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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Am I a bad person? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gareth123
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Rotherham UK
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Am I a bad person for using mentalism techniques for the use of freaking people out just for my own entertainment , not my ego (HONEST)

Gareth Hobson.
*is tihs migac or am i sineg aonhter wlord in wihch i nveer lvied UNTILL NOW*
ScottJ
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Hertfordshire, England.
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Yes.

Next question!
Burnt
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England
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No gareth. So long as you abide by basic rules to avoid any psychological and emotional damage it all seems fine. Where else would the fun lie? Smile
chichi711
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Your own entertainment is your ego.
Scott Xavier
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Let each man judge himself.
Don't judge lest ye be judged?
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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A mind is a terrible thing not to screw with.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Hypnotic Winter
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Ireland
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I think we all start out to entertain ourselves.

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
Magical Dimensions
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It is OK to entertain ourselves. Just do it until you need glasses.

Ray
Franmonet
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I think that's why we all got into mentalism to begin with. We love the reactions we get from our spectators.
Heck is for people who don't believe in gosh
Bill Hallahan
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I would rephrase the question as, “Am I doing a bad thing?”

I can’t tell the answer to that from the information in your post. There is nothing wrong with having fun when you perform. The fact that you ask this question at all means you're probably ok.

Quote:
We have a habit of thinking that the deepest insights, the most mystical, and spiritual insights, are somehow less ordinary than most things--that they are extraordinary.


This is only the shallow refuge of the person who does not yet know what he is doing.

- Christopher Alexander in "The Timeless way of Building"

"Wonder" is a special state of ignorance.

How ignorant do you want your audience to be?

Do you just want them ignorant of the trick’s method, or do you want them ignorant that you’re using a trick method?

Is a spectator completely responsible for their conclusions, or are we responsible for them too insofar as we might affect them?

Can harm come from this? If so, are you able to envision and prevent all forms of harm that might arise?

I can tell you one thing for sure. Dunninger’s quotation regarding people's beliefs being invariant is provably wrong in both directions. Numerous counterexamples exist. He was only talking about “some” people, not “all” people.

Follow your conscience.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
medaca
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france
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Hi bill, GREAT POSTˇˇˇˇ
chanor
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What is not good is when the SPECTATOR thinks you are freaking them out prinicipally for your own ego or entertainment.
teejay
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I feel that people who ask these sort of Questions should stay well away from mentalism
Cheers
TJ
Turk
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Quote:
On 2004-09-25 06:10, teejay wrote:
I feel that people who ask these sort of Questions should stay well away from mentalism
Cheers
TJ


Why?
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Why, indeed.

What is your motivation TJ?

Not being willing to ask the hard questions on ethics and the 'public trust' implies a lack of concern over such matters.
Those who never ask those questions or take them seriously are often of the mindset from which many a cult leader and self-proclaimed 'messiah' has sprung; someone who views 'shuteyes' as sheep to be sheared.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Hypnotic Winter
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I have found that after a while I became much more concerned that the audience were being entertained then I was.
I think a mistake David Blaine made when he went to London was to think that other people would understand his motivation.
A lot of the time magicians tend to think" What would entertain me?" ,and not, " what would entertan other people?"
Mentalists are especially good at trying to see other people's points of view, in David Blaines case most of the British public thought," what is that American plonker doing such a daft thing for?," where as David viewed it as a monument to human endurance.

Our audience is made up of other people so I think it's very important we listen to them.

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
Roth
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The 18
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We do mentalism and magic because we want to give the gift of wonder and awe to someone.

The feeling from giving something wonderful to someone is as good if not better than receiving.
2015 ECSS Alumnus

PANDORA

Deadwood
lawrencetreagus
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Freaking people out is essential. Just look at the masters:
Banachek (stigmata)
Penn & Teller (bullet catch)
Derren Brown (deer stalker)

As a mentalist/magician it's you're job to freak people out. Just try not to let people know you have a morbid sense of humor!
Osiris
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Ok... let's not look at it as "freaking people out". If that's what you're doing, you're not doing "Mentalism" you're probably doing shock or some abstract mode of Bizarre Magick.

Now for the contradiction... Yes, effective Mentalism can screw with people's heads and "freak them out" but, if that is your goal you are not doing yourself or the art any favors. Stick with Bizarre Magick or Geek material and you'll go much further, be a lot happier.

Yes, there are certain things that I've done as a mentalist because I enjoy them. I've also discovered that just because I enjoy them doesn't mean that they play well for the audience... this is a great truth that can be applied to most any aspect of show biz. I remember Roy Houston lecturing me on that very issue long ago.

It's been said, if you question yourself about something, as you've done, that some sense of guilt may exist and thus, personal investigation might prove prudent. I have few qualms when it comes to the act of "taking advantage" of circumstance and taking full credit for whatever phenomena seems to have happened... it's one of the old standbys of the craft many side step in today's world of "ethics" and supposed "morality." At the same time, there are things I absolutely will not do, especially when it involves some form of "abuse" of another individual.

Look at how and why you do Mentalism or particular effects and ask yourself if it is conducive to the direction you want to head. Will these acts of "showing off" sustain you in meeting the goals you have envisioned for the future when it comes to your career and reputation as a performer? Could such antics backfire on you down the road and cause harm to both, your reputation and the kind of image you hope to project? Believe it or not, they can! That's one of the chief reasons some of the more successful "Mentalists" in the world distance themselves from magic and magicians i.e. Kreskin.

It's something to think about.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Excellent perspective, Osiris.

I might also encourage ALL mentalists to find and read, "Nightmare Alley" by William Lindsay Gresham (or find the film version on video or DVD), and to read up on the career of Erik Jan Hanussen (of find the film, "Hanussen").

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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