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funsway
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Yet here we are, still waiting...


Now that is an opinion - not factl. "Believing" might require evidence to become certitude rather than certainty or conviction, but "knowing" requires no evidence at all.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Kong
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Why question your veracity? It should be quite obvious - you have just claimed that your dog could "heal people".

You must realise how ridiculous that sounds.

Come on, man.
Kong
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Yet here we are, still waiting...


Now that is an opinion - not factl. "Believing" might require evidence to become certitude rather than certainty or conviction, but "knowing" requires no evidence at all.


Demanding evidence is the best way to avoid gullibility.

If you don't agree then I have some magic beans that you might be interested in...
funsway
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:

I think your definition of "trick" is getting stretched so thin it's going to snap soon.

Just more examples of magician's thinking throughout. What ifs and what abouts and stretching and kneading definitions until they fit what the magician already wanted to believe.


I agree - which is the point. It is not "my" definition of anything, just illustrations that the very use of the term is beyond placing a limitation on it -
such as saying that a certain type of mentalism is not based on trickery.

Now you project that any definition besides your own must be labeled as "magician's thinking."

yup, stretching and kneading definitions until they fit your concept of mentalism.

Fact is that ANY universal claim needs only one negative example to disprove it. I respect that you have an opinion about how people think and make decisions.
Other people here have other experienced opinions. Why not respect that?

...

as to mnemonics, the definition continues "a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something."

Some call that a strategy, others a trick, other a device. It is not just remembering the word or person or number by itself.
"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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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:

Demanding evidence is the best way to avoid gullibility.



another opinion. I question your right to demand anything. Requests are sometimes reasonable if the desire is to learn.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Kong
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So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some?
funsway
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some?


I am saddened by your life apparently having so little awe and wonder in it.

If the wondrous healing things Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs can do seems strange to you, perhaps you have to get out in the real world more.

but, you have now twice called me a liar with damaging intent. That is slander.
So, the burden of proof rests with you. Prove that I am lying. I demand it.

Yet, the theme here for other readers is the use of healing energy in connection with stage mentalism.
Thankfully, your personal disbelief in no way effects the ability of some people to heal - except you, of course, if you ever needed help.
Save the beans. You may need them if you get ill.
"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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More opinions gone wild.
Kong
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Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Kong wrote:
So, about my magic beans. Would you like to buy some?


I am saddened by your life apparently having so little awe and wonder in it.

If the wondrous healing things Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs can do seems strange to you, perhaps you have to get out in the real world more.

but, you have now twice called me a liar with damaging intent. That is slander.
So, the burden of proof rests with you. Prove that I am lying. I demand it.

Yet, the theme here for other readers is the use of healing energy in connection with stage mentalism.
Thankfully, your personal disbelief in no way effects the ability of some people to heal - except you, of course, if you ever needed help.
Save the beans. You may need them if you get ill.


I have plenty of awe and wonder in my life. What makes you think I don't?

One can appreciate the beauty of a garden without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it.
funsway
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Hey everyone here!

How about we all get back to the focus of providing ideas to help new comers make decisions about how to optimize their enthusiasm about magic in any form.

My experiences with both conjuring and mental-based effects are different from most here, so my offering will be different. Not better than - just other than.

I can learn from everyone else's experience too. Opinions not so much Smile

I have always preferred to demonstrate unusual/impossible phenomena that do not depend on deception or "secret moves."
but can happily perform effects using trickery as the situation suggests. I can also do astounding conjuring effects - all without heart failure or ethical conflict.

But - for those new to performing - it has taken me 60+ years of performing to achieve a comfortable balance --
and along the way I NEVER performed any effect for which I was not prepared and aware of the potential AFFECT of what I was doing.

Never let anyone else tell you what you cannot do - but tell yourself that every day.

Doing anything "for entertainment of others" is only small part of what life is about. Just an opinion. of course.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mr. Woolery
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It is amazing to me that a difference of understanding about terminology can generate so much acrimony.

