Something from Opie and Jonathan's discussion...
Jonathan, I agree that Opie and his ilk are likely somewhat stubborn here, and really are only limiting their options through what I presume is laziness. (I say so, because, raised as a profound skeptic of anything that smacks of "physco-babble", when I begin hearing about NLP..instead of just laughing at it, I took the brief amount of time required to read some of those old Bandler/grindler books, and so, am capable of an at least more informed opinion of it).
However, Jonathan, as you well know I fully believe in reading the alethiometer through grace, (and am frequently undecided as to which, work or grace, is truly "better", if any), which is to say that effective communication CAN be something of an intiutative matter.
Certainly most people, (especially my generation) seem to be abominable at it, and this number is high amongst magicians, as well. (which is somewhat ironic, because I have good reason to believe that 'effective' communication is one of THE keys to creating real magic, which for me anyways, is sort of a consuming goal. (and yes Jon I hunger to create, to inspire, real magic, to be an ardent cataylst I do NOT simply hunger for real magic, and the difference is profound).
However, once more, I have reason to suspect that men such as Opie, are capable of communication/entertainment/etc simply through the grace of their experience and world view, or if I can distance myself from British Children's Novels for five seconds; they connect intuitively.
And as I said above, I am not as yet in any position of strength to assail such an approach to Art, or communication, or magic.
For my own part, I find myself in possession of enough arrogance (bolstered by always being asked back :D ) believe that I too was/am capable of achieving things gracefully/intuitively, but for me, NLP has different value. It provides a language that allows me to speak to others who have either chosen, or simply need to approach their communication/connection consiously and not waste time with jargon, or having each member of the conversation explain what they feel one thing or another is.
Also, I think it may be possible to approach these issues consiously (which is to say work ) without losing my capacity for intuitive/graceful performance. While I was worried at first, I have managed to keep juggling work and grace smoothly so far.
And why would I approach something consiously if I could do it intuitively, except to use it as a jargon-killer? I believe that the work, the study, the conscious approach may help in the pursuit of new avenues and increasing tangible power for the Art of Magic, as well as a sort of a lifeplan for Art in general...things that I might miss doing only what I feel.
This is not strictly necessary, however, you might say, and so, it is not strictly necessary for good entertainers to read NLP, and there could be reason not to (my eccentric, spotty, and scientifically unsound research has given some sense that after doing something for a long time intuitively, a sudden conscious approach may cause "trying too hard", nervousness, etc"). But generally speaking, I doubt it. I think the sky would really be the limit if the best performers performed through both grace and work.
The only other question that remains to me...if one of 'Wesely James acolytes' (sorry, inside joke), which is to say someone who believes that communication skills, or the ability to entertain outside of doing magic are unimportant for the performance of magic, reads NLP...well, this is something I've always wondered about NLP. Is that... right? I mean if someone is incapable of some sort of artistic or social accomplishment intiutively, how will their performance be when all they have is the work? Confusing subject, but I often wonder if Erickson (who didn't know NLP), or the others that Bandler and Grindler studied might not have been better than a master NLP practicioner. But 'better' is ambigious, and contradiction is generally a good thing. That is just a sort of a glimse into my own personal turmoil on the whole idea of a consious approach to communication/art.
And note that I think even if I sided with the side of myself that said that a conscious approach was potentially the lesser route (which I have not yet done, and probably will not), this does not mean I am an advocate of intuitive work without study.
What I'm trying to say with these last few slightly off topic paragraphs is that I wonder at the results of a teaching system which allows people to become something which they did not have in them in the first place. In other words, the optimal thing may be to take someone with raw intuition, and teach them to become a master. Not sure though, sorry for thinking out loud...the start of this post contains most the relevant information.
"If I can communicate, and if in the telling and the bearing of my soul something is gained, though the words I use are pretentious and make you cringe with embarrassment...".....maybe that is enough.
(Also note, the above post, intuitive, or conscious, or otherwise, is mostly an example of terrible communication by most standards...the internet is not my medium...)