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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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IAIN
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Funnily enough, if I'm using playing cards it's the one thing I don't explain with any process whatsoever... Just introduce the back story of Churchill... And I'd not do any other card based thing before or after... The only change I make to it is just to include two people rather than one. Mother than that... Zilch...
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Sudo Nimh
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On Mar 28, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
Not saying I agree or disagree with any one viewpoint that's been expressed here, just that the argument is tiresome, pointless, and a waste of time. And also, insane.


At least pick a position if you want to pop-in and call everyone boring and crazy.

This is an old, long thread with quite a few interesting nuggets and a fair bit of regurgitation.


Ok...let me think for a moment...missionary? Smile

Fair enough. But I think my position has already been made clear on more than a few occasions here on the Café and in my published work. And it's not as though this topic hasn't been beat to death on these forums for almost 20 years now, right? My position is simply that audiences do not care one iota about your terminology or silly labels. They don't care or waste their time thinking about such things, because believe it or not, they have far more important things in their lives to think about. So many people here talk about Mentalism like it's some mystical sacred cow that only a scant few (like Drunken Master Bob) can do "properly" (without it being "mental magic") and that it's not about "entertainment". Lost sheep looking for their next shepherd.

Well I guess they're right in one sense, it's not about "entertainment" - it's about sleeping. Yes, that's it - sleeping. Whenever you need to get a good sleep in rather quickly (I personally have difficulty falling asleep), go see your average Mentalist not entertaining somewhere. Guaranteed to be out like a light in ten minutes or less.

(Please note: I'm not addressing you specifically with this commentary Mr. Salk )

So please enlightenment me. I've only been in this art as a steadfast and 100% dedicated student/performer/teacher/dealer/creator for what is it now...I'm 45 this year, started at 6...ah, yes - got it. 39 years! If it's "not about entertainment", and yet you're using trickery, then what is it about exactly? An educational show? What are you going to edu-ma-cate me about? Have you actually got special powers of the mind? You? I'm sorry, but I can already roughly see the intelligence quotient floating above your head and it's screaming out to me that you don't have any special mind powers. If this isn't about entertainment then why the eff am I here? Oh...I see....There's these cards, mmmm okkk..bla bla bla....psychic research testing....bla bla bla...Duke University....bla bla bla ....Oh, I'm sorry. I just woke up and missed most of the show. Last thing I remember was some drivel about some Dr. Rhinoceros at Puke University and what not. Unfortunately, it just wasn't interesting and went on for far too long and I wanted to see some mind reading and instead you started by giving me a long and self-indulgent speech. Did I miss anything good?

It seems as though every average Mentalist has to do the same darn things in the same darn way with the same darn patter themes and drivel. It's like every person who is "into" Steampunk has to wear the obligatory goggles on their hat to signify that this is who they are and that this is what they're "into". And somehow, this makes them unique. I'm sorry but this nonsense is a bunch of bull-fudgie - and I can prove it.

Do I really need to remind you who the best Mentalist in the world is at current? DERREN. BROWN.

Do you honestly believe that his sold-out theaters are due to the fact that he is "not entertaining"? That is absolute nonsense. The man is a brilliant performer beyond words. Remember the routine with his shoe hidden in one of three shoe boxes? My goodness. We all know how it was done, but that's beyond the point. That silly little song he would play and the little dance - the whole thing. Superb. There's simply no other word for it. He makes me feel like a kid when I watch his show - not because I'm fooled (because I'm not), but because it is simply such wonderful fun and he is so good at what he does. Please take the misguided opinion that it is not about entertainment to Derren and see if he agrees. I dare you. Sure, it's about a variety of things, but the heart of it all is still show biz - and that means entertainment. He openly tells his audience that he is also a Magician. Oh noes!!! The Horror!!! Hahaha.

This is what it's all about people - show biz. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter so much what it is that you're doing and what you call it. I couldn't care less and neither do audiences. Make them feel something - give them the stars, make them smile, make them laugh, touch their hearts, give them your all with your uttermost passion and soul on a platter, anything - anything to let them escape from the boring and drudgery doldrum that we call "everyday life". And be sure that you do what you do better than anyone else in this world. Give them a truly magnificent spectacle to remember. Do that... and they will love you and remember you no matter what you do or whatever you want to call it.
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Mr Salk
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Now that is an excellent position (not missionary; it lacks entertainment value).
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IAIN
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I'm re-reading annemann's mental club act tonight...

