see his show where when he took the stage and said I use….and……and..…to create the illusion of mind reading…”. and literally heard the guy next to me lean over to his wife and say (loud enough for all of us around him to hear) “ah, see, this guy is not a mind reader he’s creating the illusion of mind reading. He’s just a magician”. He said this in a very disappointed, duped tone. To him, at that very moment he realized he paid to see a mind reader/mentalist (possibly even psychic) and was getting a fake, pretend mind reader/mentalist.

Also how a mentalist promotes themselves, DOES create positioning and expectation to both buyers and audiences. They are perceived as two different things. We (my agencies) are currently in the busy booking season for holiday events, mostly company parties. We regularly receive phone calls where they specifically state “we’ve had a DJ, a comedian and a magician in the past. This year we want something really different. We were thinking of a mind reader/mentalist/psychic entertainer.” They specifically distinguish a difference between mentalism and magic. Several have even told us, we tried to hire a mentalist/mind reader last year, but when he performed for us he was really just a magician doing mind reading tricks.” They see it as different, and also see a difference between a “real” mind reader/mentalist and a magician doing mental tricks/effects.

So yes, how we position, market and refer to ourselves makes a huge difference. We will not even consider working with anyone who blurs that line or does not understand this. We have far too much at risk with long term 6 and 7 figure clients to jeopardize that because a magician doesn’t understand the difference between how the two are perceived and received.

No offense, but this is why none of this historical reflection or views matters on such a level of commercial performance. I get theoretically to enthusiasts it may be interesting or even important to them, but I can honestly tell you in over 35 years of performing and operating my agencies full-time not once has any of this ever come into play or even a mention or discussion. Heck I’ve worked with probably close to 60 mentalists as performers and coaching clients over the years and the topic has never even come up with any of them either.

Again, like so much here, there is a difference from those that are just fans, hobbyists and enthusiasts, to those that perform for their living, livelihood and commercially.
Sealegs
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Mindpro, I get it now. Your reply, to the definition of mentalism that I offered, was made from your specific perspective of mentalism. So you've placed my definition within commercial environments and scenarios and applied it and utilised it in that context.

While I understood the points you were making I didn't understand how you got to those points because the definition I gave wasn't aimed to be applied or used from just that perspective and it those ways. (such as being mentioned in promo materials, or spoken of as any sort of description of ones performance, etc) And this brings into focus the very point that the original post was making and what I thought this thread was setting out to address..

"What we think dosn't really matter although like in all professions, we may have our own vocabulary. It's why lawyers still use Latin, to keep us from knowing what they know. So maybe our definitions matters more? A consensus would be helpful."

I completely agree, that what mentalists think about mentalism is of no real consequence. But the OP also talks about mentalism/mentalists having their own vocabulary and that a consensus of a definition might be helpful. It seemed to me that the 1st couple or so pages of this thread were largely tackling this task at face value. Of course, it is largely just an intellectual exercise of no real consequence to anyone except maybe for those who frequent these forums. At least with a consensus among those who come here everyone might then know what is being talked about and not talked about when discussing.... mentalism.

Without such a consensus you have, Mindpro insisting that commercial mentalism is the only perspective that matters and whoever else saying that whatever their perspective might be is the only one that matters.

This way of thinking was brilliantly encapsulated on the previous page of this thread by RCP who said in their post; "What someones point of view is doesn't matter." Brilliant.

Mindpro has at least given an account of the perspicacity and relevance of his perspective of mentalism but he fell short of giving us definition so we still have the same issue of what is and isn't being discussed when talking about mentalism

The definition I offered up was an attempt to try and find as broad and encompassing a definition as possible capable of accommodating a wide variety of perspectives. My aim was to make it specific enough to be useful, while causing the least amount of compromise to those who have their own perspective of what mentalism is and isn't.

No worries if it doesn't suit or accommodate. Like I said, I agree it's of no consequence either way. Smile
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Mindpro
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I am glad you now understand my perspective. Reviewing my posts it still seems clear to me, but of course the tone, position and acceptance is ultimately determined by the reader or recipient.

For those of us that have been here for years, it is easy to think everyone understands who we are and where we are coming from. My area of specialty and insight is the professional performance of mentalism as a marketable form of entertainment and profession. For years that's what many here operated from a similar perspective - as workers or being interested in being workers. Penny was helpful t many in this way pertaining to their performing careers.

With the "magician coming to mentalism" bandwagon, combined with the UK closeup, walkaround, street wave of mentalism, and of course the propless wave, came a shift to more effect and theory-based participation here. Then comes the endless debates, historical recounts, beliefs and interpretations, etc.

The part that is very disturbing is when the topic of how audiences (and buyers) think, perceive and understand mentalism, and what it is or isn't. They don't operate based on theory or historical knowledge, they base it solely on their common belief, which is often influenced by media, pop culture and peripheral awareness. This is where the conflict comes in here. I speak of what is being experienced on a daily basis in real-world situations and from an industry perspective, others here are from their only own personal beliefs and perceptions. As we can see, they are two different things. Of course since the tide had turned and there are less real working pros here, they (and their opinions) have become in the minority here.

