Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Note: This topic is locked. No new replies will be accepted.


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Mind Phantom

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,496
Reply with quote  #1 
I think that the reason magicians who make the transition to mentalism are doing so because it's hot right now, and it's the flavor of the month. 

I can see a cardman putting in a mental effect in his set to add variety to his show, but, you rarely find mentalist guys doing a three card monte or a coin matrix routine.

Someone once said that Magic is all about the Magician..Mentalism is about the spectator..the spectator's thoughts feelings & wantings.

Then there are some magicians who get into mentalism for the wrong reasons i.e like the mental act is easy to set up & take down and such. I am not saying that one needs to be a shaman or a mystic to do mentalism, but, it would help his cause if he had some metaphysical beliefs or a open mind to things that are a mystery.

What do you think ? I am I way off base ? What is the next new trend after mentalism cools down ?

__________________
Self Concept Is Destiny...
0
Intensely Magic

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 566
Reply with quote  #2 
They think it is easier?

I also think many see it as more "adult". I can understand that. Am I the only one that gets tired of hearing "Oh, my 4 year old would like to see you do something" upon hearing you're a magician?

__________________

Satan got you by the hand
and he's singing in your ear,
leading you on a merry dance
in a ballroom filled with fear.



0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,150
Reply with quote  #3 
I was actually disappointed when Gary Kurtz made the switch to mentalism. His chops were impeccable and his personality engaging. One of the best sleight of hand magicians I've seen.

If mentalism is hot right now it's because there's a market for it. A market among the general public as well as magicians. From whence did the current trend originate? Good question, and one that I have not pondered to this point. A couple of random thoughts:

-There seems to be a growing national fascination with pseudoscience here in the States, much of it coming from celebrities and the media. The practice of cupping cited as therapeutic during the most recent Olympics, and those strange-but-colorful wrist bands at the one before? Cleansing? Astrology? I could go on...

-An increase in the number of people who believe in conspiracies of one form or another.

-In a fairly large town not far from where I live there are five psychic readers with shingles out. Five. Perhaps more, but those are the ones I know of and four of them are fairly new.

-Many people seem to be reacting to the rapid forward march of technology by longing for the good old days when humans were more "in touch with the earth." (Whatever TF that means.)


Again, these are just random musings. What are your thoughts?

Av

 

0
Gerald Deutsch

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 330
Reply with quote  #4 
I met one of my magic buddies on the Long Island Railroad and I asked where he was going.

He said he was meeting other magicians for a mental magic session.

I asked why they had to meet.
0
EVILDAN

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,899
Reply with quote  #5 
Just some thoughts and these are just my thoughts, not saying anything is definitely right or wrong. 

People who start in magic and do shows tend to buy a lot of props. This allows them to let the props do the magic.
The upside is if they aren't the best performers, they can hide behind their props. 
The downside is that it sucks lugging a vanload full of equipment around and spending extra time to set up and break down your shows. 

For these prop magicians, the idea of walking into a venue with just a briefcase and being able to perform is very enticing. 
The upside is that you have less to carry, spend way less time setting up and breaking down. 
The downside is that mentalist props are very minimal. Some props are not even meant to be seen or acknowledged. 
Since you don't have that many props, that leaves YOU and YOUR PERSONALITY to take the job of filling the stage. 

Mentalism without props means that you talk a lot. Ever been to a college lecture? Lots of talk can be very boring. 
That means a lot of mentalism can be boring. YOU and YOUR PERSONALITY have to carry the show. That, or find a way to make your mentalism interesting. 

Lately there are a lot of electronic gadgets that make mentalism very easy and put effects into miracle status. 
The downside is that these gadgets tend to cost a lot of cash. 
The downside is what do you do when the electronics fail? (two friends and I did a seance once where all our electronic gaffs failed. Nothing  Nada, Zilch.

With magic, you're a magician, you can DO ANYTHING. 
With mentalism, you have to decide what "powers" or "abilities" you have. Do you read minds, tell the future, tell people's fortunes, bend metal, etc? 
Are you a specialist with one skill or are you a jack of all trades? 
If you are a specialist, how do you create a full show out of one skill without boring the hell out of your audience with too many words and/or repetition? 

I started in magic, moved to bizarre magick while dabbling in mentalism, but it wasn't until last year that I came to grips as to what I can do and what I wanted to be able to achieve as a mentalist. 
I performed my show twice last year. I like the premise of the show. I like the journey I take my audience on. 
This wasn't something that I was able to come up with overnight. It's a show that's been years in development. 
For me, mentalism wasn't easy. 



