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Topic: Too soon for mentalism?
Message: Posted by: pciccaglione (Sep 1, 2019 11:39AM)
I've seen a number of magicians telling beginners that they need to stay away from mentalism in the early stages of magic. What is the reasoning behind this? Also how does one know when they are "ready" for mentalism?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 1, 2019 12:57PM)
The only think I can think of is that that "sneaky moves" a mentalist might employ must be perfect.
To flub a sleight is fatal for a mentalist, but easily overlooked or dismissed my a conjuring type performer.

Why? It is the expectations of the audience. Many paying to see a mentalist want validation for what they already believe or desire to.
When you execute a Utility Switch of billet and mess it up, you have destroyed the entire premise of your presentation and shattered expectations.

Many beginners perform without adequate practice or preparations. They do not care if their sloppiness reveals method. All for fun and "gotcha" right?
So, wiser folks tell them not to do mentalism until they learn that NO effect should be performed than might reveal method.

It is not about "beginner" - it is about maturity and respect. Some will never "be ready" -- for mentalism or life.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Sep 1, 2019 02:09PM)
It is challenging to see younger people trying to pull off mentalism successfully. If they can pull off the "child prodigy" well, it is possible. When we are still in discovery of how our own mind works, it's hard to believe we could master how to understand/control the minds of others.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 2, 2019 07:32AM)
I actually think that someone can start with mentalism right away - but they need to understand they are going to spend a lot more time in the "Getting it right" phase than they will with magic.

Many people treat mentalism as if it were magic, and it's not. It requires a different approach, theatrically, and people who try to do mentalism with a "tada!" kind of climax often find it falls flat.

Mentalism requires spending much more time and effort on the theatrical aspect. The 'acting' as it were, as well as the store you've selling the audience. You can't just do the moves and expect the audience to be amazed. Or even interested.

But, if one had the right resources and the cleverness to figure out a working character/persona, and the dedication to developing the theatrical skills - no reason they couldn't start out with mentalism.
Message: Posted by: pciccaglione (Sep 2, 2019 09:09AM)
Thank you all for the responses, could you recommend any books on Mentalism? I've heard that 13 Steps is a good place to start...
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 2, 2019 04:51PM)
I personally feel like starting mentalism with 13 Steps is like learning English from the Dictionary.

It teaches all kinds of skills that are essential to contemporary mentalism, sure, but it doesn't teach (Unless I'm forgetting) the theatrical skills required to make them work.

Maximum Entertainment (2.0 was just released for the same price as the original), and Scripting Magic will help a lot with that aspect.

But really - about a third of my library is specifically mentalism. I'd recommend almost all of them.

As Paul Draper once quoted Max Maven saying, "Read everything."
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 2, 2019 10:20PM)
I’m not a pro, so my advice may be different from others. I think it is important to start with your premise. Are you using telepathy? Psychometric? Body language and psychology? Pick the powers you want to show. That will guide your choice of material.

Next, pick out perhaps 3 tricks. They should all support your premise and demonstrate the ability you are using.

Example: if you use psychokinesis, learn to bend a spoon, do a coin bend, maybe to move a pen on a table surface.

Another: if telepathy is your thing, you might learn to p**k a word on a folded paper, divine the number on a die, and use a psyche f*rce to project a thought to the participants.

If you can make those tricks entertaining and if people perceive them as real or possibly real, but not as tricks or magic, then you are on the road to really performing mentalism. At that point, all the mentalism books are going to be useful to you. Getting the skills to make your performance feel real is not going to be instant. When people stop asking “how did you do that?” and start asking whether you were always able to do this or can it be learned, then you’ve learned to look real.

A huge number of things that can be done with cards can look psychic if done with conviction. Not everyone accepts that a psychic would use cards and I’m not up for a debate. I merely mention it.

Another general suggestion is that you could learn a method of fortune telling and that goes over well. I personally suggest either palmistry or playing cards.

Hope that helps. My youngest has been yammering at me, so it has been a challenge to get my thoughts down.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 3, 2019 03:20PM)
[quote]On Sep 1, 2019, pciccaglione wrote:
I've seen a number of magicians telling beginners that they need to stay away from mentalism in the early stages of magic. What is the reasoning behind this? Also how does one know when they are "ready" for mentalism? [/quote]

I think the reason for this is several, which most coming to mentalism don't understand or realize.

To expand on what Mr. Wollery mention, even more than premise is your initial belief and understanding of what mentalism is and what your perception and definitional approach will be. Let me explain...

As you will soon find out if you spend any time in the three mentalism forums here, there is a foundational difference in what mentalism is. There is the magician's definition of mentalism, which like hypnosis, varies from those actually in the mentalism or hypnosis industry. Most magicians see mentalism as mental-themed magic or what is called mental magic. This is different from actual mentalism for specific reasons.

Let's start at the foundational level. Magic is known to audiences to be tricks, slights, illusion, deception...not real. They go into a magic or illusion show knowing this and this is the known and accepted foundation.

Mentalism is just the exact opposite. People do not come to a mentalism performance to see tricks, illusions, or deceptions. Many believe that mentalism is real or that at the very least has the possibility to be real. Often they want it to be real. They often believe the mentalist has abilities or special unique abilities that others do not. And the better you perform, execute and showcase this, the more is believed and accepted as real.

So as you can see these are complete opposites in both perception, expectations from the audience's perspective. An audience member would be pis**d if they paid admission and went to see a mentalist only to find he was just a magician doing mental-themed tricks. I have seen this happen.

Magician's mentalism has no psi or psychic elements to it. This is what many magic-mentalists don't often understand. They perform a non-psi type of magic mentalism without any claims, offering, or the responsibility that comes from a mentalism approach. Simply out, magician's perception and definition of mentalism is different from the entertainment industry or mental arts industry's belief and understanding of mentalism.

So there is the first concern. Secondly, because of the way audiences accept, perceive and beliefs toward mentalism there are expectations and responsibilities that come with it. Far beyond anything magicians experience. So there is much more education, theory, and understanding with mentalism than with magic. There are several different layers with mentalism beyond just the magicisn's typical learn the trick, slights, props or accessories needed, create a presentation and perform it. Much more to mentalism. There must also be a congruency with mentalism that doesn't exist with magic.

The magic community has kind of written its own accepted definition of what they want mentalism to be - no claims, no real psi abilities, but rather the use of watered-down approached of body language, NLP, and some of the powers Mr. Woolery mentioned. Most magicians perform this from their own perspectives and beliefs, not the booker or the audiences.

Next is the misunderstanding that everyone comes to mentalism through or from magic. That is how magicians think and unfortunately how most believe here since this is a magic forum. In reality, many mentalists do not enter mentalism via magic, they know absolutely no magic or anything about magic, they come from the mental arts such as hypnosis, memory, psychology, the psychic world, new age, etc.

So there is a depth of study and understanding with mentalism much deeper and detailed than with magic (unless of course, you are only doing mental magic). Most magicians don't want to commit to this study and understanding and then just prefer to do something that resembles mentalism without any claims, real abilities, proper foundation, premise and true understanding of the mental arts and everything it entails. Plus even magic mentalism performed badly hurts both them mentalism and magic industries.

There is much more to this, but I think these iwll provide you with at least a basic, initial understanding of the differences and why you are hearing this from others.

Best of luck in your journey. Don't rush it. You can't rush knowledge and experience.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 5, 2019 06:43AM)
Mindpro, I did not respond to your fine post since I agree with 95% or so. But a thought has been nagging at me --
most about this advice being for those "new to magic" or those desiring a refresher course.

You seem to miss or avoid the notion that a single performer can properly present conjuring, mental magic and mentalism.
Not most, certainly. Not advisable for youth or a beginner for reasons stated by others above.
Most would never do the work required to be "here and now" for the expectations of the audience, setting, character and personal discipline.

But, it is not a complete view of things to infer that a performer must choose one camp or another, one definition or another, or be limited by what others think at all.

Yes - it is unwise to combine these forms of the mystic arts until one has the experience, maturity and presence to properly engage the audience of the moment.
It is unwise to perform any effect that is not well practiced and appropriate.

Yet, it is also unwise to suggest that any person must be limited in what they choose to learn and communicate with others. ( not TO others).

Your "depth of study and understanding" comment suggests that you have not yet learned the "deeper and more detailed" aspects of conjuring. (opinion)
Adapting your phrase, "Most mentalists don't want to commit to this study and understanding ..."

LIfe is not a true/false quiz or a multiple choice exam of options provided by others.
These are ways of determining if one is moving forward in personal learning and useful experience. They are not boxes in which to plunk one's hopes and aspirations.

BAck to the OP. Is one ever "ready for mentalism?" or any form of magic, or exploring the impossible by any definition?

Methinks "getting out and doing" of the mystic arts has value over vicarious voyeurism regardless of the level of skill.
What is the story the observer will tell afterwards? What will the performer learn from the experience?

It is a journey for both.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 5, 2019 11:46AM)
My daughter was doing mentalism at the age of 9. To get the answer, it usually was a little clumsy. Eye control was her biggest obstacle. She used a small screen to hide anything, if needed. Once she had the answer, she was fine with the theatrics. The theatrics was usually a hand raised in the air, and slowly reading their minds.

For her, mentalism was far easier than sleight of hand magic which takes practice.

Mentalism was more precise and very successful without skill.

I would say, go for it.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 5, 2019 04:51PM)
Spoken like a true magician! Just to be clear your daughter performed mental magic, not mentalism. That is EXACTLY my point to the OP. You must have a true foundational understanding of what mentalism is and a proper studying of the principals and related theories which can take years to truly understand, otherwise, you are just performing magic.

TomB mentalism requires much more skill than you are understanding yourself. Comparing mentalism to sleight of hand is nowhere even comparable. You are thinking only in terms of execution (as most magicians do) of a mental-themed trick or effect, not actual mentalism, sorry.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 5, 2019 06:17PM)
Please consider this post from 2015
https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=586210&forum=15
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 5, 2019 07:10PM)
So you have mental magic, where a magician claims to reads minds but the audience knows it's deception.

Or you have a mentalist, where the audience believes the deception is real and he can read the minds.

I do not see a difference between the type of deception between the two. The major difference is what the audience thinks.

Houdini went out of his way to prove psychics were fake. I know Penn and Teller has went out their way to say all mentalists are fake.

I guess I am a little surprised that magicians share the same deceptions and not more exposure.

I never had thought of mentalism as evil, but using your definition it is. If you are religious, the supernatural only would come from God or the devil. Therefore, if God is not helping you read minds, then the devil is (if it is God helping you are a prophet). Alternatively, if you are not religious, you are knowing lying to your audience.

I have assumed that everyone knows mentalists are fake. They have very good skills and are very entertaining. I would classify them as a sub-genre of magic. Otherwise, they are just frauds.

Am I correct or did I go down a dark path?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 5, 2019 07:21PM)
[quote]On Sep 5, 2019, funsway wrote:

You seem to miss or avoid the notion that a single performer can properly present conjuring, mental magic and mentalism.
Not most, certainly. Not advisable for youth or a beginner for reasons stated by others above.

Your "depth of study and understanding" comment suggests that you have not yet learned the "deeper and more detailed" aspects of conjuring. (opinion)
Adapting your phrase, "Most mentalists don't want to commit to this study and understanding ..."[/quote]


Funsway, sorry for the delay in responding to your post.

As you said it is rare that even top professionals can truly pull off performing magic and mentalism together.

You are correct in your statement "Your "depth of study and understanding" comment suggests that you have not yet learned the "deeper and more detailed" aspects of conjuring. (opinion)" You are correct as I am one of those that did not come to mentalism through magic, but rather the mental arts, so no, I have not learned the deeper and more detailed aspects of conjuring from a performing perspective.

I have no interest in performing magic although through my agencies and production companies I have booked and produced magic acts and shows for over 35 years. To do this the detailed aspects of conjuring are not necessary, nor does it have an effect on my mentalism at all.

I agree that none of this is for beginners and exactly why the OP was hearing such from others trying to offer his some sound advice and assistance in learning magic.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 5, 2019 07:29PM)
[quote]On Sep 5, 2019, TomB wrote:
So you have mental magic, where a magician claims to reads minds but the audience knows it's deception.

Or you have a mentalist, where the audience believes the deception is real and he can read the minds.

I do not see a difference between the type of deception between the two.


I have assumed that everyone knows mentalists are fake.[/quote]


Seems you have a very limited and perhaps jaded perspective of what mentalism is. I know many mentalists that use no deception in their performances. I also know many that perform mentalism for real without any use of magic of any kind as discussed in many other threads here.

As I said, what you are thinking of mentalism is really mental magic - two very different things. I assure you people that come to these mentalism shows believe it to be real when they come, and leave believing it is even more real than they may have expected. Again, the difference between "magiciain's mentlaism and actual mentalism. It is also waaay beyond the scope of this beginners forum.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 5, 2019 07:30PM)
[quote]On Sep 5, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
"Most mentalists don't want to commit to this study and understanding ..."[/quote]

I meant to say here most "magicians" don't want to commit to this study and understanding..." Sorry for the confusion.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 5, 2019 07:51PM)
TomB - then how do you ascribe demonstrations of abilities normal for some, but considered "other than normal for others?"

Pendulum work, for example. There is nothing paranormal or psychic about its working - anyone can do it. Yet, some can do more extraordinary things with this tool than others.
Its use can be very entertaining. I personally do no think it is mentalism and than anyone claiming to be a mentalist and uses one is poisoning their well.

I can direct the action of a pendulum held by another person across the room. Some might say that makes me a mentalist or wizard or alien.
My ability to do this has nothing to do with any label any other person would assign. I am not a magician either as no trick or deception is involved.

it isn't real magic since I can repeat the demonstration and teach others.

The entire "secret" is getting the entire audience involved and expecting the"impossible" result. They empower the movement of the pendulum, not I.

maybe "mentalists are fakes." That does not mean that demonstrating events considered impossible are need be faked at all.
They are faked because that is what folks find entertaining.

What the audience thinks is that they are capable of being more than they are right now (hope) and appreciate demonstrations that kindle or support that notion.
That emotional and impact (affect) is real. It is not faked. The problem is those who shatter the illusion though ineptness, false claim, deliberate exposure or mean intent.

All "pretenders at magic" are "real" - they promise to deliver a demonstration of the impossible and then do just that.

Back to the OP question. Do not pursue mentalism unless you are physically. mentally and ethically able to support the weight of your audience's expectations and fears.
Yet, do not pretend you are anything special because you choose that focus. The same argument can apply to conjuring.

You are special because you willing do what most people will not -- stand up and put yourself at risk before peers and strangers. That is impossible for most.
Demonstrating the perceived impossible is called "magic." Make the most of it.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 7, 2019 09:30AM)
I would say the only reason magicians keep the secrets of deception is because they are honest that they do not have any supernatural powers. In fact, when a magician pretends to have supernatural powers they are usually outed and exposed and shunned pretty quickly. However, during the climb pretending to have real powers, they can get quite popular, ala Cris Angel.

I totally see mentalism as mental magic. As a magician, I would naturally keep the secrets.
In fact, I would argue mentalism is a small subset of magic, mental magic. What does a mentalism repoitoire consisnt of... A mentalists can read your mind? Prediction writings? Or maybe they can control objects with their mind such as an exploding light bulb or have a page in a book move with deep concentration. Or maybe they have x-ray vision. All these tricks magicians can do, but are the lifeblood of a mentalist.

However, if someone was pretending to have supernatural powers, I would expect others to expose them as the frauds they are ala James Randi, where you set up the conditions to show it is just chance or remove their unfair edge and watch them fail miserably.

Just as magicians having supernatural powers makes you more believable, so does a mentalist. However, it hurts the whole magic community by having frauds. There are guillible people who want to believe in psychics, mentalists, and magicians as having real powers. I hope you do not claim to actually have them.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 7, 2019 07:29PM)
To get past the mentalist definition, focus on what you tricks you want to do, rather what qualifies as mentalism. Definitions have a tendency to bend reality rather than capture it.

