Originally posted by loki:
To sign is to run when no one is chasing you....[W]hen I am doing a pure mentalism performance, this isn't in my repetoire nor would most any effect where an object is signed be....Some...even see this as one of the distinguishing points between mental magic and mentalism.
Loki, I again thank you for your praise of The Xpert (and while you specifically mention OOBE, I'm sure what we're really discussing here is the coin bending variation upon it, which is posted on my website and written up by Tim Trono). I also agree with your feelings about Bent Cent, which I perform on occasion.
However, I must question the manner in which you're distinguishing mental magic from mentalism. As comfortable as it may be to ascribe the boundary to a particular action or prop, in my opinion and experience, the only meaningful difference between mental magic and mentalism is in the performer's ability to make the experience believable to his audience.
If having an item marked makes it somehow more difficult for you to sell the effect as real, then yes, at that point it becomes a magic trick. But rest assured that for many other performers of mentalism, this is not the case. In my own coin bending presentation, there is an absolutely logical reason for marking the coin -- and when the coin is later found to have bent in the participant's hand, it is as strong a "pure mentalism" moment as one could wish for.
If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to drop me an email anytime.
Neil Tobin www.necromancerevents.com