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WitchDocChris
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I am not going to label people, sorry. Not my thing.

I refer you to this line from Mindpro:
Quote:
And yes, they do these abilities for real - memory, hypnosis, pendulums, intuition, ESP, thought-reading, foreseeing or predictions, and some would agree (while I don't personally) readings of a variety of types to name just a few.


I do think readings -can- be mentalism, but not necessarily by default. I don't include Oracle readings, but observation/deduction based readings are a mental skill that can be developed over time, for real. If you develop those skills enough you can basically 'intuitively' guess people's thoughts and details about their lives. It ties into memory, as well (because you have to have a vast store of knowledge to be able to make accurate deductions).

When it comes to labeling things -

It's weird, because there's really two parts to it. There's the 'internal' and the 'external' labels. Internal labels are what we label ourselves, and what the rest of the community/industry labels us. The external label is what the lay audience calls us. They are often different, depending on how good one's marketing is. (This is my personal philosophy, btw)

For example - Brian Brushwood calls (or at least called) his show Bizarre Magic. It's not bizarre magic, though, it's shock comedy magic and side show. The public calls it bizarre, so it works for his marketing, but internally it's wrong.

Now, personally, I care about the accuracy of labels for the internal purpose of categorizing and being able to find information on my interests. It makes it far easier to wade through the ocean of releases to the magic market when I know I want a specific 'genre'. Not that there's much of this stuff on the magic market, but I do focus on performance theory, philosophy, and magic/mystery arts history these days.
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The Burnaby Kid
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One of the better distinctions between mentalism and mental magic I've heard was this. With mental magic, the response is "How did you DO that?" This is pretty much a similar reaction you'd get to a magic trick. With mentalism, the response is "How did you KNOW that?" Again, it's about putting the effort and emphasis on the apparent cause and making it legitimate. It's a reason why mentalism seems to require disclaimers, whereas regular magic does not. As such, it can almost be effect-agnostic.
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Ravenspur
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There are all kinds of definitions. Their purpose is pretty much the same: to limit something so you can tell it apart from other things. In philosophy, an intensional definition states the conditions necessary and sufficient for something to belong to a group of things.

What complicates things is that the common usage of "mentalism" by some magicians, but also by people who watch them and the people who sell magic books and effects, defines uses mentalism to describe mental magic. Like the people and websites, I listed above. TomB, the OP (who has likely headed for the hills), and I have been using the common usage definition of "mentalism," which works well enough for us in choosing what to study and learn and watch. Clearly, this common definition is not sufficient for discussion with professionals.

If I understand things correctly, here's a stab at a definition that works:

Mentalism is an art in which a performer employs an acquired skill, rarely found in the general public, such as memory, hypnosis, to entertain and inform. Mental magic, on the other hand, employs trickery to create the appearance of skills such as memory or hypnosis to entertain. A book test is mental magic because it allows the magician to pretend to have obtained information from someone's mind when it's really a trick, not a genuine

I've learned a lot from this thread, including from you, Mindpro. Problems started when those of us who are less experienced relied on the common understanding of the term "mentalism," a very natural mistake given the prevalence of the term "mentalism" in the magic community. There are a lot of us who aren't schooled in the wars, say, between magicians and mentalists. We don't necessarily know mentalists get offended when mental magic is referred to as mentalism. Even then, we don't know why.

I've spent the last 10 months trying to map out the field of magic from types of magic and tricks to types of venues and performing. I've listened to dozens of podcasts, read a few books, and learned a few tricks. Luckily, I haven't wasted a lot of money on things I don't need or use. I've done enough reading and listening to understand most of the comments here after reading them. I'm starting to put things together. The OP has made 6 posts. It's very possible he lacks the theoretical background assumed by some commenters in this thread. I made my post with suggestions because I thought they might be more specific and more of what the OP wanted to know.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
At this point, at least one of the people you are supposedly trying to educate (me) and perhaps TomB, is confused and you've insulted us for our misunderstanding.


