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Sure-Fire Mentalism vs. Suggestion Mentalism

Jan 1, 2008
70
0
As most people interested in mentalism would know, there are two main types, Sure-fire, and sugestion and I think there is something to be said about both of them, I'd like to hear your opinions/preferences
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
As most people interested in mentalism would know, there are two main types, Sure-fire, and sugestion and I think there is something to be said about both of them, I'd like to hear your opinions/preferences

Are there two types? As most people would know? I don't think that's true. I'd say that that is a gross simplification, and based on a common beginner's misconception about mentalism, namely, the Derren Brown style mentalist who relies almost completely on NLP and suggestion. That said, I will simply say this: if you're afraid of risk in mentalism, learn sponge ball magic, mentalism is not for you. And I can't say I agree at all with JDEN's simplistic post either. There's a lot more to spectators than a simple classification. And a lot more to magic in general, and performance. A knowledgable mentalist will use psychology and suggestion to every possible advantage. This does not mean the mentalist is trying to force the four of diamonds every effect! Many so called "sure-fire" effects utilise suggestion and psychological principles to augment the effect of magic.
 
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Oct 28, 2007
453
0
Sydney Australia
Both are equally important. My general approach is to integrate suggestions into surefire mentalism effects, ensuring that if my suggestions fail, the surefire effect would not.
A lot of psychology and presentation goes into mentalism, and I guess it is what makes it fun, especially for suggestive effects, we as magicians take pleasure out of succeeding in a challenge (as do most people), and using suggestive magic gives us much more pleasure compared to sure-fire effects.

That's what i reckon IMO at least.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
Both are equally important. My general approach is to integrate suggestions into surefire mentalism effects, ensuring that if my suggestions fail, the surefire effect would not.
A lot of psychology and presentation goes into mentalism, and I guess it is what makes it fun, especially for suggestive effects, we as magicians take pleasure out of succeeding in a challenge (as do most people), and using suggestive magic gives us much more pleasure compared to sure-fire effects.

That's what i reckon IMO at least.

Again, I would submit that surely anyone with a modicum of knowledge of mentalism such as yourself would agree that dividing the two is rather simplistic and silly? In any case, as a side note, when I refer to integrating suggestion into mentalism, I mean something different from DLeerium.
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
Are there two types? As most people would know? I don't think that's true. I'd say that that is a gross simplification, and based on a common beginner's misconception about mentalism, namely, the Derren Brown style mentalist who relies almost completely on NLP and suggestion. That said, I will simply say this: if you're afraid of risk in mentalism, learn sponge ball magic, mentalism is not for you. And I can't say I agree at all with JDEN's simplistic post either. There's a lot more to spectators than a simple classification. And a lot more to magic in general, and performance. A knowledgable mentalist will use psychology and suggestion to every possible advantage. This does not mean the mentalist is trying to force the four of diamonds every effect! Many so called "sure-fire" effects utilise suggestion and psychological principles to augment the effect of magic.

I second this - I'm happy to say know a fair amount of mentalism and not much at all relies purely on suggestion.

There tends always to be a layer in there of common magician style deception! (Not that many pure mentalists would acknowledge their similarities to magicians!! :p)

Mentalism is something which requires a lot of study, and more than anything alot of trial and error!

It's not generally about the methods at all, look at it from a spectator's point of view, method is nothing - If you say that you are subliminally influencing them to think a certain way, that's what they'll believe.

I started performing Heirloom not too long ago, and I've had one several occasions:

How did you make me think of that card?

throughout the reactive comments!

The fact that Derren Brown is so popular allows the majority of people to come to the conclusion that these are the methods we are using, no matter what is the case.

Peeks are good. Forces are good.

Suggestion is the next tier where you'll learn to build on these things.

D.
 
I second this - I'm happy to say know a fair amount of mentalism and not much at all relies purely on suggestion.

There tends always to be a layer in there of common magician style deception! (Not that many pure mentalists would acknowledge their similarities to magicians!! :p)

Mentalism is something which requires a lot of study, and more than anything alot of trial and error!

It's not generally about the methods at all, look at it from a spectator's point of view, method is nothing - If you say that you are subliminally influencing them to think a certain way, that's what they'll believe.

I started performing Heirloom not too long ago, and I've had one several occasions:

How did you make me think of that card?

throughout the reactive comments!

The fact that Derren Brown is so popular allows the majority of people to come to the conclusion that these are the methods we are using, no matter what is the case.

Peeks are good. Forces are good.

Suggestion is the next tier where you'll learn to build on these things.

D.


I absoloutley second this!

The first poster clearly has just gotten into Mentalism and does not know the acutall workings of pure mentalism. I myself have only been in this amazing thing for a 2 years and im still finding out amazing stuff. True mentalism needs alot of work so if you think ah, i will go and say this n this and they will do that, then your wrong.

Mikk
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
I second this - I'm happy to say know a fair amount of mentalism and not much at all relies purely on suggestion.

There tends always to be a layer in there of common magician style deception! (Not that many pure mentalists would acknowledge their similarities to magicians!! :p)

Mentalism is something which requires a lot of study, and more than anything alot of trial and error!

It's not generally about the methods at all, look at it from a spectator's point of view, method is nothing - If you say that you are subliminally influencing them to think a certain way, that's what they'll believe.

I started performing Heirloom not too long ago, and I've had one several occasions:

How did you make me think of that card?

throughout the reactive comments!

The fact that Derren Brown is so popular allows the majority of people to come to the conclusion that these are the methods we are using, no matter what is the case.

Peeks are good. Forces are good.

Suggestion is the next tier where you'll learn to build on these things.

D.


Not much to add to this, but well said Dee.
 
Mar 22, 2009
39
1
It's not generally about the methods at all, look at it from a spectator's point of view, method is nothing - If you say that you are subliminally influencing them to think a certain way, that's what they'll believe.

I think a certain care should be taken in choosing the types of effects used in conjuction with the suggestion / influence style of presentation.

I recall watching an effect on DVD where a spectator selected the only red backed card from a blue backed deck. The performer claimed to be influencing the spectator, but I think it was clear to the audience he was doing magic tricks dressed up as suggestion.

This style of mentalism is profoundly popular due to Derren Brown, but I feel it's often misused, and you see too many people doing card tricks dressed up with suggestion / influence.
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
As long as the trick it's self fits and links logically with an influence premise, I don't see a problem with it at all, the bad thing is when some one riffle forces a card and claims that they subliminally suggested the card thru their scripting, etc. That just doesn't make sense at all!

D.
 
Mar 22, 2009
39
1
As long as the trick it's self fits and links logically with an influence premise, I don't see a problem with it at all, the bad thing is when some one riffle forces a card and claims that they subliminally suggested the card thru their scripting, etc. That just doesn't make sense at all!

D.

Dee,

That's the exact type of thing I'm talking about. Good example. I think there are a number of effects that fit well the influence premise, and other effects that don't. I personally don't use it as a premise for any effects but it can be great when used well. It seems so many mentalists are jumping on this bandwagon without giving it any real thought.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
Dee,

That's the exact type of thing I'm talking about. Good example. I think there are a number of effects that fit well the influence premise, and other effects that don't. I personally don't use it as a premise for any effects but it can be great when used well. It seems so many mentalists are jumping on this bandwagon without giving it any real thought.

Very true - sadly there are simply too many magicians calling themselves mentalists with no real idea about mentalism itself, except Derren Brown's presentations (and chances are he's using something that's buried in The Jinx but seems completely impractical).
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,241
3
Back in Time
Is there sure fire mentalisim? I always figured that ALL mentalisim was suggestion based and about making gut decisions and going with the flow. Rather than being 100% sure fire like a Rifle or hindu shuffle force.
 
Mar 22, 2009
39
1
Very true - sadly there are simply too many magicians calling themselves mentalists with no real idea about mentalism itself, except Derren Brown's presentations (and chances are he's using something that's buried in The Jinx but seems completely impractical).

I agree. I only recently realised that loads of magicians take Derren's presentations at face value. They actually think he's using NLP, suggestion, etc.

I'm sure he does use elements of those in his work, but not to the extent he claims. I'd always assumed magicians / mentalists realised this. I think part of Derren's success is his incredible charisma and stage presence, and the fact he has thought deeply about the material he performs.

Is there sure fire mentalisim? I always figured that ALL mentalisim was suggestion based and about making gut decisions and going with the flow. Rather than being 100% sure fire like a Rifle or hindu shuffle force.

