Mentalism magic is one of the most impressive types of magic that you can bear witness to, It is by far my personal favourite. Being able to do card tricks and tricks with coins can be quite impressive, but I firmly believe the strongest branch of magic is mentalism. Appearing to have the ability to read someone’s mind really blows your audience away and make some question everything they know about reality.
The major problem is due to the audience inspiring nature it is a very closely guarded secret and it’s hard to find people or material that can teach you well. If you don’t know what mentalism is then its most easily described as the type of magic that Derren Brown performs. The practitioners such as Derren brown are known as mentalists they appear to have enhanced mental abilities such as telepathy, clairvoyance, mind control and also hypnosis amongst over skills. The type of magic Derren Brown performs is definitely one of the most rewarding and mind blowing forms of magic but also one of the hardest to master.
How to learn mentalism
You can pick up bits and pieces by using YouTube and other websites that have a few easy tricks for free but no one at the world class level of David Blaine or Derren Brown would teach you their secrets for free. I spent a lot of time being involved with magic first learning card tricks and coin tricks which is a great place to start. But I always had that burning desire to knock people off their feet with magic that made them believe I could read their minds or even influence them. If you have watched much Derren brown you will know that he has great influential powers over people and with suggestion he can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do and I believe this contributes to why it’s so hard to find someone who will teach you mentalism.
How I learnt to perform mental magic
For me my journey into mentalism started with really simple tricks such using the power of suggestion to beating people at paper, rock and scissors. This is really simple to do but also pretty cool but you quickly find out that not everyone is open to the power of suggestion which is why you screen for hypnotism acts. I tried learning better more impressive tricks and increasing my knowledge of the fundamentals for free, reading free guides and watching youtube videos and I did learn a few tricks (that I consider quite goofy compared to what I can do now). If you really want to become good you are going to have to pay. You could perhaps get there if you dedicated 25 years of your life to trial and error but trust me paying for a high level guide book will elevate your skills faster than you thought possible. You have a lot of options here the best is to go to mentalism university but unfortunately that will set you back thousands of pounds and I think with the alternatives available its best to get some ground work done before going to university if you are that serious about it. I took a more sensible route and bought a book, to be honest I bought quite a lot and most of them weren’t worth the money they were written on. I have found a guide which I think is great and stood head and shoulders above all the others you can find that book here. It goes into tremendous depth in it’s teaching and includes exclusive interviews with David Blane and Chris Angel.
Where did it begin?
mentalism has been around for longer than you may know, it can be traced back to the 16th century. It was brought to light in the mainstream and to the general public by Uri Geller. Uri Geller is a little old-fashioned in his techniques and his style of mentalism really doesn’t inspire me much. He definitely brought a lot of attention towards this type of magic though. Many of his techniques involve the use of chemicals on his fingers to bend spoons. If I’m being honest I owe my start of a fascination of this type of entrancing magic to Uri Geller, but I feel he has been far succeeded by the likes of many other modern-day mentalists and mentalism techniques.
If you are completely new to this kind of magic and want to learn a little bit more, then bear in mind the simple steps which you can utilize straight away if you want to start testing and using trial and error.
Some simple magic tips for aspiring mentalists
My first tip isn’t so much of a trip as it is a piece of advice. Learn as much as you can and don’t quit. Most people who succeed in life usually do so one step up their biggest failure. So when you feel like quitting you know your course to making a breakthrough, but you just have to keep trying. If you want to perform very impressive feats of mentalism, then you, you are going to have to buy books or courses off a successful mentalists who is wanting to share his secrets and has written a book or course, the best place to start in my opinion is here
Practice using the power of suggestion and cold reading regularly. This plays a large part in many of these tricks, what you say and how you deliver it can have a massive influence on your target. You plant the idea into their head but you have to do it subtly so they don’t consciously notice and this is what takes practice. Here you can see Derren brown first using the power of suggestion, note the number of times and slight emphasis on the letter “A” when he speaks. Later in the video you can also see him demonstrating cold reading at a high level.
Don’t underestimate the power of the Confederate (someone who is in on it). Having an unknown plant in the audience or spectators gives you a massive advantage and opens a lot of doors. If you are out with friends you can do very simple tricks that will have everyone (almost everyone) scratching their heads and be left intrigued. This is one of the first tricks I used in a public situation many years ago. I placed about 15 coins on a pool table and told my friend I was going to turn my back on them then he should touch a coin. After he touched a coin I turned back around and started to touch each coin one by one taking my time, moving my finger on each coin portraying that there was some form of telepathic communication going on. I could see everyone thinking that I was a little weird and wondering what I was doing this is what I wanted. Then I touched his coin without looking at him announced it was that one. When I looked up everyone had a look of disbelief, well not everyone, one of the party was in on it and was vital to its success. All he had to do was sip his drink when I touched the right one. I was instantly asked to perform the trick again a couple more times with the exact same outcome. Then a fourth time with my friend trying to be clever, he didn’t touch any coins and when I didn’t get a signal from my confederate I announced that he didn’t touch any. Should a simple trick instilled amazement that night.
