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mentalismcorner

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am fascinated by it. I remember watching David Blaine on TV.

That got the ball rolling for me.


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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #2 
Watching Kreskin as a kid in the 70's , I didn't know if he was real or not.

Buying mentalism dealer items thru the mail from Tannen's as a kid.

And having an interest in things like ESP, UFO's, Stonehenge as a kid too.

Welcome to The Magician's Forum!

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #3 
Phil Goldstein.
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Bob Farmer

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My brain.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #5 
Jeff McBride has an interesting take on the "stages of the magical journey." He breaks it down into four phases and hooks them up with the "four elements." That's a bit new agey for me but there's a lot of truth to his analysis. The final stage i.e. the older magician goes to mentalism. I find that true for me (at age 71). Interest in mentalism has come more recently. In fact I'm working on an entire show with a mental theme.

Early on it was moves and cool routines with cards.

Mike
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mentalismcorner

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Reply with quote  #6 
Some good answers here.

I have to admit I  have a slight obsession with UFOs as well @Logan Five

Thanks for the warm welcome.

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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Jeff McBride has an interesting take on the "stages of the magical journey." He breaks it down into four phases and hooks them up with the "four elements." That's a bit new agey for me but there's a lot of truth to his analysis. The final stage i.e. the older magician goes to mentalism. I find that true for me (at age 71). Interest in mentalism has come more recently. In fact I'm working on an entire show with a mental theme.

Early on it was moves and cool routines with cards.

Mike


I'm sure over the years with all your card work you've noticed the 'mental' themed card effects have nearly always played really strong. 

I've always had a foot in both camps because I was reading Annemann before Royal Road etc.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #8 
I love the way Ben Earl approaches card magic and does a good job pulling off the idea that he's reading his spectatator's mind.

I don't think that my personality would allow me to get away with it.


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MagicBrian

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Reply with quote  #9 
I think it was watching Derren Brown a few years ago. People were truly believing he was legitimately reading their minds and predicting their actions. A card trick may be amazing but in the spectator's mind they will always remember it's a trick; mentalism on the other hand can be believed as real if done properly. That started me looking at it seriously as a way to take my show to the next level. I don't claim to have special abilities or training from some Tibetan monk on a snowy mountain somewhere, but there is an obvious shift in my audience when I move into mentalism effects and start "reading their thoughts".

The man has my respect for doing to mentalism what David Blaine did to close-up magic for me.

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #10 
001.9

I haunted the shelves of books bearing that designation on their spines at the local library. 001.9, under Melvil Dewey's Decimal System, was designated as Controversial Knowledge. There were volumes on science, pseudoscience, cryptozoology, ghosts, UFOs, ESP, and all sorts of strange wonders. To this day I am saturated in arcane knowledge about a range of strange subjects. Though I became a practicing skeptic in my late teens, my love for the wonders found in 001.9 continue to fascinate me, albeit for different reasons.

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #11 
For me it was two packet tricks.

"Drink Cards" by Sid Lorraine, put out by Supreme Magic

"Symbol Simon" by Phil Goldstein
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Craig Logan

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Reply with quote  #12 
For me, it started about 5 years ago. I'd been serious about magic for some time, and I decided to buy several Penguin Live Lectures to determine what direction I wanted to go. One of those lectures was Patrick Redford's. I remember loving the style and approach of mentalism, and soon dove head first into the art. Perhaps the most meaningful moment relating to magic happened soon after. I was in my local magic shop in search of PME and 13 Steps (as I was told these were the a solid foundation). I had them both in my hand when I met another magician. We got to talking and I put 13 Steps back on the shelf. He asked me why, and I told him money was tight ,so I'd have to get 13 Steps later. Without missing a beat, he smiled, grabbed it off the shelf and bought it for me. That day is forever burned in my mind.  
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #13 
Would you believe "My Favorite Martian"?!

As a child of the sixties, my Sunday night TV watching started at 7:30 on CBS with "My Favorite Martian." (CBS had such a great line up back on Sunday's in the sixties. I'd ask Harry if he'd agree, but he was too busy being PART of that lineup on the Ed Sullivan Show!!)  Uncle Martin the Martian had a few magician-like powers, he could disappear, he could levitate things with his finger and he could read minds. It was the mind-reading that grabbed me. I performed simple magic as a kid, but was anxious to learn any mind reading magic that could make me one-third martian.

A friend told me about a magic shop in downtown Philly. I visited Kanter's and with my sparse allowance money picked up a few mind-reading tricks. And a few very old, wrinkled and used copies of The Jinx.

I couldn't understand most of it; I found mind-reading (who knew from "mentalism" back then) performance driven, and not trick driven. So, I didn't give it too much more thought until my college years. I felt then I could sell the performance side of what had become "mentalism." 

I mix mental magic with cards all the time in my performances. And sometimes I still wish I could push up my antennae and vanish in a stop-action moment!

-- mike

BTW, my parents bought me the "My Favorite Martian Magic Set" way back when. Old re-purposed magic toy-props with colorful drawing of Ray Walston as the Martian on the box. I am sure it's floating around on eBay!

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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Jeff McBride has an interesting take on the "stages of the magical journey." He breaks it down into four phases and hooks them up with the "four elements." That's a bit new agey for me ...


I lost all interest in Jeff McBride the day he wrote "On my journey to becoming a sage ..."

It's like being a rock-star - it's not a self-awarded title.  If you have to tell people you are one, then you aren't.  And telling people that you are becoming one is just pathetic.