If you want to perform tricks like Banachek, Max Maven, or Derren Brown, focus on studying them and learning those skills. They may imply that they have super, though not supernatural, powers, but they are skillful practitioners of magic.

I've been studying magic for less than a year and much of that time has been figuring out on what I want to focus on. Right now, I'm working with coins and some card sleights and shuffles. But because I needed something to perform that wasn't too hard to learn, and because it fits my personality, and because my high school students are my willing, if captive, audience, I tend to perform mental magic tricks. I pretend that I can read, not their minds, but their faces and actions. For ethical reasons, I haven't pursued palmistry or doing "psychic" readings. Phedon Bilek has some good stuff on that, but I can't do readings of my students with a clear conscience.

Here are some of the tricks I do:

1. A heads or tails trick "mindreading" effect recommended by Wrayn in which a participant puts a coin in a special, closed container and you say whether he put it in heads or tails up.
2. iForce is a prediction effect.
3. Tequila Hustler, a "which hand" effect. I tell someone which hand they put a coin in.

All these are mental effects--they give the appearance of mind-reading or something like mindreading. They can be learned, practiced, and performed without ever learning a double lift, false shuffle, or a coin vanish. These kinds of effects require more presentation skill than mechanical skill. Some people may warn you off mentalism because you need to know how to interact with an audience whereas a lot of tricks are more mechanical and can be performed without knowing how to work with an audience.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 7, 2019 07:41PM)
If you are doing "tricks" you aren't doing mentalism. This is so sad.

And what's even worse is the inexperienced guys are telling pros how it is. Too many talking when they should be listening.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 7, 2019 07:54PM)
Ravenspur. Glad you recognize both the opportunities for "challenging concepts of the impossible" and the ethical components of the classroom.

In more than 20 years of doing magic in classroom settings I found that the most appreciated were those that made a lesson relevant --
the story and effect modified to apply to the lesson of the moment. Mental based or physical based is secondary the "attention and retention" model.

When shifting to 50 years of dealing with small business owners the impact is the same. Mental or physical - do it FOR THEM as a memory of challenging the impossible.

But, just going through the motions of a trick or using magic jargon or psychic hype does not make one a magician or mentalist any more than waving a textbook about makes one a teacher.

You seem to be called in the "other than standard" approach. Follow! Magicians yearn for the possible "30 year memory." You have a shot at 50 years or more. Choose wisely.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 7, 2019 10:23PM)
I am all ears and deeply respect the community here. But you have not put forth a persuasive argument that a mentalist is not just a specialized magician. I have heard loud and clear that mentalist want to separate themselves as not being magicians and are not doing tricks. They want you to believe that thru the mentalist five senses and using body language, and psychology they have a sixth sense. The goal is to astound and confound.

But it is all trickery and entertainment. Despite denying trickery, most lay persons know it is. They are asking, how did he do that, the same way they ask that of a good magician. Mentalists use IT powers to move eye glasses. Mentalist use a magic die for dynamic predictions. They bend forks. They use the calculator prediction. Mentalists reads minds by "guessing" names and pin codes. All the exact same ways magicians would.

Whenever put on the spot, the mentalist tries to dodge away. And when he cannot dodge, he gets the answer wrong. Again and again, they are always proven to NOT have any supernatural powers.

I understand that professional magicians typically perform just a few tricks really well. I get that mentalists are limited in scope of their mental tricks. Therefore, it is the amateur magician doing mental magic. As an illusionist would stick to stage magic.

After much consideration, this is what I have determined.

If a magician is an actor playing the role of a wizard, then a mentalist is a specialized magician that uses only mental magic but pretends to not be a magician.

The problem is if they admit mind reading is a trick, then the whole presentation is dumb. If they say they are supernatural, then people will call them frauds. They are really stuck in a pickle.

So to the OP, I would say go for mentalist if you want to be specialized in mental magic. It is not hard. But other mentalists would want you to be pure mental magic and not a Jack of all traits, as most hobbyist magicians are. So the question becomes, are you willing to give up the multiple bottle routine, where you have an object vanish and reappear, and ask the spectator, how it's done, then look him in the face and say, I am tricking you!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 8, 2019 06:29AM)
TomB - a strange post since none of the offerings on this thread could be viewed as "put forth a persuasive argument that a mentalist is not just a specialized magician."

Certainly not mine to which you never respond directly. But, I agree with much of what you say, even if your intent is clouded.

and I doubt the phrase "After much consideration, this is what I have determined" as you obviously had this bias before you posted on this thread.

and I would have been silent, until you you claimed "and ask the spectator, how it's done"

If the result of your performance is this, then you have failed as a magician, mental magician, mentalist, conjuror, wizard, whatever.
Nit picking over terms and a labels or minor compared to the ability to create or sustain an illusion that a person can be more than they are right now.

Sorry that you seem hung up on a mission against mentalist vs magician that is only an illusion too.

Any suggestion that is is easy to perform any mystical art is ill advised in my opinion.
Whatever your choice of pretend magic, be the best in the world at what you do right now and here. There is no "easier than"

I do not "trick" anyone. But have expanded a person's concept of the impossible tens of thousands of time.
I do this every day. Please don't plunk me into some label of your convenience.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 8, 2019 08:17AM)
What's sad is guys who have been in the business for years who fall back on their authority because their arguments are incoherent, misleading, and pointless.

I don't know you, Mindpro, you may be the best magician on the planet. Your experience, however, is ultimately irrelevant when it comes to definition and argument. I can't fall back on my decades of my experience in magic, and I won't fall back on my decades of experience in fields more relevant to argument, to make my point. Instead, I'll offer this list of

Mentalism and mental magic are largely interchangeable terms. Trying to make people distinguish between the two is a fool's errand.

-Go to Vanishing and look under the categories of magic they sell.
-Go to Penguin magic and check out the categories of magic they sell.
-Go to Stefan Olschewski's Mentalism online store.
-Check out the Dyment's Deceptionary.
-Check out Taylor Imagineering.
-Google Derren Brown.
-Check out "The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy"

There may be times when it's useful to differentiate between mental magic and mentalism, but their meanings are going to be decided by the people who use the terms and their common usage, not by some forum curmudgeon.

What's sad is this forum is called "New to Magic." It's not called "Hell Week for Pledges to the Magic Fraternity." It's not "Requisite Hazing for Anyone Who Hasn't Been in Magic for 35 Years." It's not called "I'm More Experienced So I'm Right." You treat people new to magic with criticism for failing to agree with you. That, sir, is sad.


Finally, I'm honest about my experience and lack of expertise in magic. Anyone who reads my comments can see that and judge what I say accordingly. In some cases, my informed lack of experience may actually be helpful to people at a similar level.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 8, 2019 12:06PM)
All of the information you are offering is from a very one-sided perception of mentalism. The watered down, magicians or magic communities adaptation and acceptance of mentalism. You both have very limited understanding of the art of mentalism seeming only from the limited perspective of magicians. Certainly not the mental arts community. All I was pointing out is that is only one small side to the world of mentalism and the reason I was pointing it out was the OP was trying to understand why he was told not to start with or possibly stay away from mentalism at this point. It was to offer the reasoning and an an understanding of a greater picture he has yet to experience.

This has nothing with throwing weight around as a professional. Yes, this is called New To Magic and it is not all just about tricks and performance. It is about setting up those new to magic with the full spectrum and understanding required at the beginning or foundational level.

It is apparrent that TomB has never seen or experienced a true mentalism show, perhaps just mental magic. His opinions and jaded perceptions are based on this. There is a huge difference. This is very offensive to those of us in the actual mentlaism and mental arts community. Then to offe rthes elimiting and jaded opions as advice to others is damaging. I have seen his very limited knowledge of several different topics on which he keeps offering advice on since becoming a new member here and I'm sorry, but some to much of it is poor advice not based on anything more than his opinions rather than a more complete or better understanding, or from a true industry perspective, but again rather than nothing more than his own (as we've seen here) opinions based on incomplete or very limiting experience or knowledge.

Listen, this is a very important and crucial place and time for beginners. There is a lot to take in, comprehend and understand. What no beginner needs is misinformation or blatantly poor information as they are trying to learn and form their foundation. Or being steered in the wrong direction, especially from someone with only limted knowledge themselves. This also points out there is a HUGE difference between opinion and facts. Any beginner (to magic or any other performing discipline) needs to learn and understand this. There is a time and place in the learning process for both, but again in the proper context.

Telling someone asking about mentlalism only opinionated information (based on limited knoledge and experience) that can be accepted as educational or fact is misleading and in my opion wrong.

If you are going to spew information, let's make sure it is factual and correct. The OP may not even realize it is just opinions as TomB has been trying to lead others since he arrived here and perhaps maybe he should be listening and doing some more learnng himself before offering such opinions as advice to others at their very crucial learning and researching point in their journey.

Part of learning performing is hearing what you may not want to hear. Learning what not to do as much as what to do. Welcome to the world of entertainment. Critique, criticism, and assistance may not always be easy to accept or understand, but it all plays a part in shaping us, growing our knowledge-base and experience, and ultimately becoming a better performer in both physical execution, and the more important understanding and reasoning behind the performance.

All of this IS helpful at a beginning level and I'm sure if you asked many others with more experience most would tell you they wish they would have had someone to tell them this when they were first beginning, and had such a resource as The Magic Café.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 8, 2019 01:38PM)
I'll let my comment, the substance of which you don't address, stand. God bless the original poster who asked a simple question and granted a lecture on how many mentalists can dance on the head of a pin! And pity the poor, original poster who can't separate fact from opinion or experience from inexperience, even when it's completely clear and labeled as such!

I've been an observer on more than one occasion of your opinion on the "mental arts," which is at best muddled, and has been challenged by more experienced people than I. As I understand it, you are some sort of booker of such acts, and presumably a performer or former performer of them. I think you said you have been doing this for 35 years or so. I don't know who you actually are, I don't know anything about you. The last time I followed your argument it was as garbled as it was this time.

As I take it, you want to separate people who do readings and truly think they read minds or fool people into thinking they read minds with people who do what mentalists like Derren Brown do. There are magicians, like Phedon Bilek, who do both in a nice, ethical way. Anyone who truly thinks they are psychic are not magicians. That's fine too. Instead of trying to define an exclude people, it would be much more productive to draw the line between these types of performers.

And as far as advice on the Magic Café goes, I've gotten good useful advice from people. At this point, I've also listened to dozens of interviews with the top magicians and mentalists in the industry, and they don't bother arguing about things they can't change. I've also received a lot of advice offline telling me to be careful who I listen to on here. Names weren't mentioned.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 8, 2019 04:22PM)
Https://youtu.be/0nb7rHipYIk
[Youtube]https://youtu.be/0nb7rHipYIk[/youtube]

Cap'n Sean performed the multiplying bottles and did just as I said. I would not say he is a failed magician. He was entertaining and despite telling the audience he is lying and how the trick is done, the audience was in awe, wondering how it was done. Most magicians, including Penn and Teller tell the audience it's all a trick and not supernatural. I would not say they are failed magicians.

I understand that we are frustrating you with our words. If we use a word incorrectly, please correct us. I know what an effect is, after Dick pointed me to Fitzkee, for a solid definition.

Fitzkee defined a trick as an individual feat of a magician, which ultimately includes the effect and the specific identifying object which the effect is accomplished. Or put simply, a trick is an effect performed with specific things or people.

But it is very frustrating to say the least to me for Funsway and Mindpro to deny they do tricks.

I have taken consessions to say pure mentalists stay in the realm of mental magic and do not perform other magic tricks. I have listed the most popular tricks mentalist use above. I would love Mindpro to explain to me how an exploding lightbulb is not a trick. We know they use tricks, but part of their gig is to deny doing any tricks so they can deny being a magician.

Funsway repeatedly states that he does not do tricks. At best, an experienced magician can say, I perform magic tricks that nobody knows the method to how it was performed. As such, the spectator leaves believing he saw the impossible as if the law of physics did not apply. Please note, he still did a magic trick.

Now if Funsway wanted to argue the secret of magic is much deeper than any one trick, and how it's to make the impossible seem real, I would whole heartedly agree.

I am quickly humbled by anyone who shows me something new (not how to do it, but a trick that fools me). Without selling book, or a DVD, or even a YouTube video, a professional webpage ect, it is hard to give any credit. One of the nice things about this forum is most people have at least one of those, allowing people to do their own research. Those that typically have demonstrated a skill, typically gain respect quickly.

So yes, we are relatively new to the forum. I am trying to learn. I also am a critical thinker. Everything needs to be proved to be correct. Opinions from experts matter more than opinions from the uninitiated. But we have to have clear definitions and we need to be intellectually honest. Otherwise, it just goes in one ear and out the other.

Finally, I am not saying all mentalism is easy. There are super, simple tricks like the calculator prediction or exploding lightbulb that I can teach my elementary school kid. Then, there are more complicated tricks which involve influencing a song in someone's head. Not necessarily hard, but definitley more involved. Some tricks take less than a second, others may take a team of people all day for the desired effect. A solid performer with a good presentation is entertaining to watch.

Anyone looking to do "mentalism" should attempt mental magic. It is not difficult to get started. If they enjoy it more than doing other tricks, and want to perform only mental magic, then they can call themselves a mentalist.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 8, 2019 05:33PM)
"for Funsway and Mindpro to deny they do tricks." & "Funsway repeatedly states that he does not do tricks."

I see the problem - you do not actually read my posts. I never ever once said I do not do tricks, or claim that mentalists do not do tricks.

As a conjuror I use trickery, guile, and psychological ploys all the time. When doing mental based effects I use different forms of trickery.

What I said was that it is possible to do effects that appear to be mentalism that are not based on tricks or deception of any sort.
I asked the question of what should such effects be called. No answer.

Such effects are rare and not always appropriate to all settings. I'll be happy to send you a copy of "Close Call" as an example.
As noted, pendulum work is not a trick. Doesn't matter what you call yourself - still no trick involved.

I agree that most mentalism effects are based on trickery - insisting that the skill required must be higher than that of a conjuror.
I also agree with Mindpro that to be a good mentalist required a different skill set than that of the conjuror. - different, not always more profound.

Failed? I feel that is the result of your performance is a person asking "how was that done" then you have failed in your mission of forging a long term memory of
"must be magic." Other performers have a different objective, I guess. I never said anyone is a failed magician.

As always, what does the audience expect? If they only expect amusement and puzzles it is easy to hit that level. If they expect magic to occur it is more difficult.
For me, the challenge is to create the conditions under which magic is expected and does occur in their perception. Do they know trickery is involved? Of course.
Do they care? No! Do they attempt to figure it out? At first, maybe - later on, no.

Can I always achieve this result? No. Often I just do tricky/entertaining stuff and even train my service dog to do magic tricks.

At other times I demonstrate unusual or weird things where there is no trickery. Perhaps I am not a magician when doing that.
Observers call me a magician, but what do they know?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 8, 2019 05:58PM)
[Quote]Anyone who truly thinks they are psychic are not magicians. That's fine too[/quote]
They are frauds. Is it really an opinion? Is it really jaded? I speak the TRUTH, which is factual. Harry Houdini would be on my side.

YouTube search mentalist failures. It's pure comedy.

I do not personally know any mentalists, MindPro is right.
The one famous mentalist that comes to mind is Israeli Lior Suchard. And when encountered by skeptics, he was proven to be a fraud, not having any mind reading ability. At best, he is a specialized magician that executes mental magic efficiently, even though mentalist deny themselves as being magicians.

If he is a bad representation of mentalists, then please let me know.

There is a reason why the Magic Café forum has a mentalist forum. They are performing magic. I am not even sure why saying that is being perceived as a bad thing.

Part of this forum is learning, growing, and self discovery - myself included. For instance, this post alone has made me realize I would never want to be a mentalist or any of my kids. I would never want my kids to lie to the audience and say they have supernatural powers. I have also realized that mentalist actually want the audience to believe they have supernatural powers and deny performing magic tricks. It is all good, I learned something, which is the point of the new to magic forum.

