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limhanchung
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Can anyone recommend me any books which are good for a beginner? I am particularly interested in close-up mentalism. Should I get any gimmicks?
Thanks.
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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No Gimmicks. Get a copy of 13 steps to Mentalism and study it. Read and learn each lesson in the book before you move to the next one. Thoroughly learn it all and you will have more than enough to begin on a successful journey into the world of mentalism.

Do not worry about a bunch of "tricks" nor worry about the performing aspect at first. Just learn and develop the techniques that are contained within those pages and you will be able to perform true mentalism when you are done, at any time, in any given situation. It is after that, that you can start to look at the various types of effects that you can expand into. (And there are effects to learn after you learn each group of techniques within the pages of 13 Steps too, but do not just learn the tricks, learn the techniques first.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
MichaelSibbernsen
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Both 13 Steps to Mentalist by Corinda and Practical Mental Magic by Annemann are seminal texts, and rightly so. For "instant gratification" (and if you already have some magical performance background) you may want to look into the Max Maven Video Mind tape series.


However, when and if you get to that point that you really want to "become" a mentalist, definitely look into the brand new 4 part e-book by Bob Cassidy called "Fundamentals- A Guidebook to Mentalism".

With this Bob's newest endeavor, I think we may just be looking at the makings of a "modern classic" for the budding (and even experienced) mentalist.

Part one is available now, with part two soon to be released. Although an easy read and still in its infancy, it is packed with priceless bits of knowledge that takes years for the performing mentalist to discover on their own.

Besides the theory, Bob is also sharing some top-notch effects. These are included not as "filler", but as examples to help solidify the lessons given in the preceding text.

Highly Recommended.

Look here for information...

http://mastermindreader.com/cd/index.html



Michael Sibbernsen
Sniper
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Hi limhanchung,

You'll find this topic discussed a few times on this board. The above comments are very useful, although the Cassidy stuff is a little advanced for the beginner.

Learn the Center Tear routine in Corinda. Learn to do it well. Let things grow from there.

Sn!per
asmayly
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Though Corinda and Anneman are inexpensive, I would say if you want to jump start into modern Mentalism (those 2 books are pretty darn old) I would purchase Mind, Myth, and Magic by T.A. Waters which is a huge text that will keep you busy and thinking for months if not years. It's more expensive ($60) but it has more updated versions of old effects and does an excellent job of documenting where the effects originated so you can find the older works as needed.

Asmayly
Darmoe
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Quote:
On 2002-08-01 12:18, asmayly wrote:
Though Corinda and Anneman are inexpensive, I would say if you want to jump start into modern Mentalism (those 2 books are pretty darn old) I would purchase Mind, Myth, and Magic by T.A. Waters which is a huge text that will keep you busy and thinking for months if not years. It's more expensive ($60) but it has more updated versions of old effects and does an excellent job of documenting where the effects originated so you can find the older works as needed.

Asmayly




Not to belittle the book or your position ASmayly but MMM is written with the assumption that you already know a little bit about doing Mentalism (as is Paramiracles)... your advice would be the same as telling a 6 year old kid... Honey, we are not going to get you a trike but this $2,000.00 15 speed racer bike instead...

Secondly, MMM though an excellent resource, does not teach the "basic arsenal" behind Mentalism whereas the other two books do (in spades!)Which could be why they are consider the two most required... YOU MUST HAVE THESE books in the industry. In my opinion someone with a relatively nominal budget can build their entire career from nothing other than what is in these two books... interestingly TONS OF PEOPLE HAVE!

Smile NOTE TO MODERATORS... Why don't you lock a reference list of "Books To Start With" into this (and all other) sections?

I know that's an awefully simple solution to ending the repitition of things, but who knows... it could work? Smile (it has at other forums...)

Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Brash
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I have to agree with Darmoe. Mind, Myth and Magick is a great compendium of different effects and Waters had some great opinions on performance, but it does require some knowledge & experience before it can be fully digested.
TheQuestion
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I'm currently learning mentalism and I recommend getting all 3 (Corinda, Annemann and MM&M).

Corinda's the best starting place, but mixing it up with Annemann and MM&M will give you the enthusiasm you need to stick with just learning the basics (or it has in my case).

