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 Post subject: Teenagers and Mentalism
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:20 pm 
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Teenagers and Mentalism

*In this essay, I refer to mentalism and mental magic as two different things. Although there are different interpretations of these two fields of magic, I’m going to give my definition of the two (this is my definition so feel free to disagree) so there’s no confusion in this essay. Mentalism is performing a mental effect while trying to convince your audience you have special powers. Mental magic is performing any mental effect where you’re not trying to convince your audience you have special powers.*

I’m going to be right upfront about this and say people under the age of 18 (even 18 may still be a little too young) should NOT be performing mentalism! Now I’m not saying they can’t perform “mental magic.â€


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:15 pm 
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100% in...

Desagreement.
(Just edited the post, read the one below)

~blizt


Last edited by Bliztmagic on Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:46 am 
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I have to agree with this essay. It is very difficult for younger people to establish crediblility with an older audience, especially when performing mentalism. Personally, I perform a few mentalism effects, but they are surrounded by magic effects. I do this because I do not ever, EVER want someone to get the impression that I am claiming actual supernatural powers. Magicians have done more to expose that type of scam more than all other groups combined.

But, back to my original statement. I'm 18 and though I've been doing magic fairly successfully for some time, I know I have a lot to learn and experience, so don't gut me like a fish as has happened to some unfortunate souls who mentioned their age on this site. I have never had any problem establishing credibility with people of my age group, and have done well with older adults as well. I don't know what the right age is, or if there is one (personally I believe it has a lot to do with your performance and your own personality).

Anyways, I have a bad habit of droning on and going in circles, so let me just end by saying this: If you ease your way into mentalism effects slowly, and it doesn't work, stop. If it seems to be working for you, great! You'll always know when you're connecting with your audience.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:18 pm 
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If you mean stage preformance, then yes i guess you are correct. But if your just walking around and talk to a complete stranger and move objects with say the m5, then they'll give a [edited] reaction and they wont really ponder your age.
-But i see your point for example when looking at alot of mentalism effects, the storys and dialouge you say really would fit better into a older person (above age 20-25??) saying it.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:40 pm 
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if you have special powers, then youre pretty much born with them. you cant just gain special powers at a stage in your life. so if your 40 and trying to convince your audience of your powers, and if they get convinced, theres no reason why they wouldnt get convinced if your 15. sure it might be a little harder to convince them, but there seeing the same thing, so, yeahh


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:12 am 
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Just read again this essay,

I hate pre-consumed ideas about teenagers and mentalism, because they left out A VERY VERY important point.

MAKE YOUR MENTALISM YOU! *start to wave my hands around your head* MAKE IT YOU... YOU!

People says that you can't hypnotise people under the age of 18, because it use suggestions which works on a belief system, I have been doing suggestion and hypnotism and the age of 16, and it worked and still works for me.

WHY?

*start to wave his hands again* I MAKE IT ME.

If you feel totally unconfident about selling yourself as a psychic then IT WONT WORK. Everytime you slip a tongue or you feel not so confident about what you say or how you act, people pick up on the little signals you are giving away and it will make them seem that what you say makes no sense at all.

You have to find what suits you, I love bizarre, stylish art performances, mentalism hypnotism etc. I never tell them outright that I'm a psychic and no one ever asked me that question, I bring them in the theater, I give them a seat, and I make them enjoy the bizzarerie.

Now you might say that bizzare mentalism might be seen as mental magic, yes on some points it is, instead of hypnotising someone, I take a rose and make it wit and die in front of them and the spectator just wits and goes to sleep once the rose is dead, then I produce another rose and pass it under their nose bringing them back (my touch on Jermay's divided by hate).

Why do you think Pen and Teller are so popular, they have their own caracther, they have something that is THEM, they might show something that is not convincing at all, but to the audience it will still be entertaining and magic because they get them attached to THEM and not their magic.

It's not about making them remember about your tricks it's about them remembering about YOU.

I have seen so much awkward teenager mentalism, they would just stand there and say they read people mind, just giving me the impression that people would stand in a row waiting to be ''readed''.

People alway see mentalism in the same way, a dark person reads mind and is not funny at all.

Put a show that is entertaining, then try to have a bit of believability, but everything into context and you have what you need.

Instead of talking about brainwaves and stuff when you make a drawing duplication, talk about a way you use to cheat in exams.

BE CREATIVE, BE YOU! Don't let people influence you when they say you can't perform mentalism under 18, if you want it, do it but work hard.

------------

Another thing that I have seen in psychology books, it's called Mental Tendencies, let me give an example:

If you drink a few beers and you are with your freinds, even thought you are not biologically drunk, you act like someone who is drunk. Because you believe that with a certain amount of beer you become drunk and this suggest you to act differently.

So let say your leg would start to itch, or do something weird, even thought you are not biologically drunk, you will associate that itching sensation with being drunk, even if you aren't. And if you are sober and that same sensation would come back, you would just scratch.

So let's say you are a proffesional mentalist who watch a teenager show, you sit there and he completly bombs and doesn't give a good show. Since this person is different than you (he is a teenager) and he mess up, the proffesional who is 30 years old will imediately associate that mess up with one issue that looks the most credible, him being a teenager.

Just like with the itching sensation you imediately associate the itch with something that looks totally credible, being drunk.

So, naturally speaking, teenagers can't have 30 years of performing experience behind their belt, which means they are REALLY prone to fall in the ''you can't do mentalism''.

Don't go with the lazy thougths of putting everything on paper and then going peforming, if you want to be a sucessfull teenager mentalism work hard.

An adult mentalist that suceed works hard to have a good act, so if you want to have a good act work hard on it.

Now do you understand the mental tendency there? If a teenager would mess up on a mentalism show you would immediately associate it with this :

«... A teenager can't do mentalism, that's why he bomb ...»

And if you would see an adult mess up:

«... He was a very bad showman, he haven't put enough work on it...»

And then mix this all up with Social Beliefs and you have a big misconscription.

Everything that works well and have sucess is worked hard to have, the hard way is ALWAY the easy way.

~Max


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:40 am 
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Max....I believe you hit the nail on the head. Fantastic post and it raised a very strong argument. If you look at Magic theory, why wouldn't someone have abilities just because of their age. Steve "Banachek" Shaw started mentalism at a very young age. He was in high school when he was bending spoons and keys and blowing people away.
Age is always in conflict with experience, you say in paragraph 3, Nick, that the performance will suffer because the young person cannot create an original presentation. Replace the word 'young' with 'inexperienced' and you will get a more valid statement. Not all young performers are inexperienced. I have seen and met alot of promising young magicians and mentalists who wipe the floor with elder membersr of the magic community (no disrespect to elders).
Should your argument not be: Inexperienced people should not perform Mentalism?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:07 am 
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revelation77 wrote:
Max....I believe you hit the nail on the head. Fantastic post and it raised a very strong argument. If you look at Magic theory, why wouldn't someone have abilities just because of their age. Steve "Banachek" Shaw started mentalism at a very young age. He was in high school when he was bending spoons and keys and blowing people away.
Age is always in conflict with experience, you say in paragraph 3, Nick, that the performance will suffer because the young person cannot create an original presentation. Replace the word 'young' with 'inexperienced' and you will get a more valid statement. Not all young performers are inexperienced. I have seen and met alot of promising young magicians and mentalists who wipe the floor with elder membersr of the magic community (no disrespect to elders).
Should your argument not be: Inexperienced people should not perform Mentalism?


REVELATION!
Your name truly mix with your post, and this is what I was trying to express but I couldn't do it quite as easily as you,

Is that people see Young=Inexperienced.

And I totally agree with revelation, young person can come with something original, you just have to seek for it.

I saw a 11 years old magician on a small 25minute act, he did something incredible, it wasn't mentalism, but I never saw something as original as that. He acted like a rejeted kid, he drawed things on a huge sketchpad, things he needed, at one point he drawed a heart over the sketchpad, then a young girl came out of it, he then drawed a door on his sketchpad, he blinked to the audience, he took the little girl by the hand, opened the door and left the stage.