Randy,

Most the stuff I do is sure fire, although it's more mental magic than mentalism. Owing to the way I present the material it moves it away from mentalism into the field of mental magic, and I actually prefer it that way. Some performers use material that isn't sure fire, but it's ultimately a personal choice.
 
Mar 6, 2008
1,483
3
A Land Down Under
I thought I might as well drop in and add my two cents worth. Very few established mentalists even use the suggestion premise, and in the great scheme of things only recently has mentalism been preformed with a 'scientific' type presentation. By that I mean reading people influencing them and everything of that nature. Dunninger to my knowledge was one of the first to adopt this I suppose 'moral' approach so did Kreskin. Derren took it to a whole new level though, and blurred the lines so much that it appeared to be the real thing. And many mentalists still attribute what they do to something almost supernatural, not the the extent of Uri Gellar but Max Maven and Bob Cassidy are two that come to mind. However, these two can get away with it because they understand so well that they have a premise and that they can stick to it.

Now back the the original topic, not to sound like I am on a high horse or anything but I probably do more purely suggestion based mentalism than most on this board. With that being said usually only one piece of my show contains nothing but suggestion. A lot of my effects contain suggestion to heighten the effect for all involved, but for some reason it does not work there is always a mechanical method to achieve at least a very nice effect.

But even with surefire effects in mentalism it pays to get it a little wrong. Every great mentalist fails on stage because they use spectators more than magicians do. But they embrace it because failure in mentalism is almost essential as it adds credibility to your performance. Many people talk about this in their works as if you only get yes responses why do you need to do all of that to tell me my card or whatever.

Dee said it best about suggestion and a logical approach you cannot do a riffle force and play it off as a amazing ability to control spectators. But you could do that same riffle force and play it off as an amazing ability to read spectators it can become plausible. And that in my opinion is one of the most important things about mentalism, especially when adopting the more scientific approach. If your spectators believe you did not use any form of trickery then the only explanation is that whhat you are doing is real.
 

Deechristopher

theory11 moderator
Moderator
the only explanation is that whhat you are doing is real.

Great post, I think that's the difference between mentalism and mental magic right there. The plausibility.

I think de-icer (get it? I love you really dude :p) summed up really nicely in his post and I don't really have much more to add.

... Aside from have a read of Kenton's miracles of suggestion, I think it's one of the best beginners resources to learn the concept of what suggestion is and it's various forms.

I've mentioned in the past the 'whole' performance, suggestion lies in what you wear, your accent, your gestures, it's in everything. As D ICE R will know, and some others reading this, suggestion is built up of many different aspects, use all the senses, think of each thing you do during the performance as a brick suggestion and build the spectator a path to follow.

I've just come back from an evening of readings and past life regression so I'm all metaphysical and using analogies... Forgive me :p

D.
 
Mar 6, 2008
1,483
3
A Land Down Under
Thanks Dee (I love the fact you quoted my typo and did not fix it).

I have to agree that everything that we do as magicians, mentalists or just regular people has an inbuilt suggestion. Exploiting it is what makes magic work
 
Oct 2, 2008
336
0
UK
Jinai.deviantart.com
Wow, i see two Samurai's sparring! Thanks you two, i learnt a lot.

I've mentioned in the past the 'whole' performance, suggestion lies in what you wear, your accent, your gestures, it's in everything. As D ICE R will know, and some others reading this, suggestion is built up of many different aspects, use all the senses, think of each thing you do during the performance as a brick suggestion and build the spectator a path to follow.

Now its 2:30AM right now, i was just about to hit the sack. But this brought my concious back. Is there any way, in Hojo's darn name, i can learn more of this?
 
Dees and D ICE R ´s posts sum the whole topic up.

And the verdict:

Its a preference, which one to do :)

D ICE R´s post was very informative for someone who wants to know shortly how did the scientific part of mentalism start.

Nice guys!
Keep it up!

Mikk
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
Is there sure fire mentalisim? I always figured that ALL mentalisim was suggestion based and about making gut decisions and going with the flow. Rather than being 100% sure fire like a Rifle or hindu shuffle force.

See, this is why I tell people to read Fundamentals first.

It seems to me everyone is so focused on this suggestion kick because of juvenile fantasies of possessing superpowers.
 
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