A thought on mentalism:
It seems like we are seeing more and more mentalism effects. I think there are two reasons for this:
- 1. The effects appear to be easier to do than straight magic.
- 2. It’s easier to sell to today’s audiences.
Each of these could be the basis for a long article and we may well explore them another time, but today I want to talk about prediction tricks. You know, some pretender pulls out an envelope and says I have a prediction here and the rest of the routine is take up proving the prediction is correct. I don’t know about you, but both of my cheeks have fallen asleep by the time it’s over. Avoid the simple prediction. A layman is not some simpleton, incapable of rational thought. They know where you are going and the mystery is nonexistent.
I realize that most mental effects could be considered a prediction, but delay that fact as long as possible and you’ll get a much better response from your audience. I guarantee it!
Drivel & Drool
Things and people I actually like
I know this area is reserved for my personal bitch sessions, but there are a number of things in magic I do like – some of them a lot. It’s just that it’s easier to get passionate about ignorant fuckers like George F. Bush or congenital douche bags like Mario and Paul than it is to appreciate the good things we all have around us. For better or worse, here are the some good things that come to mind:
Tim Ellis and his blog, Magic Unlimited with Ellis & Webster – I admire his energy and his honesty. His “fakers” page is must reading. I ALSO highly recommend his DVDs – even if you don’t learn anything (and you will), they are incredibly entertaining.
Glenn Bishop – Yeah, I know Glenn can be frustrating, at times, with his vanishing and re-appearing blogs, and he’s more than a little mercurial, but it his passion for what he does that I so greatly admire. I wish he would learn to ignore his critics and concentrate on his friends and fans, but I genuinely understand that is WAY easier to say than to do. Just don’t go away and stay away Glenn – magic needs guys like you.
Dick Osterlind – There are many magic books and DVDs, where I feel like I didn’t get the whole tamale. Kind of like a cook leaving out an essential ingredient in a recipe. It’s OK, but something is missing. I’ve always felt that Dick really tips in is books and on his DVDs. Like anyone that has produced as much as he has in recent years, some stuff is better than others, but it’s always will thought out and meticulously explained. You never feel screwed when you buy his stuff – and that, my friend, is a huge statement.
Jake at RNT2 – Although I consider Jake a friend, I just realized I have no idea what his last name is. If you frequent the magic boards, you know that the whole “collector class” prop business is a giant pissing contest. I long ago, quit trying to determine who’s right and who’s wrong, but I do know, I’ve always been treated well by RNT2. Jake recently had a heart attack, but he’s back at work now and I wish him the best.
Many Magic Clubs – It’s actually pretty darn easy to criticise the local clubs – inept performances, internal politics and the fact that anyone under ager 65 sits at the kiddie table. If the truth be know, it is these people that really support this hobby and the businesses trying to make a living from magic. They are there for any magic related events in the area and if you’re willing to look past the few highly visible ass holes, I’ll bet your find some great people to talk to and learn from. Give it a try.
Some of the recent magic books – I think we’ve been really fortunate on some of the recent output:
- Harry Riser’s new book
- John Bannon’s Dear Mr. Fantasy
- The book on Paul Potassy
- The reprints of many of the Kaufman “classics”
Guess I better go drink a bottle of vinegar and get back to my usual sour self. I’m not sure who’s writing this……..