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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Penny for your thoughts Ľ Ľ All Mentalism is now overpriced (102 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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On Aug 24, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote:
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On Aug 21, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
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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.



So few here are actually performing mentalism anyway, although they either don't understand it or would argue with you against it. Of course, this is at the root of much of the problem. Mentalism is both an art and a science and no it can be learned in a day(s) weeks or even months. If you think it can or you are, that is a good sign you are not doing mentalism, lol.
David Numen
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One of the greatest mentalism acts you can buy is Annemann's One Man Psychic Act which was updated by Stuart Cumberland a few years back. I contend that ANYWONE with enough interest and motivation could learn that act in an afternoon and probably be as good if not better than most who trumpet loudest here.
Martin Pulman
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On Aug 26, 2019, David Numen wrote:
One of the greatest mentalism acts you can buy is Annemann's One Man Psychic Act which was updated by Stuart Cumberland a few years back. I contend that ANYWONE with enough interest and motivation could learn that act in an afternoon and probably be as good if not better than most who trumpet loudest here.


It is indeed one of the greatest acts ever published. People should have more respect for Annemann's genius than to suggest some random person could learn his work in an afternoon. He advises that the billet s*****s, for instance, should be practised until they are invisible and can be performed without ever looking at the hands. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean "practised over your lunch hour".

Consuming too much fast-food mental-magic junk has caused a fatal lack of respect for the rehearsal, dedication and sheer man/woman hours that are required to perform mentalism to the standard the art form deserves.
funsway
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Wading in where I probably should not, we might allow that a person "well practiced in the billet s*****s, audience engagement, and able to find an audience appreciative of mentalism,
could learn such a routine quickly. Many of the skills essential to effective performance have little to do with "what comes in the box."

For me, that is the bigger problem. It is not about conjuring or mentalism or even public speaking. It is the arrogance that watching YouTube, TV or chats on FaceBook
can in any significant way prepare a person for a live interaction with real people face-to-face.

Performance magic in all of its forms can be a wonderful tool for learning human interaction skills essential to career success, interpersonal relations and more.
But, such learning is a ladder and not an elevator. I echo Martin's "fatal lack of respect" - not just for mentalism, but for all attempts at communication and brotherhood.

On the sad flip side, perhaps today's audience general cannot tell any difference, assuming they even glance up from their iPhone.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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David Numen
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2019, Martin Pulman wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 26, 2019, David Numen wrote:
One of the greatest mentalism acts you can buy is Annemann's One Man Psychic Act which was updated by Stuart Cumberland a few years back. I contend that ANYWONE with enough interest and motivation could learn that act in an afternoon and probably be as good if not better than most who trumpet loudest here.


It is indeed one of the greatest acts ever published. People should have more respect for Annemann's genius than to suggest some random person could learn his work in an afternoon. He advises that the billet s*****s, for instance, should be practised until they are invisible and can be performed without ever looking at the hands. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean "practised over your lunch hour".

Consuming too much fast-food mental-magic junk has caused a fatal lack of respect for the rehearsal, dedication and sheer man/woman hours that are required to perform mentalism to the standard the art form deserves.


It's interesting what you say about switches being invisible - I can't recall many examples of our top performers doing invisible switches. Indeed, one very lauded individual did a switch on one video I saw and his arm and hand became so leaden hidden behind a clipboard he'd have been as well stealing a rabbit.

I still contend that a motivated non-magician person could probably learn the basics of the act very swiftly and my point is that because they wouldn't be hindered by magician thinking they'd probably get on far better. The skills to present, to connect, to sell yourself - these are different matters but the fundamentals of one of the greatest acts in our field are really pretty basic.
dyoung
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I agree... I think, if we take someone who is a decent performer/actor, they could be trained to do an act in an afternoon. That doesn't mean it will be flawless and the best it can be. It might have to be tweaked slightly. Obviously to say this person is the greatest mentalist ever would be a stretch, he/she clearly wouldn't know anything about mentalism, but that doesn't stop you from being able to perform an act. As David said, technically mentalism is quite easy, it's the performance that would take more work, and we're assuming it's someone who is experienced in that field.



Anyway, mentalism is pricey. I always look to the Cassidy books, packed with decades of performance experience, Artful 2 is $65... I see individual effects selling for more. Somewhere, something has gone wrong... It might be a combination of things, Cassidy might have undercharged, and some of these people definitely overcharge.

ALl the best
Dan
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Aug 27, 2019, dyoung wrote:
I agree... I think, if we take someone who is a decent performer/actor, they could be trained to do an act in an afternoon. That doesn't mean it will be flawless and the best it can be. It might have to be tweaked slightly. Obviously to say this person is the greatest mentalist ever would be a stretch, he/she clearly wouldn't know anything about mentalism, but that doesn't stop you from being able to perform an act. As David said, technically mentalism is quite easy, it's the performance that would take more work, and we're assuming it's someone who is experienced in that field.



Anyway, mentalism is pricey. I always look to the Cassidy books, packed with decades of performance experience, Artful 2 is $65... I see individual effects selling for more. Somewhere, something has gone wrong... It might be a combination of things, Cassidy might have undercharged, and some of these people definitely overcharge.

ALl the best
Dan

No 30 minute performance of anything worth performing could be learned in an afternoon. A trained actor couldn't learn a 30 minute dramatic text in an afternoon, far less a Mentalism act.
WitchDocChris
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It took you more than an hour to learn to switch billets invisibly? You just do it when no one is looking at you.

I'll repeat myself again - I could teach the basic skills to a motivated student with a modicum of performance skills in a day. They would then take those skills and practice them, and be able to put on a 20-30 minute show once they had it down. I never once said I would create a full career in a day. No one has ever said, "I'm going to be a mentalist" then holed themselves away for a while and come out with a perfect act. It doesn't work that way.

To further confound you - this act that I have in mind would not involve billet switching, center tearing, peeking or anything like that. Indeed, it would involve no deception at all. Just a display of a few genuine mental skills. When I say "classic mentalism" I'm not referring to Annemann's era. About a century older than that.
Christopher
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funsway
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Older? Then there are innate skills that everyone has but has forgotten or suppressed. Nothing to learn at all --
except the ability to pretend with a straight face that they are mentalism.

I think I am beginning to understand where you are coming from ...

you can give a child a set of alphabet blocks from which they can memorize the letters. Maybe even 30 minutes.
Someday they may be able to write a novel. That takes a life-time of experience.

Yes, some of the tools (tricks) behind mentalism are easy to learn.

So, what are people paying so much money for? A short-cut to doing the real work. They are not buying mentalism.

I could use an analogy of pretending a microwaved TV dinner is a wonderful meal. Some cost a lot too, pretend to be more healthy with magic ingredients.
The problem is the many think such meals are just like grandma used to make since they never had a real, home-cooked meal.

Easy to learn. Open the box - push a button. Makes you a cook, maybe. A chef not so much. A gourmand, never.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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funsway
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I am chuckling over the line, "You just do it when no one is looking at you."

The explains why many today sit at home playing video games or posting on FaceBook instead of actually getting out and doing something.
'tis said that man's greatest fear is "being found out." You can claim to be any sort of hero if no one is looking, and even pay folks to claim they saw you.

No need to buy an expensive mentalism DVD/book - just buy FaceBook ads. You could become known as the best mentalist in the world.

but yes - one facet of a sleight is timing based on misdirection or directed focus or psychological ploy.

Mentalist have to be better at this than a conjuror since to flub the slight is fatal. Learn the sleight $10. Learn when to do it - $100. Learn when not to - $1000
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
the Sponge
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Jason Alexander.
ryanshaw9572
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The reviews are generally helpful in knowing whatís reliable and whatís not. I read all the reviews on all the websites, including here, and if thereís anyone unhappy at all I generally donít indulge.
WitchDocChris
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Seems to me that there's always someone who's unhappy with everything out there.

For me the best strategy I have developed is to only ever buy physical books. So unless I have a specific need for something for a show, that's all I do. Out of my modest library of around 250 books, I've only been genuinely disappointed by 2 that I can recall. One of those I consider to be my fault, though - I didn't pay attention while purchasing it.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Mark_Chandaue
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I personally prefer physical books but there are some very good ebooks out there such as the works of Julian Moore and Sean Waters. I just find it easier to read off a page than a screen and find something comforting about the feel of a physical book. This is also why I personally donít release my own work in electronic format.

I also donít like to use print on demand services for a premium priced book. I think that if you have confidence that the material is worthy of release then you should be willing to invest in having quality printing and binding. Sure its a gamble because others may not feel the same about your material or like your writing style but my thinking is that if you donít have the confidence in your own material to take the financial risk then maybe you shouldnít charge a premium price. This is a personal view only because I do know that there are some very high quality books published on lulu and not everyone is in a position to shell out thousands in advance.

Mark
Harpacrown is available from
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IAIN
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I think going the high end way of having books printed can inflate the price of releasedbwork because the seller needs to recoup their outlay...

I think, having used Lulu for everything, including hardback editions of f#rcing books I use...they stand up against real off the shelf products...

Especially as they also print in standard paperback off white paper...and offer some unique sizes and binding if that's important to you. It is to me.

The only thing premium I've got out is all my reading systems in a single compendium. And even that's not too pricey especially when compared to the posh high end stuff out there.

I would buy a high end book or a scabby ebook equally if there was something in it that I could use and it improves what I do in some way. Even for me, now that I don't often perform for pay these days too much. I'd still invest in it, however it's delivered if it adds value to what I do.

So I don't think I could put a price on an imp pad, all I'd say is for me, paralabs is the gold atandard. So whatever they charge that's worth it.

Let's say psuedo psychometry had never been discovered until now and someone wrote the idea on a piece of paper, along with a great emotional hook...It worked well, blah blah blah...

