MENTALISM: Audience Reactions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Toby, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Hello all,

    This is my second thread about mentalism, and there will be more to come. These threads are for people interested in starting mentalism, or people who already started but are still "green" so to speak. In the first thread we covered how to actually learn and practice mentalism, and we have some amazing advice from everybody who posted in the thread, specially Craig. You can find that thread here:

    Now onto the new subject...

    Audience Reactions:

    Now this is a strange question, and maybe the one that only interests me, but I guess it will be helpful to someone else as well.
    I have been a magician for 5 years now, and a very good one (if I say so myself). The one gauge that I use to measure my success is the audience reactions. If they are amazed, speechless, screaming all over the place, silent with their jaw in their lap, etc. than I think it was enjoyable experience for them.
    Now I shifted over to mentalism, and I just can't seem to get the same reactions. Not even close. Now some one may say that mentalism in general does not provoke those kinds of reactions, which may be true, but the reactions that I get are just horrible.
    To better understand my situation, let me explain it in more detail. I have yet to show mentalism effect to a complete stranger. I still use my test subjects who were before exposed to my magic. And one reaction that I get EVERY SINGE TIME is "umm, yeah that's nice, can you show me something with cards now?". I take that as a compliment being a magician, which means that people still want to see more magic from me. But as mentalist, I am crushed.
    I fully understand that I need more time and fine tuning with mentalism, which is completely fine, but these kinds of things just kill my motivation (instead of lifting it up).
    As a mentalist, I'm trying to stay away from cards as much as possible, because when people see cards, they immediately think "oh, a magic trick", which is not the kind of thinking I want to achieve in my spectators as a mentalist.

    I have a lot more to say about this subject, but for now, lets just start with: how to overcome the reactions that you are getting as a mentalist since you got used to completely other type of reactions with magic, and how to improve the reactions that you get with mentalism?
  2. There could be many many reasons why you are not getting the reactions you are either use to or are expecting. The first is whom you are showing the effects to, you said yourself that you are a good magician, your friends and family know you are extremely talented. For example you might perform a standard CT routine and people may believe it to be nothing more than your skill. So in conclusion you need to give mentalism the space it diserves.

    Another point is that how you reveal and also how you recieve the information. By recieving I am talking about not the real method but the pseudo method that you give the audience. Back to the CT if you do the move and instantly say is theperson you are thinking of Bob you are turning it into a trick.
  3. I was going to start another thread completely about what you just said, but can you share some basic advice on how to actually reveal/recieve information? If you don't want everyone to see, PM me.
  4. I've been trying to do like Rich Ferguson and mix in some mentalism with my magic. I've done the book test in his dvd a few times. I got minimal reactions like a laugh or them saying "that's cool" etc. I tried deck equivoque yesterday and as I was in the process of trying to force the card and my uncle kept laughing and saying "lead him on" because he knew what I was doing. I really like the idea of mixing in mentalism but it is really hard
  5. First off, when people start laughing and making comments during your performance, just quit. Many will disagree, but if that happens then they clearly don't appreciate what your doing. Mixing the two isn't that hard. My solution was simple. Tell them what you're doing is not what you've shown them before. This is not a magic trick or anything like it. It works for me. But I don't know.

