Hi, I'm really interested in mentalism but, as an amateur, I still perform the same set of more conventional magic effects I've been doing since I was in my teens.
I only really considered this when I was preparing for a tradeshow, which was a new experience for me. I realised that the reason I stick to the same stuff is that I feel comfortable with how to present it.
One of the things I've picked up with magic is that you should have sets of three or four effects which all end with a distinct climax, so that you can cut a routine short at any point and still have a begining, middle and end - so whatever happens, they'll hopefully think "he was a great magician!"
This was important for the tradeshow, as I was performing for passers by to get them to stop at the stall, so I needed to be able to let people come and go and talk to me and things. So my conclusion is that I've always played it safe, using simple methods where I can always stick to pretty much exactly the same patter and routines - but I would definitely like to do more interesting and varied mental things for individual spectators if possible - the question being how to work this out.
The truth is that I don't know how I'd go about performing mentalism in the same environment because alot of the classic texts and even some more recent books seem to contain material more suited for a cabaret environment or for after dinner speakers etc - even close-up items seem, let's say more leisurely - but appreaciate there could be great stacks of books I've missed.
I also haven't personally SEEN much mentalism being performed professionally outside of the likes of Derren Brown etc.
The difference seems to be that, when you see a full evening show, all of the little things gradually build towards the twist at the end in a similar way to a magic show, whereas it seems difficult to apply this to an unknown timescale where you don't know when you're climax is coming (apologies if this is starting to sound unintentionally dodgy) and still pack that same kind of punch as traditional magic.
This is my ignorance rather than a slight here but I don't know how I would make, for example, a palm reading as punchy and commercial as a tight ambitious card routine, so that they would walk away thinking "wow!" rather than just "hmmm..."
Is anyone able to reccomend any reading material or give any advice on developing routines for this kind of environment please?
Thanks very much