The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » All Mentalism is now overpriced (58 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
Pixelated
View Profile
Regular user
194 Posts

Profile of Pixelated
I'm always surprised that the price of some books that have been repressed haven't been increased in line with some of the work released today eg Prism.
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2999 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Quote:
On Aug 21, 2019, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
As I mentioned earlier prices are based on size of the market rather than how widespread the knowledge may be and the knowledge is not as wide spread as you may think. For example when I lectured at Minds and asked how many people know the ****** ****** almost every hand went up. When I lectured at LADs which is mostly magicians only about 10% of the audience raised their hands. When I lecture at magic clubs it is not uncommon for nobody to be familiar with it.


Hi Mark,

I'm sorry. I can't agree that Mentalism being constantly used by magicians and exposed on the internet is merely "perception". It is clearly reality.

And anyone not familiar with the technique you mention only has to read posts on open forums that openly name it and a quick google will take them to a YouTube video called -in capital letters-
"T***** ****** REVEALED.

This doesn't strike me as rare knowledge being protected.
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3374 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
When you say Mentalism constantly being used on tv you are really talking about a handful of magicians performing mental magic using store bought effects and apps on TV talent shows, mostly Sven pads, which hand effects, 20th century phantom and the occasional book test (commonly Pegasus page). Well you could throw in the odd confabulation but Alan Shaxon was a magician so does that count? The nearest thing I have seen to a magician using a pure Mentalism effect was the use of an adapted version of Barrie Richardson’s chair test used on fool us.

The fact that the force in question is so easily available and yet so widely unknown amongst the members of UK magic clubs demonstrates that magicians in general are not searching youtube for secrets and do not have more than a passing interest in Mentalism.

If anything your argument about the easy availability of the secrets for free shrinks an already small market rather than increases it making it harder to reduce the prices. I am pretty certain that if my book were half the price it is now the sales would not be significantly increased and this is borne out by the performance of half price sales. As it stands the hardback has outsold the softback demonstrating that price is not the limiting factor. Likewise the fact that all reviews have been highly positive would indicate that quality is not the limiting factor. Whilst I am not that far from being sold out most of the people likely to buy the book already have beyond sales at lectures where many were not familiar with my work prior to the lecture.

Due to the small size of the market and the readily availability of the secrets to those not willing to pay, it simply would not be worth my time or effort to write a book to sell a similar number for a fraction of the price. Sure I could put out a casually penned pdf that teaches the effects at a basic level and get a reasonable return but personally I am not interested in producing anything but a high quality product that is also a joy to read so were the return for quality not worth it I simply wouldn’t bother.

As it stands the return on a premium priced book is not that high considering you are selling it at 40% of retail to distributors. If you end up making minimum wage you’ve had a result.

Mark
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3374 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
It is also worth pointing out that whilst you may be able to find methods exposed on the internet what is a little harder to find is fully constructed routines that layer those methods into engaging, deceptive and entertaining audience tested routines. This is where the value lies in a good quality book. The internet will teach you how to do something, it rarely covers when to do it, when not to do it, why to do it, how to do it deceptively or how to make it entertaining. Those are the real secrets, the how is easy to come up with once you have a handle on the when, why and what for.

Mark
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2999 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Quote:
On Aug 21, 2019, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
It is also worth pointing out that whilst you may be able to find methods exposed on the internet what is a little harder to find is fully constructed routines that layer those methods into engaging, deceptive and entertaining audience tested routines. This is where the value lies in a good quality book. The internet will teach you how to do something, it rarely covers when to do it, when not to do it, why to do it, how to do it deceptively or how to make it entertaining. Those are the real secrets, the how is easy to come up with once you have a handle on the when, why and what for.

Mark


Mark,

You keep telling us why you think you are justified in pricing your book as high as you choose. You haven't told us why you think creators should be flooding the market with new books and new effects.

The selling of mentalism has turned into a business. Not good.
WitchDocChris
View Profile
Inner circle
York, PA
2201 Posts

Profile of WitchDocChris
Quote:
No, they can't. How can you possibly learn the skills needed for a career in Mentalism in a few days?