    Toby: Why don't you mix playing cards with mentalism? Don't be an elitist. There's nothing wrong with it. Some very strong material in mentalism is done with playing cards. Read 13 Steps. You'll find that out. I do it. ACAAN effects are amazing. They're done with cards. Just do what you like. The reactions... that's a tough subject. Like D ICE R said, there could be many reasons. I think presentation is what could be hurting your reactions.
  6. Well, I have nothing against using playing cards in mentalism, but not in the traditional way. I would never use what is been called a mental magic, which is magic with the presentation of mentalism. If I use cards I would use them for "Colorblind" by Luke Jermay, or "Trilogy" which is in my opinion one of the best mentalism effects with cards that I've seen so far... here is the video:, or "Cataclysm" I would also consider X-Ray by Ben Harris, and Out of This World with mentalism type presentation.
  7. OK I am going to tell you the dirt little secret about mentalism, there are only a few effects that get great reactions. The effects that do get the reactions make up for the so so effects. I learned the hard way and wish I would have accepted it earlier that the simple magic trick that most mentalists hate audiences love and give huge reactions to. I think the reason for so many bad mentalism effects that are commercially available is because mentalists are generally limited to a lower level of skill and the effects put out are designed for them. This is because many people getting into mentalism get into it later in life because they are not able to perform sleight of hand anymore. Mentalism also has a reputation for being easy so it attracts people who want easy stuff. Sadly I have eliminated a lot of mentalism and replaced it with magic because I don't like getting the "oh that's nice" type of reaction that many mentalism effects get. However like I said earlier the mentalism that I keep performing is getting reactions stronger than the magic that I do.
  8. In case anyone is curious the effects that I do that gets the big reactions are Psypher by Robert Smith, Dunns Deal from the True Astonishment DVDs spoon bending and key bending. Can anyone suggest any others? Mentalism not mental magic if possible.
  9. Psyhco Kinetic Touches, or Psycho Kinetic Time from Bannachek Both produce strong reactions.
  10. Yeah those are great.
  11. I do Psypher too, it's great. But I've been a card guy for awhile so I'm not lacking in the area of sleights. I get good reactions with my mentalism. If you wanna knock em out just do Metal by Dee Christopher. I'd like to see an Oh, that's nice reaction after you do that.
  12. In regards to reactions there are two prerequisites you have to understand. One is the individuals you choose to perform for, Two is the impression that you give/present/inflict [on them].

    But be wary, Mentalism is like a Cigar as it takes time to nurture the good taste. Comparing it to Magic whereas things can be very impactful on quick successions, its a totally different field.

    Also be wary, if you are focusing on reactions in regards to performing Mentalism then you should slow down and correct your path. It should be seen as secondary.
  13. Could easily give my presentations however I won't for three reasons:

    1. They are mine, inturn they would not work for you as you are not me.
    2. You will get more a lot out of it if you do the real work to achieve it.
    3. I am too lazy.

    Seriously I will help you however I will not spoon feed you the answers.
  14. Fair enoguh :)
    Although, I wasn't asking for the actuall script that you use, just some tips on how to make it better/believable...
  15. So send me a PM and I will discuss how you can make mentalism work.
  16. Nowdays people want instant gratification. The modern audience wants quick and to the point. If you are doing mentalism from a close up point of view it will be difficult. People don't want to write down three things and fold them a cetain way and then mix the billets and choose one then have the performer act as if they are picking up signals before slowly revealing the name etc. One routine and ten minutes have gone by. Thats probably why the reaction is not strong; by the time the reveal comes people are already bored. Lets face it if you had to go up to a table and say think of a friend of yours.. youre thinking of Jimmy; then you would get strong reactions, but the whole rigmarole of mentalism is better suited to the stage. People generally didn't pay to see you in a restaurant etc. so you have to make them feel like you arent imposing. Telling them to do a million things and concentrate and fold and burn stuff will just make them think "when is this guy leaving; I want to carry on talking with my family/ friends.
    P.s. Why become a mentalist if youre such a good magician? Dont fix it if it aint broke....
  17. The point made above me about not fixing it if it isn't broke isn't completely true. I know that in ireland, mainly because derren brown and keith barry are so popular, that it's alot easier to get hired if your advertise mind reading as part of your act, it's what people want.
  18. Mentalism is only good for asking for their wallet and phone =)
  19. It is abundantly clear that you are not and never have been a mentalist. Not a good one, anyway.

    Oh, one other thing. I laughed when a few posters above said they "did" Psypher. You don't "do" an imp device.
  20. You clearly have not done mentalism.
    I would stop here but the fact is that mentalism is a performance art where WE ACT. The fact that i have been studying the craft of mentalism for years and the results i have are huge. The faces people get when i do something is unbelievable. Rather than just show a deck of cards and practice a move for 10 hours a day i go acting 2 times a week, i write short storys and try to make my presentations as colorful and cool as i can. Mentalism yes in it´s most clean form without presentation is should i say stupid. But isn´t magic the same thing? I mean if you rely only on a double lift in an effect you need a good diversion to get them away from the fact that you just turned around two cards. Seeming familiar now? ACR is the most stupid premise in magic for me but thats what works. Bold, well thought out, simple effects. Who would want to watch a dude use a double lift 10 times in a minute?

    I suggest looking into your own stuff before mocking others. We are all performers of an art that when stripped of it clothes is as stupid and simple and all that stuff than we make it seem it is.


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