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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Seeking wisdom (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

rkrahlmann
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I'm interested in the psychological aspects of mentalism. (For example, I've been studying cold reading.) I enjoy getting into the head of the audience, if you will. I've been doing some research in other areas, but could use the advice of those more knowledgeable than myself.

I'm thinking of areas of verbal manipulation, muscle reading, psychological forces, etc. Is there more I haven't thought about?

One of the reasons I'd like to get more involved with this area of mentalism is that I'm a pretty good showman, and I think I have the personality for it. My background up until this point has been in parlor/street/stage magic.

What books and videos can you recommend?
Alan Jackson
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"The Full Facts on Cold Reading" by Ian Rowland is essential: details here http://www.ian-rowland.com/Start/IRStartIndex.htm
I'd also recommend "Pure Effect" by Derren Brown (if you can get a copy), "Making Contact" by Satori, and "Psychological Subleties" by Banachek. Also look at the works of Kenton Knepper.
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
drwilson
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The effects that you mention (verbal manipulation, muscle reading, psychological forces) are still about getting them to do what you want them to do for "effects", and you have been given good recommendations here. You can't know too much about cold reading, so I recommend Gail Sheehy's Passages (not a magic book), and if you ever thought of doing Tarot readings, Rachel Pollack's books The Open Labyrinth and the two-volume 78 Degrees of Wisdom.

Since you are coming from a magic background, you may have a tendency to look at readings as "soft", while creating mental miracles in a group is "hard" (proof of power, verified in front of others). I say this because this was my attitude for a while, but I can truly say that some of my readings changed people's lives (very much for the better). Something to think about, anyway.

Good luck on your journey!

Yours,

Paul
Bruno
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In truth there is no teacher better than experience. Books do not give you that extra psychological insight and advantage you wish to learn. There are plenty of books that contain mechanical effects. "Psychological Subtleties" has collected some gems of wisdom and catalogued them for easy reference but these are ubiquitous and dated.

Recently there has been a proliferation of literature on psuedo psychology and hypnosis as proffered by the likes of Luke Jermay and Kenton Knepper, but these individuals are largely theorists and little of what they suggest has any value in the hands of an inexperienced performer. All credit to them is due for effort though. The key is to make a social study of people from your personal perspective and learn about them. Habits, likes, dislikes, needs, dreams and ambitions. Tap into the collective psyche and discover what in you is shared by the rest of us. Monitor and log responses to everyday questions and try to build up your own unique way of elliciting and predicting information.

There is only one individual I know of at the moment who comes close to moving mentalism out of the 1940's and into the new millenium and we all know who he is.

Good Luck.
shrink
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Good or even average cold reading will give the impression of stepping into someone's mind. In fact in a way you actually are. As you study and learn you will develop a psychological knowledge that will give you genuine insight into others. You will indeed be stepping into their minds.

All effects when combined with cold reading will appear more real and amazing. (effects that can be combined).

Even sceptics I meet can be moved or blown away with a good cold reading:

I keep recommending "Quick and Effective Cold Reading" by Richard Webster. It is a system on palm reading and out of the many books I've read this one will teach you a system in a very short period of time that will blow away many sceptics. Not only that it provides a good frame work for additional techniques.. Smile

A good knowledge of hypnosis/NLP can also help. Learning how to bend a mind so that it accepts suggestions more readily is a very useful piece of skill/knowledge to have.....however it seems to go over the heads of many on forums such as this.... Smile
alexhui
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NLP can be a powerful tool in area of all kinds of magic,especially in metalism.

Alex
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Mr Amazing
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Quote:
rkrahlmann wrote:

I'm interested in the psychological aspects of mentalism. ...verbal manipulation, muscle reading, psychological forces, etc.

...until this point has been in parlor/street/stage magic.

Based on your background, may I first recommend that you carefully learn about the differeces between magic and mentalism. It is a very common thing that magicians doing mentalism don't see that there are fundamental differences in mindset both for the performer AND the spectators. This is more crucial than any psychological technique or tool because it is a prerequisite for the psychology in mentalism to function well, and it is without a doubt the one of the most important factors for affecting the impact on the spectators.

Some questions that concern the crucial issue of mindset in mentalism are for example the ones about "mental magic VS mentalism", "subtext", "participant in focus", "responsibility", "props", "stage persona" and many more.

Maybe you already have a full understanding of these issues, but my experience with people of similar background as yours is that they usually don't understand the differences.

Most of the previously recommended books will be very limited in practice unless you understand the mindset issue first and it's proper execution!

Some brief starts is to read Fogels interview in 13 Steps, and the first chapter on Reese in PME. Other authors could be Geller, Cassidy, Boardé (part. One-on-One Mentalism), Shiels.


/Matias
drwilson
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Dear Bruno,

You wrote:

"There is only one individual I know of at the moment who comes close to moving mentalism out of the 1940's and into the new millenium and we all know who he is. "

Was that what we were supposed to be doing? Shucks, I was trying to drag it back to the 1870's.

So many ways up the mountain...

Yours,

Paul

http://www.memoryelixir.com
Bruno
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Hi Paul,
Point taken and understood. Please excuse my presumptious post. Indeed there are many ways up the mountain.

But I've heard it's tough at the top, though it sure aint gonna be crowded.
hkwiles
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Howard Wiles
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Psychophysiological Thought Reading by Banachek sound as if it would be useful to you

Howard
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