"... I am here as an entertainer playing the part of a thought reader and psychic. You alone are to be sole judges as to the source of my power."

Thought it was interesting...
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Mr Salk
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Funnily enough, if I'm using playing cards it's the one thing I don't explain with any process whatsoever... Just introduce the back story of Churchill... And I'd not do any other card based thing before or after... The only change I make to it is just to include two people rather than one. Mother than that... Zilch...


I like the Churchill intro as well. Adds a tone of respectability.
.


.
Sudo Nimh
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On Mar 28, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
Now that is an excellent position (not missionary; it lacks entertainment value).


Thanks! I'm in complete agreement regarding the "position". I thought it better to play that one on the side of caution and not be too provocative. I couldn't help myself though - the joke was too ripe. Thanks for not taking offense. Smile

BTW...remember the routine Derren did with the buttons and the woman smacking him very hard and repeatedly in the face? Tell me that wasn't one of the most craziest cool and memorable presentations ever. Am I right? This is the kind of stuff that vividly lives on in people's memories forever. Truly wonderful.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure how he did that one. I mean, I'm pretty positive I know...but I don't know with 100% certainty. Either way, it was terribly funny, but also completely intriguing and shocking all at the same time. Frankly, I'm quite happy that I don't know for certain and I don't actually care to know.
Magic which awakens and nourishes the divine spirit in man encourages the growth of true humanity, in contrast to the materialistic outlook which binds man to the earth.

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Sudo Nimh
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On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
I'm re-reading annemann's mental club act tonight...

"... I am here as an entertainer playing the part of a thought reader and psychic. You alone are to be sole judges as to the source of my power."

Thought it was interesting...


Yeah..I like that too Iain. It's honest and fun. I'd forgotten all about that angle. I often wonder at how many things are just floating around somewhere in my brain that I have long forgotten about. You ever have that cool experience where, for no reason whatsoever, an obscure effect you used to think about or perform a decade or two earlier - or maybe even one from your teenage years - suddenly "pops" into your mind and you find yourself thinking "My goodness! How could I have completely forgotten about that thing... and why did I ever stop doing it?" It's a nifty feeling.

Always have love for Annemann. The man had no shame whatsoever in doing a book test in conjunction with a pack of playing cards on occasion. I respect that.
Magic which awakens and nourishes the divine spirit in man encourages the growth of true humanity, in contrast to the materialistic outlook which binds man to the earth.

Contact: talkwithsudo@gmail.com
IAIN
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Funnily enough, if I'm using playing cards it's the one thing I don't explain with any process whatsoever... Just introduce the back story of Churchill... And I'd not do any other card based thing before or after... The only change I make to it is just to include two people rather than one. Mother than that... Zilch...


I like the Churchill intro as well. Adds a tone of respectability.


I once ended up on a date with the woman who ran an art department or similar that was linked with war rooms... I told her about Paul curry and Churchill and asked her if she'd like to experience what Churchill did... I knew the bar had a deck of cards amongst some old board games so borrowed them, did the lennart green "thing" and did it at out table..

We are now married...
















Not really.
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Sudo Nimh
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On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Mother than that... Zilch...


Freudian slip? Smile
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IAIN
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I've got the Freudian spellchecker app running, so you say one thing but mean your mother...
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Stunninger
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On Mar 28, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:

Do I really need to remind you who the best Mentalist in the world is at current? DERREN. BROWN.

Do you honestly believe that his sold-out theaters are due to the fact that he is "not entertaining"? That is absolute nonsense. The man is a brilliant performer beyond words.


Very well said, Sudo.
Mr Salk
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This hearkens to the ageless debate about sellouts. Bands like U2 and Green Day traded their angry insightful-rebellion for Pop and Cash.
Then the old fans on the couch are miffed that they "Ain't doing it right".
.


.
John C
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I feel vindicated.

And I often get harrased by saying "I just want the audience to have fun!"
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Mr Salk
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"I just want the audience to have fun!"
~ Maroon 5
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Sudo Nimh
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That's what show biz is all about: fun. This doesn't mean that everything one does has to be humorous. Or serious, or thought-provoking. It can be all of those things - and more. A good show has texture, and you just don't see too much of that in many performers shows. Moreover, you don't see a lot of personality either. It's as though they've forgotten that it is equally about the performer and not just the material. This is one of the chief reasons why Derren's shows are so fabulous. He's a unique individual (we all are) who has figured out how to express his personal thoughts and interests about a variety of topics through the medium he has chosen to express himself with. Max Maven is another who can equally talk about a wide range of fascinating topics and keep you riveted without even doing anything.

