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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Café and mentalism - a growing concern » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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spadesy
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It seems mentalists, much like practiced intrumentists, believe they are regarded as some sort of psychologists. This could be true, though 'it is not what you think it is'.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Smile

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

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

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

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

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

But knowing a secret or two does not make you a good mentalist. The real inner secrets cannot be found in forums but only in life Smile
It is not enough to be without thoughts,
one should also be unable to express them.
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 12:54, johnjnesbi!t wrote:
If people can't bear to have "anyone" know how something is done, then I would suspect that they have issues with self worth. Paranoia is not a becomming trait to a "Master".


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

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

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

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
TheAmbitiousCard
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I personally think that the mentalist area of magic has it much easier than the cards/coins/etc. for exposure.

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

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


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

Or the 'lurkers' that love spelling tricks with cards because it's all they can do, boring the hell out of people so they never want to see magic again. And when they DO see you, they wonder why you're not performing with your big red shoes on.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
kou
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I ask this with genuine sincerity and in no way intend it to be hostile:

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks in advance for your replies.
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2002-11-11 14:21, kou wrote:
So, I ask again, with utmost sincerity and repect, how does a student of mentalism, such as myself, prove he or she has earned the privilege of access to "the real work"?


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

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

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

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

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

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
John Nesbit
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David Blaine made a name for himself over the last couple of years (and a fair amount of money too !). Would it be true to compare him with Houdini,Dunninger,Anneman,or Kreskin (to name a few)? Wouldn't that be like comparing Eminnem to Carruso or Pavarotti and Mozart, because the medium is music ? David Blaine got a camera, and somehow network television, to put him among the "select" few. And I don't dislike him, or what he did. Why didn't CBS put Daryl or Michael Ammar or Paul Harris on instead ? I just don't think David B. is necessarily any better than those who've been performing/practicing longer, but just not on network t.v. Does "exposure" and "money" make one more worthy? Or does true "genius"
have no longer have a place in this world anymore? Smile
Luke Kerr
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Quote:
In this age of internet forums, the Nailwriter is one of the finest of its kind and is the perfect situation to establish credibility and friendships with established pros. If you have the knowledge and ability to share, I'd advise applying for entry there to begin learning and sharing with the pros.
When you are ready for the advanced phase of development, join a serious mentalism group (like the Nailwriter forum or even the P.E.A.).

i like the system of selection in the above mentioned forum(i've submitted and waiting hoping to be selected)where the member vote and coudl ask you something to decide.
I think that one problem (not being a pro) is have the chance to demonstrate that one have reached the necessary skill.
No-one ever thinked about creating a two level forum with a voting system to enter the second level(like nailwriter) and a first level forum that serve to "test" the applicant?
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I too went through learning the hard way I started at age 8 but never met another magician until I was 20. until then everything was book learn’t. But I do not see that we have to force everyone to go the hard way just because we did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
John Nesbit
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Thank you Spook, you Big ...... Meany!!!
I laughed so hard reading your last post, I cried ! Smile I only wish I could have said, what you did, so well. And thank you for that "effect", lol. You're "Hysterical" !
ps. I called a friend and read it over the phone, and we both "screamed" ! Good Stuff !
Keep em comming !
John N
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