0
Paul Hallas

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #6 
Logan Five said "I think that the reason magicians who make the transition to mentalism are doing so because it's hot right now, and it's the flavor of the month. "

Actually I think the market has been saturated a while and so moved back to doing more magic than mentalism. It's been 'flavor of the month' for about 15 years. Which leads me to Anthony who said:

"I was actually disappointed when Gary Kurtz made the switch to mentalism. His chops were impeccable and his personality engaging. One of the best sleight of hand magicians I've seen.

If mentalism is hot right now it's because there's a market for it. A market among the general public as well as magicians. From whence did the current trend originate? Good question, and one that I have not pondered to this point."

But have you seen Gary Kurtz's mentalism act? That is excellent too. As for whence did the current trend originate? There is no doubt in my mind in England it was Derren Brown's first TV special. It spawned myriad imitators claiming everything they did was NLP and suggestion etc. People were always coming to my dealer stand at Blackpool asking which books had the Derren Brown type stuff in. 

Intensely Magic said, "Am I the only one that gets tired of hearing "Oh, my 4 year old would like to see you do something" upon hearing you're a magician?"

I never tire of it - And if you believe that you can fold gravy.
A number of people have commented before that mentalism is 'magic' for adults. 

I agree with EvilDan that mentalism is not easy to do well. It might not be heavy with sleight of hand but then neither are a lot of magic acts!

I've had my foot in both worlds since a teenager, but then, so had Annemann.


0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,150
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hallas
But have you seen Gary Kurtz's mentalism act? That is excellent too.


Yes, indeed! Gary's mentalism act is excellent. I was simply lamenting his crossover to the "dark side" and the subsequent loss of one of the best all-around sleight of hand entertainers I have ever seen. 
0
Mike Powers

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,549
Reply with quote  #8 
I'm with Anthony on Gary K. He was definitely one of the best sleight of hand performers in the world. I have not seen his mentalism act. Is there video?

Jeff McBride envisions four stages of the magician's life. In the last stage, i.e. the older magician (like me!) there is a movement toward mentalism. See if you can find Jeff's articulation of this view of the "life cycle" of the magician. It's very interesting.

Mike
0
Paul Hallas

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,154
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist

I recall Pat Pat referring to his travel-light shows as the Bank Raid. In-Out-Gone.



lol. Never heard him say it, but can imagine him doing so.

0
Jake07712

Member
Registered:
Posts: 59
Reply with quote  #10 
I spent well over 40 years making the better part of my living doing a mind reading act. (I also did shopping mall promos, had a small circus show, dogs - no elephants, school fundraisers, etc.) I'm retired now, and for the 1st time, getting deep into close up magic. When I started out, there were almost no mentalists around. Basically, it was an open field and very easy to get bookings, and very limited market for close up.

What bothers me the most about many of today's crop of mentalists is that they forget that they themselves are nothing more than a vaudeville act, and many that post on the forums feel that, even though they are using nefarious methods to get their information, they are the genuine thing, and doing a public service. One wrote that he reads books on psychology which makes him qualified to give advise. I'm also tired of hearing 'magicians' complaining about mentalists. I've seen my share of magician's who give magic a bad name.

Although I never used obvious magic tricks as part of my act, I see nothing wrong with it. The first time that I saw Kreskin, (Saturday at a high school show, Parkersburg W.Va. around 1960), he opened up with the linking finger rings. I don't think that Kreskin took himself too seriously, although even then, there were those who did; Hans Holzer - hired by the police to find a serial killer, the Spiritualist Church was still going strong, Jean Dixon was predicting the future, etc.)

Mental magic is fun to perform, takes few props mostly from the stationary store, marketable, so why not?


__________________
Jake
0
Stefan Alexxis

Member
Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #11 
Here's the story I tell people when they ask how I became a mentalist, or when they ask in any way about the relationship between mentalism and magic. 

Most mentalists start off as magicians. In the beginning, it's about tricks and secrets, about fooling people, jokes and puzzles. Those who become serious about the craft, though, find themselves asking two vital questions that change them from tricksters into good performers. The first is  "How do I make this less about fooling my audience and more about entertaining them?" The other is "How can I make this look as close as possible to real magic?" That's something every first-rate magician, professional or hobbyist, goes through.

However, for a small group, the find themselves being nagged by one more question. "How close to real magic can this seem" turns into "How close to real magic can this actually be?" Those people tend to become mentalists.

Of course, the truth is that there are a number who switch because they think there's a better market, or because they get the idea that mentalism is easier (har har har). But for those drawn to mentalism from within, I think there's moire than a grain of truth to my tale.

0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #12 
As one who made the transition from magic to mentalism, I can say definitively in my case, that it was not out of laziness or a desire to take it easy.

In fact I knew it would be a hard journey. Why? Because in magic, I knew i was faking. I wasn't a bizarrest so there were no ceremonies, involved in my act.
I structured my shows, around themes and stories that were just enhanced by props. While I strove for a more human connection, I found that my audience
craved enlightenment. The inherent mistrust of magic, made my conveying such ideas, a bit difficult.

Mentalism provides me an almost direct pathway, to my audiences wants and desires to know more about life, and our connection to it.  I can impress upon my
participants, the universal consciousness that binds us all to one anther and in so doing, give each and everyone of them, tools to better deal with each other.

I'm sure that in time, I might have been able to do the same with magic but it just seems more suited for mentalism. The desire of the populous to know that
which they can not know, is and overwhelming draw that mentalism affords me. But I had to go through quite a bit of growing pains to be authentic in my
presentations. Mush more than ever with magic, as I knew it was a con, from the start. Not so much with mentaism, as have I have struggled to learn.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
John Cowne

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
As one who made the transition from magic to mentalism, I can say definitively in my case, that it was not out of laziness or a desire to take it easy.

In fact I knew it would be a hard journey. Why? Because in magic, I knew i was faking. I wasn't a bizarrest so there were no ceremonies, involved in my act.
I structured my shows, around themes and stories that were just enhanced by props. While I strove for a more human connection, I found that my audience
craved enlightenment. The inherent mistrust of magic, made my conveying such ideas, a bit difficult.

Mentalism provides me an almost direct pathway, to my audiences wants and desires to know more about life, and our connection to it.  I can impress upon my
participants, the universal consciousness that binds us all to one anther and in so doing, give each and everyone of them, tools to better deal with each other.

I'm sure that in time, I might have been able to do the same with magic but it just seems more suited for mentalism. The desire of the populous to know that
which they can not know, is and overwhelming draw that mentalism affords me. But I had to go through quite a bit of growing pains to be authentic in my
presentations. Mush more than ever with magic, as I knew it was a con, from the start. Not so much with mentaism, as have I have struggled to learn.
Thanks for articulating your worldview clearly, Fabuloso. I’m still trying to understand the essential concepts of mentalism which - if I’ve understood correctly- you believe may be independent of magical trickery or reading body language. I’m thinking of a Sherlock episode where Sherlock tells his buddy that he’s got a feeling about a particular case, which he isolates as (I’m trying to remember) an itch or tickle in his finger. When Watson gently scoffs at Holmes, he replies that it is his subconscious awareness racing ahead of his conscious processing. The big idea I get from this is, although Holmes is what we could call the ultimate skeptic, he has a place in his worldview for what might appear as extra-sensory intuitiveness, but sees as ’physiological’. I’m wondering if mentalists, who have such an approach, could be as effective/entertaining - and even putting ‘meaning’ into their mentalism as those who have a ‘supernatural’ view of their mentalism. I don’t know if I’m using the right words here; the concepts are new to me. I’m really struggling to find how best to express my random thoughts. You’re stretching my brain....many thanks, Fabuloso.
0
jim ferguson

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 365
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso

Because in magic, I knew i was faking.........Much more than ever with magic, as I knew it was a con, from the start.



You may find the following quote interesting -

"I believe he was so conscious of the fact that he was telling "fibs" and that what he was describing or doing was really no miracle at all, that a sense of guilt dampened his effectiveness. He failed to be excited and authoritative because he was so utterly conscious of the machinery and commonplace methods involved. He felt guilty to play act as though the glass tumbler were ordinary when he knew that part of it's bottom had been removed.

This discloses the psychic elements that should combine in an exceptional conjuror. Instead of viewing magic as an immoral deception the practitioner must recognise that it is one of the most honest of arts. The performer admits freely that he is trying to create a pleasant illusion for purposes of entertainment. He does not utilise it's methods to deceive for self-aggrandisement at the expense of others or for misrepresentation. The magician is trying to bring some happiness and romance, some escape into a never-never land where the limitations of ordinary existence are overcome, to lift up the often dull and depressing life of other people. Surely this is a most commendable aim whether in the hands of a clergyman, physician, clerk, or magician. The greater conjurors feel inwardly this romance and excitement, the mystery and wonder of it, and project it unashamedly to their audiences. They believe that a miracle is actually happening".

-John Booth.



Jim

0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind Phantom
I think that the reason magicians who make the transition to mentalism are doing so because it's hot right now, and it's the flavor of the month. 

I can see a cardman putting in a mental effect in his set to add variety to his show, but, you rarely find mentalist guys doing a three card monte or a coin matrix routine.

