Are mentalists magicians?
If you are wondering whether or not mentalists are just magicians, mentalists have a specifically set of skills and an understanding of psychology, whereas magicians performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand.
On the basis that mentalists create the illusion of mind reading, are mentalists just magicians? However, most mentalists wouldn't consider that they are magicians and a magician in the true sense of the word are certainly not mentalists. Some mentalists use trickery, but actually they use their five senses to create the experience or illusion of a sixth sense. Some even create the illusion they have psychic powers too, but this isn't magic as such.
Are mentalists just magicians?
If Derren Brown of Lior Suchard were introduced on a show as a magician, I'm sure they'd get upset. This isn't to suggest that a magician is anyone less than a mentalist, because they're not. But what I am saying is they are totally different.
Whilst there are many similarities between a mentalist and a magician, which include:
- Both mentalists and magicians are stage performers and entertainers.
- Their acts both involve trickery and fooling the audience.
- Both mentalism and magic are about creating an illusion, which might be mind reading for a mentalist or that something has disappeared for a magician.
But this is where the similarities end and the differences begin. On the whole, mentalists rely a lot less on props. Whereas magicians use cards, silks, rabbits, doves, elaborate boxes and cages of all sizes instead.
The mentalist's act is about using their five senses to create the experience or illusion of a sixth sense, like mind reading. Mentalism is about psychological principles and is about using techniques like embedded suggestion or reading body language.
A magician's act on the other hand is about slight of hand and distraction. A magician relies on their audience being distracted from what's really going on, to create the illusion that 'real' magic has taken place.
Is mind reading or magic possible?
Most people understand that magic isn't actually a possibility. Most adults accept that whilst they may enjoy watching a magician's act, they know the magic they perform isn't actually real.
For most people when they watch a magician perform, it's about being wowed by their amazing skills of slight of hand and trickery.
However, there are many more people who believe in some of the supposed powers portrayed by mentalists. For example, some psychic performers who aren't actually mentalists as such, claim that they actually do have psychic powers.
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Psychic powers don't exist and mentalists get really annoyed with psychic who misuse the art. The techniques psychics use are similar to those used by mentalists. This includes Barnum statements or the Barnum Effect.
The other 'power' that mentalists appear to have is the power to read minds. Mentalists like Lior Suchard are actually very convincing and give the impression they have this power. Some people are even convinced mind reading is possible.
However, it isn't possible and mentalists don't read minds. But instead they read body language or pick up ques from their subjects that makes it appear as though they've read their minds.
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I hope you enjoyed this article about are mentalists just magicians
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your journey to become a performing mentalist or magician (or both). Please comment below. Please also share your experiences, both good and bad.!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about mentalism or magic, I will try to answer them, but please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about mentalism for you to read and learn about this fantastic skill.
Have fun and enjoy your journey to become a mentalist!