What should if go after next?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ToConjure, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. I am looking for some really good books on both coin magic and mentalism. I have a good amount of card magic books already, although I just want to get some new titles of coin/mentalism books to get for the upcoming holiday's. Thanks in advance!
  2. On Coin Magic: Bobos Modern Coin Magic, Jay Sankey's Coin Magic Book
    Mentalism: 13 Steps to Mentalism, the works of Annemann are good,
  3. DEVIL'S ADVOCATE HERE. . . Stay Away from Mentalism until you have the basics of magic down pat i.e. slight-of-hand in general (card basics, coins, balls, etc.) and you have managed to get some experience presenting and performing traditional magic.

    Why Do I Say This? You ask

    Because Mentalism is far more demanding on a person's showmanship skills as well as their ability to "manage" their audience, which includes being able to "read/size up" people in a group that would be the better participant for particular routines/experiments.

    Mentalism might be RELATED to Magic, but it is not one in the same thing; Mentalism relies on an investment of belief from your audience where Magic suspends this element; they are direct opposites to one another on the psychological spectrum UNLESS you are simply dabbling in Mental Magic i.e. routines that typically use props and which come off as being tricks to the audience's mind. One of my favorite such bits is Larry Becker's Casino Royale while there is still room for things like the Mental Epic.

    Before you move towards Mentalism there are some other books you need to read and study such as the Amature Magicians Handbook and the book Magic & Showmanship. There was a time when these would be a mandatory part of a student's first or second year of study; sadly we no longer have the advantage of the old Brick & Mortar shop and the guidance that came with them.
  4. Great Post Craig. I wish more people could here this, esp. every young "Street Magician" who thinks he can do magic. But isn't it good to start something as early as possible so one can learn stuff? I mean: Sure, the first couple of years won't be that great but after let's say 5 years of Mentalism even a beginner can reach a certain level which can be quite good.
  5. You start early by learning the basics of magic and showmanship while generating personal experience at that level; it's "conditioning" in many ways and guards against several key "issues" that come up such as lost confidence due to one's inability to present a given effect (psychological forces come to mind) or to gain the Affect one is after. Secondly, novices in magic do not yet understand the value of creating an image and reliable claim and until they are prepared for that, they cannot understand the applied sense of psychology associated with Mentalism and how it is different from magic; Mentalism invokes belief whether you claim to be an expert of some kind that's studied a particular field tied to the human animal and its quirks or whether you are taking the Psychic Entertainer's course of action; either way BELIEF e.g. BELIEVABILITY are vital to one's success. This is why old farts like me tell people to not mix magic & mentalism if they wish to gain optimum impact.

    The public knows that magicians cheat and deliberate trick them, it's part of the job description and something they accept. Sadly, this creates a sense of challenge in some instances, in that poor performers present tricks as tricks -- a puzzle rather than an intrigue. They do not evolve out of the primordial ooze as it were, and stagnate at the novice level because they do not study theory, philosophy, etc. as it applies to both, theater and the magical arts. There is a heck of a lot more to this craft than tricks!

    Yes, a person can, after that first year of serious study in magic's basics, move into Mentalism PROVIDED they are mature, quick studies and serious about the art, understanding how it is not one in the same thing as magic; the two are kindred art forms but not one in the same thing. But my stance on this point stems more from personal experience than mere tradition; I plied my hand at Mentalism when I was in my early 20s only to get the heck scared out of me. Not because of the techniques used, but due to public reaction; very few of us under 25 years of age have the life-experience that prepares us for such things (people wanting you to become their guru, etc. ). While I continued to feature bits of "Mental Magic" in my regular family Magic Shows (grand illusion) I would postpone things for about 8 years when it comes to diving back into Mentalism full-time. As a couple of yesteryear authors put it, I had to earn my crows feet around the eyes and shocks of silver in my hair. . .

    While a properly trained 12 year old can (and has) been featured in shows as a gifted psychic or blessed individual/math wiz, etc. we are talking about an exception; even Banachek's career was benefitted by way of a mentor and guide in those early days, who was striving to make what Steve presented -- REAL! Traditionally however, Mentalism has always been that path taken late in a magician's evolution so that experiences in life as well as on stage, bring benefit and believability to what he/she presents.

    When you learn to not see the contents of Corinda or Annemann or any other texts on Mentalism as a collection of "tricks" but rather "tools" that aid you in the creation of one single illusion -- Who YOU Are and What Your Claim Is -- once you understand that process of validation and how it works, then you will understand best, the difference between being a Mentalist vs. Magician and similarly, you will come to understand why their is strength in your keeping the two separate -- why the majority of Mentalists in the world side-step their ties to that of the magician, many of whom go deep underground, but that's another story.

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