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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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Decomposed
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I feel so ashamed doing a magic trick earlier this evening under the cloak of darkness in the far backyard of the private gig. I felt like I was dealing drugs. Smile

Then the second gig the DJ announced me as a magician. I ran at him making a cut throat gesture and had him correct himself. By the end of the gig I think everyone there that saw me knew the difference but still. Marketing is marketing....I have used about every name out there wonder workers go by but Google just doesn't seem to like the terms as much as the dreaded "magician" title.
Desolate Ruin
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Quote:
On Jun 17, 2016, mastermindreader wrote:
How about introducing yourself and telling us a bit about your background before answering questions and giving us your pennies. Smile


Ah! Of course, introductions are in order. I am Desolate Ruin, though you may call me Desolate, or if we are to be formal, then Maestro Ruin will do nicely. Or Mr. Ruin.

Quote:
On Jun 18, 2016, Ray Pierce wrote:
If only we had read that earlier he could have saved us 5 pages of useless palaver.


Unfortunately, a substantial amount of those 5 pages was indeed useless palaver, what with the mudslinging, and back-and-forth about balloons.

Quote:
On Jun 18, 2016, Slim King wrote:
Thank you!!!!!!


You are very welcome, Slim King!

Quote:
On Jun 17, 2016, John C wrote:
Alright then. Problem solved. Thread over.
Thank you Mr Ruin.


As John C enacted above (see what I did there?), the problem has been solved. Fortunately, the problem has not been solved (for those who see it as a problem), and the thread should not end with one person's opinion - nor has it in past pages - had it ended there, we may not have read or pondered the thoughts of Artie or IAIN. But I'm not one to turn down gratitude: you are welcome.

Before moving on, it would be essential to define what I mean by "magic". "Magic" by definition, is: "The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces" (Oxford Dictionary). Though it has other definitions, this is the one I will use as a basis for conversing. "Magic tricks" are what is performed, yet Magic is what we desire the audience to feel, provided the performer is presenting it as real magic and not as tricks. A sense of wonder? Or awe? Or stunned silence? Is that not magical? Does "mentalism" not have this effect on the audience? Can mentalism not be magic?

Yes, sponge balls, box and tube, Prof's Nightmare, bunny boxes, these are tricks, and while the audience may not understand how it works, they realize there is something special about the props used. A good metric we may use is by listening to our audience after performance. Do they say: "I wonder how s/he did that.", implying there is a method? Or are they left knowing they have experienced magic?

As an addition to my first post, it would be interesting to mention an alternate question. Can one be a magician and a mentalist? Well, can one be a singer and a pianist? Or a dancer and a gymnast? Why not, Ray Charles is wonderful, and any of the Olympic competitors (particularly in floor routines) have combined disciplines to yield an overall incredible performance. Is the dancer or the gymnast diminshed? The disciplines are complentary to each other, perhaps with one being the main focus, while the other enhances it. Much like how one of us may combine a ring levitation with a name reveal of a deceased loved one, maybe with the focus on the reveal and the levitation becomes symbolic. Symbolic of how love is unbound by time and space, free from forces which bind us to the Earth.

As I said in my first post, carefully and artfully, it can be done.
mastermindreader
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Thank you for the introduction. I don't mean your name. I'm referring to your very distinctive writing style.

Good luck.
Decomposed
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LOL, I know who you are. Wait , no I don't. Who are you???!
Smile
Ray Pierce
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I would agree that the easy answer is to say that it can't (or more correctly "shouldn't") be done but many admit that it has been managed in the past by Dunninger and Kreskin at the very least. I'm really curious why we think they were able to do both successfully and still retain credibility in each. I maintain that they were simply viewed as "exceptional people" and it was accepted that their ability to leverage their mind for unusual abilities was beyond normal people. I'm curious if they were perceived as having different "powers" than normal people and how that effected them doing traditional magic.
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Artie Fufkin
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I would posit their specific "powers" were that they were already firmly established in a very broad general publics mindset as being Mentalists of legendary reknown.

Once millions of people accept you as a powerful Mentalist, dabbling in magic appears not to dampen your audiences belief in your mental abilities.

Likely not a scenario enjoyed by 99% of those practicing mentalism today.

Perhaps the 1% that may indeed be getting away with it (Derren Brown?), still enjoy the "power" of what is, in effect, worldwide recognition as a Mentalist ... SuperStardom as it were.
Perhaps Thommy and Amelie are heading down that very road as we speak ... but it still seems very uncommon for a Mentalist(s) to achieve such renown.
Decomposed
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Its been already mentioned but Richard Osterlind, my favorite watchable mentalist does mix in some magic. He can pull it off, does not mean everyone can. I forgot at this moment how he markets but with an agent, who cares? Smile
Artie Fufkin
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I wonder if the flip-side might be somebody like Copperfield doing a pure mentalism piece at one of his big shows, and having laymen (probably the entire audience) believe that, on top of his skills in magic, he also possesses some serious chops at influencing or reading minds and/or predicting future actions?

