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Richard Osterlind
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Jeff,

I appreciate what you are saying and I totally understand. There is one point you are forgetting about though and that was the whole object of my first book, Making Magic Real. When I am performing, I am BELIEVING exactly what I am telling my audience. For me, it is REALITY. My whole goal is to make my reality my audience's. So I am NOT lying at all.

You might think I am splitting hairs, but look at where it leads if you don't approach our art from that viewpoint.

No, Jeff, it is NOT lying. Magic is not the art of deception. It is the art of the CREATION OF MYSTERY.

Richard
J ack Galloway
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I ceate reality.

We all do.

Reality is a trick of an individuals perceptions.

To challange perception and or belief is not a lie.

It is a truth we are paid either monitarily or emotionaly to create.

Jim

Sorry for the spelling errors- But to quote Mark Twain "It is a small mind indeed that can think of only one way to spell a word."
Sean Lough
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I think the real question may be, Was Mandy Moore good for Cris Angel Mind Freak?

I mean, really.

I consider magic on film to be much the same as theatre on film -- like PBS's long-running Great Performances series. Once a drama is taken off stage and adapted for tv, it's then a teleplay, or a tv movie. The more it's adapted for screen, tinkered with, edited for content, graphically enhanced, etc., the less it is like the art form it purports to be.

From a recent Mindfreak interview, "The goal is to become a household name."

Not "The goal is to become the world's most accomplished magician," or "The goal is to become the most respected magician among magicians."
paisa23
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WEll I don't really know what the situation is Being that I just got stationed in Iceland and we don't get the show here. But I do own all of Angel's DVD's and I liked them I think magic on tv is good. that goes for T.H.E.M., David, Criss, Mondomagic and Worlds Greatest Magicians which I wish they would bring back again and any other televised magical event. To me its entertainment. Can I reproduce the effect I see on these shows, Probably not but I'm not supposed too I'm supposed to be me and the magic that I provide. Have people asked me to levitate like Blaine yes of course do i? Maybe maybe not. I cant get up to 5 feet but I can balducci like everyone else. But when and if I do if its done right they wont be able to tell the diffrence. Is there editing yeah of course,but only we notice that, Laymen don't. I think that editing prevents those who decide to record and replay and replay and replay. With that I think someone would figure out an effect. I consider editing his method of misdirection.. IMHO
So can anyone explain what is going on with the criss show? Why all the negative talk?
jstone
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Quote:
On 2005-09-10 19:10, Richard Osterlind wrote:
No, Jeff, it is NOT lying. Magic is not the art of deception. It is the art of the CREATION OF MYSTERY.

Richard


You are correct... Magic is the art of creating mystery. I just think that we use lies to accomplish that creation of mystery. However, I also am very aware of what you are saying about believing yourself and inner-dialogue. When I vanish a coin, I still "believe" that it is in my left hand, when it's really not. I understand this, and I definitely appreciate the intentions of your book... like you, I think there are too many people who saw Blaine, bought a folding quarter, invisible deck and learned how to say "watch, watch, look, look, look, look, watch, watch, watch, look." And suddenly they think they're the greatest street magician in the world.

These magician-wanna-be types have been a thorn in my side for a long time. Your book is an attempt to introduce (or re-introduce) magic to the group of people who call themselves magicians.

For that effort, I most defintely applaud you. I just think that we have differing opinions on how some of that is to be accomplished, and on some areas, as you said, I think we're splitting hairs. Smile
Richard Osterlind
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Jeff,

Do you call movie-making, lying? Do you call a fictional story, lying? Do you call a painting, a lie?

You may think this is all word games, but to me it is not. I will not be told that I have spent most of my life pursuing a career that is based on lies. I will not be told that the thousands of people whom I have performed for over the last 30 years, who went away profoundly happy and enriched, were deceived. But most of all I will not sit back and watch the art I love sink lower and lower into the Jerry Springer common denominator anything goes because I have no respect for what I do mentality take over without a fight.

See, Jeff, you know I am not picking on you personally, but rather am taking issue with certain concepts. The word "lie" is a very negative word. So is "deception". For that matter so is "trick". On the football field, if an end fakes left and moves right, you don't say, "Hey, that is a lie!" That is part of the game.

