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Topic: The Café and mentalism - a growing concern
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Nov 8, 2002 05:23AM)
Something has begun ringing in the back of my head over the past few weeks, or perhaps even months.

Mentalists probably want the art to, at large, remain a bit obscure. However, right here it is openly discussed with over [i]4000[/i] people, not even counting those that just lurk around out of curiosity.

Obviously being here doesn't make anyone a good mentalist, especially considering that a lot of mentalism has much more real stuff to it than what is discussed here, but the mere openness kind of [i]belittles[/i] mentalism into mere supposed methods and tricks.

Don't get me wrong - this [i]is[/i] an excellent and valuable place, but it is getting crowded in here and judging from the increasing rate of "got sum great mentalism tricks?"-posts it's perhaps time to watch our tongues a little...

(Personally, I've edited my older posts)

Sincerely, and with concern for preserving the essence,

Matias
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Nov 8, 2002 07:35AM)
Yes mentalism is on the rise as far as popularity in the public eye. With the 'stunts' and 'bizarre effects' of David Blaine and Chris Angel, as well as their 'far from the norm' presentations, I think the time is right for a mentalist to take over as the 'king of magic' on tv right now. Why have their been no 'street mentalist' shows? I did see a show called 'street hypnosis'! why not mentalism?

Chad
Message: Posted by: shrink (Nov 8, 2002 07:38AM)
When Derren Brown's series is released over there you will see that its already happening. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: PK (Nov 8, 2002 07:42AM)
I'm a little surprised that the test to get in the secret section is the number of posts you make. However this is probably the only workable method.

I remember when some of the magic news groups had nothing but posts asking, 'how does Blaine do this, that, the other etc'.

On the other hand I guess you are unlikely to come here unless you have a genuine interest in the subject.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: eric2104 (Nov 8, 2002 08:06AM)
Hi to all

Just one thought about "street mentalism", if I may...

Wasn't it Anneman who said that mentalism was best suited for "small groups of intelligent people", or something close to that (I don't remember the exact words unfortunately).

And why the fascination for TV (except for the money of course)? I would hate to appear overly elitist here, but in my opinion, mentalism is exactly the type of magic that was meant to entertain educated people in rather intimate settings.

Drawing from my own experience, groups of doctors or engineers (the rational minds) give a better reaction to mentalism than groups of car salesmen. Please don't get me wrong, I have nothing against car salesmen: I have just noted that these guys seem to react better to a good Cups and Balls Routine than to a Psychometry routine, while the reverse is true with medical doctors...

By construction, mentalism is the most interactive type of magic: to be a mind-reader, the mentalist needs someone else's mind to read! And the interactivity works better, at least in my humble opinion, with smaller groups, where we have an opportunity to work with everyone of the participants.

Also by construction, mentalism is a rather "intellectual" type of magic, which I find easier to "sell" to people with a certain level of education, because we share the same sort of knowledge referential (this is also why mentalism doesn't play too well with kids: their referential is too far away from ours).

I love to see David Blaine perform his street magic; I would hate to see mentalism done in the street though. But again, that is only my humble opinion, what do I know?

This being said, I agree with Matias regarding the openness of these columns and the multiplication of requests such as "great mentalism tricks"...

Best regards to all.
Eric.
:kewl:
Message: Posted by: Paradox (Nov 8, 2002 09:17AM)
There are other forums on the net devoted solely to mentalism. THE NAILWRITER is very good. You get in by a vote of the members & techniques are openly discussed.
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Nov 8, 2002 09:18AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-08 08:35, chadmagic wrote:
Yes mentalism is on the rise as far as popularity in the public eye. With the 'stunts' and 'bizarre effects' of David Blaine and Chris Angel, as well as their 'far from the norm' presentations, I think the time is right for a mentalist to take over as the 'king of magic' on tv right now. Why have their been no 'street mentalist' shows? I did see a show called 'street hypnosis'! why not mentalism?

Chad
[/quote]


I have just that show in the works.

Enjoy!
Rex
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Nov 8, 2002 09:52AM)
Maybe it's time for a "Secret Sessions" type of category for mentalism? Only those with 50 posts could get in, eliminating the lurkers.
Message: Posted by: zmagicleez (Nov 8, 2002 10:45AM)
Good idea.
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 8, 2002 11:27AM)
It doesn't matter really does it?

The people who come on these types of sites are the ones who are interested in learning magic or mentalism in the first place.

What is the point in making the 'Mentalism page' elitist?

Personally, I'd say in the real world, where people are making a living, no one really cares how things are performed anyway.

And like Eugene Burger says, more is exposed by bad performance than by exposure from TV programmers or magic websites.

So what's the big deal?

Socrates

'Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go' - T.S Eliot :die:
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Nov 8, 2002 12:03PM)
The problem is that many of the people (especially recently) aren't really that interested. They have seen the latest Derren Brown special and have a passing curiosity on how its done. They tend on the whole to then disappear when nobody will tell them.

Eugene Burger might be right, but those bad performers are exactly the people who come here saying "How is xxxxxx done"

Its is a common complaint that mentalists are elitist. It is simply not true. They care more about ensuring secrets are maintained and that its not presented inappropriately. Its the way magic used to be, but no longer is. If you share the right attitude then you will be welcomed as a mentalist. If you act like a kid, then you'll be treated like one.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: A l a i n B e ll o n (Nov 8, 2002 12:16PM)
[quote]
Why have their been no 'street mentalist' shows? I did see a show called 'street hypnosis'! why not mentalism?

Chad
[/quote]


I had a 1 hr show of that nature at the end of last year ( I think it aired in January of this year ). It was all pure mentalism. It was practically propless except for some quartz crystals.
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 8, 2002 12:22PM)
Hi Kris,

You say:

'If you share the right attitude then you will be welcomed as a mentalist.'

Could you please expand upon this comment and explain what you mean when you talk of the right attitude?