What value is that? Do I grumble cos I can buy 101 things to do with a thumb tip for a fiver? I'd say not.

I think the price is informed by the value to the individual. I can't agree with a dumbing down of prices. Not all things are created equally.
Hinge Thunder
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I can appreciate that some products can be very expensive. However, as others have mentioned, product development costs on quality mentalism effects can run very high. There are several companies out there producing high quality mentalism effects. Personally, I have several effects from Promystic and am extremely satisfied with them even though they are not cheap. I feel that Promystic produces extremely high quality effects and am always very impressed by the excellent customer service that I have received from them. Craig and Bobby always take the time to answer my many questions both before and after I buy one of their effects.
Geoff Akins
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Some Mentalism feels overpriced. It depends on your performance style and the performers/creators you like. If itís good stuff and fits my personality then I donít mind paying a bit more to support a creator I enjoy/admire.

One way to save a bit of money is to look both here and on Facebook for people selling books and items they bought but no longer want or need. Iíve scored some great deals that way. I also sign up for newsletters from those Mentalists I enjoy and receive updates on sales and deals, etc. For instance, I just bought Scott Creaseyís Minimalist Metaphysical Mentalism for a steal with a LuLu books discount code and Scottís 50% Off everything offer!
https://www.mentalmagicism.com/
LewisLeVal
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An interesting discussion but nothing will come from it. Take this (paraphrased) quote from someone I admire greatly,

"I can't save the whole world but I can save me, and just maybe that can save everything."

This whole issue seems to be a matter of opinion, both sides making great points, however, if you simply disengage with any problems you personally perceive in the industry, then they will no longer affect you. You know who you are as a performer, you know your style and what works for you. What you choose to spend your money on, regardless of price, should go towards your own betterment as an artist. It's great that we can all come together in this way, but out in the real world where it truly matters, we're on our own. We see mentalism everywhere because we look for it, it's our daily lives, but it's most likely not the daily lives of our audience members. We are ARTISTS, individuals expressing our passion for the unknown, the mysterious, the awe inspiring.

There are many things that irk me about the industry, but it does not reflect in my performances. Find everything you don't like about the current state of mentalism and use that to become the opposite. What will truly make you shine as an artist, a performer, a creator or anything else in life is your ability to be uniquely 'you'. When I make purchases I see it in the same way a painter would buy new brushes and paint. The ART comes from what I can do with those brushes and paint, not the items themselves. We're arguing over the price of our tools when all our audience wants is the masterpiece we create. I cannot change the prices or quality of new releases, but I can use my intellect to determine whether or not it's right for me personally, and what I do.

If we woke up tomorrow morning and suddenly every mentalism product in the world was only $1 each, sure it would give us greater access to more, but what would that do to us as artists? Would we continue to value our art? Also, what would that do to our art itself? AND would creators still be motivated to continue to create, or would they just keep their work for their own performances?

This is a path we must carve for ourselves and if we choose to acquire tools made by others, surely they should earn something for their contribution to our path? After all it's us approaching their work, they are not forcing us.

Just thought I'd share my opinion on this.

Best wishes to all,

Your brother,

Lewis x
Ben Blau
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Iím not going to bother reading this thread. Most mentalism is overpriced because itís more or less just regurgitation of the same old sh!t. Not original or useful enough to justify the cost. I canít believe how many BS pipe dreams delusional mentalists have pursued for the past fifteen years or so.

No offense. Some great stuff has also been published and/or released. Just not a lot. Mentalism is really going through a really weird developmental phase right now. I donít know exactly how itís all going to work out.
LewisLeVal
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Hi Ben, I see where you are coming from, I agree. There's nothing worse than spending good money on something with a promising ad copy, only to be disappointed by what you receive. The market is full of rubbish, and nowadays I spend a lot less on mentalism purchases than I used to.

I think if anything is to actually come from this thread, it's that mentalists must personally take control of their own development and model of what mentalism is. As a collective entity, if we fail to make necessary changes now, mentalism will automatically fall into the most likely future outcome, which is looking weird indeed. But collectively we cannot seem to make these changes. Mentalists and magicians get caught up in waves without realising they can make their own waves. The central point of development or evolution of mentalism doesn't have to come from within the industry or the marketplace, I feel it should come from all of us as individuals out there on the front line, presenting our art to the world, and we can do this automatically by being the opposite of everything we don't like about the current state of mentalism.

Almost all notable artists in history changed what they didn't like. They broke free of the accepted, expected artistic and societal constructs and paradigms and refused to follow the crowds. Surrealism, abstract expressionism and dadaism, to name a few, were all born out of the artists' demand for change.

I'm not saying we should start a movement (or maybe we should...), I'm just saying how can we continue to call ourselves artists if we are unwilling to behave as such, unwilling to challenge or change that which does not suit our own ideas of what our art should be. We don't have to all ride the same bus and complain about the journey.

I'm not aiming this at you Ben, just speaking to anyone interested in my ramblings Smile
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