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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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jstreiff
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I would suggest that introducing sleights and going beyond card handling ability of a competent card player strongly suggests you are doing tricks. It moves the cards from symbols to magical props. It changes the spectators' potential perception of the cards from something used to play games to something used to do tricks. Not a good idea in a mentalism (not magic) show IMO.
John
Mindpro
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My exact thoughts as well. Same for most audiences or those seeing your performance. This is a disillusion many magicians-turned-"mentalists" seem to have, which many refer to as magician's thinking.
Max Hazy
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I was once introduced as a magician, did mentalism stuff (with a little "magic" after the show)... and was later called to give a psychology lecture on sales (which I did). In my practical experience, I'm pretty sure you can mix both... you just have to make sure your presentation will make them see the difference. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the audience.

About sleights, I agree to some extent. I say "some" because:
1) There are sleights that play invisible anyway. I can cull cards right under participants noses, even slowly. If they don't see sleights, there will be no sleights.
2) You can do things "off hand" to counter that "sleight" problem too.
3) Logical disconnects can also eliminate sleights.

But obviously, if you show yourself to be a virtuoso handling whatever goes to your hand with absolute skill in manipulation, people will suspect whatever you touch and burn your hands. I think the major rule here is to not let your hand skills obfuscate your mental skills.

I'm glad that I were a magician before I became a mentalist. There are magician's tools that I can use in mentalism and today I have a deeper understanding from that. One clear example is this: After reading "One In The Chamber" from Intrepid's Rogue, I immediately thought about the mercury fold to eliminate the need for something else there. Even a pure mentalist would benefit a lot from knowing magician's stuff, that's for sure.

To me the bottom line is this: You can be whatever role you wanna play, you just have to play the role properly.

Max
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Ben Blau
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I think that with enough talent, you can be anything you want. Break the mold and create your own thing.

Ben
funsway
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Quote:
On Jun 3, 2017, Max Hazy wrote:

To me the bottom line is this: You can be whatever role you wanna play, you just have to play the role properly.

Max


to thump on the other side of the drum ...

isn't the expectations of the audience most important?

if they expect to see a demonstration of the impossible defeated they will appreciate conjuring more than "I have mental powers."

If the expect to see their pre-existing belief in paranormal potentials reenforced, then conjuring will be disappointing and even poor mentalism applauded.

if they just want "to be entertained" then juggling or comedy stripping may be better.

A re-read of all the posts on this theme would suggest that "don't do these in the same show."

Yes, in any role you should do it as well as possible. Which role is appropriate? That is a different matter.

Note that 'old timers' like Ormand McGill performed conjuring in the first half of the show and Mentalism in the second - never the other way around.

He felt that pretending at magic conditioned the audience to accept that everyone might have abilities "beyond normal."
He also wrote that audiences expect a magician to have "above average" abilities in many things. No sure that this is true today.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jun 4, 2017, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 3, 2017, Max Hazy wrote:

To me the bottom line is this: You can be whatever role you wanna play, you just have to play the role properly.

Max


to thump on the other side of the drum ...

isn't the expectations of the audience most important?



And even more so the booking client, venue, agent or promoter that is hiring and paying for you? Whenever I hear such statements about "it's just for the audience" or "as long as they're being entertained...," it tells me all I need to know about the performer.
IAIN
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Can you expand on that, mindpro?

Are you saying give the bookers what they expect and want, rather than them booking you for what you deliver and have to offer?
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Max Hazy
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I have to agree with funsway and mindpro here. I just tried to focus on the topic that yes, you can play both roles, you just have to take some considerations.

But about your subject, yes, I agree with you two, but I have some observations:

What I mean with "playing the role properly" is not only about the role itself, it's about all the implications that comes with it.
For example, the expectations of the audience are very important indeed... but performance time and time again showed me I can CREATE expectation through the role. In fact, I can surpass their expectations too, that's when you get a standing ovation. You can do that using the role you choose as a tool and it will not matter once you have your identity. You can, playing your role, create expectations, surpass their expectations and off course make the booking client more than satisfied. If you're not exactly what they are expecting and you can't create expectations with performance, that's going to be a problem... for both the audience and the booking client.

I'll never forget the time I was introduced as a magician in the headquarters, then I did mentalism stuff playing the role of a mentalist. I did some magic in the post performance too, but I was asked to do a lecture about psychology on sales (which I did) thanks to the mentalism performance. That was the biggest wake-up to me that I can play both roles, all I have to do is be careful to show the difference and not let one thing obfuscate the other.

