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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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Good info Joe. Thanks. Slim, wow, not many can master doing routines over the phone. That certainly can sell a client. I had a few things I did but now with time restraints, I just want to get the booking done then show them but I think that is pretty clever. Smile
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jun 20, 2016, Decomposed wrote:
Good info Joe. Thanks. Slim, wow, not many can master doing routines over the phone. That certainly can sell a client. I had a few things I did but now with time restraints, I just want to get the booking done then show them but I think that is pretty clever. Smile

Thanks ... I'm pretty lazy, but when I use telephone effects with clients it's a 90% they will hire me. I'm just too busy or too lazy to do it all the time. Perhaps if I can retire, I'll be more involved on the media sites doing magic.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Desolate Ruin
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Mr. Cushman, given the choice, I would rather be remembered as one who could command and interact with magickal forces. And with regard to your story, it is interesting that one performer would be remembered as a magician who reads minds... Could the layman, in this case, view the magician as a true magician, or as a magician who does tricks but can also read minds?

What would everyone think about trying a little experiment? Tomorrow (or when you have time), let us go perform a "mentalism" effect for multiple strangers (same effect each time), and afterwards, have a confederate approach the strangers and inquire: "What was he doing? I saw, but couldn't tell what was going on." Following with: "So was he a magician?" Or something of the sort. It would be a covert way of learning how our audience views the performance of a mental effect - is it a magic trick or is it magic, AND do they view us as magicians or mind readers?

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


Given this and the next post, are you addressing me or signing your messages with "Mr Ruin"?

And for Mr. Cassidy, though I'm certain my writing style is indeed distinctive, I must admit to some confusion - unless someone (unbeknownst to myself) has taken a journal from my shelf and uploaded it somewhere, I don't believe anyone would have seen my writing before, aside from those few close friends with whom I share the pages. However, Mr. Hawthorne most definitely has an influence on my language and structuring, and I can assure you he is not I, though I am well aquainted with the comforts of the fireside. Perhaps you've read his works?
mastermindreader
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Yes, your confusion is as apparent as your identity.
Decomposed
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On Jun 21, 2016, Desolate Ruin wrote:
Mr. Cushman, given the choice, I would rather be remembered as one who could command and interact with magickal forces. And with regard to your story, it is interesting that one performer would be remembered as a magician who reads minds... Could the layman, in this case, view the magician as a true magician, or as a magician who does tricks but can also read minds?

What would everyone think about trying a little experiment? Tomorrow (or when you have time), let us go perform a "mentalism" effect for multiple strangers (same effect each time), and afterwards, have a confederate approach the strangers and inquire: "What was he doing? I saw, but couldn't tell what was going on." Following with: "So was he a magician?" Or something of the sort. It would be a covert way of learning how our audience views the performance of a mental effect - is it a magic trick or is it magic, AND do they view us as magicians or mind readers?

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


Given this and the next post, are you addressing me or signing your messages with "Mr Ruin"?

And for Mr. Cassidy, though I'm certain my writing style is indeed distinctive, I must admit to some confusion - unless someone (unbeknownst to myself) has taken a journal from my shelf and uploaded it somewhere, I don't believe anyone would have seen my writing before, aside from those few close friends with whom I share the pages. However, Mr. Hawthorne most definitely has an influence on my language and structuring, and I can assure you he is not I, though I am well aquainted with the comforts of the fireside. Perhaps you've read his works?


Sorry Mr Ruin, I thought someone addressed me as Mr Ruin also. I am not he.....I am Mr Decomposed.... As for your experiment, I would love to see the results of that! Smile
mastermindreader
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The suggested experiment is pointless, because ambush performances for strangers on the street is NOT how professional mentalists operate.

When I appear at a public venue, in the weeks before the event, table tents and fliers are widely distributed and, frequently, I will be a guest on a local radio program to promote the show.

The audience that comes to that show arrives with the expectation of seeing a mind reader/mentalist.

If you were to interview those folks afterwards, you'd get completely different answers that you'd get from the "strangers" who were approached by another stranger who just walked up to them and showed them an effect.

It's all about building expectations. And the only expectation that the people on the street experience is the fear that they're going to be asked for money.
Decomposed
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I can agree with that Bob. I think that is the point many have made over the years. It is after that counts and after a performance, strolling gig etc, the full enchilada. Then ask what they saw, what they witnessed.

Of course you being booked as a mindreader or mentalist is the optimum. Smile
MagicalEducator
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So Kreskin is booked as a mentalist and remembered as a magician. What can one infer from this?
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Mindpro
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That this is one person's opinion, not that of the mass public that still see him as a mentalist. But also proves that mixing magic and mentalism shouldn't be done, lol
mastermindreader
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One can infer that he was ALWAYS viewed that way. Back when he was appearing on the network talk shows, hosts frequently made jokes about him as did sitcom writers. The exact opposite was true about Dunninger.

Not to forget that Kreskin, in his shows, goes out of his way to claim he has no special abilities or psychic powers. He spends most of his time name-dropping and telling stories about the old days on The Tonight Show, apparently wanting to establish himself primarily as a television celebrity.

I don't believe he ever established a credible back story, persona, or any sort of consistency in his effects or claims. Even though he appropriated virtually all of Dunninger's original show, he never came near the mind-reader persona that Dunninger perfected.

But the fact is that he is primarily booked as Kreskin.
Slim King
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Over the years I've seen people with multiple identities here ... A sure way to catch them is to see if they forget which identity they are using.. Then they make a mistake and sign the wrong name .. It's worked for me catching a lot of trolls that way.

Back to the subject at hand .. IF and it's a big "IF" ... a person has a magic performance as believable as a mentalism routine.. Then and only THEN would I mix the two. BTW .. I rarely do .. But this must be the criteria for that to happen... Make sense?
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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On Jun 21, 2016, Slim King wrote:
Over the years I've seen people with multiple identities here ... A sure way to catch them is to see if they forget which identity they are using.. Then they make a mistake and sign the wrong name .. It's worked for me catching a lot of trolls that way.

Back to the subject at hand .. IF and it's a big "IF" ... a person has a magic performance as believable as a mentalism routine.. Then and only THEN would I mix the two. BTW .. I rarely do .. But this must be the criteria for that to happen... Make sense?


First part LOL, yeah that is so true.

Second part, I can see that and have seen that. How about someone who performs mentalism for pay, and practices magic as a hobby only?
Slim King
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Well...I think that would RUIN everything unless you can do real magic....
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
MagicalEducator
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The majority of the press I see online talks about Kreskin as a mentalist from New Jersey. Must be the water there.
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mastermindreader
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Didn't you say in your previous post that he's remembered as a magician?
M. Tesla
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On Jun 18, 2016, jonnyboy wrote:
Mindpro asks why magicians just can't be magicians anymore? I believe there are a number of reasons why magicians want to perform mentalism, or at least be perceived as doing so.
First, mentalism may seem to be much easier to do than coin magic or card magic. Especially with some of the wonderful toys that allow very clean presentations with little or no technical expertise needed. Instant mentalist!
Second, mentalism can play to a much larger crowd than some traditional magic disciplines.
Third, many mentalism effects have the classic "pack small, play big" advantages.
Fourth, it is very hard to make up your own card effects, coin effects, big box illusions, etc. I think it is relatively easier to come up with an original premise for a mentalism effect that uses a standard technique.
Fifth, and this is serious, mentalism is considered sexy right now. That is quite apparent from the large number of magicians trying to incorporate mentalism effects into their acts.
Sixth, magicians don't really care about keeping mentalism pure, unlike many mentalists. They don't care about the labels being attached to what they do. To them, a mental effect is a magical effect, whether the mentalism community considers it to be mental magic or mentalism.
Seventh, mental effects allow a magician to perform something that just seemingly has no explanation whatsoever. As with most good mentalism effects (and maybe all true mentalism effects), there are no props used that even remotely look like a gimmick. With most magician effects, there is suspicion on everything he uses, including cards ("are those trick cards?"), obvious props like boxes, tubes, etc. And for the most part, the spectators are right to suspect, even if they can't figure out exactly how something works. Mentalism effects, by contrast, provide a magician with a potential purity that is very difficult to achieve otherwise.