Andrew
asmayly
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I knew I was going to catch some heck over the MM&M suggestion.

I love Anneman (PMM) and Corinda, and you do get some ideas as well as insights on performance (more so from Corinda) and I suppose if you want to learn the "right way" (just kidding) I guess those 2 books are a good way to start.

I guess I meant to say, the first AFTER you read those 2 other classics is MM&M. I just know from experience that I was glad when I first read MM&M in that it had so much info and was much more modern.

But, yes, for a firm foundation into what the heck mentalism is about, what is your basic arsenal and basic effects, PMM and Corinda is the way to begin.

-Asmayly.
Sir T
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Hello,

Ian Rowland, a member of this Cafe lists 12 books that he feels are must have books. To quote Ian;

I do not recommend these books because they contain great tricks (although they do). I recommend them because of the deceptive principles they explain. It is the principles behind the tricks that matter. You can take the basic principle behind a card trick, and adapt it to make it a stunning psychic miracle which has nothing to do with cards. Or at least, you can if you are prepared to do some thinking.

I will list the top five Ian likes. If you want to know the others, stop by his site mouse around. Lots of interesting things on his site.

1. Thirteen Steps to Mentalism' by Tony Corinda
2. Mind, Myth and Magic' by T.A. Waters
3. Practical Mental Magic' by Theo Annemann
4. Theatre of the Mind' by Barrie Richardson
5. Professional Presentations' by Al Koran

Ian site can be found at :
http://www.Ian-Rowland.com

Kevin Smile
ddyment
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Quote:
'twas written:
Though Corinda and Anneman are inexpensive, I would say if you want to jump start into modern Mentalism (those 2 books are pretty darn old) I would purchase Mind, Myth, and Magic by T.A. Waters

I've read similar comments before; I believe them to be a dangerous myth. Arguably the most visible/successful performing mentalist today will happily tell you that everything in his act is right out of Corinda.

I think MM&M is a fine book, chock filled with lots of very clever ideas, and a wonderful source of innovative thinking. But I would hardly recommend it as a book for someone wishing to learn mentalism (that was, after all, the question posed). It's the kind of book that a typical magician would like a lot more than a mentalist, as it emphasizes tricks, not craft. Tom Waters was a very clever, erudite, inventive guy, but he was not a successful performer of mentalism (should you doubt me, view his video).

As a beginner, you should start with Corinda (and read/study it the way it was intended to be used). That should take about a year (if you finish sooner, and have truly mastered the material, then I would suggest that you abandon mentalism and turn your amazing talents to something like neurosurgery, where you are likely to make more money). If you insist on having a book of "tricks" (though there are plenty in Corinda), then Practical Mental Effects is a fine (and inexpensive) choice, though you'd be better served by saving your money and buying The Jinx, which is where this material originated. Or the collected Anneman.

Then you should read Magick, which will give you a feeling for contemporary modes of presentation. And finally, read the works of the contemporary masters (master mentalists, not mere trick inventors), such as Cassidy, Richardson, Riggs, Osterlind, Busch, etc. [I'm sure I've left out somebody really important here, and that I'll get called on it!]

FWIW, ... Doug
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Tony Razzano
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Doug,
Well put.

The only thing I would add is that one should take acting lessons. It WILL pay off.

Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
Thoughtreader
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Tony's advice is great and many should take heed of it too. Acting is a very important part of succesful mentalism, get involved in local theatre, take some acting lessons, take a make-up course for stage work too and perhaos some diction lessons. You will be rewarded big time later for it.

As for Mind, Myth and Magic - the reason it is NOT a book for beginners is because it is full of a bunch of pipe dreams. Now that is not to say that the essays are not brilliant within the book and I am not saying that T.a. Waters was not a clever, well informed magician HOWEVER much of what is in Mind, Myth and Magic was NEVER actually performed. He wrote it off the top of his head. Much is not practical and it takes a very experienced performer to recognise it.

It amazes me as to how many people rave about T.a's work and yet it is because of the sheer amount not necessarily quality. Many refer to him as "Tom" too and yet his friends called him T.a., never Tom. Waters was a very, unique individual, some might say "eccentric". He was brilliant as an innovator, knew history well as he did many other topics (he also authored other books outside of magic too) but he was NOT a great performer. Many inovators are NOT great performers, even though they may feel they are.