Someone once said that Magic is all about the Magician..Mentalism is about the spectator..the spectator's thoughts feelings & wantings.

Then there are some magicians who get into mentalism for the wrong reasons i.e like the mental act is easy to set up & take down and such. I am not saying that one needs to be a shaman or a mystic to do mentalism, but, it would help his cause if he had some metaphysical beliefs or a open mind to things that are a mystery.

What do you think ? I am I way off base ? What is the next new trend after mentalism cools down ?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think it is good to go back to the original message sometimes.  The first statement is that in the posters opinion magicians making the transition to mentalism are jumping on the bandwagon (my words).  

I'm sure that is true for some.  Performers sometimes go where the demand is.  Supply and demand is valid for magicians and mentalists like is is for anybody else.  Stage performers will find their way to the close up table if opportunities for stand up diminish.

I totally disagree with the quote about magic being about the magician and mentalism about the spectator.  I guess whomever said that never met Doug Henning as I always felt his presentations were definitely about the spectator.  I just think it is overly simplified.

Magic happens not in the magician's hands but in the audience's mind.  

As far as magicians find mentalism easier, whether in practice or in prop management, etc.  That depends.  Certainly David Copperfield's semi trucks make the argument that his changing to mentalism might save time and trouble.  Some magicians work out of a briefcase.  Or even their pockets.

The point about a mentalist inserting a "magic trick" like Matrix into his or her set is certainly not going to add anything to the mystique of mentalism so that would be a no-go for most performers.  I've seen exceptions, but never understood them.
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,150
Reply with quote  #16 
I love mental magic, which is, as I understand it, the strange stepchild of magic and mentalism. Most of the tricks I do have a mental magic flair, but I am not a mentalist, I am a magician. As to straight mentalism? Done well it is amazingly entertaining. 

On another note, I miss Rick, the OP of this thread. (His original screen name was Logan 5, which is why some posts in the thread mention that name. He later changed it to Mind Phantom.) He's been absent for some time now, apparently popping in from time to time to check on us, but not posting. He had a knack for asking intriguing questions that started active topics. He was going into real estate, as I recall, and expected to be too busy to visit much. Hope he's doing well and decides to rejoin us in the near future.

Av
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
I love mental magic, which is, as I understand it, the strange stepchild of magic and mentalism. Most of the tricks I do have a mental magic flair, but I am not a mentalist, I am a magician. As to straight mentalism? Done well it is amazingly entertaining. 

On another note, I miss Rick, the OP of this thread. (His original screen name was Logan 5, which is why some posts in the thread mention that name. He later changed it to Mind Phantom.) He's been absent for some time now, apparently popping in from time to time to check on us, but not posting. He had a knack for asking intriguing questions that started active topics. He was going into real estate, as I recall, and expected to be too busy to visit much. Hope he's doing well and decides to rejoin us in the near future.

Av


I agree, good topics and he is missed.
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson



You may find the following quote interesting -

"I believe he was so conscious of the fact that he was telling "fibs" and that what he was describing or doing was really no miracle at all, that a sense of guilt dampened his effectiveness. He failed to be excited and authoritative because he was so utterly conscious of the machinery and commonplace methods involved. He felt guilty to play act as though the glass tumbler were ordinary when he knew that part of it's bottom had been removed.

-John Booth.



Jim



Jim

I think Mr. Booth may be "projecting" as I have never felt guilty, about performing as a magician. In fact my post made clear that I KNEW very well the acting portion of the craft but felt that for the audience, the inherent "lie" in magic made conveying truisms of life difficult. The problem was not in my communication of such concepts but in the spectators inherent mistrust of the magician.

Again, imo mentalism affords the performer a better character, to convey such messages. In actuality mentalism uses no character at all, since the connection to psychic laws is real. I'm not playing the part of a psychic, I am psychic and so there is no acting involved, outside what Stanislavsky might have taught?

Understand these concepts work for me and a select few of others, interested in mixing the esoteric realities and metaphysics, into common understandings. It's not for everybody [wink]

The last sentence was not meant to sound elitist. It's a declaration of fact that must be understood, before the journey can even begin.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
jim ferguson

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 365
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
In actuality mentalism uses no character at all, since the connection to psychic laws is real. I'm not playing the part of a psychic, I am psychic and so there is no acting involved, outside what Stanislavsky might have taught



That's quite a statement, Senor.

Can you define what you mean by psychic ?

I haven't seen anything that resembles any true psychic ability in any of the pieces you've wrote up here, or at the Bunny - only magic methods and principles.

Perhaps your definition is different than mine.



Jim

0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #20 
Merriam Webster

psychic

adjective
psy·chic | \ ˈsī-kik
\
variants: or less commonly psychical \ ˈsī-ki-kəl
\

Definition of psychic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the psyche : psychogenic
2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding


Every time I try posting REAL magic here on this site, those posts are deleted. The Bunny seemed uninterested, in some of these abstract concepts?



__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,150
Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
Every time I try posting REAL magic here on this site, those posts are deleted. The Bunny seemed uninterested, in some of these abstract concepts?


Uncertain as to which specific posts you refer. You have promoted a couple of concepts commonly considered to be pseudoscientific, and some of those posts have been deleted since they were unrelated to the purpose of this board, which is the discussion of magic (sleight of hand, legerdemain, et al)  as a form of entertainment.

Av 

   
0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 626
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne

….I’m thinking of a Sherlock episode where Sherlock tells his buddy that he’s got a feeling about a particular case, which he isolates as (I’m trying to remember) an itch or tickle in his finger. When Watson gently scoffs at Holmes, he replies that it is his subconscious awareness racing ahead of his conscious processing. The big idea I get from this is, although Holmes is what we could call the ultimate skeptic, he has a place in his worldview for what might appear as extra-sensory intuitiveness, but sees as ’physiological’.
 


Is this a Doyle story?
I've just abandoned "Sherlock Holmes And The Sea Devils," by James Lovegrove. It's the final book in a three volume set titled "The Cthulhu Casebooks".

Cthulhu, I'm sure, gives a clue to the general direction of the book(s). Paranormal and whatnot.

Not my cup of tea, and not Holmes.

Slight sideways move, but I just wondered which story it might be.


Quick edit: The Book title is  "Sherlock Holmes And The Sea Devils." Finger tripping.
0
krolik

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #23 
I can't pretend to know what current fashion is, but in the end it's a question of taste. And context.

I'm not very fond of mentalism personally but obviously plenty of people go for it.

Mentalism has the virtue of apparent simplicity. Fewer hokey-looking props. Sometimes just a paper and pencil. In the right hands, there's a purity there that's hard to beat.

On the downside, many mentalists (in my opinion) are compromised by excessive sobriety, even pomposity. They me want to say, "Give me a break. It's only a trick, dude." In my darker moments I suspect that some performers gravitate toward mentalism out of the uncomfortable realization that they don't know how to tell a joke. 

(I'd like to see a mentalist do a silent act. That would test the limits. That would be interesting!)

I rarely get to go to the Magic Castle, so when I do, it's a treat. But on my most recent visit this summer I was struck (and a bit disappointed) by how many "mentalist-themed" card tricks I saw in the bar area. Of course, this is just anecdotal, but I wondered if it was a trend. Not a good one, for my taste. It seemed absurd, particularly in that context, to watch somebody handle an obvious prop like a deck of cards in order to demonstrate some supposedly mental wonder.
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #24 
With all due respect.

Cards are not "obvious" props. They are common place items, used in games and by some, used for divination [wink]

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
Wayne T

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 565
Reply with quote  #25 
IMO I also think that the general public confuses mentalism acts with those where the performer claims psychic abilities. I think this is because "stars" like Oprah continually feature frauds like Sylvia Brown, (thankfully dead!) Uri Geller, John Edwards et al. 

Rarely do magicians and mentalist acts get the kind of exposure these frauds get.   

While I don't completely understand what Senor Fabuloso is trying to convey on his psychic commentary, my position on psychic ability is that it remains a completely unsubstantiated claim. At best it is just another form of entertainment and at its worst it is a con used to deceive and cheat and has the possibility of causing real harm.

__________________
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne T
IMO I also think that the general public confuses mentalism acts with those where the performer claims psychic abilities. I think this is because "stars" like Oprah continually feature frauds like Sylvia Brown, (thankfully dead!) Uri Geller, John Edwards et al. 

Rarely do magicians and mentalist acts get the kind of exposure these frauds get.   

While I don't completely understand what Senor Fabuloso is trying to convey on his psychic commentary, my position on psychic ability is that it remains a completely unsubstantiated claim. At best it is just another form of entertainment and at its worst it is a con used to deceive and cheat and has the possibility of causing real harm.


Wayne, you make some good points, but I urge you to consider something.

Supernatural events are just that, beyond natural.  They are unable to be explained through natural proceses or the scientific method.  They cannot be tested in the way natural phenomena can be.

So if a person says "I can't believe in that because it cannot be proven" they don't understand what supernatural means.

I am a Christian.  I believe in miracles.  There is zero doubt in my mind.  Now ask me to prove it.  Good luck with that.  Doesn't bother me a bit.