Socrates

'Original details are very ordinary, except to the mind that sees their extraordinariness' - N.Goldberg :die:
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 8, 2002 12:57PM)
Integrity,creativity,and cultivating a backround into the nature of thought and consciousnes.These three things come to mind when considering this field of entertainment.
Has anyone here ever looked into the source
of when the mind and "supernormal powers" were first being written about ? In the Yoga background, these "powers" are called the "Siddhis". They are revealed originally in the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali". But the prime focus is "balance". Not taking youself too seriously. By persuing these Siddhis, you can lose your way to understanding your "true" self. Which is by the way,is the actual "path" of fully realizing all these "inherent" qualities, already inside us.
A great reference book on this sublect is by
John McAfee, "Beyond the Siddhis". It wakes you up to the fact that we already posses all these powers. The key to this is perspective. It was even put forth by J K Rowling,when Prof Dumbledor told Harry Potter about, "looking in the mirror too much."
I'm sure those who have read "Banachek, Derren Brown, Eugene Burger,
Jeff McBride, even Harlan Tarbell, would see this connection. Having an understanding of the "source of thought", and how to access it, can only lead to greater creativity. And to a deeper connection to those we perform our "art" for.
There are more truths and "secrets" to be learned from inside our own minds, than from any outside source. "All doors open inwardly". And that includes the ones we open here in this forum. Let us all here learn to become truly "awakened"/(Buddha),in in our "Hidden Minds of Freedom" (Tarthang Tulku).
:o: "OMmmm......"
Message: Posted by: Sergeant (Nov 8, 2002 02:34PM)
I would not worry. Most people simply do not have the time or inclination once they leave a performance to research or buy a book on the subject of mentalism or magic. If you take a step back and look at this forum you would find that it would take a great deal of time and dedication to read and understand what is here alone. We have our own colloquialisms and genre. It would seem much like Latin to 99% of the laymen that visit this site.
An additional note, I perform at a lot of colleges. I am asked about David Blaine from time to time. His levitation is one of the most curious items for them. (For this generation it has the same effect as the Statue of liberty Vanish did for the last one.) I was approached by one college student with a cursory interest in magic who told me he did a search on the internet for the secret of David Blaine’s levitation. He then went into a vague description of the Balducci Levitation and told me that it was all the information he could get. He asked me for further clarification on how it was done, since the explanation on the internet was too lame. I probed his mind for additional information, but it seemed the more he talked of what he found on the internet the more confused he became. The conversation came to a bitter end for him when I relayed that I had no idea how it was done.
Now comes the kicker. Another student in the group then asked me if I thought it might be real then. I smiled and showed her a card trick.

Sergeant
Message: Posted by: Gianni (Nov 8, 2002 07:38PM)
I think Matias' point is well-taken. I was rather shy about voicing a strong opinion on this for the first few years I was in magic because I wanted to think it through.

I have come to the conclusion that we should tighten things up. The internet has changed the rules. I have simply come to reject emphatically the "laymen don't have time to look at the internet" point of view. I think this is a head-in-the-sand approach. Now I would not take this approach if we were talking about requiring some burdensome or expensive impediment. But it is soooo easy. We've got passwords, numbers of posts, short quizzes.

We are in an age of instant information. This is harmful to magic. Period. Is it a death knell? Maybe not - at least in the short run. But is it undesirable? Yes. Don't we care enough to put up some slight protections? What's the big deal. To serious enthusiasts these impediments are inconsequential. To the idly curious they are deterrents. I don't need to get into a trial of proving this and by how much. We're still allowed to use common sense. The question is simple: do you provide minimal, effortless protections to guard something you love?

Gianni
Message: Posted by: Bruno (Nov 8, 2002 08:33PM)
Todays layman is tomorrows Derren Brown.
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Nov 9, 2002 04:08AM)
I was going to try and keep out of this one in public, but here goes.

Bruno, no he isn't. Derren was a magician for quite a number of years before he does what he does now.

People come here with the mis-placed view that if only they knew the secrets they could be like Derren Brown. This is not true.

If you want to get to the same sort of level you are going to have to work, and for some number of years. 95-99% (at a guess) of those that come here are not prepared to put in the hard work.

There is a sudden Blaine-like craze (but with Derren) at present. The number of new participants in this forum has jumped by a huge amount since the repeat of Derren't Mind Control series recently. The problem is, what most of the newcomers don't realize, is that because of this rush of new people a large majority of the knowledgable, professional, well known and best mentalists known in the world today - who USED to post here, no longer do. Or if any of them do still post here, they leave most of the real discussion for forums elsewhere (don't ask me, I refuse to say).

So why have they left en-masse? For many reasons:

1) The Wanna-be's

2) Same tired questions are being asked time and time again. Why don't you read the old archives before you start a new topic. It would save everybody's time. Every other post is 'What book should I start with'. I even noticed a topic on "De Profundis" on which I wrote a topic about a month ago!

3) A lot of people are accidentally exposing method, or don't care they are exposing method. I take for example the *recent* de profundis post. Jees! Mentalists care about their secrets and certainly don't tolerate people that expose them.

4) There are a few other reasons. But I shall bite my tongue as it would not be appropriate to talk about them here as they are 'political' in nature.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova

:( :( :(
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Nov 9, 2002 07:45AM)
[quote]Bruno wrote:
Todays layman is tomorrows Derren Brown.
[/quote]

Yesterdays layman was [i]astonished[/i] by the [i]magic[/i] Cups and Balls.

Todays layman considers it a neat trick.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 9, 2002 08:29AM)
Kris and Matias,
Well put, gentlemen.
Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: Steve Hoffman (Nov 9, 2002 09:37AM)
I agree, folks, that there should be a bit more "security" on The Magic Café -- but not only for the mentalists forums, but also for ANY of the Magic Café forums, with the sole exception of a limited number of forums that could be geared to the general public or the total novice.

Having recently joined Magic Café, I was surprised that I don't even have to enter my password in order to read all the messages (excluding the Secret Sessions, I guess).

At the very least, why not require people to register and answer a few simple questions indicating their bona fide interest in and involvement in magic. These questions could include:

-- name the magic society (such as IBM) that you are currently a member of, including local "ring" or "assembly" number

-- answer a couple of very simple magic trivia or history questions to see if you know the name of any magicians other than the handful that the general public know Blaine, Houdini, Copperfield, etc.

-- list at least three effects that you currently can or do perform (whether professionally or even as a serious amateur)

-- give the name of one of their favorite books on magic

-- give the name of their favorite magic shop

Etc. Etc. Perhaps the registrant wouldn't have to answer ALL the question but would have to answer at least 3 out of 5, or something like that.

And then, you'd have to log in with your user name and password even to read the forums, not only to post messages. (Again, there could be a few forums open to the general public).

Steve Hoffman
Takoma Park, MD
mailto:steve@goodnote.com
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 9, 2002 10:22AM)
Perhaps even roll up one trouser leg and pledge alligence to the god of mentalism.

Come on what is all this elitism about?

I think you guys are taking things too seriously and over-rate the interest the general public has in learning magic tricks.

Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.

Socrates

'Progress comes to those who train and train, reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere' - M.Ueshiba :die:
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Nov 9, 2002 11:52AM)
[quote]Socrates wrote:
Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.[/quote]

This gives me two alternative conclusions:

a) Your performance style is not convincing or you're not competent enough (no offense intended).

b) The call for being careful, as explained in my very original post, is more justified than ever.
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Nov 9, 2002 12:00PM)
[quote]
Come on what is all this elitism about?
[/quote]

Its not elitism - its called being *discreet* about who you discuss certain things with. To paraphrase: "We are not a secret society, we are a society with secrets". This is very true in the case of the mentalist community. Almost anyone is free to join, but they need to show they are honest, hard working, and dedicated before they are taken more seriously.

There is little point just tipping various ideas to newcomers. There are a few reasons:

a) They aren't really going to appreciate it. In their minds its just another trick in the book.

b) They do not have the pre-requisite knowledge and experience to present it effectively this leads nicely onto your second issue:

[quote]
Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.
[/quote]

I would beg to differ...In my experience I find quite the opposite. You are always going to have a few people that will say that you are just doing tricks. This is a given fact, no matter how excellent or brilliant you are. However if this is the case the majority of the time, its because of lack of experience and performance skill. I once performed a routine for my sister and my 'girlfriend'. The hardest, most sceptical, most scrutinizing two people I know. They are going to tell me if something seems obvious to them, quick as a flash without any regard to my feelings they are going to tell me. This is great! However getting back to the story, my sister turned white and found it difficult to speak and the 'girlfriend' sat there with her jaw open. Both could have sworn that I had recently traded my soul with the devil. The way I presented it was believable - try convincing someone that with a colour changing silk.

I feel sorry for the vast number of traditional hard working magicians out there. Their art has turned into an economy of tricks (mentalists *tend* not to release stuff until it is being ripped off. A fair bit of literature is produced but these items tend to keep a low profile). Next time you go to a magic dealer take a look around you, I've said it before, its like walking into a rehab clinic, where the customers are the addicts flocking in to satisfy their lust with their weekly dose of 'Method-done'. If this appeals to you stick to this way of life. It doesn't appeal to me.

Mentalists get together and they on the whole *share presentational ideas*. The 'secrets' do not need to be discussed as a mentalist knows how to apply the knowledge he/she has to pull off it off. This is *ONE* reason why mentalists get so annoyed by people wanting to know the secret to a particular effect. Its not as simple as that.

Mentalism on the whole is fairly boring to most magicians. In all honesty I could give the game away by telling you that most of the techniques and principles are mostly rather 'basic' in approach, hoping this would put off a certain group of people. You are lucky to see a major innovation in mentalism more than once a decade. For this reason it doesn't appeal to many. It is a 'game' for thinking men with thinking minds. It is wrong to debase/deconstruct it by going down to the level of secrets for those that are curious and not conscious that its actually the performance skill that's required to pull it off.

I hope you will come to see this and understand it yourself in due course and that you find your interest develops into a worthwhile persuit.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 9, 2002 12:36PM)
Thanks for the replies,

It's nice to see what you guys believe when asked the correct questions.

In the past whenever I've presented a mental effect the person helping me out has always had their brain fried by the effect and began to wonder, really wonder what is possible in this world.

I began performing magic about three or four years ago and became quickly bored of it, so turned to mentalism.

Mentalism is the sort of thing that blows peoples minds and can make them begin to really question reality.

When I perform for others I always do it in impromptu situations and never let them know I've studied magic. And for me this is the best way to perform what I do.

Perhaps you guys are correct, maybe this internet access to magic and mentalism isn't so good and shouldn't be encouraged, who knows?

Maybe we would be better off without the internet discussions on magic and mentalism altogether. I guess this would force people to get out in the real world and learn the craft, and to do that you'd have to be dedicated.

What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Socrates

'To remain caught up in the ideas and words of Zen, is as the old masters say, to "Stink of Zen".' - Alan Watts :die:
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Nov 9, 2002 12:44PM)
Magic and mentalism on the internet isn't a bad thing. The easy accessibility and anonymity of it all *is* imo.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (Nov 9, 2002 04:32PM)
Matias,

For several reasons, one being that posts are frequently edited, and the rules within the Café seem to only apply to magic being exposed, not mentalism, that there are many magician knowitalls as far as mentalism goes in here, and the fact that there are MANY laypeople now reading the Café, most discriminating mentalists are leaving the Café for greener pastures.

I know one of the world's leading mentalists that refuse to have a mentalism discussion with such people as VernonOnCoins, and with a name like that I am sure you can understand why.

I would suggest that you and everyone else that is serious about real world mentalism discussions join the various "mentalists only" boards and if you believe that your sufficient in your skills as a mentalist and psychic entertainer look into joining the PEA.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

[quote]
On 2002-11-08 06:23, matias wrote:
Something has begun ringing in the back of my head over the past few weeks, or perhaps even months.

Mentalists probably want the art to, at large, remain a bit obscure. However, right here it is openly discussed with over [i]4000[/i] people, not even counting those that just lurk around out of curiosity.

Obviously being here doesn't make anyone a good mentalist, especially considering that a lot of mentalism has much more real stuff to it than what is discussed here, but the mere openness kind of [i]belittles[/i] mentalism into mere supposed methods and tricks.

Don't get me wrong - this [i]is[/i] an excellent and valuable place, but it is getting crowded in here and judging from the increasing rate of "got sum great mentalism tricks?"-posts it's perhaps time to watch our tongues a little...

(Personally, I've edited my older posts)

Sincerely, and with concern for preserving the essence,

Matias
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: saglaser (Nov 9, 2002 06:55PM)
And we find these "mentalist Only" boards how?

Can they be found with a Google search for "Mentalism" plus "secret-hunters go away?" Are there links that can be safely posted, with the security that the merely curious will get screened out at the door? Need we wait for somebody already inside to invite us in? Are they meant for working pros only or do they tolerate us serious hobbyists?

These references to better virtual conclaves do raise such questions.
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Nov 9, 2002 08:01PM)
[quote]And we find these "mentalist Only" boards how?[/quote]
May I just suggest that these kind of questions be answered in PM form. Kind of goes against the whole point otherwise...

Check your PM, Saglaser.
Message: Posted by: saglaser (Nov 9, 2002 10:46PM)
Thanks, Matias. And that was exactly my point. It's one thing to suggest that serious folks check out the serious forums, but there needs to be some way for newcomers to find their way there.

All the possibilities I mentioned above are workable, but they do have to be worked. A site can be made easy to find but more difficult to gain access to. Or it can be made difficult to find and rely on references and invitations, but somebody has to be finding new blood and inviting them in -- or the place risks growing stale. And in all cases, somebody has to be working some form of active screening.

The alternative is that everybody just keeps moving from place to place trying to stay one step ahead of the casual secret-hunters. That's not only a nuisance as we try to keep tabs on our friends, but it also assures that the same discussions pop up even more frequently than they would otherwise...and that no one place ever builds up much of an archive.

So, what do you think is the best way of keeping a serious-people-only site workable?
Message: Posted by: spadesy (Nov 10, 2002 12:45AM)
It seems mentalists, much like practiced intrumentists, believe they are regarded as some sort of psychologists. This could be true, though 'it is not what you think it is'.

