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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » All Mentalism is now overpriced (58 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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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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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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ryanshaw9572
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The reviews are generally helpful in knowing what’s reliable and what’s not. I read all the reviews on all the websites, including here, and if there’s anyone unhappy at all I generally don’t 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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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 don’t release my own work in electronic format.

I also don’t 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 don’t have the confidence in your own material to take the financial risk then maybe you shouldn’t 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
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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.
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