Just my 2 cents, of course.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco
I love the way Ben Earl approaches card magic and does a good job pulling off the idea that he's reading his spectatator's mind.

I don't think that my personality would allow me to get away with it.



Rudy, I respectfully disagree.  We've never met but every performance of yours I have seen, every conversation you participate in, and everything I know about your life (only what you have shared with this forum) broadcasts one thing above all others: empathy.

That's one of the most valuable of all human characteristics ... and it's also the perfect foundation for selling the idea of mind-reading.
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ZAVIADELITA

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Reply with quote  #16 
When I was a kid I would tune in daily to KGBS radio and listen to Glen Falkenstein and the try to figure out how he did it.
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAVIADELITA
When I was a kid I would tune in daily to KGBS radio and listen to Glen Falkenstein and the try to figure out how he did it.


I only know of Glen from the L & L Tapes he put out some time ago, I'll say this much, he was a showman and he could get the audiences attention. He was very underated as a performer.

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TimB1977

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Reply with quote  #18 
I've always had an aversion to mentalism.  However, recently I've become disillusioned with tricks for tricks sake and wanted to move into something that could leave more of an impact on the spectator/participant than simply seeing a trick.  As much as I hate to admit it, it turns out mentalism is the best place for this type of magic.  Not leaving them with the idea that I have any kind of real power, but using it as a tool to show them that they have the ability to change things in their lives, if they just believe.
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Senor Fabuloso

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Reply with quote  #19 
WARNING very generalized statements coming... not meant to be the be all end all

Magic can be perceived as childish "tricks are for kids" is an all to common conception, of the general public. When once talking to a bank executive in charge of loan approval, he asked what my average income was? When I told him between $100.000 and $150.000 he called me a lair until I showed how. The general public has no idea what even an unknown street magician, can make in a session. They assume that ALL magicians except those headlining in Vegas are doing house parties for $50 a show. My point being that magicians are often seen as a joke and magic as a hobby not a serious profession.

When I retired from magic a few years ago and before I took up mentalism I was bored and missing magic, very much. I wanted to enter back into performing but not as a magician. The logical step was to enter into metalism. I had always included mental magic in my act things like mental epic, and the invisible deck and would be amazed at the reactions to those kinds of tricks. People would come up to me after the show and say thing like "I know those things you did were tricks but when you did that psychic stuff, that was real right?" It always brought a smile, to my face.

See for me the worst reaction an audience member can have regarding my performance in magic is "how did you do that?" It means I presented magic as a puzzle to be figured out, instead of an experience to be felt. Luckily that didn't happen from the middle to my late career. Years of performing, some psycho therapy, a college degree and the responsibilities of marriage and children taught me life lessons common to most people, that I could use to connect with others. Even as a child I would play games with myself, practicing cold readings even before I knew it was a thing. People fascinated me and still do. But I digress.

So for me, mentalism is a more adult, performing art. It seems to be more respected than magic, in general and at my age just seems more appropriate. Don't get me wrong, I love magic and believe that there are those elevating the craft with honor and respect among ourselves and to the public, Unfortunately however way to many others are cheapening the art through exposure and bad performances. These hacks hurt the art so much, it's not at all funny. And to those thinking that somehow exposure helps the craft by forcing innovation and creativity? Well magicians have been creative since the beginning of time and didn't need to be exposed to spark intelligent movement.

So to answer the question "What got you interested in mentalism?" It would have to be for me, it's respectability and adult appropriateness.

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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #20 
Kreskin was a staple when I was a youngster. He probably influenced my interest in magic. But like Mike Powers, I find that I have reached an age (63)when it is acceptable to become a mind reader. That, and my thumbs have become less reliable as arthritis creeps in.
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi Jack, as I recall, Bill Bixby spent a lot of time at the Magic Castle during the years he filmed The Magician (he was supposed to have lived there in the show). He had the opportunity to learn from Vernon, Jennings and other greats. I think Frank Garcia's hands subbed for Bixby's in the close up shots!


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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #22 
Bixby was also the star of a show that could induce diabetes in a rock, called "The Courtship of Eddie's Father".  The crazy concept was that a man could try to raise his young son and occasionally go on dates.   (A few years ago I found myself living "The Courtship of Russell's Father" - it wasn't like the show.)

Jack, you are correct about Bixby being a magician - he was a member of the Castle and hosted some magic specials on TV.  He performed all the magic in 'The Magician' himself, without camera tricks.  Mark Wilson was the magic consultant for the show.  (Info from Wikipedia)
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #23 
I didn't know that about Garcia's hands - very cool!
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Mbreggar

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Reply with quote  #24 
Humble me. I stand corrected.
Ol’ Bill Bixby did his own magic on The Magician.
Here is a comment from Genii’s “Magipedia”

The show is noteworthy in that Bixby insisted on doing all of the magic himself, without any trick photography, although this was not the case in the TV-movie/pilot. He was instructed in these performances by the program's technical adviser, Mark Wilson. Once the format changed to have the hero based in a magic club, Wilson could occasionally be seen on the stage there, as well. In addition to escapes, Bixby performed feats of sleight of hand, mentalism, and stage illusions. After the series' cancellation, Bixby went on to host a string of magic specials on NBC and a series in first-run syndication.


Still, the Garcia thing rings in my head. I am certain I had read that somewhere!

By the way... John Scarne’s hands double for Paul Newman’s in “The Sting”!
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