Despite being new, I do not think I have offered any bad advice. I may challenge traditions or accepted practice but my life experience had been usually correct. I have been thanked for my contributions on many occasions with a limited number of posts.

If anything, I am surprised the magic community has not come down hard on mentalism.

Funsway, I answered you in PM.

I am curious though to the original OP. Are you going to try mental magic?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 8, 2019 08:49PM)
I haven't taken the time to read all of this page as it seems like the same arguments I always see when magicians want to decide what mentalism is.

I do want to address a point though:

[quote]But it is all trickery and entertainment[/quote]

Wrong. Categorically, demonstrably, wrong.

Mentalism does -not- require deception or trickery. A full show can be performed without lying or misleading the audience whatsoever.

There's your difference.

Magic requires deception. Mentalism does not.

They are totally separate approaches to the 'mystery arts'. Mentalism is absolutely not magic, and is absolutely not a 'subset' of magic. The only people trying to make that claim are magicians.

Just because very few people who are actually known practice actual mentalism, doesn't mean magicians can willy-nilly redefine it so they can try to get a slice of the pie. Want to be a mentalist? Learn the skills.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 8, 2019 09:47PM)
Exactly but of course newer magicians know it all.

There are many that have performed mentalism shows for years all without the use of magic or trickery or deceptions. And yes, they do these abilities for real - memory, hypnosis, pendulums, intuition, ESP, thought-reading, foreseeing or predictions, and some would agree (while I don't personally) readings of a variety of types to name just a few. All of these mental abilities, demonstrations, or "feats" can be done 100% without tricks or trickery for real.

Most magicians tricks give the illusion of hypnosis or the illusion of mentalism, but they are not in actuality.

As I said, you are believing that magicians mentalism (fake) is what mentalism and the mental arts are and you're are plain and simply wrong, sorry.

Things you are saying TonB - "But it is all tricker" is again simply incorrect. Again this is your opinion which as several here have stated is incorrect.

The stuff you are talking about such as the exploding lightbulb ARE magicians tricks, but they are not mentalism but only magicins mentalism or the magician's adapted definition of what magicians consider "mentalism." This is my whole point - the things you think and are claiming to be mentalism are not. But what I and others are saying here is there is mentalism that is not magicians tricks or magicians self-adapted definition of mentalism that is done for real. You came here to learn and be educated, then try comprehending this and not arguing about something you clearly have yet to learn experience or know anything about. Also asking others for examples is not their responsibility to do your education and research. Be appreciative f the information they are offering without expecting anything more. It's no one's job to "prove" anything to you. Simply be thankful for the insight they are offering.

And just FYI the mentalism forums here are for those accepting the fake mentalism or magic mentalism just like the Hypnosis section is for the pretty much the same - magicians trying to perform tricks that resemble hypnosis or fake hypnosis.

As for Ravenspur, you said "I've been an observer on more than one occasion of your opinion on the "mental arts," which is at best muddled, and has been challenged by more experienced people than I." Yes, again with magicians accepting the self-appointed limited magician's definition of mentalism. I always stop those kinds of discussion because it is almost always with an uneducated opponent that again only has accepted the limited or realigned definition from the magic world. So yeah, you don't have to look far here to find others to support this limited an incorrect definition of what actual mentalism is.

Point remains, there is real mentalism, it is not tricks and it can be quite entertaining, and yes, audiences to believe, expect it to be, and accept it as real.

Also, I am not here to "put forth an argument or convince you or anyone of anything other than to educate that the extreme limited definition of mentalisn is incorrect and not just as you believe it to be.

You also said, "I have heard loud and clear that mentalist want to separate themselves as not being magicians and are not doing tricks. They want you to believe that thru the mentalist five senses and using body language, and psychology they have a sixth sense. The goal is to astound and confound." This again couldn't be more wrong. Nothing like a hobbiest beginner telling us how all pro mentalists think act, and are. Again, wrong. You are showing your lack of knowledge and ignorance, sorry. Only magicians doing magician's mentalism use this belief and lame jusrtiication. It is not all trickery, again, your limited knowledge and understanding.

There is an entire world of entertainment you are missing. This is the problem with magic, there is no qualification or gatekeeper. Anyone can call themselves a magician who buys a kids magic set or Sven deck. Then they start to spew incorrect information about an actual industry they know very little or nothing about.


You also said, "Whenever put on the spot, the mentalist tries to dodge away." No, again, magicians doing pretend mentalism do this, not true mentalists. Your statement is again incorrect. I could literally dissect nearly every line of your posts explaining to you how your opinion-based posts and thoughts are either incomplete or incorrect.

TomB don't try to tell us "you are all ears" as it is more than evident you are not.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 8, 2019 11:05PM)
Is Lior Suchard a master mentalist or a magician?
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Sep 9, 2019 01:27AM)
[quote]On Sep 7, 2019, TomB wrote:
In fact, when a magician pretends to have supernatural powers they are usually outed and exposed and shunned pretty quickly. However, during the climb pretending to have real powers, they can get quite popular, ala Cris Angel.

[/quote]

Clarification....Criss Angel NEVER pretended to have real powers. In fact in interviews time and time again he said he did not. He even doubled the amount of money (an extra million) to one psychic if they could prove they had powers and also outed Geller and Callahan on Phenommenon. Now during an effect he would act like he did. Same as any mentalist that is performing. I do it, but I have disclaimers. You have to in the moment in order for it to feel it's realist.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 9, 2019 06:29AM)
Mindpro,

Perhaps it would be helpful if you provided some specifics, your point would be more clear. Without dragging Banachek deeper into this conversation, I'd like to note he uses the term mentalist to refer to his own work. At this point, at least one of the people you are supposedly trying to educate (me) and perhaps TomB, is confused and you've insulted us for our misunderstanding. Here are some questions you could answer, if you want to clean things up:

Is John Edwards a mentalist?
Is Derren Brown a mentalist?
What's the difference between mental magic and mentalism?
Why does it matter ?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 9, 2019 08:11AM)
There are a few obstacles when it comes to progressing from magic into mentalism.

First, you're got to really understand the difference between a reveal in magic and a reveal in mentalism. A good magic reveal is opening an envelope and removing a signed card that was previously seen outside the envelope. Assuming your method is deceptive, if the spectator asks "How did that signed card get in the envelope?" then you're fine, because that's the effect. With mentalism, though, the effect isn't that something got inside the envelope, and you don't want people asking "How did he get that word inside that envelope?"

Second, building on this, you need to understand that one of the key features is that the entertaining factor is the cause behind the effect. In magic, we tend to brush over this as unimportant because the surprise can often be strong enough to entertain on its own. With mentalism, though, because the result is often comparatively mundane, the strength comes from people's appreciation for what caused it. As Derren Brown said, you're supposed to be READING MINDS. You can't snap your fingers or wave a magic wand and show that the word in the envelope matches what they just said. You've got to literally dramatize the effect. This is one of the real problems with disclaimers. While ethical, they undermine the dramatic flow of what's happening. This means that you have to play in an area that's outside what magicians are used to. For many magicians it's ok if people call what you did a trick. For mentalists, though? Reducing what just happened to the performer's cleverness undermines everything.

Third, this leads us to credibility, which is where age and inexperience can be a problem. Since you're going to be spending some time dramatizing the cause behind the effect, you need to make it credible, or else it's going to come across as a waste of everybody's time. This goes beyond dramatizing it in a convincing way. If we're staying dramatically true, if you're a kid, and you can mentally pluck a thought from a spectator's head, then you can probably see all the thoughts inside a spectator's head. Wouldn't some of those thoughts be rather disturbing from a kid's point of view? Again, as Derren Brown has said, these things need to be taken seriously. That doesn't necessarily mean solemn, which is a function of tone, but it does mean serious, which means (amongst other things) that it survives cursory attempts to deconstruct it.

Fourth, in the same way that you've got to point towards a cause that helps your credibility, you've also got to point yourself AWAY from competing causes that undermine your credibility. This is one of the real ways that magicians tend to not get what mentalism is about. They take a card, you read their thoughts and find the card, that's mentalism, right? Well, if you can read minds, why the hell are you resorting to using cards? There's so much baggage there. At the very least, if you're going to use cards, look at what Osterlind does with the Radar Deck. He fans the cards towards the audience, they think of one they see, and then he not only tells them what card they were thinking of, he tells them what card they were ALMOST thinking of. The first could conceivably be explained away using some sort of card method, but the second? What's the trick there? Being able to leverage these additional details can really elevate what you're doing. It's also worth mentioning that doing what Osterlind did allows you to give serious credibility to the apparent dramatization of mental powers without resorting to test conditions.

There's more to talk about, but these four should be enough to show some of the massive differences between how magicians and mentalists view their craft.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 9, 2019 08:25AM)
John Edwards is a fraud, Derren Brown is a psychological illusionist (who, I believe, has picked up several genuine mentalist skills). Mental magic is magic tricks that focus on a mental theme, mentalism is the development of mental skills/arts above and beyond what normal people think is possible.

[quote]Why does it matter ?[/quote]

Because the muddying of the definition is part of what causes bad performances. The theatrical presentation of mentalism is completely different to the theatrical presentation of magic. They have different goals, and therefore require different approaches.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 9, 2019 09:53AM)
13 Steps starts with trickery. It includes a lot of different types of tricks. But one of those steps is all about what Corinda calls “Super Mentality.” No tricks, though there are hidden techniques. You really do memorize things the audience cannot. You really do calculate in your head faster than the audience believes possible.

Another step includes CMR. Which is, again, not a trick, but a skill done with a technique that isn’t explained.

That said, I have yet to see a performance by anyone other than Art Benjamin that is solely done with such skills. I have asked for names. I’d still like some good examples. If I understand Mindpro accurately, Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, Banachek, Derren Brown, and anyone else who uses tricks would not actually be mentalists, though they claim to be. I’d like confirmation of this understanding. I’d also like to know a few names of people we could look up and watch so we’d know what a mentalist does for real.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 9, 2019 10:26AM)
I'm not tapped into that market as much as Mindpro is. However, I used to know quite a few people who practiced these skills as part of their religious practice (Which is when I learned the basis of much of my current material).

I'm working on a show that is based entirely on true skills, myself.

Look at older mentalists, though - from around Washington Irving Bishop's era. He built his career on CMR and that was a period when it was more common for a mentalist to build their entire career around displaying specific, real skills.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 9, 2019 10:42AM)
So, just to grab an example, I typed in “ Mindpower hypnosis” as key words and got the following:

https://www.robinnlange.com/

Is this performer a real mentalist? I’m asking seriously.

While vague, hand-wavey terms make it easy to dismiss anyone who uses tricks, examples of those who don’t are important for understanding what we are talking about.

I already mentioned Art Benjamin. I presume that Memory Olympians, even if they are not entertainers, would still be mentalists. Or is that a term only for performing mnemonists? Kreskin famously finishes his shows by finding his check with CMR. A real skill, not relying on magic props or trickery. But if he uses tricks in earlier parts of his show, does that mean he isn’t a mentalist?

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 9, 2019 12:06PM)
Burnaby Kid, thanks for clarifying these real and material differences. You're not talking in generalities, but in specifics that have a real impact on performance. You're stating explicitly what I have only understood subconsciously and helps me better understand some of my "performance" misfires.

WitchDocChris, thanks again for clarifying real and material differences between mental magic and mentalism. Part of the problem with definitions is they are too abstract and often hard to apply to the real world Common usage refers to mental magicians as mentalists. That's not going to change. The distinction matters to performance and learning, however, and that's a different story.

I understand you correctly,

If I create a prediction effect and present it the result of reading nonverbal signs on my participant's face, I'm doing mental magic.
If I appear to force a number on a visitor using a sort of "reverse" Hellstromic maneuver, I'm again doing mental magic.
If I do a cold reading, it is mentalism.

Finally, Patrick sums up well what's been missing from the discussion: who is, by these definitions, a mentalist and a mental magician? And what are some examples of mentalism and mental magic as performed?

And TWO QUESTION:

Is hypnotism mentalism?
Are Harry Lorayne's memory feats mentalism?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 9, 2019 01:41PM)
I am not going to label people, sorry. Not my thing.

I refer you to this line from Mindpro:
[quote] And yes, they do these abilities for real - memory, hypnosis, pendulums, intuition, ESP, thought-reading, foreseeing or predictions, and some would agree (while I don't personally) readings of a variety of types to name just a few.[/quote]

I do think readings -can- be mentalism, but not necessarily by default. I don't include Oracle readings, but observation/deduction based readings are a mental skill that can be developed over time, for real. If you develop those skills enough you can basically 'intuitively' guess people's thoughts and details about their lives. It ties into memory, as well (because you have to have a vast store of knowledge to be able to make accurate deductions).

When it comes to labeling things -

It's weird, because there's really two parts to it. There's the 'internal' and the 'external' labels. Internal labels are what we label ourselves, and what the rest of the community/industry labels us. The external label is what the lay audience calls us. They are often different, depending on how good one's marketing is. (This is my personal philosophy, btw)

For example - Brian Brushwood calls (or at least called) his show Bizarre Magic. It's not bizarre magic, though, it's shock comedy magic and side show. The public calls it bizarre, so it works for his marketing, but internally it's wrong.

Now, personally, I care about the accuracy of labels for the internal purpose of categorizing and being able to find information on my interests. It makes it far easier to wade through the ocean of releases to the magic market when I know I want a specific 'genre'. Not that there's much of this stuff on the magic market, but I do focus on performance theory, philosophy, and magic/mystery arts history these days.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 9, 2019 02:01PM)
One of the better distinctions between mentalism and mental magic I've heard was this. With mental magic, the response is "How did you DO that?" This is pretty much a similar reaction you'd get to a magic trick. With mentalism, the response is "How did you KNOW that?" Again, it's about putting the effort and emphasis on the apparent cause and making it legitimate. It's a reason why mentalism seems to require disclaimers, whereas regular magic does not. As such, it can almost be effect-agnostic.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 9, 2019 03:49PM)
There are all kinds of definitions. Their purpose is pretty much the same: to limit something so you can tell it apart from other things. In philosophy, an intensional definition states the conditions necessary and sufficient for something to belong to a group of things.

What complicates things is that the common usage of "mentalism" by some magicians, but also by people who watch them and the people who sell magic books and effects, defines uses mentalism to describe mental magic. Like the people and websites, I listed above. TomB, the OP (who has likely headed for the hills), and I have been using the common usage definition of "mentalism," which works well enough for us in choosing what to study and learn and watch. Clearly, this common definition is not sufficient for discussion with professionals.

If I understand things correctly, here's a stab at a definition that works:

Mentalism is an art in which a performer employs an acquired skill, rarely found in the general public, such as memory, hypnosis, to entertain and inform. Mental magic, on the other hand, employs trickery to create the appearance of skills such as memory or hypnosis to entertain. A book test is mental magic because it allows the magician to pretend to have obtained information from someone's mind when it's really a trick, not a genuine

I've learned a lot from this thread, including from you, Mindpro. Problems started when those of us who are less experienced relied on the common understanding of the term "mentalism," a very natural mistake given the prevalence of the term "mentalism" in the magic community. There are a lot of us who aren't schooled in the wars, say, between magicians and mentalists. We don't necessarily know mentalists get offended when mental magic is referred to as mentalism. Even then, we don't know why.

