performer wrote:I must say that I derived great amusement by your phrase "those in the know". That is because "those in the know" DON'T know! I have seen more tosh about the methods of psychics written for magicians by people who haven't the slightest idea what goes on. It really is the blind leading the blind. Inaccurate speculation is not a substitute for real knowledge. Never mind though. I am here to guide you all since I KNOW what it is all about. Many of you only THINK you know. But you don't. You really don't. How can you if you are not in the business?
The phrase you use in your last paragraph "the methods of our art" fill me with great hilarity. OUR art? The art of the magician has nothing whatsoever to do with the art of the psychic. Magicians know nothing about it unless they have done thousands upon thousands of readings in a PAID situation. They don't understand the metaphysical aspects of it and the way the mind tunes into what is going on. They think everything is trickery when it certainly isn't.
Performer- I first learned to do readings (1) from my late mother (who gave incredible readings--often reading Turkish coffee cups but also demonstrated unexplainable intuition without any trickery) and (2) from a well known skeptic/magician.
At the encouragement of the skeptic, I gave hundreds (but probably not thousands of readings). I combined what I learned watching my mother with subtle cold reading and other techniques I learned from the skeptic and from mentalism literature on the subject (which was more limited at that time compared to all the great stuff that's out today).
I never claimed any powers and never charged money (except when I did readings once at a charity event). After a couple of years (and some uncomfortable moments revealing seemingly impossible personal information about subjects) I stopped doing readings. I also stopped because I started to actually have "followers" who could not be convinced that I really didn't have supernatural powers. Crazy!
What one quickly realizes is that you can tell people any nonsense and they will make it fit and will adjust it to be accurate whatever you say.
Performer, seems to me that perhaps you have started to believe your own nonsense and shouldn't take yourself so seriously. Easy to do once you have followers. You have let it all go to your head. Have you ever tried to "purposely" spout meaningless drivel and realize that your subjects still eat it up?
You shouldn't be so arrogant or dismissive of great magicians and mentalists like Berglas and Banachek. These guys are absolutely brilliant and understand the subtleties of reading far better than most serious readers and, based on your apparently naive comments, much better than you.
Is it more impressive to believe that the sun rises and sets by magic or to understand the truly beautiful physics behind the universe? Is it more impressive to believe that reading is some superpower that you are lucky to possess or to truly understand the subtlety of the human psyche and why and how reading works?
I assure you, by not truly understanding you are missing the real beauty of the art. And, yes, perhaps we both can agree that good reading (like good magic) is art.