How To Be a Mentalist


Have you wonder about how can Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) always turns an investigation around helping Lisbon (Robin Tunney) solve all the cases? It’s often said that the mind is the most powerful organ in the body. That being said, it is evident that in our day-to-day interactions a lot of us aren’t using this organ to the best of it's possibilities and potential. 

Mentalism is an art in which its practitioners (mentalists), appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities. It is common that this abilities include hypnosis, telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, precognition, psychokinesis, mind control, memory feats and rapid mathematics. 

The history of mentalism goes back further in time. There are reports of seers and oracles that can be found in works by the ancient Greeks and in the Old Testament of the Bible. Among magicians, the mentalism performance generally cited as one of the earliest on record was by diplomat and pioneering sleight-of-hand magician Scotto in 1572. The performance of mentalism may utilize these principles along with sleights, feints, misdirection and other skills of street or stage magic. Much of what modern mentalists perform in their acts can be traced back directly to "tests" of supernatural power that were carried out by mediums, spiritualists and psychics in the 19th century.

Some contemporary performers, including Banachek and Derren Brown, attribute their results to natural skills, such as the ability to read body language or to manipulate the subject subliminally through psychological suggestion. This is the most common practice. 

Mentalism is heavily based on illusion, using skills that defy whether or not the illusion is performed successfully and the audience are to believe in the show. There is not needed any special powers to be a mentalist and the tricks involved can be learned by anyone, but it isn't an easy task.

Mentalists will often use some of the following techniques to achieve their results:

Traditional Magic
These often involve clever sleight of hand tricks that require a lot of practice, and possibly a prop like a coin or a card, although a mentalist may be seeking a different result when performing, like trying to convince you that he has used psychic powers to guess your card when in fact he has used a simple sleight or memory trick, or perhaps a prop deck of cards.

This would only be used by the top mentalists who have studied hypnosis closely, as they are often hypnotizing their subject without the subject or the audience knowing what is happening. This form of hypnosis is commonly known as conversational or covert hypnosis.

Body Language
All humans use body language and we all attempt to read each other as well, but this is usually done subconsciously. Learning body language is very useful and puts you at an advantage when communicating in our day-to-day lives, but a mentalist can take this to the next level. Learning about body language and more advanced skills like muscle reading and eye movements can give quite remarkable results, and mentalists will often read body language to give the impression of mind reading.

Memory Techniques
Some of the extraordinary feats performed by magicians and mentalists are done so by using advanced memory techniques known as mnemonics. Mnemonics can be used to greatly improve your memory and involve techniques that anyone can learn. It is not that difficult to memorize a deck of cards with a bit of practice, however mentalists will often use misdirection so that you may believe the trick is done some other way, when for example they have merely memorized a sequence of cards.

Mentalism is a great skill to learn and is based on the art of illusion. Don't be fooled into thinking you need special powers or skills, mentalism is something that anyone can learn if they are prepared to put in the time and effort to do so. Whether you want to become a serious mentalist, learn how to read people better, or just learn some cool tricks to impress your friends, there is no doubting that mentalism is a fascinating topic with some really cool tricks and skills that anyone can learn if they are prepared to put in the time and effort to learn, practice and perform.


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