Gary Kurtz ?

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Postby Mike » 08/06/01 06:46 PM

Does anyone know what happened to Gary Kurtz?Is he still doing mentalism? Does anyone have his e mail address? thanks
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Postby Guest » 08/07/01 08:33 AM

Gary Kurtz has a website and he seems to be really active in mentalism.

For more info. go to www.garykurtz.com
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/07/01 06:19 PM

Kurtz was really a good sleight-of-hand magician. You have to wonder about all these guys who wander off into mentalism ... jeez. Kinda' gives me the willies.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/08/01 01:47 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
You have to wonder about all these guys who wander off into mentalism ...


Yeah. Maybe they want to earn a living or something. How many sleight-of-hand magicians do you know who can pay their bills this way? I can think of Bill Malone, Jamy Swiss (doing stage work), Mike Close and damn few others.

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Postby Guest » 08/09/01 12:16 AM

As one of "those guys", lol, Matthew makes a good point. In addition, I also just find myself enjoying it more, because it's a completely different atmosphere.

There's no challenge of the audience trying to figure out "how'd he do that?" and instead, gasp, they just enjoy it for what they think it is.

That's not to say that I claim to be psychic, as I don't (and that's a whole 'nother thread of discussion, that I've worn out in my "Shared Thoughts" column over at Visions ( http://www.online-visions.com/sharedthoughts )) -- even so, there's a different atmosphere to a mentalism performance that you just don't get at a magic show.

So there's two reasons why we make the switch :o)

That's also not to say that I don't perform "straight magic" at all -- I perform it in my everyday life all the time, and I wouldn't turn down a good paying gig. I also do a lot of creating outside of mentalism, as can be seen in my lecture notes and in my upcoming book Brainstorms (And Other Mental Disturbances), co-written with Andi Gladwin. It's just that, as far as my regular professional performances go, I choose to promote and go after mentalism gigs rather than "straight" magic gigs.

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Andy Leviss ]
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Postby Guest » 08/09/01 11:11 AM

Let's face it - good mentalism generates more impact and more money... Otherwise there wouldn't be so many top workers that "wander off" into mentalism - Tim Conover and Gary Kurtz are two examples.

Gary Kurtz was/is still active in the publishing field though - he released three (mentalism-related) booklets in 1999, under a different name. Talk about camuflage.

Seb.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/09/01 11:30 AM

I disagree completely that mentalism generates more impact. Good magic done very well should totally freak people out. Overgeneralizatons like Sebastian's make for faulty reasoning. It's got to be a case by case basis for EACH person doing magic versus mentalism.
I'll say it again: good magic done very well is just as strong as mentalism. (Anyone who does mentalism and claims to have real powers is eliminated from the equation because they're simply con men.)
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Postby Guest » 08/09/01 01:19 PM

Richard - Are you saying that because you're doing card tricks mainly? I can't blame you - I am not doing mentalism either, but I've seen good mentalists in action and I could enjoy the reactions. As Andy wrote, mentalism can reach the spectators on a totally different level and scale of emotions.

I am not saying that mentalism is better than card magic. I'm just saying that the two disciplines generate very different impacts, and that GOOD mentalism, i.e. properly presented, generates a much deeper reaction. Otherwise maybe top sleight of hand artists like Kurtz wouldn't have specialized in this field. I'm not even mentionning Banacheck, Conover, and perhaps the most obvious example of this school, Blaine. Like him or not (I guess not, in your case), noone can deny the impact he generated with a couple age-old mental effects.

Again, none is better than the other - they just have different impacts. And I sure wouldn't want to do a card trick to a spectator who just had a cold-reading.

Seb.
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Postby Bob Tobias » 08/09/01 01:29 PM

Maybe one of the things that determines the effectiveness of a presentation is how it addresses basic human needs/questions/desires. Sure, we (as magicians) all want to be able to make four half dollars travel, one at a time, to be underneath a single playing card (and have nobody spot the shell in the process). Perhaps the average spectator is more interested in someone who (for example) "touches" people without going near them, causes metallic objects to warp and bend in participants' hands, and changes the time on people's watches without ever touching them.

Or, perhaps the reason performers prefer Mentalism to Magic is there is less crap to lug to a performance.
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Postby Matthew Field » 08/09/01 02:27 PM

Here's a quote from a review posted on Gary's site:

>> Gary Kurtz isn't normal - He's more like "paranormal" and has been ever since he fell and hit his head on a merry-go-round when he was a child. <<

He also, in his intro on the site, says he ISN'T a magician.