I've spent the last 10 months trying to map out the field of magic from types of magic and tricks to types of venues and performing. I've listened to dozens of podcasts, read a few books, and learned a few tricks. Luckily, I haven't wasted a lot of money on things I don't need or use. I've done enough reading and listening to understand most of the comments here after reading them. I'm starting to put things together. The OP has made 6 posts. It's very possible he lacks the theoretical background assumed by some commenters in this thread. I made my post with suggestions because I thought they might be more specific and more of what the OP wanted to know.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 9, 2019 04:38PM)
[quote]On Sep 9, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
At this point, at least one of the people you are supposedly trying to educate (me) and perhaps TomB, is confused and you've insulted us for our misunderstanding. [/quote]

This here is one of the problems when getting into this type of discussion, whether related to mentalism or anything else. The uninformed or uneducated misinterpret someone correcting them or calling them out on their misinformation or misperception as being attacked, insulted, or any other damaged emotional feeling. It was not or ever intended to be. It was simply to point out their limited or misinformed or incomplete definition. Communities like this are notorious for this because it is a common group of people with a common interest AS IT RELATED ONLY TO THIS INTEREST, but not the true greater picture. Most on the Café are hobbyists, amateurs, beginners, or non-professionals. So it is not expected that they would know what longtime industry professional know, I have no problem with that. The problem herein lies in trying to share and enlighten them to a greater picture only to be met with resistance, defensiveness, argumentive responses, being challenged, and then, of course, followed closely by, show me, prove it to me, provide samples, etc.

For those taking the time and making the effort to enlighten these beginners, it is very insulting, frustrating, and off-putting to get this type of response after offering such significant information. Learning here is more than just about tricks, execution, and history.

I do not and will not operate form a magician's mindset or perception. It is very limited and self-serving. Like WitchDoc Chirs, I am not going to label people or offer individual breakdowns of each as asked. This again is magicians thinking a magician's approach. I and others gave you some information, now do some researching yourself. The other reasons I will not do this is, again because of a greater picture magicians fail to understand or respect. Since magician have adopted their own adapted self-serving definition of mentalism, the actual mental arts and true mentalism communities do not in any way want to be associated with this magicians pack or magicians definition of mentalism. So understanding and completely respecting this I would never offer such information to magicians so they could do even more damage.

This is also why you will not likely find these guys (and gals) on youtube or other searches. They have gone to great lengths to disassociate with the magic community and their definitions. Again, respect that.

As far as definitions you can come up with whatever you want to justify it to yourself (as magicians regularly do about nearly everything) but it is really simple - if trickery, illusions, or deceit is used, it is magic (or whatever smoothed-over term you care to accept-mental magic, magician's mentalism or simply the magic community's redefinition of "mentalism"). If actual real skills or abilities are learned, acquired or natural, without trickery of any kind it is considered actual mentalism.

Yes, I consider CMR, hypnosis, and many of the other examples I and others have offered to be part of the mental arts and actual mentalism.

I would strongly suggest for anyone still unclear to re-read WithchDocChris' two posts. They were point on and I agree with many of his definitions and greater understandings. Again, they are much beyond the magic fraternity's. Re-read it under it makes better sense.

WitchDocChris, thanks for your unsolicited contributions. I agree with your sentiments about readers. As a natural ability I agree, but with some oracles there can be trickery or deceit involved and many today include "reading-for-magicians" that include typical magicians' shortcuts or fakery made to look like actual readings. In this community, many of these exist which is the reason for my hesitation. I guess that is also the real reason for my responses to this thread and pointing out the differences with magicians - they never want to commit and actually learn, develop and invest in any of these unique abilities. They are happy to settle for the fake, pseudo, or pretend versions to appear to be real, like most of magic.

I will say Lior, Cassidy, Osterlind, Banacheck and many others are friends of mine or professional acquaintances and I will not speak ill or attempt to stoop to magicians level of nonsense to bring them into the discussion. Enough has been said and clarified without any need to.

WitchDocChris said very much the same as I have this entire thread just more briefly and directly. I do hope some appreciate these efforts, knowing it is not popular around here. I kind of expect this in the "mentalism" forums but not here in the beginner's forum where any advice and time from skilled professionals should be appreciated and respected. I often see Harry lambasted here and it is appalling, disrespectful and embarrassing to see.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 9, 2019 04:53PM)
[quote]On Sep 9, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
I've learned a lot from this thread, including from you, Mindpro. Problems started when those of us who are less experienced relied on the common understanding of the term "mentalism," a very natural mistake given the prevalence of the term "mentalism" in the magic community. There are a lot of us who aren't schooled in the wars, say, between magicians and mentalists. We don't necessarily know mentalists get offended when mental magic is referred to as mentalism. Even then, we don't know why.[/quote]


You bring you a good point and another common misperception here. Magician's become very defensive when the mentalism vs. magic issue comes up or when they get called out on trying to pass off mental-themed magic and "mentalism." The problem with this, much like this thread, is they are defending a limited, incomplete and self-adapted definition of the magic community. It's not a war, but some trying to again explain a greater picture and rather than being open to the acceptance of a greater picture than just the magic community, they would rather fight to staunchly defend their limited knowledge and comprehension. This says it all.

It is only a war to those in the magic community, lol.

If this has somehow shed light on the limiting perceptions, and self-serving definitions of the magic community, great, glad to hear it because there is a much greater picture and understanding.

Just like when I coach, train, or consult with magicians, they very quickly realize being a magician is limited. A Magician is the executor of magic tricks. A Performer is one who performs using magic. The emphasis is not on the magic but on the performance that uses or includes magic. Then there is an even greater level which is an Entertainer. An Entertainer entertains, and if they choose may use magic as part of their entertainment, great. But the entertainment comes from the Entertainer, not the magic (or being reliant on just the magic. 3 completely different things. It is also these things that separate amateurs, from professionals on different levels but that is a topic for another thread on another day.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 9, 2019 06:12PM)
Mindpro,

I generally let people define themselves whether or not I disagree. In this case, I don't want to disrespect mentalists, and I get their point. This thread gave me some perspective on things I'd read before here like a thread about "pseudo-hypnotism," which I didn't understand. Now I think pseudo-hypnotism is probably mental magic masquerading as mentalism.

My dad trained as a hypnotist back in the late 1950s. He was not a performer or a therapist, he just hypnotized people at parties and such. I have his notes and his copy of Ormond McGill. I was not very hypnotizable, unlike my sisters. Or my Aunt who he hypnotized into washing the dishes.

I'll likely never be a full-time professional. Maybe I'll do a few gigs, I don't know. I don't like doing things unless I've reached a certain level of proficiency. I will definitely be a booster of magic. In fact, I've already recruited someone to our Assembly and discussed learning magic with a couple of kids in my high school whom I trust to take things seriously. I gave them an extra copy I had of Mark Wilson's book.

In the future, I'll try to follow my personal rule of asking questions rather than making assumptions and taking offense.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 9, 2019 10:12PM)
Who is the father or modern mentalism? Maybe there is a history lesson missing here.

Corinda, Annemann, TA Water, the amazing dunninger?

"Dunninger the foremost magician and showman of the present day" - Max Holden 1937

Dunninger sure wrote a lot of books with Magic in the title.

Dunninger was highly respected in the magic community of his time. I have put his name in my list of authors to read!

Looking for more names...

https://magiciansmag.com/mentalism/10-famous-mentalists-of-all-time/

Would you say these are mentalists or magicians? Most of them won awards or wrote books on magic.

I have searched for popular mentalists, but my guess is you will just claim them to being magicians doing mental magic.

Magicians can be defined as anyone who performs the illusion of supernatural effects. Fitzkee documented these effects in the 1940s, although other magicians documented their effect lists before him. Included in the 19 effects include thought reading, thought transmission, prediction, and extra sensory perception. So our magic text books are stating these are the known effects.

So you do need to realize that our magic textbooks are telling us definitions. As a scholar, we are just repeating what we educated ourselves. Then, you come in and say, look mentalists are an exception, even though mental magic does the exact same thing.

Honestly, a Venn Diagram would really help. Some circles and or intersections for physical and mental effects and mentalists and magicians.

Now, I have yet to see a definitive defintion, but I found this on wikihow
[Quote]A mentalist is an individual who appears to have supernatural powers in divining the truth about an individual as well as many facts about that person's life. A mentalist must be great at decoding, possess observational skills, and have a highly developed ability to observe minute detail. Many people, from criminal profiles to magicians, all use mentalist tactics and a working knowledge of psychology to interpret human behavior. Mentalists can not only get attention, but they can also entertain literally anybody on this planet.[/quote]

Would you agree with it?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 9, 2019 10:49PM)
Nope!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 10, 2019 05:18AM)
Me neither, even though I don't agree with MindPro's seemingly elitist restrictions either. TomB, for a person claiming to be a critical thinker,'
why would you even look at 'wikihow" as a source of information. Then again, maybe you submitted the piece. The "divining the truth about an individual"
smacks of a psychic rather than either a "mental based" entertainer or those understanding legitimate divination methods.

The rest is backwards. The described techniques do not derive from mentalists -- rather performers use these established psychological and communications techniques to entertain (sometimes defraud). So do psychologists, priests, politicians, instructors, financial advisors, etc. These are not "mentalism tactics." Ever read Aristotle's Rhetoric?

But, what bothers me the moist, perhaps, of both of your opinions stated as facts, is the limiting of the world to two camps. Regardless of your favored definitions, neither of you have the right or competence to even suggest that all people must fall into one camp or the other. I refuse either of your definitions and will rely on my 40,000 plus presentations of inexplicable phenomena instead. Since these were not "for entertainment" or "for pay" I was never viewed as a magicians or mentalist or psychic or wizard or misplaced alien. I used sleights, psychological ploys, empathic listing, spying, communications skills, divination techniques, guile and other stratagems appropriate to setting and person. Some of these I learned from conjuring mentors. Some I learned for 'mental based' performers. Most I learned from sources outside of the mystic arts world. Sorry I don't fit into one of your boxes. Many others do not either.

What is important is what the observer of this dyad thought and said and did after having their concept of "impossible" challenged. Less that a dozen ever said, "Oh, you are a magician." None ever used the term "mentalist." What they did say is, "thank you."

Again, I am posting this information and experienced opinions for the benefits of those "beginners" who may be reading these posts. Please, take for each posts what may work and reject the rest - or file it aways for later musing. NEVER allow any post on an Internet forum limit your choices or options to self-proclaimed mental boxes. The real value of being involved in the mystic arts is expansion of intellect and abilities.

In recent years I have been translating what I learned heuristically into sleights and techniques that can be used by "pretenders at magic" of any ilk. Many are still unpublished. I offered one publication "Satchel of Secrets" free under another thread on this. Get a copy and read it. Maybe you will expand your knowledge and understanding. Am I an authority whose advice must be followed? NO! But I am a source of unique experience that might provide help for any reader to find a clearer path. I can also do kids parties, table hopping, stage illusions, give readings, use trickery for mental-based effects and demonstrate weird phenomena with not trickery. None of that ability/effort has anything to do with another person's definition or limitation.

I am not what either of you two would wish to limit me to.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 10, 2019 09:46AM)
I do think examples would help. A lot.

Bob Cassidy used tricks. Wrote books about them. Lectured and made videis. Called himself a mentalist.

Osterlind, same deal, only more prolific and present tense. Calls himself a mentalist.

Random dude in a mullet on a website that looked bad in 1997, calls himself a hypnotist and mentalist.

Mindpro: “your definition is wrong. But I’m friends with those folks, so I won’t say if they are mentalists or not. But you are still wrong. Real mentalists don’t want you to know who they are. But they still perform for audiences when I book them. Only they are anonymous and don’t have promo material.”

Come on, man. If you have such a great definition of the word, a few examples would help a lot. Perhaps a few names of now-dead mentalists we may have heard of or could investigate. Would Dunninger make your cut? How about Chan Canasta? Hoy?

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 10, 2019 10:38AM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
Me neither, even though I don't agree with MindPro's seemingly elitist restrictions either.[/quote]

I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?

TomB: "So you do need to realize that our magic textbooks are telling us definitions" Sure they are, magic's definitions.

You are still thinking through the same magician's mindset and set of glasses, everything you are referring to is from magician's/magic resources from magicians or the magic community's perspective. Of course, they are all magic. They are magic to resemble actual abilities. Magic is about creating the illusion, so what you are referring to are tricks and effects to create the illusion of the real things they are trying to replicate.

Of course, you are only going to find magic definitions if you are only looking at magic or magicians resources and references from magic history, duh?

Patrick: "If you have such a great definition of the word, a few examples would help a lot." This is not MY definition of any word, I didn't make this up. This dates far back to Vaudeville and even before. It's not mine, I am just the messenger in this thread trying to enlighten others limited understanding by simply saying that outside the magic world, in the mental arts community and the greater live entertainment industry, there is much more than just the magic communities accepted, limited definition of it. I am not their spokesperson. I am also not their historian. If you know some of the names you mentioned are from the magic community what are you trying to drag me into that? Perhaps you've answered your own question. Do they do what they do for real? Do they perform with real mental abilities? Your answers likely fall within those questions.

I often discuss magician's thinking here. This is a great example of it. People are having trouble NOT looking at this from anything other than magic's perspectives. This is why many will tell you anyone trying to seriously learn or develop mentalism that comes from a magic background greatly impairs themselves. I can understand why.

Perhaps I should have just said, "your definition is incomplete or very limited." Does that better suit everyone?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 10, 2019 11:28AM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
[
I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?
[/quote]

Because that is not what you do, MIndPro. A review of your post over the last several years indicates that you feel that mentalists are superior to magicians, including claims that anyone coming from a conjuring background is forever tainted and incapable of learning the pristine stuff you allude to. For example, the line you offered earlier,
"beyond anything magicians experience. So there is much more education, theory, and understanding with mentalism than with magic. There are several different layers with mentalism beyond just the magicisn's typical learn the trick, slights, props or accessories needed, create a presentation and perform it. Much more to mentalism. There must also be a congruency with mentalism that doesn't exist with magic." Sure sound elitist to me.

I am sorry that your experience with "good magic" seems so limited. "Congruency?" "doesn't exist with magic." Please justify these opinions.
Worst is "beyond anything magicians experience." Not only are you wrong - you are insulting. Why do you feel a need to put down others in an attempt to promote yourself?

I understand your desire to distance your "can't give an example or answer questions" definition of a mentalist; but you are demonstrating inexplicable phenomena
that will be considered magic by most folks. That is what the word means. Just because you don't like apples does not allow for claiming an orange is not fruit.

Based on your posts, your personal "education, theory and understanding" of many things in life is lacking. Just my opinion, of course. I have only your posts to use for evidence.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 10, 2019 11:47AM)
I had to take my wife to a doctor's appointment today (nothing serious) and was browsing on The Magician's Forum.

The conversation went much differently.

The reactions to the original poster, on that thread, might serve as a guide in talking to someone who asked the same question as the original poster here. I doubt he learned much about the mentalism wars and the legitimate theory behind them, but he received a lot of practical advice on what to pursue and how to pursue.

I got a couple of things by Richard Busch that I plan to order. And based on his website, I don't know whether he's a mental magician, a mentalist, or both.

https://www.themagiciansforum.com/post/beginner-mentalist-9961308
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 10, 2019 01:13PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
[
I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?
[/quote]

Because that is not what you do, MIndPro. A review of your post over the last several years indicates that you feel that mentalists are superior to magicians, including claims that anyone coming from a conjuring background is forever tainted and incapable of learning the pristine stuff you allude to. For example, the line you offered earlier,
"beyond anything magicians experience. So there is much more education, theory, and understanding with mentalism than with magic. There are several different layers with mentalism beyond just the magicisn's typical learn the trick, slights, props or accessories needed, create a presentation and perform it. Much more to mentalism. There must also be a congruency with mentalism that doesn't exist with magic." Sure sound elitist to me.

I am sorry that your experience with "good magic" seems so limited. "Congruency?" "doesn't exist with magic." Please justify these opinions.
Worst is "beyond anything magicians experience." Not only are you wrong - you are insulting. Why do you feel a need to put down others in an attempt to promote yourself?

I understand your desire to distance your "can't give an example or answer questions" definition of a mentalist; but you are demonstrating inexplicable phenomena
that will be considered magic by most folks. That is what the word means. Just because you don't like apples does not allow for claiming an orange is not fruit.

Based on your posts, your personal "education, theory and understanding" of many things in life is lacking. Just my opinion, of course. I have only your posts to use for evidence. [/quote]


If that how you feel so be it, but that is not how it is intended, but rather how it is being interpreted. I never said anyone was superior to magicians, but I have pointed out how those that operate from an entertainment industry position rather than a magic perspective differs. This shouldn't be offensive to anyone at all. This is the real working world on a professional level, not just the small hobbyist or local pro levels as comprises much of the magic community. It's a shame you can't understand this.

I'm not distancing myself from anything or I would have never posted such insight in the first place and still remain here in this thread. Nothing I've mentioned or referenced is "Inexplicable phenomena." Hypnosis, there are many that perform this real every day, I don't need to name names. Memory work and performances, the same here. Same for whatever else you may be thinking is said that is inexplicable to you.

Also, I am not talking anything about life. I am talking about the entertainment industry and business. I am also not speaking in opinions.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 10, 2019 01:16PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
The reactions to the original poster, on that thread, might serve as a guide in talking to someone who asked the same question as the original poster here. [/quote]

I think the other thing this thread serves to show is the difference in between amateurs and hobbyists, and longtime real-working industry professionals.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 10, 2019 02:47PM)
Hmmm. When you said "congruency" was greater for mentalists you introduced "life". .
Never saying anything on the Internet that you would not say face-to-face.
"Real working world" must mean more than just what you do on stage

Are you suggesting one can be "sorta congruent?" Do you a switch that turns it on or off?
I guess the term "congruent" has a special meaning in your hidden group. Is it like secret handshake?

Then we get, "It's a shame you can't understand this." I understand you quite well, I think, I just feel your opinions are wrong,
your experience with performance magic myopic, your attitude condescending and your excuses for not answering questions very lame.

"may be thinking that is inexplicable to you." Yup, condescending.

Are you saying that hypnotism meets your standard of being a mentalist?

and here I thought doing Helstromism and dropping the person's hand to complete the task "disconnected" might qualify.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 10, 2019 03:43PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I think the other thing this thread serves to show is the difference in between amateurs and hobbyists, and longtime real-working industry professionals. [/quote]

The picture is complete, Mindpro. You can't quit while you're ahead. You're not a magician at all. You're a guy from a related field with an axe to grind. You're not interested in helping aspiring magicians. You're too obsessed with your own self-perceived superiority. I can see why activity has decreased on the Café.

In the future, I'll ignore your "pearls of wisdom."
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 10, 2019 03:51PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
I guess the term "congruent" has a special meaning in your hidden group. Is it like secret handshake? [/quote]

Yep, that's it.

I'll let you guys that come up with your own self-serving interpretations continue to believe what you want.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 10, 2019 05:40PM)
[quote]This dates far back to Vaudeville and even before.[/quote]

I'd be willing to bet it goes back to ancient times, but probably (from what I've managed to gather) saw the heyday in the Victorian parlor performance, when well to do gentlefolk would pay performers with unusual skills to entertain their guests in their homes.

The fact is this - mentalism is based on genuine mental skills/arts, and this goes back centuries. Magicians have spent the past hundred or so years duplicating the feats of mentalists, often with significant compromises, but actual mentalism is a display of real skills.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 10, 2019 07:28PM)
Of course, it does. I only used the Vaudeville reference since I used to discuss this often with George Burns who would always tell me stories about these great acts as he used to perform the circuit with them and they were among the most popular acts for this very reason. I too know they have dated back long before that or most modern type of performers and of course today's adopted and accepted definition.

Your fact is true and is what is at the heart of what the magicians here do not want to understand.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 10, 2019 09:19PM)
[Quote]The reactions to the original poster, on that thread, might serve as a guide in talking to someone who asked the same question as the original poster here. I doubt he learned much about the mentalism wars and the legitimate theory behind them, but he received a lot of practical advice on what to pursue and how to pursue[/quote]

Lots of good advice there to teach yourself the mentalism tricks. And yes, they used the word trick without getting their head cut off. Maybe not all mentalists are elitist, maybe those are just magicians helping magicians.

I guess I am exploring Mindpro's elitist attitude and when mentalists decided to break from being called magicians. Clearly, mind readers were perfectly happy being called magicians in the past. From what I can tell, and I may be wrong, this break happened during the 1970s. The mentalist sentiments are if you perform physical effects, then your credibility of mental effects is tainted. I disagree with that, however, I can understand that being a master of a few tricks can be better than being mediocre at many. I certainly understand how you do not want mental magic to be demonstrated poorly, which would hurt mentalism.

I would argue most mind reading has pre-show. With that said, I am positive in some cases it is not needed. For instance, if I say I can read your mind, and then tell you to think of a word and repeat the word in your head in hope I can read your [i]mind[/i], then actually succeed, it is still a magic trick. It's a different skillset, it might not even be something everyone can do, but it's a magic trick, nevertheless.

The fact is mentalists rely on misdirection and all the principles of magic. It does not matter if its Lior Suchard, Derren Brown, Colin Cloud, Frederic Da Silva, the Amazing Kreskin, or Professor Marvel from the Wizard of Oz.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 11, 2019 04:12AM)
Http://tampabayskeptics.org/Kreskin.html
The World's Foremost Mentalist, Kreskin in the early 1992 is quoted here that "mentalist are not magicians". I would argue his popularity was peaked in the 1970s and my working theory is he created this mantra back then. I am still looking for more publicly available information to substantiate this claim. To the mentalists, if you disagree, then please add to the discussion with documented proof of the mantra "mentalist are not magicians" before the Amazing Kreskin.

I am suggesting the Amazing Kreskin is the modern day father of mentalism, just as Robert Houdin is the father of modern magic.

We know that today's mentalists ALL copy the Amazing Kreskins routine. We also know the Amazing Kreskin routine is taken from the Great Dunninger, a highly respected magician from the 1940s and 1950s.

I am a bit surprised to see the lack of respect to Amazing Kreskin. Why have the mentalists not mentioned this living legend?

If mentalists want to deny their magician roots, then they are [b]imitation magicians[/b]. I would much rather they come to their senses, and realize they are specialized magicians mastering mental effects. What is wrong with saying that? Find a niche and get rich. "What's the difference between [having the title] an illusionist and a magician, about 15 grand" - David Copperfield early in his career.

We all know master mentalist Lior Suchard uses pre-show and magic gimmicks to do mental magic. Are there mentalists in this forum that are as successful as Lior?

And I thank Minpro for his elitist views. He sent me down a dark tunnel of mentalism history.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 11, 2019 06:54AM)
I suggest you search the Café for statements about Ormand McGill. Here is an excerpt from 2015.

"He believed that ALL performers should engage in both.

we can look to a performer like Ormand McGill to see how conjuring and “psychic magic” can be combined. His book on Psychic Magic is based on articles from 1937 and republished many times since – even 2008. He combined conjury with psychic magic in his shows with great success and encouraged all magicians to do likewise. In his post WWII USO performances, however, on the advice of his booking agent (Arnold Furst) he presented only conjury before the intermission and “mentalism” after words, believing that the former prepared the audience of the later mental demonstrations. He noted, “there is wish-fulfillment here; an underlying hope that somewhere deep within the mind there may be some mysterious powers that will in some measurable help in the mastery of countless problems that constantly perplex in the hazardous art of living.”

It is easy today to say what he did was “mental magic” rather than “pure mentalism,” but demonstrated that a performer can satisfy both those in an audience seeking to be deceived and those aspiring to paranormal abilities. His teaching of this material was based on a belief that a “magician” is the best person to support the paranormal abilities of humans in contrast, saying, “I have demonstrated how physical laws can apparently be defied for your amusement. Now we shift to demonstrations that the human mind is capable of many things generally considered impossible.” Thus, under the guise of “entertainment” people can be encouraged to experiment along the lines of personal genuine psychic powers. Taking this approach there is not ethical conflict."

He notes that 'Psychic Magic' is “Magic portraying Magic.” and “It is in the simulation of those supernatural forces that Psychic Magic has its origin, and the more perfect the simulation, the more perfect the presentation.”

“So, we will pursue in our studies as a matter of the production of genuine psychic occurrence together with the simulated psychic occurrence – for it is in the skillful blending of the pseudo with the authentic, that is found the real basis for Psychic Magic’s rightful place in the art of entertainment.”
......

So, I do not know what you mean by, "modern mentalism," but just that Kreskin is not the father.

Yes, the term "psychic" got mangled in another fiction. and "back then" MindPro commented on the use of both forms of the Mystic Arts, only suggesting that "can" and "should" are separate issues. He did not argue against the entertainment power/value of combining both approaches, just that most performers cannot pull it off successfully. I agree. Even mixing in what is now considered 'mental magic' can confuse the audience - depending on their expectations. It should not be a marriage, but can be a brother-sister act - with the mental based effects coming last, preferably after an intermission. But, how does one know the expectations of the audience, or best educate them in creating conditions under which magic (any form) is possible? For me, that is a more important question than haggling over 'insider terms' of little concern for an audience.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 11, 2019 07:11AM)
By way of demonstrating that not all mental-based demonstrations involve 'pre-show' or 'tricks' or 'deception',
I offer my eBook "Close Call' free for the asking at eversway@yahoo.com

It can be highly entertaining, has everyone talking afterwards, and would be considered as mentalism by most, but magical by all.
It involves a little know (secret?) ability that all humans have. The only requirement is "knowing" one can do it. That is where the performer comes in.

Yes, it requires presentation skills and some 'crowd control' - I did it first when 17 years old for a university psychology class. No big deal.

I next did it at a magic convention where Arnold Furst applauded but cautioned against combining it with hypnotism in any show.

So, it might meet MindPro's limited construct. No matter. Its use does not make the performer special - just profound.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 11, 2019 08:00AM)
[quote]The fact is mentalists rely on misdirection and all the principles of magic.[/quote]

Wrong. Demonstrably so.

Where are you getting your so-called facts?

I repeat, again, mentalism does not require deception. So palms, switches, ditches, etc. are not necessary.

I think the only skill that is required by both mentalism and magic is showmanship (by which I mean, the ability to make the performance interesting and engaging).
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 11, 2019 08:35AM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, TomB wrote:
I guess I am exploring Mindpro's elitist attitude and when mentalists decided to break from being called magicians. Clearly, mind readers were perfectly happy being called magicians in the past. [/quote]

Of course, these are not facts but rather, once again or should I say still, his very limited options based on lack of knowledge.

Like in the quote above he still isn't getting the performers and talents we are talking about - NEVER were they magicians or have they ever had anything to do with magic or magicians! As you stated they were around log before magic created their own definition based on the fake duplication of these real talents.

Same for his blatantly incorrect (opinion) views on preshow. He has no idea what he's talking about.

I believe he is now deliberately being ignorant and flaming, and not even trying to understand after all that has been presented to him on a silver platter.

As long he keeps seeing and researching things through magician's mindsets, eyes, and resources, he will only always come up with the same limited perspective, which again - wasn't that the point in the first place?

I've gotten many messages and PMs from those that have gotten it, been enlighted, understood, and appreciate the information and points we've provided in this thread. I'm glad some understand, took the time to look beyond their limited perspectives, got the takeaway and recognize the greater picture being referenced.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 11, 2019 09:04AM)
Also, and this is just me being a bit petty I admit, I answered the OP's question on the first page - both with suggestions on a path and suggested reading. However, a quick skimming reminds me that TomB has only attempted to defend his opinion-presented-as-fact and offered no suggestions to help the OP at all.

Which means I've made more effort to be helpful than all those posts simply defending the inaccurate definitions.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 11, 2019 04:53PM)
This thread should be renamed "Is It Soon Enough for Disagreements About the Term "Mentalism'?" Seriously, my freakin' head is spinning.

I'm fine with mentalists differentiating themselves to mental magicians and mental magic. There's an important distinction to be made. That, I now understand. But for better or worse, the term "mentalism" is now used to refer to "mental magic," and it's not going to change.

Mindpro, if you didn't literally blame magicians for capturing the term and fall back on ad hominem attacks for defense, you would be a lot more persuasive. It's off-putting and silly, but it's more importantly, fruitless. Even if it were possible that you could "steal" a word and misuse it, usage doesn't change that way. Large numbers of people have to buy into it. Generations of elementary school teachers, for example, have insisted that students must say, "May I go to the bathroom?" Those generations have failed. "May I go to the bathroom?" as well as the subjunctive mood itself has essentially disappeared from the English language. They are known, but not commonly used.

At this point, it would be easier to generate a new term for what you do than to reappropriate it from common use in magic.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 11, 2019 05:37PM)
I appreciate your concern but it is more than just a term or definition that was being discussed. Only in magic is the definition offered here accepted. In the entertainment industry, it still is not (and never was). When a mentalist (mind reader, psychic entertainer, hypnotist, etc.) is appearing at a theater or venue the public does not go into it believing it is magic, they want to see a mentalist with true mentalist abilities.

As I said earlier as an agent, producer, and promoter I have seen industry professionals, events, and venues have irate patrons because they went expecting to see something real and got a magician pretending to do mentalism. They have been busted on America's Got Talent for doing the same - claiming to be mentalists then essentially doing metal magic much to the judges and public's dismay.

Again, it is much greater than just magic's definition, but important in other circles as well. Even when asking some that don't have a clear understanding of what to expect, they expect something actual or real, and not magic.

Imagine being a promoter and you've rented a venue ($15,000-$20,000), spent another $10,000 on advertising and promotion, not to mention the $10,000+ or more you paid for the mentalist. You would have $40,000- $50,000 into it. Now imagine if the mentalist turned out to be a guy just doing mental magic. Man the backlash and financial loss would be astounding. Again, this is how the entertainment industry thinks, acts and operates, which again is far more than it being just a definition and accepted adaptation for the magic community.

There is so much more to it, but I won't go on. It is far more than just a difference of perceptions, or on the minor level of which most magicians here are understanding. This really surprises me Ravenspur as you are an educator/teacher. If anyone, I would think you should understand the misinformation age, separating fact from opinion, and seeing a greater picture and proper understanding.

I think it is important for those in the magic community to realize and accept there is picture greater than the magic community that many of us work and operate in every day, and that there are people that do actual mental abilities for real, without tricks or any of the gimmicks, applications, and deceptions of magic. I'm not sure why this is so hard to accept and understand?

I'm not trying to persuade anyone of anything. It is simply identifying some truth and facts that others here can't seem to accept and choose to deny. Denying this doesn't make it less legitimate or go away, lol. It's not about disagreeing. Disagreeing and denial are two different things.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 11, 2019 06:50PM)
Trying to get a handle on your perspective, MindPro. If there is a "picture greater that the magic community," then why have you been posting
on the mentalism sites of the Café' for years? I can't grasp what you are attempting to accomplish with restricting common definitions.

You offer that a promoter spends $10,000 on advertising and promotion. What is he saying? What audience is he appealing to?
If he uses the word mentalist but can't book the likes of Dunninger or Cassidy or Banachek how does he attract an audience?
Why would there be an astonishing backlash when it seems most folks think of these performers when the word mentalist is used.

If I went to see an announced mentalist and he turned out to be a stage hypnotist I would want my money back.

How is such a show promoted to attract a large audience who understands what you mean by mentalist when you can't find many on the Café'?


No, I can't imagine such a promoter. I realize I must be missing something. Please provide a hint as to what such a promoter in the past said, printed, announced to attract the "right audience." You need not mention the name of the shadow few - just the language to attract the audience.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 12, 2019 02:35AM)
[Quote]Now imagine if the mentalist turned out to be a guy just doing mental magic. [/quote]
You mean like master mentalist Lior Suchard. Because I have watched his entire show on YouTube and would believe it to be what Mindpro calls mental magic.
This is the problem with an elitist attitude. Nobody meets the elitist definition of mentalism. It is never pure enough.