Oh no, now I'm doing it.
Message: Posted by: Bruno (Nov 10, 2002 06:01AM)
Hi all,
Earlier I posted a comment: Todays laymen is Tommorrows Derren. I know Derren was a magician and that he didn't just appear from thin air (so to speak). I've known of his work for some years, but now he has developed into a virtuoso performer in the very specialised field of psychologically illusion. My point was that his rise to infamy is open to anyone prepared to put in the financial investment, pre-requisite study and practice and anyone truly driven to do this finds forums like this invaluable. My point was, carping on about amateurs and lay people browsing the forum is pathetic and a tad selfish. Even if people know how effects are created presentations vary from performer to performer and should if done well disguise the method totally, so what the lay person thinks he/she knows is completely unrecogniseable. Every one in every field starts out with enthusiasm and little else. I would like to add other epigrams that should make the meaning of my original posting clear.
Todays stranger is Tomorrows loved one.
Todays enemy is Tomorrows friend.
Todays news is Tomorrows french fries wrapper.
Todays dinner is Tomorrows waste.
Todays chorus boy is Tomorrows principle male.
From small acorns, Oak trees...etc... etc...
Message: Posted by: kou (Nov 10, 2002 07:53PM)
As the person who started the other "De Profundis" post, two comments:
1. I guess I should have re-started the other thread rather than post a new topic on the essentially the same question. I apologize for cluttering the message board.

2. As for the accusation that this new thread on De Profundis gives away any mentalism secrets, I think that's totally incorrect. Anyone who doesn't own 13 Steps would have no idea what the effect is from the discussion on the new thread, much less to what use the props are put.

As for the topic of this thread: I understand the concern with safeguarding trade secrets, but I think the "loose lips sink ships" attitude that pervades most of the posts on this thread is a bit much. Everyone needs an entry point into the world of mentalism, and this forum is as good as any other. While I am not saying that methods should be revealed (and to my knowledge, they never have been -- even the Secret Sessions is pretty tight-lipped when it comes to discussing how effects are done), I do think we'd be better off as a community if we were more welcoming of newcomers rather than accusing them of being Derren Brown wannabes.
Message: Posted by: saglaser (Nov 11, 2002 02:18AM)
I'm sure that in my time I've started a redundant topic or two myself. That may not be excusable when there are 5 or 6 pages of topics. But when you have Umpty-Seven pages to wade through, well, I don't blame folks for not bothering to look back beyond a half dozen or so.

I'm not sure how far back the previous De Profundis topic was, so I'm not speaking to that situation specifically. Just in general.
Message: Posted by: Luke Kerr (Nov 11, 2002 06:34AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-10 07:12, Bruno wrote:
Hi all,
Earlier I posted a comment: Todays laymen is Tommorrows Derren. I know Derren was a magician and that he didn't just appear from thin air (so to speak).
[/quote]

Only this...
You say that is good that if one want to start in mentalism could go into a forum and learn.
Ok it's good BUT remember that more people access the information,more serious performer go away or don't share their impression.
And it is right.
So i think that some sort of selection could only be good for the magic Café.
(one could have two different section one "open" and one with selection.The "50 post system" is an idea but it doesn't guarantee that someone don't come ,write 50 stupid post to peek into the secret forum,we need a more selective system probably)
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Nov 11, 2002 07:32AM)
Hi,
The problem as I see it with Groups of self considered experts is that everyone is happy to make things really exclusive and
underground so long as thier are a part of it!

I think the main people who have problems with these veiwable forums are performers who want too, give the image that what they do is real and that there are no Secrets to what they can do. (something I personaly consider dishonest rather than entertainment. but this has been dicussed at lenght elswhere).

As we all know secrets are not the be all and end all. If some one is going to the bother of looking up magic or mentalism secrets then it is very likely that they have an interest in it. not that they are waiting to reveal the secrets of the next magician they see.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 11, 2002 09:17AM)
Golly, Shades of McCarthyism !!! Does this kind of thinking lead to better creativity and presentations? There's some great points being made here. And some excellent thinking going on too. But please don't start spreading panic about exposure. Just get into a "good space"/meditate, read all you can, and write down your ideas.
Keep posting "good thoughts".

;)

By the way.... after you get to the point where you are writing down your thoughts and ideas frequently. Consider organizing them and submitting them to magical periodicals for publication. Think about that step before
jumping ahead to the "book world".
Good luck and happy thoughts... :idea:
Message: Posted by: Chris A. (Nov 11, 2002 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-11 08:32, p.b.jones wrote:
Hi,
The problem as I see it with Groups of self considered experts is that everyone is happy to make things really exclusive and
underground so long as thier are a part of it!

I think the main people who have problems with these veiwable forums are performers who want too, give the image that what they do is real and that there are no Secrets to what they can do...

As we all know secrets are not the be all and end all. ...

Phillip
[/quote]You read my mind! :)
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 11, 2002 11:54AM)
Yes, excellent point Phillip ! Very well said. If people can't bear to have "anyone" know how something is done, then I would suspect that they have issues with self worth. Paranoia is not a becomming trait to a "Master".
I recently read "Perfection is achieved,not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Just what is "anyone" trying to hold onto so desperately here ? Eugene Burger had it right when he said,"we already know too many tricks, what we need are more ways to present them." Paying attention,awareness and practice makes the best foundation for all this to happen.
Thanks for reading ! (and writing)
Best
:light:
Message: Posted by: Dr.Morton (Nov 11, 2002 12:27PM)
It is all to late, I am already in your minds, hiding now is much to late

Most of you guys are taking yourself much to seriously. If someone wants to find out about things and is resourcefull, he will find out - sooner or later. I know, because I did.

But knowing a secret or two does not make you a good mentalist. The real inner secrets cannot be found in forums but only in life :stare:
Message: Posted by: mysticz (Nov 11, 2002 12:52PM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-11 12:54, johnjnesbi!t wrote:
If people can't bear to have "anyone" know how something is done, then I would suspect that they have issues with self worth. Paranoia is not a becomming trait to a "Master".
[/quote]

Because mentalism is a craft that is based to a large extent on subtlety rather than extensive sleight-of-hand ability, its secrets are easily misconstrued and misused by those performers lacking the necessary presentational ability and proper understanding of the very important differences between it and standard conjuring. Unfortunately, allowing "anyone" (i.e., the average magical enthusiast) to be privy to the "real work" of the mentalist may not prove to be beneficial to the craft in the long term.

Running the risk of sounding elitist, the privilege of access to the "real work" should indeed be earned, not just given to whoever wishes to know. Even Burger wrote about the long-lost days of yore when learning the "real work" of magic was a similar privilege to be earned, not freely given. The truly interested individual can earn his acceptance to this selective group, but only through the necessary channels of study and experience.