Do you see where I'm coming from?


0
krolik

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
With all due respect.

Cards are not "obvious" props. They are common place items, used in games and by some, used for divination [wink]

__________________
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." ( A lesson from childhood often missed or ignored.) Your opinion, may be met with one of equal disdain?


Senor Fabuloso,

Sorry, I really intended no offense. I guess my point about cards is that they are so commonly associated with tricks that it undermines a mentalist's effect if they are employed.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krolik

__________________
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." ( A lesson from childhood often missed or ignored.) Your opinion, may be met with one of equal disdain?


Senor Fabuloso,

Sorry, I really intended no offense. I guess my point about cards is that they are so commonly associated with tricks that it undermines a mentalist's effect if they are employed.


SOME mentalists will not use playing cards for that exact reason.  Others have no issue and even will present an effect such as Brainwave, which to many smacks of "magic trick".
0
Wayne T

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 565
Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Wayne, you make some good points, but I urge you to consider something.

Supernatural events are just that, beyond natural.  They are unable to be explained through natural proceses or the scientific method.  They cannot be tested in the way natural phenomena can be.

So if a person says "I can't believe in that because it cannot be proven" they don't understand what supernatural means.

I am a Christian.  I believe in miracles.  There is zero doubt in my mind.  Now ask me to prove it.  Good luck with that.  Doesn't bother me a bit.

Do you see where I'm coming from?


Point taken, I have no problems that people of faiths have beliefs that are extraordinary. I understand that many religions require faith in, as opposed to proof of, things such as miracles. 

You may disagree with me but I do think the names I mentioned above are simple frauds and not process any extraordinary ability, supernatural or otherwise other than to con people. They certainly are not mentalists in the sense of entertainers.

I don't want to get too far off topic which is magicians transitioning to mentalism.

__________________
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne T


Point taken, I have no problems that people of faiths have beliefs that are extraordinary. I understand that many religions require faith in, as opposed to proof of, things such as miracles. 

You may disagree with me but I do think the names I mentioned above are simple frauds and not process any extraordinary ability, supernatural or otherwise other than to con people. They certainly are not mentalists in the sense of entertainers.

I don't want to get too far off topic which is magicians transitioning to mentalism.


Wayne, you might be right about the specific individuals.  I think it is pretty easy to spot someone that is sincere versus someone looking to make a buck or just achieve notoriety.

For reasons I don't even fully understand I don't want to get into personal details but I will simply say that I have had a unique advantage in that I've been exposed to many in the field of ESP, remote viewing, etc. for my entire life.  Literally.  Nationally-known people.  

Some were 100% sincere and believe that everyone has these abilities and like any other "skill" or "sense" some have more than others.  But all have it.  

On the other hand, I met several that appeared sincere outwardly but I found to have other agendas.

I don't want to derail the thread either but I felt it important to respond.

So to sum my feelings up I would say this.  I am convinced that not all in the "psychic field" are charlatans or imposters.  Now as to whether their abilities are "real" in the sense most would understand, for that I leave each to his or her own conclusion.
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krolik


Sorry, I really intended no offense. I guess my point about cards is that they are so commonly associated with tricks that it undermines a mentalist's effect if they are employed.


Krolik

No offense taken 😉 Just pointing out that to the lay, cards are used in games of chance and are NOT props, of magicians or mentalists.

For magicians the lay sees cards as tools of skill ,with which the magician can control.

For the mentalist, they are simply IMAGES to focus on, that are relatively known, to the populous.

Others will use them for divination but are less likely, to accepted over tarot cards. Although I do know readers that only use playing cards, in their readings.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Karim


There is a lot I disagree with (respectfully) in your post, Ray.  Nothing I'd usually even comment on but I do need to strongly push back against your assertion above.  The attitude above, even though you probably didn't mean it that way, makes it way easier to blame victims of people pretending to tell the future, talk to dead people, so forth and so on.

"Well, sure they lost a bunch of money, but it's pretty easy to spot someone looking to make a buck so..."

It's, conceptually, no different than any other sort of victim blaming: "they should have known", "they shouldn't have worn that", "if they hadn't been drinking", etc. 

I can't speak about any of this being relevant to you, but in most cases, people who do this sort of casual victim-blaming usually have associations with the types of people who do the victimizing.  Maybe they grew up with somebody who behaved a certain way or with a group that thought a certain behavior was ok (I'm trying really hard to be diplomatic, apologies if the point gets lost).

Again, while I don't agree a lot with this one particular post, I really had to push back against that one point the most.

Again, this is limited to this one topic and I respect everyone here, that's not what this is about.