I honestly think that if WitchDocChris and I sat down for half an hour together, we'd have a great time and we'd have an agreed-upon functional meaning for the word mentalism within the first 10 minutes. Sadly, when communication is all in text, that doesn't happen.

The difference I see between the two general camps here is that one is a very exclusive definition of mentalism that doesn't allow room for deception or trickery in the methods. The other is inclusive of the former range of methods but also allows for trickery as long as it plausibly mimics the demonstration of mental or psychic abilities. Most of the people I'm familiar with who use the title of mentalist fall soundly in the second group. There are apparently those who use the term mentalist for themselves while meaning something very different from any of the popularly-known performing mentalists out there.

Bob Cassidy, in Artful Mentalism 2, traces what he believed to be the roots of mentalism to performers capitalizing on the Spiritualist beliefs and interest in the esoteric from the latter half of the 19th century into the early 20th. As he says, "(t)he first 'mentalists' did not have conjuring backgrounds, although they did unquestionably make use of sleight of hand, gimmickry, and misdirection to accomplish their feats."

As has already been hashed to death, all of the mentalists who are selling books and videos to those of us who want to learn how to perform apparent feats of the mind are utilizing tricks. Sometimes very simple tricks, sometimes tricks that are extremely cunning, but tricks nonetheless. Requests for examples of people who perform the more exclusive version of mentalism have so far turned up only WitchDocChris. Requests for video clips have turned up nothing.

I do understand why a professional performer might want to keep his material and his carefully structured show out of the hands of any random schmo on the internet. I do. But I also note that the guys who get the popular attention are out there doing spots for local TV when they are in town for a show. There are loads of clips of Banachek doing 5 minutes for a local talk show. Derren Brown, ditto. He actually does have loads of his shows on YouTube, so there's plenty of opportunity to learn from his performing if one desires. Bob Cassidy had fewer than I would have expected, but was happy to point people to YouTube for examples of what he performed.

My point is that five minutes (or ten or twenty) should not be giving away your A material. That's potential marketing material. The old promo reel is often enough now online. If I were booking someone I'd never heard of, I'd want to see at least a bit of video material. As it is, when I am deciding whether to spend money on the local concerts, I have to look up the performers and listen to a few clips to decided whether I want to attend a whole concert. I only have so many hours in my life and so many dollars in the bank. If I can't see a short sample, I don't spend the money or time to see the longer performance. Thus, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for examples of performances that don't rely on trickery. If these people are making any significant part of their living as performers, I would expect them to have promo clips out there anyway. Otherwise, they've stumbled on marketing methods that go against everything I thought I understood about marketing. (Things like being known, telling people what they will get if they hire you, creating some interest to drive demand, making sure the potential clients at least know your name...) For people like me, who are unknown and happy keeping this a hobby, there's no reason for promo material. But if I were trying to get gigs, I know I'd be trying to shoot some good material to get people wanting to hire me. I'd also be putting it out there for everyone to see what they'd get if they do hire me.

I really do appreciate some of the other conversations WitchDocChris has participated in, as he brings a perspective that I find really illuminating. Mindpro has such a focus on the business side that I have less real connection to his posts (I only want to do this as a hobby, so we have little in common in most of our interactions here - this is not in any way to disparage his contributions, only to say that I don't need them). He does tend to come across as trying to push his views, but I wonder how much of that is the implied tone of a text-based communication medium and not really his intent.

In short, I'd love to see us all just get along, here. I'd also love to have an agreed-upon common definition of mentalism so we don't end up arguing over semantics so much. But it doesn't look like that's very likely.

-Patrick
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[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, TomB wrote:
Few quotes are from Steve Shaw (Banachek)

Quote:
when I started out doing mentalism,I didn't know there was a subset of magic called mentalism.
I just knew there were guys that conned people using tricks


taken completely out of context and I would expect no less from someone who has no respect and insists on calling me Steve Shaw and not my chosen performer name of Banachek.

