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 Post subject: Mentalist NOOB
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:11 am 
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Hey guys.
I have been focusing on my magic with cards and coins for a while now and I have been enjoying performing them for people. But over the past couple of months it has occured to me that people respond ALOT better to mentalism than they do to magic. Take the other day for example, i was performing for some guy, i did a card trick, he enjoyed it. I then did Stigmata (Acidus Novus version) and i flipped out <they always do> I then did a routine from banachek psi series 1. He was going mental and then he said 'those other tricks were like...alright but now your f***ing with my mind!'
I didnt really think much of it. My brother watches all of my tricks he has always given me mixed reactions until i started showing him some Kenton Knepper and some metal bending. He loves it. hes been freaking out.
I'm starting to be convinced that mentalism has got something that magic lacks. Sometimes i feel like mentalism is more powerful than magic. other times i think that magic is more entertaining but people always know there is some kind of trick behind it.
Is Mentalism more powerful than magic?
What are other people's view on this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:53 am 
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Location: Newmarket, ON, Canada
It is all in the performers hands.
A performer can do a card trick like the ambitious card and completely blow people away if his presentation is good enough. However, the same performer may perform something along the lines of mind reading and not get any good reactions out of it because they concentrate on their card magic and they are best at it.
Mentalism to me should be performed on a stage in front of an audience, rarely can it be tailored to one on one situations. I find that the cases in which mentalism is performed one on one, more often than not it is mental magic instead of mentalism.
I find though, in the right hands, mentalism can be stronger than card and coin magic simply because people often assume that what you are doing with cards and coins is a trick. This will cause them to think something like "oh it's just a trick, that's why the coin ended up in his other hand." However with mentalism, when presented properly, people think of it as more than that... in my mind at least. Other people will have other opinions, those are just my thoughts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Penguin

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I agree. Well, sort of. As we reach a new age in magic we are constantly "pushed" by layman to become more of a Miracle worker than magician. Magic is increasingly having the need to be impromptu as stage magic is becoming less popular.

Yes, Mentalism is truly meant to be for the STAGE. Why? Because, let us say go to a stage magic show, you know it's all "smoke and mirrors." Not to bash stage magic! But with mentalism, people think they know there's no gimmick so they don't at all have a problem with stage mentalism....

But, street magic is perhaps more popular than stage magic nowadays because it becomes very personal with the audience when performing that close to them. Also, with a street effect being that sudden, thier suspension of disbelief hangs a bit longer

I think It would be a great and exciting challenge for a Mentalist to make a shift over to street Mentalism and do it successfully.

Derren brown, for example, Has done this. But in order to properly perform Mentalism on the streets you must KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you don't you could seriously end up hurting innocent people.

(I would also like to note: there IS and difference between Mentalism and Mental magic. I beleive a lot of mental magic was concieved to perform on the streets. Above, I am referring to strictly Mentalism. Stigmata, by the way, is mental magic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:21 am 
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Thanks for the response. I have a question.

actorcoop wrote:
But in order to properly perform Mentalism on the streets you must KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you don't you could seriously end up hurting innocent people.

How?

actorcoop wrote:
Stigmata, by the way, is mental magic.

The way i see it, the one with the cards is mental magic and the Acidus Novus version is mentalism. I may be wrong. I am not really an expert in this topic so what are the key differences between mentalism and mental magic?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:52 am 
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Card, and coin, tricks are so familiar as tricks that when cards, or coins, are mentioned-in almost any way-someone in a group thinks "tricks!" Mental magic is less often encountered, and less thought of as trickery. When most people encounter mentalism it is in the form of the latest Uri Geller type alleged psychic reading minds, or bending metal objects, on the latest daytime, or nightime, talk shows...Oprah, The Tonight Show, etc, and the guest, host, etc, all talk as if the mental effects are real. As far as John/Jane Doe in the audience know it IS real. If a fake is outted, it only confirms the audiences' belief that this one guy was a fake...but others are real. The average audience member can barely wrap their minds around how to make a cup of coffee, and few have learned to program a VCR. They can't easily figure out how a mentalist act would be faked, so they do not assume it is faked. Mentalism is the way to go if you want to make your audiences believe in your abilities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:06 am 
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I use the terms 'mental magic', and 'mentalism', pretty much interchangeably. I suppose that if you wanted to draw distinctions, 'mental magic' would be the card guessing, and other gimmicky effects, where the card, coin, hidden object in the pocket, etc, is supposedly seen by x-ray eyes..and mentalism is where the psychic knows your innermost thoughts, reveals spirit messages, bends metal objects, and otherwise seems to have no obvious gimmick but the power of his mind.