Bob Cassidy fails, Lior Suchard fails, Max Maven fails, Richard Osterlind fails, Kreskin fails ect

In fact I can paraphrase any of those guys and you will find issue with it because it has my name attached to it.

You defending your opinion is not any greater then me defending mine. I have seen polished forum members state what I believe, mentalists are a specialized magicians. I was trying to find the roots of your thoughts. Funsway may be on to something with his post mentioning Arnold Furst. At least for the mantra of keeping mental magic separate from physical magic. Not sure about the mantra of "mentalists are not magicians". Nevertheless, I very much appreciate the input.

The basics for teaching include clear definitions, examples, and historical reference.

Trying to get that from you guys is like asking a blind person what the color red looks like. Although I wonder, if a deaf person was able to read lips, would that be mentalism or mental magic in your book?

I have read through this forum, and I can tell you Bob Cassidy is a pleasure to read. He does not have the disdain for magicians. In fact, there is enough material by him on the forum to see the mentalist POV. [b]I have added his material to read, and will further generate my views after reading his material[/b]. I have said before, we are very lucky to have these legends share their ideas here. Unfortunately, once they are gone, they are gone.

To the original OP, there are easy tricks to pick up mental magic. So easy, any child can do it. Picking up Corinda 13 steps is a natural starting point. However, there is a deeper level of mental magic, that involves reading body language as well. As long as you utilize gimmicks and tricks to read minds, you won't be considered a [i]real[/i] mentalist. You can see that your mentalist peers will have disdain for you if you practice both physical and mental magic. Even though most TV mentalists do just that. To be considered a [i]real[/i] mentalist, you also need to convince your audience your powers are [i]real[/i]. This most likely will involve some level of deception. I would also ask, how good is your natural intuition? Natural intuition with confidence is a large part of being a successful mentalist.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 12, 2019 03:45AM)
[Quote]When a mentalist (mind reader, psychic entertainer, hypnotist, etc.) is appearing at a theater or venue the public does not go into it believing it is magic, they want to see a mentalist with true mentalist abilities. [/quote]

Interesting you state psychic entertainer, rather than just psychic. By adding entertainer, it implies it's all fake and not real. Most of what I have read mentalists distance themselves from psychics and do not state they can see the future. By you including psychics as mentalists that is very revealing to me.

I get your idea, no one pays money for a known swindler. But the guillible would pay money for a believable psychic, especially those that are grieving a lost one. Afterall, isn't it comforting to hear your loved ones is smiling down from heaven and the angels are playing instruments (or maybe they give you closure for something). The issue with this is (besides the moral issues), it removes the entertainment value. People spend money to go out for entertainment. They know the mentalists are fake, despite you telling them it is real. Just like a magic show (because it is a mental magic show), sometimes spectators are fooled, and they wonder how he does it. And that is what separates the good from the bad magicians/mentalists. The good ones have the audience fooled while bringing entertainment. You see, most people in the audience do not think you have supernatural powers to read minds, just like the average magician cannot actually make things disappear. Even my jaw dropped when I saw on video Tommy Wonder vanishing a birdcage with his sleeves rolled up. Your elitist views actually has you convinced the audience is dumb. They are not, but they do enjoy the entertainment. My mom use to watch the psychics mediums on Dr Phil. I am sure he got high ratings because they were brought back as frequent guests. No one believed they had supernatural powers, but we did like their personality, confidence, attitude and ideas.

I would agree that those paying money are more likely to go along with the plot than strangers on a street. My sister was hypnotized by Criss Angel. Some random guy on a street probably won't bark like a dog, but many people on stage will. It will be a mentalist friendly audience.
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 12, 2019 06:54AM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
There is so much more to it, but I won't go on. It is far more than just a difference of perceptions, or on the minor level of which most magicians here are understanding. This really surprises me Ravenspur as you are an educator/teacher. If anyone, I would think you should understand the misinformation age, separating fact from opinion, and seeing a greater picture and proper understanding.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone of anything. [/quote]

I can go back and pick out the phrases, but you are very clearly trolling, i.e. including provoking statements. You don't address legitimate points or evidence. Mostly, you use ad hominem attacks.

And as far as teaching goes, you need to understand how information works to address misinformation. And even on this point, you bring up an ad hominem attack. For someone with such developed mental skills, it's a pity you can't count logical argument among them. [NOTE: This is both an ad hominem attack and trolling. Your professional skills may inform your argument, but it doesn't make your argument valid. And mentioning your profession in such a way tends to elicit a negative response].

However, please go on about the industry. Not only are you talking about things I don't know, I have no other way of learning about them. Even if I eventually disagree with you, you will have put some issues on the map for me.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 12, 2019 07:15AM)
As to stage hypnotism being 'real mentalism." Here are a couple of extractions for a quick Google search (I am not talking about hypnotherapy)

"The greatest change in stage hypnotism over the years has been the gradual move from what used to be known as mesmerism, which was presented as a form of pseudoscience, to the present day, where the stage hypnotist combines magic and illusion with some comedy thrown in."

"After the audience members are chosen, they will go through a series of rapid inductions usually behind closed doors. Here the stage hypnotist will put them into a trance and begin use anchoring words and post-hypnotic suggestions for later. These are trigger words/actions that will make the participant quickly enter back into that hypnotic state on stage. "

"The causes of behaviour exhibited by volunteers in stage hypnosis shows is an area of dispute. Some claim it illustrates altered states of consciousness (i.e., "hypnotic trance"). Others maintain that it can be explained by a combination of psychological factors observed in group settings such as disorientation, compliance, peer pressure, and ordinary suggestion"

......
So, hypnotism may be "real" including that done on stage by professionals (some may be faked). But the techniques involved to make this "entertainment" can be learned and mastered by anyone regardless of their being "tainted" by performance magic early on. Yet, MindPro claims these elite, unnamed professionals succeed because they do not come from such corrupted roots.

Mentalism? How does any of this information support stage hypnosis being a demonstration of "mentalism" by any definition. Yes, some promoting themselves as mentalists include hypnosis in their show. Some magicians include hypnosis (real or faked) in their show. Some spectators may say, "I must have been hypnotized" to explain their astonishment over anything. The fact is that people paying to see a stage hypnotist and those paying to see a mentalist will have different expectations - none of which relate to the origins of training of the performer.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 12, 2019 10:26AM)
[quote] Nobody meets the elitist definition of mentalism[/quote]

Except they do. I could write a pure mentalism show right now with the skills I have. I'm not sure who Mindpro means when he talks about those he's worked with - but you're either saying he's lying about hiring those people or you have to agree that he clearly knows several. Just because you don't know examples doesn't mean they don't exist.

[quote] I have seen polished forum members state what I believe, mentalists are a specialized magicians.[/quote]

Yes, I've seen that, too. There's also a big group of people that say the Earth is flat. Does that make it true?

[quote]Interesting you state psychic entertainer, rather than just psychic. By adding entertainer, it implies it's all fake and not real. [/quote]

I think what you meant to say is, "I assume that by adding entertainer". Because that's what you're doing.

[quote]They know the mentalists are fake, despite you telling them it is real.[/quote]

See, this is the problem right here. You're either willfully ignoring the facts we are stating, or you're incapable of understanding/accepting it.

Actual mentalism skills are not fake. They are real skills. I don't know how to say this more plainly. Real skills. Genuine. Authentic. Actually learned and honed. Not fake.

So they 'know' it's real, because it is real. It's not like the audience believes this because the audience is stupid - it's because they came to see someone demonstrate real skills and that's what the person is going to do.

Until you accept the fact that there are people who genuinely demonstrate these mental skills, every statement and argument you make is faulty because it's built on an incorrect assumption.

[quote] No one believed they had supernatural powers, but we did like their personality, confidence, attitude and ideas.[/quote]

Wildly assumptive. See, what I think is happening here is that you're assuming that everyone agrees with your perspective. This is clearly wrong. A moment on Google tells me the psychic industry is currently valued around 2 billion dollars, and is on the rise. Another quick search tells me roughly 60% of Americans believe in psychic abilities, with about 15-25% believing they have personally had a psychic experience. So it's not outrageous to think that there were more people who believed in those TV psychics than those who didn't.

[quote]"After the audience members are chosen, they will go through a series of rapid inductions usually behind closed doors. Here the stage hypnotist will put them into a trance and begin use anchoring words and post-hypnotic suggestions for later. These are trigger words/actions that will make the participant quickly enter back into that hypnotic state on stage. "[/quote]

What show is this referring to? I've never even heard of a stage hypnosis show working like this. It doesn't even make sense - why on Earth would a performer take the volunteers to another room, leaving the stage empty and the audience bored out of their mind? Is this about that TV show with Keith Barry?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 12, 2019 08:46PM)
[Quote]Actual mentalism skills are not fake.[/quote]
Can you define these skills?
Do you have video of these skills being used?

And I found a quote from Bob Cassidy,
[Quote]
Actually, the term "psychic entertainer" is simply an umbrella term that covers mentalists, bizarrists, hypnotists, readers, and allied artists. 
The word "psychic, in this instance, is used to denote "of the mind."[/quote]
I am going to assume Mindpro was adapting this definition. I would have used the word mental entertainer to avoid confusion.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 13, 2019 04:39AM)
In the wee hours I have been pondering the "entertainment value" of these unspecified "actual mentalism skills."
That is, can a performer relying on such engage an audience for an hour or more using such skills even with extraordinary presentation skills?

MindPro offers a scenario in which a promoter has shelled out $50 grand for a planned show, including $10 grand for advertising and promotion.
With no answer to my questions as to what is said or promised, I will assume some must be about the performer's reputation and reviews. But he is an invisible character.
Now, it is difficult to imagine any mentalism effect to be 'engaging' for an audience of more that 2000 enthused spectators. So, if the promoter expects a reasonable profit,
tickets will be $40-50 dollars. What will be offered by the promoter get induce people to buy? What will they expect of the performer?

Now, I have made a partial list of "actual mentalism" I can do right now - without any claim of being a mentalist (elite or common). None of them would adequately engage
such a large audience, or even a smaller $1000/ticket crowd for an hour or more. I admit my limitations. Just "priming the pump" so that MindPro or others might offer what these
unique shadow performers might be up to. I exclude hypnosis for reasons explained above.

Pendulum work:
single suspended bob, smoke, reed, etc.
multi-bob including controlling bobs in different directions simultaneously, or with one end of stick held by a spectator
Radial pendulums with 2,3 or 4 other people involved in the holding of the anchor
controlling a pendulum without physical contact, e.g. I am across the room with the pendulum held by a spectator

Dousing - finding buried metal with bent coat hangers

Helstromism - to include dropping assistant's hand before completing the test, relying on intuition or gestalt energy from audience.

Spacial sensitivity (Close Call) - I have never done this for more that 20 observers, so large crowd appeal unknown.

Energy transference - shifting individual observer energy or intent to gestalt support to focused application for a directed task or individual. Most often used in group moderation/mediation but could be performed for entertainment or to gain audience support for later demonstrations.

Body heat control - the ability to change one's skin temperature at will.

Internal alarm - the ability to wake up at a giving time or after a set duration of sleep.

....

I'd be interested in what others here can do that might qualify as "real mentalism."
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 13, 2019 07:25AM)
[quote]Can you define these skills?
Do you have video of these skills being used? [/quote]

Have you read this thread? There's several examples of real skills listed multiple times throughout.

Which ones of those are having trouble with the definition?
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 13, 2019 07:31AM)
I'd like to see a video of a "genuine" mentalism performance too.

I saw Derren Brown's Infamous show at Llandudno a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I always thought he's a mentalist so I'm surprised to hear some say he isn't.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 13, 2019 08:30AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
[quote]Can you define these skills?
Do you have video of these skills being used? [/quote]

Have you read this thread? There's several examples of real skills listed multiple times throughout.

Which ones of those are having trouble with the definition? [/quote]

Why a negative comment? I might have offered to explain some methods privately, but now am not sure.

Yes, "some" examples have been offered. None of which, for me, justify an hour plus show for a high ticket price.
So, I offer some other examples to encourage others to add additional examples - perhaps from large audience experience.
Since MindPro refuses to offer examples I must look elsewhere for viable examples.
....

no video - and never will be!

First off, if I share those I have some may attempt to perform with no real understanding of method and psychology involved. I am not trying to sell anything
or get a booking. I have offered some things for free. Try getting those first.

Next, the learning of such skills is incremental and possibly damaged by having a model to emulate. Each situation is unique as to audience engagement,
and any perspective limited by the cameraman's bias and availability. If one cannot imagine the performance and role-play in mind for contingencies,
then it is doubtful he can generate the trust essential to the effect. I feel learning conjuring by watching a video is not the best approach either,
but the expectations of an audience planning on experiencing mental based effects are more fragile. So, I ask, "Why would seeing a video help you
appreciate the value of 'real mentalism' over mental magic?"

Also, most of my performances/demonstrations require focused attention and gestalt energy/participation of the audience. No place for a camera in that orchestration. The presence of a camera can easily change the essential dynamics of the conditions. Any secret camera would destroy the trust. For me "real mentalism" means "real event'. A video is not a real experience.

All this means is that my examples may not be those useful for MIndPro's high ticket show. Thus, I ask for other examples.
Please, someone give a hint of a performance that would justify a $50-100 ticket and enjoyment of an hour or more that would be marketed as "real mentalism."

No deep secrets, though. Anyone can journey to Dandridge, TN and spend a week as my guest. We can go out into the community and do real mentalism or pretend stuff and discover what real people think is astonishing, magic, hype, superpower or silliness.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 13, 2019 10:43AM)
The skills themselves are not necessarily what have the value. The ability to perform those skills in an entertaining and engaging way is where the value is. That is something that is developed over the years.

Several of the things you mentioned, Funsway, could be developed into much bigger/more involved demonstrations if you took the time to study the skills more deeply and then started working on how to expand them. There were several performers in the Victorian era who did full shows using nothing but CMR.

I don't have videos, no. I wouldn't share videos of my own performances on these forums and I rarely watch any other performers.

My 'negative' reaction was because TomB has a distinct tendency to seemingly ignore previous posts and repeat himself, and I have no interest in engaging with someone who refuses to read and comprehend what's already been said repeatedly.

I also have little interest in typing out a dictionary. The information is, by and large, widely available to those who want to learn and the lists Mindpro has given is a perfect place to start the Google search.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 13, 2019 12:27PM)
Is "real mentalism" so mysterious that no specific examples can be provided?
Message: Posted by: Ravenspur (Sep 13, 2019 12:47PM)
Kong,

It seems that "real mentalism" consists of performances based on the presentation of rarely developed mental skills that cause astonishment and wonder in those who witness it. There are many things that may qualify, ranging from cold reading to hypnosis to feats of memory. Most likely, someone will argue about it.

As opposed to magic, which also causes astonishment and wonder, but through trickery.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 13, 2019 12:54PM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:

My 'negative' reaction was because TomB has a distinct tendency to seemingly ignore previous posts and repeat himself,
[/quote]

But, I am not TomB. The question was why you are negative to MY posts and the unanswered questions I ask.
You may feel that the examples given adequately justify a high dollar ticket and long show. I do not. So, I ask rather than project, explore rather than ignore.

I have valued many of your posts in the past. Try a little respect and maybe you can learn something new also. No negative projection required.

Yes, many "real mentalism" effects could be expanded into larger venues by the right person. Perhaps someone will desire to and communicate with me off list.
BUT - MIndPro has indicated that special mentalists are doing this right now. You seem to agree, at least in part. No "somebody could" - NOW.

So, please give examples of someone doing it today - already holding an audience in thrall for an hour or more for big bucks using only "real mentalism." -

or patiently show my ignorant, lazy self where a previous post has done so. I have reread the entire thread . Nada!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 13, 2019 01:08PM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
the presentation of rarely developed mental skills that cause astonishment and wonder in those who witness it.
[/quote]

back in the late 50's - early 60's Ed Sullivan would showcase individuals with such skills, e.g. extraordinary memory such as watching a train of 100 cars pass by and be able to repeat every car number and description. Also, rapid math calculations. I think a woman from India has the record for multiplying large numbers in here head - square root too. But, these were brief demonstrations, not an entire show. And they were never announced as mentalists or psychics - and were not entertainers by profession.