This is my earnest effort to answer your query, Mindpro. I'm sure others will disagree with many of these, or may have additional reasons they can enumerate.

John


WHOA!

First, if you think mentalism is easier than coin or card magic, guess again. It's much more disciplined, and the "toys" you speak about do require technical expertise, and study, and enough practice to make sure your presentation of same is polished, and the spectators envision you as a psychic, or a mind-reader. Instant mentalist? BS. Try doing an hour long show with "toys" and gimmicks and no presentation or polish what-so-ever.

Second, while mentalism can play to a large crowd, twenty years ago I was performing as a magician, with my stage act playing to some large venues...1500 to 2000 people is hardly a smaller crowd.

Third, while, for the most part, yes, the pack small play big, is a benefit, but you'd better know what you're doing with those "smaller" props.

Fourth, while you say it is hard to make up your own card effects, coin effects, and illusions, it is not relatively easier to come up with an original premise for a mentalism effect as so much has been written about the subject in the last 100 years... what's hard is coming up with something totally new. It is extremely difficult because you're usually just re-hashing what has come before.

Fifth, it's nice to know at my age that I'm still sexy. As for the large numbers of magicians trying to incorporate mentalism effects into their acts, they're just that, doing mental magic tricks, not mentalism...if they want to be mentalists, stop doing magic and learn what it is to be a mentalist. I've been studying the field for close to forty years, and after being away from magic for over a decade, I doubt anyone will remember me as a magician...that, and I will be using a stage name when I finish putting the act together, and marketing it.

Sixth, yes, magicians don't care about keeping mentalism pure, and if that goes on long enough, it may ruin it for all of us...it's necessary to keep magic and mentalism separate. And, I don't call what they're doing, mentalism, but rather, mental magic tricks. Go out and try and earn a living as a mentalist...it's much easier to get a magic gig.

Seventh, that's the difference...mentalists don't perform with tubes and tables and boxes...its easier to rely on a prop to amuse your audience, when you're a magician...now amuse them with a paper and a pencil, if you think it's so easy. If you're doing mentalism correctly, they won't wonder about any trick ways of doing things; they'll either believe you're really psychic, or are demonstrating to them the science of the mind, telepathy (the ability to read another person's thoughts), clairvoyance (the ability to "see" events or objects happening somewhere else), precognition (the ability to see the future), mediumship (the ability to channel dead spirits), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...and with time, practice, and experience, your audience won't even think about what they saw...they'll just accept it...

Regardless, the two (magic and mentalism) are mutually exclusive...so, if you're a magician and so enamored with mentalism, then why not stop doing magic and become a mentalist...isn't that what this is all really about?
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
Mindpro
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So very nicely and well said.

It seems that is coming out is what mentalists have known all along. Magicians are attempting to do mentalism (really mental magic) without really knowing or understanding what they are doing.....and I guess why they are even doing it.
Artie Fufkin
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The "why they are even doing it" question is what (speaking as a magician) I was referencing in my earlier post.

Unlike Mentalists, who practice their craft with a deep appreciation and understanding of WHY they're practicing their craft ... Magicians, especially amateur Magicians LOVE methods, and seek them out like a bee seeks out honey.

On the Magic Café, that "seeking" isn't very hard at all, indeed it's as easy as learning how to work a vent'n'dummy or do card juggling. Just click on the next forum down!

To Magicians, it matters not whether it's a piece of pure mentalism. If the method for that piece of pure Menalism is devious and relatively unknown among other local Magicians, it's a prime candidate for the next restaurant walk-around gig as their next "fooler"!