You say you have read my "Principles of Magic." Let me explain my viewpoint in light of what I wrote. In the chapter "The Elements of Magic" I discuss the tools, skills, creation and effect. As I stated in the book, the "creation" is NOT the magic. That, in my eyes, is one of the biggest mistakes magicians make. They think that is the end of of everything. That is why so much of their magic makes no sense. It has no meaning, it is not routined properly and goes nowhere. They are not "aiming" at the right place and have no concept of how they affect the emotions of their spectators. If that is where your head and thinking is at, then, of course, all you can see is the sleights and gaffs of magic. It is only when you move beyond that do you start to approach artistry.

But the final answer to all this is what does it accomplish? Do you really want the future of our art to be left in the hands of a bunch of guys who think, "All we do is use lies to create deception!"?

Richard
clowngrass
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Richard, while I agree with you 100% are there not very well known magicians that STILL claim to have some psychic type of mind powers. Besides Uri Geller, Kreskin, does claim that (I can quote if needed what he says in his book "How to Be a (Fake) Kreskin") and I was reading, perhaps with some dismay, yesterdy another thread where members claim to successfully PROJECT thoughts (of cards etc.) and more then one Magic Café member said this does not always work BUT it mostly works; one guy actually said when he projects thoughts 9 out of 10 times it works! WOW!!(I being of a mathematical background would say if I was successful at this even 20% of the time I would be the most famous and RICHEST magican EVER; actually not only magician but ANYTHING I wanted to be. I would just have to project that 20% at high altitudes.)
Then members quoted Banachek's work, Kenton's work and Harden's work on REAL mindreading and mind projecting. And not merely one's self believing this projection as real as you mentioned while preforming a trick BUT ACTUALLY REAL.
I sure felt INADEQUATE then! Smile So are these "great" magicains LYING or what?
ps- I can give precise quotes and/or threads to verify, if necessary. I just wanted to get this out since it bothers me greatly and it fits pefectly with this discussion of yours Richard.
I also do not dismiss that mind powers may exist on some level being around High Tibetan Lama's but these Lama's have decades of meditation and not merely years performing...(I lived in a Tibetan Monastery) OM
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jstone
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Quote:
On 2005-09-11 08:38, Richard Osterlind wrote:
Jeff,

Do you call movie-making, lying? Do you call a fictional story, lying? Do you call a painting, a lie?

No, but I do call it a trick (which you stated was about the same as a lie). I didn't coin the phrase "camera trick;" the movie industry did. As for fictional stories, according to dictionary.com, the following are synonyms for fiction:

anecdote, banana oil, book, BS, cliff-hanger, clothesline, cock-and-bull story, concoction, crap, crock, drama, fable, fabrication, falsehood, fancy, fantasy, fib, fish story, hooey, imagination, improvisation, invention, jazz, legend, lie, misrepresentation, myth, narrative, novel, potboiler, prevarication, romance, smoke, story, storytelling, tale, tall story, terminological inexactitude, untruth, whopper, yarn

Quote:
I will not be told that I have spent most of my life pursuing a career that is based on lies.

I having a feeling that no matter how careful I am with this next statement, I'm going to offend you. Please know that I'm not attacking you, and hopefully the PMs I've sent you will reassure you that I'm a fan of yours. Having said that, the above statement sounds like something that someone on the defensive or in denial would say. I'm a computer programmer on the side, and it would be silly for me to say, "I will not be told that I've spent the past 10 years writing code." Why should I not be told that? It's exactly what I do.

Quote:
I will not be told that the thousands of people whom I have performed for over the last 30 years, who went away profoundly happy and enriched, were deceived. But most of all I will not sit back and watch the art I love sink lower and lower into the Jerry Springer common denominator anything goes because I have no respect for what I do mentality take over without a fight.

I'm not sure which part of our art has become "Jerry Springer" like, but I certainly agree that I don't want that in our art either. However, I think it is unrelated to whether we call a double lift a lie, trick or art. Either I can bend spoons with my mind or I cannot. Since I cannot, I MUST rely on trickery, misdirection, timing, etc. However, even though I'm really using misdircetion to "do the move," I openly or subtley claim that I used my mind. That is a claim that is untrue. Call it what you want (lie, trick, art, whatever), it's still NOT the truth.

However, like the movies and fictional books, the viewer or reader knows ahead of time that the creator of the movie is using special effects, etc to create feelings and emotions. It doesn't stop the movie goer from crying or laughing or being scared, etc. I work very hard at trying to "train" my audience into wanting to feel the moment and emotional regardless of how it's created. They shouldn't think about that part of it. They should only think about the experience of the coin vanishing (which by the way, is a lie... it doesn't really vanish).

