Do you have the gift of the gab or the magic stare of a medium? Then maybe mentalism is your magic ticket to fame and fortune! Like the secret seers of old or professional online casino gamers guarding their methods, modern mentalists use their incredible powers of intuition and supernatural psychic skills to delve the depths of your mind or perform marvellous memory feats.
If you dare to venture into dialogues with the dead, then perhaps the fascinating world of the theatrical séance could be your passport to a pocket full of pesos. Rather than an actual attempt to converse with the dearly departed, the theatrical séances’ primary objective is one of entertainment and interactive theatre.
If you are ready to flex some mentalist muscle and get busy with your own hustle, a good place to start would to take a squiz at “13 Steps to Mentalism” by Tony Corinda. If you want to know your Swami Gimmick from your Mediumistic Stunts, get your head around these basics.
The Swami Gimmick
What on earth is a Swami Gimmick, you might very well ask?! One of the most powerful tools in the mentalist’s toolbox, a Swami Gimmick is nearly invisible to the audience. Usually hidden under the nail of the mentalist’s thumb, this small pencil lead creates the illusion of being able to read the thoughts since it can be hidden and used to write behind the mentalist’s back. Incredible!
Sound, pencil, lip, and muscle reading
Making predictions by means of touch, sound and sight is another mentalist skill. Sound reading can be used to discover a written number or shape and pencil reading to determine what is written without actually seeing what the spectator has written. Lip reading and muscle reading, with practice, can also provide the mentalist with an impressive on-target prediction tool.
Mnemonics and mental systems
For a real “Wow Factor” a mentalist should have some mnemonics (memory systems) up his sleeve. (If you can remember how to pronounce “mnemonics”, you’re doing pretty well!) These memory tools can help you perform incredible mathematical feats and retention of large volumes of information that make the impossible possible.
Predictions, blindfolds and billets
Getting to grips with switches, forces and “stooges” is necessary for a mentalist.
Different types of blindfolds and the best way to “see” with X-ray eyes is a handy item for the repertoire…everyone will wonder how you did it!
Getting to know your spectators’ secrets is a great way to impress. Tony Corinda discusses how to obtain that coveted information written on the small paper billets without your spectators knowing!
Book tests, telepathy, and mediumistic stunts
Book tests involve the magician revealing a word, phrase, or image that the spectator has selected at random. Tony Corinda covers 10 such book tests.
Both “Major Systems” and “Minor Systems” are included here with a total of eight routines described.
Then, nothing thrills an audience like mediumistic stunts – talking with the spirits of the dead! Think glass moving, mystic pendulums and a spirit conductive rope – you might need an exorcism after this!
Card tricks, questions, publicity and patter
Make the most of mentalism effects that can be done with cards. Getting the card right is always one of the best bits of any show!
Then there is the art of “cold reading” – the tricky business of revealing information about people that you can’t possibly know!
Once you’re up to speed with mentalism, you’ll want to increase your exposure and reputation with some publicity stunts. To do that, you have to get the “patter” right – the gift of the gab is the foundation of any good performance.