Maybe the future of entertainment is having people with unique mental skills show off their abilities in public. BUt, why try and change the meaning of mentalism?
Invent a new word for this new form of entertainment. I will be entertained by seeing how many people will lay out $100 to see a long show of such abilities -
especially by a single person.

That is one possible flaw here. Since these special skills in past demonstrations have required years of practice or a uniquely prepared mind (accidental),
how can we believe that a single person can develop multiple mental skills plus the skills of audience engagement and presentation? add in the desire to be an entertainer
and live the life style.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 13, 2019 02:43PM)
The reply you quoted, Funsway, was directed to TomB which is why I quoted him. No idea why you decided it was directed to you and to take it personally.

Though this time ...
[quote]Invent a new word for this new form of entertainment[/quote]

That's the point! It's not a new form of entertainment at all! It's been around for hundreds of years. The roots of it have been around for most of human history.

People keep asking for examples as if the very notion that someone can do a show with genuine skills is utterly incomprehensible. I don't understand that. People have been entertaining audiences with unusual skills forever. Why is it that as soon as someone challenges an incorrect definition suddenly it's like we're saying we do the impossible?

[quote]That is one possible flaw here. Since these special skills in past demonstrations have required years of practice or a uniquely prepared mind (accidental),
how can we believe that a single person can develop multiple mental skills plus the skills of audience engagement and presentation? add in the desire to be an entertainer
and live the life style.[/quote]

Easily?

It's no different to people who learn multiple languages and also a profession? Viggo Mortensen speaks multiple languages, paints, writes poetry, is a survival expert, a skilled swordsman, and a pretty good actor to boot. Is it so impossible to believe someone else could learn multiple skills?

Look - I learned how to read people as a kid who wanted to avoid being bullied. When I got a bit older I realized I could use the skill to freak out my friends by predicting their thoughts and behavior. At this point it's an innate skill. I learned how to "project energy" when I studied the occult and also in martial arts. Martial arts also taught me the basics of muscle reading (the exercise commonly called "sticky hands"). Years of studying and practice taught me how to use suggestion effectively and also how to hypnotize people. Memory arts are freely available online to anyone who puts some effort into it.

How is this remotely less possible than someone spending hours upon hours learning a hundred sleights to perform magic?

It's. A. Skill. Set.

This conversation is circling. Nothing new is being said and clearly no one is really paying attention anyway, so, it's been fun ya'll.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 13, 2019 04:09PM)
I couldn't agree more. This has been greatly derailed and taken waaaay off-topic and is now just a trolling or flaming continuance leading nowhere.

The answers to the OPs original question were covered in the initial posts on page one of this thread. Plenty of valuable and helpful information was referenced in this thread whether people choose to accept it, understand it, or not.

Either start your own thread to continue such topics and issues or don't, but don't continue to derail this one any longer.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 13, 2019 04:12PM)
I ask to see it because I've never seen what you're calling "real mentalism" before. I don't think I've ever seen anyone "project energy" before either but I suspect that's even harder to capture on video.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 13, 2019 10:23PM)
Few quotes are from Steve Shaw (Banachek)

[Quote]when I started out doing mentalism,I didn't know there was a subset of magic called mentalism.
I just knew there were guys that conned people using tricks [/quote]

[Quote]Mentalism is an assimilation of psychic phenomenon using trickery, well that can be sort of redundant right, but we admit it is trickery, we take the five known senses and make the illusion of a sixth sense, we get on stage and we get up there and we are using magic, and maybe the magic can be form of psychology or verbal/non-verbal communication or just straight up sleight of hand, or some other form of trickery, we are using to simulate psychic phenomenon.[/quote]

[Quote]Banachek believes that the difference between a psychic and a mentalist is that the mentalist doesn’t claim to have real psychic power[/quote]

Now I imagine you guys will disagree. But here is a leading mentalist stating what I have since page 1.

Your definition of mentalism is that of a psychic. Someone who lies to their audience that they have supernatural powers. And you are correct, that is not magic. Magicians do not lie.

Or maybe Banachek thinks the earth is flat. Because anyone who disagrees must be a fool.

See the dictionary defintion of a mentalist is someone that can read minds. And every real mentalist performs the effect of mind reading. Most use hot readings/pre-show and stooges. It can be entertaining, but let's call a spade a spade.

But I understand you want spontaneous readings with no foul play. I can only assume your genuine skills and intuition deal with cold readings. And cold readings are high probable guesses and statements based on observation.

Who here knows someone that is old and feeling pain?

I think of someone related to a name that starts with a J or M.

Honestly, I do not think of this as a genuine skill. I have ignored it, because I do not recognize it as a skill. Asking vague questions to large audience. I suppose there are some vulnerable, grieving people that make good suckers.

Banachek again
[Quote]when you take a look at a lot of mediums out there, I know exactly what those mediums are doing, and I think many of them are scum. I think they are taking advantage of people in a very vulnerable moment[/quote]

Now of you are a mentalist, and perform cold readings and are not saying you have supernatural powers, I do not take issue. But there are the mediums and psychics that prey on the vulnerable.

As for hypnotists, I do not consider that magic. Fitzkee did not either. Also, if they are not reading minds, hypnostists are not mentalists either.

And for all the other tricks mentioned if they did not include reading minds, they are not mentalist skills. Those are just tricks done that compliment the mentalist repertoire. If you want to call it mental magic, that is fine with me.

And if you still disagree, and think you have genuine skills there are always those prove you have skill challenges and win a million dollars.

This post was a bit hijacked, but by the psychics that call themselves mentalists.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 16, 2019 08:33AM)
[quote]Your definition of mentalism is that of a psychic. Someone who lies to their audience that they have supernatural powers. And you are correct, that is not magic. Magicians do not lie[/quote]

Incredible how you can read words that have specific meanings, and somehow conclude that they actually mean the exact opposite thing.

[quote]I don't think I've ever seen anyone "project energy" before either but I suspect that's even harder to capture on video. [/quote]

Google it. Martial arts demonstrations, energy healers, all kinds of people do it. I have my own theories about how it works but that's neither here nor there. Look, here's one I stumbled across a while back - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggtL1tN3Fn8
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 16, 2019 09:08AM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:Google it. Martial arts demonstrations, energy healers, all kinds of people do it. I have my own theories about how it works but that's neither here nor there. Look, here's one I stumbled across a while back - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggtL1tN3Fn8 [/quote]

No thanks. I have a strong dislike of "energy healers" and such.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 16, 2019 06:57PM)
Just to clarify. The "energy transference" I mentioned earlier has nothing to do with the "project energy" now being discussed, i.e. martial arts or healing.

Not to say that projecting energy could not be a part of a mentalism routine - just different.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 16, 2019 10:50PM)
Wow - so much talking past each other going on here!
I have a question for WitchDocChris to answer if he may be so kind.
I totally understand and agree with your point that there exists true skills and abilities which may be used without trickery to perform feats of wonder and that this is not mental magic but something else.
If you call that “mentalism” then I have no problem.
Question: if such a performer introduces actually trickery (peeks, pre-show etc) into their act in order to perform further feats which are actually not based on the abilities they purport to their audience that they are using, then are they still performing mentalism, or are they now performing mental magic?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 01:42AM)
Interesting thought, Andrewl. Perhaps it is also a matter of what one considers to be trickery.

Several have offered feats of memory as an example of "real mentalism," yet if mnemonics are employed it is a trick rather than just remembering things.

Hypnotism can be viewed as an illusionary state that is not "real." So, how can demonstrating it be real anything.
Arnold Furst used to hypnotize people without any verbal commands. He wrote, "to hypnotize a person without saying anything, these are the words you must say,
I am about to hypnotize you without saying a single word." A trick!

Another technique is to influence what a person remembers in a carefully crafted restatement of what occurred. The mind can dismiss the actual events in favor of the trusted instructions. So, from the observer's perspective, the tricky event never occurred at all. Does this qualify as "real mentalism," since, in realty, the event never happened?

For example, a person writes down a word on a billet "for later verification if necessary." The slip is handed to a second person for safe keeping to be destroyed when no longer necessary, with a little tip on how to tear it up. In the process you execute a center tear while nicking the edged for future tear lines. Later on, you say, "Abby, my volunteer, is now very clear on the message she wishes to transmit. Arlene over there has been in sole possession of that verification slip since Abby wrote it. Some may fear that I might get at it. It can be destroyed now if desired. Abby, you alone know what is one that slip. Do you wish Arlene to tear it up? Great! Rip it to shreds."

If your reconstruction of events is accepted by all, especially the two women by their actions, then the fact that you momentarily handled the slip DID NOT HAPPEN.
Thus, no trick was involved in reality. Any obverser telling of the event will recount your version reality.

Such manipulation of perceptions and memory might be considered as "real mentalism" too. But it starts with either attracting the right audience or choosing the right effect for the audience of the moment. These are skills to be developed and not purchased on a DVD.

At the very least, mental based effects by any name requires that the performer knows something that the audience does not. Is that trickery?

Of course, if I perform a bit of conjuring based entirely on a psychological ploy it makes me a magician and incapable of ever learning mentalism is, right?
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 04:27AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, funsway wrote:
Just to clarify. The "energy transference" I mentioned earlier has nothing to do with the "project energy" now being discussed, i.e. martial arts or healing.

Not to say that projecting energy could not be a part of a mentalism routine - just different. [/quote]

My issue is more with folk who claim to possess incredible skills, present them as "real", yet provide no evidence beyond their "performance" to back it up. If this involves "healing" or "talking to the other side" then it sinks even lower, in my opinion.

It strikes me as either dishonesty, delusion or mental illness.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 06:32AM)
Yes, those who apparently heal with energy are not doing shows for entertainment, so the call to "show off" is always suspect.

Nothing like a mother's kiss to make a bee sting go away - just not much use on a stage as a mentalist though.
The very setting "for entertainment" may preclude such abilities that some might consider "beyond normal."

There is an old saying, "A wizard best works invisibly." Might apply here also.

Sorry if you have never encountered a non-entertainer who can use energy in amazing ways such as healing.
My former Service Dog could heal folks - why not humans?
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 06:40AM)
Your dog could heal folk?

Are you sure about that?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 17, 2019 07:34AM)
[quote]Question: if such a performer introduces actually trickery (peeks, pre-show etc) into their act in order to perform further feats which are actually not based on the abilities they purport to their audience that they are using, then are they still performing mentalism, or are they now performing mental magic? [/quote]

When they begin to use trickery they are straying from mentalism.

[quote]Several have offered feats of memory as an example of "real mentalism," yet if mnemonics are employed it is a trick rather than just remembering things. [/quote]

[quote]mne·mon·ics
/nəˈmäniks/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: mnemonics

the study and development of systems for improving and assisting the memory.[/quote]

How is developing the ability to remember things a trick?

[quote]Hypnotism can be viewed as an illusionary state that is not "real." So, how can demonstrating it be real anything.[/quote]

It could be viewed as that, but that would be wrong. I think your definition of "trick" is getting stretched so thin it's going to snap soon.

Just more examples of magician's thinking throughout. What ifs and what abouts and stretching and kneading definitions until they fit what the magician already wanted to believe.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 07:53AM)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Yet here we are, still waiting...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 08:08AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
Your dog could heal folk?

Are you sure about that? [/quote]

Why question my veracity? If I am not sure of what I post I note it as an opinion.

I save my false claims for stage work.

But, I will rephrase. There are dozens of people telling stories of how Limora detected they were ill and was the reason they went to a doctor.
For any guest or relative with a cold or other distress, Limora would get up beside them on the bed for a while, Then she would go outside and throw up.
The person would get better immediately. Did they heal themselves? Maybe - but she was the claimed cause. Not by me - by the ill person.
She also knew when a person would soon die, but that is another matter.

Therapy dogs in hospitals help people recover every day. Methinks (opinion) that humans get do such healing also, but have forgotten how.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 08:10AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Yet here we are, still waiting... [/quote]

Now that is an opinion - not factl. "Believing" might require evidence to become certitude rather than certainty or conviction, but "knowing" requires no evidence at all.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 08:11AM)
Why question your veracity? It should be quite obvious - you have just claimed that your dog could "heal people".

You must realise how ridiculous that sounds.

Come on, man.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 08:19AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Yet here we are, still waiting... [/quote]

Now that is an opinion - not factl. "Believing" might require evidence to become certitude rather than certainty or conviction, but "knowing" requires no evidence at all. [/quote]

Demanding evidence is the best way to avoid gullibility.

If you don't agree then I have some magic beans that you might be interested in...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 08:25AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:

I think your definition of "trick" is getting stretched so thin it's going to snap soon.

Just more examples of magician's thinking throughout. What ifs and what abouts and stretching and kneading definitions until they fit what the magician already wanted to believe. [/quote]

I agree - which is the point. It is not "my" definition of anything, just illustrations that the very use of the term is beyond placing a limitation on it -
such as saying that a certain type of mentalism is not based on trickery.

Now you project that any definition besides your own must be labeled as "magician's thinking."

yup, stretching and kneading definitions until they fit your concept of mentalism.

Fact is that ANY universal claim needs only one negative example to disprove it. I respect that you have an opinion about how people think and make decisions.
Other people here have other experienced opinions. Why not respect that?

...

as to mnemonics, the definition continues "a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something."

Some call that a strategy, others a trick, other a device. It is not just remembering the word or person or number by itself.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 08:32AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:

Demanding evidence is the best way to avoid gullibility.

[/quote]

another opinion. I question your right to demand anything. Requests are sometimes reasonable if the desire is to learn.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 09:02AM)
So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 11:32AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some? [/quote]

I am saddened by your life apparently having so little awe and wonder in it.

If the wondrous healing things Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs can do seems strange to you, perhaps you have to get out in the real world more.

but, you have now twice called me a liar with damaging intent. That is slander.
So, the burden of proof rests with you. Prove that I am lying. I demand it.

Yet, the theme here for other readers is the use of healing energy in connection with stage mentalism.
Thankfully, your personal disbelief in no way effects the ability of some people to heal - except you, of course, if you ever needed help.
Save the beans. You may need them if you get ill.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 17, 2019 11:46AM)
More opinions gone wild.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 17, 2019 01:05PM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some? [/quote]

I am saddened by your life apparently having so little awe and wonder in it.

If the wondrous healing things Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs can do seems strange to you, perhaps you have to get out in the real world more.

but, you have now twice called me a liar with damaging intent. That is slander.
So, the burden of proof rests with you. Prove that I am lying. I demand it.

Yet, the theme here for other readers is the use of healing energy in connection with stage mentalism.
Thankfully, your personal disbelief in no way effects the ability of some people to heal - except you, of course, if you ever needed help.
Save the beans. You may need them if you get ill. [/quote]

I have plenty of awe and wonder in my life. What makes you think I don't?

One can appreciate the beauty of a garden without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 17, 2019 07:27PM)
Hey everyone here!

How about we all get back to the focus of providing ideas to help new comers make decisions about how to optimize their enthusiasm about magic in any form.

My experiences with both conjuring and mental-based effects are different from most here, so my offering will be different. Not better than - just other than.

I can learn from everyone else's experience too. Opinions not so much ;)

I have always preferred to demonstrate unusual/impossible phenomena that do not depend on deception or "secret moves."
but can happily perform effects using trickery as the situation suggests. I can also do astounding conjuring effects - all without heart failure or ethical conflict.

But - for those new to performing - it has taken me 60+ years of performing to achieve a comfortable balance --
and along the way I NEVER performed any effect for which I was not prepared and aware of the potential AFFECT of what I was doing.

Never let anyone else tell you what you cannot do - but tell yourself that every day.