The acting was perfect, and this my freind is magic, it's not about the trick you do, it's about what you present.

I agree 100% with revelation.
~Max


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 Post subject: Re: Teenagers and Mentalism
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 17
Quote:
Mentalism is performing a mental effect while trying to convince your audience you have special powers. Mental magic is performing any mental effect where you’re not trying to convince your audience you have special powers.*


I found that to be a great explanation of what the two mean. Good job. In my opinion though, I think mental magic is just regular magic with a quick patter that retains the "I'm getting into your head" feel. Still, you're not trying to convince them of any supernatural talents, as you stated.

Quote:
I’m going to be right upfront about this and say people under the age of 18 (even 18 may still be a little too young) should NOT be performing mentalism!


Quote:
What I’m trying to say is that young performers will never be able to convince their audience that they can read minds, move objects with their mind, or anything else mentalism related.


Those have to be the worst statements I've ever read. Look at Luke Jermay, he was 15 when he published his first book (7 Deceptions). He was credited as one of the greatest mentalists to ever live by incredible magicians and mentalists (i.e. Kenton Knepper). And look at him now, he's an awesome mentalist who knows the ins and outs of mentalism.

In fact, I think he is the best mentalist out there if you ask me. Why? He can adapt to any situation given to him. He understands that many people these days don't believe in a human being have supernatural powers and capabilities. The way he presents his story lines, facial expressions, and routines are also great.

[quote]Young performers shouldn’t perform mentalism because (this kind of goes back to my last essay on teenagers building rapport with older audiences), an older audience will NEVER believe someone that young has “special powers.â€


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Jermay is an awsome creator, but not really an awsome mentalist.

An awesome mentalist would be Max Maven or Derren Brown.
~Max


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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Roger Klaus Theory.

As previously mentioned, look at Banachek - he was young but he made it.

I'm unsure as to how much of this essay I agree with. On the whole I think mentalism (be it magical or otherwise) is a tricky think with any age range to any age range of audience; I'm 23 and still find it difficult to make things I do work on people of any age. Sometimes it's not just the magician, it's the audience too.

Teenagers - I'd say give it a go and if it doesn't work for you file it until next year, then try again. I wouldn't say teenagers can't and shouldn't do mentalism, but I would say teenagers, it will be hard for you to do mentalism.

Nice work though. Just one thing, I'd try to put more detail into it. Use examples, real and hypothetical. Talk in depth about the whole thing. Longer essays have much more potential in them I think. And written well, they are 1000s of times better than some of the really good but really short ones you can read here. Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:26 pm 
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Bliztmagic wrote:
Jermay is an awsome creator, but not really an awsome mentalist.

An awesome mentalist would be Max Maven or Derren Brown.
~Max


I am meeting Max Maven in August! Just saying... Sorry.

Bliztmagic wrote:
Just read again this essay,

I hate pre-consumed ideas about teenagers and mentalism, because they left out A VERY VERY important point.

MAKE YOUR MENTALISM YOU! *start to wave my hands around your head* MAKE IT YOU... YOU!

People says that you can't hypnotise people under the age of 18, because it use suggestions which works on a belief system, I have been doing suggestion and hypnotism and the age of 16, and it worked and still works for me.

WHY?

*start to wave his hands again* I MAKE IT ME.

If you feel totally unconfident about selling yourself as a psychic then IT WONT WORK. Everytime you slip a tongue or you feel not so confident about what you say or how you act, people pick up on the little signals you are giving away and it will make them seem that what you say makes no sense at all.

You have to find what suits you, I love bizarre, stylish art performances, mentalism hypnotism etc. I never tell them outright that I'm a psychic and no one ever asked me that question, I bring them in the theater, I give them a seat, and I make them enjoy the bizzarerie.

Now you might say that bizzare mentalism might be seen as mental magic, yes on some points it is, instead of hypnotising someone, I take a rose and make it wit and die in front of them and the spectator just wits and goes to sleep once the rose is dead, then I produce another rose and pass it under their nose bringing them back (my touch on Jermay's divided by hate).