While experienced, working mentalists will continue to read and comment on this forum, it is doubtful that any will share the important information (i.e., the real work) that must be learned through study, sweat, and experience.

Joe Z.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 11, 2002 12:59PM)
I personally think that the mentalist area of magic has it much easier than the cards/coins/etc. for exposure.

No kids or uncle harry's (I'll call them 'lurkers') are going to just start doign mentalism and ruin the art, are they?

I find that most magicians that are serious start out with tricks, then realize the importance of misdirection, and psychology. Then they find mentalism as an application of the psychology.


The problem is more with the 'lurkers' thinking that they know how to do Crazyman's Handcuffs and just end up merely making it like a bar trick.

Or the 'lurkers' that love spelling tricks with cards because it's all they can do, boring the hell out of people so they never want to see magic again. And when they DO see you, they wonder why you're not performing with your big red shoes on.
Message: Posted by: kou (Nov 11, 2002 01:21PM)
I ask this with genuine sincerity and in no way intend it to be hostile:

How can we measure when a student of mentalism has reached the point that he or she has earned access to "the real work"?

I would not dispute that there are a fair amount of people who come to forums such as these who simply want to know how a trick they saw was done. But I would also argue that there are quite a few people on this forum who, although they aren't working professionals, have such aspirations (or at the very least, a very healthy respect for the art and a sincere passion for learning it in a serious and methodical manner), and are looking for a forum where they can benefit from the wisdom and experiences of others.

Absent forums such as these, the major factor that will likely determine which students advance in their studies, and which ones don't, is money. That is, people with enough money to be able to buy the many mentalism manuscripts, audio tapes, DVDs and such that are for sale will have a much easier time becoming members of those "select groups" than do the "average Joes" with a sincere interest in the art, but no access to the kinds of material and guidance that a forum like this provides. [I am not implying that merely owning mentalism products will make one a better mentalist, but surely, access to such materials does give one a decided advantage in one's study and understanding both of the fundamental principles of mentalism and performance tips and techniques.]

As a practicing attorney, I very much understand the importance of keeping confidences (albeit, in a different context, where the stakes are much higher), but I also think there are practical problems involved in prematurely closing off avenues of study for those who have a sincere interest in studying mentalism. Not everyone lives in areas where there are organizations and societies through which one might find a mentor or teacher. For those of us who are serious about our "education", forums such as these are the best we've got.

So, I ask again, with utmost sincerity and repect, how does a student of mentalism, such as myself, prove he or she has earned the privilege of access to "the real work"?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
Message: Posted by: mysticz (Nov 11, 2002 02:38PM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-11 14:21, kou wrote:
So, I ask again, with utmost sincerity and repect, how does a student of mentalism, such as myself, prove he or she has earned the privilege of access to "the real work"?
[/quote]

Way before internet chat forums like this one existed, students interested in learning the fundamentals of mentalism went about their education the old fashioned way -- they earned it.

In my case, I began my education by means of learning, practicing, and performing magic (i.e., conjuring). During my growth as a magician, I came to know many older and more experienced proponents of magical entertainment, and their help and influences allowed me to grow as a magician and more importantly, as a performer.

An early interest in bizarre magick (this would be in the late 1970s) led me to the works of Annemann and further investigation into what constitutes mentalism as opposed to mental magic. My growth as a performer of magick and mentalism allowed me to make strong friendships with working professionals, including a few professional mentalists. Our mutual interests and my ability to substantially share with them formulated bonds that led to an opportunity to apply and be accepted in the Psychic Entertainers Association (a recognized association of professional mentalists).
I worked very hard over the years to attain the knowledge and expertise needed to be successful in this field, and I am very fortunate to be able to share this kind of information and ideas with this wonderful association of peers.

In this age of internet forums, the Nailwriter is one of the finest of its kind and is the perfect situation to establish credibility and friendships with established pros. If you have the knowledge and ability to share, I'd advise applying for entry there to begin learning and sharing with the pros.

For the beginner in the field, read all you can and use the Magic Café as a forum for learning the basics of mentalism. When you are ready for the advanced phase of development, join a serious mentalism group (like the Nailwriter forum or even the P.E.A.).

Joe Z.
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 11, 2002 03:04PM)
David Blaine made a name for himself over the last couple of years (and a fair amount of money too !). Would it be true to compare him with Houdini,Dunninger,Anneman,or Kreskin (to name a few)? Wouldn't that be like comparing Eminnem to Carruso or Pavarotti and Mozart, because the medium is music ? David Blaine got a camera, and somehow network television, to put him among the "select" few. And I don't dislike him, or what he did. Why didn't CBS put Daryl or Michael Ammar or Paul Harris on instead ? I just don't think David B. is necessarily any better than those who've been performing/practicing longer, but just not on network t.v. Does "exposure" and "money" make one more worthy? Or does true "genius"
have no longer have a place in this world anymore? :whatever:
Message: Posted by: Luke Kerr (Nov 11, 2002 03:30PM)
[quote]
In this age of internet forums, the Nailwriter is one of the finest of its kind and is the perfect situation to establish credibility and friendships with established pros. If you have the knowledge and ability to share, I'd advise applying for entry there to begin learning and sharing with the pros.
When you are ready for the advanced phase of development, join a serious mentalism group (like the Nailwriter forum or even the P.E.A.).
[/quote]
i like the system of selection in the above mentioned forum(i've submitted and waiting hoping to be selected)where the member vote and coudl ask you something to decide.
I think that one problem (not being a pro) is have the chance to demonstrate that one have reached the necessary skill.
No-one ever thinked about creating a two level forum with a voting system to enter the second level(like nailwriter) and a first level forum that serve to "test" the applicant?
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Nov 11, 2002 04:27PM)
Hi,
I too went through learning the hard way I started at age 8 but never met another magician until I was 20. until then everything was book learn’t. But I do not see that we have to force everyone to go the hard way just because we did.

Is it not just a bit of jealsousy on our part?

Although we give the appearance that we are willing to help learners, do we secretly perhaps want to keep them down?

Maybe were a little scared that perhaps one day they will be our competition?

I know if I where completely honest I (being human ) have/do sometimes answer yes to these questions myself and have to make a conscious effort to combat these thoughts.

What about the rest of you?
Phillip
:die:
Message: Posted by: spook (Nov 11, 2002 06:34PM)
As is is we can't discuss magic or mentalism on this forum; we can only hint at it. To do otherwise draws cries of exposure from those who favor the country club, rite-of-passage mentality stating that because THEY came about their knowledge the hard way future generations should as well. And now the suggestion comes that we should clam it up even further. What are we going to talk about? Goatee-trimming tips? I say if someone exerts several evening's worth of effort to dig through all the posts to find the juicy morsels (assuming a neophyte would even know the difference) then they've earned it! People aren't as interested in what geeks in goth garb have to say about tearing up slips of paper as we think they are. Can we just get over ourselves and talk about the things that interest us without worrying about who's listening? If I wanted secret codes and signals I'd have joined the Masons or the kids in the treehouse next door. Even expressing one's opinion, as I am doing right now and which has no ability to change your thinking, is suspect and must be cloaked in self-negating sentences such as this one in order to keep the easily bruised from thinking I am "sarcastic" or "a meany".

