Magic & Mentalism Are More Alike Than You Realize-oboni

UnCategorized "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only .pletely consistent people are the dead." – Aldous Huxley Think of the archetype of Merlin the Magician. Can you see him waving a wand over a cauldron causing sparks to burst forth? How about changing a stone into a frog? And finally, can you imagine him revealing another person’s thoughts or foretelling an event? For me, all of these abilities are from the same family, especially as embodied in a character such as Merlin. There is much talk these days of the differences between magic and mentalism, though ultimately it all boils down to your stage character and performance goals. So-called ‘inconsistencies’ are not only .monly found in real people, but are precisely what makes a person real! Perfectly consistent mannerisms with an unflagging devotion to a single identity or outlook are the stuff of romance novels and children’s stories. As dissimilar as you may find mentalism and magic to be, there are countless ways to successfully .bine the two in such a way that an audience finds your character credible. One of the keys to creating an effective character is a certain degree of consistency in regards to voice, mannerisms, demeanor and apparent motivations, but as I have already suggested, you can take consistency too far and create an artificial persona rather than a believable individual. If you perform a number of flourishes with a pack of cards, then have someone select a card, return it to the pack and announce that you will find the card with ‘mind reading,’ you may be pushing your luck. If the audience has to choose between believing that you will find their card via techniques you have already demonstrated (sleight-of-hand) or via mysterious powers, they are going to be sorely tempted to choose to believe the prior. And make no mistake, belief is a choice. Mentalism and magic, the immaterial and the material, the cognitive and the sensual, are all able to beautifully .pliment each other, though you must .bine them in a manner sensitive to their differences. Ultimately, the goal is to be mindful that the explicitness of magic and the implicitness of mentalism do not undermine each other. One way to distinguish the two is through your use of props. If you have presented a few effects under the theatrical awning of ‘card tricks,’ instead of using the pack for a mentalism effect, put the cards away and do something with a borrowed bill, pen and paper, etc. You can also distinguish the two through routining, traditionally by beginning with a magic effect or two and then ending your set with a mentalist effect. This works nicely in that it moves from the sensual and public (a selected card everyone sees) to the more abstract and private (a thought-of number.) That way, you and your audience have a chance to develop a bit of trust and .fort through the visual and tactile before steering the collective boat into more implicit waters. Presentational style is, of course, another way to distinguish between magic and mentalism. Typically, mentalist presentations have a decidedly more minimal tone to them, but this does not mean they have to cold or clinical. This is a mistake made by far too many mentalists. By adopting a "serious, objective, test conditions" tone, they may gain a certain degree of focus and establish a shift in character, but they also run a serious risk of lessening the audiences emotional investment. There are so many attitudes to adopt other than the cliched, unsmiling and monotone, "look deeply into my eyes" stuff. In stark contrast to the classic magician-in-control demeanor, when I perform a mentalist effect I strive to get in touch with a more vulnerable and even uncertain side of myself. This is a version of the popular, "Let’s try something, I’m not sure if it is going to work" approach. It nicely supports an implicit lack of control while also keeping the emotional channels wide open between you and your audience. A memorable example of an extremely insecure character presenting a mentalist effect ("Do As I Do") is found in the movie "Magic"(1978) directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Anthony Hopkins. The magician’s presentation is definitely "over the top" in a creepy and desperate kind of way, though it is without a doubt totally engaging. I do not believe it would be a very .mercial character or tone to adopt, but it is a fine example of a magical effect performed in an extremely vulnerable fashion. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: