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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Can you be a magician and mentalist?? (127 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alexxander
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I would, and in fact I have performed magic for kids.
But only privately and informally.
I would never do this at a gig where I am booked as a mind reader...

And I don't think any parent would ask you to perform magic for their kids when you made clear that you are a mind reader.
Decomposed
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Well, they book me as a mentalist here and all they want is entertainment....I do strolling also and no event planner gives a hoot what you do as long as you are entertaining...like I said, agree to disagree.

Jim Callaghan who is a well known paranormalist in the USA does balloon animals at some events and no one cares. Kreskin does magic tricks and no one cares.
Richard Osterlind does magic. Now no one is saying to break out some sponge balls during a show and show them magic tricks. I am talking about walkaround.....

I think its just the way you prefer it....and I am sure there are people in your audience who would think what you are doing is magic anyways.

If I was flying on an aircraft and all the stewards were incapacitated and someone had an emergency. You think the pilot would refuse to help out? My clients expect me to entertain. That is what I provide. If they want me to go over to a table and do something for the toddlers I will comply to the best of my abilities.
funsway
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Quote:
On Jun 12, 2016, billion wrote:
Magic and mentalism are so commingled these days.
Billion


back in the late 40's - 60's there was little distinction. A magician performed effects considered impossible by the audience -- that was the focus.
So, "these days" seems strange to me. Books offered magic tricks, mental puzzles, mental magic and mentalism effects with suggestions about "routining"
a show based on the expectations of the audience and setting.

Top performers like Ormand McGill and Arnold Furst chose to separate their shows as to "physical" and "mental" impossibilities, so I guess "commingle" might be valid,
but this was not from any later idea that offering both in the same show was inappropriate.

The problem is mixing poor effects with good ones for a particular audience, the key factor being what the audience expects.
For me, the power of a Mentalist is performing for an audience of folks who appreciate mental based effects and seek validation of what they already believe to be true.
I would not mess up that connection by throwing in linking rings (or any known magic effect) even if claimed to be done with "mental powers." This would disrespect the audience.

As MIndpro mentioned, "Should you commingle?" Should you meet requests of the audience or present a pre-planned/practiced show?

On the flip side, I would never do a mind reading effect while table hopping in a restaurant.

I would suggest that what people consider to me magic "these days" as opposed to decades ago should be considered, and the reason why they desired to be entertained by a performer or any sort.
Both of these are often so commingled that attempting to be "more magical" is hardly worth the effort.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Decomposed
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Quote:
On Jun 14, 2016, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 12, 2016, billion wrote:
Magic and mentalism are so commingled these days.
Billion


back in the late 40's - 60's there was little distinction. A magician performed effects considered impossible by the audience -- that was the focus.
So, "these days" seems strange to me. Books offered magic tricks, mental puzzles, mental magic and mentalism effects with suggestions about "routining"
a show based on the expectations of the audience and setting.

Top performers like Ormand McGill and Arnold Furst chose to separate their shows as to "physical" and "mental" impossibilities, so I guess "commingle" might be valid,
but this was not from any later idea that offering both in the same show was inappropriate.

The problem is mixing poor effects with good ones for a particular audience, the key factor being what the audience expects.
For me, the power of a Mentalist is performing for an audience of folks who appreciate mental based effects and seek validation of what they already believe to be true.
I would not mess up that connection by throwing in linking rings (or any known magic effect) even if claimed to be done with "mental powers." This would disrespect the audience.

As MIndpro mentioned, "Should you commingle?" Should you meet requests of the audience or present a pre-planned/practiced show?

On the flip side, I would never do a mind reading effect while table hopping in a restaurant.

I would suggest that what people consider to me magic "these days" as opposed to decades ago should be considered, and the reason why they desired to be entertained by a performer or any sort.
Both of these are often so commingled that attempting to be "more magical" is hardly worth the effort.


Well said....
Sven Rygh
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No!
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jun 14, 2016, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 12, 2016, billion wrote:
Magic and mentalism are so commingled these days.
Billion


back in the late 40's - 60's there was little distinction. A magician performed effects considered impossible by the audience -- that was the focus.
So, "these days" seems strange to me. Books offered magic tricks, mental puzzles, mental magic and mentalism effects with suggestions about "routining" a show based on the expectations of the audience and setting.