In order to enable those who have difficulty discerning a difference of opinion from intended cruelty, I will now give up one of my pet mental effects to show no hard feelings. I've used this one a lot. It uses cards, which might be a turn off to some, but I think the handling is so fair that it comes across as a genuine prediction.

The performer BORROWS a deck and turns his back for a moment. Turning around, he sets the deck on the table and asks the spectator to name a card. The performer asks the SPECTATOR to spread the deck and staring him in the face, reversed, is the exact card he named.

Method: This is an outgrowth of A.W.'s "B.T.F.D.T." effect as found on page 102 of E.T.D.M.R.M.'s. When you get the deck and turn your back, do a H.P.D. to secretly **** the deck. Later you will coach the spectator to name a high value court card by using P.D.'s 'S.B.D.' f**ce. As you have H.P.D.'d the deck, it is fairly easy to HL the first court card you come to and use it to *****the others. You can manouver the deck to display the even court cards by an I.L., so if he names an odd one just have him turn the deck over face up before spreading so that his specific selection appears face down. That's all there is to it.
Message: Posted by: John Smetana (Nov 11, 2002 06:55PM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-11 19:34, spook wrote:
As is is we can't discuss magic or mentalism on this forum; we can only hint at it. To do otherwise draws cries of exposure from those who favor the country club, rite-of-passage mentality stating that because THEY came about their knowledge the hard way future generations should as well. And now the suggestion comes that we should clam it up even further. What are we going to talk about? Goatee-trimming tips? I say if someone exerts several evening's worth of effort to dig through all the posts to find the juicy morsels (assuming a neophyte would even know the difference) then they've earned it! People aren't as interested in what geeks in goth garb have to say about tearing up slips of paper as we think they are. Can we just get over ourselves and talk about the things that interest us without worrying about who's listening? If I wanted secret codes and signals I'd have joined the Masons or the kids in the treehouse next door. Even expressing one's opinion, as I am doing right now and which has as much ability to change your thinking as a fart in the wind, is suspect and must be cloaked in self-negating sentences such as this one in order to keep the easily bruised from thinking I am "sarcastic" or "a meany".

In order to enable those who have difficulty discerning a difference of opinion from intended cruelty, I will now give up one of my pet mental effects to show no hard feelings. I've used this one a lot. It uses cards, which might be a turn off to some, but I think the handling is so fair that it comes across as a genuine prediction.

The performer BORROWS a deck and turns his back for a moment. Turning around, he sets the deck on the table and asks the spectator to name a card. The performer asks the SPECTATOR to spread the deck and staring him in the face, reversed, is the exact card he named.

Method: This is an outgrowth of A.W.'s "B.T.F.D.T." effect as found on page 102 of E.T.D.M.R.M.'s. When you get the deck and turn your back, do a H.P.D. to secretly **** the deck. Later you will coach the spectator to name a high value court card by using P.D.'s 'S.B.D.' f**ce. As you have H.P.D.'d the deck, it is fairly easy to HL the first court card you come to and use it to *****the others. You can manouver the deck to display the even court cards by an I.L., so if he names an odd one just have him turn the deck over face up before spreading so that his specific selection appears face down. That's all there is to it.


[/quote]
Does it matter what color deck you use? Inquiring minds want to know.BTW the SPD f**ce that you mention is not PD's it's TK's.
Just want to keep the record straight.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :kewl:
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 11, 2002 07:06PM)
Thank you Spook, you Big ...... Meany!!!
I laughed so hard reading your last post, I cried ! :lol: I only wish I could have said, what you did, so well. And thank you for that "effect", lol. You're "Hysterical" !
ps. I called a friend and read it over the phone, and we both "screamed" ! Good Stuff !
Keep em comming !
John N
Message: Posted by: AllThumbs (Nov 11, 2002 08:17PM)
Joe, well done for putting it less aggressively than I have done. Anyone who had been paying close attention to this thread pay special attention to what Joe has said. Joe, you have expressed what I feel also very succinctly and eloquently.

Kou, Its nothing to do with money. It is much more to do with having the right attitude, showing you are serious, and in a sense establishing relationships with the right people. You also have to, as Joe Z states, earn respect. Repect is not something that can be bought, it has to be earned. You DO know when you have reached that 'level'. The 'Real Work' is more about attitude and dare I say it, achieving a certain state of 'zen' than anything else. The 'real work' is what you discover within yourself and not really something you can explain. I appreciate this sounds a bit cryptic but I am sure there are some people here that understand what I mean.

Frank, although you might be right in that the mentalism area 'has it easy', this is changing more and more. You might have noticed that this forum has become more and more active. It is almost on a par with card magic, which I think says something. I know its a bit of an old topic here but do not under-estimate the effect that Derren Brown will have once he debuts in the US. He is not the be all and end all of mentalism but he will have a devasting impact on how 'Penny for your thoughts' will be like as a forum.

Although many of the working and knowledgable professionals are starting to refrain from posting regularly on the Magic Café. They are watching out for those who really do have what it takes: Creativity, subtlety, discretion, intelligence, professionalism. If you start to express yourself you WILL be taken seriously, you will start to understand the art of mentalism, are you WILL be welcomed. Those that show just a passing interest will be dismissed. Sorry, but mentalism is more important to us to be treated trivially.

I'm sorry that some treat this attitude as elitism. I personally don't think this is the case. Mentalists take themselves seriously, are a close knit bunch and have better things to think about than entertain the curiosity and whims of the merely curious. If you are here in all sincerity we are here to support you all the way. If you're not. Forget it - we don't really want to know.

As far as exposure is concerned - I think any PUBLIC exposure at any level is wrong. It is not right to even discuss the methodology of a particular effect in a public forum. Even though the recent "De Profundis" post does not describe the effect in detail, *take note*, bits of information can easily be gathered up to form a whole picture. De Profundis demonstrates one of the basic principles of mentalism, imo, think about what you have written - no matter what you say, it is revealing is some respects. Take note especially in how Ted Lesley responds to the post. It is very discreet and give nothing away except to those in the know. There is a big difference.

Saglasser, we've all made the blunder of restarting topics. The point I was trying to make is that its getting more and more common. Rather than being a mistake its more an issue of lazyness - not using the search facility to find previous posts on the topic.

