Anyone into mentalism?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MysteriousladyA, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. I like magic, but I love mentalism. Anyone here into mentalism? What books would you suggest, where to find tutorials? I’ve been doing mentalism for sometime , and I paired it with hypnotism. Usually it’s my way to open up people to do hypnosis. Anyone else is doing hypnosis and mentalism?!
    Mr_ARPY and Gabriel Z. like this.
  2. I love a good mentalism routine, but it has never fit my performance style. even the few effects I've researched. knowing how many other types of magic are done, I like the feeling of not knowing how most mentalism is done. It's not often I get to experience the effects the same way a lay-person would.
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  3. As a hobbyist I have focused on card magic primarily (close-up) and always like to tailor my presentation to a "mentalism" feel.
    Much of my patter falls into the "I can influence you without your conscious knowledge" and discussions of NLP.
    I prefer to use sleights as 'tools' to achieve an effect rather than demonstrations of skill.
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  4. I feel like the question on what books are recommended for mentalism become very varied oftentimes on these forums, especially what that first book should be. Bob Cassidy's Artful Mentalism is great, and gets recommended often as a beginner friendly entry point into mentalism. But you'll see folks also recommend Anneman's Practical Mental Magic in those same threads. But stepping away from the entry point books (and Corinda, but that is not an entry point resource in my opinion) and more to the further along stuff like I think you were looking for: I really like Michael Murray (especially A Piece of My Mind) and enjoyed reading Fraser's The Book of Angels (I think is the title). But if hypnosis draws you, you might enjoy reading some of Aaron Alexander's work if you can find it. I should say his printed work is quite limited in print run, but he does sell a few ebooks on his website. I can try and find that for you when I get the chance. There are others much more knowledgeable than I though about these things on this forum, as I just recently learned of Aaron Alexander myself not too long ago.
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  6. I am a hypnotist, so mostly I do that. Mentalism is relatively new to me. I only know about 10-12 different “ tricks”, nothing very complicated. I am here to learn, so if you can guide me for some interesting stuff, that would be very helpful.
  7. Definitely check out Derren Brown's work. He has some fantastic stuff on mentalism for beginners.
    Mr_ARPY and MysteriousladyA like this.
  8. I did Mike Mandel's Online Hypnosis Academy a couple years back. In my opinion one of the most valuable sources available for hypnosis.

    My thinking on what should be studied for good mentalism has changed a lot over the years.

    I think the foundation ones are:
    Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals (And pay attention to his 39 Steps at the end)
    Karl Fulves' Self Working Mental Miracles
    Annemann's Practical Mental Magic
    Switchcraft by Elliot Bresler (You will not need to, and may well not be able to, read this entire work)
    Psychophysiological Thought Reading by Banachek
    The Memory Arts by the Trustmans
    Something on cold reading. Micheal Murray's 0290 and Luke Jermay's Reader's Alphabet are good. I developed my own system naturally a couple decades ago so I don't pay a lot of attention to the published works in this area.

    All of those books are available currently to my knowledge. I think the Memory Arts is the most expensive of those at $50, and the others are $30 or less. That whole list is under $200.

    Derren Brown's books Pure Effect and Absolute Magic are very good in my opinion, but I haven't seen them for less than $150 each in about a year I think.

    Aaron Alexander's work is amazing and unique. If you can get your hands on Pygmalion Effects I think that will fit right in with your hypnosis knowledge. You can get his eBooks "The Bridge" and "The Ant Queen" on his site still, I believe.

    More and more, though, I'm moving towards emphasizing the theory.

    Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber
    Scripting Magic by Pete McCabe (both volumes)
    Alchemical Tools by Paul Brook
    Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder (I'm still reading these, but they are gold)

    It is my philosophy that the major difference between magic and mentalism is the theatrical approach. Magic encourages the suspension of disbelief. Mentalism encourages belief.

    To clarify that statement - Magic presents an alternative reality in which impossible things can happen. The audience is invited to accept this temporary reality for the length of the show, and there's an implied agreement between the performer and the audience that the performer will be doing tricks.

    Mentalism, to be effective, is presented as a lesser known aspect of this reality. Meaning it has to be believable - no matter what the claim is. Whether it's science-based or supernatural-based doesn't matter - if you can't hold a conversation with 'true believers' of whatever you claim is, you need to study more. The audience should be fairly convinced that you're doing what you claim to do. This also means you have to be prepared to present this character any time you're in public.