I'm reminded of a Mary J. Blige concert I went to with a girlfriend back in the early 2000's. She'd gotten two free comp tickets and wanted me to go with her. Problem was, I don't like that genre of music at all - it just doesn't do anything for me whatsoever. Of course, I didn't tell her that, but truth be told, I knew I was going to absolutely hate every minute of it.

Well...it was actually a fantastic show! From the moment the woman hit the stage, she gave it her all. And man, it was fantastic. In between songs she'd talk to the audience a little about her life and the influences that made up her music and what the next song was all about etc, etc - but in a way that was engaging and made you realize that you had more in common with this person than you thought you ever could have. Some songs were sad, some were really energetic and lively, and others were really deep and soulful. And to my amazement, it didn't take me too long before I was really enjoying myself and having a good time. As a performer, I recognized the talent and the passion and energy that she put her into show and the way she treated her audience - and it was special. Sure lots of musicians do this sort of thing, but you can always tell when they're just "going through the motions". This woman wasn't doing that. She was deeply invested in what she was doing and genuinely connecting with her audience and putting her entire heart and soul into her work.

I don't believe that there's any "right" or "wrong" way to do "Mentalism". I do believe however, you should be consistent in your themes. Naturally, if your show is mostly about things pertaining to the mind and strange phenomenon, it wouldn't make sense to suddenly decide to show a top hat empty and then produce a rabbit from it. But aside from that, I think "anything goes" as long as it is consistent with your character and interests. The key to it all is you. Win the hearts and minds of your audience with your personality, and you can do whatever you want. Don't be afraid to reveal yourself. You are just as equally important (if not more so) than the the actual things you are doing.

Give your audiences a reason to adore you - and don't forget to love them back. After all, you have nothing without them.
Magic which awakens and nourishes the divine spirit in man encourages the growth of true humanity, in contrast to the materialistic outlook which binds man to the earth.

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John C
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On Mar 29, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
"I just want the audience to have fun!"
~ Maroon 5


Cool. I stand in good company?

I don't keep up with the 5.

Now if Lou Reed or Rory Gallagher or my other favorite guitar player said that I'd know.
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John C
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Sudo said...
"... it wouldn't make sense to suddenly decide to show a top hat empty and then produce a rabbit from it..."

Unless you first had the spectator write down or on a billet ANY animal! 😂
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Waters.
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Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 28, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Funnily enough, if I'm using playing cards it's the one thing I don't explain with any process whatsoever... Just introduce the back story of Churchill... And I'd not do any other card based thing before or after... The only change I make to it is just to include two people rather than one. Mother than that... Zilch...


I like the Churchill intro as well. Adds a tone of respectability.


I once ended up on a date with the woman who ran an art department or similar that was linked with war rooms... I told her about Paul curry and Churchill and asked her if she'd like to experience what Churchill did... I knew the bar had a deck of cards amongst some old board games so borrowed them, did the lennart green "thing" and did it at out table..

We are now married...
















Not really.



Super funny
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Mr Salk
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On Mar 29, 2019, Sudo Nimh wrote:
I don't believe that there's any "right" or "wrong" way to do "Mentalism". I do believe however, you should be consistent in your themes. Naturally, if your show is mostly about things pertaining to the mind and strange phenomenon, it wouldn't make sense to suddenly decide to show a top hat empty and then produce a rabbit from it.


You've crossed the fence. Inconsistency is exactly the issue many mentalists have with magical interludes.
At best it dilutes the strength of the mentalist aspects the show. At worst it poisons the entire pool.
.


.
Sudo Nimh
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On Mar 29, 2019, John C wrote:
Sudo said...
"... it wouldn't make sense to suddenly decide to show a top hat empty and then produce a rabbit from it..."

Unless you first had the spectator write down or on a billet ANY animal! 😂


But what if they wrote down "giraffe" ?!! Smile
Magic which awakens and nourishes the divine spirit in man encourages the growth of true humanity, in contrast to the materialistic outlook which binds man to the earth.

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