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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Recommended Books that Relates to Derren Brown´s Effects and Performances (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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fotballski
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I am making a transition from traditional magic to what one may refer to as psychological illusions.

I am not, however, a fan of most mentalism. A lot of it is just not believable and direct enough, with too many procedures and incongruent and poorly thought out characters.

l do love Derren Brown´s performances, however - especially his stage shows - and see this is as a good starting point for my journey into psychological illusions.

In that case:
Which books (and perhaps DVD´s in some rare cases) would you recommend me read and which artists (magicians, mentalists and otherwise) would you recommend me study?
"Someone creates a trick, many people perfect it, but its final success in front of an audience depends on the person who presents it"

René Lavand
innercirclewannabe
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Fotballski,

A couple of answers as I see them;

"I am making a transition from traditional magic to what one may refer to as psychological illusions". No, it's Mentalism.

"I am not, however, a fan of most mentalism. A lot of it is just not believable and direct enough, with too many procedures and incongruent and poorly thought out characters". Fair enough, that's your opinion. Too many procedures, was this Mental Magic?

l do love Derren Brown´s performances, however - especially his stage shows - and see this is as a good starting point for my journey into psychological illusions. Do yourself a favour and don't become another "Darren Wannabe". He is brillant at what he does, why don't you try and become brilliant at what you do - as YOU. (Or the you that you've created)

In that case:
Which books (and perhaps DVD´s in some rare cases) would you recommend me read and which artists (magicians, mentalists and otherwise) would you recommend me study?

Start with Tony Corinda and see how you go from there. Also, you should consider acting classes.

Robert.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
mind monger
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As stated by innercirclewannabe start with corinda and anneman. DVD wise look into people like Richard osterlind and banachek to begin with. I'm still a beginner and I'm going through this very process now myself.

Good luck

Tim
Shrubsole
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So you want to be like Derren and normal 'old' mentalism is just not believable?

That should go down well! Smile

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Cervier
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I wonder why you make that "transition"? And why do you write "psychological illusion" rather than "mentalism" (or even "mental magic")?
It seems like your mind is pretty much set on what mentalism is and is not and what you want it to be. Be careful, you obviously haven't started to study it yet, it might be a bit soon to have definite opinions.

You like Derren Brown, and he deserves to be admired. But what makes him remarkable is not what he does, but his showmanship. That's why you like him.
So, work on your showmanship first. Read Henning Nelms.

Learn a bit more about what mentalism is, that will help you work on your character. Bob Cassidy's Art of Mentalism will introduce you to another point of view than the fashionable "I'm using NLP" and Richard Osterlind's "Principles of Mentalism" contain valuable advice too.

Then get some culture on techniques and such. Corinda's 13 Steps are an absolute must, far from being as dated as some people claim. Most of what you'll find in (good) DVDs is out of Corinda or of The Jinx (Annemann).

D. Brown read those books and you could build the same act as his (almost ;-) ) using material they describe.
Start there and be humble; if you already believe you already know what's important in mentalism, your mind will shut itself to knowledge without you realizing it.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
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mind monger
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Yes I would like to add that the mentalism you don't like that you speak of, derren actually uses himself. It's just the way he performs the effects and his showmanship that makes it as amazing as it is.
drawfull
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Not necessarily for the effects, but Pure Effect is fascinating as an insight to how the guy works and Confessions is frankly disturbing - and available on Kindle. They're worth a read to get a mindset of what it takes to perform to a high standard and will fit well amongst the earlier titles suggested here
John C
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I don't think Mr brown read any particular books to learn how to be himself.

John
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fotballski
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Yes, you guys are totally right.

My view of mentalism comes mostly from seeing a lot of boring mentalism acts over the years.
I have a lot to learn before I can make any sort of opinion on the subject.

Further book/DVD suggestions are welcome.


What a journey this will be!



EDIT: Let me hastily add that while I enjoy Derren Brown´s material and performances, I have no intention of becoming him. He´s just a performer that I like and a good starting point for further exploration.
"Someone creates a trick, many people perfect it, but its final success in front of an audience depends on the person who presents it"

René Lavand
AttnPls
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The advice offered above is excellent.

I encourage you take time and really think about defining your own unique philosophy that will underpin your performance and actively not copy that of DB. The approach he used in his early work resonated extremely well for his audience at that particular time and place. However his approach and performance has evolved over time, just as all artists change and grow along with their audiences. Not only does the world not need another DB clone, but copying his approach is not the way to succeed as a performer. Much of the "meaning" reflected in his performance has been beaten to death in popular culture and may no longer have the same resonance to your audience as it did for him a decade ago in England.

Take the time to explore where your unique personality and character intersects with the current culture of your contemporary audience. It is in that sweet spot that you will find your greatest artistic and popular success.