Chris, I'm not sure what you disagree with.  I said Wayne might be right.  He might be.  Or he might not be.  He has an opinion that some people claim to be psychic but are merely con artists.  Surely that is true.  Uri Gellar?

I don't remember victimizing anyone.  Did I?  I never laid fault at the feet of mentalists, psychics or their audiences.  So again, not sure what you are saying.

Help me understand.
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
Thanks for articulating your worldview clearly, Fabuloso. I’m still trying to understand the essential concepts of mentalism which - if I’ve understood correctly- you believe may be independent of magical trickery or reading body language. I’m thinking of a Sherlock episode where Sherlock tells his buddy that he’s got a feeling about a particular case, which he isolates as (I’m trying to remember) an itch or tickle in his finger. When Watson gently scoffs at Holmes, he replies that it is his subconscious awareness racing ahead of his conscious processing. The big idea I get from this is, although Holmes is what we could call the ultimate skeptic, he has a place in his worldview for what might appear as extra-sensory intuitiveness, but sees as ’physiological’. I’m wondering if mentalists, who have such an approach, could be as effective/entertaining - and even putting ‘meaning’ into their mentalism as those who have a ‘supernatural’ view of their mentalism. I don’t know if I’m using the right words here; the concepts are new to me. I’m really struggling to find how best to express my random thoughts. You’re stretching my brain....many thanks, Fabuloso.


Your on the right track 😉 Thank YOU for posting.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
John Cowne

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


Is this a Doyle story?
I've just abandoned "Sherlock Holmes And The Sea Devils," by James Lovegrove. It's the final book in a three volume set titled "The Cthulhu Casebooks".

Cthulhu, I'm sure, gives a clue to the general direction of the book(s). Paranormal and whatnot.

Not my cup of tea, and not Holmes.

Slight sideways move, but I just wondered which story it might be.


Quick edit: The Book title is  "Sherlock Holmes And The Sea Devils." Finger tripping.
Sorry for the delay; I’m a slow thinker. I would say ‘Doyle-ish’ (see attached photo: The Six Thatchers). I looked up Lovegrove’s version. I’ll have to have a read to compare...sounds interesting. In my mind, I am skeptical of what many would classify as ‘paranormal activity’, while holding to an essentially ‘supernatural’ view of reality. I see those as two separate categories. So, I believe in the God who ‘moves’ His creation in ways that humans can’t imitate through any means other than ‘natural’ abilities’. Independent of outside supernatural forces, I don’t think humans have supernatural abilities. So, there is room in my belief system for miracles by God and even believing that angelic or demonic activity exists ... but maybe not as much - or in the same way - as Hollywood presents. So, I try to walk a fine line that C.S. Lewis (a Christian writer whom I value as a clear thinker) presents in his ‘Screwtape Letters’: not denying supernatural powers/entities, but not quick to attribute every unexplained event to actual paranormal activity. I’m aware that I could be accused of circular thinking here, but I think it is a coherent, internally consistent, world-view that also matches what I observe. So that’s what I personally take in to discussions when friends use language like ‘real’ mentalism. It is fun when audiences ‘suspend disbelief’ to go for a ride with a magic trick. I think it is tragic if audiences or mentalist practitioners actually believe that supernatural forces have been tapped into. That said, I think mentalism as a magic category - like cardistry - is fun, entertaining and an intelligent engagement of the mind. Again, I’m not trying to shoot anyone down who does not agree; I’d rather lose an argument than a friend; but friendships must be based on an honest debate of ideas. That’s one of the values that makes me appreciate this forum.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: 44937927-AF57-4BB7-AF5A-14E22EEE3215.jpeg, Views: 6, Size: 136.52 KB 

0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #35 
John, I enjoyed reading that. You describe things very clearly. I am a C.S. Lewis fan.
0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 626
Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ

Supernatural events are just that, beyond natural.  They are unable to be explained through natural proceses or the scientific method.  They cannot be tested in the way natural phenomena can be.



Fair enough. But who’s to say that the event actually happened as reported?

I have never experienced anything remotely resembling the supernatural. On the other hand, I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of UFOs. Unexplained phenomena?

0
Alan Smithee

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 626
Reply with quote  #37 

John Clowne:

Thanks for that. I tried "The Sussex Sea Devils" having read "Sherlock Holmes And The Red Tower," by Mark Latham. Both are published by Titan Books.

In "The Red Tower" Watson visits an old friend at his country pile who’s recently become interested in spiritualism and wants Watson to attend a séance held by a local group.

There’s all sorts of flummery going on and Watson asks Holmes to come and take a look. He does and there’s nothing supernatural going on, but there is a series of mysteries to resolve.

