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Profile of michaelrice
I'm not new to magic but I thought I would post this here anyway! As a magician so far I have done Kids shows and adults walk around gigs. I've done some big events like the mayors ball and some charity events. I have a kids show that I've been doing for about 2 years. For adults I just do close-up table-hopping/walk-around. I like doing kids shows and I also like doing close-up adult magic, out of the two I probably prefer adult gigs.

The thing is I want to put together an adult cabaret show but I can't decide which road I want to go down. I like Comedy magic, for example a few routines, The vanishing bandana, paper balls over the head, fancy productions, ect. But I also like mentalism, I find I can come up with good presentations and pull it off well.
I just can't decide what I want to do. I could have a comedy magic show and do mentalism but the mentalism wouldn't be taken as seriously and I like to take it serious when I perform it. I just don't think it would be good combination going from ''funny guy'' to ''serious mind reader guy''. One or the other.

I just can't decide. Maybe I should experiment and see which suits me better. Any suggestions?

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Sydney Aus
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Profile of Strangelittleman
Perhaps you CAN mix them - but it would need to be done right....

I think if you opened with your 'serious' mentalisim then later on 'lightened things up' with some comedy stuff it could work. Your really going to have to script it well for a change over though. Perhaps a big mentalist effect (something alittle scary for the audience perhaps), then shift across could have a good impact - it relieves any tension your spectators may develop during you mentalist routines.

Just my two bob
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Profile of MattWayne
I struggled with this for a number of years. Maybe in a different context, but I think I can relate here.

I used to always want to be a serious stage performer. The one with the boxes, the Steinmeyer creations, and the girls (oh can't forget them.) The cliche performer in magic that is. That's what I was aiming for, and forcing myself into that role only made things worse. Now, all along people were telling me, 'Matt you have an amazing quick wit.' 'You retort with some of the best one liners.' 'Matt you're a funny guy when not on stage!' And all the while I'm up there being the son of Copperfield.

Didn't work out so well. I got mixed reactions; people didn't applaud where they should've. It was a mess.

Then I videotaped myself once; and saw the reason. My actions all seemed forced. I was pretending to be a serious performer. When now if I tape a show- I'm highly successful with my comedy performances. After that one videotape; I wanted more proof. Still was in that denial period. So, the next three shows I taped them too! All had the same results. I then sat down and let the comedy material start to flow into the act. I then critiqued what worked and what didn't. After a while I just became honest with myself and said, 'Hey- comedy is the way for me.'

Where am I getting with this? Well- comedy VS. mentalism. Funny VS.serious. Hot VS. cold. Two positives of a magnet retract each other, right?

If I were you- the smarter thing to do may be to choose one or the other. I wouldn't combine the two; because comedy will always win. Your mentalism will look like a joke. Which in my act- I have a bit of mentalism and the audience always laughs. Now, that's good for me since I'm a comedy performer. And the audience knows that from the start. But, you seem to want to have a serious adult act. As you mention, 'One or the other.' That's very true.

If you're naturally funny; heck be funny.

If you have that side of you that is mysterious- try a serious mentalism act. But the acts I've seen from unknown mentalists always lack believeability. Don't claim to be God and produce mind miracles. But rather try the act as an 'experiment' or something to the effect of, you the performer is going to try something with the audience, but you yourself don't know the outcome of the mental feat.

Also, another thing to keep in mind is- how many YOUNG mentalists do you know of? A mentalist in my mind is someone who's been through a lot, has stories to tell- the old wise man. Remember, it's all in believeability. You want that audience to believe you can perceive the impossible; not trick them into it.

I'd go for the comedy act. More venues in my experience. Most of the time too- the audience will love you more for it. People love to laugh...

all the best,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
The Celebrity Magician™ / / /

Creator of, 'Got a Light?' and others.
Spokesperson behind, TouchTricks
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Profile of Dynamike
Perform whatever way you know best. If you get a second call there again, then perform the other way.
Josh the Superfluous
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Profile of Josh the Superfluous
I think you're right. Blending the two would be very tricky. Why would a real mind reader do paper balls?

You could work up two different acts, with two different names. List it twice and answer the phone "Rice Agency". Go with whichever act gets the most repeat bookings.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
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Profile of MagiCanada
I found that being funny doing mentalism was always easier than just being funny or just doing mentalism.

If an audience always sees the same character they will believe it the whole way though.

What I mean by funny mentalism is being over exaggerated when "concentrating" or using seemingly very powerful hand motions when "guiding" a spectator to a certain selection of an object... that sort of thing.... throwing in little comments like "pick ANY object on the table....... ANY object...." when they go near one shout out in panic "except that one".... that sort of thing..

It's very hard to explain, I just seem to do it without thinking and it's funny and mentalism. At the end of any presentation people had a good time and still saw some amazing stuff. They are left thinking that maybe I REALLY do have mental powers.... Of course I do!!!!!! ...I am extremely mental! Smile
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Profile of MagiCanada
I forgot to mention one thing about being funny while performing serious mentalism....

Always be seriously serious!

I like to start off having a very serious discussion about psychics and mentalists and talk to people and ask what they think.

The key to being funny when having this serious conversation is to use the WRONG words.

I ask people if they've ever seen those shows on tv where people use the power of their minds to help the police solve crimes.... you know... what are they called? Psychiatrics! Yes! That's it.... those people have psychiatric powers! It's amazing!

Being very serious and straight-faced when using the wrong words ends up being very funny. Never waiver from using the wrong words. I like to try and replace the real words with the wrong words and never use the right word.

Ask a spectator to help you... tell them you need somebody with very strong psychiatric powers... then pick somebody as though you sensed they have powers... "YOU SIR! YOU, I can sense it, you are very mental - I can tell" Smile

Keep being serious even if people laugh!

I'm going to stop now because I'm not sure this is still making sense. Smile Hard to explain - just do it! Smile
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Profile of CAROLINI
IMHO to be a serious mentalist would require the persona of Max Maven. To be a comedic mentalist would require the persona of John Archer. You can't be both at the same performance. If you do then you will just be a magician performing mental magic. Everything will depend primarily on your own personality. Both of the above mentioned performers are highly respected. You can change from show to show but not during a show. To be able to be both types of performers requires actually two different acts. Nothing wrong with that. Pre-judge your audience and do your act accordingly.
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Profile of MagiCanada
I agree with Carolini.

What I was describing before is a person playing the part of a magician playing the part of a mentalist.

Andy the cardician
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Profile of Andy the cardician
You can find tons of discussion about this, if you have the time to snoop around with the search engine . . . but to summarize it - at least in my humble view - you should perform using the style you are most comfortable with, as it should come natural. There is no point in being a bad actor/impersonator of a certain magicians style.

Matt hit the nail on the spot when he recounted his experience and insights.

In short - be your polished self

Cards never lie
Mark Wilden
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Profile of Mark Wilden
Eric Mead talks about this in "Tangled Web." The way he combines them is to do comedy magic first, then a comedy mentalism effect with a bang-up finish. Then he can segue into straight mentalism.

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