I know a mentalist in Australia-an aborigine-who uses cold reading, and 20 questions, and a lot of croc bone/energy crystal/etc/ props to pose as a sort of shaman/medicine man who consults dreamtime/spirit entities to foretell the future, advise on marriages/divorces, etc, and so forth...in return for free will offering type donations. He makes a nice bundle from it, and gives a lot of good Dear Abbey type advice which people follow because they believe it comes from the spirit realm. No one follows the life guidance advice of street, or stage, magicians whose act is based on card/coin tricks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:55 am 
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I don't think that mentalism has any place on the streets myself. The ambience required for a really good mentalism show can't be found out in the hustle and bustle of the city. To be honest, I really dislike street magic and the idea of ambushing people milling around doing their own thing and BAM here's some magic you didn't even ask to see! That's not what magic is or should be. If you're talking busking I reckon that maybe mental magic might work nicely if put in a magic show that shifts from big visual magic to get the crowd, then start doing the 'mind reading' to get the money...

Mentalism for me belongs on stage, and is in my own view much more powerful than magic to certain audiences. Some people will completely lose themselves in a Copperfield extravaganza and will probably feel the same about the mentalism. Some people are rather indifferent to both magic and mentalism so wouldn't really rate either. Some people see magic as phoney but as they can't spot the trick behind the mind reading it blows them away. Obviously there's several shades of grey involved in the distinctions but you get the picture. Pick the right audience, the right effects for that audience, the right presentations for those effects and you could well get the best reception on stage of your life.

Re: Derren Brown, I'm not so sure that he did do street mentalism myself. See, Brown's developed this form of magic that completely defies easy pigeon holing, it's sort of mentalism, sort of psychic-ism, sort of NLP-ism, sort of real. So his street performances you see on telly are performances of this special kind of magic of his. Also, he's got the camera hovering over his shoulder which helps.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:17 pm 
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revelation77 wrote:
Thanks for the response. I have a question.

actorcoop wrote:
But in order to properly perform Mentalism on the streets you must KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you don't you could seriously end up hurting innocent people.

How?

The answer is simple. When I say hurt, that could also mean, "emotionally ustable", (in a bad way.) Many people don't feel comfortable having someone get "in thier minds"

It may be because of religious beliefs or maybe that they are just shy and kept to themselves. If you don't choose the right people for mentalism, you can very much so, SCARE them. Some people get paraniod easily, so watch out. But people get "hurt" from mentalism VERY rarely. espescially if they know you are an entertainer.

When you say you are TRULY PSYCHIC, that is fraudulent and unethical. There is a Topic on claiming psychic power you should check it out. Just click the link below. I found it very useful..

http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... p?t=133771

I hope that answered your question revelation77


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:40 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the tips and the link actorcoop! You've answered my question.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:06 am 
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Most of the people who don't want anyone "in their minds" are either criminals who fear discovery, or psychotics who think the government/aliens are controlling their minds. Both types can be dangerous to you if they think you are 'one of them' who is out to get the idiots. You do need to use some judgement while performing for strangers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:23 am 
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EmeraldOne wrote:
Most of the people who don't want anyone "in their minds" are either criminals who fear discovery, or psychotics who think the government/aliens are controlling their minds. Both types can be dangerous to you if they think you are 'one of them' who is out to get the idiots. You do need to use some judgement while performing for strangers.

I am sorry, i am neither a 'criminal' or a 'psychotic' and i dont think i would like the idea of some random guy inside my mind. It is all on the performer and your right about judgement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:47 am 
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My girlfriend is neither crinimal alien or psychotic and she really doesn't like mind reading and mentalism; finds the very idea almost disturbing. I'm going to write an essay on the ethics of magic and mentalism and the problem of having too much power as I feel it's a very important factor to bear in mind when performing in any situation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:18 am 
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povallsky wrote:
My girlfriend is neither crinimal alien or psychotic and she really doesn't like mind reading and mentalism; finds the very idea almost disturbing. I'm going to write an essay on the ethics of magic and mentalism and the problem of having too much power as I feel it's a very important factor to bear in mind when performing in any situation.

32

I'll look forward to it. when will it be up?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Location: God's Country
Crikey, I've no idea. When it's finished I guess.

I can hazard a guess that it'll be sometime in about 2/3 weeks. I'm in the process of redecorating my room and as such my PC is no go (I'm reduced to living room laptops...) BUT I should be near finished with my room in a week or two, so as soon as it's done I'll be starting the essays I've got planned, and I'll start this one first. Keep checking the Essays Forum, and if I remember I'll PM you to let you know it's there.

Cheers for the interest :D

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