The hype for real mentalism
You have been fooled, and it's not about dishonesty, it's all about good showmanship. Much of you have logged on youtube and saw experienced mentalists do something which tickle your brain, over-heat your neurones and certainly baffle and entertain you in the best of the ways. WE ALL want it, the best way to fool people, to leave them speechless, but maybe our perception is blurred by the pseudo-presentational ideology behind those routines?
Great performers does exactly this, they suspend your belief for a moment and make you believe that what is presented is in fact real, great magician can do it too, and that is the beauty of this art. You are left floating within your imaginary world which contains no laws, no limits... You are in fact becoming a layman in front of that performer...Which force you to take your credit card and buy the next fashioned effect...
There are still people which consider themselves psychics, and that's showbuisiness, they make a charming or not so charming caracther and they keep it, and that's how people identify them, that's how they get... attached with them. If Homer Simpson would change personality tomorrow, would you still be looking at the series?
However a new vagues of entertainer hit the market, the psychological illusionists, I have nothing against them, in fact I associate myself with those kind of performers. But then you may ask; why are you talking about this topic?
Open your eyes and read this: People often goes for the magic thougths when they forget to rationalise what they saw in the first place, and that's normal from the human psyche, when you look a good horror movie, you want to believe in what you see, you don't want to be suspended from the thrill because you feel sensations of fear and exictment, the same sensations you get from watching Derren Brown doing an incredible routine. You don't want to be suspended from his routine because he makes you believe that such things are possible.
Thus make you see the wall from outside the window
On the other side of the wall there is:
- Pre show.
- Clever edits.
What you see, is what you do on stage every day, you migth make the audience believe that you can read with your fingertips, however psychological illusionists makes you believe that they can influence your thougths and hack your brain.
This is why it's so easy to fall in the psychological trap, people believe that the METHOD is actually what is the PRESENTATION, if you would use your method as a presentation you would probably tell your audience: «... So with clever trickery I am going to read your mind, just let me peek what is inside that envelope while you are laughing... why is everyone laughing? ...»
However I'm not starting to get a rebellion here, in fact there are ways to use psychology to create effects, book such as psychological subleties by Banacheck, Sleight of Mind by Ian Harling and Marting Nyrup, Building Blocks wouldn't exists.
However (coming with the point of this essay), people seem to rely so much on those techniques now, they get the Magical thougths of «... We can't do this with trickery, let's learn a bunch of NLP books that will teach us ...»
For those not experienced with Neurolinguistic programming (or structure of hypnosis, also miscalled as Not Likely Possible.) it is used for therapeutic use or for those who whish to use their powers for evil, to influence people into buying something from you or believing into something. There are ways to make routines with NLP, however I frankly never saw a mentalism routine with this (depending on your interpretation of what modern mentalism is).
Coming back to this point, psychological techniques looks good on paper and it migth be amusing to write them wishing them to work, however would you use those routines in a paid gig? I would drive mad if a signer would build to a climax with his song and at the most curcial part the mike stop workings and weird noses comes out of the amps, it's the same thing with your routines.
Why would you need to influence someone to pick a certain object when you can just use an equivoque or different outs, where are the double outs envelopes?
Mentalism happen's in the mind does this means no prop?
I love prop-free mentalism, I like the fact that you can just walk up to someone and just read someone else mind, predict the future, divine someone grocery list make a boomrang change color! (I got a bit carried here).
What's wrong with props? Are they poisonous? Do they hurt you (not talking about russian roulettes here) ?
Psychologists use pads to take notes, people hide information in envelopes because they are confidential, people write reminders on small billets... Why wouldn't you use them! What you see on TV isn't necessarely real, the peformer migth have used an impression pad, but that's not shown ''Because it removes the overall experiences of the viewer''.
Have you seen Derren Brown live? What does he use? ...
Of course there are great impromptu routines out there, however I feel a connection '' the clean everywhere, anytime no preparation psychological technique '' which most people would wish they exist.
Nurture your creativity
You already have it all in front of you, in your bedroom, on your shelf, in your mind! Those ideas that are begining to form, take those ideas, create a routine which you can present as a psychological performance, because now you understand that it is only an illusion.
People spend too much before thinking, they get bligthened by all the adds that make you believe that you can do it, then you get really dessapointed that you didn't found what you expected, and then you lie to people because you want to look like that pseudo-psychological entertainer so you can mislead more people into buying Psychology books to create their mentalism routine.
Make sure that the person which is coaching you give you good advice and he is knowledgable.
In the end
In sum, what you see is an illusions, and much of it is just mental masturbation, it's a great form of misdirection and you already use it all, however don't get fooled and think before buying.
Of course nothing prevents you of learning about Hypnotism and Suggestion like I did, and I still buy books teaching it, however, be creative with them!
Work hard on your scripts, listen, watch and learn to make people feel the same you you felt before this essay...
Last edited by Bliztmagic on Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.