I went to see Marc Salem's "Mind Games, Too" on Broadway last night and really enjoyed it. I could start a thread on why some people (my wife, for example) really dislike mentalism, but I'd rather hear some opinions about whether mentalism is perceived by the audience as magic (trickery) or "second sight", either mystical or psychological.
There is interesting reading on this by Derren Brown in his new book "Perfect Magic" as well as in his earlier book "Pure Effect," and of course Gary Kurtz has switched from flurrying coins to fogging minds.
My thoughts after watching Marc last night, and seeing the packed theater (about 200 seats) ooh and aah and have a great time, concerned what the relationship of the experience was to the experience of magic. As Derren says, it's hard to get someone worked up about an "Oil and Water" effect, but if you can convince a spectator that her emotional thoughts are causing her ring to float in your hand -- well that's something alse again.
Marc Salem's approach is not as emotional as Derren Brown's, but he sure had 200 people amused and entertained -- and scratching their heads.
What has your experience been?