Quote:
See, Jeff, you know I am not picking on you personally, but rather am taking issue with certain concepts. The word "lie" is a very negative word. So is "deception". For that matter so is "trick". On the football field, if an end fakes left and moves right, you don't say, "Hey, that is a lie!" That is part of the game.

You're right, I wouldn't say, "Hey that's a lie," but I would say, "Hey, he tricked me." In many contexts, fake and trick are interchangable. In fact, a magician is often referred to as a Fakir. If the guy "fakes" left, his intentions are to TRICK me into beliving something that is not true. When it works, I shake his hand (metaphorically speaking) for being so clever.

Quote:
You say you have read my "Principles of Magic." Let me explain my viewpoint in light of what I wrote. In the chapter "The Elements of Magic" I discuss the tools, skills, creation and effect. As I stated in the book, the "creation" is NOT the magic. That, in my eyes, is one of the biggest mistakes magicians make. They think that is the end of of everything. That is why so much of their magic makes no sense. It has no meaning, it is not routined properly and goes nowhere. They are not "aiming" at the right place and have no concept of how they affect the emotions of their spectators. If that is where your head and thinking is at, then, of course, all you can see is the sleights and gaffs of magic. It is only when you move beyond that do you start to approach artistry.

But the final answer to all this is what does it accomplish? Do you really want the future of our art to be left in the hands of a bunch of guys who think, "All we do is use lies to create deception!"?

Richard

I have read it, but I will re-read that chapter. In the meantime, let me say this... I agree with your final statement; I am not saying that our art is MERELY tricks, lies etc. In Paul Harris' book The Art of Astonishment Volume I, he had a brief section in the beginning where he summed up his views of our art, and they where exactly what I've always believe, but never had the words to express them. His take (and mine) is that the "MAGIC" is the FEELING that the spectator has the moment the "trick" happens. The trick itself is not the magic, but rather the feeling that it creates is the magic. The trick is merely the vehicle or the tool to accomplish the magic. However, the magic happens in the MINDS of the spectators when they try to file it in their metaphorical categorized boxes, but when no box can be found, the boxes are all moved aside. What's left in its place is what was always there, the natural uncluttered mind that we, as children, once had. This state of mind is a natural state of astonishment, that we as magicians are trying to tap into and show to our audience. It just so happens that we are using gimicks, misdirection, small white lies (take this one sponge ball... really two), timing, patter, etc to create a trick or effect. This trick or effect (which is made up of gimicks, etc) is the vehicle that takes the spectator to that feeling of astonishment.

Most of the above is paraphrased from Paul's book. If you haven't read it... I highly recommend it.

To sum it up Richard, I agree with you on what you think our art should be, and I am just as tired of the magician's who think that the mechanics are the focus... They are RUINING our art. Here's how I see it...

The misdirection, timing, white lies, gimmicks, etc are the engine. The Effect (coin vanished) driven by that engine is the vehicle. The moment of awe in the mind of the audience is the destination that we approach in our vehicle. The people you (and I) are upset with are the greasy mechanics who are so focused on making the engine run smooth and quite and look clean that they forgot to focus on making the vehicle comfortable. Therefore the audience doesn't enjoy the ride to the destination which, by the way, they never reach.

I (and I think you) make sure that the engine runs fine, but then I focus on making the vehicle appealing and emotionally interesting to the audience in hopes that they will be willing to take the ride to astonishment where they will finally feel the MAGIC (This feeling is the art I beleive you are talking about), but it can only be felt in the "land of astonishment" which can only be reached with the proper vehicle (effect), which is powered by an engine (tehcnical skills).

Anyway, I hope this conversation is being interpreted as civil because it is meant to be such. I appreciate what you do and have done for magic and mentalism, Richard, and I hope you understand that I'm not attacking you or your view points. I'm just expressing mine. Smile
Richard Osterlind
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Jeff,

I certainly understand and respect all you have said. As I told you in a private PM, the important thing to me is that magicians "think" on these things. If we disagree on definitions or theories, fine, but what we do agree on is that we treat magic as an art and strive to do our best in its execution.

It's been a pleasure talking to you.

Richard
jstone
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Quote:
On 2005-09-11 19:57, Richard Osterlind wrote:
Jeff,

I certainly understand and respect all you have said. As I told you in a private PM, the important thing to me is that magicians "think" on these things. If we disagree on definitions or theories, fine, but what we do agree on is that we treat magic as an art and strive to do our best in its execution.

