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Ray Pierce
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Profile of Ray Pierce
Yes, Mentalism is PERFECT for a fixed base theater show as it can vary and be a little different each time which is ideal for repeat viewings where magic isn't as good for that. As has been mentioned many have done theater shows and succeeded wonderfully. As someone who does a full evening show, I can only offer you this about going from zero to a long form show.

At the edge of every performance space, there is a set of scales. You must tip the scales in your favor to succeed. If you're showing a friend a close up effect, just by virtue of the fact that you know what will happen, you'll generally win. If you try showing that same effect to a dozen people at the same time, you must be better, more charismatic, maintain more control to succeed. If you're in front of 100 people, again, you must support the weight of that audience and have a level of professionalism that commands their respect and attention. Now imagine being in front of 500 people, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000... etc. You simply must be better to tip the scales in those other cases to succeed.

That's why jumping from 5 people to 500 isn't that easy. I stated out doing small shoes for years. Keep in mind I have been on stage since I was 11, I turned Equity when I was 13 doing summer stock shows for 1,500 to 1,800 people so I was very comfortable on a larger stage. With Magic, I had been performing since I was around 12 but professionally, I started doing 12 - 15 minutes... 100 - 150 people, year after year, until I learned the skills to move up to larger venues and hold their attention for a longer form show. I did 25 - 30 minutes for many more years... working on reading the audience to learn how to connect more and earn their respect until I got to 45 minutes and doing corporate dates for a decade. 1,000 people was now achievable as I took the time to learn to support that audience. Eventually, I have played 5,000 to 10,000 seat arenas, (15,000 seats in Moscow) but that was after decades of systematic learning and growth.

You must master each of these building block steps before jumping into a full show. As someone told me, there is no express elevator to the top. You have to take the stairs. A full evening show isn't where you start, it's where you end up. Good luck on your journey!
Ray Pierce
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Mindpro
On Aug 25, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote:
On Aug 22, 2019, Mindpro wrote:

Also, for the record, I still maintain, mentalism is meant for and plays the best in a theater setting.

I couldn't agree more. I would go as far to say that Mentalism performed outside of a structured stage or parlor environment (table hopping, mix and mingle etc) isn't really Mentalism, in my opinion, but rather a magic act featuring mental magic.

Nothing wrong with performing mental magic, but I wish more young performers would aim higher than that. I'm glad to see the young performer in the OP is doing so. And I'm glad to see people like Drew Backenstoss emerging who are dedicating such care and attention to presenting Mentalism as a structured stage experience.

Amen! However, that is not a popular perspective around here and one that always ruffles the undies of many. It's often not understood by many that are really mental magicians thinking they are mentalists.

There have been some great posts here from Max, Martin, saysold 1, Ray, and others.
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Profile of funsway
Ray - one of the best posts ever on the Café'. When I used to perform for larger audiences many decades ago, I always was exhausted and lost 5-8 lbs. Now I understand why.

My mentors who talking about having spectators "in the palm of your hand" never spoke of the physical and mental strength required.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Profile of ryanshaw9572
Thank you everyone for these wonderful responses! I am so happy I posted, as it is being met with valuable information from great people. You guys are awesome!
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Profile of Banachek
Mark Timmon is remarkably uninformed. I have worked many theaters around the country and overseas as well. In fact last year did a run of 10 theaters. Also have worked Fringe festival theaters.. I now plenty of top mentalist who have had theater run including a few in NY.
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Profile of RCarruth
Anyone having any question related to performing in a theater setting needs to go to the Cort Theater in the Broadway district and watch Derren Brown perform. He is there for the next three months. I cannot imagine this show in anything other than a theater... ( Of course, he has the luxury of two great directors and three big time producers - but he still has to make it work when he's on stage alone..)
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