Mentalism Techniques: Secrets of the Master Mentalists

Mentalism Techniques: Secrets of the Master Mentalists

There are many people interested in mentalism, but with some of the methods used being kept so secret by professional mentalists, there aren?t many places to learn the real mentalism techniques for beginners and intermediate mentalists. This page is here to give you a start at learning the tricks and behind the scenes secrets of modern mentalism.

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Mentalism is a branch of magic that deals with illusions of the mind, unlike the more mainstream forms of magic. While the things that happen in magic are obviously caused by some type of trickery ? in mentalism it seems like the performer might actually be able to do it for real.

In most typical magic, items disappear, cards transform into each other and flowers pop out from magic wands. When most people witness those types of illusions they?re well aware that whatever it looks like happened ? didn?t really happen. Some sort of sleight of hand or other trickery was obviously at play, even if they don?t know what it was or how the effect was done.

While in mentalism, the performer can appear to demonstrate both supernatural powers as well as their advanced use of various pseudo sciences. They might hypnotize volunteers, demonstrate clairvoyance or appear to talk to the dead.

Some other common mentalism techniques include performances of mind control, telepathy, psychic vision, extraordinary memory abilities, ESP, psychokinesis among others.

Many mentalism effects can also be played off as your clever use of psychology, muscle reading and many other pseudo sciences.

Because many mentalists will try to appear as actually having the various powers that they claim to perform, they will often leave mainstream magic illusions out of their repertoire altogether.

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It makes sense, as once I see a deck of cards come out, I immediately think ?Alright, here comes a card trick?? The mentalist can avoid this type of attitude in people altogether ? by leaving out all of those typical magic props and illusions.

Another benefit of mentalism over magic is that in most cases there?s no sleight of hand required. That means that you don?t have to spend hours and hours for months just to ?get the move right?.

It?s important to keep in mind that mentalism is heavily reliant on performance and staying in character. Unlike a kid performing a simple magic trick and then exclaiming ?Ta Da!?, mentalism effects must come off as being real.

Let?s cover a few of the most common techniques used in mentalism acts:

Psychological Forces

There are many different types of ?forces? used in both magic and mentalism. A force is when the performer uses one of many different methods to force a given item or selection as a free choice.

For example, they might say ?pick a card, any card?? as they riffle through the a deck of cards, but no matter when you say stop ? they automatically cut to the card that they want to force on you.

The following are just a few examples of different mentalism forces.

Let?s run through the first one, and as I ask you the questions please try to actually answer them in your mind briefly, before going on.

First, think of any number between one and ten. Then multiply it by nine. Next add the digits together and then subtract five from that.

Then find the letter that goes with that number on the list below:

A 1B 2C 3D 4E 5F 6G 7H 8I 9J 10

Now that you have your letter, think of a country that begins with that letter. Then think of an animal that starts with the next letter of the alphabet (whatever letter comes after yours in the alphabet.) And finally think of the color of that animal?

I?ll give you a minute to do it all?

Were you thinking of a gray elephant from Denmark?

This is a simple mental force, but let?s look at how it works. First, the multiplying adding and subtracting is a simple math trick with always ends with the number 4 ? regardless of what number you started with.

Because their number will always be 4, there letter will always be a D. There aren?t many countries that start with a D, so they?ll almost always choose Denmark.

The same is true with the next letter of the alphabet, E. Most people will automatically choose an elephant ? which is gray.

While the above is just a simple mental trick, it?s good to learn as other than the force of the letter D, the rest of the routine was using all mental forces. The spectator was the one who thought of Denmark, elephant and gray ? all on their own.

Here?s another one:

Just answer the following questions with the first thing that comes to mind?

What date is the day that Christmas is on?What are burgers made from?What country had the USSR as their government?Name an animal kept in a barn.Now think of a color and a tool.

Were you thinking of a red hammer? Most people will think of a red hammer for a couple of reasons: A hammer on a red flag was the USSR?s flag. Also, Christmas, hamburger meat and a barn will also slightly suggest to the spectator to think of the color red.

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Magicians Choice

The magicians force is another common force that?s used in both magic and mentalism. It?s used to get the spectator to freely ?choose? one of several objects. So let?s say that the mentalist want the spectator to select ?book 1? out of two books.

He would tell the spectator to choose either book. If the spectator chooses book 1 (the book that the mentalist has rigged to perform the effect) ? then the mentalist can simply move on with the rest of the effect. If the spectator chooses book 2, the mentalist simply says ?Alright, we?ll eliminate that book.? ? or some other such rouse to get to using the book that he wants to use ? regardless of the spectator?s actual choice.

Here?s an example of a few different ways to use magician?s choice:

The above is just a simple illustration of the magician?s choice. There are larger and much more complicated versions of the magician?s choice ? some have as many as 50 options that the performer can use to narrow down the spectator?s choice ? always having them choose what the performer wants them to choose.

Barnum Statements

Barnum statements are named after the legendary PT Barnum, and are statements that are designed to seem very personal and specific to the person who hears them ? yet they seem true to most people.

Not only do Barnum statements do this by their design, some people simply want to believe in certain things so much that they?ll actually talk themselves into believing them.

A couple of my favorite examples are:

I feel you?re someone that tends to be introverted some of the time, but when you do decide to be social ? you go all out.