It's been a pleasure talking to you.

Richard


Agreed. It has been a pleasure. Jeff McBride says (and I agree with his concept) that he has spent as much or even more time studying Mime, Dance, Acting, etc, than he has studying magic. This type of analysis and self discipline and training is what makes our art flourish.


To swing things back to Mr. Angel... I think that he does bring that to the table. I think he has spent a great deal of time thinking about his magic and what particular angle to take in his shows and on TV. I don't entirely like or agree with his conclusions, but I still respect and appreciate his efforts.
Greg Arce
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Quote:
On 2005-09-11 19:57, Richard Osterlind wrote:
the important thing to me is that magicians "think" on these things. If we disagree on definitions or theories, fine, but what we do agree on is that we treat magic as an art and strive to do our best in its execution.



This, IMO, is by far the most important thing. I see too many guys who barely put a thought into what they do. All their thinking is done by others. Other people invent routines, effects and concepts and then many just copy them. No thinking involved.
Take time to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. You'll be glad you did. Hey, the personal theories you come up with may totally be the opposite of ones I use, but they will be your own and probably play a whole lot better than being a Xerox performer.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Spinnato
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Was Mind Freak magic???
Dannydoyle
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Spinnato, perhaps a better question you have posed! HA HA.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
clowngrass
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Being new to this board and not knowing the proper protocol I apologize for re submitting my message since I would like some responses. Perhaps it is a touchy subject (real psychic claims by Magicians/Mentalists)and therefore no one responded, or it was poorly written, or whatever, so again I apologize for this resubmission.
While I agree with what Richard wrote 100% are there not very well known magicians that STILL claim to have some psychic type of mind powers. Besides Uri Geller, Kreskin, does claim that (I can quote if needed what he says in his book "How to Be a (Fake) Kreskin") and I was reading, perhaps with some dismay, yesterdy another thread where members claim to successfully PROJECT thoughts (of cards etc.) and more then one Magic Café member said this does not always work BUT it mostly works; one guy actually said when he projects thoughts 9 out of 10 times it works! WOW!!(I being of a mathematical background would say if I was successful at this even 20% of the time I would be the most famous and RICHEST magican EVER; actually not only magician but ANYTHING I wanted to be. I would just have to project that 20% at high altitudes.)
Then members quoted Banachek's work, Kenton's work and Harden's work on REAL mindreading and mind projecting. And not merely one's self believing this projection as real as you mentioned while preforming a trick BUT ACTUALLY REAL.
I sure felt INADEQUATE then! So are these "great" magicains LYING or what?
ps- I can give precise quotes and/or threads to verify, if necessary. I just wanted to get this out since it bothers me greatly and it fits pefectly with this discussion of yours Richard.
I also do not dismiss that mind powers may exist on some level being around High Tibetan Lama's but these Lama's have decades of meditation and not merely years performing...(I lived in a Tibetan Monastery) OM
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Richard Osterlind
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Clowngrass,

I'm sorry and didn't mean to ignore your question. In truth, I read it a number of times and am not quite sure of exactly what you are asking. Are you asking if some entertainers do accomplish their acts throught the use of psychic powers? Or perhaps, some of the time?

Could you ask it just one more time in a little more specific way and I will respond.

Thanks,
Richard
ALEXANDRE
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Guys like Kenton, Banachek, among others, often use systems that are not necessarily "trickery" but "suggestion" and "psychology". Geller and Kreskin do suggest they have actual psychic, mind powers ... but that's different.
Richard Osterlind
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Alexander,

I suppose we could substitute the word "method" for "trickery" and cover everything! That could include anagrams, memory feats, contact mind reading and a slew of other approaches. My own ODDS uses a relatively new style of working that almost falls into another category. And please lets not forget the type of "intuition" that many mentalists, who have been doing it for years, seem to develop .

I think there is a vast difference between what Kreskin claims and what Geller does. If you carefully read Kreskin's books you see he is a master at explaining all of his abilities in such a way that it would be hard to contradict him. He knows what he is doing and wouldn't have been around longer than virtually any mentalist before him if that weren't so.

