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Steve Hoffman
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I agree, folks, that there should be a bit more "security" on The Magic Café -- but not only for the mentalists forums, but also for ANY of the Magic Café forums, with the sole exception of a limited number of forums that could be geared to the general public or the total novice.

Having recently joined Magic Café, I was surprised that I don't even have to enter my password in order to read all the messages (excluding the Secret Sessions, I guess).

At the very least, why not require people to register and answer a few simple questions indicating their bona fide interest in and involvement in magic. These questions could include:

-- name the magic society (such as IBM) that you are currently a member of, including local "ring" or "assembly" number

-- answer a couple of very simple magic trivia or history questions to see if you know the name of any magicians other than the handful that the general public know Blaine, Houdini, Copperfield, etc.

-- list at least three effects that you currently can or do perform (whether professionally or even as a serious amateur)

-- give the name of one of their favorite books on magic

-- give the name of their favorite magic shop

Etc. Etc. Perhaps the registrant wouldn't have to answer ALL the question but would have to answer at least 3 out of 5, or something like that.

And then, you'd have to log in with your user name and password even to read the forums, not only to post messages. (Again, there could be a few forums open to the general public).

Steve Hoffman
Takoma Park, MD
mailto:steve@goodnote.com
Socrates
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Perhaps even roll up one trouser leg and pledge alligence to the god of mentalism.

Come on what is all this elitism about?

I think you guys are taking things too seriously and over-rate the interest the general public has in learning magic tricks.

Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.

Socrates

'Progress comes to those who train and train, reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere' - M.Ueshiba Smile
Mr Amazing
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Quote:
Socrates wrote:
Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.


This gives me two alternative conclusions:

a) Your performance style is not convincing or you're not competent enough (no offense intended).

b) The call for being careful, as explained in my very original post, is more justified than ever.
AllThumbs
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Quote:
Come on what is all this elitism about?


Its not elitism - its called being *discreet* about who you discuss certain things with. To paraphrase: "We are not a secret society, we are a society with secrets". This is very true in the case of the mentalist community. Almost anyone is free to join, but they need to show they are honest, hard working, and dedicated before they are taken more seriously.

There is little point just tipping various ideas to newcomers. There are a few reasons:

a) They aren't really going to appreciate it. In their minds its just another trick in the book.

b) They do not have the pre-requisite knowledge and experience to present it effectively this leads nicely onto your second issue:

Quote:
Even the stupidist person knows that a mentalist is still just doing tricks.


I would beg to differ...In my experience I find quite the opposite. You are always going to have a few people that will say that you are just doing tricks. This is a given fact, no matter how excellent or brilliant you are. However if this is the case the majority of the time, its because of lack of experience and performance skill. I once performed a routine for my sister and my 'girlfriend'. The hardest, most sceptical, most scrutinizing two people I know. They are going to tell me if something seems obvious to them, quick as a flash without any regard to my feelings they are going to tell me. This is great! However getting back to the story, my sister turned white and found it difficult to speak and the 'girlfriend' sat there with her jaw open. Both could have sworn that I had recently traded my soul with the devil. The way I presented it was believable - try convincing someone that with a colour changing silk.

I feel sorry for the vast number of traditional hard working magicians out there. Their art has turned into an economy of tricks (mentalists *tend* not to release stuff until it is being ripped off. A fair bit of literature is produced but these items tend to keep a low profile). Next time you go to a magic dealer take a look around you, I've said it before, its like walking into a rehab clinic, where the customers are the addicts flocking in to satisfy their lust with their weekly dose of 'Method-done'. If this appeals to you stick to this way of life. It doesn't appeal to me.

Mentalists get together and they on the whole *share presentational ideas*. The 'secrets' do not need to be discussed as a mentalist knows how to apply the knowledge he/she has to pull off it off. This is *ONE* reason why mentalists get so annoyed by people wanting to know the secret to a particular effect. Its not as simple as that.

Mentalism on the whole is fairly boring to most magicians. In all honesty I could give the game away by telling you that most of the techniques and principles are mostly rather 'basic' in approach, hoping this would put off a certain group of people. You are lucky to see a major innovation in mentalism more than once a decade. For this reason it doesn't appeal to many. It is a 'game' for thinking men with thinking minds. It is wrong to debase/deconstruct it by going down to the level of secrets for those that are curious and not conscious that its actually the performance skill that's required to pull it off.

