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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » So many effects and such little time (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RickSilmser
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I truly hope this comes out the right way, it is absolutely NOT my intent to ruffle feathers. I'm just absolutely amazed at what I see here as far as different and varied effects goes, I looked some of the names of the effects up on the net for prices...WOW!

A little of my personal history with Mentalism...I began in 79-80, did the usual stuff and then I met an extreamly learned person who told me that a Mentalist, a "true"(if there is such a thing anymore) Mentalist, basicaly does two things...tells you what you are thinking and makes predictions...anything else are just these two things with a different coat of paint.

There must be a million different ways of being able to do these two things and from what I saw on the net...as opposed to what I was taught so many years ago...I'm wondering, "why", do we as Mentalists, need all of these do-dad gimmicks and toys just to accomplish the above two tasks.

PLEASE!! Mr. Osterlind, Mr.Becker, Mr.Earle, and all the other inventors of mental effects... you are all very smart men with what I'm sure are ingenious ideas, and this is NOT a put down, you guys are here to fill a need and god bless you all...

What I can't understand is the very same outcome from any of these effects can be accomplised with a small slip of paper, a pencil and some slight of hand. My total bill (besides my clothing) is 50 dollars a year in printing for billets and a box of golf pencils (my fingers work for free, ha ha). Again, please...don't take offence to any of this...I'm just curious as to why someone would use do-dingle, special printed props that a "real" mindreader really wouldn't need...

In over 20 years, all I've carried are slips, pencils, a blindfold and most recently a nifty wrist watch (that took me months of debate with myself about buying), and a homemade Baker/Dunninger slate and that's it...and I've made a wonderful living at mentalism (I'm not a rich man, but I'm very comfortable). I purchased some of the stuff I've seen advertised in past years and after reading it...I said to myself...."my god, I do this now, this is just another way of doing it". In the bottom drawer it went!

Please take the time to read this posting over again, I DO NOT want anyone to be upset over this...it's not my intention. Maybe some of you commerical Mentalists can shed some light on this subject for a purest Mentalist like me, as to "why".

I remain....
Roth
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You are correct. Everything you could ever need as a mentalist could be bought at Office Depot for about $18.00.
The classic methodologies used for decades and decades work just fine.

But...Ray Harryhousen used stop motion to animate dinosaurs and people were amazed.
Forty years later Spielberg used computor generated dinosaurs, and people were amazed.

Harryhousen made classics still enjoyed today.Would we go see a movie today with stop motion animated dinosaurs?

They're both dinosaur movies but society and technology ask us for and give us the ability to keep being creative and push the boundries of our craft.

I guess the wrong person responded..I'm waiting for a $179.00 remote controlled pen to arrive in the mail.

Rick
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mdspark
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IMHOP...if you are a good performer with good and professional presentations that holds an audience's interest, you can do MIRACLES with the humble tools you have mentioned...without taking anything away from inovators/inventors (Alas! we all need and want them to continue their talented conbributions) I say good for you! and you should be proud of the success you have made from the humble tools you use!

After all, look at Kreskin's act...sure he uses new stuff from time to time on TV apperances, but his live show has changed little over the years and nobody can argue with is success or the success of the father of us all - Dunninger.

Just my 2 cents worth.
Sven Rygh
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Of course you are right!

Have a look on most world class mentalists' acts, and you'll find that they are almost propless.
Also my own act fit in to a small catalog case (-and it is far from filled up!), and is nothing more than paper slips, a slate, pens chalk and markers, envelopes, a couple of decks of playing cards, a slate and a blindfold.

When this is mentioned, I have to admit that I have spent my bucks on effects and props, most of which are by now in the drawers.
However, I use a couple of props that cost me a few bucks, not because they were absolutely neccesary, but because I wanted the best.
My latest purchases are Osterlind's blindfold and his Ultra Board.
Of course I could have survived without them, but as mentioned, I wanted some really good props that will last, and even more important, the routines and ideas of in my opinion the best thinker and creator of them all.

It is interesting to notice how many "new" effects that pops up in the dealers catalogs, effects that apparently are bought by many.
The only reason for this must be some peoples wish for the perfect routine or effect.
Well, I have realized after all these years, that such a thing does not exist
At least not in the catalogs.
The only way to get a "perfect" effect, is up to yourself and how you handle and refine what you learn.

I do not invest in many effects any more (with a very few exceptions)
However, I buy and read pretty many books to keep myself updated and to get new ideas and inspirations.

I am convinced about that where I find the beginning of "the perfect" is just there, - in the books.
-Not by buying some electronic device to 2000$ a piece.

Just my 2 cents.

Sven
RickSilmser
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Hi Rick...thanks for your words. Sir, we are talking live stage shows here, not multi million dollar movies. We are talking about 1 man, alone on stage, not hundreds of people involved in a multi million dollar production. I really don't think you can compare the two, it's like chalk and cheese.

Sven... you are a Mentalist after my own heart, well done!

Rick, I forgot to mention...movies today HAVE to have the special effects and technology or they bomb...the public demands "that". The Mentalist's audience don't know the methods used to gather information (our special effects), all they demand is to have their thought revealed succussfuly.

My point is, We Mentalists can still use 1920's technology and the audiences are completly unaware of that fact. Reveal their thoughts with a 3 cent slip of paper, a 5 cent pencil and a slight, or reveal their thoughts with a 40 dollar do-dingle gimmick...the choice is yours.

Mentalism is about personality and delivery, not about how you got the info. Rick, I hope I am there to help you out if that remote control pen breaks down in the middle of a test (god forbid). My fingers stealing a slip and opening it in my pocket will never let me down.
Roth
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Lol. The remote pen comes with a 1 year warrenty.

Rick,
I do 20 minutes out of my wallet.The beauty of what we do are the common items we use to achieve mind blowing effects.

I can make a pen move around with a 3 dollar gimmick or no gimmick at all.

I'm working on a great routine with just my business card.

But if technology allows me to make a common thing like a pen jerk and spin while I stand 5 feet away with nothing attached and I think that effect with the right presentation will cause my audience to freak, I'm going to give it a shot.

Electronics have been used in our craft for decades. I have an Anverdi item which may not be practicle to use today,but it fried people in its time.
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Sven Rygh
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Quote:
On 2004-12-26 01:09, RickSilmser wrote:
Sven...you are a Mentalist after my own heart, well done!


Thanks!

...eh...and when I mentioned books, I should have included DVDs.
Both Osterlind's two series and Banachek's have become among my most treasured sources.

Sven
RickSilmser
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Rick, glad to hear you work out of your wallet...that is the envy of most mentalists...I owned the "Magitronics" sold by the late and great Tommy Tucker back in 1981. LOL...I was doing a show, my then wife was feeding me the info for my billet routine...LOL...her voice started to come through the PA....thank god I had an idea...I started to make a comedy routine out of it. My poor wife had no idea of what was going on. That is a day, I'll never forgot...from then on in...it was back to the slight of hand routine !!!!!

Sven...my "bible" is Anneman's mental and psychic routine book
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