Read. Learn. Not only about mentalism but about psychology, history, religion, advertising, mind control, emerging brain science, etc. Take time to find out what is fresh and exciting and use that as your starting point to inspire your performance.
AttnPls
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To be more specific, read books by people like psychologist Richard Wiseman:

http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/

You will quickly see just how much of D Browns work has reflected the ongoing work of Richard Wiseman over the last decade.
Cervier
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A magician can get away with being perceived as performing tricks and still be entertaining, because, well, that's what's expected from him. No one really believes he has the ability to create a rabbit out of the emptyness of his hat.
But as a mentalist, you do have special abilities, whether you're a super-expert on body language and hyposis ("à la" Derren Brown, Patrick Jane andthe like), a clairvoyant psychic from transylvania or the result of an E.T. experiment.

Knowing what exactly is not crucial at the beginning, you have some time to explore a few paths and experiment a few characters before you find out what suits you best. But you need to ACT as if you were what you say you are!!! Acting is the most important skill for a mentalist, because YOU must be believable.
Work on your acting skills.

What else do you need to be believable?
Background. Whatever theme you decide to experiment, you must act and sound as you know your field. And, there are "basics" that people will expect from you, whatever your character, because they are more or less used to seing "mentalists" do that kind of stuff: read minds, be able to tell who lies, be able to tell about someone's personnality, etc.

Then look into effects. But that's the easy part. You can have a lifelong carrier with just the 13 Steps and Practical Mental Magic on your bookshelf. Don't try to read nor do everything at once. Get some basis, that'll help you understand and benefit from the work of Max Maven, Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, Banachek, Docc Hilford and many others.
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
Telemos the peek envelope, on SkywardMagic
Telemos en Francais sur TheMysteryStore
Peter_turner
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You are your own biggest effect. Think about that Smile

There has been some solid advice above, Annemann is the place to start and finish.

Pete
dmkraig
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You might try getting some of the books by, uh, Darren Brown.
cirrus
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Read the entire jinx! a lot of superb material in there.
Cervier
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One last piece of advice: when I started, I used my first name as my stage name. I thought it would make people feel I was close to them and not a remote guru. That wasn't a bad idea.
The problem was, I had trouble knowing what was ME and what was my character. I didn't word it like that, of course. As a matter of fact, I had a problem I didn't know where it came from. I wanted to be entertaining, I wanted to read mind, predict behaviors and such -but I didn't feel confortable making people believe I could! A problem I didn't have when I was doing magic.

The day I decided to go with my nickname from my boyscout days, "Cervier", I felt unexpectedly free!!! And then I understood: it had made clear in my own mind the difference between my character and me!
It's obvious, once you've realized it ;-)
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
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IAIN
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Quote:
On 2012-09-26 11:59, AttnPls wrote:
To be more specific, read books by people like psychologist Richard Wiseman:

http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/

You will quickly see just how much of D Browns work has reflected the ongoing work of Richard Wiseman over the last decade.


...the other way round, surely?

anyway...i'll say something different...forget all about mentalists and mentalism for a little while, keep what you have... then read about people like peter hurkos (my favourite), croisete, rasputin and a few others...and watch a few films too, like MAGIC, Nightmare Alley and the rest...

and maybe McCabe's book Scripting Magic...

and then!

then have a good old think, and start mixing in what YOU want to achieve, I don't mention any of the above to say "be like these people", but just watch or read what they did/do, and let your imagination take you off wherever it wants to go...

acting classes too...THEN research the guys you find interesting in the mentalism field..and reading some of the book recommendations above...

if I had my time again, I would focus on three steps from corinda, and spend the first couple of years dedicated to those (personally)...

then depending on how and where you wanna go, your own research will drag and pull you in the direction(s) that you need...
I've asked to be banned
Cervier
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I think I should point out that, when we write "do this or that FIRST, THEN...", you shouldn't take that litteraly. I mean, yes, start with what you are told here is important, your acting, culture, etc. But of course, you can -and should- experiment effects to get a feel and to make the link with what you'll be reading/learning.
And if you mess your first tries? Well... So what? (As long as it's not in front of ALL your future spectators...! Smile )

IAIN Wrote: If I had my time again, I would focus on three steps...
And what followed was wise! Don't scatter your attention.
But it's never too late. I started by gulping every book and every DVD I could grasp. Until I decided to pull back and start over again, by focusing on a few aspects only, and performing over and over. Try to be as good as you can on something before you move on. Who needs to master every aspect anyway? Did Uri Geller read minds or make predictions?
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
Telemos the peek envelope, on SkywardMagic
Telemos en Francais sur TheMysteryStore
parmenion
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Stay magician!
Don't become boring like the guy you have seen!
In the same time as you look to have 17 maybe you can improved what you know and do in magic Smile
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
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<BR>
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NYNick
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Read the jinx is the best advice so far. The guy already said he didn't want to be Darran Brown.Give him a break already.
~NYN
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