Little distinction in the 40's and 50's?

Really? That era was a heyday of nightclub mind readers. And Dunninger and Franz Polgar were at the peak of their popularity on radio and television.

There was a clear distinction.

And from that same era you might refer to the books of Robert Nelson.
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What about Theodore 'Theo' Annemann aka Ted? Was there a distinction between mental magic of the 20th century and mental magic now?
mastermindreader
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Annemann never really achieved significant fame as a mentalist.

Even though the distinction was clear since the 19th Century, we didn't start specifically writing about the differences between mentalism and mental magic until the 1970's.
Alan Wheeler
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The historical timeline helps give some perspective. Thanks!

I do mental magic shows for psychology classes at the college where I teach. (I teach English but am invited to psychology classes of other instructors.) I usually open with one magic effect, follow up with a mental effect with cards, and move on to pure mental effects, usually closing with a prediction. The shows are introduced as mental magic.

This is probably the kind of mixing the Inner Thoughts crowd detests, but there you have it. I've been doing the shows for years and can do them in my sleep--one out of a brief case, one out of a sample case, and one out of a storage chest.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Decomposed
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Thanks Alan for your honesty....
Axel
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
The historical timeline helps give some perspective. Thanks!

I do mental magic shows for psychology classes at the college where I teach. (I teach English but am invited to psychology classes of other instructors.) I usually open with one magic effect, follow up with a mental effect with cards, and move on to pure mental effects, usually closing with a prediction. The shows are introduced as mental magic.

This is probably the kind of mixing the Inner Thoughts crowd detests, but there you have it. I've been doing the shows for years and can do them in my sleep--one out of a brief case, one out of a sample case, and one out of a storage chest.


Hi Alan!

It sounds like you're doing a great job!
If I may ask a question:
How is the mentalism received by the students? What do they think is happening?
I am just curious because I would think that as a teacher at you college and in the context of a psychology class
you probably already have quite a strong premise going for you:
How the mind can be manipulated.

If you present the mentalism as something psychological in nature then that would probably fit quite nicely together with
a magic trick in the beginning. Because the premise stays intact.
And I like how you move from magic to cards to pure mentalism.
That probably makes it easier for the students to buy in that later the mentalism works on a similar level as the magic trick:
Manipulation of attention.
If that is the case then I could totally see that working.
If you present yourself and what you do as psychic in nature, then that would probably not work as well...
However I might be totally wrong.

Anyway, thanks for sharing the story.
Have a nice day,
Axel
mastermindreader
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There is a third way I've seen it presented in psychology classes- as an example of how easily people can be deceived by seemingly paranormal phenomena.

To my mind, that is not mentalism at all and I hope it's not what we're talking about here.
Decomposed
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What I use to do is separate magic tricks from mentalism when performing. Many will disagree but it was the magic tricks that paid the bills (from spending on magic tricks). Smile
JackMagic
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What about Paul Romhany ?

He is both Magician and Mentalist
Mindpro
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Is he?
Decomposed
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We all on Café....Magicians helping Magicians. Even Steve is a Magician. Plenty of mystery entertainer sites to go to but we always come back. I am a hypnotist also but don't spend a lot of time on the Sleepy section. Its because I cannot buy enough hypno gimmicks. However, I can always give latest and greatest new creations my money. Smile
Alan Wheeler
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I do not do debunking or any kind of Amazing-Randi-type approach, if that's what you mean, Bob.

Axel, I often do a show when the students have a chapter on perception. I go from the "sleight-of-hand" magic into "sleight-of-mind magic," with the subtext that all magic is psychological.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jun 16, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
I do not do debunking or any kind of Amazing-Randi-type approach, if that's what you mean, Bob.


That's exactly what I meant and I'm happy to hear that you don't do that.

Best,

Bob
Decomposed
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Quote:
On Jun 16, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 16, 2016, Alan Wheeler wrote:
I do not do debunking or any kind of Amazing-Randi-type approach, if that's what you mean, Bob.


That's exactly what I meant and I'm happy to hear that you don't do that.

Best,

Bob


Whew, Aren't we all!
Desolate Ruin
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To answer the question and give my two cents: Yes, one can be a magician and a mentalist.
But it needs to be done artfully and carefully, without breaking the premise or flow of performance.
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