Philip you do make a good point - I feel its hard to argue against what you have said. The people who look up secrets do not necessarily have a sincere interest. Performers have a very good reason for maintaining a discretion about what they do and how they do it. How can an audience revert to the 'infantile sense of wonderment' if they know that all they need to is type something in a search engine to discover the truth? I don't think it's is a case of being dishonest and making it appear that they are real (although some 'readers' will maintain what they do is very real to them - and what problem do you have with their system of belief? It is no less valid than those than follow mainstream religious beliefs). Most performers would rather the audience establish in their own minds what they have witnessed rather than be told outright that they are being tricked.

Spook, your post is entertaining. And yes I do understand your sentiment. However as many a mentalist is aware there is plenty more to discuss that specific methods. A large part is establishing new routine ideas for long established ideas. A mentalist can comfortably discuss an idea for a routine without the necessity of discussing method. For an example of what I am getting at read Fred Darevil's posts. He discusses new presentational ideas. The method of achieving the desired effect is not described. This is because the mentalist knows the thinking behind how to pull it off because he has put in the time and effort to educate him/herself in such matters. For a mentalist new twists and presentational ideas means a lot more than the exchange of secrets. Some presentational ideas are based on knowledge that's one or two hundred years old. It is the new ideas that brings the methodology up to date and increase the impact of an effect. It is what makes the art evolve.

I hope the above has provided some food for thought.

All the best,

Kris Sheglova
Message: Posted by: spook (Nov 11, 2002 08:24PM)
I stand corrected. John, you are so right. The SPD f**ce is indeed Tony Kardyro's. Paul Diamond simply popularized it when he added the machine-tooled shell.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 11, 2002 09:21PM)
Joe Z,
Well put (both posts).

By the way, an anology.....If someone is intent on breaking into my house, they will find a way. But I still lock the door when I go out. if they want to break in, they will have to work hard before they can succeed.
best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: mysticz (Nov 12, 2002 09:05AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-11 17:27, p.b.jones wrote:
I too went through learning the hard way... But I do not see that we have to force everyone to go the hard way just because we did.

Is it not just a bit of jealsousy on our part?

Although we give the appearance that we are willing to help learners, do we secretly perhaps want to keep them down?

Maybe were a little scared that perhaps one day they will be our competition?
[/quote]

I for one welcome serious students of the mystery arts (magic, mentalism, divination) and find the diversity of thought to be stimulating and inspirational. I harbor no jealousy for anyone who respects our craft and wants to excel by making the requisite effort to learn and grow through study, practice, and practical application.

While the "tyros" of today may indeed be the competition of tommorrow, this is a fact of life and should not be seen as a threat to the experienced professional. The real benefit of dedicated students is the viable continuation of our craft into the future.

Joe Z.
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Nov 12, 2002 11:29AM)
Frankly, I don't see why anyone has such a hard time accepting possible elitism and exclusivity.

So what? Anyone who want's to take the first step towards being "let in" - [i]just do it![/i].

[i]Any[/i] magician who comes to a mentalist and asks "how" will be recommended some books.

If that person is fascinated enough by it, and if he is willing to put in the work to perform, make friends, think, discuss, and gradually gain respect then within some years he'll probably be in.

Actually, it's pretty much like breaking in to [i]any[/i] social group.

(...only this little society is much hotter ;) )
Message: Posted by: mystic1 (Nov 17, 2002 11:11PM)
It is time to close the public forum of Mentalism here on the Magic Café.

IF there must be some area of the Café devoted to mentalism, make it open only to those who are principally mentalists...not the public...not magicians interested in mentalism.

And test admission by 3 or 4 tough questions which change with each logon.
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Nov 18, 2002 02:55AM)
These posts on 'The Café and mentalism - a growing concern' are probably only creating more and more interest in the area of mentalism.

If you make something seem exclusive then people are going to become even more interested in it and try even harder to find out the 'so-called' secrets.

Mentalism is like anything else in life and when you learn about such things you tend to realise that they're not as special or amazing as you first believe.

Perhaps that's why there is a need to maintain the secrecy.

Who knows?

Take it easy.

Socrates

'Everybody lives by selling something' - Robert L Stevenson :die:
Message: Posted by: E-Leoni (Nov 18, 2002 08:52AM)
If anyone here is interested on seeing how this kind of forum is damaging to metalism, you had only have to watch the "Family Channel" this weekend. I'm not saying for sure that he got the information here, but it sure seemed like he was directed by someone/somehow to a series of effects, and spent a weekend practicing them.

This guy with long hair, doing a bad imitation of David Blaine, proceeded to do every posible kind of mentalism ,....very Bad. A blind fold, fork breaking, fork moving, needle through the arm,...etc, etc,..This guy through the kitchen sink in . I don't remember the guys name, I had to turn the chanel, my stomach could handle it any more.
This guy was one of those people that hang themsleves on fishing hooks, (which he demonstrated) who decided to learn some quick tricks/metalist type effects, and perform them on the street. It really made my stomach turn. Who is this guy.,,,.?
How did he get a show ?

E-Leoni.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Nov 18, 2002 09:00AM)
The thing that really offends me is seeing this guy "Guest" reading the different forums.

Could we not at least demand that people take the time to register?

/bamba
Message: Posted by: Chris A. (Nov 18, 2002 09:22AM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-18 09:52, E-Leoni wrote:
I'm not saying for sure that he got the information here,[/quote]No, but you're obviously willing to imply it in the very next sentence...

[quote]but it sure seemed like he was directed by someone/somehow to a series of effects, and spent a weekend practicing them.[/quote]*sigh*


[quote]...proceeded to do every posible kind of mentalism ,....very Bad. A blind fold, fork breaking, fork moving, needle through the arm,...etc, etc,..[/quote]Whilst I'm not for exposure at all, pray tell us which of the above effects (needle thru arm, Fork Moving, blind fold) are [b]not[/b] available to the public at large via books or magic stores?

[quote]Who is this guy.,,,.?
How did he get a show ?[/quote]It's a done deal. And guess what? You can't do a darn thing *unfortunately* to prevent something similar from happening in the future. Exposure isn't a good thing, but take a look at WAM. They were pretty much totally ineffective from stopping fox or others from putting out these exposure shows. :shrug:
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 18, 2002 09:52AM)
The guy you refer to, E, is Chris Angel. I am not saying good or bad about him, but just want to pont out that he was doing that personna before David Blaine was.
Message: Posted by: E-Leoni (Nov 18, 2002 12:07PM)
Trinity,
thank you for clarifying as to who did that persona first...bad on my part to jump to that conclusion. I had just seen DB's specials first, so it just comes out looking like that. A few of my friends pointed out the similarities too. I didn't know he filmed his show before DB. Sorry.