This here is one of the problems when getting into this type of discussion, whether related to mentalism or anything else. The uninformed or uneducated misinterpret someone correcting them or calling them out on their misinformation or misperception as being attacked, insulted, or any other damaged emotional feeling. It was not or ever intended to be. It was simply to point out their limited or misinformed or incomplete definition. Communities like this are notorious for this because it is a common group of people with a common interest AS IT RELATED ONLY TO THIS INTEREST, but not the true greater picture. Most on the Café are hobbyists, amateurs, beginners, or non-professionals. So it is not expected that they would know what longtime industry professional know, I have no problem with that. The problem herein lies in trying to share and enlighten them to a greater picture only to be met with resistance, defensiveness, argumentive responses, being challenged, and then, of course, followed closely by, show me, prove it to me, provide samples, etc.

For those taking the time and making the effort to enlighten these beginners, it is very insulting, frustrating, and off-putting to get this type of response after offering such significant information. Learning here is more than just about tricks, execution, and history.

I do not and will not operate form a magician's mindset or perception. It is very limited and self-serving. Like WitchDoc Chirs, I am not going to label people or offer individual breakdowns of each as asked. This again is magicians thinking a magician's approach. I and others gave you some information, now do some researching yourself. The other reasons I will not do this is, again because of a greater picture magicians fail to understand or respect. Since magician have adopted their own adapted self-serving definition of mentalism, the actual mental arts and true mentalism communities do not in any way want to be associated with this magicians pack or magicians definition of mentalism. So understanding and completely respecting this I would never offer such information to magicians so they could do even more damage.

This is also why you will not likely find these guys (and gals) on youtube or other searches. They have gone to great lengths to disassociate with the magic community and their definitions. Again, respect that.

As far as definitions you can come up with whatever you want to justify it to yourself (as magicians regularly do about nearly everything) but it is really simple - if trickery, illusions, or deceit is used, it is magic (or whatever smoothed-over term you care to accept-mental magic, magician's mentalism or simply the magic community's redefinition of "mentalism"). If actual real skills or abilities are learned, acquired or natural, without trickery of any kind it is considered actual mentalism.

Yes, I consider CMR, hypnosis, and many of the other examples I and others have offered to be part of the mental arts and actual mentalism.

I would strongly suggest for anyone still unclear to re-read WithchDocChris' two posts. They were point on and I agree with many of his definitions and greater understandings. Again, they are much beyond the magic fraternity's. Re-read it under it makes better sense.

WitchDocChris, thanks for your unsolicited contributions. I agree with your sentiments about readers. As a natural ability I agree, but with some oracles there can be trickery or deceit involved and many today include "reading-for-magicians" that include typical magicians' shortcuts or fakery made to look like actual readings. In this community, many of these exist which is the reason for my hesitation. I guess that is also the real reason for my responses to this thread and pointing out the differences with magicians - they never want to commit and actually learn, develop and invest in any of these unique abilities. They are happy to settle for the fake, pseudo, or pretend versions to appear to be real, like most of magic.

I will say Lior, Cassidy, Osterlind, Banacheck and many others are friends of mine or professional acquaintances and I will not speak ill or attempt to stoop to magicians level of nonsense to bring them into the discussion. Enough has been said and clarified without any need to.

WitchDocChris said very much the same as I have this entire thread just more briefly and directly. I do hope some appreciate these efforts, knowing it is not popular around here. I kind of expect this in the "mentalism" forums but not here in the beginner's forum where any advice and time from skilled professionals should be appreciated and respected. I often see Harry lambasted here and it is appalling, disrespectful and embarrassing to see.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
I've learned a lot from this thread, including from you, Mindpro. Problems started when those of us who are less experienced relied on the common understanding of the term "mentalism," a very natural mistake given the prevalence of the term "mentalism" in the magic community. There are a lot of us who aren't schooled in the wars, say, between magicians and mentalists. We don't necessarily know mentalists get offended when mental magic is referred to as mentalism. Even then, we don't know why.



