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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Master Mentalist! Umm ... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gabelson
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If I had a nickel for every magician and mentalist who has engaged in the following exchange with a spectator:
"Ma'am, have we ever met before? No? You seem happy about that!"


I have literally heard that line in performance from countless mentalists and magicians, including some acknowledged on threads here as among the "greatest in history".


If a working club comedian- forget one of the greats- a club comic, used that line (and others like it), he'd be labeled a "hack", spend the rest of his days working the road, and have no chance at any bright future.


And yet I heard that very line ("...You seem happy about that") at a performance recently from a man who, IMHO, is the finest mentalist working today. I still have the utmost admiration for his skill, creative mind, and originality... but I confess I was disappointed that someone who was so brilliantly original had to resort to a tired, stock line.

Should we hold mentalists to the same standard of original scripting as we do comedians? I honestly don't know.
R Gould
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Have any of you heard, "Judge not, lest ye be judged?"

It is unethical to criticize a fellow performer in a public forum such as this.
zifferinolpm
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Has anyone got Richard's input on this? I mean he is on the Café and I'm sure he feels one way or the other on this whole "copycat" thing. BTW, I do perform many of Osterlind's effects but try to add my own personality to it. As far as this person is concerned, he may not be creative but if he's getting bookings, chances are pretty good most of the people that book him have never seen Richard Osterlind so it all seems original to them. The problem is that if someone does see Osterlind some day and they hear some of the same stuff they'll say, "Oh, did you learn that from so-and-so."
lane99
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Assuming the routine has been duly purchased, unless he's now claiming it as his own original material, comments about his supposed lack of originality are petulant. He's got some stage presence and his audiences seemed to be enjoying themselves. That's the purpose of this video.

Those of you who are implying you could do better, more power to you.
BIlly James
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Funny old thread. Why do I have a feeling that I'm standing in a glass house? I don't know any of the posters here, but I hope you hold yourselves up to the same standard that you're holding this guy to. A more cynical person might think it's 'sour grapes' because this guy actually seems to be working.

...and no, I don't know him either.

:devilish:
Floyd Collins
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Where you guys been, I have been waiting for the other worker to show up.

Sbays: thanks for clearing up your intent to post that clip. But no one can tell for sure that he is copying the whole show all we get is a clip or demo of what his show is like.

zifferinolpm: I can not speak for Richard but being a person who has released material I can say, I find it faltering when I see my fellow brothers performing my effect.

I would bet if you ask anyone using my material they will tell you that what I release is so flexible that it makes it very easy for anyone to change and re script to fit their performance style.

Now with that said, my dear friend Richard has some very flexible stuff as well but some of it just works best the way the master does it plan and simple.

In my earlier days a lot of my effects were based from Richards material. Some times it is not until you road the horse in the rodeo a few times that you can see it should have a different coat that you made yourself.

I would love to see this performer 10 years from now, my bet would be he would have more of his own stuff incorporated then. Again I am only guessing he may have that already.
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

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Mystification
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Sounds like a lot of people are jealous. Richard Osterlind is a very generous man, and I bet he would be flattered.

When it comes right down to it, nobody can be like Richard. He is one of a kind, and he is a great entertainer. You could watch both Richards and this guys show and still be entertained by Richard, as he comes across in a way that really connects with his audience.
Floyd Collins
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Yes I meant to type "flattering" not -> I find it "faltering" when I see my fellow brothers performing my effect.

that's what I get for visiting the Café before I have my first real cup of Coffee.
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

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IAIN
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To be honest, he seemed a standard performer - but he was getting the gasps and wows...

I recognised some of the patter though I must admit, that's not good. I must also confess, at first glance - I thought it may be Arnon!

Anyway - good luck to him, he was working what seemed a full house. People where having a good time.

Personal pride should have made him want to change the presentation, and have more "character" but hey- that's up to him.
I've asked to be banned
Nash
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"Have we met before? You seem awfully happy about that?"
"Throw this back to me... on the count to three"

Why not use them? Why do we have to be so cut and dry, absolute, and extreme about it.
I write my own lines, and I also use classic lines like those.
Why?
Because
they work. We always forget that we are performing for the general public.
If a classic line flows with your bit, if it enhances the entertainment, by all means and for good sake, pllleeaaassee ... please use it. Don't hamper your show just for the sake of your originality-ego.

As for the gentleman in the video. none of us has seen his full show.
He is putting what he learned into good use. He is actually out there entertaining people.
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

Corporate event magician
A.G.
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Oh why not...

