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Hi everybody,

I'm doing magic for many years now, but now I'm building a mental show. How much time do you think this type a show might spend?
I love mental magic but I think it could be boring even if the performer is very good. What about introduce visual effects or music ?


Cyrille, Spain
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As with magic shows, I do not think there is a general rule of thumb. Depending how many different abilities the mentalist demonstrates, a performance would be full of variation or relatively dull. Five predictions in a row seem boring. Chuck Hickok mentions in his book that he tries to demonstrate a different ability with each experiment. I think this is a valid approach.
Thomas Rudolfo
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Hi cyrillevigo,

First of all congrats to your decision to start in mental magic and mentalism.

But before giving any advice please let me say something about the line

I love mental magic but I think it could be boring even if the performer is very good.

This line always is prejudice on mentalism.
I know what you mean, but don't be discouraged.

Believe me, it DOES rely on the performer to convince an audience of mentalsim.

I do mentalism and mental magic for many years now, and after my shows I sometimes hear reactions of audience members wherein they state that at first they thought that mentalism is just clever math tricks and so on...But after my show they know that it is baffling and exciting stuff.

The main advice I can give you is that you need time to really dug deep into this matter.

Second especially if you want to present menalism. In my opinion there is a big difference between them.
Mental magic is like faking psychic abilities to present mind reading, PK and so on.

Mentalism is the real stuff. Well don't get me wrong. I'm also that kind of performer, like banacheck said, who never make claims to have such powers.
I just try to use my five senses to create a sixth in the spectator's heads.

But when I say that menalism is the real stuff I mean you really need abilities to deal with real psychological matters.
One example, among many others, is Luke Jermay. Most of his work I would describe as real mentalism. He performs a lot of stuff where nothing is to hide.
Just his ability to act and deal with NLP, muscle reading and most of all suggestion.

But now I want to give you more details on techniques.
Though the most part of mental shows is about your persona of course you need to have knowledge of some techniques.

And once again, especially for beginners, I can recommend Corinda, Mind, Myth & Magik and of course Annemann.

The basic techniques every serious mental performer should have are center-tear, different peek-methods (also blindfolded) and possession of a swami-gimmick like nailwriter, thumbwriter or something similar.

ALl these basic subjects you can find in corinda.

Important is, like I said at the beginning, that yout really take enough time to master the basic moves and techniques.

Once you have aquired the necessary tools and techniques its up to you to build your routines.

So now I come back to the line "...mentalism is boring...".

The reason why many performers, esecially beginners, feel like that is, because of the lack of big shiny apparatures and all the stuff you need for a "normal" magic show.

There's nothing wrong with that, I for myself did magic a long period of time.

But when entering the wonderful and exciting world of mentalism and mental magic one must change thinking.

From now on the persona is the most important factor in the show.
The most time it takes to create routines and stories to tell.

Here of course its very helpful to get some good DVD on mental shows like Osterlind, Banacheck and others.

Every mental performer has, and MUST have, his or her own style. I for myself like a mixture of pseudo-scientific plots to perform muscle reading, mind readings and drawing-duplication.
Whithin this context I also can perform NLP and some psychic techniques like Luke Jermay does.

This stuff I also can add to my real and serious business communication-technique-lectures for managers which I give regularly.

But I also perform psychometry-stuff and so on built in exciting stories like crime-scene etc.

So, you see how exciting mentalsim and mental magic can be.

As a conclusion to all my written things I again can only give you the advice to first master the necessary techniques of mentalism and then start to create your routines for an exciting mental show.

Of course once again I can give you the advice to also watch some fantastic DVD's on this subject.
Like I mentiones above there are just a few DVD necessary to watch to get the idea what a successful mental show is about.

Important is, not to copy the style, jokes and pattern but to be inspired by these first class performers.

And finally another very important advice for you to start in mentalism is...
REGULARLY JOIN THE MAGIC Café and you'll get thousands of ideas, tips and advices and also valuable reviews on DVD, books and so on. This can not only improve your skills as a mental performer but also can save you a lot of money.

So I hope this helps for the first time. Feel free to send me PM for further questions and ideas.

greetings from Vienna, Austria

Thomas Rudolfo
Think positive and you'll see, how beautiful your life can be!

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Great post Rudolfo. Thanks for sharing your experience and providing recommendations.
Pharaoh Nuff
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Thomas Rudolfo, just had to reply too and say that is brilliant advice!
Thomas Rudolfo
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Many thanks to you all for your kind postings.
As I menioned I perform mentalism many years now. A rsesigned here at the Café with my new Avatar, that's reason for the yet low number of postings.
So I know the Café quiet good and IMHO if you regularly join this forum you can improve your skills enormous.