I once again would point out Tequila Hustler as an example of the kind of secret that Mentalists should NEVER let go of. Something like that should be guarded like the non-existent gold bars in Fort Knox.
It won't be of course, as Jim Steinmeyer has said about magic for years, "we guard an empty vault" ... as it seems, like Magicians did decades ago - Mentalists have already let the cat out of the bag, and the ability to stop Magicians from usurping mentalisms crown jewels simply doesn't exist any longer.

My suggestion, as much as it hides away things I enjoy reading about ... take it deep underground my Mentalist friends!
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M. Tessler-
WHOA! I think you misperceived my post completely. Since no one else responded to Mindpro's question, I was trying to postulate an answer as to why magicians want to do mentalism effects. You appeared to have made incorrect assumptions as to my position, and misread what I said. For example, I didn't say that mentalism IS easier. I said that mentalism can SEEM easier than coin tricks and card magic. And using electronics can make it seem even easier. This makes magicians want to do mentalism. "Instant mentalist" was a deliberately sarcastic phrase that was apparently lost on you. I was describing what I perceived to be the lure of mentalism to magicians.

As to my second point about playing to larger venues, you again misread my statement. I said that mentalism can play to a much larger crowd than SOME magic disciplines. This was not an absolute statement, and I wasn't attacking you and saying you never drew big crowds (or magicians). Just pointing out that mentalism can play to larger crowds than close up magic, like coins. Again, I was describing what I perceived to be the lure of mentalism to magicians.

As to my third point, yes, mentalism can pack small and play big. That's why I said it, as a perceived benefit of being a mentalist over a magician. And of course you need to know what you are doing with them. I don't understand what point you are trying to make.

Fourth, I disagree with you on the mentalism premise. I think it is relatively easier to come up with a theme, or premise, for an effect than to make up a whole, brand new coin trick or card trick. I think it is easier to come up with a new story than it is to invent a sleight. That may be because the number of card effects and books and DVDs clearly outnumber the number of mentalism materials. Again, though, whether we agree or disagree on this point, my post was about the PERCEPTION of a magician, and why he may want to do mentalism based effects now.

Fifth, you appear to conflate my statement about mentalism being sexy with mentalists being sexy. I made no such comparison or postulation of whether a mentalist or a magician was sexy. Just that the art form of mentalism was sexy at the moment. This is why everyone wants to do mentalism now, and why magicians are flocking to it. Again, I was answering Mindpro's question as to why magicians want to do mentalism. Not defending magicians or belittling mentalism.

Sixth, again, I was writing from what I perceived the magician's POV to be, that THEY don't care about keeping mentalism pure, or the labels that mentalists put on their effects. This is a subject of some controversy here, and I deliberately did not take a stance on it.

Seventh, you agreed with me and just simply restated my point. You write in a very challenging manner, that I should try to amuse someone with a paper and pencil if I think it is so easy. Guess what? I'm a mentalist, not a magician. You misread my entire post and misunderstood completely that I had taken the time to postulate and speculate why magicians are trying to do mentalism effects. If you can't understand that, and read the language of posts more critically and carefully, there is nothing I can do about it.
M. Tesla
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Well, if I misunderstood , very sorry, but you should have made your approach clearer...I don't think I was the only one who misunderstood...and I didn't think you were attacking me or anyone else about the size of venues...it was hard to tell from the way you wrote that it was meant to be sarcastic or facetious in tone...and oh, the "I'm sexy" thing was a joke, although the thought that I might still be sexy at 70 years old (my brain says I'm 30, but my body is saying guess again!) would thrill my fiancee to no end...as for the rest of it, I'll still maintain it's easier to come up with a new card or coin trick, or new card or coin sleight, than a totally new metalism concept...there has been so much written about mentalism since the end of the the 19th century, that anything totally new would be difficult...I have several shelves devoted to nothing but the subject of mentalism...yes, there's ways to repackage older material, but totally new? I dunno...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
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