With the likes of Britain’s Got Talent and other variety shows more popular than ever in recent years, and the emergence of famous faces in this art, mentalism is now something that has peaked an incredible amount of interest. Here we discuss what a mentalist is, and some difference between this and a typical magician show.
What is a Mentalist?
Mentalists are entertainers that look to the audience to be psychic or mind readers. Some mentalists say that they have supernatural mind-based powers, whereas others see themselves as masters of misdirection who can manipulate your perception of events. One thing is for sure, if you do go to a mentalist show, it is a show-stopping experience if you see a true talent.
Where Did Mentalism Originate?
Mentalism dates back to ancient times, and are said to come from ancient Greece oracles who would state that they could see the future. Girolamo Scotto was said to have performed shows in the late 1500’s and at the time people believed he had supernatural powers. In recent times, modern mentalism can be found from the 19th century by people who purport to be psychics or mediums.
What is the Difference Between a Magician and a Mentalist?
To ascertain whether you would like to go to a mentalism show, you first need to know the difference between a mentalist and a magician. Sometimes the distinction can be subtle, but it is indeed there. Typically, magicians perform magic tricks, however they can incorporate illusion. This means the mind of an audience is left to roam free and usually try to figure out how they completed the trick!
A modern mentalist will combine the use of traditional magic tricks with psychological skill and suggestion. The skills associated with a mentalist are a definite keen eye for detail, eidetic memory, great at reading body language, and know how to use misdirection.
Mentalists can manipulate the thoughts and memories of people who attend their shows and influence their thoughts. The result of this is that they can do things such as accurately tell you what someone has written or drawn, establish which numbers people may be thinking of and predict the behaviors of what someone will be.
Is it Different from Hypnotism?
It is completely different from hypnotism. Mentalists don’t put you in a different mental state, they use their powers of persuasion and psychological skill to get you thinking a certain way. This means you shouldn’t expect to be under any kind of trance when attending one of their shows – you would be fully lucid. It also typically means you don’t need to worry that you will go to a show and do something embarrassing that you will be told about after the event.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what a mentalist is and what you can look forward to when going to one of their shows.