Unequivocally accepting him as both a magician and a mentalist with each one accepted on its own, and neither one diminishing the audiences belief in the skill of the practitioner (Copperfield in this case) of the other.

The commonality seems to be that, when you're a true superstar in one field, people are much more willing to accept that you may have superstar skills in another field?
We see all kinds of Disney TV kid stars who move into large scale music concerts event hough their vocal skills are very limited ... because once a star always a star, or so the public seem willing to accept.

What's far more difficult seems to be on the small scale. It seems terribly logical that a club mentalist who does a Ball Thru Hand trick mid-show would likely destroy whatever credibility he'd built up as a mentalist, and have most (if not all) of the audience then simply switch to believe completely that they're watching a magician.
Bill Cushman
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When I told my 72 year old neighbor I was going to see Kreskin last October, she replied, "I remember him, he's that magician that reads minds. He's still around?"

She had no idea of my interests outside of my being a psychologist and parent. I am really not sure how to frame this in the context of this discussion but it seems potentially relevant so I thought I'd share it. She remembered him from television many moons ago, not as a mind reader but as a MAGICIAN who reads minds. This may be more common than we want to believe.

It struck me that this didn't trivialize Kreskin in her memories of him. They were positive. But when she sought a category in which to place him, this is how it went. Why didn't she say "I remember him, he's that mind reader."
Decomposed
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Good take Artie.

How I wish the Google monster would pick up mentalist (still people don't know that term here), mystery performer, psychic entertainer etc on search requests. But that would only mean people would be placing those keywords in their searches for bookings. Book as a magician, change their minds at the event. Smile
Bill Cushman
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"Book as a magician, change their minds at the event." Decomposed

Mr. Ruin, think about this as it relates to my post. Kreskin is booked as a mind reader but remembered as a magician who reads minds, probably 30 or 40 years since my neighbor saw him on TV (she mentioned Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore and Johnny Carson). What would you choose: changing minds or being remembered decades after your performance?
Decomposed
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I want to be remembered Bill. I guess its better being remembered as not working paid gigs. Just kidding. Kreskin had a agent. I saw his movie. I have to self promote...

Question for Slim. Are you booked as a Disney employee or a Blues Brother?

Mr Ruin
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jun 19, 2016, Decomposed wrote:
I want to be remembered Bill. I guess its better being remembered as not working paid gigs. Just kidding. Kreskin had a agent. I saw his movie. I have to self promote...

Question for Slim. Are you booked as a Disney employee or a Blues Brother?

Mr Ruin

Not quite sure what you mean?
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Decomposed
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How do you get your bookings bro? I mean just as an entertainer?

PS: I thought you use to work Disney circuit but it was a while back.

Mr Ruin Smile
Slim King
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I do about 1,000 Blues Brothers shows a year. I work Both Universal and the House of Blues. Since my son was born I've pretty much curtailed gigging overseas or touring the US. As a mentalist I prefer larger gigs such as Daytona's NIGHT OF THER PARANORMAL... It's a better fit for what I do. I've consulted and even sold some effects to major players in the Magic community. But my favorite thing to do is Radio Magic or magic over the phone, internet, FaceTime...stuff like that. So in my experience you can be a Magician, Mentalist, and Singer/Dancer...No problem Smile Smile Smile Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Artie Fufkin
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Quote:
On Jun 20, 2016, Slim King wrote:
So in my experience you can be a Magician, Mentalist, and Singer/Dancer...No problem Smile


Not aimed at you personally, but it's hard enough becoming truly expert in any one single discipline ... let alone three or four different disciplines, especially when we're talking about all of them being directly related to entertainment.


It can be difficult (if not utterly impossible) to give three or four separate artistic disciplines the attention each deserves to achieve artistic exellence when trying to accomplish all four at the same time ... and all this with only one life to live! Smile
Joe Atmore
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As Dunninger's name is almost certainly brought up by those saying magic and mentalism mix, I thought I would pose a few questions to those that do utilize that argument. (I'll let Kreskin's work sit for a moment.)

Do you know what were the magic effects he performed - how many and what were they and did they differ through the years?

At what point in his show might he have performed magic?

What were the venues he performed the magic at?

During what eras in his career did he perform magic?

No fair cheating by referring to a post I made in Inner Thoughts a few months ago. Let's go by what you think he performed. And Bob is exempt.
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
IAIN
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Did he open with the sponge dingdong and finish with the bra trick? Smile
Joe Atmore
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Why did I bother......
Best Thoughts,

Joe Atmore
International Artists Consultant Uri Geller's Phenomenon TV Series;
PEA Bob Haines Memorial Award;
Dunninger Show Recreation;
Author of Dunninger Knows and Dunninger's Brain Busters

JosephAtmore.com
IAIN
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It was a joke, c'mon now...
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