Last Friday was the venue for The Story Circle's Mentalism Workshop, and considering how much I devour material on mentalists, that night was a refeshing and reinvigorating time for even the more veteran mentalists among us, like myself, TJ, Lei, and Nomer.
It was all about getting people used to the basic concepts of mentalism, and how it stands apart from the rest of the art, as I outlined in The Mentalist's FAQ, as taken from Richard Osterlind. So we talked about four of the most commonly used aspects of mentalism:
1. Telepathy - The ability to read a person's mind.
2. Clairvoyance - The ability to foresee something that has yet to happen.
3. Psychokinesis - The ability to move objects without employing physical force.
4. Suggestion - The ability to control or influence another person's mind, including but not limited to hypnosis.
Anyways, we talked about a lot of general concepts, such as the Q and A segment, the Book Test, the prediction, the 1A/1B principle, and so forth. What was really amusing was the fact that when they tried doing a representative version of Psychometry, and someone was thinking of a celebrity.
Turns out, I got it right when I made a guess... was this celebrity Maria Ozawa? Yes it was.
The funny thing was, I wasn't exactly the performer at the time. It was Lei who was doing the routine, but I just tossed an offhand joke which turned out to be a hit... heh.
Aside from that, we went about demonstrating a whole bunch of classic effects, and what really made the night awesome was the realization that mentalism really has a lot of hard work needed to make it work, because if the criteria for magicians would be technical skill and presentation skill, mentalism's technical skill requirement is so minimal, but the presentation skill requirements are astronomically high. In any case, it all works out for people who really put a lot of work into their craft, as would be the case in pretty much anything one would want to do, to begin with.
This was a really great seminar for people with a mild interest in mentalism, as well as veterans who'd want to share ideas and give themselves a chance to remind themselves of old gems they may have discarded only because they forgot about the effect already.
Kudos to the organizers of this seminar, Lei and Nomer. Kudos as well to all the people who went to the workshop and made this one a hit, since your thoughts and ideas are precisely what allows the craft to evolve into an art that is uniquely your own. It was a really great time for all the people involved, and who says mentalism is boring?!? Let this stand as living proof to all those naysayers:
I rest my case.