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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
The real art of mentalism and magic is understanding people. You can have the greatest tricks in the world, but if you don't understand how people's minds work then you are really missing a trick. Real magic is communication. With our words we can manipulate situations, divert attention and create meaning for our magic. And as Kenton Knepper once said "Meaning is the best misdirection" But I guess it all depends on how you look at the situation:
"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer
Some people are happy with just doing the same old tricks following the instructions as found in the book, or DVD and just doing the same old, same old. That's cool with me, I'm not here to tell others how to perform, or live their lives.
As I say, a lot of people will choose to follow the older presentations. Think about the memory demonstrations. Most performers do the same old thing as Harry Lorayne and all those guys. They are also memorising Names, lists, cards, etc. in the end it all becomes standard stuff. There are other ways of working memory. It doesn't necessarily have to be presented as a demonstration of how rapidly things can be memorised, there are other ways. It just requires a bit of creative thinking.
Now the real magic, and real mentalism begins with the imagination. Being able to look at things creatively allows us to create real magic by interacting, and communicating effectively with our audiences, regardless of what 'tricks' we decide to use.
Eugene Burger once said "All magic is about transformation... the performance magician is telling you that you are the magician in your own life. You are the agent of transformation, your own transformation"
This quote got me thinking about the difference between performing 'tricks' on the one hand, and inspiring people with our performances of magic on the other. A simple example would be a memory demonstration.
The idea of demonstrating memory effects can be used to inspire the audience to transform their view of how the memory works, and be inspired enough to learn the simple methods behind using the memory. It's straightforward really, memory is simply based on paying attention in the first place.
Magic can transform peoples view of the world and how they respond to it. We can take Apollo Robbins and his examples of how the pickpocket takes advantage of the human mind. Seeing Apollo perform allows people to transform their understanding of the human mind, and how easily duped it can be.
As I said magic can be so much more than tricks. We can take the audiences perspectives on magic, and completely turn them upside down. We needn't follow those who have gone before. With imagination and creativity we can forge a new approach to magic/mentalism, and make use of the real potentional of magic.
Just a few thoughts, how you decide to respond is your choice. It makes little difference to me, but you may enjoy looking at things from a different perspective - or you may just stick to what you already know... The choice is yours!
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
    Gee; I'm still doing that old memory trick of remembering the names and faces of the entire audience (among other demos) - up to about 500 people. It's "old." Started doing in way back in about 1949.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #3 
But you are Harry Lorayne, you are the memory man... It's how you make your living.

Presenting those tricks on stage is how you advertise your wares. This is how you promote your 'system'... but it is not the only way to use these memory tricks.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 
    Actually, I do those "tricks" not to advertise my wares, but to entertain. That's what I get paid for when I'm the evening's entertainment.

     I "advertise my wares" (like my MEMORY POWER COURSE) when I'm booked to do a seminar (teaching seminar) for a corporation.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #5 
   Actually the word "tricks" doesn't really fit. I do memory demonstrations - no "tricks" involved.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #6 
I see what you're saying but there is nothing wrong with doing "the same old tricks."
There are plenty of people who have never seen "the same old tricks."
There are plenty of other people that enjoy seeing "the same old tricks."

Take your favorite band. When you go to a concert, do you only want to hear the newest album and nothing else?
Or, do you want to hear your old favorites?
That's why cover bands are so popular; people like the same old songs.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #7 
"Knowledge of any kind gets metabolized spontaneously and brings about a change in awareness from where it is possible to create new realities." = Deepak Chopra.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #8 
   God, I hate quotes!!
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #9 
C. Lang Neil in The Modern Conjurer:
Quote:
Conjuring consists in the performer’s audience being led to believe that certain definite actions have been carried out before them, while they presently discover that the results of those actions are something directly contrary to any natural law. They immediately recognize that they have been deceived completely, but without knowing how or when the deception took place, for they are not fools enough, nor is it desired to make them think, that the supernatural has occurred.

This book was published in 1902.  I have serious doubts that humans have become less sophisticated since then.

sy

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #10 
    Most of the quotes I see here and at other threads make little sense to me. I guess it's age, my mind obviously isn't working on the 12 cylinders that it used to work on. The quote above is telling me that "the performance magician is telling you (the layman, I guess) that you are the magician in your own life."  Whaaat?
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #11 
"God I hate quotes!!" - Harry Lorayne
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #12 
'The Image Fades' by Steven Youell is one of the latest effects that I'm enjoying using.

In the mind of the audience it is real. I also enjoy doing a coin vanish with a mentalism twist, it too is accepted as 100% real.
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Paul Long

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
"God I hate quotes!!" - Harry Lorayne


Hahaha. I love this quote ... or should  hate this quote? :-)
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
   God, I hate quotes!!

That’s going straight to my quotes book!
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell
  I have serious doubts that humans have become less sophisticated since then.

sy


I wish I could share your confidence in humans ... but strong evidence points in the opposite direction!

1_photo1.jpg 

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Senor Fabuloso

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Reply with quote  #16 
Dumb and Dumber not withstanding.

I think the point of the op is, by understanding humanity we can elevate the art of magic considerably?

The "old" style of magic was mere exhibition. Some may have tried to routine there show to make sense, telling a bit of a story but little was done to connect with the audience on a visceral level.

Today's better performers imo, try to relate the magic to the people. This can be through shared emotional experiences or through  a psychic intuitiveness of where all mans wants, desires and challenges come from.

There is a universal consciousness. When we tap into it as performers, we can't help but move our audiences and isn't that what all great art does?

The so called "old" tricks are not the problem, it's how we perform them that is.

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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!
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