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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The December 2002 entrée: Banachek » » The Changing Face Of Mentalism » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lee Marelli
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Over the years, the approach to mentalism has slowly taken on a new look, e.g., mystics from the east to psychological rationale for what is happening, etc. Do you view this change as continuing? If yes, in what ways? Which mentalists, besides yourself, do you feel are making this happen? Do you think the public is buying it? Looking forward to your thoughts. Best regards, Lee
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Banachek
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Lee,

Sorry, I answered this in a few other topics here before I got to this post, such as in Getting Bigger and also a topic posted by Lior.

The second half I will try to answer the best I can.

I have been pushing this kind of presentation for a long time. And been making adjustments myself. For instance, I truly believe one has to be careful not to use one lie to cover another. For instance, my friend Ian Rowland has pointed out that to claim one is only using NLP is no different than claiming that you are psychic. (I hope I quoted him right there) I believe in my mind that this is true. You are setting people up to go to high priced seminars thinking they will get your results. If one taught such a seminar and did tricks, it would be wrong and outright fraud. So I always add that I do magic in my shows.

If you do a search on the Magic Café you will see my thoughts on this more in their entirety.


Again, I stop here to say that this is what works for me, and what I feel ethically right claiming. I am not telling anyone else what he or she should or should not say, you have to decide where you stand ethically based upon your own beliefs.

As to who is actually influencing this in a big way? Usually those who are successful are the pioneers. In this case it would be Derren Brown, Marc Salem and yes, even Max Maven to a point. Others see this and as a result this kind of approach has creeped into their performances. And when they make a TV appearance others see it and adapt it since they see how well it works.

It is kind of like when someone sees a magician perform a trick on TV successfully. Everyone goes out and buys it. In this case they are adapting a claim that is much more comfortable to many, than the claim that one is psychic.

Hope that made sense. This forum thing takes a lot of thinking Smile so if I offend anyone, I apologize up front.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Lee Marelli
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Aurora, Colorado
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Thanks for your thoughtful response. You are right about what our mutual friend Ian thinks. I agree with you and him on that point. The Café sincerely appreciates you taking the time from your busy shedule to be a guest mentalist and take on the job of answering our members questions. Hope you will come to Denver one of these days. Best Regards. Lee
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
John Clarkson
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Thank you! There seems to be a very vocal group of the mentalists that eschews any association with "magic" or "magicians." I had begun to believe that I was one of the few outcasts who who believed that mentalism was best viewed as patent deceit for the sake of entertainment, presented with the (at least implicit) consent of the deceived.

Your comments have animated me to study more and refine my presentations.

Cheers.
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Mr Amazing
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Quote:
jdclarkson wrote:
...mentalists that eschews any association with "magic" or "magicians."

Banachek, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't openly and deliberately associate what you do with magic and magicians, right?

(Why would anyone? Not denying fakery, or even pointing out fakery, is not a reason to deliberately direct people to associate it with magic/magicians! ...even if they may plausably make that association themselves.)


/Matias
Banachek
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I tell my audiences that each effect is made up of one or a mixture of the following: "Verbal commmunication, Non-verbal commuication, MAGIC, psychology and perceptual manipulation." I am not a psychic and everything I accompllish is by normal means. David Copperfield does magic with women and tigers (seems he has the better end of the deal) I do magic with information.

I do not tell them which effect contains what, just that it contains one or a mixture of these methods to make an entertaining show.

So yes, I do directly tell them I use magic. Sorry, it works for me.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
cardguy
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Banachek, I congratulate you on your approach. I agree 100% with you. I also like the term "magic with information", which is really what mentalism is.

P.S.- your show at Monday Night Magic in NYC a couple of months ago was great. You probably don't remember me, but you told me what my name was by reading my mind Smile .
Your PK routine had a strong impact on the audience. I heard people outside after the show talking about it. There was a kid who was actually rubbing a fork to see if it really worked! Good job!
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Banachek
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Thanks Frank, I was actually a little worried about that show, I had not done a half hour show for a long, long time and had been on the road doing a 2 hr show for weeks. The pace there is completely different. As a result at monday night magic I removed the blindfold and 20 minute had already gone by and I still had 20 more minutes of material to do Smile

On top of that it seemd the entire audience was filled with magicians. Not the same kind of crowd or reaction as laypeople so you really get thrown off.

All paid off though when the girl who works there was impressed to tell Michael she thought it was one of the best shows she had seen. Smile Guess I must of read her thought or something as well Smile
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
saglaser
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Quote:
David Copperfield does magic with women and tigers (seems he has the better end of the deal) I do magic with information.

Not being a pro, most of my public mentalism is done as part of presentations on communication, or facilitation of exercises working on communication skills. It therefore does me no good to frame my mentalism as psychic. One of the descriptions I've often used for mentalism is therefore "Magic of communication." It's gratifying to see you use a similar phrase.
Banachek
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Absolutely, and the "magic of Communication" ties in perfectly with the non-verbal effects that are out there.

How we communicate with our bodies far outweighs what we say with speach. Especially on stage.

On my web site I recommend a few books. One of them deals with advertising. It is a brilliant book that shows the subtleties advertisers use. Most of it is pretty darn clever if not downright sneaky. All another form of communication.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Steve Hoffman
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Banachek,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your public endorsement of a NON-psychic, NON-b.s. framing of mentalism!!! It is so encouraging to those of us who wish to present mentalism effects without associating ourselves with psychic-hotline hoaxsters or psycho-babble. I believe that mentalism and magic ARE two genres within the same overall field. I've used the term "illusions of the mind" to describe mentalist illusions. However, it is hard to find notable, accomplished mentalists who adapt this view.


NON-PSYCHIC WORKING MENTALISTS of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your (psychic) claims! (a little paraphrase of Karl Marx for those of you too young to catch the reference ;-p

Steve Hoffman

steve@goodnote.com
saglaser
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I don't know how I missed that recommended book list on your web site, but I'll have to go back and seek it out. In a former professional life, I was an advertising creative director and copywriter, so the book you mention should be a lot of fun.
Missing_Link
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Saglaser,

I'm also a copywriter by day, and that book is great.

ML
saglaser
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Another for the must read list I guess. Thanks, Banachek and ML! I think I've now filled the reading list up through August of 2007 Smile
Banachek
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You are welcome, enjoy, by the way, if you enter amazon though my web site, I get some sort of credit in the form of a voucher, so thanks if you do in advance
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
saglaser
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I will definitely keep that in mind when it comes time to order.
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