Whether you like it, or are willing to admit it, or not - there are many foundation skills that are very easy to learn.

And once again - I'm talking about the foundations of a career, not a fully fledged one. These are the skills that get developed more and more over time.

Think about it - Washington Irving Bishop built a career on a skill you can learn in minutes (CMR).

The challenge in mentalism is taking the base/foundation skills and making them entertaining.

Given a motivated person with a modicum of performance skill, and most of a day, I could have them doing a twenty-to-thirty minute classic mentalism show. The methods are not difficult at all, and most of what I am thinking would qualify as "self working". Oh, and as a bonus, it would be absolutely bullet proof in regards to risking anyone 'busting' a method.

Quote:
You haven't told us why you think creators should be flooding the market with new books and new effects.


Sorry, I must have missed the part where Mark said that?

Yes, the market is flooded. As is the magic market. That's how this industry and community is currently set up and clearly people are buying those products so there's a customer base for it.

No one has to buy these products. And if enough people stopped buying them, the creators would have to find something else to do.

This is a self-perpetuating problem. People are cranking out junk products because other people are buying those junk products.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Mark_Chandaue
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex UK
3374 Posts

Profile of Mark_Chandaue
I don’t necessarily believe the market is being flooded at the premium end. How many decent Mentalism books were released in the last 12 months? Drew’s AOTM, Timon’s Which Hand, Paul Brooks Certified Mentalism and Phill Smith’s Mythology Codex. Beyond those I don’t recall any other premium priced books. Maybe Michael Murray’s RPS. On the video side Pete Turner has released DID2 and BFF and Fraser released Opus.

Personally I think all of those were worthy of being released. I am certainly glad to have all in my collection and while I was lucky to be gifted a few of those the most expensive ones I paid full or preorder price for. Oh I forgot Scott Creasey’s books again which I think were worthy of release and again I haven’t been given his work for free. I can’t remember any other books released in the last 12 months. In fact if you add Michael Murray’s Isolation and Manos’ Unveil, again superb releases I think that covers the last 2 years. If I have missed any it is not many. I personally have released 2 items in 3 years both of which I feel brought something to the table. You do have Steve Cook’s Fake genius but that is a mix of magic and Mentalism. I wouldn’t call those flooding the market. A lot more magic books were released in the same period.

Now when it comes to single effect pdf’s and downloads and untested ideas being released now here you have my full agreement. I have already posted my opinion on those. I am not a fan of publishing single effects except in those cases where the effect requires some form of prop or gimmick which is included. Whether they are worth buying is another matter but I personally believe that effects should be sold in books not individually with the possible exception of large scale professional performance pieces sold directly to pro’s by their creator. Premium priced pdf’s I am not a fan of but to be fair I am not personally a fan of pdf’s in general although I know some prefer it.

My own stance is that I believe a solid well produced collection of audience tested material deserves a premium price. Single effect pdf’s in my opinion shouldn’t even exist neither should collections of ideas which have never been tested on real audiences. The difficulty is being able to determine which is which. Some of that comes down to the track record of the author in question and some comes down to waiting for reviews from trusted sources.

Mark
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
ddyment
View Profile
Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2098 Posts

Profile of ddyment
Mark_Chandaue wrote:
Quote:
... Some of that comes down to the track record of the author in question and some comes down to waiting for reviews from trusted sources.

And that, I firmly believe, says it all in a nutshell. Be circumspect in your purchasing, and you'll find that almost nothing you buy is overpriced.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
3819 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2019, IAIN wrote:
Pocket money priced mentalism is the problem from my POV...

Magicians feel entitled to have access to miracles for pennies these days....


There's a lot of truth to that. But the cat's out of the bag and there's no stuffing it back in. VHS videos of feature films used to cost £80 when they first came out, so watching a movie on video was an event, as you had to go to the video store -or the video section of the corner shop!-find a movie you liked, hoping it hadn't been rented out already, and you got to keep it for only 24 hours. It made it an event. It made movies feel special. Now thousands of movies are available at the touch of a button and DVDs are three quid in Asda. It has diminished the worth of movies as a medium.

