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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Magic Castle Audition for Mentalists (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ubernutz
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I'm auditioning in a couple months to become member of the AMA. I was just curious what were some of the routines that you may have done for your audition. I have some in mind for myself. I want to do three solid routines. One, I want original to me in the sense of a combination of some classic effects or even a twist on some more modern effect. And one or two I will be using some sort of props, for instance I was thinking Max Maven's Psign, I've always loved that effect. Thanks!
Matt Pulsar
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One thing to think about is if you want to develop as a mentalist, is it good for your character to perform at a place with Magic in the title. I’ve not done this audition but, for any audition I’d say perform the solid routine you’ve done at least twenty times before in front of real audiences.
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John C
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Don't get new stuff. Do stuff you already know. Like Matt says.
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Mr. Mindbender
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When I moved to Los Angeles (longer than I can remember!) one of the first things I did was audition at the Magic Castle. Back then I didn't do mentalism, only magic. This was my dream of a lifetime, I went in prepared to knock their socks off! I started with a version of Frank Garcia's Chicago Opener, then began a three shell routine that took me close to a year to develop and master. I got three moves into the shell routine when I was told to stop. They instructed me to head upstairs and wait. I was crestfallen, sure I had made a fool of myself. About ten minutes later, someone approached me with a handshake and said "Congratulations, you've been accepted!" When I asked why they cut me off - he told me that they had a packed night of auditions and all it took was a few minutes for them to tell that I was serious about magic.

As I said, that was a long time ago, but the sense I got from my audition is that the main requirement is that you are a serious practitioner of magic. What they don't want are "muggles" wanting to join just to be able to say they are a member of the Magic Castle. So, that's a long way of saying, do what you're good at, do something that shows your excitement, passion and love of magic, and have a good time!
Dynamike
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I will apply for the audition. I will do my favorite mentalism effects.
Ubernutz
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Quote:
On Aug 2, 2018, Mr. Mindbender wrote:
When I moved to Los Angeles (longer than I can remember!) one of the first things I did was audition at the Magic Castle. Back then I didn't do mentalism, only magic. This was my dream of a lifetime, I went in prepared to knock their socks off! I started with a version of Frank Garcia's Chicago Opener, then began a three shell routine that took me close to a year to develop and master. I got three moves into the shell routine when I was told to stop. They instructed me to head upstairs and wait. I was crestfallen, sure I had made a fool of myself. About ten minutes later, someone approached me with a handshake and said "Congratulations, you've been accepted!" When I asked why they cut me off - he told me that they had a packed night of auditions and all it took was a few minutes for them to tell that I was serious about magic.

As I said, that was a long time ago, but the sense I got from my audition is that the main requirement is that you are a serious practitioner of magic. What they don't want are "muggles" wanting to join just to be able to say they are a member of the Magic Castle. So, that's a long way of saying, do what you're good at, do something that shows your excitement, passion and love of magic, and have a good time!


I'm not asking for a routine for myself or what effects I should do, just curious as to what routines or effects other mentalists have done for their audition. That's great advice though and I appreciate it!
Matt Pulsar
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2018, Ubernutz wrote:
I'm not asking for a routine for myself or what effects I should do, just curious as to what routines or effects other mentalists have done for their audition. That's great advice though and I appreciate it!


All of them.
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Ubernutz
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Quote:
On Aug 3, 2018, Matt Pulsar wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 3, 2018, Ubernutz wrote:
I'm not asking for a routine for myself or what effects I should do, just curious as to what routines or effects other mentalists have done for their audition. That's great advice though and I appreciate it!


All of them.



thanks for the input. very insightful
IAIN
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I'm curious as to why you wanna know... what routines would you do?

the reason why I'm asking is that you're a new user, and its a good way to understand someone... Smile
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Samuel Catoe
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Uber, my best suggestion for you is just what IAIN said, go with the routines YOU would perform. In your position I wouldn't even concern myself with what anyone else did for their audition. Break a leg.
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Alan M
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And don't concern yourself with trying to fool them. That is not what they are looking for.
Ray Bertrand
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When I auditioned for the Castle in the early 80's my mentor told me to have a 10 to 15 minute routine. He said I needed to practice to the point I could do it flawlessly before having my morning coffee. I did. He was right. I auditioned before the panel headed by Dai Vernon and was accepted after going elsewhere in the Castle to await their decision. My mentor had the best advice I have ever received.

