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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The February 2005 entrée: Larry Becker » » Thoughs on presentational angles » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of ivan7

I am a huge fan and enjoyed Stunners Plus.

I am interested in how your thoughts on how one would explain the "how" of what a mentalist does. One way is claim it is real mind powers (say Kreskin). Another way is to try to say it is an enhanced psychological skill/body language/some other believable explanation (say Banachek). Of course, one could also present it as a magician and ask the audience to suspend disbelief, but that could be considered mental magic to some (e.g. Derren Brown's Seance TV show).

From reading books by both you and Earle (Stunners, Syzygy) I get the impression that you feel it is important to present mentalism as if the effects are real and achievable by some special skill the performer has (be it psychic powers or some sort of super psycholigical training, etc.). This is different than peforming magic because you seem to not ask your audiences to suspend their disbelief but instead provide them with a plausible explanation as to how the effects are done (ie I knew it was this card because of body language, I speed read the entire book, I memorized the phone book, etc) T

What are your thoughts on the dishonesty of the above type presentational ploys? Take for example a spectator watching someone like Derren Brown and then going out and paying for an NLP course because they believe that is how he does his effects. Or someone watching a Geller show then going to the local psychic reader and getting lied to.

Is the performer responsible for what misguided spectators take to be real? Should we, as performers, consider this when presenting mentalism. Or is it, in your opinion something that we can not control and should not worry about.

Finally, do you feel there is any room for presenting serious, emotionally impacting and interesting mentalism by outwardly admiting that some of it is done by trickery?
That would sort of destroy the premise behind "no one pays to see a fake psychic".
Larry Becker
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Profile of Larry Becker
I've been all over the boards on this one. My style (if I have one) is light hearted. I'm more interested in the entertainment factor than starting a new religion. Some where in one of the answers I posted yesterday is the patter I now use which takes advantage of the fact that I spent a career (over 30 years) parting people from their money threough my mastery of subliminal persuasion as in ADVERTISING. I don't think my audiences become advertising folk in order to do the stuff that I do. It's a half-hearted ploy to explain something withlout truly explaining it. If that's dishonesty, I heartily apologize to my victims over the past 65 years. Smile
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