You bring you a good point and another common misperception here. Magician's become very defensive when the mentalism vs. magic issue comes up or when they get called out on trying to pass off mental-themed magic and "mentalism." The problem with this, much like this thread, is they are defending a limited, incomplete and self-adapted definition of the magic community. It's not a war, but some trying to again explain a greater picture and rather than being open to the acceptance of a greater picture than just the magic community, they would rather fight to staunchly defend their limited knowledge and comprehension. This says it all.

It is only a war to those in the magic community, lol.

If this has somehow shed light on the limiting perceptions, and self-serving definitions of the magic community, great, glad to hear it because there is a much greater picture and understanding.

Just like when I coach, train, or consult with magicians, they very quickly realize being a magician is limited. A Magician is the executor of magic tricks. A Performer is one who performs using magic. The emphasis is not on the magic but on the performance that uses or includes magic. Then there is an even greater level which is an Entertainer. An Entertainer entertains, and if they choose may use magic as part of their entertainment, great. But the entertainment comes from the Entertainer, not the magic (or being reliant on just the magic. 3 completely different things. It is also these things that separate amateurs, from professionals on different levels but that is a topic for another thread on another day.
Ravenspur
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Mindpro,

I generally let people define themselves whether or not I disagree. In this case, I don't want to disrespect mentalists, and I get their point. This thread gave me some perspective on things I'd read before here like a thread about "pseudo-hypnotism," which I didn't understand. Now I think pseudo-hypnotism is probably mental magic masquerading as mentalism.

My dad trained as a hypnotist back in the late 1950s. He was not a performer or a therapist, he just hypnotized people at parties and such. I have his notes and his copy of Ormond McGill. I was not very hypnotizable, unlike my sisters. Or my Aunt who he hypnotized into washing the dishes.

I'll likely never be a full-time professional. Maybe I'll do a few gigs, I don't know. I don't like doing things unless I've reached a certain level of proficiency. I will definitely be a booster of magic. In fact, I've already recruited someone to our Assembly and discussed learning magic with a couple of kids in my high school whom I trust to take things seriously. I gave them an extra copy I had of Mark Wilson's book.

In the future, I'll try to follow my personal rule of asking questions rather than making assumptions and taking offense.
TomB
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Who is the father or modern mentalism? Maybe there is a history lesson missing here.

Corinda, Annemann, TA Water, the amazing dunninger?

"Dunninger the foremost magician and showman of the present day" - Max Holden 1937

Dunninger sure wrote a lot of books with Magic in the title.

Dunninger was highly respected in the magic community of his time. I have put his name in my list of authors to read!

Looking for more names...

https://magiciansmag.com/mentalism/10-fa......ll-time/

Would you say these are mentalists or magicians? Most of them won awards or wrote books on magic.

I have searched for popular mentalists, but my guess is you will just claim them to being magicians doing mental magic.

Magicians can be defined as anyone who performs the illusion of supernatural effects. Fitzkee documented these effects in the 1940s, although other magicians documented their effect lists before him. Included in the 19 effects include thought reading, thought transmission, prediction, and extra sensory perception. So our magic text books are stating these are the known effects.

So you do need to realize that our magic textbooks are telling us definitions. As a scholar, we are just repeating what we educated ourselves. Then, you come in and say, look mentalists are an exception, even though mental magic does the exact same thing.

Honestly, a Venn Diagram would really help. Some circles and or intersections for physical and mental effects and mentalists and magicians.

Now, I have yet to see a definitive defintion, but I found this on wikihow
Quote:
A mentalist is an individual who appears to have supernatural powers in divining the truth about an individual as well as many facts about that person's life. A mentalist must be great at decoding, possess observational skills, and have a highly developed ability to observe minute detail. Many people, from criminal profiles to magicians, all use mentalist tactics and a working knowledge of psychology to interpret human behavior. Mentalists can not only get attention, but they can also entertain literally anybody on this planet.