Richard -- who's material was that in the Unexplainable Acts book you wrote and I edited???

By the way, when I was a child I also fell off the merry-go-round but all I got was a free ride.

Matt Field

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Matthew Field ]
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Postby Guest » 08/09/01 11:07 PM

I agree that mentalism provides a different impact, however, I believe the difference is in the approach. We "show" someone a card trick but we "perform" mentalism.The appeal maybe in the fact that once you work out the methodology to your effect you can really put an emphasis on acting out the routine a.k.a PERFORMANCE.
Perhaps the appeal lies in another area suggested by Bob, I can,for instance, take a dollar bill and some spectators and perform a feat of mentalism for let's say a group of 500 people. But 'Trio' (One of the best effects from "Unexplainable Acts" since we were speaking of Mr. Kurtz) can be performed for only a few. I perform the aforementioned routine for virtually every group I work for and it seldom fails in creating a lasting impact. So maybe the sheer number of people that can be entertained by performing mentalism is a draw.In closing I believe that mentalism IS inherently stronger whether up-close or from the stage. People want to believe you can read their minds, They know you will find their card.
By the way I make my living performing sleight of hand magic for audiences at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Resort in Orlando, Florida. Recently I have become tempted to close my show with a peice of mentalism..............But you already knew that. :)
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Postby Brian Marks » 08/10/01 10:10 AM

Well obviously since Mr. Kurtz goes out of the way to avoid being called a magician for the intended audience of the website. He wants to be a mentalist.

What I dont understand is publishing mentalist materials under another name. I guess he feels we still perceive him as a sleight of hand guru. We do.

I would still like him to lecture on his material from unexplainable acts. I dont particualry care that he doesnt perform it professionally. Its killer material.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 08/10/01 10:26 AM

Originally posted by Brian Marks:
What I dont understand is publishing mentalist materials under another name. I guess he feels we still perceive him as a sleight of hand guru. We do.


Well, it's kinda like Max Maven/Phil Goldstein. He uses the different names depending on what kind of writing he's doing. For technical materials, it's Phil Goldstein...for everything else, he's Max Maven.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 08/10/01 11:25 AM

Kurtz goes out of the way not to be labeled at all. I do think that it was smart of him to approach his publicity in this way. He is canceling out all the possibilities of what could explain his performance. Perhaps he has read a little Tamariz? As far as publishing under a different name, Jas Jakutsch, maybe he didn't want to give people the wrong impression of the material in the booklets. He is a sleight of hand guy writing a book on mentalism isn't he? So sure let him write let him perform what he wants.Who knows what is going on in Gary Kurtz except for Gary himself, but as long as he is happy and can pay his bills God bless. :)
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Postby Guest » 08/11/01 02:14 AM

Actually, that's not a totally correct explanation of the Maven/Goldstein thing (as I know from having had Max explain it to me quite clearly when I misrepresented it, lol).

He is legally now Max Maven, and uses that for everything except for technical writing, and he only uses Phil's name for that because he had already established his reputation under that name and he felt it was more trouble to change.

In hindsight, he's said, he'd wouldn't necessarily have made the same choice.

--Andy

P.S. - Max, if you're reading this, I hope I got it right this time!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/11/01 12:05 PM

Okay, here's the real deal about the Max Maven/Phil Goldstein thing. This is the way Max views it:
Phil Goldstein is the guy who sits alone in a room, coming up with card tricks.
Max Maven is a real person.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 08/11/01 02:16 PM

Andy...isn't that basically what I said? In fact, wasn't this discussion over at the KJ Board when he was visiting? :) But yeah, card tricks are created by Phil Goldstein and Max Maven is the person.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 08/12/01 04:04 PM

For total full impact, of which magic and mentalism can be equal when at their best, magic requires more dramatic, theatrical dressing than mentalism.

There is inherent interest in the feat of mentalism. For what ever reason there is less inherent interest in magic as a feat. One's presentation is what gives the magic it's meaning. (You can definitely say I disagree with the Rice Crispy Theory as I understand it.)

There is far too little good presentation in magic. That means there are many more poor examples to be compared to in magic than in mentalism.

So I guess you could say mentalism is easier. Certainly your audience is more forgiving of any mishaps. Who can blame someone for wanting to take an easier path to attain their goals. As long as they're not hurting anyone along the way.

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Postby Robert Kane » 08/12/01 07:25 PM

In the cruise line industry, I see that we tend to avoid hiring pure mentalists. Most of the entertainment managers I know think that mentalism is boring and somewhat cheezy. Magicians, on the other hand, are booked constantly and regularly. Most use Mental bits in their acts though, but not too much.
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Postby David Acer » 08/12/01 09:19 PM

Jas Jakutsch is the sound my cat makes when it's horking up a furball.
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Postby Brian Marks » 08/12/01 10:14 PM

David did your cat give Gary that name to use or did Gary steal it without giving your cat credit?
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Postby Guest » 08/14/01 02:37 AM

Originally posted by Tom Cutts:
For total full impact, of which magic and mentalism can be equal when at their best, magic requires more dramatic, theatrical dressing than mentalism.


Woah! Stop the presses. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! And did I mention wrong?! Mentalism requires just as much, if not more theatricality than straight magic. The reason so many people say they find mentalism boring is becase of people who mistakenly believe that it requires less theatricality or presentation.

Mentalism is inherently less visual than other types of magic, so presentation is of utmost importance. Without it, the mentalist dies a slow, painful death.
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Postby Guest » 08/14/01 02:31 PM

I agree 100% Andy. The thing I hear constantly from workers is that Mentalism is a great presentational outlet. It's impact relies solely (IMHO) on the acting ability of the performer. A book test is utterly boring without a presentation.
The other thing I hear is it's a great way to eat up minutes in an hour long show without having to work that hard :)
Not saying that mentalism isn't hard but a lot of the method relies on subtle manipulation or mental faculties i.e. multiple outs, flash memorization and anagrams rather than overt sleight of hand.
Good Magic and Mentalism, just like music, need a hook to get your audience interested without that it will never stand out.
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Postby David Acer » 08/14/01 06:59 PM

While it is certainly possible to present mentalism in an engaging fashion, most of it lacks the "eye-candy" appeal that is demanded of entertainment these days. Implicit is out, explicit is in, and thats been the way of things for some time now. Magic, on the other hand, seems to lend itself quite well to this societal trend towards a faster pace and more visual stimulation. For the most part, mentalists are faced with an uphill battle (and escape artists are utterly doomed).
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Postby Guest » 08/15/01 12:52 PM

I dont perform much mentalism except for a few little bits in my parlour/stand-up show. However, I think I might be able to understand why some magicians make the switch. Especially guys that love close-up magic like myself. When I think of taking my act to a larger audience, as a personal preference, I don't want to use large props, dancing girls, and blaring sound effects. I think these things make magic cheesy when performed poorly. Its not me. So when I think of performing on stage, I think of using bits and routines that pack very small and play big. Routines where the emphasis is on the ability of the performer and the strength of the effect. Sleight of hand, which I love, is very difficult to effectively relate to a large audience. Conversely, mentalist routines can pack small and play big. Mentalist effect can be extremely strong and baffling, and if the performer is great, that makes for a great show. Also, have you ever noticed how a good close-up magician, for that matter even bad ones, can make certain people think they really are magicians no matter how many times you tell them you are not. Thats because of the power of the effect and performance. The same is even truer for mentalists. I've had one mentalist tell me that a spectator approached him after the show, even after he gave the "this isn't real disclaimer", and told him that he had powers he didn't know about and should get checked out. Yet, its very rare that I hear of a stage magician getting those types of comments. Maybe its because stage magicians don't think enough about method in relation to the "too perfect theory" that has been getting so much discussion recently thanks to Genii. On the other hand, the strength of a good mentalist, is leaving the audience no choice but to believe that the effect he just performed was due to mindreading phenomena rather than trickery.

By the way, Jay it was nice meeting you in Orlando. Send me an e-mail with your telephone and info to magikarl@aol.com. I come to Orlando frequently and would like to see your show at Epcot as well as hang out.

Karl Hein
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Postby Guest » 08/18/01 11:07 AM

Yes, mentalism and magic rely on the charisma of the performer, a theatrical ability. Yes, to do either well you need a very high degree of this stage presence.

Add that in magic your props, your stage, all that stuff needs to be dressed up in many different theatrical ways. In mentalism that all fades into the background. Note pads are just note pads, etc. Of course, that requires a different kind of theatrics that some people just don't seem to get.

Granted, the mentalist without much charisma doesn't have pretty props and pretty dancers to hide behind so there is a greater degree of pressure on him to have that charisma. Magicians that hide behind their props are just entertainers, not magicians.

Mentalism is lucky that no one has had the profound stupidity to make the book a larger than life golden, glimmering, neon lazer stone studded, tome and have three dancing, semi nude girls bring out the final prediction of page and verse.

I am avoiding the blurred middle ground of mental magic.

I see the magic, music, mentalism, comparison to be a little off target.
Magic is to a play as mentalism is to music.

Music has an immediate hook due to its nature of rythym and harmony. Mentalism has an inherant emotional hook that magic doesn't have. I am afraid it is generations of garrishly presented magic that have killed magic's hook. It is being kept on life support with lazer lights and pop-music.

I am so glad David Acer brought up the pace of entertainment. On stage actors are constantly being told to take their time. If one takes center stage and puts all his focus and acting ability on peeling an imaginary orange, the audience will be entranced. Sometimes for minutes. Their minds will fill with ideas...ideas they are creating uniquely unto each audience member. There will be a collective experience but also there will be unique augmentations to that. A personal experience is created. It is very engaging.

The actor is "being in the moment". Magical presentations suffer an epidemic of rushing through the moment. The magician himself does not believe, and is not affected by, his magic. Luckily there are shining examples to the contrary.

I believe magicians feel less pressure when they venture into mental effects because the pressure is off.

Total perfection is not neccessary. Mentalism can fail and still be accepted by the audience, assuming the trick method is not exposed. Further the breakneck pace magicians push is not neccessary. A slower more human pace is quite at home here.

Magic has become something that it is not, an un-human act...an un-natural act...when it should be a super natural act.

Tom Cutts
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Postby Guest » 08/23/01 12:36 AM

I do a 40 minute stand-up routine that is 8 different routines. Four of them are magic, 3 of them are mentalism and one is a combination of the two. I find that both get equal response, but the questions after the show are always regarding the mentalism. :confused:
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Postby Guest » 08/03/02 08:09 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I disagree completely that mentalism generates more impact. Good magic done very well should totally freak people out. Overgeneralizatons like Sebastian's make for faulty reasoning. It's got to be a case by case basis for EACH person doing magic versus mentalism.
I'll say it again: good magic done very well is just as strong as mentalism. (Anyone who does mentalism and claims to have real powers is eliminated from the equation because they're simply con men.)
I know I'm coming into this topic really, really late (it's only been a year, bear with me).

Yes, it seems that any time we're talking about the performance arts, really meaningful comparisons only from from case by case examinations. However, some generalizations can be made.

I have a friend who's a very active and talented mentalist. For a long time, he put a disclaimer at the front of his shows, telling the audiences to not get too involved, that he accomplishes his feats by normal methods. He eventually dropped the disclaimers because he found it didn't make any difference.

I went to many of his shows, and time after time, even when advised that what he was doing was fakery, people would approach him afterwards and ask him if he could really read minds, if he could contact the dead, and how he obtained his "powers." I was particularly struck by one incident where after the show a man approached my friend. He had tears in his eyes, and he explained that his son was missing for over a decade. He asked my friend if he could help locate him or find out what happened to him. My friend had to explain to him (for the second time), that he really had no such ability, that it was all fakery. When the man finally understood, he was heartbroken.

Yes, good magic can freak people out. The difference is that these days hardly anyone believes in magic, but a lot of people are open to the potential of the mind. No matter how amazing the magic was, people will almost always presume that there's a method involved, but with even adequately performed mentalism, many people are left wondering -- and sometimes convinced, even when the performer isn't a "con man," even when the performer actually disclaims his own performance.

All other factors being equal, mentalism is inherently stronger than magic. It can be so strong that it's scary.

TCR
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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/04/02 02:38 AM

Good mentalism and good children's entertainment have more in common than the other branches of "magic".

They generally bore magicians to death and are practically never seen at magic get-togethers.
Both generally require minimal technical skill, require maximum presentation skills and completely involve the audience
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Postby Guest » 08/04/02 08:26 AM

A Few thoughts from a young lad. While I wish Mr. Kurtz could have stayed and made us feel bad about ourselves He did something very few magicians have ever done HE CHANGED. My Jazz teacher last year spoke about how the thing that made Miles Davis great was that he changed the type of music he was performing around seven times. Everybody was very happy with him when he was performing "Round about Midnight" or "Kind of Blue". But he stopped and looked forward and was almost always 10 years ahead of his time. Same thing with Bob Dylan you know how pissed everybody was when he plugged in, actually many of you do but I don't, please tell me. I do realize that mentalism arguably not magic, but it is magical so I guess it kind of is magic. Just thoughts from a Young lad.

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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/04/02 09:57 AM

Noah,
You have hit the nail on the head. Very few magicians change at all. While Gary has changed from magic to mentalism, I have changed from children's magic to mentalism. Different mindsets. It's not that important that you change the type of magic you do. What is important is that your character/personality changes and grows with who you are.

Billy McComb has adapted to the the fact that he is now 80 and his performances reflect that he is aware of and alludes to what the audience is thinking.

Look around your local magic club. There are people well in their fifties and sixties using the same presentations and character they used when they were 25. What they do is at cross purposes to who they are and in many ways they become caricatures of themselves.
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Postby Lior » 08/04/02 04:31 PM

My English is not so good but my riffle pass is OK
(well it was OK but I don't do it any more ...)
So I hope you can understand what I want to say.
This is my first post over here...


Gary Kurtz is one of my best friends
We meet every 2 years or so...and we changed a lot of ideas
(in the mentalisem filed of course...).
Read and learn what he wrote on mentalisem and you have all you need.
I am happy that Gary did the "move" into mentalisem and brought
some new fresh ideas to the filed. (and many moves...LOL)
(as Tim Conover did)
Gary is a great mentalist, a great creator and a great person.
I am lucky that I can call him a friend.

I am doing a mindreading act ( and some trade shows)
I don't make any disclaimer because I don't need to make one.
I am an entertainer . I don't try to help people ,I don't tell them how to change their life I just do shows.
I am not a con man as Mr. Kaufman said about mentalists.

I make a very good leaving doing mentalisem. I do many many shows in the USA and all over Europe.
and as a mentalist you get 20-25 times more then a close up worker.

I understand that Richard doesn't like mentalisem and Jamey as well
and I think it's great that you hate it.
keeps more magicians out of the market and give us more work.
I think that the PEA has to award you both for that..
LOL

Now.. I have some routines that I am about to publish
can I send them in for a review ??

Love you all
take it easy guys

I will take some time before my Blaine post

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Postby Guest » 08/04/02 07:50 PM

Excellent thread!

I am also one of those who mourn the loss of Gary Kurtz to the world of mentalism. He was (and probably still is) one of the finest card and coin men I've ever seen. Also a terrific inventor, theorist and showman. He will hopefully contribute just as much to "mentalism" in the coming years. If nothing else, he's probably earning a much better living than he ever did with straight magic.

As for the reason why mentalism is often stronger (to a lay audience) I think it boils down to a couple things already touched on by some earlier posters:

One, most ordinary people know in their hearts that magic is not "real". But they reserve a place in their philosophy for the possibility that there are untapped "powers of the mind". Why? Because it gives them hope. If someone else can do it, maybe so can I. If I just "put my mind to it," use the power of "positive thinking", "believe in myself", etc. Taken out of the religious context, what is "prayer" but an attempt to change or create something by concentrating really hard on it, visualizing it, NEEDING it into existence. Seeing someone who appears to be taking control of the world using nothing more than the power of their mind is fascinating, inspiring and, more important, taps deeply into the subconscious.

The second reason is that the really great mentalists do something that damn few magicians even consider necessary. They ACT. They make a total emotional investment in what they are pretending to do. They CONCENTRATE. They BELIEVE. There is an element of challenge -- not toward the audience, but a personal challenge. The performer is WILLING something into existence and the audience is watching it happen! And when the effect is finally produced the mentalist doesn't stop acting.... he reacts like a real person might who had just expended all that energy. He's pleased, he's exhausted, he pumps his fist -- something.

Great mentalists AND great magicians create compelling theatre. Within a single effect there is inherent drama, conflict, suspense, climax and resolution. The difference is that magicians (even the good ones) tend to believe that the presentation of an "impossibility" is interesting theatre all by itself. The really good mentalists grasp the inherent drama in the situation and "play it". What's more, without props or lighting or music or pretty flourishes to hide behind, the poor mentalists quickly disappear.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that mentalism is better "magic" or better theatre than stage or close-up magic. I'm saying that because drama and presentation and characterization is the heart and soul of strong mentalism, there is no room for performers who aren't prepared to embrace the challenge of being not only a writer, but an ACTOR! And this is a lesson that every magician can learn from.
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Postby mike cookman » 08/07/02 06:31 PM

Whoever performs mentalism:that's great! Whoever performs magic:that's great, too!
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Postby mike cookman » 08/08/02 09:10 AM

Sorry. This thing started out being about Gary Kurtz, didn't it? Well, Gary, wherever you are, I think your magic is tops.
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/08/02 09:59 AM

So far this thread is taking care of itself. Therefore, I'm somewhat reluctant to add my blather...
Nevertheless, I cannot resist:

Categories, like words, fascinate me--especially in the magic world. Of course we need terms such as "mentalism" and "close-up magic." They are useful, loose definitions that provide spatial relevance in our ever shifting "verbal terrain." However, sometimes the discourse gets shaky.

Frankly, I never liked the look or sound of the term, "mentalism." In philosophy, by the way, the term refers to the doctrine "that objects of knowledge have no existence except in the mind of the perceiver."

Whew!

I think that Bob Tobias is on the right track when he focuses on what spectators feel about ANY KIND of performance. The toughest sell facing magicians (once you brush aside the puzzlement-factor and all eye-arresting features)is to make what we do RELEVANT and MEANINGFUL. The spectator must somehow identify with SOMETHING.

If this is the case, how do they identify with four coins penetrating a table or a signed card traveling to a zippered wallet? Furthermore, would they REALLY like to be able to do those feats?

Maybe.

On the other (left) hand, telepathy, psychokinesis, precognition are relevant and potentially meaningful phenomena. And, yes, many people would swoon to have such powers and many more believe that the mind has not been fully tapped.

Comics (as David Acer knows)continually struggle with RELEVANCE. Unless their acts consists of continuous sight gags, the only things they have are the tools and techniques of the ACTOR and pure LANGUAGE. And what do comedians talk about? Stuff that happens to MOST PEOPLE. Stuff that is undeniably HUMAN and RELEVANT and they give a funny spin to this human nature. They examine human foibles. (Check out the latest Robin Williams HBO show. Check out George Carlin.)

Re Kurtz and the Powers (not Heart) of Darkness: Gary Kurtz was bred in theater. He continues, thank goodness, to expand his theatrical repertoire and his possiblities as a performer and entrepeneur--no doubt looking for the relevance and identity just mentioned. I'm sure he strives to find what works...and his wonderful sleight-of-hand skills are STILL part of his repertoire.

BTW, I looked in vain for some of the tricks that have obsessed and fascinated magicians during the past 30 years (Routines such as Matrix, Triumph, Three Fly, and so on)in the work of Ricky Jay.

Guess what?
Yeah...you guessed it.

Onward...
looking for crop circles in the swamp and finding West Nile instead...
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Postby Lior » 08/08/02 11:25 AM

Gary is in a vaction right now with his wife and kid.

The wow that you get from mentalisem(or any other word)
is much stronger then the close up WOW..

and they pay 5000$-10000$ for that WOW

soo??
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/08/02 12:22 PM

Originally posted by Jon Racherbaumer:


BTW, I looked in vain for some of the tricks that have obsessed and fascinated magicians during the past 30 years (Routines such as Matrix, Triumph, Three Fly, and so on)in the work of Ricky Jay.

Guess what?
Yeah...you guessed it.
In his "52 Assistants" show, Jay does a variant of Triumph (with 4 aces instead of a selected card).
Bill Mullins
 
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Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Bill Duncan » 08/08/02 07:27 PM

I never had the opportunity to see Gary Kurtz live so my perception of this particular reality is based entirely on the performance on the L&L video "Let's Get Flurious".

That said it seems to me that Gary simply had more to say when he was doing the mental effects. On that tape there are a number of pseudo mental effects such as "Forced Thought", "Attraction", and the "Code of Silence/Sharing The Limelight" session and a number of very clever coin effects.

I bought the video because of Kurtz' rep. as a coin guy, that being my natural inclination too. I was surprised to find that while his coin magic was on a par with the best I've ever seen (Roth, Carney, etc.) it was so much less entertaining to me than his other effects. His presentations for the coin effects are dry and lackluster compared to his scripts for the other effects.

While I bemoan the loss of a very clever coin worker I'm very glad to see someone doing mental effects that I would actually enjoy watching.
Bill Duncan
 
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