I was referring to the so called "Psychics" who were conning scientists and others into believing they could bend metal and other abilities with thier mind. Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" were studied by scientists and ... well you get the idea. Not gonna defend the other nonsense either as completely taken out of context.. Fake news as they say. with an agenda I am not gonna bite in to. I simply don't care anymore.
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Mindpro
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There is no point in trying to explain as several of us have done this this entire thread and he has both taken everything out of context to combine it to his very limited and uneducated opinion. When people here have taken the time, multiple times, to point this out to him, he completely disregards it or simply can't comprehend this. He also can separate opinion from facts.

Every source he keeps trying to reference has provided is from within the magic community and then taken grossly out of context. All of this not only has been taken out of context but grossly derailed this entire thread. It is hard to believe this has been allowed to happen so blatantly.
Kong
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[quote]On Sep 18, 2019, Banachek wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 13, 2019, TomB wrote:
Few quotes are from Steve Shaw (Banachek)

Quote:
when I started out doing mentalism,I didn't know there was a subset of magic called mentalism.
I just knew there were guys that conned people using tricks


taken completely out of context and I would expect no less from someone who has no respect and insists on calling me Steve Shaw and not my chosen performer name of Banachek.

I was referring to the so called "Psychics" who were conning scientists and others into believing they could bend metal and other abilities with thier mind. Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" were studied by scientists and ... well you get the idea. Not gonna defend the other nonsense either as completely taken out of context.. Fake news as they say. with an agenda I am not gonna bite in to. I simply don't care anymore.


Were the so called psychics aware of their own trickery or were they in some kind of strange denial and believed their own patter to the extent that they actually thought they had *cue spooky music*... "mysterious abilities"?
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Banachek, no disrespect intended. I am sorry you took it that way. I tripled checked I spelled your name correctly, knowing how much you despise your name being said wrong. My intention was to give you more respect. In fact, I quoted you because I hold you in high regards.

Quote:
Not performers but people who called themselves "psychics" 

That line right there is the line in the sand.

When a Mindpro claims mentalists lead the audience to believe they have supernatural powers, then states mentalists do not leave character outside the performance (to increase credibility), how is that any different then a psychic?

At that point, a psychic could be a performer too.

I do not take issue with performers that do not claim to have supernatural powers. I was grouping mentalists with magicians.

Banachek, I'll give you the last word. I deeply respect your work, and consider you an authority. Since you are stating I took your words out of context, please clarify:

Are mentalists a sub genre of magicians?
Is it okay for mentalists to claim they have supernatural powers? If so, how is that different than a psychic.

And everyone else, please do not reply. Let Banachek have the final word.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 18, 2019, TomB wrote:
When a Mindpro claims mentalists lead the audience to believe they have supernatural powers, then states mentalists do not leave character outside the performance (to increase credibility), how is that any different then a psychic?


I NEVER said that or anything close to that. No one here has said that. Show me where that was said?

Not only are you taking everything out of context, now you are making things up. This is flaming with an agenda. I don't believe Banachek will respond or take part in your agenda.

Also, don't tell us who can post here.

I have watched you since you became a member here and you do this everywhere throughout the Café. It is time you are called on this BS.
wulfiesmith
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I would suggest that Mentalism needs more audience control perhaps ...
AndrewI
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Quote:
On Sep 18, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
Quote:
Question: if such a performer introduces actually trickery (peeks, pre-show etc) into their act in order to perform further feats which are actually not based on the abilities they purport to their audience that they are using, then are they still performing mentalism, or are they now performing mental magic?


When they begin to use trickery they are straying from mentalism.