Would you agree with it?
Mindpro
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Nope!
funsway
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Me neither, even though I don't agree with MindPro's seemingly elitist restrictions either. TomB, for a person claiming to be a critical thinker,'
why would you even look at 'wikihow" as a source of information. Then again, maybe you submitted the piece. The "divining the truth about an individual"
smacks of a psychic rather than either a "mental based" entertainer or those understanding legitimate divination methods.

The rest is backwards. The described techniques do not derive from mentalists -- rather performers use these established psychological and communications techniques to entertain (sometimes defraud). So do psychologists, priests, politicians, instructors, financial advisors, etc. These are not "mentalism tactics." Ever read Aristotle's Rhetoric?

But, what bothers me the moist, perhaps, of both of your opinions stated as facts, is the limiting of the world to two camps. Regardless of your favored definitions, neither of you have the right or competence to even suggest that all people must fall into one camp or the other. I refuse either of your definitions and will rely on my 40,000 plus presentations of inexplicable phenomena instead. Since these were not "for entertainment" or "for pay" I was never viewed as a magicians or mentalist or psychic or wizard or misplaced alien. I used sleights, psychological ploys, empathic listing, spying, communications skills, divination techniques, guile and other stratagems appropriate to setting and person. Some of these I learned from conjuring mentors. Some I learned for 'mental based' performers. Most I learned from sources outside of the mystic arts world. Sorry I don't fit into one of your boxes. Many others do not either.

What is important is what the observer of this dyad thought and said and did after having their concept of "impossible" challenged. Less that a dozen ever said, "Oh, you are a magician." None ever used the term "mentalist." What they did say is, "thank you."

Again, I am posting this information and experienced opinions for the benefits of those "beginners" who may be reading these posts. Please, take for each posts what may work and reject the rest - or file it aways for later musing. NEVER allow any post on an Internet forum limit your choices or options to self-proclaimed mental boxes. The real value of being involved in the mystic arts is expansion of intellect and abilities.

In recent years I have been translating what I learned heuristically into sleights and techniques that can be used by "pretenders at magic" of any ilk. Many are still unpublished. I offered one publication "Satchel of Secrets" free under another thread on this. Get a copy and read it. Maybe you will expand your knowledge and understanding. Am I an authority whose advice must be followed? NO! But I am a source of unique experience that might provide help for any reader to find a clearer path. I can also do kids parties, table hopping, stage illusions, give readings, use trickery for mental-based effects and demonstrate weird phenomena with not trickery. None of that ability/effort has anything to do with another person's definition or limitation.

I am not what either of you two would wish to limit me to.
"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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I do think examples would help. A lot.

Bob Cassidy used tricks. Wrote books about them. Lectured and made videis. Called himself a mentalist.

Osterlind, same deal, only more prolific and present tense. Calls himself a mentalist.

Random dude in a mullet on a website that looked bad in 1997, calls himself a hypnotist and mentalist.

Mindpro: “your definition is wrong. But I’m friends with those folks, so I won’t say if they are mentalists or not. But you are still wrong. Real mentalists don’t want you to know who they are. But they still perform for audiences when I book them. Only they are anonymous and don’t have promo material.”

Come on, man. If you have such a great definition of the word, a few examples would help a lot. Perhaps a few names of now-dead mentalists we may have heard of or could investigate. Would Dunninger make your cut? How about Chan Canasta? Hoy?

Patrick
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On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
Me neither, even though I don't agree with MindPro's seemingly elitist restrictions either.


I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?

TomB: "So you do need to realize that our magic textbooks are telling us definitions" Sure they are, magic's definitions.

