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MentalMidget
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My name's Brian and I'm quite happy to be 'here'.

First and foremost, I'm a performer -- I've been a classical violinist for 16 years and I've dabbled in magic for nearly that long.

Professionally, I work as a public speaking & debate coach for college and high schools as I get through law school...and it was that work that brought my interest for magic off the back burner. Many illusionists & mentalists attribute certain effects to an enhanced ability to read people and/or their body language. Though I later learned that 98% of that was total 'embellishment', it piqued my interest. Competitive speech & debate environments often require judges to remain silent -- after studying more 'legitimate' (read: underwhelming) body language courses, it makes a mentalist's skills look like the holy grail. Mentalism brought some wonder back to my perspective on this branch of performing arts.

As I mentioned already, once I pushed past the facade of showmanship, I was left with dazzling new tools to engage my students and audiences.

Having relied on music gigs for extra cash, I've already got years of country club, restaurant, and street performance under my belt. However, mentalism and magic have completely changed that for me. Music has largely just been an outlet for performance where I happened to have a practiced skill... but it was always missing something when it came to audience participation/interaction. Mentalism has allowed me to merge my love of performance with genuine, personal connections in a truly beautiful way.

With that rant at an end....
Thanks for letting me benefit from this community - I hope I'll be able to offer something in return.
saysold1
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Eternal Order
Recovering Cafe addict with only
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Very nicely introduced! Weocme to the Café!

Did you ever catch Derren Brown's "Svengali" show? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1iIvk9PlkE

The Elvis routine is my favorite but they are all superb. What you may start to realize over time is that with mentalism in many cases the simplest of methods often produce the the most amazed audiences as long as the routine is performed & practiced well.

Once you hit 50+ posts you will gain access to other areas of the Café offering more in depth knowledge.

Nice rant - and welocme again.

BRETT
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme(R) line of premium, made in the USA utility props. https://svenpads.com/
magicfish
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Inner circle
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Brian, do you consider yourself a showman?
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Welcome MentalMidget,

I enjoyed your introduction.

You expressed some of the feelings I've had for reading NLP things (Which I have found interesting but not put into any real use) and Mental Magic.

It is surprising to me how many Magicians are also into Music.

-Mary Mowder
MentalMidget
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Thank you all for the welcome!

Brett:
I *did* watch Svengali a couple weeks ago. However, I was getting over a nasty cold so I didn't get to thoroughly take it in. You're right though, even despite my Nyquil-induced delirium, the Elvis routine is impossible to forget. Derren is always fun to watch.

And thanks for the heads up about 50+ posts -- I'll look forward to that =)


Magicfish:
Despite its brevity, I had to think long and hard before coming up with an answer for your question that I was happy with. Thank you for the evening of "self-discovery" it brought about haha. Hopefully this will make some sense.

I think of a "pure showman" as someone that can enthrall an audience regardless of the actual content of their performance -- kind of an archetypal vaudevillian entertainer that can bring the house down with a knock knock joke. While I like to think I've got a reasonable amount of charisma as a performer, I wouldn't really be comfortable trying to say that it's my biggest strength.

Don't get me wrong, my background has helped me learn to connect with an audience and develop a strong stage presence. However, I think a performance that has some kind of "X factor" relies on the *substance* of the material as much as on skill or personality of the performer. The 'actor' certainly has to act well but, at the end of the day, the 'script' also needs to have some depth if the show is going to be more than a bunch of fluff.

For that reason, I spend a lot of time trying to wrap my head around the nature of mentalism, what it's about, and what I want my audience to take away from a performance -- I'm hoping that once I can articulate those ideas, I'll be a little bit closer to doing this well.
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