I hope you will come to see this and understand it yourself in due course and that you find your interest develops into a worthwhile persuit.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
Socrates
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Thanks for the replies,

It's nice to see what you guys believe when asked the correct questions.

In the past whenever I've presented a mental effect the person helping me out has always had their brain fried by the effect and began to wonder, really wonder what is possible in this world.

I began performing magic about three or four years ago and became quickly bored of it, so turned to mentalism.

Mentalism is the sort of thing that blows peoples minds and can make them begin to really question reality.

When I perform for others I always do it in impromptu situations and never let them know I've studied magic. And for me this is the best way to perform what I do.

Perhaps you guys are correct, maybe this internet access to magic and mentalism isn't so good and shouldn't be encouraged, who knows?

Maybe we would be better off without the internet discussions on magic and mentalism altogether. I guess this would force people to get out in the real world and learn the craft, and to do that you'd have to be dedicated.

What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Socrates

'To remain caught up in the ideas and words of Zen, is as the old masters say, to "Stink of Zen".' - Alan Watts Smile
AllThumbs
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Magic and mentalism on the internet isn't a bad thing. The easy accessibility and anonymity of it all *is* imo.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
Thoughtreader
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Matias,

For several reasons, one being that posts are frequently edited, and the rules within the Café seem to only apply to magic being exposed, not mentalism, that there are many magician knowitalls as far as mentalism goes in here, and the fact that there are MANY laypeople now reading the Café, most discriminating mentalists are leaving the Café for greener pastures.

I know one of the world's leading mentalists that refuse to have a mentalism discussion with such people as VernonOnCoins, and with a name like that I am sure you can understand why.

I would suggest that you and everyone else that is serious about real world mentalism discussions join the various "mentalists only" boards and if you believe that your sufficient in your skills as a mentalist and psychic entertainer look into joining the PEA.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

Quote:
On 2002-11-08 06:23, matias wrote:
Something has begun ringing in the back of my head over the past few weeks, or perhaps even months.

Mentalists probably want the art to, at large, remain a bit obscure. However, right here it is openly discussed with over 4000 people, not even counting those that just lurk around out of curiosity.

Obviously being here doesn't make anyone a good mentalist, especially considering that a lot of mentalism has much more real stuff to it than what is discussed here, but the mere openness kind of belittles mentalism into mere supposed methods and tricks.

Don't get me wrong - this is an excellent and valuable place, but it is getting crowded in here and judging from the increasing rate of "got sum great mentalism tricks?"-posts it's perhaps time to watch our tongues a little...

(Personally, I've edited my older posts)

Sincerely, and with concern for preserving the essence,

Matias
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
saglaser
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And we find these "mentalist Only" boards how?

Can they be found with a Google search for "Mentalism" plus "secret-hunters go away?" Are there links that can be safely posted, with the security that the merely curious will get screened out at the door? Need we wait for somebody already inside to invite us in? Are they meant for working pros only or do they tolerate us serious hobbyists?

These references to better virtual conclaves do raise such questions.
Mr Amazing
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Quote:
And we find these "mentalist Only" boards how?

May I just suggest that these kind of questions be answered in PM form. Kind of goes against the whole point otherwise...

Check your PM, Saglaser.
saglaser
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Thanks, Matias. And that was exactly my point. It's one thing to suggest that serious folks check out the serious forums, but there needs to be some way for newcomers to find their way there.

All the possibilities I mentioned above are workable, but they do have to be worked. A site can be made easy to find but more difficult to gain access to. Or it can be made difficult to find and rely on references and invitations, but somebody has to be finding new blood and inviting them in -- or the place risks growing stale. And in all cases, somebody has to be working some form of active screening.

The alternative is that everybody just keeps moving from place to place trying to stay one step ahead of the casual secret-hunters. That's not only a nuisance as we try to keep tabs on our friends, but it also assures that the same discussions pop up even more frequently than they would otherwise...and that no one place ever builds up much of an archive.

So, what do you think is the best way of keeping a serious-people-only site workable?
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.
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