0
John Cowne

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee

John Clowne:

Thanks for that. I tried "The Sussex Sea Devils" having read "Sherlock Holmes And The Red Tower," by Mark Latham. Both are published by Titan Books.

In "The Red Tower" Watson visits an old friend at his country pile who’s recently become interested in spiritualism and wants Watson to attend a séance held by a local group.

There’s all sorts of flummery going on and Watson asks Holmes to come and take a look. He does and there’s nothing supernatural going on, but there is a series of mysteries to resolve.

And thanks, Alan. I rushed off to my public library yesterday and got James Lovegrove's 'Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine',. A good read - 100 or so pages in already. And it starts with being chased by a MUMMY!! My librarian is digging up the others for me. I've also posted a thought on your response to Ray .. a very good question worth reflecting on.
0
John Cowne

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 419
Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


Fair enough. But who’s to say that the event actually happened as reported?

I have never experienced anything remotely resembling the supernatural. On the other hand, I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of UFOs. Unexplained phenomena?

Hey Alan.  The only IFO's I see are J-type Hercs (I'm close to a RAAF base) - but EVERYTHING else are UFO's to me[smile]! I wonder if the starting point to your first question, " But who’s to say that the event actually happened as reported?" is often dealt with too narrowly. What I mean is, I often hear people saying they want 'scientific proof', whereas they haven't considered (not saying you haven't) that other huge source of proof - the Historical Method. I'm not a scientist or an historian, by profession - but I love both (an amateur's love, as I have with magic). And I think the best historians and scientists have a deep appreciation of each other's discipline - and make use of them, when its called for. Applied to 'faith statements', I reckon it depends on the evidence available for each 'case'. But even 'supernatural' claims by people are always in some 'historical context'; real places real times - which should leave some traces to follow. Notice, I haven't applied it to any particular examples, because we should be able to use any forensic methods and come to our own conclusions - which become 'proofs'. But it's not that simple. It's interesting that you can get x number of people who have been given the same hard data/evidence (which, by it's nature is -usually -'objective'), but each person becomes convinced of their conclusion (everyone loves to think our conclusions are arrived at by 'pure' logic). But that there are actual cases where juries 'dissent' on their verdict 'proves' that we all don't. Just one factor, that you raised, is the issue of something being 'reported'. What do you do? Are the reporters generally known as being reliable with past truth-claims?  Are there insurmountable discrepancies in their reports? Is there evidence that the 'chain of evidence' has been tampered with? Such a short question you started off with, and I don't give an equally short, or satisfying answer - Sorry. I have one final question that I find helpful: If a particular claim was, in itself a crime, is there enough evidence 'within reason' to convict?
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,006
Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


Fair enough. But who’s to say that the event actually happened as reported?

I have never experienced anything remotely resembling the supernatural. On the other hand, I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of UFOs. Unexplained phenomena?




I had a post that mentioned the bible and it got removed so I hope this response passes muster.

Have you never seen someone healed that baffled doctors? Like cancer that suddenly disappeared although the x-ray showed it clearly present. Doctors, if honest, will admit that prayer seems to have an effect on outcomes. Some attribute that to positivity. Others choose to invoke the supernatural.

Most people have had SOME thing happen to them that had no explanation. I suppose the way you are predisposed to think leads you one way or the other. I mean YOU in the rhetorical sense, not you specifically.
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #41 
Sam

The thing about REAL magic is, it doesn't matter if you believe it or not, it exists anyway. But to talk more about this is seen by the board ,as not in line with why we are here. So I'll be quiet now.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
Wayne T

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 565
Reply with quote  #42 
This thread has really gotten off the original topic of Magicians Who Become Mentalists.

While the topics of miracles, psychics, UFO, pseudo science etc. are interesting they are really not related to the OP or the general theme of this forum. There are many other online forums devoted to these topics and discussion.

I would suggest we get back on topic or simply close the thread.




__________________
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke
0
Senor Fabuloso

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #43 
Wayne

You may want to look back through the thread, to see where it was derailed and then ask yourself why?

Sam

There are no rules. A seance can be mentalism or it can be magic. Your creative license will dictate, how it's presented.

__________________
Ideological bigotry, has no place in an atmosphere of creative thinkers. Only limited individuals, suffer from this affliction. They matter not but pose serious threats, to others. BEWARE!
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,150
Reply with quote  #44 
Locked, Since its resuscitation this thread has gone wildly off-topic. Any member wishing to begin a new thread on the subject of Magicians who have converted to mentalism are welcome to do so.

Thanks.

Av
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.