So please, go and study Corrinda. Do not pay attention to those that tell you that it is outdated. They would be the same people that do not bother to read Tarbell either. In fact you would do yourself a service to ignore all the latest books out there and stick to the classics to learn from. Then go into every OLD book and magazine you can find. Go back at least 40 years or more and learn as much as you can from that. You will find a wealth of material that has been forgotten and that you can take, rework into a more modern approach that fits your style and you will be rewarded with an original act that no one else does.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
David de Leon
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Quote:
On 2002-08-01 15:15, Sir T wrote:
Ian Rowland a member of this cafe lists 12 books that he feels are must have books.


I have been working my way gradually through Ian’s list and it has been most gratifying! However, I must say that I am a little unsure why ”Professional Presentations” by Al Koran is on it (number 5 on the list). I’m not criticising the book, only noting the absence of ”deceptive principles” not in the four books earlier on the list. What am I missing?

[I did like Koran’s Medallion effect, and there is a nice linguistic twist to the effect that is worth thinking about.]
liormanor
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Israel
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Let me agree with Doug and Paul about MMM
.
Now, why do you want to be a mentalist?
Do you want to do shows??
Do you want to sit near the river and help people solving their problem??
Do you want to be a super star??
Do you want to do mental magic in your magic club meeting?

Then we can try to tell you what to read
Lior Manor

-------------------
Dunninger award 2001
Brash
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Quote:
On 2002-08-02 09:21, Thoughtreader wrote:
As for Mind, Myth and Magic - the reason it is NOT a book for beginners is because it is full of a bunch of pipe dreams. Now that is not to say that the essays are not brilliant within the book and I am not saying that T.a. Waters was not a clever, well informed magician HOWEVER much of what is in Mind, Myth and Magic was NEVER actually performed. He wrote it off the top of his head. Much is not practical and it takes a very experienced performer to recognise it.


I'm not an experienced performer (of mentalism), however this is the impression that I have formed of M M & M. Mind you it does have a few gems, copius references, and some great essays, but many of the effects seem too complex or impractical to me (a spider monkey?! Smile ).

My advice (and the path I have personally adopted) is learn the basic techniques from Corinda, and then focus on developing your character & presentation. The effects are secondary, there are lots of marketted effects and plenty of books for mentalists. It is up to you to sell them.

Once you understand the fundamentals, you can find your character and seek out additional material which suits your style of presentation. Work on your speaking skills, try scripting patter and (as Darmoe says) develop your powers of BS.

Brian
christopher carter
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Quote:
As for Mind, Myth and Magic - the reason it is NOT a book for beginners is because it is full of a bunch of pipe dreams. Now that is not to say that the essays are not brilliant within the book and I am not saying that T.a. Waters was not a clever, well informed magician HOWEVER much of what is in Mind, Myth and Magic was NEVER actually performed. He wrote it off the top of his head. Much is not practical and it takes a very experienced performer to recognise it.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/abstagecraft



Paul, I never cease to get a chuckle from how direct you are. As usual, you are also right. MMandM does have some gems in addition to the essays, there are two tricks from it that I use all the time, but it does take some wading through to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I will support what several have already said, Corinda first, Bascomb Jones's Magick next. Eventually, regardless of the cost, you simply must get Magick.

--Christopher Carter
Victor Brisbin
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Great suggestions from all on beginning Mentalism books. I like Darmoe's suggestions about using a topic to list the books and materials.

I also want to add just a note about T.A. Waters, which I don't think is too far off topic, since he was discussed in this thread. In the early 1980's I was fresh out of college, and cast adrift into the working world of Los Angeles. On my visits to Hollywood Magic and its environs, T.A. Waters was often present, and he was very approachable and generous with his knowledge. I wish I could say the same for some of his contemporaries at the time, who treated the tyros with curtness and contempt.
I understand that those in the "outer circle" are not entitled to secrets without displaying the requisite interest and work. But T.A.'s quiet, unassuming manner and sincere love of Magic was remarkable.

Now, who has the real story about the time T.A. reportedly was kicked out of a well-known magic dealer's car on a road trip? (You could PM me with that story.)

Cordially, Vic
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
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