    To that end - I strongly advise anyone who wants to get into mentalism to stop thinking about tricks. I believe it's more like employing systems to create an effect in the audience.

    Jerome Finley says that the three most powerful things a mentalist can do are:
    1) Personal readings
    2) Hypnosis
    3) Muscle Reading

    I would add: 4) Memory feats

    So you've got a nice big head start if you're trained in hypnosis. If you're doing entertainment hypnosis you've already got an idea of building shows around mental feats, and you're already working on establishing, or have already established, a character. All you have to do is write routines that suit that character.

    Hope that helps.
  9. Thank you , this is very helpful. I don’t do entertainment hypnosis, but I might be heading that way at some point. I do have a character ( that probably needs more work) but not ready to share it with the public yet. Want to take my time and go slowly. I do clinical hypnosis, also street hypnosis and mentalism time to time. I agree, I have to be ready to present at any time without preparation when it comes to mentalism . I’ll get some of these books, thanks for the help .
  10. Well, I'd say 'street hypnosis' is entertainment hypnosis (Even if some classic stage hypnotists will argue with me on that point). So you've got that head start.

    Personally, and I'm huge on character for a performer, I think it's best not to overthink character too early. Come up with something you think you'll be comfortable with, and start performing with it.

    Also my personal opinion - a mentalist should be able to maintain their persona on and off stage. It's not about necessarily being able to do everything you do on stage without any preparation (usually the prep is just done well ahead of time), but it's about presenting a consistent and believable act. If one claims to be able to read minds on stage, there's no reason that can't be done in the grocery store - unless it's just a trick. Once it's a trick, the performer is thought of as a magician - not a mentalist. Slight but important difference.
  11. So how would one read the mind? You looking for body language? All the books that I read on mentalism, there is nothing about body language and psychology, which personally I love. It’s just revealing the tricks, and nothing about reading a person. I read people well, I’ve been doing crazy stuff since I was 7-8, and apparently it runs in my family. I found out this yesterday when I spoke to my aunt, who I found after 45 years of missing. Long story. Bottom line, I want to learn more about reading people, and not just tricks. I want to buy derren browns books, don’t want to waste money if it’s just tricks. Mentalism is a hobby for me, I still focuse more on hypnosis, however I want to be good . Regards character...... well it’s not easy I think sometimes. When I work with guys, it’s hard for them to take me seriously... They take me seriously, when one completely forgets his name, address and can’t remember how to talk . But until then, it’s not serious for them. I do get lots of “ wow”. So I guess , I am doing something right .
  12. Look for a book called Monographs by Ben Cardall. He's spent his career learning the skills of observation and deduction so that he can be a real life Sherlock Holmes I've seen him do live-streamed demonstrations and it's really cool.

    If you want to develop the genuine skills then you're not going to want to bother with most mentalism texts, and definitely no magic books. Mentalism as a field of entertainment is still based around deception for the most part.

    You're going to want to look into books like "How To Read Every Body" and "What Every Body Is Saying". I honestly don't have much to recommend along these lines because like yourself I've already developed that skill independently as a kid. The FACS system is available for civilians as well - that's the Facial Action Coding System that Paul Ekman developed - it teaches you to read microexpressions. If you've ever seen the TV Show "Lie To Me", the main character in that show is based on Ekman and they feature his work frequently.

    I will still recommend Psychophysiological Thought Reading by Banachek as CMR is a real skill.

    And I will also still recommend the theory books I mentioned above - Maximum Entertainment and Scripting Magic - for the simple reason that theatrical skill is vital to a performance. More so than a bank of tricks.

    And I still think memory stunts are cool so my recommendation for The Memory Arts stands. :)

    Depending on which sources you studied for hypnosis you probably already have the bones of training for reading people - pacing and leading is based around the same skill set - so it may just be a matter of honing the skill and taking some chances with guesses for a while.

    Yeah. That is, unfortunately, a thing. Learning stagecraft helps you quickly establish yourself as The Performer, but unless you get fairly famous this is probably something you'll have to deal with indefinitely.
  13. Thank you so much, you are very helpful. I am very grateful for all your time .
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