Why do you think Pen and Teller are so popular, they have their own caracther, they have something that is THEM, they might show something that is not convincing at all, but to the audience it will still be entertaining and magic because they get them attached to THEM and not their magic.

It's not about making them remember about your tricks it's about them remembering about YOU.

I have seen so much awkward teenager mentalism, they would just stand there and say they read people mind, just giving me the impression that people would stand in a row waiting to be ''readed''.

People alway see mentalism in the same way, a dark person reads mind and is not funny at all.

Put a show that is entertaining, then try to have a bit of believability, but everything into context and you have what you need.

Instead of talking about brainwaves and stuff when you make a drawing duplication, talk about a way you use to cheat in exams.

BE CREATIVE, BE YOU! Don't let people influence you when they say you can't perform mentalism under 18, if you want it, do it but work hard.

------------

Another thing that I have seen in psychology books, it's called Mental Tendencies, let me give an example:

If you drink a few beers and you are with your freinds, even thought you are not biologically drunk, you act like someone who is drunk. Because you believe that with a certain amount of beer you become drunk and this suggest you to act differently.

So let say your leg would start to itch, or do something weird, even thought you are not biologically drunk, you will associate that itching sensation with being drunk, even if you aren't. And if you are sober and that same sensation would come back, you would just scratch.

So let's say you are a proffesional mentalist who watch a teenager show, you sit there and he completly bombs and doesn't give a good show. Since this person is different than you (he is a teenager) and he mess up, the proffesional who is 30 years old will imediately associate that mess up with one issue that looks the most credible, him being a teenager.

Just like with the itching sensation you imediately associate the itch with something that looks totally credible, being drunk.

So, naturally speaking, teenagers can't have 30 years of performing experience behind their belt, which means they are REALLY prone to fall in the ''you can't do mentalism''.

Don't go with the lazy thougths of putting everything on paper and then going peforming, if you want to be a sucessfull teenager mentalism work hard.

An adult mentalist that suceed works hard to have a good act, so if you want to have a good act work hard on it.

Now do you understand the mental tendency there? If a teenager would mess up on a mentalism show you would immediately associate it with this :

«... A teenager can't do mentalism, that's why he bomb ...»

And if you would see an adult mess up:

«... He was a very bad showman, he haven't put enough work on it...»

And then mix this all up with Social Beliefs and you have a big misconscription.

Everything that works well and have sucess is worked hard to have, the hard way is ALWAY the easy way.

~Max


That was the best post I have seen on here all year. You should start writing counter essays! I fully agree with your side of the story.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 5:01 pm 
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I believe on the overall persona of the performer. I have a friend who is still a teenager and he just opened a one-man mentalism show in New York. I also regularly and succesfully perform mentalism. I believe, in short, that it is all immediately about how you act as soon as you walk into that room or onto that stage.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:26 pm 
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I don't think you need to be above a certain age to convince that you have special powers.

You can go the X-men route, say it's a Mutant gene that only gets activated when you hit puberty. If you are familiar with the comic book, then you know that all those abilities would manifest at puberty. Not adulthood.

I think the question isn't whether you can convince at a young age, but... can you make the plot believeable? There are good actors and bad actors. And while age does tend to make for better actors ( More time to refine craft... more life experiences to draw on... more experience as an actor.) the fact is, there are some awsome Child actors out there.

So it all comes down to...can a young person be believable in the persona of a child with mutant mentalist powers?

To say " No child under 18 should try to act as if they have these powers" is basically saying.." No child can act." because that is what it boils down to. There are plotlines that allow for children with psychic Powers... " Carrie." " Fire Starter" etc...

The problem here is, it is only a short step to saying.." Ok, you are a child you can perform magic " tricks" but no one would ever believe you are really a magician, after all... no adult would accept that."

I believe this is very shortsighted, and biased.


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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Exact clarissa,
I really like your post it's a pleasure to read them and they are great on that forum.

It make's me think about a book, if you have trouble making your acts convincing or entertaining, stop looking at any random book teaching it. The book alchemical tools from Paul Brook is one of the best book to learn this,

In fact I migth review it in the trick review, this book was gold to me, and when you fild gold you find the goldmine nerby.

Max.


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