Presentation is key. A lot of what is going to make your acts appear grand is the presentation. This is not exclusive to mentalism It also spreads across all types of magic. The way you present yourself and the trick will add heavily to the illusion. Keep an open mind and take notes on how other successful mentalist’s portray themselves and deliver their illusions. For example, if you make something look like you’re thinking really hard for the answer and it’s a chore. It can create suspense and make the audience believe what you doing is very difficult much like I did with my coin trick. Even if you are doing a mentalism trick and know the answer immediately usually its best to make the audience think that there is something going on and that it took mental effort to get the answer. It’s all in the delivery.
The biggest advice I can offer anyone who wants to start impressing people with these type of tricks is to be persistent, don’t give up. A lot of the tricks are very difficult to do and progression may be very slow. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to start with, just test the water and start with easy tricks and work your way up from there. Seek advice from over mentalists who are willing to help you and invest in a guide that will play the path that will increase the race in which to improve dramatically.
Where to learn mental magic?
Unfortunately your options are quite limited here you basically are stuck between not learning anything of any real value or paying a lot of money. Even buying a decent mentalism book from amazon can cost £200 for a book! That to me is crazy money. I have personally wasted a lot of money buying books, training courses and getting personalized coaching. I guess the upside is I know what training material has value and what doesn’t. If I was going to do it all again I wouldn’t pay crazy money for a book and I wouldn’t waste my time on free tutorials they only get you so far. I think the best return for your time and money I have every come across is the two courses I’ll briefly talk about here.
master mentalism. This is my go to course for anyone wanting to get involved with or learn mentalism. It’s great for magicians with experience and fantastic for complete beginners. This would be my starting point if i was to start again today.
No matter what skill level you are currently at, whether you are 12 years old and never performed any magic before in your life or if you’re a 20 year veteran master mentalism will give you the ability to perform world class acts and tricks almost immediately. He teaches the simple fundamentals and this is very important he doesn’t believe you should over complicate things. Even the most complicated mentalism tricks are very simple at heart and follow simple principles. His guide is very concise it isn’t full of useless fluff. You will want to know everything. With this I would say it’s possible to achieve more with your mentalism than you would previously thought was possible in a lifetime. Stand on the shoulders of giants. This could easily be bundled at $1,500 and people would buy it, just look at the dummies guide which is $900. This is vastly superior and costs practically nothing in comparison. Its currently on sale for $47 down from $197 its usual price. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE or you can follow this link to read our master mentalsim review
The Revelation effect.
The Revelation effect was released in 2010 and is still going strong. If you are new to mentalism then this is probably a great purchase for you, it’s quite unlikely if you are advanced though that this will be knew to you. The revelation effect is just one trick though it’s not a complete guide like the master mentalism course, I think some people may be mislead thinking you get a complete guide with lots of tricks you don’t. The trick you learn Is a the illusion of mind reading from a billet peak. It’s quite a well-known trick in magic circles and works incredibly well. In fact the trick is basically a rebranded trick known as ”Acidus Novus” created by Millard Longman. You can still buy the original trick from Millard for $125, you can read our revelation effect review to learn more about it and the trick in general as well as a few criticism surrounding it. Or visit the revelation effect here.
It’s hard and time consuming to become skillful in the art of mentalism and I think books on their own won’t really pave the way. I see books as supplementary material that will increase your general understanding. Personally whether you are new to magic or have been doing it quite a while I’d get one of the guides above and if you want a book use it as supplementary material.
13 steps to mentalism is one of the best selling books to learn these types of tricks with and it is decent and retails for around $20 you can buy it from amazon here. Books aren’t in my opinion the best medium to learn through I think you can learn a great deal more from watching tricks and having them explained to you through visual aid. You can get the “13 steps to mentalism” in DVD form from amazon also but it will set you back around $97. Though in my opinion your far better off getting the master mentalism course for $47
Mind Magic and Mentalism For Dummies
Dummies is a worldwide recognised brand and they have a book on mentalism and for me this really puts things in perspective you can find there book here on amazon and its $200. If you want the dummies course in DVD format it’s going to set you back $900. This should put it into perspective that knowledge in this field is a pretty guarded secret that officially you have to pay for. I don’t really rate the dummies books at all which is a shame as dummies is a large and well respected brand so I would expect a lot more. Save your money
What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People
While this book isn’t specifically written for aspiring mentalists it does give invaluable information to one of the skills that really necessary to be a good mentalist. It’s an excellent guide to understanding how to read peoples non verbal cues and understand peoples non verbal tells. See if someone is telling the truth. It’s a great supplement book at retails for around $14
If you really want to learn you need to practice as many aspects of it as you can daily. To get the best understanding of what to practice you shouldn’t waste time scraping around youtube trying to learn by picking up the odd trick here and there you should get a complete guide and nothing is as complete as “master mentalism” in that sort of price range by a long shot. Whether you are completely new or quite seasoned if you want to know how to learn how to do it then start here