Mentalism and Mind reading(not giving readings)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bliff, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Eventhough most people consider mind reading to be the core of mentalism,I don't perform it.Because I don't want to claim to read mind just to suggest that they must write it down.I am aware that I can give justifications why they need to write it down (as it has been explained by the greats like Cassidy and osterlind).Some people are are paranoid about billets after they write down their word and any attempt to switch or peek are not good enough for me.There are no convincing methods to accomplish mind reading so I turned to people like Peter Turner and Fraser parke.What I learned from this people is even worse than making people write stuff down.To name few:- 1,Relaying on psychological forces which wouldn't work if you live in small town and perform for the same people over and over.
    2,Using cards to determine a word or star signs. again it's a horrible idea to mix mentalism and cards especially with mind reading.
    3,Anagrams-It is a long and boring process besides I can't perform it without eglish language.
    these are few examples but you get the point.Mentalism is all about plausibility.I haven't found a way to do it with mind reading.So I want to know how you guys to it.
  2. I usually don't give any ''mentalism'' effect to my mind reading effects, reason being, as you said, if I could read minds, I wouldn't ask them to select a card or something. I would do something different.

    When I do give a mentalism sort of effect, I do a mind reading trick WITHOUT cards...that's almost a must for me. So, you know the trick where the person thinks of a name, a number, and then either white or black? And you write down all of them correcly AS they are thinking of it? I make that look like serious mentalism IF I feel like it (I usually don't).

    Most of my other 'mentalism' tricks seem more like future-predictions (would you call them mentalism?) Anyways, basically I don't put in the mentalism theme in my tricks, but if I do, I don't:-
    1)Use cards.
    2) Write predictions down as they are thinking of their choice, not AFTER they have thought of it and have even written it down.

    I was just thinking, you could do mentalism even if the audience members write down their would have to put in some sort of a different explanation too, like maybe...burn the paper on which the choice was written, and then feel the smoke to reveal their choice? Just a thought...
  3. 1) Study the classic materials. A lot of modern mentalism has been mixed in with magic and a lot of what is being sold isn't mentalism, it's magic. Classic mentalism was often more "pure" and gutsy.

    2) CMR. Hellstromism. Muscle Reading. Whatever you want to call it - learn it, practice it, love it. It's genuine mind reading in the sense that the volunteer communicates the information to you with no conscious effort to do so. There's a lot more you can do with it than just finding a hidden object.

    3) Consider your presentations. Writing things down makes sense in the right context. Like you two, I'm generally opposed to anything that's not very clean when it comes to mind reading, so I generally avoid having things written down, but it's really not difficult at all to justify it.

    4) Look into guys like Ben Seward (Cog - which is out of print), Colin Cloud, and some of Turner and Parker's more obscure work. It's not all anagrams and math. Michael Murray has some great work in the field of propless mentalism as well. I haven't read Isolation yet, but it's high on my "to read" list.

    Mentalism is built on displays of mental prowess. Originally it was an esoteric system that focused on developing mental powers for real, completely unrelated to performance/entertainment. So you've actually touched on something that I'm working on, planning to premier next year - which is a show that seems like a magic show, but is in fact 100% genuine skills, no deception whatsoever. It's slowly coming together and I may not be ready for next year as this year is filling up with other projects, but I am making progress.

    Oh, and 5) The answer you'll not hear many other people give in today's magic/mentalism community - learn to do it for real. Learn to pay attention to little details about people, trust your intuition, and just try to tell people what they are thinking. You will be outright amazed at how effective this can actually be. I have a theory as to why this is, but I've not really discussed it with anyone else. Ben Cardall's "The Monographs" is a place to start there.
  4. I appreciate your answers and ChristopherT pointed out to learn genuine skills like suggestion,memory skills and muscle reading are way better and satisfying to perform.I perform mentalism but mind reding is something I don't perform.Mind reading, as the name implies it needs to be done with mind to mind.Untill that days comes I will stick with other things I do.
  5. What you're saying, as far as I can tell, is that you would only do a mind reading routine if the volunteer thought about something and you picked up on it. Is that correct?
  6. You can learn how to do that now.

    Some of it is a bit esoteric and "woo". Others are systems that genuinely allow you to figure out what someone is thinking by observing them. And actually, I was reading a mentalism book from the 40s I think, just recently, that described how to do this sort of thing as well.

    The skills are out there if you like to learn them. Or it's also perfectly valid not to do those kinds of things as well - it's really your choice.
  7. It all comes down to presentation and scripting.There are three times during my 90- minute show when I use audience written material.

    The first two times that I use audience written material, a spectator pulls from a box that contains billets that the audience completed and dropped in as they entered the theater. There are a lot that go into this so the billets become invisible. First, there is some time between throwing their billet into the box and enterting the theater and when I use them in during the show. Second, the billet becomes secondary. I have them randomly pull from the box, they peak at the billet, and put the billet in their pocket... out of site except for a brief 10 seconds. Third, I never refer to the billet again... I only refer to what the audience member is thinking about in their mind. The billet becomes invisible.

    During the third billet use, I use a very modified version of Cassidy’s “Fourth Dimensional Telepathy”. The envelopes are non-gimmicked, the audience members stay in their seats, and the envelopes appear to stay in the hands of the audience members the entire time. Because of this, the billets in the envelopes again become invisible. Out of hundreds of thousands of audience members, I have heard many, many times... “They just thought of something, and Bill was able to pull it right from their mind!”

    If used correctly, you can create real miracles.
  8. I'm going to take a different approach than @ChristopherT. I think there are a number of methods you can use to know what a person is thinking and what makes it convincing is the performer. If you have a solid method, structure the effect properly and then surround it with subtleties, it appears to be genuine.

    Exactly. The key is that there is a justification for writing it down, there is time misdirection and a method that is not apparent.

    This one is a double-edged sword. It is easy to do this badly -- think of the pick a card, think of a card routine where the magician says "the card you are thinking of is....." Nobody is fooled by that, you are just naming the card. However, with the hard work of good scripting, the methods can become invisible.
  9. I think when it comes to billets it's a bit easier to create the time misdirection and audience management scenarios where you can properly "alter" the memory of the thought having been written down at some point. Bill's description is very classic styled and it's worked for decades. I just read through Nelson's "Encyclopedia of Mentalism and Allied Arts" and what he's describing (Aside from the 4th dimension telepathy) is pretty much what Nelson laid out there, in 1949.

    I was focusing on the concept of developing the "real" skills in my posts, yes, but it's also absolutely possible to do a show using written material that people will "forget" was written (and eventually re-write their own memory to erase that writing) as David said. Mentalists have been doing that for more than a hundred years now. It's all about the structure of the show and the skill of the performer.

    One thing that has changed a bit is the shift of venues for mentalism. While there have always been times when a mentalist would do some mind reading up close and personal, its main place was on stage for a long time. It's only recently (I think within the last 8-10 years I'd say) that close up mentalism has really become "A thing". Because more people are trying to do it, there's more people who are going to do it poorly (pure statistics there, not pointing at any individual with that statement). It takes a lot of finesse to do mentalism in a close up setting, particularly if you're doing it "Blaine" style.

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