switching to mentalism

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MOD, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. I am new to magic. Actually i am more intersted in mentalism. Do i need to have any sleight of hand skill to be a good mentalist.I know learning coin magic would help in Bi**et work but a mentalist some times need to use some basic card sleights like T*p change,D*u*le lift etc. And there are mentalist who use cards like Max Maven, Docc Hilford, Luke Jermay....... So my question is should i start with COIN MAGIC or CARD MAGIC before switching to mentalism.
    OR what are the essential sleights i have to learn ?

    Right now i am doing card magic alone because i find coin sleigths difficult , i think it requires lot more than just fast hands, like your eye movement, body language and hand movements should look more smooth and natural.
  2. I would recommend you chock out the book: "13 steps to mentalism"
    you will learn a lot of things and you dont need to be good with cards or coins, however it can be helpful so I would recommend you start learning some card magic. This is great place to start: "Royal road to card magic"
  3. Anything by Corinda, Annemann, T.A Waters, Kenton Knepper. Just some of the ground work that I'm studying.
  4. If you are thinking that mentalism is somehow easier than magic because it doesn't require any sleight of hand, then you are wrong. Mentalism requires a strong character, more complicated methods, some sleight of hand and experience in performing. There are a lot of other differences between magic and mentalism -- the main distinction being that mentalism should not be presented as a "trick."

    If you want to do "tricks" then look into mental magic. Good DVDs are Rich Ferguson's This is Mentalism DVDs and Nate Kranzo's Boondock Mental.

    Anyone who tells you to start with Corinda's 13 Steps doesn't know what they are talking about and most likely hasn't read the book. Also, learning card magic would not necessarily be helpful. Even Max Maven's prism series doesn't use sleights more difficult than a glide and a double turnover.

    Similarly, suggesting T.A. Waters to a beginner in mentalism is like suggesting Ernst Earnik to a beginner in card magic.

    Start with Anneman's Practical Mental Magic. Then read Craig Browning's Introduction to Mentalism (it is a free e-book). Then read Bob Cassidy's Fundamentals.
  5. If you're wondering about slights specifically, John Riggs put out a book many years ago about "Essential Slights for Mentalists" that you may want to look into. . . why anyone would point you towards RRCM is beyond me; Card Tricks are NOT Mentalism they are, at best, Mental Magic in today's world. You will find that the majority of seasoned (think "Old Timers") in Mentalism have this point of view but, we also believe that you can modify a card effect by using alternative items such as photos, post cards, business cards, etc. in place of the playing cards; change your presentation and voila! You can have a solid bit of Mentalism. This is a key active that separates Mentalism from Magic, we strive to be more unique in what we do vs. "Off the shelf" with the things we do.

    As you've been told Mentalism is NOT "easier" than magic, it requires far more in way of performance skills and your ability to be a solid Showman; years of study when it comes to how to word your presentations (scripting -- Study Kenton Knepper materials on this subject) and of course the psychology around how you frame things. I always encourage young hobbyists to invest a couple of years in learning traditional magic and get experience in presenting & performing and most importantly, stage management. I'll even suggest that you get involved with local Improvisation Groups and Theater so you can learn to be comfortable on stage (in the spotlight) as well as how to think on your feet. I learned these things by working side shows and being coached by some of the great "Old Timers" in that world, we all learn it over time.

    A great number of people want to get involved with Mentalism for the wrong reason; how it makes them look vs. how it allows them to "entertain" others. It's an ego trip which is the wrong way to approach it.

    Feel free to touch base should you have any questions. In the meantime, take a look at the two free pdfs linked below;


  6. #6 MOD, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2015
    Thanks for support Mr.Browning. I want to learn mentalism beacuse when i was a kid i really believed in " real mind reading". I've always been fascinated by strange mysterious stories of people who can controll mind,thought readers,astrologers,ouija board,ghost,satan,gods........
    But when i got older, i started to take a moment and think , i wanted to know how these things work and why people believe in it. I beacme an atheist and skeptic. This introduced me to some of techniques like cold reading,suggestions, ideomotor response etc.

    I also found that the most powerful tool a magician or mentalist could use is people's belief .This is just my opinion.i don't have much experience to make such statements but this is something i found on my own . I can do pulse stop without anything under my arm, I just build up the effect and ask them if they could feel anything strange, some people say pulse getting fast and some say they can feel it slowing down, either way i follow along with their answer.If pulse stop works really well i let them hold their hand towards my chest and ask them "if they could experience same strange feelings on my chest" and most people say my heart beat stopped.I found this method by accident.I tried this on all of my freinds every one had different feelings some felt pulse getting fast , some felt pulse slowing down, some said pulse completely stopped.Its still impressive beacuse i don't specify what they will feel, i just take credit for whatever they say . I think this works beacuse of our spectator's strong belief something strange is going to happen.I think i should learn how to build trust and belief of spectator to become a good mentalist.
  7. I think you may want to explore Urban~Shamanism given how you describe your perspectives on things. There will be a book coming out on that subject in the spring that I and Art Vanderlay have been working on with contributions by the Who's Who of the industry.
  8. Nice dude, I share your views on mentalism too that's why I'm making the transition. My choice was based off a question asked by Richard Osterlind that went something along the lines of: "If you had real magic powers would you really make coins teleport from one hand to another."

    I personally believe mentalism is the real magic of magic.
  9. Daniel Madison has a few really good tricks with cards that aren't card tricks, for example he has a trick where he steps on the deck and the cards disappear!
  10. So you consider a trick where cards disappear not to be a card trick?
  11. There are those within the deeper auspices of Mentalism that would say that "No Real Mentalist Ever Uses Playing Cards!" The reason they say that is that a.) There is a psychological factor around cards in the public mind that basically says "It has to be a card trick" -- this is the public's "out" if you would. b.) You can increase the paranormal or psychological sense of a routine when you substitute items like photographs and postcards for playing cards.

    The Recovering Magician that is still addicted to playing cards will argue that a card deck gives you 52 random objects that most people are familiar with but this is a pacifying statement for those that are unwilling to work at being a risk taker -- someone that's willing to develop a superior presentation that distinguishes him or her from being aligned with the magical arts & sciences. If this is the case then you don't need a physical deck, which is where many of the more ardent mentalists exploit the playing card instrument -- we evoke the mind and invoke the imagination so as to work ethereally and in so doing, distance the demonstration from the idea of being a card shark or magician. From the laities perspective there is no way I or anyone can manipulate their choices and that is how Mentalism differs from magic and especially card magic.

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