I see nothing wrong with this guys demo. If he chooses to perform/copy Osterlind word for word, beat for beat, that's probably because he watched the DVD and saw what Richard was doing worked....

I think he is probably only been on stage for a short time and this is a no-brainer, easy way to get the feel, maybe he will grow out of it in time. You all started somewhere.

Lets all turn our high powers of observation where they are needed the most, on ourselves! LOL

If you have to copy someone to get your feet wet, Osterlind is a hell of a starting point.

I think Richard would be flattered this guy is doing this much of the amazing material Richard so bravely gave away....

With all that said, I did get the creeps of my life when I attended a mentalist show only to watch This guy do one of my unreleased routines, ( the watch ) word for word beat for beat...he must have taped a show...
speaking of beats, I did see him after the show...His face went white as a ghost...then slightly red around the nose area.

"Mimic the greats of your time and then one day people may mimic you."-

Andrew Gerard
Floyd Collins
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Quote:
On 2008-11-07 13:32, Nash wrote:
"Have we met before? You seem awfully happy about that?"
"Throw this back to me... on the count to three"

Why not use them? Why do we have to be so cut and dry, absolute, and extreme about it.
I write my own lines, and I also use classic lines like those.
Why?
Because
they work. We always forget that we are performing for the general public.
If a classic line flows with your bit, if it enhances the entertainment, by all means and for good sake, pllleeaaassee ... please use it. Don't hamper your show just for the sake of your originality-ego.

As for the gentleman in the video. none of us has seen his full show.
He is putting what he learned into good use. He is actually out there entertaining people.

that's right on the money Nash!!!
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thecenterstage

http://www.collinscomedymagic.com
Dick Christian
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I don't know whether Richard Osterlind would be flattered or offended that the performer in question is using the material that he sold with, I would certainly expect, the understanding and expectation that some of those purchasing it (and until there is evidence to the contrary, we should assume that the performer did so) might use it "as is" "straight from the box" absent some clear (albeit unenforceable) statement that the author (RO) reserved exclusive performing rights for himself. Seems to me that if you don't want others doing "your stuff" you shouldn't publish or sell it. In the meantime let's limit the right to cast stones to those who perform only their own completely original material.
Dick Christian
gabelson
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Quote:
On 2008-11-07 13:32, Nash wrote:
"Have we met before? You seem awfully happy about that?"
"Throw this back to me... on the count to three"

Why not use them? Why do we have to be so cut and dry, absolute, and extreme about it.
I write my own lines, and I also use classic lines like those.
Why?
Because
they work. We always forget that we are performing for the general public.
If a classic line flows with your bit, if it enhances the entertainment, by all means and for good sake, pllleeaaassee ... please use it. Don't hamper your show just for the sake of your originality-ego.

As for the gentleman in the video. none of us has seen his full show.
He is putting what he learned into good use. He is actually out there entertaining people.

I fully agree with your statement about nothing working better than the classics- which is why it is so tempting to keep going back to the well... I also concur there's nothing wrong with artists learning from the best before finding their own voice. They'd be foolish not to. It's the natural progress of a career. Eddie Murphy will be the first to say that his biggest inspiration was Richard Pryor. And Chris Rock will be the first to say that HIS biggest inspiration was Eddie Murphy.

I didn't mean to sound extreme, which is why, at the end of my post, I asked a question truly out of curiosity- if scouts from the Tonight Show, Letterman, Conan, etc., went to a club to look at talent, and heard a comic do not just someone else's material, but even just a single "stock" line, they'd never get an appearance on the show. That's just how it is. (e.g.: Waitress drops a tray, glasses break, comic says, "Just put that anywhere!") They've heard all the lines before, and they'll recognize them from a mile away. First thought? "Road act". This is yet another reason why it is so incredibly difficult to get on national TV as a comic- when the scouts come to the club, they come to hear your tight six minutes, not how "quick" you are on your feet. In fact, if you get heckled, or if a waitress drops a glass, you have to literally ignore it, and plow on with your tightly-scripted act.

So you may end up having the weakest set of the night- but you have to look at the big picture. Standing apart through originality. Therefore, the "stock line artillery" is saved purely for the road, and never for a situation where you are being judged for national exposure.
Not having the experience in magic that I do in comedy, I was simply curious if it worked the same way for mentalists.
Ken The Klown
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Was that Jester? Or Jeff?

On stock lines...someone wrote them. Many of these authors are lost to history. Not, however, Emo Phillips who wrote the line, "If you believe in telekenisis, raise my hand!" Now that you know who wrote it, you'll never use it again...right? Right?