Many people identify with this, yet all it?s really saying is that you?re alone some of the time and you?re social some of the time. Another one is?

You?re a person who will keep people at a distance, but once you let people in ? you really let them in and become close friends with them.

All it?s really saying is that you?re close with the people that you?re close with. It?s sounds very specific and personal ? but it could apply to almost anyone.

If you want to see Barnum statements in use, start by reading horoscopes. Horoscopes are known for using Barnum statements more than probably anyone else. Again, the reader?s wanting to believe in their horoscope will also allow the reader to convince themselves that the information is true.

Barnum statements are also known as Forer effects and rainbow rouses. While Forer effect is just another name for them, rainbow rouse applies only to those statements that simply state both opposite points. For example: You?re tough, but you?re also kind.

If you want to see a great examples of Barnum statements and exactly how powerful they can be, check out the below video to see how a master mentalist uses Barnum statements:

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Blindfold Routines

Throughout history there have been many different blindfolded mentalism routines. Usually bordering on the level of dangerous stunts, they have taken all different forms from Russian roulette to walking barefoot over sharp props and everything in between.

One modern form of the blindfolded mentalist routine is driving a car while blindfolded. The mentalist normally has a spectator sat in the passenger seat while they then drive fast and erratically, narrowly avoiding many obstacles.

Driving a Car While Blindfolded

DO NOT Attempt this or any dangerous trick or routine yourself. Do not try this at home!

There are a few different ways that these routines can be accomplished. One method is to use cheap fake blindfolds. This method is the least often used, as any spectator could tell that the blindfold is fake upon even a quick, casual examination.

Another method is through muscle memory. When this method is used the blindfold is indeed genuine and legitimate, and the performer really can?t see anything while they?re driving.

The secret is that the mentalist has spent weeks or even months driving on that exact same distance of road for hours at a time. Believe it or not, with enough time and dedicated training (exactly like a professional mentalist would have the time and money for) ? it becomes second nature to drive on the small stretch of road.

The only thing that the mentalist needs is to then have a spectator to react to it and a cameraman to get it on tape and the trick is done.

The final and most modern way is for the mentalist to use a hidden GPS unit and use it with a hidden earpiece which just simply gives them information which direction to turn in so many feet, etc. Using cruise control with this makes thing even easier for the performer.

Here?s an example of the effect:

Again: DO NOT Attempt this or any dangerous trick or routine yourself. Do not try this at home!

Spikes and Cups

Another mentalist routine that?s been done several different ways, changing slightly over the years is the spikes and cups. This is a trick in which there is a base with a (legitimately) sharp nail or blade sticking out from it (sometimes there are other bases with no nail or blade, sometimes not).

There are also four or more disposable cups (usually Styrofoam or red solo cups) large enough to completely cover the dangerous base and conceal it from the performer.

The mentalist will have the spectator cover the base with the nail and mix it up with the rest of the cups. The performer will then smash the cups with his bare hands, one by one ? all except for the last one, which contains the dangerous item.

Usually a dramatic ?fake-out? is used when the mentalist goes to smash the last cup ? making it look as if he?s about to smash the wrong one ? which of course he doesn?t.

There are various mentalist versions and ?reasons? that a mentalist would know which cup is the dangerous one, without it just being a simple trick. A mentalist could say that they?re using muscle reading on the spectator, or they could claim to be reading their unconscious reactions and eye movement.

It is, of course, just a clever trick.

There are many different ways of doing this one, here are a couple of them?

Again: DO NOT Attempt this or any dangerous trick or routine yourself. Do not try this at home!

One way that the spikes and cups is done is by using the numbers on the cups themselves. Most Styrofoam cups have individual serial numbers printed on the bottom of each cup. These are so overlooked by most people that they would never even know that they were there ? yet they are quite visible to the mentalist who?s aware of them.

When the trick is done this way, the performer must be the one who places the cup on the base with the nail ? so he can clearly see which numbered cup it?s under. He can turn around and have the spectator move the cups around, once the nail is hidden under one of them.

Note: One way that the trick can go bad is when a non-cooperative spectator switches the cup with the nail for another one while the performer?s back is turned. This is a dangerous trick even when you know how it?s done!

Another way this trick is done is with a number of bases that go under the cups, not just one. One base will be the dangerous one, while the others are just normal bases. A small length of fishing line just slightly protrudes from the dangerous base ? which the mentalist can see, but the spectators don?t notice.

There are a couple of advantages to this method, as the spectator can be the one to cover up the dangerous base and mix up the cups while the performer?s back is turned. Also, this method is slightly more safe with fishing line always being attached to the dangerous base and no numbers on the bottoms of the cups are required.

This trick can still go bad, especially if the fishing line comes off of the dangerous base, or if something else is mistaken for the fishing line.

Again: DO NOT Attempt this or any dangerous trick or routine yourself. Do not try this at home!

Here?s a video showing how the second method is done:

If you want to really take your mentalism to the next level, you need to check this out ? you?ll be performing astonishing feats of magic & mentalism that will have people swearing that you must have extraordinary abilities that most people just don?t have. And best of all, you?ll be performing them just minutes from now! Get 2 Months of Free Magic and Mentalism training when you sign up through this link now.

So I hope that this has taught you a few new mentalism techniques that will get your creative juices flowing to come up with some of your very own mentalism routines that no one has ever seen before.


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