Some Mentalism creators are still charging 1980s VHS prices in a world of disposal DVDs -to stretch the analogy to breaking point.


Your VHS analogy actually makes no sense here. The reason VHS prices were very expensive in the 80s and 90s was due to the rental market. Initial VHS releases of movies were produced for the rental market. It's after the period of time when the rental market had their "exclusive" run for which the titles would then be produced for the general consumer market. I've learned this back in the 90s when I was trying to buy a copy of Trainspotting when that first came out on VHS and it was about $100. DVDs and streaming have not diminished the worth of movies actually, it had simply shifted the business model. The price of the initial VHS releases for new movies then were not due to their quality nor was it due to a higher demand or people viewing it on a higher pedestal than they do now.

Due to that, it's a bad analogy to mentalism pricing. Your complaint seems to be mostly in regards to the quality of work not matching high price tags (when the price tags are high). A counter argument to this is that due to accessibility having improved and marketing have progressed for them, it makes it easier to figure out what's good or what's bad. I remember when I first got into magic and mentalism, you essentially needed to have blind faith in the guy working at the shop to lead you in the right direction. It also helped if the person at the job had similar tastes as you do so that you would more likely end up with material that you would actually be interested in or use. There's also the issue with the instructions mostly being on photocopied sheets of paper, which if they really wanted to hit it out of the park, they may even have folded the sheets in half and staple bound them to form a booklet. The other issue with the instructions mainly coming as text, it was often the case that they were written poorly so you would have to figure out how the effect is supposed to look by yourself hoping that you're doing it correctly. Now we have videos galore. We can see, to some extent, what we may be potentially purchasing. Instructions are clearer since you see it in action now or instructions may be updated and it's very easy to receive those updates now. You can also, most of the time, contact the creators directly to help troubleshoot a release. Overall, it's much easier to filter what is potentially good from what is not good now than it was years back.

Now, an argument could be made that there's so much that has been released that it's hard to filter things but this is more of a abundance of options when your funds are finite though rather than the market being absolutely impossible to navigate.
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18119 Posts

Profile of IAIN
I used to run a video rental business for a couple of years - I remember when the guy came round and offered a morcombe and wise best of VHS, and the owners really wanted it.. the promo material was great, had the the invisible ball into brown paper bag gag that Eric used to do printed on a brown paper bag...wish I kept that...

how much would Bob Cassidy's work be released at if it were out new and now, in hardback I wonder?
Oscar999
View Profile
Veteran user
371 Posts

Profile of Oscar999
This discussion reminds me of how I felt when I watched Rick Maue's L&L videos ... I felt like I was watching a man's life-work for a fraction of the price of admission.

~Oscar
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
3819 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
Quote:
On Aug 23, 2019, IAIN wrote:
I used to run a video rental business for a couple of years - I remember when the guy came round and offered a morcombe and wise best of VHS, and the owners really wanted it.. the promo material was great, had the the invisible ball into brown paper bag gag that Eric used to do printed on a brown paper bag...wish I kept that...

how much would Bob Cassidy's work be released at if it were out new and now, in hardback I wonder?


I feel like Cassidy had always been incredibly generous with sharing his work. His DVDs, Beyond Fundamentals, Black Box Cinema, and Mental Miracles, so much quality content at such reasonable prices. His opus on Penguin Magic for his work on the Q&A, what a steal at $99.
Chris K
View Profile
Inner circle
2265 Posts

Profile of Chris K
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote¦
Who said anything about high prices making modern Mentalism inaccessible? Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible, a couple of decades ago. It was a good thing, on the whole. That is most certainly no longer the case. The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain.

If you're going to accuse people of hypocrisy, please don't invent facts to support your argument.



I'm not really sure why you're up in arms about what I said. If it doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't. The fact of the matter is that it does apply to some people. In any case, I apologize that you that took a general comment, that didn't name you, and took it personally. The fact that other people seem to agree sort of undercuts your outrage here. But hey, feel how you want to feel.

However, just for fun, I'll point out the staggering hypocrisy in your little post above.