Thanks for the reply WitchDocChris! That’s actually really useful and helps me understand the landscape better.
I would say that you have a very clear, well defined and pure definition of mentalism.
It’s also clear, however, that the term mentalism is used by others in a more general sense which encompasses those who do use some of the methods I mentioned (peeks, pre-show etc). I doubt you would disagree with this fact (that the term mentalism is used more widely than your definition), although clearly you would disagree that they are using the term correctly.
I strongly suspect that the question originally posted by the person starting this thread related to the wider, more general use of the term.
Perhaps we could return to answering that person’s question.
TomB
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Quote:
Most magicians see mentalism as mental-themed magic or what is called mental magic. This is different from actual mentalism for specific reasons. 

Let's start at the foundational level. Magic is known to audiences to be tricks, slights, illusion, deception...not real. They go into a magic or illusion show knowing this and this is the known and accepted foundation. 

Mentalism is just the exact opposite. People do not come to a mentalism performance to see tricks, illusions, or deceptions. Many believe that mentalism is real or that at the very least has the possibility to be real. Often they want it to be real. They often believe the mentalist has abilities or special unique abilities that others do not. And the better you perform, execute and showcase this, the more is believed and accepted as real. 

So as you can see these are complete opposites in both perception, expectations from the audience's perspective. 


I am quite happy to read that you are denying mentalists have supernatural powers. Thanks for staying on message to clarify. But your attempt to label me as a bad apple is not appreciated. I would much prefer to have a friendly conversation at the pub. It would have saved me a few days worth of headaches. You had made some bold statements, and I was trying to get to the truth.

So if I misinterpreted you I am sorry. Please re-read your statement above and substitute mentalist with mind reader, and mentalism with mind reading.

In this context, I hope you can see how that can be misconstrued to say you are pretending to have supernatural powers. Especially, since all magic effects are tricking the brain to see something supernatural, and you are now stating they are opposites.

Personally, I did not want to accept my interpretation that you were claiming mentalists had supernatural powers. This is why I asked the ethical questions. This was the dark path I was talking about. This is why I specifically asked for clear definitions with examples, preferably with video.

I am going to attempt to give two examples of real mentalism (with no magic props), hopefully I am correct.

The performer can have the spectator put an object in his hand, and reads body language to determine which hand it's in. That would be an example of "mind reading" with no deception and no supernatural abilities. In fact, the mentalist takes risks as he can guess wrong.

There are some hypnosis acts where a small person, usually a female, can appear to remove the strength of a male. The Male is unable to lift the light female. The hypnosis is removed, and the Male can lift her. And this is without props but using simple science principles.

I would still argue that every mentalist I have seen on television uses pre-show or gimmicked props. I am not convinced that the majority of mentalists uses only real techniques rather than mental magic. I am still looking for a popular mentalist that meets the no mental magic definition.

Even with the two examples/tricks I provided above, they still produce a magic effect. There still is a secret method that needs to be practiced. The entertainer still needs to practice his patter. I still would consider real mentalism a sub genre of magic. The mentalist is still pretending to read minds, read an aura, ect (an actor playing the role of a mental wizard)
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
Perhaps we could return to answering that person’s question.


I strongly suspect OP has already abandoned this thread but my suggestions in the first page still stand. Maximum Entertainment and Scripting Magic.

To remind myself I checked the first post again -
Quote:
I've seen a number of magicians telling beginners that they need to stay away from mentalism in the early stages of magic. What is the reasoning behind this? Also how does one know when they are "ready" for mentalism?


Experienced folks know that mentalism (contemporary or traditional) requires more theatrical chops than magic does. Beginner magicians tend to rely solely on the method and little to no presentation - that just does not work for mentalism at all. So the budding performer would be 'ready for mentalism' when they have developed the theatrical skills to deliver the material.

I would add to the first two book suggestions - Switchcraft by Elliot Bresler, Psychophysiological Thought Reading by Banachek, and also 13 Steps as a way to have a bank of physical methods available. But as I also said - a lot of my library is contemporary mentalism and I would recommend most of it.

Quote:
I still would consider real mentalism a sub genre of magic. The mentalist is still pretending to read minds, read an aura, ect (an actor playing the role of a mental wizard)


And you're still wrong. But at least you're consistent.
Christopher
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