Why magicians must refer and recommend other magicians?

A magician’s competitor is not another magician but other artists like dancers, stand up comedian, mimicry artist, singers, juggler etc. In India when people hear about a magician, they imagine an old man in shining colorful clothes with a hat on his head performing old and traditional magic tricks. Most of the Indians don’t even know that art of magic has advanced to some unimaginable level. They don’t know that many youngsters are professionally doing a modern magic show. They are even more ignorant about the art of mentalism which is a very unique addition to magic shows.

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Magicians shouldn’t behave like archers who always pursue to find out who is better. But magic is not like archery there is no such thing as best magician in the world. Anyone who loves magic shows would want to see the magic shows of different magicians. If you frequently go to Las Vegas would you see David Copperfield’s show every time? I don’t think so, sometime you might go for Penn & Teller’s show, isn’t it? Magicians shouldn’t be envious and competitive towards each other because “being the best” is not the goal of a magician “being unique” should be the goal. Following are some strong reasons why magicians must help each other for mutual benefit.

To establish art of magic as mainstream entertainment:
A magic show is still not considered as a mainstream entertainment, in spite of the fact that it is a suitable option for all kinds of social and corporate events. If you are not available for a magic show because of prior booking, you can give the client reference of another magician who is available. If the client gets another magician he will continue to plan to have a magic show for the event instead of looking for some other entertainment option. Naturally, if more magicians make more magic shows happen, people will start treating it as mainstream entertainment and ultimately there will be more inquiries for magic shows.

To prevent clients from going to amateur magicians:
Let’s assume that client is determined to have a magic show for their event. He calls you but you are not available because of some other show. You know a magician who is as good as you but you don’t recommend that magician to the client. Now, the client will search for other magicians from various sources and eventually he will find one. Now, the magician who performs for the client is an amateur, he doesn’t create the impact which a magician suppose to create. The amateur magician has not only spoiled his show but he has damaged the reputation of the art of magic and in the future, the same client may not opt for the magic show again.

People want to try different magicians:
You can perform for the same client two or three times but they would like to try a new magician fourth time before they hire you once again in the future. So even if you recommend other good magicians to the client first time, they might call him two or three times, but fourth time they would want some other magician which could be you.

More business for everybody:
Even if you are a magician, you cannot perform at two places at same time. If you are already booked for another show, you can give the lead to other magician and you can charge some fees from the magician, let’s say 10-20%  of the deal amount and if the deal gets closed, you earn extra 10-20% without even performing.

Referral is contagious:
There will be a day when you would want to perform and make some money but you don’t have any lead. But, magically some other magician to whom you have recommended to clients in the past recommends you and you get the show, wouldn’t that would be cool? If you refer other magicians in your unavailability they would want to return the favor in their unavailability by referring you and that will build more business for you.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician and Mentalist)

10 secret techniques in mentalism

1. The force
Mentalist use forcing technique to perform prediction effects. Mentalist force the spectator to make a particular choice but to a spectator it looks like a free choice.

2. The peek
Mentalist use this technique to perform mind reading effects. Mentalist secretly or using some mechanism take a quick look at what spectator has written, drawn etc.

3. Cold reading
With cold reading, without prior knowledge, a mentalist can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, the manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and reinforcing chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses.

4. Memory and mental calculation
Mentalist uses fast mathematics methods to perform quick mental calculations and to remember a long list of objects. Mentalist tries to show the power of his mind using these effects.

5. Dual reality
Dual Reality is a ploy in which spectators assume that everybody witnessing the same performance effect, but in actuality, different people are finding different meanings of certain deceptive words in the conversation. Generally, in dual reality effects, either spectator gets more amazed than the rest of the audience or the audience gets more amazed than the spectator.

6. Misdirection
Use of standard magical methods like misdirection with the use of magic props or sleights to accomplish a mentalism effect, it is also called mental magic. Any magic effect can be presented as a mentalism effect with the right script.

7. Suggestion
A suggestion is a psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of another person. Mentalist who also performs hypnosis use these techniques for entertainment.

8. Equivocation
Equivocation (or the magician’s choice) is a verbal technique by which a magician gives an audience member an apparently free choice, but frames the next stage of the trick in such a way that each choice has the same end result. For example, the performer may deal two cards to the table and ask a spectator to select one: if the spectator chooses the card on the left, the performer will say something like “you keep this card, I’ll take the remaining card”. If the spectator chooses the card on the right, the performer will take that card. Thus, the choice of which card to use is really made by the magician.

9. Secret Accomplice
Some mentalists employ their assistant backstage to accomplish some mind-blowing mind reading and prediction effects. Some mentalist uses secret accomplice called stooge who sits with rest of the audience behaving like a stranger. During the performance, mentalist select the stooge as a spectator who looks like a randomly chosen volunteer.

10. Pre-show work
Few mentalist before the show will approach and talk to some of the members of the audience starting with the casual conversation, but in the process knowing some clues and information about their life. During the show, mentalist will select those people as volunteers and with the use of some clever presentation mentalist will use those clues to perform some super mentalism effects.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)