Onto Richard's lines. He did sell them. Whether Jester/Jeff chooses to adopt them wholesale, or use them as a jumping-off point, or ignores them completely is his business. It's a matter of his own artistic vision.


Two words for Gableson.....D**e C**k.

Sad, but true. You can succeed wildly without a shred of originality.
gabelson
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Quote:
On 2008-11-07 18:23, Ken The Klown wrote:
Two words for Gableson.....D**e C**k.

Sad, but true. You can succeed wildly without a shred of originality.

Yes and no. There will always be exceptions. Call D**e C**k a hack, call him "unfunny", but he didn't get famous by doing stock lines. He built am enormous fan base, and subsequently a career (brilliantly, I might add), by using the Internet as no performer had previously. Necessity is the mother of invention- D**e had the "need", drive and ambition to become famous, so he found a way to get there by his "invention"- a new kind of promo tool. Nothing new now, of course, but at the time, it was a novel idea, certainly for a comedian. Keep in mind, C**k also has "a look", a high-energy style and an "x-factor"... something the general public (and women in particular) respond to. Material? Nothing there, really. No jokes. Lots of jumping around, histrionics, energy... and quite telegenic. In his case, that was enough. But no performer should bet the house on that.

But I digress.... C**k has the career he does for the reasons listed above. Not because he used a slew of "Never met me before? You seem happy about that" lines. I don't care how good a performer he is, or how much "X"-factor he has, that won't help you become a household name. You can get away with so-so material if you're a great performer (Eddie Murphy). And you can get away with being a so-so performer if you have great material (Jerry Seinfeld). Then, of course, there are those rare few who are blessed to have the best of both (Pryor and Carlin).

But you ain't gonna get there using lines from "the heckler handbook".

I agree that as Richard Osterlind released his DVD specifically as a tutorial on mentalism, it is expected that those who bought it and learned from it, will use those routines as is. Eventually, however, the mentalist will have to develop his own material, his own act, and his own script, if he wishes to leave his own mark, his own legacy. Naturally, that material will be rooted in the techniques of yore- p**ks, te*rs, cold reading, NW, etc. Almost everything you see Richard do, is rooted firmly in Corinda or Annemann... yet Osterlind has made it uniquely his own, and in most cases, has improved and refined The Masters' methods.

Yes, Ken, someone wrote every stock line. Including, "Waitress? Just put that anywhere", and "You seem happy about that, ma'am". Notice, however, we have no idea who those "someones" are. We do, however, know who wrote, "Tonight's forecast-- Dark!" (George Carlin). We do know who wrote, "I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception." (Groucho). We do know who wrote, "It's a small world... but I wouldn't want to paint it" (Steven Wright).

We do know who created "What's My Sign?" (Grismer). We do know who created "Chronologue" (Cassidy). We do know who created the BCS (Osterlind). All three routines have roots older than the men who perform them, yet all are brilliantly original. There's nothing brilliantly original about an overtired, 10-cent, re-tread stock line, and I wouldn't bet my career on it.

Reach for the heavens, my friends. The worst you can do is fall among the stars.
MrHyde
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Quote:
We do know who created "What's My Sign?" (Grismer).

Well, if I can't be a pedant in a thread about crediting & originality
where can I ...

The Ray Grismer routine is actually called "What's Your Sign."

:)
jasons_mind
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I really don't have much to add besides to say that I'm kind of disappointed that his show appears to be the entire "Act" from Mind Mysteries. Some creativity would've gone a long way.

Take Richard's magazine test; to me, that has to be one of the most complete routines, both in presentation and most definitely in method (nuances and all) to ever hit the market. With that said, I perform it as a closer, but I've changed the introduction and much of the presentation to suit my own personality. For me, that story about "the most amazing thing" just doesn't work with me. I haven't tried it, but I can almost promise that it would fall flat if I did.

With respect to the performer, he appears to be doing the material justice, but it still goes to show how thoughtless mentalists can be...

Jason.
Floyd Collins
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Quote:
On 2008-11-07 21:04, jasons_mind wrote:

With respect to the performer, he appears to be doing the material justice, but it still goes to show how thoughtless mentalists can be...

Jason.


Jason, I disagree what it does show is how quick we are to judge based on a demo reel.
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thecenterstage

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gabelson
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Quote:
On 2008-11-07 21:01, MrHyde wrote:
Quote:
We do know who created "What's My Sign?" (Grismer).

Well, if I can't be a pedant in a thread about crediting & originality
where can I ...

The Ray Grismer routine is actually called "What's Your Sign."

:)

I know- I was just trying to be original. Smile


Seriously, my bad.
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