What mindpro said here is very important too. I'm about to do a show in a big promotional event and I was very clear about what I do so there's no surprises. There's a "wizard" here who do tarot reading and he was dismissed because the booking client don't want that kind of image associated with the event. The "witch" stuff. I told the client that I'm a mentalist and I study and reproduce phenomenons associated with the mind and many of the things I do can be perceived as supernatural. I was hired. She knows exactly what I'm going to do and she's ok with it. At this point, my only concern will be to make the audience go wild so the booking client will call me again. Clothes, actions, verbiage, the way you behave... all of that can make a difference to make the booking client call you again or not.

So funsway and mindpro, in other words, the bottom line is this: You can be whatever role you wanna play, you just have to play the role properly. If you're not what they expect but you're so interesting that they can't help but get involved, you'll be successful. If you're exactly what they expect but you can't pick their interest, you will face a problem. In any case you have to take in consideration all the implications of your role.

I just focused on the first part to not go off topic.

Max
"Your method is in my opinion the very best way to do Q&A"
Millard Longman

"Max has pushed some less known and seldom used principles a huge step forward"
Jan Forster


Arcane Grimoires Vol 1- http://www.maxhazy.com/arcane-grimoires/apocryphal-reach/

Arcane Grimoires Vol 2- http://www.maxhazy.com/Codex-Mentis/
toniyammine
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Quote:
On Jun 3, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
I think that with enough talent, you can be anything you want. Break the mold and create your own thing.

Ben


exactly.

It all depends on how you want to be perceived! but with the right talent, you can do anything you want. do not label things!
tomd
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Quote:
On Jun 3, 2017, Ben Blau wrote:
I think that with enough talent, you can be anything you want. Break the mold and create your own thing.

Ben


Ben Blau I could not agree more..

Side note, Out of all the people I have met and made friends with because of my magic (not a mentalist), some are convinced I CAN read people, they are unsure how, but they make it clear to me. why? They don't understand magic, mentalism isn't in their lexicon, and the word "magic" in their minds is an umbrella that covers more than sleight of hand. And I'm only talking about when I perform "mental magic".

But if your wondering if I think you can go from the ambitious card, to 4DT in the same act... HAHA.. no.
loserdlj
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Ben Blau I could not agree more..
IAIN
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Most people aren't as talented as they think though...
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Mindpro
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Oh, you can mix magic with mentalism, I don't think anyone ever said you can't, but don't think you are likely to be seen or accepted as a mentalist. I think the one thing that has been shown here is many don't care about being seen as a pure mentalist, and that is fine with them. They think, operate and perform as a magician doing mental material. They are happy being a magician and doing mental magic.
Chris K
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
So glad Banachek clarified it once and for all here. This argument comes up often...
Nice that this was addressed rather than using self-interpretations from outside resources and Wikipedia, or other's opinions. Nothing like hearing it from the horses mouth...


I agree 100%
Chris K
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The irony of somebody whining because people disagree then saying some people can’t handle it when people disagree with them is worth reading through this pointless thread. I’ve said it before but people self-owning, especially when they fail to see it, is one of my favorite things in the world.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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A way to mix mentalism with magic is to become a bizarrist and focus on the storytelling aspect.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Stewart
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I am going to say something controversial here. Not only do I think that you can use magic in a mental act I think you SHOULD use it! You really, really SHOULD! Oddly enough by doing so they are more likely to believe your mentalism is the real thing! A sort of reverse psychology!

In times past there was indeed validity in the standard wisdom that you should never mix the two. Alas nowadays in the days of the internet with all the secrets exposed and a mentalist on every street corner laymen no longer believe that some guy on stage is not using trickery. There are far too many mentalists around for the whole thing to be credible. People do not believe it is the real thing any more.

In the days of yore mentalism had more credibility and more people believed it was the real thing. That is because there were so few mentalists around. The scarcity of such acts is what gave laymen the thought that there might, just might, be something in it. But not now when there is a mentalist on every street corner. The main appeal of mentalism is that it might be real. That is gone now.

That is why it is actually ADVISABLE to do magic in your mental act! Not mandatory but advisable. By doing magic you are presenting a subtle disclaimer that what you are doing is not real mindreading. However, by some odd quirk of psychology you will find that the layman will resist your implication of trickery simply because you hinting it is not real.

A little complicated but I really believe that is what is going on in the mind of your audience. You don't have to accept what I say but I can assure you that I have been doing this stuff rather a long time and what I say is based on experience.
corindaman
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I think it demeans and lessens both diciplines! do not mix and match.
GlennLawrence
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I think Fabuloso gets it right, here. Not everyone can pull it off but some can. Derren Brown comes to mind with the Gorilla thing he does before intermission (or the interval as my friends across the pond would say). It would seem out of place for a mentalist of his caliber to do such a silly thing yet it works for him.
Stewart
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Koran opened his mental act with the Linking Rings and there were still plenty of daft people who thought he was the real thing. I have seen David Berglas close his mental act with a demonstration of pickpocketing of all things. I have seen Kreskin do magic tricks on stage. It can be done.
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