You write (and all of your comments are above so you can refer back): "Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible"

and then, literally 2 sentences later: "The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain"

So which is it, chief, do high prices make mentalism inaccessible or not? It seems like you are arguing not, yet..."higher prices ... used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible" so, you know, huge fail on your part. But thanks for playing.

Now you may be outraged since this actually applies to you.


-C
JoshDude849
View Profile
New user
44 Posts

Profile of JoshDude849
Quote:
On Aug 23, 2019, Chris K wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote¦
Who said anything about high prices making modern Mentalism inaccessible? Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible, a couple of decades ago. It was a good thing, on the whole. That is most certainly no longer the case. The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain.

If you're going to accuse people of hypocrisy, please don't invent facts to support your argument.



I'm not really sure why you're up in arms about what I said. If it doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't. The fact of the matter is that it does apply to some people. In any case, I apologize that you that took a general comment, that didn't name you, and took it personally. The fact that other people seem to agree sort of undercuts your outrage here. But hey, feel how you want to feel.

However, just for fun, I'll point out the staggering hypocrisy in your little post above.

You write (and all of your comments are above so you can refer back): "Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible"

and then, literally 2 sentences later: "The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain"

So which is it, chief, do high prices make mentalism inaccessible or not? It seems like you are arguing not, yet..."higher prices ... used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible" so, you know, huge fail on your part. But thanks for playing.

Now you may be outraged since this actually applies to you.


-C


Yeah that doesn't make much sense bud...You might want to clariify that.
dyoung
View Profile
Veteran user
329 Posts

Profile of dyoung
Makes sense to me. Past and present tense.

//Dan
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2999 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Quote:
On Aug 23, 2019, Chris K wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote¦
Who said anything about high prices making modern Mentalism inaccessible? Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible, a couple of decades ago. It was a good thing, on the whole. That is most certainly no longer the case. The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain.

If you're going to accuse people of hypocrisy, please don't invent facts to support your argument.



I'm not really sure why you're up in arms about what I said. If it doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't. The fact of the matter is that it does apply to some people. In any case, I apologize that you that took a general comment, that didn't name you, and took it personally. The fact that other people seem to agree sort of undercuts your outrage here. But hey, feel how you want to feel.

However, just for fun, I'll point out the staggering hypocrisy in your little post above.

You write (and all of your comments are above so you can refer back): "Higher prices and rarity used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible"

and then, literally 2 sentences later: "The secrets have never been more accessible, yet the high prices remain"

So which is it, chief, do high prices make mentalism inaccessible or not? It seems like you are arguing not, yet..."higher prices ... used to make a lot of Mentalism inaccessible" so, you know, huge fail on your part. But thanks for playing.

Now you may be outraged since this actually applies to you.


-C


I think you need to seriously brush up on your reading comprehension skills before you rush in with any more "gotcha" posts.
Martin Pulman
View Profile
Inner circle
London
2999 Posts

Profile of Martin Pulman
Quote:
On Aug 21, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
Quote:
No, they can't. How can you possibly learn the skills needed for a career in Mentalism in a few days?


Given a motivated person with a modicum of performance skill, and most of a day, I could have them doing a twenty-to-thirty minute classic mentalism show.


No, you couldn't.

This is a massive part of what has gone wrong. "Learn Mentalism in a day!". "Perform a full 30 minute show after a day's training!"

The "skills" of mentalism cannot he learned in a day, or even a few days. The mechanics of certain effects can be learned in a few days but even then the mechanics should be practised repeatedly for weeks until they are smooth, relaxed and organic.

The skills of mentalism are based on learning how to interact with non-performers in a performance environment, managing the participants and spectators, blocking, pacing, rhythm, stage choreography, choice of material, ordering of material, controlling the dynamics of the show, building crescendos and creating deliberate lulls, interlacing comedy and drama, keeping one eye on the mechanics of the effect while keeping another eye on the management of the audience while keeping a third eye on the performance as a whole. That's before we talk about the absolutely key issues of creation of character, character consistency, believability, atmosphere, tone, the narrative structure of the performance, creating a script, refining the script, testing the script, creating a performance arc etc etc etc

All these skills are more important than the mechanics of effects. The hard work there has been done by the creators of the effects.