Yes, everything I post is always from the perspective of a longtime working professional and as an agent, producer, promoter and entertainment business (sales and booking of entertainment). My coaching consulting and live training events for over 30 years have also been based on this.

Glad we have that clarified. You are correct. It seems less and less here are interested in this side of things.
IAIN
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And is it ok for us to NOT be interested in that side of things? I mean, the creativity side of things is of at least some importance...not everyone wants to be a full-timer and are honest about that, (rather than pretending)...
.
and I hope that people accept those that are sincere about mentalism however they perform it too...

no open forum is full of people from one singular perspective...its a representation of the collective in most instances - and that has to be seen and accepted too...

for example, for once, I would love to see a thread from Mindpro about a singular presentation, or a persona (more importantly) and then everyone can argue about that for a change..it would at least, be informative as to the differences...
Mindpro
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Oh yeah, that would be fun.
IAIN
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Why not though? you talk from your perspective, why not experience another? "The mindpro challenge"....

you sometimes come across as very frustrated and annoyed, because we don't approach mentalism from the same perspective - I've always thought that's because a) not many are full timers b) you run an agency (or maybe more, can't remember c) I seem to remember listening to a podcast that was put on youtube between you and some guy, where you talk about music, 90s soap stars and so on... not many others (if any) have the same experiences as you - so why not look at the common ground and have a little fun for a change? Smile
RCP
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There have never been many real working pros here Mindoro. Sure guys came through here and have become successful and disappeared. A handful of guys pop up time to time selling things especially as their performing life dies. Then there are the guys that make more selling products than performing. A few guys pop in here under assumed names. What real mentalist would want there name searchable on a magic board?

It’s a hard life being a performer. A few guys make it big. Most live hand to mouth and die broke.

By the time you get to booking agents you should already know what you are and what your selling.

If there is a deck of playing cards in your act.......your a magician......in spite of what you call yourself.

People will pay top dollar to believe they have a glimpse into the (their) future. Since the beginning of time that is what man has sought.

So you either deliver that (mentalist) or you are a trained seal act (mental magicians). Call yourself what you will.
funsway
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Interesting thoughts, RCP - but why would you limit Mentalism to demonstrations related to "have a glimpse of the future?"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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RCP
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Perhaps a better choice of words would have been "to peak beyond the veil" into the unknown.
funsway
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I can dance with that Smile
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mindpro
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On Oct 28, 2017, RCP wrote:
There have never been many real working pros here Mindoro. Sure guys came through here and have become successful and disappeared. A handful of guys pop up time to time selling things especially as their performing life dies. Then there are the guys that make more selling products than performing. A few guys pop in here under assumed names. What real mentalist would want there name searchable on a magic board?

It’s a hard life being a performer. A few guys make it big. Most live hand to mouth and die broke.

By the time you get to booking agents you should already know what you are and what your selling.

If there is a deck of playing cards in your act.......your a magician......in spite of what you call yourself.

People will pay top dollar to believe they have a glimpse into the (their) future. Since the beginning of time that is what man has sought.

So you either deliver that (mentalist) or you are a trained seal act (mental magicians). Call yourself what you will.



While I agree with most of what you said in your above post I will disagree with you that there were many very good participating pro mentalists and mental-magic workers here including Cassidy, Osterlind, Hilford, Stetson, Banachek, Max, Tony Razzano, Lee Earle, Larry Becker, Christopher Carter, Gerry McCambridge, Chuck Hickok, Alberstat , Cross, Riggs, Alain Nu, Greg Arce, Richard Busch, Brad Henderson, Jermay, Maue, Paolo Cavalli, Knepper, Ted Leslie, Sikes, Todd Robbins, Lior Manor and even some decent mental magic guys like John Archer, Spellman, Quenton Reynolds, Joel Bauer, Harry Lorrayne, Drew McAdam, Mel Mellers,etc. I can’t remember of Ted K, Bruce Bernstein or Marc Salem were here or not.

And then most of the activity was about understanding and performing mentalism. I always thought there should be a separate forum for readers and historical aspects.
Max Hazy
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On Oct 28, 2017, RCP wrote:

If there is a deck of playing cards in your act.......your a magician......in spite of what you call yourself.


If you're so afraid of being perceived as a magician for using cards, just don't use it. Personally, using cards and being introduced as a magician to later be perceived as "something else" is a challenge I'll take any day, any time. If I can convince in those conditions, I can convince in any condition imo, and in those conditions I was immediately called to do a lecture about psychology. But if you can't convince in those conditions you certainly have a reason to not use it if you care about perspective (I care).

My point here is that we all have different audiences, skills, background, knowledge, cultures, etc... so stating your opinion as fact is a terrible mistake. To do so, you would have to try it all and in all conditions possible, which you haven't, because it's impossible. Even a little change in culture can alter everything. Hell, even the words "magician" and "illusionist" have a completely different perspective here where I live compared to North America, and the word "mentalist"... pff, people have trouble to even remember that word.

About cards in particular: if you open a fan and say "pick a card", you will obviously be perceived as a magician. If you act like a magician you'll be perceived as a magician. But I have seem magicians convincing people they're the real deal and "mentalists" being perceived as tricksters. Tools don't convince... performers do.
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Kreskin used cards all the time and is probably one of the most successful mentalists of all time. I think playing cards are much more credible than zenner cards or any of those fake esp test books on the market. They are everyday items that people understand and not confined to magicians. Its always about presentation and the nature of the effect.
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On Oct 29, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 28, 2017, RCP wrote:
There have never been many real working pros here Mindoro. Sure guys came through here and have become successful and disappeared. A handful of guys pop up time to time selling things especially as their performing life dies. Then there are the guys that make more selling products than performing. A few guys pop in here under assumed names. What real mentalist would want there name searchable on a magic board?

It’s a hard life being a performer. A few guys make it big. Most live hand to mouth and die broke.

By the time you get to booking agents you should already know what you are and what your selling.

If there is a deck of playing cards in your act.......your a magician......in spite of what you call yourself.

People will pay top dollar to believe they have a glimpse into the (their) future. Since the beginning of time that is what man has sought.

So you either deliver that (mentalist) or you are a trained seal act (mental magicians). Call yourself what you will.



While I agree with most of what you said in your above post I will disagree with you that there were many very good participating pro mentalists and mental-magic workers here including Cassidy, Osterlind, Hilford, Stetson, Banachek, Max, Tony Razzano, Lee Earle, Larry Becker, Christopher Carter, Gerry McCambridge, Chuck Hickok, Alberstat , Cross, Riggs, Alain Nu, Greg Arce, Richard Busch, Brad Henderson, Jermay, Maue, Paolo Cavalli, Knepper, Ted Leslie, Sikes, Todd Robbins, Lior Manor and even some decent mental magic guys like John Archer, Spellman, Quenton Reynolds, Joel Bauer, Harry Lorrayne, Drew McAdam, Mel Mellers,etc. I can’t remember of Ted K, Bruce Bernstein or Marc Salem were here or not.

And then most of the activity was about understanding and performing mentalism. I always thought there should be a separate forum for readers and historical aspects.


A by gone era they were good times. This forum used to be great in every sense.
Mindpro
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I agree. Hence the frustration that so many here today can't understand.
Last Laugh
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Quote:
On Oct 29, 2017, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 28, 2017, RCP wrote:
There have never been many real working pros here Mindoro. Sure guys came through here and have become successful and disappeared. A handful of guys pop up time to time selling things especially as their performing life dies. Then there are the guys that make more selling products than performing. A few guys pop in here under assumed names. What real mentalist would want there name searchable on a magic board?

It’s a hard life being a performer. A few guys make it big. Most live hand to mouth and die broke.

By the time you get to booking agents you should already know what you are and what your selling.

If there is a deck of playing cards in your act.......your a magician......in spite of what you call yourself.

People will pay top dollar to believe they have a glimpse into the (their) future. Since the beginning of time that is what man has sought.

So you either deliver that (mentalist) or you are a trained seal act (mental magicians). Call yourself what you will.



While I agree with most of what you said in your above post I will disagree with you that there were many very good participating pro mentalists and mental-magic workers here including Cassidy, Osterlind, Hilford, Stetson, Banachek, Max, Tony Razzano, Lee Earle, Larry Becker, Christopher Carter, Gerry McCambridge, Chuck Hickok, Alberstat , Cross, Riggs, Alain Nu, Greg Arce, Richard Busch, Brad Henderson, Jermay, Maue, Paolo Cavalli, Knepper, Ted Leslie, Sikes, Todd Robbins, Lior Manor and even some decent mental magic guys like John Archer, Spellman, Quenton Reynolds, Joel Bauer, Harry Lorrayne, Drew McAdam, Mel Mellers,etc. I can’t remember of Ted K, Bruce Bernstein or Marc Salem were here or not.

And then most of the activity was about understanding and performing mentalism. I always thought there should be a separate forum for readers and historical aspects.


Didn't you read where he said that Bob Cassidy and Richard Osterlind were magicians and not mentalists? In fact, I bet a number of others on that list would be considered magicians by RCP's standards. Larry Becker, Ted Leslie and Docc Hilford wouldn't make the mentalist cut by his definition. Probably many more since lots of those guys use playing cards.

I think it goes without saying, but I'll add that I don't agree with RCP's criteria.
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Sudo Nimh
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Around and around and around we go...
I'm frequently hit with enlightening in the middle of a brain storm.
RCP
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You got to love a bunch of magicians, on a magicians board, arguing about a term created by magicians to separate one group of magicians from the rest of the magicians as they ply their tricks. Sorta like a bunch of prostitutes discussing which are most chaste.
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