But I remembered when I started performing mentalism.
I didn't have such excellent tool like magic Café and was glad that I had good and experienced friends who helped me a lot. Especially on routining and dealing with an audience.

While its not very difficult to learn the basic techniques like center tear for others its much more difficult to learn the psychological aspects. And this you can only learn by doing.

But a good advice I can give you is that you should try your techniques and routines on persons outside your family or friends to get an honest feedback and experience.

Of course theres nothing wrong with showing it to your family or friends. But often the problem is that they know you don't possess this powers and they assume this must be just another magic trick.

The best thing at the beginning is to try your skills and routines at informal situations. There your don't have the pressure as in a mental performance. And if you present it right you can have tremendous success as I did.

Let me give you just one short example to help you initializing your creativity on this.

Once in an informal situation and the conversation you could stat that yesterday you saw an unbelievable experiment at a documentation on TV.

Somebody wrote some thoughts on a little piece of paper. The paper was folded and then he had to hold it in his closed fist. Then the medium took his fist and held it up to his forhead to try to receive some pictures about the thought.

After a few seconds the medium opened the fist of the person and the paper was toren and burned by the medium.

After pleasing the person to again concentrate on his thought the medium revealed the written information.

Now you stat that you wonder if such things can work.
You believe that such things hardly can work in everyday situation with normal people but you want them to show. And you just need someone a little believing in such things and try to have fun.

And now you start a simple center tear routine. The advantage is that your pattern can go as exactly as you told about the ecperiment on tv.

Hiere a brief outline:
1) You select somebody just believing a little in paranormal things, because on tv they said that a medium can only be successful if the helper is willing to assist. (Thats one basic rule for mentalists if dealing with helping members of an audience)

2) You get a paper that you tear about the right size. that's nothing strange and you should do it casually as you begin to repeat the patter about the tv-ecperiment.

3) Let the person write something on the paper. i.e. his favorite film or something else. Its up to you.

4) Let him fold the paper twice as in preperation for a center tear.

5) Now close his fist around his paper. Just take care that his fist is not too tight because you don't want to crumple up the paper. (You want to perform a center tear in a few moments)

6) Now act according to the patter that you do the same as the medium on tv and hold the persons fist against your forehead. Now you can mime a little concentration etc.

7) After a few seconds you open the persons fist and take hold of the paper. Now you perform a center tear. YOu can ask for a lighter. This should provide enough cover for the peek.

Here again I cen recomment Osterlinds center tear as shown on his mind mysteries series.
But of course any other standard center tear would work.

8) After you have gathered the information in a fluent motion you put the pieses in an ashtray and burn them. As the pieces start to burn you put away the ashtry and so the paper is out of sight.

Thats a reason why some people later will remember that you just revealed a thouhgt of somebody only with your mindpower.

So, that was just a little example among thounsands of others how one can practice mentalism before real audience in informal situations.

Hope again this could help.
So if I can help you further on just PM me.

Good luck for your upcoming performances of mentalism.

kind regards
Thomas R.
Think positive and you'll see, how beautiful your life can be!

Ken Dyne
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I would like to add my thoguhts here, if I may. If you think mentalism can be a little boring and you would like to be convinced, take Max Maven. Either see him live, or get one opf his DVDs, his work is amazing and the way he captivates his audiences is out of this world, he has shown me that mentalism need not be dull and interesting, and in fact it should not be.

Kind thoughts,

MR GOLDEN BALLS 2.0: https://mentalunderground.com/product/mr-golden-balls-2-0/" target="_blank"> https://mentalunderground.com/product/passed-out-deck/

BAIRN: Named 'Best Mentalism Product Of 2014 by Marketplace of the Mind is my collection of more than 40 mentalism routines in a beautiful paperback book: http://www.mentalunderground.com/product/bairn
Thomas Rudolfo
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Absolutely right Kennedy. I only can second this. Also some more added thought. One need not to look that bit extravagant like max maven. Its Mavens style.

Your personality should impress your audience. Go a bit in meditation and find yourself.
IMHO in mentalism the good old phrase "Just be natural" from the magic professor Dai Vernon fits even more than it does to magic.

When you present your mentalism in your natural style then your on the right way.
Because max maven ist menitioned here. A few years ago I knew a german newbie mentalist who dressed hat the similar makeup like max maven.

The result was that everybody laughed at him when he did shows. At the end he was surprised why they wheren't taking him serious. Nobody laughs at Max Maven.

A little later he realised the answer.
Aside from the experience and professinality of a Max Maven, the outfit is the style and personaly of Max.

Just wanted to add this.


Think positive and you'll see, how beautiful your life can be!

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