Flip,..
I know I didn't make myself clear.
Here is what I believe.
If someone is going to learn any effect and perform it on national TV,it deserves the respect, patience, and detail to attention as it was performed by our predecessors or creators of the effect. They should (in my oppinion) not just be a series of eye candy effects for the A.D.D. audience that exist out there now a days.It cheapens the art. (MHO)

There are nuance, and subtle touches that should be paid attention to when performing certain effects.
Eg: Doing the blind fold effect, when removing the blind fold. PM for details.

In my oppinion this happens because there is realy no need to study the art, or know about the art and its history, all you need now a days is a marketable image, a few tricks and there you have it,... a show.

I think if magic is going to survive, or become a respectable performing art form, we should treat it just like any other kind of performing art...ie, ballet, theater, opera,
etc, etc.

Terribly sorry if I offended anyone with my views or oppinions.


E-Leoni.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Nov 18, 2002 01:40PM)
[quote]
On 2002-11-18 13:51, kou wrote:

(And they said irony was dead...)
[/quote]

No, but blindfold acts are.

:firedevil:

Little Girl: "Why is that man putting on a blindfold?"
Mother: "So he can tell us what he sees, my dear."
Message: Posted by: Sariel (Nov 18, 2002 05:34PM)
I've been avoiding reading this thread... but today i've read all of it and decided to add my humble opinion.

First let me just say that I'm just a newbie starting out in magic and mentalism, I want to try out several types of magic to see what I like best. But mentalism has definetly caught my attention, I've been enjoying very much, above coin and card magic. Especially Cold Reading, i've made incredible readings (so they say) just using tradecraft and several articles I saw on some websites.
Why am I saying this? because I COULD NEVER study any kind of magic without internet help and especially this forum! It has helped me so much...I live in Portugal, I don't have any magic shop (I looked), or magic books in the public library; all my magic stuff must be order from abroad; the only portuguese magician I know from tv is Julio de Matos. Without the advices of many of you in this forum I don't even knew where to start!

I rarely see any magic shows on tv, because there are none (or very few). My interest came naturally...I want to become someone that can entertain anyone anytime, and really amaze people, maybe later turn professional who knows?
Last week a saw a debate on tv that was going on about the supernatural, and a guy there moved a key *only* with his mind and he was called a mentalist. All the people there were stunned...and a lightning struck me: that's the kind of reaction I want to get! All the people believed that the guy really had powers! With card and coin magic people don't really believe that the guy has some supernatural powers, they know it's just a trick, but with mentalism they do.

I understand your concern in protecting magic secrets (and completly agree), but if you take out "penny for your thoughts" from this forum where would my mentalism advises come from? I wouldn't have a clue what book to read next, or what gimmnick to perform that specific effect. You're cutting out all the *new blood* to this art.
This forum should not reveal any secrets off course...it should be about mentalists helping each other and advising the newbies on questions that may arise. I believe that most of the guys that come to this site reading and posting are interested in learning, otherwise they wouldn't be here...there are no secrets revealed, you only point out to some book. Yeah...some people may think that you really need to have some special power to bend some spoon or something, but with a litle search through the magic stores they all can buy products that teach to bend spoons. If someone is clever enough to come to this site, they're clever enough to go to some online magic store and ask for the mentalism effect they saw the other guy on tv doing, and of course they will reply: "go buy banachek silverware" or whatever, boom...they realize that afterall that wasn't real, in reality the guy didn't bend the spoon only with his mind!

I'll bet you're probably thinking "here is a newbie that within a few months completly forgot about magic and mentalism" I don't know if in a year my interest in magic would be the same...who knows the future? I sure hope so! I know that if I don't have the help of other magicians or mentalists to advise me in any question I may have, off course I won't progress further, and the only way I could get this precious advice is by the internet more specifically this forum (for me it's the best and I check it on a daily base), I don't have any more sources for learning magic besides this one!


This is Just my opinion, it may not worth much as some professional magicians and mentalists out there, but...here's my 2 cents
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Nov 18, 2002 08:40PM)
Many many people make the same mistake, E.

Baline's special was filmed first, but Angel had a live show and that personna before Blaine and his special. I am not suggesting that Blaine copied Angel, either. They may have come up with that personna independently of each other.

best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: Daniel Meadows (Nov 19, 2002 06:34AM)
HitmanPT- I think that the majority of people here (if not all) want a place where magicians can help each other, but it will be in the form of a book reference or something similar. The idea is not to dissect the methods in a place where anyone can read it.
Message: Posted by: Sariel (Nov 19, 2002 06:53AM)
Neil: I didn't said otherwise.
I completely agree with you
Dissecting the methods it's wrong either in the mentalism forum, or the coin, card, any forum. I think no magician wants to see it's methods dissected in a public forum.
Sorry if I didn't explain myself right.
A book reference or something similar is the right answer, no one expects to be told the whole secret of an effect in this forum (at least i don't), just somewhere where he may learn to do it.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Nov 19, 2002 07:31AM)
I have read this topic over several times, and feel I see all sides of the equation, or at least as far as I understand it. ;)

As most of you are aware, [b]The Magic Café[/b] was created so folks in the art can [i]help[/i] one another. One look at our logo, and you cannot help but see [b]Magicians helping magicians[/b]. So many times I watched young and eager beginners get flamed at other boards for asking simple but legit questions. I felt it important to have a place that provided folks with help, in a nice friendly atmosphere...I still do. :nod:

I never intended the Café to be just a mentalist site, but I did provide a forum for mentalists to interact, and so they have.

The suggestion has been made that perhaps a [i]private[/i] forum requiring passwords and such be implemented at the Café. That would pretty much defeat some of my goals. However, I do not have a problem providing a [i]separate[/i] area in [b]The Banquet Room[/b] for those who wish to discuss the subject on a [i]deeper[/i] level.

I figure that most of the [i]true[/i] professionals keep the [i]real work[/i] on the [i]underground[/i] level anyway, and don't mind helping out serious beginners.
In addition, those that are determined to guard the [i]real[/i] secrets, will indeed find a dedicated website to post such thoughts.

In that light, I have just created a new forum called [b]Inner thoughts[/b], which is located in [b]The Banquet Room[/b]. The forum is [b]not[/b] visible to guests/lurkers, and can only be accessed when 50 legit posts have been made. :)

Believe it or not, my staff and I work very hard to keep the hacks and trouble makers away, and believe me, it's a full time job!
The [b]Our new arrivals[/b] area has been reworked, so those welcoming new members will [b]not[/b] be able to simply welcome 50 people to access [b]The Banquet Room[/b], for posts made in the welcoming area are no longer added to their post count.

Further, when we do see someone making posts that are not a real contribution, we get right on top of things, that's a fact. By using the [i]Report this post[/i] option located within every post, you can be a big help in us controlling any such problems. :nod:

Though maybe not the perfect solution, I do hope the new forum will help some of you in regards to your many concerns voiced here.

:wavey: