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Strong Mo9lt

,j two paramount points. Number one. aim to insr.;- u i- , jS perform each effect with sincerity rather tha I'm-psychic attitude. » CKm~

Number two, you must remember that every mental effect you do whatever its text, exists first and foremost to sell the subtext thai v™ can manipulate thoughts Mentalism w not^or at least, should not bc-about slips of paper, slates, colored poker chips, or playing carT True mentalism is about thoughts-your audiences thoughts Keen the focus there and just use the props as a means to that end.

The Occult people are fascinated by the occult. It keeps cropping up in new guises—the latest is the "New Age"—but its appeal is timeless and immune to technological advances.

A comparison of theatrical magic and occult magic shows exactly why so much theatrical magic fails to move audiences and also how occult themes can strengthen theatrical magic. Occult magic doesn't concern itself with changing red handkerchiefs into green handkerchiefs or making one steel ring penetrate another. It deals with healing and hurting, winning love, gaining wealth, and exerting power over other people, the kinds of things that people really care about—the kinds of things we magicians would be dealing with if we could really do magic.

Well, we can't really do magic. But we can cloak our magic with themes that invoke the emotion-drenched concerns of occult magic. Even Unking two steel rings together can become very moving if it seems somehow to imply that the performer is dealing with occult powers that he could, if he chose, turn to more sinister purposes. Considering the obvious connection between occult magic and theatrical magic—one evolved from the other—it's surprising how little occult themes have been exploited in magic until recently. In the last few years this has changed some, primarily through the influence of The New Invocation, a magazine devoted to occult-theme magic, and its chief contributors. However, as others have observed, ' bizarre magic," as its advocates call it, is a field of magic that is written about far more than it's performed.

One reason for this is that most published bizarre magic effects have presentations that require a type of persona that few amateur magicians can sustain. Your friends know that you're not a warlock who has sold his soul to Satan or studied occult doctrine for decades in some remote monastery in the Carpathians.

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