You are still thinking through the same magician's mindset and set of glasses, everything you are referring to is from magician's/magic resources from magicians or the magic community's perspective. Of course, they are all magic. They are magic to resemble actual abilities. Magic is about creating the illusion, so what you are referring to are tricks and effects to create the illusion of the real things they are trying to replicate.

Of course, you are only going to find magic definitions if you are only looking at magic or magicians resources and references from magic history, duh?

Patrick: "If you have such a great definition of the word, a few examples would help a lot." This is not MY definition of any word, I didn't make this up. This dates far back to Vaudeville and even before. It's not mine, I am just the messenger in this thread trying to enlighten others limited understanding by simply saying that outside the magic world, in the mental arts community and the greater live entertainment industry, there is much more than just the magic communities accepted, limited definition of it. I am not their spokesperson. I am also not their historian. If you know some of the names you mentioned are from the magic community what are you trying to drag me into that? Perhaps you've answered your own question. Do they do what they do for real? Do they perform with real mental abilities? Your answers likely fall within those questions.

I often discuss magician's thinking here. This is a great example of it. People are having trouble NOT looking at this from anything other than magic's perspectives. This is why many will tell you anyone trying to seriously learn or develop mentalism that comes from a magic background greatly impairs themselves. I can understand why.

Perhaps I should have just said, "your definition is incomplete or very limited." Does that better suit everyone?
funsway
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
[
I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?


Because that is not what you do, MIndPro. A review of your post over the last several years indicates that you feel that mentalists are superior to magicians, including claims that anyone coming from a conjuring background is forever tainted and incapable of learning the pristine stuff you allude to. For example, the line you offered earlier,
"beyond anything magicians experience. So there is much more education, theory, and understanding with mentalism than with magic. There are several different layers with mentalism beyond just the magicisn's typical learn the trick, slights, props or accessories needed, create a presentation and perform it. Much more to mentalism. There must also be a congruency with mentalism that doesn't exist with magic." Sure sound elitist to me.

I am sorry that your experience with "good magic" seems so limited. "Congruency?" "doesn't exist with magic." Please justify these opinions.
Worst is "beyond anything magicians experience." Not only are you wrong - you are insulting. Why do you feel a need to put down others in an attempt to promote yourself?

I understand your desire to distance your "can't give an example or answer questions" definition of a mentalist; but you are demonstrating inexplicable phenomena
that will be considered magic by most folks. That is what the word means. Just because you don't like apples does not allow for claiming an orange is not fruit.

Based on your posts, your personal "education, theory and understanding" of many things in life is lacking. Just my opinion, of course. I have only your posts to use for evidence.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Ravenspur
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I had to take my wife to a doctor's appointment today (nothing serious) and was browsing on The Magician's Forum.

The conversation went much differently.

The reactions to the original poster, on that thread, might serve as a guide in talking to someone who asked the same question as the original poster here. I doubt he learned much about the mentalism wars and the legitimate theory behind them, but he received a lot of practical advice on what to pursue and how to pursue.

I got a couple of things by Richard Busch that I plan to order. And based on his website, I don't know whether he's a mental magician, a mentalist, or both.

https://www.themagiciansforum.com/post/b......-9961308
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
[
I fail to see how simply pointing out there is more to mentalism than the magic community's definition and acceptance, and pointing out the greater picture is somehow elitist?


Because that is not what you do, MIndPro. A review of your post over the last several years indicates that you feel that mentalists are superior to magicians, including claims that anyone coming from a conjuring background is forever tainted and incapable of learning the pristine stuff you allude to. For example, the line you offered earlier,
"beyond anything magicians experience. So there is much more education, theory, and understanding with mentalism than with magic. There are several different layers with mentalism beyond just the magicisn's typical learn the trick, slights, props or accessories needed, create a presentation and perform it. Much more to mentalism. There must also be a congruency with mentalism that doesn't exist with magic." Sure sound elitist to me.