The idea that the skills of mentalism can be learned in a day is laughable.

We really need to go back to the days when people really had respect for Mentalism as a proper performance art, instead of some sort of "play in a day", "just add water" pursuit.
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18119 Posts

Profile of IAIN
Thing is though, its a cultural thing, and we tend not to "go back" to something until its seen as a thing, something vintage or retro and so on... so we could say that The Black Keys kinda copied White Stripes, but The Black Keys are also kinda modern day blues as well as vintage and old skool kool (spellingz deliberate)…

so right now, its high voltage consumption, rinse and repeat, get bored, move on, consume more... mentalism has caught the same bug to a wider degree...

and it'll have some good as well as quite a lot of bad too...that's the nature of most creative pursuits isn't it... trailblazers create copycats, the market floods with them, tailblazer goes another direct if its lucky or rides its own arc and changes as it goes in subtle ways...

those that ride the coat tails get confused and want to consume more and more of the next big thing (despite that big thing being wildly different) a lot want to grab hold of something that seems popular because...well...

they feel it will make them popular too, despite knowing deep down it won't...

its why there's so many angry people in this and other fields too...its a mix of "why can't it stay the same!" or "why can't it go back to *this* time period (I felt comfortable in that time period)!" and so on...

look through most of the classic texts and you see a pattern....

magiicans are weakening the art
this mentalist has ripped me off and gives no credit
that mentalist is a **** full stop
this magician shouldn't be performing mentalism
and so on...

then others forget if it wasn't for magicians running exposure shows, they'd be no stage/theatrical mentalism...

we inhabit a strange and weird made-up world...

wishing for things to be something that in reality, they simply are not - just creates anger and frustration and doesn't solve or encourage the reality we exist in...not really... I get why we feel it, but at the same time...(deep inhalation of breath)

mentalism needs to move itself forwards too...it needs to stop harking back to the good old days because they are simply gone...culture, people, beliefs, and so on...its all changed... sure, you'll find people who still believe in things, but then its a personal thing of do you want to encourage a belief in something if you don't personally believe in it...if you do, what does that make you? an opportunist? self-deluded? something else?

i'd like mentalism to be more honest, but not in a derren way... he's often held up as a leading example, and in many, many ways - he still is... and is a legendary performer...some people believe that he's real despite his disclaimer...

and weirdly, his disclaimer would kinda nullify what is seen as classical/theatrical mentalism too, right? mentioning magic? gasp!

and past that, he's happy to take credit for all the behind the scene support he must have with hypnotherapists, counsellors, psychologists etc...and how by using his "techniques" can genuinely help improve a person's life by altering their beliefs and behaviours...

funny old double-standard world is mentalism...

TLDR - I've had a lovely evening painting, drinking SmokeHead Whisky and as much as I love mentalism, I feel it too often eats its own tail...
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18119 Posts

Profile of IAIN
PS - I really respect mentalism, I am often in love with it, especially the late victorian era onwards, til the 40s kinda time period... but I can't perform it that way, part of me wishes I could, and part of me wants it all destroyed... because all good art comes to an end and influences something else in obvious and unusual ways... I really wish we would rally against lack of originality in performance and character rather than anything else...wouldn't it be great to talk about personas more than tricks? because what is possible in my world may not be possible in yours, and vice versa...
IAIN
View Profile
Eternal Order
england
18119 Posts

Profile of IAIN
Just thought of a fun analogy, I can handle Bowie's Tin Machine because it was kinda new and different and he was on a re-invention cusp - I can take all that because I can look back at his previous work and love it (mostly), and if I could forsee the future for real, I would find comfort in knowing that the happy/sad of Blackstar and other work would be coming my way to enjoy...

that was what was amazing about Bowie, he did things because he felt it, (look at his internet and email experiments) and they don't always have to be number 1s, often number 2s, but they were worth travelling through...because staying the same all your life is easy and its also stagnation and a living death... Smile
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » All Mentalism is now overpriced (58 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.28 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL