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Profile of bootweasel
In the UK, pre-Derren, there really wasn't a widely known mentalist role model with any appeal to laymen. This is not to say there weren't any top class mentalism performers, just few with any tv exposure.

Is it just that as Derren seems to be the only successful mainstream example, people new to our art deduce that his style is the only one that works?

Or is it that on first glance his effects seem impossible by classic mentalism means? When beginners realise that his methods are predominatly traditional are they more prepared to accept the accepted route of learning?
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Profile of Beetroot
To carry on from bootweasel, I'd never even heard of mentalism before Derren Brown came onto the scene. I'd been interested in magic for donkey's years and always tried to watch shows when they appeared on television and could pretty much always figure out how they were done.

Then came Derren and knocked my Homer Simpson socks off.

Derren has accomplished a lot and deserves the attention. The main risk I see with his shows is that the effects often seem so impossible that the lay-person will think "stooge" or "actors" by default.

Saw him live, by-the-way. An excellent entertainer.
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Profile of ScottJ
I'm just wondering - do we think that the market will become saturated by mentalists? Are there really that many of us? When you've been around nothing but the magical community for however long, you tend to lose perspective, I find.

If you ask a layperson to name a magician, they could come up with maybe 5 names. A mindreader? Uri Gellar and Derren Brown.

Personally, I don't really see the problem, unless DB exposure is the only interest. I prefer to encourage the newcomers, but as has been stated earlier, point them in the direction of the classics.

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Profile of Withnail
I don't think it will become saturated - it's too bloody hard to do well Smile

I think (in the UK) if you asked any member of the public to name 5 magicians they'd struggle.

Derren Brown would be lumped in with them, add Paul Daniels and Tommy Cooper and who else is there? David Blaine as fourth choice, but number 5???
Yet again that oaf has destroyed my day
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Profile of DangerMouse
I don't know any mentalist except on here.
that means that there can't be thAT MANY.

Cheese is nothing but thick milk.
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Profile of MAGICADZ
The last mentalist to cause such a stir as Derren Brown was in my opinion Uri Geller. Back in the 80's he was performing tricks of replicating images under seemingly impossible odds. I even have an old book on "The Paranorma" which pictures our friend Uri. I think the thing about Derren is that he is amazing magicians as well. To the non-magical folk then David Blaine is equally impressive. However we know how his stuff works.
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Profile of Top Hat
On 2004-05-11 00:37, truthteller wrote:
Heaven forbid you suggest in a post where someone asks how Derren does something, that it might not be the nicest course of action for them to take. You will be attacked for being unwilling to help magicians and stifling all creativity in the world of magic. Sadly, most magicians it seems only want to know how someone else's tricks are done. The idea of finding one's own material is apparently passe.

I'm glad there are some other people on the Café who see this for what it is.

I think you will find that the desire to find out how stuff is done is a common inclination amongst magicians (why wouldn't it be and why shouldn't it be?). It does not preclude them from finding their own material.

Let's stop playing Magic Policemen, shall we?
TH Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
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Profile of salsa_dancer
Having ventured into this field from the cards (yes I know another one!) I can say without a doubt that it will not get saturated for the reason that has been stated before, it is too difficult..

It is possible that certain effects will saturate into other areas i.e. Invisible Deck, but to pull off a lot of the stuff in mentalism takes balls. It is easier to perform a practised sleight than it is to bullsh*t an audience into believing you can read minds...

I think that with the added interest it should spawn a few more performers but the interest of others will wane soon enough when they realise there is no quick fix for this style of performance, they will slip back to the gimmicked cards and coins...
Nathan Pain
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Profile of Nathan Pain
Honestly, I've seen Derren's stuff, but it's a member of this board, Christopher Carter, that brought me to mentalism. I shot at him with a paintball gun at a show in my town. I like how mentalism packs small. I'm sick of packing all sorts of dumb magic garbage, when I can pack a pencil and a stack of 3x5 cards. I love Derren, but he's not why I do what I do now. Thank you Chris for helping me figure out what I am! I want to copy no one, and hopefully I'll be able to prove it someday!

Nathan Pain
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