Doing anything "for entertainment of others" is only small part of what life is about. Just an opinion. of course.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 17, 2019 08:05PM)
It is amazing to me that a difference of understanding about terminology can generate so much acrimony.

I honestly think that if WitchDocChris and I sat down for half an hour together, we'd have a great time and we'd have an agreed-upon functional meaning for the word mentalism within the first 10 minutes. Sadly, when communication is all in text, that doesn't happen.

The difference I see between the two general camps here is that one is a very exclusive definition of mentalism that doesn't allow room for deception or trickery in the methods. The other is inclusive of the former range of methods but also allows for trickery as long as it plausibly mimics the demonstration of mental or psychic abilities. Most of the people I'm familiar with who use the title of mentalist fall soundly in the second group. There are apparently those who use the term mentalist for themselves while meaning something very different from any of the popularly-known performing mentalists out there.

Bob Cassidy, in Artful Mentalism 2, traces what he believed to be the roots of mentalism to performers capitalizing on the Spiritualist beliefs and interest in the esoteric from the latter half of the 19th century into the early 20th. As he says, "(t)he first 'mentalists' did not have conjuring backgrounds, although they did unquestionably make use of sleight of hand, gimmickry, and misdirection to accomplish their feats."

As has already been hashed to death, all of the mentalists who are selling books and videos to those of us who want to learn how to perform apparent feats of the mind are utilizing tricks. Sometimes very simple tricks, sometimes tricks that are extremely cunning, but tricks nonetheless. Requests for examples of people who perform the more exclusive version of mentalism have so far turned up only WitchDocChris. Requests for video clips have turned up nothing.

I do understand why a professional performer might want to keep his material and his carefully structured show out of the hands of any random schmo on the internet. I do. But I also note that the guys who get the popular attention are out there doing spots for local TV when they are in town for a show. There are loads of clips of Banachek doing 5 minutes for a local talk show. Derren Brown, ditto. He actually does have loads of his shows on YouTube, so there's plenty of opportunity to learn from his performing if one desires. Bob Cassidy had fewer than I would have expected, but was happy to point people to YouTube for examples of what he performed.

My point is that five minutes (or ten or twenty) should not be giving away your A material. That's potential marketing material. The old promo reel is often enough now online. If I were booking someone I'd never heard of, I'd want to see at least a bit of video material. As it is, when I am deciding whether to spend money on the local concerts, I have to look up the performers and listen to a few clips to decided whether I want to attend a whole concert. I only have so many hours in my life and so many dollars in the bank. If I can't see a short sample, I don't spend the money or time to see the longer performance. Thus, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for examples of performances that don't rely on trickery. If these people are making any significant part of their living as performers, I would expect them to have promo clips out there anyway. Otherwise, they've stumbled on marketing methods that go against everything I thought I understood about marketing. (Things like being known, telling people what they will get if they hire you, creating some interest to drive demand, making sure the potential clients at least know your name...) For people like me, who are unknown and happy keeping this a hobby, there's no reason for promo material. But if I were trying to get gigs, I know I'd be trying to shoot some good material to get people wanting to hire me. I'd also be putting it out there for everyone to see what they'd get if they do hire me.

I really do appreciate some of the other conversations WitchDocChris has participated in, as he brings a perspective that I find really illuminating. Mindpro has such a focus on the business side that I have less real connection to his posts (I only want to do this as a hobby, so we have little in common in most of our interactions here - this is not in any way to disparage his contributions, only to say that I don't need them). He does tend to come across as trying to push his views, but I wonder how much of that is the implied tone of a text-based communication medium and not really his intent.

In short, I'd love to see us all just get along, here. I'd also love to have an agreed-upon common definition of mentalism so we don't end up arguing over semantics so much. But it doesn't look like that's very likely.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Sep 18, 2019 12:11AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, TomB wrote:
Few quotes are from Steve Shaw (Banachek)

[Quote]when I started out doing mentalism,I didn't know there was a subset of magic called mentalism.
I just knew there were guys that conned people using tricks [/quote]

taken completely out of context and I would expect no less from someone who has no respect and insists on calling me Steve Shaw and not my chosen performer name of Banachek.

I was referring to the so called "Psychics" who were conning scientists and others into believing they could bend metal and other abilities with thier mind. Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" were studied by scientists and ... well you get the idea. Not gonna defend the other nonsense either as completely taken out of context.. Fake news as they say. with an agenda I am not gonna bite in to. I simply don't care anymore.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 18, 2019 12:46AM)
There is no point in trying to explain as several of us have done this this entire thread and he has both taken everything out of context to combine it to his very limited and uneducated opinion. When people here have taken the time, multiple times, to point this out to him, he completely disregards it or simply can't comprehend this. He also can separate opinion from facts.

Every source he keeps trying to reference has provided is from within the magic community and then taken grossly out of context. All of this not only has been taken out of context but grossly derailed this entire thread. It is hard to believe this has been allowed to happen so blatantly.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 18, 2019 05:35AM)
[quote]On Sep 18, 2019, Banachek wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, TomB wrote:
Few quotes are from Steve Shaw (Banachek)

[Quote]when I started out doing mentalism,I didn't know there was a subset of magic called mentalism.
I just knew there were guys that conned people using tricks [/quote]

taken completely out of context and I would expect no less from someone who has no respect and insists on calling me Steve Shaw and not my chosen performer name of Banachek.

I was referring to the so called "Psychics" who were conning scientists and others into believing they could bend metal and other abilities with thier mind. Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" were studied by scientists and ... well you get the idea. Not gonna defend the other nonsense either as completely taken out of context.. Fake news as they say. with an agenda I am not gonna bite in to. I simply don't care anymore. [/quote]

Were the so called psychics aware of their own trickery or were they in some kind of strange denial and believed their own patter to the extent that they actually thought they had *cue spooky music*... "mysterious abilities"?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 18, 2019 05:47AM)
Banachek, no disrespect intended. I am sorry you took it that way. I tripled checked I spelled your name correctly, knowing how much you despise your name being said wrong. My intention was to give you more respect. In fact, I quoted you because I hold you in high regards.

[Quote]Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" [/quote]
That line right there is the line in the sand.

When a Mindpro claims mentalists lead the audience to believe they have supernatural powers, then states mentalists do not leave character outside the performance (to increase credibility), how is that any different then a psychic?

At that point, a psychic could be a performer too.

I do not take issue with performers that do not claim to have supernatural powers. I was grouping mentalists with magicians.

Banachek, I'll give you the last word. I deeply respect your work, and consider you an authority. Since you are stating I took your words out of context, please clarify:

Are mentalists a sub genre of magicians?
Is it okay for mentalists to claim they have supernatural powers? If so, how is that different than a psychic.

And everyone else, please do not reply. Let Banachek have the final word.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 18, 2019 08:10AM)
[quote]On Sep 18, 2019, TomB wrote:
When a Mindpro claims mentalists lead the audience to believe they have supernatural powers, then states mentalists do not leave character outside the performance (to increase credibility), how is that any different then a psychic? [/quote]

I NEVER said that or anything close to that. No one here has said that. Show me where that was said?

Not only are you taking everything out of context, now you are making things up. This is flaming with an agenda. I don't believe Banachek will respond or take part in your agenda.

Also, don't tell us who can post here.

I have watched you since you became a member here and you do this everywhere throughout the Café. It is time you are called on this BS.
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Sep 18, 2019 04:44PM)
I would suggest that Mentalism needs more audience control perhaps ...
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 18, 2019 07:27PM)
[quote]On Sep 18, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
[quote]Question: if such a performer introduces actually trickery (peeks, pre-show etc) into their act in order to perform further feats which are actually not based on the abilities they purport to their audience that they are using, then are they still performing mentalism, or are they now performing mental magic? [/quote]

When they begin to use trickery they are straying from mentalism.
[/quote]
Thanks for the reply WitchDocChris! That’s actually really useful and helps me understand the landscape better.
I would say that you have a very clear, well defined and pure definition of mentalism.
It’s also clear, however, that the term mentalism is used by others in a more general sense which encompasses those who do use some of the methods I mentioned (peeks, pre-show etc). I doubt you would disagree with this fact (that the term mentalism is used more widely than your definition), although clearly you would disagree that they are using the term correctly.
I strongly suspect that the question originally posted by the person starting this thread related to the wider, more general use of the term.
Perhaps we could return to answering that person’s question.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 19, 2019 02:13AM)
[Quote]Most magicians see mentalism as mental-themed magic or what is called mental magic. This is different from actual mentalism for specific reasons. 

Let's start at the foundational level. Magic is known to audiences to be tricks, slights, illusion, deception...not real. They go into a magic or illusion show knowing this and this is the known and accepted foundation. 

Mentalism is just the exact opposite. People do not come to a mentalism performance to see tricks, illusions, or deceptions. Many believe that mentalism is real or that at the very least has the possibility to be real. Often they want it to be real. They often believe the mentalist has abilities or special unique abilities that others do not. And the better you perform, execute and showcase this, the more is believed and accepted as real. 

So as you can see these are complete opposites in both perception, expectations from the audience's perspective. [/quote]

I am quite happy to read that you are denying mentalists have supernatural powers. Thanks for staying on message to clarify. But your attempt to label me as a bad apple is not appreciated. I would much prefer to have a friendly conversation at the pub. It would have saved me a few days worth of headaches. You had made some bold statements, and I was trying to get to the truth.

So if I misinterpreted you I am sorry. Please re-read your statement above and substitute mentalist with mind reader, and mentalism with mind reading.

In this context, I hope you can see how that can be misconstrued to say you are pretending to have supernatural powers. Especially, since all magic effects are tricking the brain to see something supernatural, and you are now stating they are opposites.

Personally, I did not want to accept my interpretation that you were claiming mentalists had supernatural powers. This is why I asked the ethical questions. This was the dark path I was talking about. This is why I specifically asked for clear definitions with examples, preferably with video.

I am going to attempt to give two examples of real mentalism (with no magic props), hopefully I am correct.

The performer can have the spectator put an object in his hand, and reads body language to determine which hand it's in. That would be an example of "mind reading" with no deception and no supernatural abilities. In fact, the mentalist takes risks as he can guess wrong.

There are some hypnosis acts where a small person, usually a female, can appear to remove the strength of a male. The Male is unable to lift the light female. The hypnosis is removed, and the Male can lift her. And this is without props but using simple science principles.

I would still argue that every mentalist I have seen on television uses pre-show or gimmicked props. I am not convinced that the majority of mentalists uses only real techniques rather than mental magic. I am still looking for a popular mentalist that meets the no mental magic definition.

Even with the two examples/tricks I provided above, they still produce a magic effect. There still is a secret method that needs to be practiced. The entertainer still needs to practice his patter. I still would consider [i]real[/i] mentalism a sub genre of magic. The mentalist is still pretending to read minds, read an aura, ect (an actor playing the role of a mental wizard)
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 19, 2019 07:51AM)
[quote]Perhaps we could return to answering that person’s question. [/quote]

I strongly suspect OP has already abandoned this thread but my suggestions in the first page still stand. Maximum Entertainment and Scripting Magic.

To remind myself I checked the first post again -
[quote]I've seen a number of magicians telling beginners that they need to stay away from mentalism in the early stages of magic. What is the reasoning behind this? Also how does one know when they are "ready" for mentalism? [/quote]

Experienced folks know that mentalism (contemporary or traditional) requires more theatrical chops than magic does. Beginner magicians tend to rely solely on the method and little to no presentation - that just does not work for mentalism at all. So the budding performer would be 'ready for mentalism' when they have developed the theatrical skills to deliver the material.

I would add to the first two book suggestions - Switchcraft by Elliot Bresler, Psychophysiological Thought Reading by Banachek, and also 13 Steps as a way to have a bank of physical methods available. But as I also said - a lot of my library is contemporary mentalism and I would recommend most of it.

[quote]I still would consider real mentalism a sub genre of magic. The mentalist is still pretending to read minds, read an aura, ect (an actor playing the role of a mental wizard)[/quote]

And you're still wrong. But at least you're consistent.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 19, 2019 03:12PM)
[quote]On Sep 19, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
Experienced folks know that mentalism (contemporary or traditional) requires more theatrical chops than magic does.
[/quote]

Hahaha, easy there pumpkin. Mentalism requires a different understanding of what's coming across in performance, but performing top-flight magic is extremely difficult as well. Let's not compare good mentalism performance to bad magic performance, unless we're also open to comparing good magic performance to bad mentalism performance.
Message: Posted by: Drylid (Sep 19, 2019 09:56PM)
Never too soon for mentalism! Pick up a book and start learning today! Everyone starts somewhere! Many affordable books available at vanishing inc, penguin magic and ellusionist
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 19, 2019 10:38PM)
Yep, for magic mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Sep 19, 2019 10:44PM)
Mindpro, will you please suggest some resources for learning real mentalism?

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Drylid (Sep 20, 2019 12:12AM)
Https://m.wikihow.com/Be-a-Mentalist
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 20, 2019 07:57AM)
[quote]On Sep 19, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Hahaha, easy there pumpkin. Mentalism requires a different understanding of what's coming across in performance, but performing top-flight magic is extremely difficult as well. Let's not compare good mentalism performance to bad magic performance, unless we're also open to comparing good magic performance to bad mentalism performance. [/quote]

Check the attitude.

Anyone with an Invisible Deck and some sponge bunnies can get people reacting.

A mediocre magician can get reactions out of people. Indeed - plenty of professionals are really not that interesting on stage. Recycled jokes, cardboard personalities, no cohesion to the show.

A mentalist can't get away with that. If a mentalist does a crap show, they're just thought of as a magician (because the show will be presented like a magic show). Or they're just boring.

Top end performers in both fields are a different creature all together. I'm not talking about that layer of the pyramid. I'm talking about the entry points.

A magician can lean on the props or methods until they get the theatrical skills under their belt. A mentalist has to have them before they can get going. The starting points are in different places, is what I'm saying.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 20, 2019 11:13AM)
[quote]On Sep 20, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
[quote]On Sep 19, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Hahaha, easy there pumpkin. Mentalism requires a different understanding of what's coming across in performance, but performing top-flight magic is extremely difficult as well. Let's not compare good mentalism performance to bad magic performance, unless we're also open to comparing good magic performance to bad mentalism performance. [/quote]

Check the attitude.
[/quote]

Oh, settle down, peaches. This entire thread has had a constant ongoing theme of dumping on magicians for not grokking what mentalism is all about, with enough true Scotsmen to start a caber tossing contest. Even just now, your description of a "crap" mentalism show was to say that the performer would be "thought of as a magician". You were doing better when the focus of your arguments was keying on differences between magic and mentalism rather than hinting at the virtues of one over the other.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Sep 20, 2019 12:09PM)
You missed the important part - it would be seen as a magic show because performers lacking the theatrical skills will present mentalism as if it were magic. It's not, and doing so isn't effective. It isn't a judgement on the value of either, only a statement of the likely perception of the audience - you're the one applying the judgment to the statement.

But feel free to continue cherry picking and ignoring the parts that don't support your case.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 20, 2019 12:25PM)
[quote]On Sep 20, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
You missed the important part - it would be seen as a magic show because performers lacking the theatrical skills will present mentalism as if it were magic.
[/quote]

You weren't talking about it being seen as a magic show, you were talking about it being a "crap mentalism show" and bringing the way magicians perform into it. Careful moving those goalposts, though, you might throw your back out.

[quote]
But feel free to continue cherry picking and ignoring the parts that don't support your case.
[/quote]

As somebody who loves both magic and mentalism, my issue here has nothing to do with one or the other. I'd just like to see a bit more respect being shown to magic than dismissal of the art as something that can be adequately accomplished by some tyro handling sponge bunnies or an invisible deck, coupled with little enthusiasm to at the very least acknowledge what's going on when it's being done well.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 20, 2019 01:31PM)
Tell you what. Here's an olive branch. If you'll admit you're possibly being a bit too dismissive about magic as an art-form, I'll admit I shouldn't have called you peaches. Deal?