Geller has always intrigued me. I think many of the attacks on him have been somewhat self-serving for the attackers. The bottom line is look where he is now and where they are! Following his career almost makes me want to root for him! One guy against all the rest and he still comes out on top. Smile

Richard
Brian Turntime
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But, Geller's objective legacy will be... "a fraud." Rich, but a fraud. Let's exchange his name for another: Benny Hinn. He has detractors in and out of religious bodies, some inimical, others pointing out his untoward methods with hope he'll change, such as Andre Kole (Mind Games). Think of the many sacrificially living volunteers, some indigenous, some expatriate, in hard and challenging places all over the world; meanwhile Hinn lives like Croesus, and makes false claims hurting the most vulnerable. Couldn't one say the same of him-- look where he is, and where his attackers are?

For this, I am stepping out of my identity as a magic journeyman and asserting a role I have more experience in, as a 36-year old former law enforcement official, former overseas volunteer, and current researcher.
Quote:
I think many of the attacks on him have been somewhat self-serving for the attackers. The bottom line is look where he is now and where they are! Following his career almost makes me want to root for him! One guy against all the rest and he still comes out on top.
Perhaps, but doesn't exposure of flimflammery serve the greater good? Don't people suffer when they live under the oppression of delusions? To believe in a lie is like a little death... time and life are yielded to an unreality.

It's one thing to sell tickets to a fun show, quite another to accept a million dollars to wave his hands over a map and lie that he knows where veins of minerals are.... How many jobs did that cost? and you know all about his history of deception on TV, his followers and later exposure.

James Randi is a polarizing figure, but he never soaked anybody. In the Geller/ Randi dynamic, one shouldn't see Geller as David versus an attacking Goliath. Geller is a component of a kind of collective Goliath: the Philistine aggregate of a gullible, existentially fearful public and credulous media. I don't see him as one against the rest: it's Randi and Kole who get vilified regularly for their work, and have seen precious little decrease in the amount of deception worldwide. Rational Davids fighting the deception Goliath (or Gargantua). They don't quit, they keep telling the truth, which could make the world stronger and better... yet they may never get an estate on the Thames. I think they came out on top anyway.

One of the hardest things in the world to do is to change someone else's beliefs, delusional or not. Evidence might do it, usually won't. ESP symbol creator Dr. Rhine, when told of how he was deceived, couldn't accept the evidence. A California conman scifi writer bet his friends that he could start a religion, and proceeded to do so, even though his daily drug-using life was a testimony to the rancid bullplop he was excreting, meaning he was a better actor than the Hollywood A-list that strives for "clearing."

When magicians or mentalists perform, do we as an audience really change our beliefs? We're not usually asked to, but the vacillating mystery is what's so fun. But you hear it described: "wow, that effect could change someone's life..." "you could start a religion with this trick."

Real miracles, one would think, could rattle a perception barrier or two: signs and wonders could,contingent on choices, alter one's fundamental relationships (eternally?). Miracles claimed by the ersatz psychic could also alter those relationships towards the negative. Delusion is almost never good (exceptions: those suffering who believe in a placebo painkiller). Thus, it's imperative that what is real be called real and what is false be called false, if we're accountable. If we don't know what is which, that's something else.

With great respect,

Brian
------

Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
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Mr. Osterlind, a big fan here.

" Do you call movie-making, lying? Do you call a fictional story, lying? Do you call a painting, a lie? "

I think the difference between the things you list above and what we do is this.

Movies, books & paintings are not as personal as having your hand on someones shoulder, looking them right in the eye and saying:

THE ROPE IS NOW CUT IN HALF
THE CARD IS STILL IN THE DECK
THE COIN IS IN MY OTHER HAND
THE SILK IS IN THIS BAG

etc etc etc

Now is this LYING?....Many may say so but I don;t know what to call it for sure.

BTW , this is a great thread!
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I am booked as a magician or entertainer but for adults, almost everything I do is mentalism. When I'm convincing enough, occasionally someone (usually a female because I use them most often as spectators) may approach me and ask more personal information regarding my "mind reading" abilities. I admit I like it because it shows I came off in a convincing manner. Some will just chuckle and compliment with a "how did you do that?", or that was good. This doesn't have the "bite" like someone who was convinced I knew their friend's name etc.

Some mentlalist don't mix magic with mentalism (I do mix them) because of reducing mentalism to a trick etc (another long topic).

It is primarily acting like everyone knows and playing a part. Sensing this or that, I feel this or that is all part of it. But to start out a show with Im only an entertainer etc seems it could lessen a performance. I would never make a false claim (or hope I wouldn't) but am constantly reviewing what I do in light of lying to the audience.
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