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Ubernutz
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On Aug 5, 2018, Alan M wrote:
And don't concern yourself with trying to fool them. That is not what they are looking for.



Yes, that's what I've heard, it's more about competency than anything. thanks
AttnPls
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When I auditioned years ago, they seemed to be looking for something that showed a level of skill or proficiency, not entertainment value. I knew the exact moment I passed... it was when I did an unusual bare hand ring vanish. I could tell that once I did it, the judges all just sat back in their chairs and enjoyed the rest of the performance. The other guy who did sponge balls was not accepted that day. Practice and do something that demonstrates that you have mastered some actual skill. Mentalism is a bit more difficult to demonstrate a level of skill as it doesn’t usually require any manipulation skills, so the criteria must be different. I would avoid anything that looks like a standard performances of common packet trick or anything self working... you will have to demonstrate proficiency and comfort with your character and ideally something that takes a bit of skill or practice to perfect. Bottom line, you have to have demonstrate that you put some real work into your art and performance. Your best shot is to do routines you are very comfortable with so it is clear that you have performance experience. If you can do something that clearly requires a mastery of skills, you just make it easier for the committee to make their decision.
Ray Pierce
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When I auditioned back in the 70's, I was understandably terrified. Having just turned 21 and being in the room with many people who I considered my idols judging me was a lot to deal with. I got half way through my first effect and they stopped me and said... "You're fine!" Years later when I was on the audition committee, I gained a lot more understanding. They really just want to know that you're serious about magic and haven't just learned a few effects to get out of paying for the more expensive Associate Membership (yes, that happened a lot). It also depends on how many people they have to see that evening. If it's not too crowded they might let you do more time or if you're particularly nervous, they might let you go longer to give you time to relax. As has been mentioned above, they are not there to be fooled although when that happens, it is a delightful bonus! Just do something that shows your respect for magic (or mentalism as the case might be) and not something you just picked up at the magic shop on the way there (yes, that happened as well!)
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Ubernutz
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Quote:
On Aug 11, 2018, AttnPls wrote:
When I auditioned years ago, they seemed to be looking for something that showed a level of skill or proficiency, not entertainment value. I knew the exact moment I passed... it was when I did an unusual bare hand ring vanish. I could tell that once I did it, the judges all just sat back in their chairs and enjoyed the rest of the performance. The other guy who did sponge balls was not accepted that day. Practice and do something that demonstrates that you have mastered some actual skill. Mentalism is a bit more difficult to demonstrate a level of skill as it doesn’t usually require any manipulation skills, so the criteria must be different. I would avoid anything that looks like a standard performances of common packet trick or anything self working... you will have to demonstrate proficiency and comfort with your character and ideally something that takes a bit of skill or practice to perfect. Bottom line, you have to have demonstrate that you put some real work into your art and performance. Your best shot is to do routines you are very comfortable with so it is clear that you have performance experience. If you can do something that clearly requires a mastery of skills, you just make it easier for the committee to make their decision.


Yes!, this is exactly the reason I was asking this question in these forums. I can perform a variety of effects but would they be happy with me asking a judge to write down someone's name who means something to them and then performing a CT and then "reading" the person's thought of name. It's harder for mentalism than let's say a manipulation routine.

That's why I was wondering what other mentalists have performed at their audition, not so that I can do their exact routine but just to get a general idea of what a mentalist audition might look like.
debjit
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Yes I agree that in magic you can show your mastery over skills which in mentalism you cannot. Also in the audition you can still impress them by performing a difficult trick albeit common but I don't think they'll be impressed with a common mentalism trick as the whole purpose of mentalism is to make the spectator believe that you're reading their mind. So I would do some original mentalism tricks or maybe variations of the large scale mentalism tricks performed on shows like AGT and BGT. You might also want to check out a propless mentalism trick I just released (link in signature).
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