I am sorry that your experience with "good magic" seems so limited. "Congruency?" "doesn't exist with magic." Please justify these opinions.
Worst is "beyond anything magicians experience." Not only are you wrong - you are insulting. Why do you feel a need to put down others in an attempt to promote yourself?

I understand your desire to distance your "can't give an example or answer questions" definition of a mentalist; but you are demonstrating inexplicable phenomena
that will be considered magic by most folks. That is what the word means. Just because you don't like apples does not allow for claiming an orange is not fruit.

Based on your posts, your personal "education, theory and understanding" of many things in life is lacking. Just my opinion, of course. I have only your posts to use for evidence.



If that how you feel so be it, but that is not how it is intended, but rather how it is being interpreted. I never said anyone was superior to magicians, but I have pointed out how those that operate from an entertainment industry position rather than a magic perspective differs. This shouldn't be offensive to anyone at all. This is the real working world on a professional level, not just the small hobbyist or local pro levels as comprises much of the magic community. It's a shame you can't understand this.

I'm not distancing myself from anything or I would have never posted such insight in the first place and still remain here in this thread. Nothing I've mentioned or referenced is "Inexplicable phenomena." Hypnosis, there are many that perform this real every day, I don't need to name names. Memory work and performances, the same here. Same for whatever else you may be thinking is said that is inexplicable to you.

Also, I am not talking anything about life. I am talking about the entertainment industry and business. I am also not speaking in opinions.
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, Ravenspur wrote:
The reactions to the original poster, on that thread, might serve as a guide in talking to someone who asked the same question as the original poster here.


I think the other thing this thread serves to show is the difference in between amateurs and hobbyists, and longtime real-working industry professionals.
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Hmmm. When you said "congruency" was greater for mentalists you introduced "life". .
Never saying anything on the Internet that you would not say face-to-face.
"Real working world" must mean more than just what you do on stage

Are you suggesting one can be "sorta congruent?" Do you a switch that turns it on or off?
I guess the term "congruent" has a special meaning in your hidden group. Is it like secret handshake?

Then we get, "It's a shame you can't understand this." I understand you quite well, I think, I just feel your opinions are wrong,
your experience with performance magic myopic, your attitude condescending and your excuses for not answering questions very lame.

"may be thinking that is inexplicable to you." Yup, condescending.

Are you saying that hypnotism meets your standard of being a mentalist?

and here I thought doing Helstromism and dropping the person's hand to complete the task "disconnected" might qualify.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Ravenspur
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I think the other thing this thread serves to show is the difference in between amateurs and hobbyists, and longtime real-working industry professionals.


The picture is complete, Mindpro. You can't quit while you're ahead. You're not a magician at all. You're a guy from a related field with an axe to grind. You're not interested in helping aspiring magicians. You're too obsessed with your own self-perceived superiority. I can see why activity has decreased on the Café.

In the future, I'll ignore your "pearls of wisdom."
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On Sep 10, 2019, funsway wrote:
I guess the term "congruent" has a special meaning in your hidden group. Is it like secret handshake?


Yep, that's it.

I'll let you guys that come up with your own self-serving interpretations continue to believe what you want.
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Quote:
This dates far back to Vaudeville and even before.


I'd be willing to bet it goes back to ancient times, but probably (from what I've managed to gather) saw the heyday in the Victorian parlor performance, when well to do gentlefolk would pay performers with unusual skills to entertain their guests in their homes.

The fact is this - mentalism is based on genuine mental skills/arts, and this goes back centuries. Magicians have spent the past hundred or so years duplicating the feats of mentalists, often with significant compromises, but actual mentalism is a display of real skills.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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Of course, it does. I only used the Vaudeville reference since I used to discuss this often with George Burns who would always tell me stories about these great acts as he used to perform the circuit with them and they were among the most popular acts for this very reason. I too know they have dated back long before that or most modern type of performers and of course today's adopted and accepted definition.

Your fact is true and is what is at the heart of what the magicians here do not want to understand.
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